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Teeth straightening

Teeth straightening is known professionally as orthodontic treatment. It is a specialty field in dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns. In some cases, it also addresses the modification of facial growth. This is known as dentofacial orthopedics. Here’s an extensive and informative overview of what teeth straightening involves, its causes, and the various treatments available, particularly drawing from Australian resources.

Definition and Purpose

Orthodontic treatment aims to correct various dental issues:

  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Incorrect biting patterns (malocclusion)
  • Severe misalignment of teeth and/or jaws
  • The impact of past habits such as thumb sucking on the position of teeth and jaw development

These conditions can lead to more complex health issues, such as sleep apnoea, or cause uneven wear of the teeth​.

When to Seek Treatment

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic assessment between the ages of 7 and 10. They allow for early intervention if necessary. While orthodontic treatment is commonly associated with children and teenagers, adults can also undergo teeth straightening procedures.

Treatment Options

  • Metal Braces: Traditional metal braces have been used for a century and remain popular for their effectiveness. They consist of brackets attached to the teeth, connected by wires which are periodically tightened to guide the teeth into the desired position​1​.
  • Ceramic Braces: These operate on the same principle as metal braces but are made from tooth-coloured ceramic materials, making them less noticeable​2​​1​.
  • Lingual Braces: Similar to traditional braces, but the brackets and wires are placed on the inside surfaces of the teeth, rendering them virtually invisible from the outside​1​.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are custom-made, thin plastic trays worn over the teeth. Known by various brand names, they are less visible than braces and can be removed for eating and cleaning. It’s important to wear them consistently, except when eating or drinking anything other than water​.

DIY and Direct-to-Consumer Options

The Australian Dental Association warns against direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatments which do not involve in-person visits to a professional. These treatments can cause permanent damage to teeth, gums, and jaw joints. It’s crucial to have a thorough pre-treatment assessment. Also, ongoing supervision by a registered orthodontist.

Oral Hygiene with Orthodontic Appliances

Proper oral hygiene becomes even more critical when wearing braces or aligners. Braces wearers should brush after every meal to remove food trapped around brackets. Interdental brushes or floss threaders can help clean between the teeth and orthodontic appliances1.

For those using clear aligners, it’s important to clean the trays. It is with antibacterial soap and rinse with warm water twice a day to maintain oral hygiene.

Teeth straightening is more than cosmetic—it is a vital dental treatment that corrects significant oral health issues. It is a comprehensive process that requires professional diagnosis. Also, a variety of treatment options tailored to individual needs, and rigorous oral hygiene practices. Seeking treatment from registered Australian orthodontists ensures that patients receive safe, effective, and supervised care, with a range of options from traditional braces to less visible clear aligners. Remember, early assessment, particularly in children, can lead to better outcomes and less invasive treatments in the future.


At The Cosmetic Dental Spa in Hurstville, we uphold the highest standards of patient care, creating an experience that embodies both comfort and excellence in dental health services. Our clinic is a sanctuary where advanced periodontal treatments are administered with precision and care, ensuring every patient achieves optimum oral health. 

We are ideallysituated for those living in Hurstville and its environs, inviting residents from Beverly Hills, Kingsgrove, Bexley, Penshurst, Carlton, Allawah, Beverley Park, Blakehurst, Carss Park, Connells Point, Kogarah, Kogarah Bay, Lugarno, Mortdale, Oatley, and beyond to experience dental care at its finest. Our commitment to oral health is unwavering, with a focus on providing personalised periodontal care tailored to the unique needs of each individual, ensuring that the health foundation of their smile is as strong as it is aesthetically pleasing.

In the dynamic landscape of Hurstville and its neighbouring suburbs, The Cosmetic Dental Spa stands as a pillar of complete dental wellness. We cater to every dental requirement, from routine check-ups and cleans to emergency dental services, with the ability to provide same-day ceramic restorations thanks to our state-of-the-art CEREC technology. 

Our comprehensive services extend to root canal treatments, wisdom tooth extractions, the crafting of veneers, crowns, and implants, as well as offering periodontics, children’s dentistry, and aligners for orthodontic correction.

Equipped with in-house X-ray machines, we ensure a prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment process. Every aspect of our practice is designed to make your visit efficient, thorough, and as comfortable as possible.

Our philosophy at The Cosmetic Dental Spa is underpinned by the belief that everyone deserves access to high-quality dental care.

We are dedicated to offering a wide spectrum of dental services that cater to the diverse needs of our patients. From preventive care to the artistry of cosmetic dentistry and the meticulous execution of complex dental procedures, our team at The Cosmetic Dental Spa is unwavering in their commitment to dental excellence. This dedication is evident in our gentle approach and the meticulous attention to detail we apply in every treatment, ensuring that each and every patient departs with a smile that is both stunning in appearance and exceptional in health.

Frequently Ask Question

Orthodontic treatment is a branch of dentistry focusing on diagnosing, preventing, and correcting malpositioned teeth and jaws, as well as misaligned bite patterns. It’s not just about cosmetic improvement but also about improving oral function and health. Orthodontists are specialized dentists who deliver these treatments​1​.

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic assessment between the ages of 7 and 10. This allows for early detection of potential issues and timely intervention if necessary​1​.

Yes, adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. There is no age limit to correcting teeth alignment, and treatments can resolve issues not addressed during childhood or those that develop in adulthood​1​.

Signs you might need aligners include crooked or crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, jaw misalignment, biting difficulties, and past habits like thumb sucking that have affected dental development​1​.

Clear aligners are custom-made, removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Unlike traditional braces, they are less visible and can be taken out for eating and cleaning. However, they must be worn consistently for the best results​1

The duration of teeth straightening varies significantly depending on the individual’s needs, the type of treatment, and the severity of the dental issues. It can range from a few months to several years​1​.

Yes, after braces are removed, wearing a retainer is typically necessary to maintain the new position of your teeth. The duration for which you must wear a retainer will depend on your specific case​1​.

Yes, teeth can be straightened without traditional braces using clear aligners, which are an alternative orthodontic treatment method. However, not all dental conditions are suitable for clear aligners, and a consultation with an orthodontist is necessary to determine the best treatment option​1​.

Orthodontic treatments are generally safe when performed by a qualified orthodontist. However, there are potential risks such as discomfort, tooth decay due to difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene, gum disease, and, in rare cases, root resorption where the tooth root shortens during treatment. Ensuring good oral hygiene and following the orthodontist’s instructions can mitigate most risks​1​.

Dental insurance in Australia may cover part of the cost of orthodontic treatment. However, coverage and the amount reimbursed can vary greatly among insurance providers and individual policies. Patients should check with their insurance provider for specific details​1​.

The Australian Dental Association strongly advises against DIY orthodontic treatments that do not involve in-person visits to a dentist or orthodontist. These treatments can lead to permanent damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw joints​1​.

Yes, teeth straightening can correct bite issues. Orthodontic treatment not only aligns teeth but can also correct improper bite patterns, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites, improving both the function and aesthetics of the teeth and jaws​1​.

Untreated dental misalignment can lead to a range of issues such as difficulty in cleaning teeth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, discomfort in the jaw, and potentially lead to more complex dental issues later in life​1​.

There is no upper age limit for teeth straightening treatments. Orthodontic treatment can be performed on children, adolescents, and adults. However, the Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic assessment between the ages of 7 – 10 years​1​.

Clear aligners are custom-made, thin plastic trays that fit over the teeth. They apply pressure to gradually move the teeth into the desired position. Aligners should be worn continuously, except when eating or drinking anything other than water. Care must be taken to prevent trapping harmful liquids against the teeth​1​.

The Australian Dental Association does not recommend DIY teeth straightening methods, which involve treatments without in-person dental visits. Such approaches can lead to permanent damage to teeth, gums, and jaw joints. It’s advised to seek treatment that includes a thorough assessment and ongoing supervision by a qualified dentist or orthodontist​1​.

Dental trauma, such as cracked or loose teeth, should be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible. If a tooth is knocked out, it’s important not to try to reinsert a baby tooth, while a knocked-out adult tooth should be kept moist (in milk or saliva) and taken to the dentist immediately. A custom-made mouthguard should be worn during sports to prevent such injuries​2​.

The Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia advocate for a ‘no mouthguard, no play’ policy. Sports clubs are encouraged to make wearing mouthguards mandatory for players to reduce the risk of dental injuries​3​.

Clear aligners should be cleaned regularly with antibacterial liquid soap and a spare toothbrush, then rinsed with warm water. It’s essential to maintain normal brushing and flossing of the teeth as well​5​.

Yes, besides affecting the appearance, misaligned teeth can lead to difficulties in cleaning, abnormal wear, discomfort in the jaw, and can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment aims not only to improve the aesthetics but also to correct bite issues and prevent related health problems​1​.

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