This page answers some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from our patients.

To have your FAQs about braces answered, please read below:

How long will it take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Simple cases may take as little as 6 months, whereas more complicated ones can take as long as 30 months. With normal braces however, the average treatment time is 18 months.

Can I speed up treatment?
Yes. By maintaining excellent oral hygiene, wearing your elastics all the time as instructed, avoiding hard foods which can break brackets, and keeping all your scheduled appointments, you can speed up treatment by 2-3 months!

How often do I need to have my braces adjusted?
Appointment intervals are usually every 4-5 weeks initially and later 6 to 8 weeks. Each adjustment appointment is commonly a short 30-minute visit.

Will it hurt?
It is painless to have your braces fitted. No pliers, drills or needles are used. The braces are simply ‘stuck’ on using tweezers and glue. The reason why the appointment can take a while is that the dentist needs to spend time making sure the braces are accurately positioned. 2 hours after your appointment, you will start to feel some pressure on the teeth as the wire begins to work. Discomfort usually peaks at the 24 hour mark, after which the pain tends to subside. Braces are like new shoes, at first it will take some getting used to, but after a week or so you won’t even realise you have them on!

Will I need teeth removed?
We do not take the decision to remove teeth lightly, and every attempt will be made to treat our patients without the removal of teeth. Fortunately, with modern orthodontics there is a much lower requirement for extractions, and if treated at the correct age, teeth may only need removal in a low number of cases.

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen at 7 years of age for their first consultation for orthodontics. This is the time when certain orthodontic problems (thumb sucking, impacted canines, crossbites, and early loss of baby teeth) start to appear and are best managed! Early treatment can prevent these problems from becoming more serious ones later on.

When is the best time to start braces?
The best time to fit braces is usually when all the adult teeth erupt, which is around 11-12 years of age.

Are there alternatives to braces?
Yes. At Braces at Rockhampton, we believe firmly in providing our patients with all the options and the most modern treatments. Nowadays orthodontic treatment is becoming more invisible and more high-tech. We offer most of our patients ceramic (clear) braces, metal braces and Invisalign® (clear plastic aligners).

Would my health insurance cover cost of my braces?
Health funds cover some of the cost of braces. The rebate depends on the health fund and the level of cover. Please carefully check premiums, conditions, and waiting periods to see if you and your family are better off with or without insurance.

Is orthodontic treatment different for adults?
Yes. In adults the teeth tend to move slower so treatment generally takes longer. Adult patients may also have other issues with their teeth like worn dentition and periodontal or gum disease.

Can I play contact sports with braces?
Yes you can play contact sports but you MUST wear a mouthguard. We recommend a mouthguard for both training and games.

Can I get braces even though I have crowns and root canals?
Yes. A tooth with a crown or a root canal will move just like a normal tooth. In fact, recent studies show that they respond the same and if anything are less prone to some of the side effects of braces. The process to bond a bracket to it may be more involved, but once the braces are attached everything will proceed as normal.

What is two phase treatment?
Two phase treatment is when the child is treated in two stages. This is because different problems are best treated at different times. The first stage involves fairly minor treatment at about 7 to 10 years of age to correct a developing orthodontic problem like a small upper jaw or cross-bite. The second phase usually involves comprehensive treatment with braces at about 13 years of age to line up all the teeth. Two phase treatment makes orthodontics
more manageable and a lot of the time more effective!

Do I need a needle?
No. Needles/injections are not necessary for braces.