1. At what age should I take my child to visit an Orthodontist ?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that the first Orthodontic screening should take place, by the age of 7 years. Less than
5 % of patients, at age 7 years need Orthodontic treatment at that age. However, if your child has any abnormal/ harmful oral habit then correcting the same is important as we can prevent the need for a full treatment later on.

The next check up is recommended at age 10 years. At that age we expect to see some baby teeth and some of the permanent teeth as well. Only 50 % of our patients need to start treatment at that age. But, for those patients who would benefit from starting early it means that you could prevent having to have any permanent teeth removed to accomplish a good treatment result.

Most patients have treatment that commences between the age of 12 and 15 years.

If your child is older than 7 years, and has yet not been screened by an Orthodontist, then you need to pick up the phone, and make an appointment at once.

On the other hand, you are never too old, to have braces. So if you are unhappy with your smile, and want a change in your appearance, nothing should stop you from contacting us for a consultation !
2. What are some of the commonly seen dental problems that Orthodontists can help to treat?
Some of the commonly seen dental problems that Orthodontists treat include :

Crowding or overlapping
1. Crowding or overlapping teeth.
skeletal problems
2. Excess spaces seen in between teeth.
Increased overjet
3. Increased overjet (horizontal distance between upper and lower teeth) when you bite.
4. Increased overbite or deepbite (vertical overlap of the upper and lower teeth).
5. Crossbite involving a single tooth or group of teeth.
missing or extra teeth
6. Cases in which there are missing or extra teeth.
Lips that tend
7. Lips that tend to stay open when at rest.
8. The lower lip is stuck behind the upper front teeth.
Cases involving cleft
9. Cases involving cleft lip or palate.
vague pain
10. Obvious cases associated with skeletal problems which would require surgical help in addition to Orthodontics for improvement
of the facial appearance.
11. Patients complaining of vague pain in the head or temples.
3. Are there ways to make braces less visible/invisible ?
braces less visible
The conventional braces involve placement of steel brackets on the front surface of the teeth. In children / adolescents this forms the standard form of treatment, as having a visible appliance is not very awkward for most patients at that age. However, in adults, due to social reasons having a visible appliance can be awkward. Hence different ways have been devised to make the appliance less visible.

Patients could be offered the option of ceramic braces. These are tooth coloured appliances and hence from a short distance the bracket merges with the adjacent tooth colour making the braces less visible.

There is also the option of lingual braces where the brackets are placed on the inside surface of the teeth. This obviously makes the appliance “invisible” when you speak, smile, laugh, eat or yawn !

Finally there are also situations where you may be offered the “invisalign”. Invisalign is like a plastic clear tray that is worn over the surfaces of the teeth and it gently and gradually moves the teeth to the desired position.

If you are concerned on the visibility of the appliance, make sure you discuss this, at the very first consultation appointment.

4. How long will the treatment last ?
The answer to this question differs from patient to patient and depends to a large extent on the type of Orthodontic problem, the age of the patient, the objective of the treatment plan for that particular patient and the type of Orthodontic appliance which has been selected to treat that particular case. So once, you have been examined, at your first consultation appointment, I will be able to answer this question, with certainty.
5. Is the treatment painful ?
Most, if not all, of our patients experience little or no pain during the course of the treatment. Much of this depends again on the type of braces and the technique which we are following.

Most patients can expect some discomfort for the first 2 or 3 days as their tongue, lips and cheeks get used to the fact that something new is now present in the mouth. However, you will be amazed as to how quickly the tongue, lips and cheeks adapt to the change in the oral environment.
6. Can I eat all of my favourite foods during treatment ?
We have always tried to ensure that you are not deprived of your favourite foods during treatment. However, while you have fixed braces, we advise you to avoid hard and sticky foods. If that involves some of your favourite foods then we can discuss ways in which you can modify some of those things, enjoy their flavour and yet not cause any damage to your braces, and hence help us, ensure, that we finish your treatment on time.
7. Do you sterilize your instruments to prevent cross infection ?
Most of the materials that we use are disposeable and are meant for single use only. In our practice, I never try to save costs by re sterilizing materials which are meant to be used once only. Our adjustment instruments are steam sterilized or sterilized with disinfectants as recommended by the manufacturers. I ensure that the manufacturers instructions are followed thoroughly to avoid any risk of cross infection.
8. Have your assistants / helpers undergone any form of formal training ?
Each and every member of my support staff team has undergone a formal training progamme in which they have learnt how to assist me and carry out their respective duties.