Your First Visit
The aim of your first visit is to find out whether you could benefit from orthodontic treatment, and if so when would be the best time to start.
When you contact New England Orthodontics to schedule your first visit, our practice manager will arrange for you to receive a referral for diagnostic radiographs and direct you to complete a New Patient Questionnaire.
This initial visit is usually 30 minutes in duration. You will meet Dr Peter Lewis who will talk with you about your concerns and expectations. Peter will then examine your face, jaws and teeth, as well as assessing how all these structures fit together. Peter will take photographic records of your face and mouth. These records will aid the detailed diagnosis of your individual needs and allow for the preparation of a personalised treatment plan.
Treatment alternatives and timing will be discussed at this visit. Peter will discuss with you any cosmetic and functional benefits from orthodontic treatment and the ideal timing and duration of care. Payment options can also be discussed at this examination.
If no treatment is needed at this time, but maybe required in the future, we will arrange a review visit for a later date. Review visits will be at no extra charge and you will normally receive a reminder before the appointment is due.
If the examination suggests that treatment should commence soon, Peter will arrange for impressions for models to be taken. If treatment is more complicated, a consultation time may be scheduled to allow additional time to discuss your treatment options.
Successful orthodontics is a team effort. That is why we work with you to ensure that you understand each stage of the treatment. We are always available to keep you updated on treatment progress and encourage you to ask any questions which you may have.
If you are eligible for a rebate from your private health insurer you will need to present our Treatment Report and Financial Plan letters to the insurer to ascertain your rebate entitlement. All accounts and receipts will normally be emailed at the start of each month to facilitate you claiming from your private health insurer.
Our practice offers two payment options.
1. Payment in Full at the Commencement of Treatment.
The fee may be paid in full at the commencement of the treatment. This may also aid in the claiming of a portion of the fee as a tax deduction and will not affect your rebate with most private health insurers. In the case of full comprehensive care, a 5% reduction will be applied.
2. Instalment Payment Plan.
a) Initial 25% of the fee is to be paid at the time of commencing treatment.
Payments can be made utilising EFTPOS from your nominated bank account or Visa, MasterCard, Amex credit cards.
b) Residual 75% is to be paid by automatic debiting.
Equal payments will then be automatically deducted from either your nominated bank account or alternatively from your Visa or MasterCard on the first of each subsequent month for the residual balance. Treatment started before the sixteenth of the month will activate payments on the first of the following month.
Payments are spread for your convenience and do not specifically relate to the work carried out in any month.
All orthodontic appliances have a tendency to trap particles of food and collect plaque.
You will notice that it is more difficult to keep your teeth clean when wearing orthodontic appliances. This makes brushing and flossing even more important to prevent the build-up of plaque which can result in gum inflammation and tooth decay.
- Brush your teeth and braces with fluoride toothpaste and a small, soft toothbrush immediately after each meal including lunch. Your braces should shine and your gums remain pink and not bleed during brushing.
- Interdental toothbrushes can clean underneath and around your wires and braces making them great at getting to the difficult places.
- Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be first threaded under the arch wire before going between your teeth. Then floss up and down the sides of the teeth.
- Superfloss, from Oral-B, is excellent for threading between the teeth and also for flossing fixed retainer wires.
- Disclosing Tablets can help you see plaque and improve the quality of your brushing and flossing.
- Fluoride Mouth Rinse, from Colgate, is provided to our fixed banding patients. It is recommended that you use one cap full, once a week to strengthen the enamel on your teeth to help resist dental decay.
Diet, Decay and Breakages
There are foods that can loosen, break or bend orthodontic appliances.
- Avoid hard foods such as nuts, pork crackling, crusty bread and hard biscuits.
- Avoid sticky foods such as caramels, toffees, muesli or fruit bars.
- Avoid chewing meat off the bone or corn off the cob.
- Foods such as apples and carrots should be cut into small pieces.
- No chewing gum.
- No chewing ice.
- Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar as they are acidic and promote tooth decay.
Habits such as nail biting, pencil chewing, opening water bottles with your teeth, and picking at your appliance can cause damage to your appliance.
Remember that damaged appliances result in additional appointments, inconvenience and extended treatment times.
- If you break your appliance be sure to make an appointment with your orthodontist.
- Remember to check your appliance regularly after cleaning for anything loose or bent.
- We recommend that you see your dentist every 6 months for a dental check-up and fluoride application.
Orthodontic emergencies can occasionally occur and although they may be a little upsetting for the patient and parents, they are usually fairly simple to treat.
For some emergencies, you may need to contact our office for assistance.
Many patients lose a separator if the space between the teeth becomes too large. Generally this is not an emergency, but it is worth ringing the practice to get advice on whether we need to replace the lost separator before your next appointment.
It is normal for a patient to have discomfort for a day or two after appliances are fitted or adjusted. It can make eating uncomfortable, especially with harder foods. This discomfort is both normal and temporary. If the patient is allowed to have over-the-counter pain relievers, then a recommended dose of Nurofen or Panadol would normally be effective.
Food Caught Between Teeth
This is not an emergency, but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for the patient. It is easily fixed with a piece of dental floss or use an interproximal brush or toothpick to dislodge food caught between teeth and braces.
Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth ulcers. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. Prompt relief can be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anaesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab and reapplied as needed.
Irritation of Lips or Cheeks
New braces can sometimes be irritating to the mouth, especially when the patient is eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between the metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation.
Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the mouth. Often the discomfort caused by a wire can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small amount of wax. In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome, you may clip the wire using a pair of sharp nail clippers.
A Loose Bracket
Brackets are the part of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. The bracket can be knocked off if the patient has eaten one of those hard foods that they are instructed to avoid, chewed pens or if the mouth is struck while at play. A loose bracket can be discarded if you are unable to rotate it on the wire back into place.