Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Orthodontist?
Orthodontists are dentists who have completed a Masters degree specialising in orthodontics (a 3 year full-time university course or recognised equivalent course) and have registered with the New Zealand Dental Council.
Does it hurt to have braces on?
There may be some discomfort especially in the initial stages of getting use to your braces and after each adjustment. A soft diet is recommended, and you may wish to use a suitable over the counter pain reliever such as Panadol or ibuprofen.
What can I eat with braces on?
You can eat most foods. Though to reduce the possibility of permanently marking/discolouring or damaging your teeth and gums, it is best to minimise the amount of sweet, sugary and acidic foods and drinks. To avoid breaking your braces, hard, sticky and chewy foods should also be avoided or cut into very small pieces. Review the Colgate brochure on Oral Care during Orthodontic Treatment.
How long will it take?
Some treatments may be as short as a few months depending upon the outcome you want. On average, improving your smile with braces takes around 18 months to 2 years.
Factors that will increase the time you have your braces on are missed appointments, appliance breakages, poor oral hygiene and inadequate compliance/cooperation. These will also increase the possibility of a compromised result.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
No, Mark has helped people up to the age of 71 years young. Any one at any age can see Mark for any concerns about their teeth and bite.
Can I play sport when I have braces?
Yes, and for contact sports a mouthguard will need to be worn. Mark can fit a mouthguard for you if needed.
Do I need to have teeth extracted?
Mark prefers not to have teeth extracted but in some cases it may be necessary depending on your desired outcome.
When is the best time to see an orthodontist?
The New Zealand Association of Orthodontists recommend that a child has an orthodontic screening by the age of 9. This is when the remaining adult teeth are emerging, so the orthodontist can assess any potential problems with front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships.
Won’t my front teeth just straighten as I grow?
Generally not once the canine teeth have emerged, as there is no more significant growth or developmental changes in the front area of the jaws.
How long do I have to wear my retainer?
Your custom made retainer is designed to reduce the natural movement of your teeth after the removal of your braces. You should wear your retainer as directed. If you decide to stop wearing a retainer, you will have to accept your natural tooth movement or arrange to straighten your teeth again.