At Smileworx, patients and families ask us a lot of questions! We think that’s wonderful, because it’s important that you understand your treatment and feel entirely comfortable before we start! Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:

Orthodontists are facial growth and dental development experts.
“We’re qualified to diagnose, prevent and treat dental or facial irregularities and correctly align your teeth, bite and jaws. Orthodontists are also experts in the different types of technologies that can be used for orthodontic treatment in children, teenagers and adults – including different types of braces.” – Dr Julian Todres
For a great summary of what an orthodontist is, here’s a short explainer video from Orthodontics Australia.
Orthodontists are mostly known for making your teeth straight, but there’s more to what we do than giving you a beautiful smile. For example, at Smileworx, the most common problems we see are overcrowding or irregular teeth alignment.
“If we intervene early enough, with issues like these – say when a child is between 7 and 10 years old – we can often avoid major interventions such as surgery or tooth extractions further down the track. So, while people might think that orthodontists are all about using braces to straighten teeth, in reality success can mean avoiding braces altogether.Having said that, orthodontists have a very deep understanding of facial structure and growth, as well as how to deliver force systems to the teeth to achieve the best result. So we’re able to draw on that knowledge to treat problems like painful and misaligned bites, and tooth and jaw problems caused by habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrust. We can even treat some types of sleep apnoea.” – Dr Julian Todres
Orthodontists are registered dental specialists.
“An orthodontist completes a five-year degree in dentistry, just like a dentist. But then we go on to complete an additional three years of full-time university training in orthodontics, facial growth and development, biology and biomechanics. We do an additional 5,000 hours of training over and above our dentistry degree. Only the best dentists are accepted into Australian university orthodontics training programs.” – Dr Julian Todres
For a great summary of what an orthodontist is, here’s a short explainer video from Orthodontics Australia.
The health benefits of orthodontic treatment really depend on the orthodontic problem. I always explain to my patients that there’s a difference between beneficial and recommended treatment. If you have some crowding and you want braces to attain a beautiful straight smile, I see that as beneficial rather than recommended. It’s beneficial because the patient may experience improved self confidence, and straighter teeth are a bit easier to keep clean. But the treatment is not essential, it’s optional – I always want to make that clear to my patients.
“However, orthodontic treatment is definitely recommended when you’ve got problems like tongue thrust or structural problems like an underbite or crossbite. If we don’t treat problems like this, they will lead to severe and potentially painful malocclusions. Another time I would recommend orthodontic treatment is when there is a periodontal problem – in other words, the teeth are positioned in a way that’s making the gums start to recede and it’s going to get worse.Our aim is to intervene as early as possible, so we can make the treatment as straightforward as possible; we don’t want to wait until a problem is so bad that it requires surgery. We also want to provide our patients with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether treatment is necessary.”– Dr Julian Todres
There are two good reasons
“aesthetics and function. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well. Orthodontic treatment also allows your teeth to function better and makes it easier to keep them clean, which can improve your overall health.” – Dr Julian Todres
You’re never too old to begin orthodontic treatment
“but if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child who may need orthodontic treatment should come in for a first visit around age 7.”– Dr Julian Todres
“Teeth that are protruding, crowded together or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed (VIEW EXAMPLES). Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and THUMB SUCKING THAT GOES PAST 3-4 YEARS OF AGE. If teeth don’t meet properly when the mouth closes, or if jaws make sounds or shift as they move, this may also indicate an orthodontic problem.” – Dr Julian Todres
“Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so, as they adjust to wearing their appliances; periodic adjustments may sometimes cause soreness as well, though it typically lasts only a short time. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort, but are usually unnecessary.”– Dr Julian Todres
“It’s different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months. After that, a retainer is worn.” – Dr Julian Todres
“It depends on what’s being done, and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you’ll typically come in to our office once every 4 to 10 weeks.”– Dr Julian Todres
“If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) — or if you have impacted teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth) — then extraction may be necessary. In the case of younger patients, early treatment may make extraction unnecessary.” – Dr Julian Todres
“you should pass up the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. Some of these include raw vegetables, hard candy, caramel, taffy and ice cubes (fortunately, ice cream is OK). We will give you a list of foods to avoid.”– Dr Julian Todres
“In a word: Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports. Musicians are generally able to play their instruments just as they did before, but they may need a short adjustment period after getting braces.” – Dr Julian Todres
“Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost! Your RETAINER helps you maintain that good-looking smile for a lifetime.” – Dr Julian Todres
“Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn’t increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable. Weighed against the true cost of living with problem teeth, orthodontic treatment can be a wise investment indeed.”– Dr Julian Todres