We are back and looking forward to a year full of smiles, laughter, health and happiness. Unfortunately Covid-19 has again become active and present in Victoria, therefore we must remain vigilant to keep our team and community safe. As always, we continue to maintain a high level of infection control within our practice, we kindly ask that anybody visiting our practice be aware of the current rules and regulations of the Victorian Government, as well as those of our own practice. A list of potential exposure sites is available on the DHHS.vic website – Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Case locations and outbreaks (dhhs.vic.gov.au), if you have visited any of the listed locations your appointment will be affected and you will need to call us to reschedule your appointment with us. Please note this list is constantly being updated, so it’s a good idea to check this list prior to your appointment with us. We kindly ask that you please – DO NOT attend our clinic if you or anyone in your household has been tested for Covid-19 and are yet to receive a negative result or if you or anyone in your household has been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19. DO NOT attend our clinic if you or anyone in your household is feeling unwell and showing symptoms of Covid-19 – cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath. Our practice is continuing with the following protocols – Please do not arrive early or late for your appointment. Where possible, we ask that patients attend appointments on their own. If you would prefer your child not attend on their own, 1 accompanying adult can attend with the patient. Adhering to this allows us to maintain adequate social distancing within our waiting room and clinic. Anyone entering the building is to wear a face mask whilst in our practice (children under 12 years or anybody with a medical exemption may attend without a mask). Prior to your appointment we will send you a confirmation SMS that will include a link to our QR code. On the day of your appointment, please ensure that you complete the Covid pass via the link or use the QR code at the practice entry. This is for contact tracing purposes. Brush your teeth at home prior to your appointment. Please bring a pair of sunglasses to wear during your appointment. On arrival, you will be asked by our reception staff to have your temperature taken, to wash your hands at our hand washing station and to complete the Covid pass if you haven’t already done so. If you have any queries at all, please do not hesitate to contact our team. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.
When braces are removed, teeth have a tendency to move to their original position. In the first month without your braces, the risk of relapse is high. Relapse means that anything that the braces corrected (spaces, crowding, crooked teeth etc.) can be undone if left unattended. Hence, retainers are made and placed the day after your braces have been removed. Retainers are custom made appliances used to keep your teeth in place after your braces have been removed. Here at Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists, we use three types of retainers: Hawley, Essix and bonded retainers. Your orthodontist will determine which one or combination of these is best suited to your case. Hawley retainers have your classic ‘plate’ type appearance; they are constructed of rigid acrylic and very durable. Essix retainers are a clear plastic retainer, moulded to the shape of your teeth. Bonded retainers are the ‘wires’ (actually a thin chain) that are glued to the inside of your teeth. Although some people think that the removal of braces means the conclusion of orthodontic treatment, this is incorrect. Retainers will be given to you after your braces are removed to ultimately retain the position of your teeth in the long term; keeping in mind that braces are only removed with the approval of the orthodontist when they are sure that the teeth are in the most ideal position possible. After braces are removed, the teeth need time to stabilise and to maintain their position in the mouth. Your orthodontist will see you every few months once you are in the retention phase of your treatment, and will determine how your retainers should be worn depending on the treatment provided. Retainers are used full-time for the first few months and then gradually reduced as the teeth start to stabilise. They will then be worn in bed at night time only, ideally for the rest of your life, to maintain your beautiful new smile! By Simon Huynh – Orthodontic Therapist
It is very important to keep away from certain foods during your orthodontic treatment. Eating anything hard, sticky or chewy can cause brackets to break, bands to loosen, bending/breaking of the arch wire and can even cause tooth decay. Foods high in sugar such as soft drink and lollies, cause bacteria in your mouth to start producing acids which can cause permanent stains, decay and damage to your teeth. If at any time you consume anything with high sugar content, make sure you drink and rinse thoroughly with water or simply brush your teeth immediately after. Some examples of foods to avoid are: Biting into apples or carrots (it is ok to cut them into small pieces) Corn on the cob Ice (great for keeping your drink cold, but not good to crunch on with braces) Nuts Meat that may be on a bone Pork crackling Popcorn Hard candy Bagels, crusty bread or crunchy pizza crusts Muesli bars Chewy lollies (of any kind) Hard block chocolate, M&M’s, chocolate bars etc Caramels or fudge Chewing gum or bubble gum Picking at your braces with your fingers or biting on your fingernails is not a good idea. Also chewing on items such as pens or pencils can break brackets and bend wires, so avoid doing this. Any damage incurred to your braces can prolong your treatment time.
The Twin Block appliance is a removable functional appliance used to treat patients with excessive protrusion of the upper front teeth. The name “Twin Block” is derived from the fact that the appliance is comprised of separate upper and lower plates with ramps (blocks) that work in tandem. The appliance is very effective when patients are entering their adolescent growth spurt and acts to posture the lower jaw forward to move the teeth into a more harmonious position. A Twin Block is considered more comfortable than some other fixed orthodontic orthopedic appliances. As the appliance is also removable, it is easier to maintain excellent oral hygiene during treatment. Appliances are generally removed when eating and playing sport. Speech can often be affected in the short term (they may experience a slight lisp) but like any other orthodontic appliance, patients will adjust after several days. The appliance is generally worn full time to achieve bite correction. Patients with a Twin Block appliance will see the orthodontist every 8-10 weeks to check progress and adjust the appliance as needed. Treatment time with Twin Blocks is usually 12-18 months, however this will depend on the age and growth pattern of the patient. Early treatment with a functional appliance will often be followed by comprehensive orthodontic treatment with appliances such as braces to achieve ideal alignment and complete bite correction. Written By Yvette Ding (Orthodontic Therapist)
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for everyone, but when you are having orthodontic treatment, it is even more critical. Braces do not cause demineralisation, decay, gum disease or bad breath, but they can harbor food and plaque and make it harder to brush and floss. There are many types of bacteria that naturally exist in the mouth and in the food that we eat. Bacteria combines with proteins in saliva and creates a sticky film around the teeth and gum line called ‘plaque’, that subsequently allows more and more types of bacteria to attach. The bacteria have certain properties that allow them to produce acid, which can damage the tooth’s outer layer of enamel and underlying layer of dentine, as well as irritate the gums. If nothing disrupts the growth and reproduction of the bacteria (i.e. brushing and flossing), it can lead to a variety of issues including white spot lesions, tooth decay and gum disease. Some early warning signs to look out for are: White or yellow, creamy/sticky/furry film around your teeth and gum line Dull/matte white spots on your teeth (especially around the brackets and gum line) Yellow, brown or orange spots Red, puffy, enlarged, bleeding gums Over time, if the plaque is not removed, it can also harden into a calcified, grainy material called ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’. It is then unable to be brushed or flossed away and will need to be removed by a dental professional. The formation of calculus can also prevent tooth movement. At Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists we not only want to help you achieve the most beautiful smile possible, but we also care about the health and well-being of your teeth and gums! At the beginning of treatment, we will give you very precise instructions on how to maintain impeccable oral hygiene and we will monitor this at each appointment. It is extremely important to follow our advice to avoid increased treatment time, or even worse, having to take your braces off before treatment is complete! Can you spot the plaque? By Angela Liu- Orthodontic Therapist