Orthodontics (Braces)

Orthodontics is when the teeth are straightened or moved in order to achieve a more ideal relationship with each other. Generally, people get braces to improve the look of their teeth and smile. 

On this page you will find:

1. Why use Marius St Family Dental for orthodontics

2. Methods we use to align teeth

3. Benefits to orthodontic treatment

4. How to get started

5. Orthodontic Terms Explained

Why Marius Street Family Dental?

1. A comprehensive treatment plan with a team approach. We combine our knowledge of the different areas of dentistry to give you a treatment plan that will include considering not just aligning the teeth but 

  • Smile Design - Get the foundations right. Are some teeth too small. Will we use orthodontics to get the foundation and spacing correct then change the shape/size with fillings or veneers?
  • Individualised Oral Health Plan including assessment of decay and gum disease risk and treatment needs. 
  • Long term treatment considerations: Crowns, bridges, Implants - all of these should be taken into account when making the Plan
  • Jaw Joint and TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Muscle function and resting positions. Eg. Tongue tie, nasal breathing, snoring, swallowing patterns

2. Treat the cause, not just the symptoms. This is our philosophy. Although genetics play a role, crooked teeth are not natural, they are a sign that something has not gone according to nature's plan. It is a symptom of underdeveloped jaws and/or incorrect muscle function. Have you ever wondered why some children grow up needing braces and some children don't? Genetics? What about siblings?

Did you know orthodontic treatment has a 50% relapse rate in the long term? Why is this? Because the underlying causes weren't addressed and the muscles pushed the teeth back to where they want to be - that't why we bond wires to the inside of the teeth forever to try and fight the muscles! But what if you got the muscles right, so that they help keep the teeth in the right position?

3. Treat the patient, not the teeth! As said before, the teeth are just one part of the equation. Talk to use about your budget, wants and needs to we can make a plan that suits your individual circumstances. Not everyone is striving for perfection, people have different goals, so don't go for a treatment plan that only considers your teeth.

2. Methods we use to straighten teeth

Here at Marius Street Family Dental, we provide many options for achieving this goal, and often combine many therapy methods together to get you the best result (read below)

  • Conventional Braces (brackets and wires) - full upper and lower, or sectional (just focused on one area)
  • Clear Aligners such as Invisalign. Read more
  • Maxillary Expander - when you have underdeveloped jaws and crowded teeth, the space needs to come from somewhere. A maxillary expander puts gentle pressure on the top jaw to encourage the body to lay down more bone and grow. It is done before braces or can be done during braces, to get room for the teeth to move into.
  • Removable Appliances - One that you can take in and out, puts pressure on the teeth or jaws to achieve a certain result. Most commonly used in growing children
  • Myofunctional Appliances including MRC appliances. These are used in conjunction with muscle and breathing exercises to improve muscle function and correct incorrect muscle patterns (eg mouth breathing, reverse swallowing, incorrect tongue posture etc). We believe that correct form follows correct function. 
  • TADs - Temporary Anchorage Devices - we will advise you if we think this is required. It is a great tool to be able to offer patients as in certain cases, it greatly increases case result. To move teeth, you need to put pressure on them (push or pull). To push something, you need to push AGAINST something, ie. you need an anchor point. We normally use the other teeth, but if you want to move molars, what you will get is the molar moving a bit, and the other teeth moving a bit. A TAD allows you to anchor on something that isn't the teeth (and isn't out of the mouth like orthodontic headgear - works amazing but most people won't wear it). 
  • Referral to specialists: ENT if we suspect nasal or airway obstruction as a contributor to the tooth alignment; orthodontists or orthognathic surgeons if case is severe

3. Benefits of getting orthodontic treatment with us

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    Appearance. Someones smile has been proven over and over again to be one of the first things that people notice about you. When you enjoy your smile, you smile more often and more genuinely. 
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    Jaw Guidance: Teeth are designed to guide the jaw when you are chewing and talking. When you have an incorrect bite such as cross bite, you don’t have the proper guidance. This can put a lot of pressure on your jaw joint and lead to bigger problems in the long term.
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    The front teeth also support the lips. This creates some of your facial profile. Getting your teeth in the right place can help to give some of your facial muscles the correct support.
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    Facial Profile: When your jaws are mismatched to each-other or to the rest of your facial structures, this will affect your facial profile. We will take pictures of your profile and discuss this with you.
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    Easier to clean: If there is a lot of crowding it can mean that it is difficult for the toothbrush to clean around those teeth, and thus it may result in dental caries or gum recession. When teeth are very crooked sometimes teeth are pushed out of the jaw bone, this will result in bone and gum receding around the teeth, and possibly loss of those teeth.
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    Better function if you currently do not have a lot of tooth contact, or an open bite (means your teeth don't touch) which can make it hard to eat things such as a sandwhich.
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     Better muscle function? Needing braces is generally a symptom of incorrect growth, or incorrect muscle function. If we can improve your muscle function, tone and resting postition, you will hold the right tooth position better and also reduce your risk of long term issues like jaw problems and muscle pain.

4. How to get started

Start with a comprehensive check up and treatment plan. Discuss at this appointment your budget, wants and needs, including why you're interested in orthodontic treatment and what your goals are. 

Here we will discuss your options and possible alternatives. If we both decide orthodontics is a good option, we will make a comprehensive treatment plan for you and do the initial assessment. If there aren't any issues that need to be addressed first (gum disease, decay, etc), we will book you in for a records taking appointment.

Here we will take moulds, photos, xrays and gather any other information we need. We will then sit down for a second consultation that will go through this information and give you specific orthodontic treatment plan options, cost and estimated time-frames for each. 

5. Orthodontic Terms Explained

Skeletal Relationship

Underdeveloped Maxilla

Mandible too forward (skeletal Class 3)

Bimaxillary Protrustion

Dolichofacial or Brachyfacial growth pattern

Dental Relationship

Class 1 Dental Bite

Class 2 Division 2 Dental Bite

Class 2 Division 2 Bite 

Class 3 Bite

Dental Crowding

Impacted teeth

Retroclined Incisors

Proclined Incisors

Open bite - Anterior/Posterior

Cross bite aka Negative/reverse overbite – anterior, posterior

Deep Overbite

Midline Shift

Functional Shift

Negative/Incorrect curve of spee

Maxillary Excess, Excessive Gingival Display

Muscle or Soft Tissue Disorders

The following is a really good resource.


Reverse Swallow

Tongue Thrust

Overactive Mentalis

Interfering Frenum Attachments

Tongue Tie

Mouth Breathing

Lip Incompetence