Teeth Braces & Retainers

Braces & retainers aim to enhance your smile and correct your bite with a variety of options.

What are teeth braces?

Teeth races consist of brackets and wires that are fixed normally to the front of the teeth. The brackets are designed to grip the teeth and the wires are then tightened and loosened to move the teeth to the anticipated position.

A teenage girl smiling with braces

Who are braces suitable for?

Braces are the most widespread and common form of treatment for fixing misaligned teeth in Australia. Braces can be worn by all ages and are an orthodontic method used to correct uneven and crooked teeth. It is normally recommended that children only commence the braces treatment when all of their teeth are permanent, generally around the age of 7 or 8.

How long do I need to wear braces for?

The length of braces treatment varies greatly and depends on a number of factors including the age, the number of teeth needing to be moved and the patient’s oral health. Treatment time varies from a few months to years. Treatments of older people is longer due to a denser jawbone, which means the teeth take longer to move. Despite the need for adults to wear braces for longer, the final result is always as effective.

What types of braces are there?

There are three different types of braces that help guide your teeth to make them straight, close gaps, correct your bite and give you a perfect smile. With the most up to date technology, metal braces are more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before.

Metal braces displayed on a tooth model

Metal Braces

The most common types of braces are metal braces. They are made of hospital-grade stainless steel and are comprised of metal brackets that will be bond to your teeth and hold the archwire in place. The archwire guides your teeth into place and is adjusted throughout your treatment. Elastic bands are also used to enhance the pressure applied by the braces.
A model of ceramic braces

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear material and are the same size and shape as metal braces. Because they are clear, they appear to blend into your teeth, making them less noticeable. This makes them suitable for teenagers and adults, for whom cosmetic concerns may be higher than for children. Ceramic braces need more careful oral hygiene than metal braces because they are more fragile and also can stain easily if not cared for properly. Ceramic braces are different from clear retainers like Invisalign.

Jaw displaying Lingual braces appearing on the inside of the teeth

Lingual Braces

Lingual types of braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and arch wires are placed on the inside of teeth. These braces are customised for your teeth and your mouth and are invisible when you smile. Lingual braces are however more difficult clean and can be uncomfortable, at least initially.

A picture of an Invisalign clear retainer

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are not braces but a new type of alignment technology and offer an alternative to braces. They are growing in popularity given they are virtually invisible to the naked eye and very effective at aligning teeth. Read about Invisalign clear aligners with Dr Finkelstein.

Retainers

After braces have adjusted your teeth to their perfect position, retainers are a vital final step in teeth alignment to ensure all your hard work is not undone.

What are retainers?

Retainers are used at the end of orthodontic treatment after braces or dental aligners have been removed. It is very important to wear your retainers to maintain the current position of your teeth.

What types of retainers are available?

Retainers may be removable or fixed in place. They may be clear plastic or metal and some may even be fixed to the inside surface of your teeth.

Our wear and care of tips for your retainers

  • You should wear your retainers for the time specified. If the retainers are removable, take them out when eating and whenever they are out, place them in their case so they don’t get damaged or lost.
  • Just as you clean your teeth, you need to carefully clean your retainers. The removable retainers are cleaned by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste using warm (not hot) water.
  • You will need to wear your retainers full time for at least 6 months. We will advise you on the required period. After that time, you will need to wear them at night during sleep, to maintain the corrected position of your teeth.
  • Retainers can be broken so take good care of them and treat them gently.
  • Do not wear your retainers when swimming.

Ready to start on the journey to your best smile?

Whatever solution you decide on, we can provide the right advice for you or your child on what braces are best suited to create the best smile possible.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.  Dr Finkelstein will explain these to you carefully at the time of your consultation as well as address any questions you may have.  We also recommend before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.