Smilecare Group

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Let's Get Into FAQs

If you're considering orthodontic treatment, you'll most likely have lots of questions. You’ll find the answers to common queries on this page, but if you have any other questions (no matter how small) please contact us and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.

Is orthodontic treatment right for me?

If you’re concerned about the appearance or function of your teeth or jaws, orthodontics can help. Treatment can sometimes start as young as seven years of age. It’s most common to have orthodontic treatment in the early teenage years as this is when growth is most rapid, but there’s no upper age limit.

What are the fees?

Our costs are very competitive with interest-free payment plans available. We provide an all-inclusive price with no hidden costs. The price includes a follow-up appointment after two years and retainers for you to wear after your treatment. The exact cost for you will depend on the severity of the problem and the complexity and length of your treatment.

As a guide, here is what you might pay for orthodontic treatment.

  • Treatment over 6 to 12 months with a removable plate/braces: $3500-$4000
  • A bionator to align your jaws over 12 months: $3800
  • Fixed appliances (braces) over 18 to 24 months: $6000-$7500
  • A combination of appliances for around 2-3 years: Up to $8000 for really serious problems

If you live in Auckland, you will find this is a pretty good deal.

What finance options are available?

We've made financing orthodontics easy and affordable. You can either pay for treatment up-front in one payment and receive a discount, or pay the treatment off interest-free over a period of time. 

For example, let's look at a $6000 two-year orthodontic treatment plan:

  • Option 1: Payment up-front with a 5% discount would be $5700.
  • Option 2: Payment of $6000 over two years with a deposit of $1000 then $250 per month (or $62.50 per week) for 20 months by direct debit.

We'll talk about the costs and the best payment plan for your needs at your initial consultation.

How long will the treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment can vary from a few months to several years depending on the severity of the problem. The average treatment period is around 18 months. At your initial consultation, we'll be able to give you an idea of how long your treatment will take.

How often will I need to come in?

You'll need to see us every 4-8 weeks during your treatment to have your braces checked and adjusted. This varies according to which phase of treatment you’re in.

What is retention?

Retention means keeping your teeth in their new position after your braces are removed. To do this, we usually use an upper removable plate and a fixed wire that’s bonded onto the back of your lower front teeth. You’ll need to wear the plate full time for six months and then nights only for around 12-18 months. Your orthodontist will monitor your retention for two years after your braces are removed.

What are fixed appliances?

Fixed appliances are more commonly known as braces and are very effective for straightening teeth. Braces are made of high-grade stainless steel or clear porcelain brackets. These brackets are fixed to each tooth and act as a handle, allowing the teeth to be moved as directed by a wire that runs through the brackets.

What are removable appliances?

These are a type of plate used to correct the position of individual or a few teeth. This term is also used to describe the retaining plates worn at the end of treatment.

What are functional appliances?

These appliances use the functional forces of your face and jaw muscles to correct your bite. They’re only used for patients who are still growing and are generally used to bring a small lower jaw forward in the face.

Will I need to have any teeth out?

We will only take teeth out if it’s necessary, and we’ll let you know at your initial consultation whether this is likely.

How do I look after my braces?

Your teeth have to be kept very clean while you wear braces. It's important to avoid sticky foods and sugary drinks as these cause decay. You'll also need to avoid eating hard foods during treatment as they can damage your braces. In particular, you’ll need to eat only very soft food in the first few days after your braces are put on because your teeth will feel sensitive at first. We’ll give you an information sheet when your braces are put on to provide you with more tips about caring for your braces. 

During orthodontic appointments we won’t be checking your teeth for cavities or other dental issues, so you’ll still need to see your dentist for regular check-ups during treatment. You may also need extra dental hygiene visits, because your teeth will be harder to clean while you’re wearing braces.

Will it hurt?

Having braces put on is quite straightforward and not at all painful. Several hours after the braces have been placed you’re likely to feel some discomfort due to the gentle pressure on your teeth. This will ease after the first week. You might also have some discomfort after each orthodontic visit, when we adjust your braces. Some people find paracetamol helps ease this discomfort.

While your mouth is getting used to your new braces, you might get sore spots where the braces rub against the inside of your lips. We’ll give you wax to put over the brackets of your braces to help with this. The wax creates a smooth surface that’s less irritating for your mouth.

Can I still play sports?

Yes, you can still play sports, but we definitely recommend using a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth and braces.