Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing

All you need to know about getting brace

20 March, 2020

What are braces?

Dental braces correct the alignment of your teeth or jaw function. They consist of small brackets connected by wire that fix to your teeth. The wires put pressure on the teeth and pull them into the correct position. Braces generally take around one to two years to be effective.

If you’re thinking you might want to get braces, you’re not alone. According to the Australian Orthodontics Association, 55% of Australians feel self-conscious about their teeth and 64% of us would like to do something to fix our smile.

Who gets braces?

People usually get braces when they are between 10 and 14 years old as this is when the head and mouth are still growing. However, as our teeth shift with age, it’s also not uncommon for adults to get braces as well.

Who will fit your braces?

An orthodontist will usually fit your braces. An orthodontist is a dentist with at least three extra years of specialist training.

According to the Australian Society of Orthodontists, Orthodontists in Australia must have:

  • completed an accredited registered general dental degree
  • at least two years of clinical experience as a general dentist prior to their specialist training
  • completed an accredited three-year full-time university degree in orthodontics
  • specialist registration in the field of orthodontics.

You can check if your orthodontic practitioner is a registered specialist orthodontist at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Understanding do-it-yourself orthodontics

It’s important to know that peak bodies for dentists and orthodontists in Australia and overseas strongly advise against using do-it-yourself orthodontic services. This is because they could make any existing dental problems worse and even lead to tooth loss, and damage to your gums, jaw joints or jaws.

Providers of do-it-yourself dentistry appliances are also usually unregistered providers of health services.

The companies offering these services usually promote them as being quicker and cheaper than specialised orthodontic treatment. Their treatments can include whitening kits, aligners and orthodontic treatments, mouth guards and occlusal splints.

What to expect when you get braces

At your first appointment, the orthodontist will work out the tooth movements needed to straighten your teeth and align your jaw. They will also create a treatment plan for you. The orthodontist will also confirm the date that you’ll get your braces.

The day after you get your braces, Orthodontics Australia recommend you do the following:

  • keep pain relief handy – you could try Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
  • eat soft foods – you could try soups, bananas or pastas
  • brush your teeth after eating –you could try a soft travel brush and carry it with you

Caring for your teeth when you have braces

It’s important to keep good oral hygiene when you have braces as it’s easier for food to get stuck between teeth and for plaque to develop.

Brushing your teeth

Orthodontics Australia recommend using a toothbrush with a soft head or an electric toothbrush when you have braces. They also recommend brushing your teeth after every meal, instead of twice a day.

You should start off with brushing at the gum line of your teeth and holding your brush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums. The hold your toothbrush at a downward angle on the top of your brackets, and then at an upward angle to clean the bottom of your brackets.

Flossing your teeth

Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. It helps to clear our food particles and plaque. It can be hard to use the usual flossing string when you have braces, so you might want to try interdental brushes or a floss threader. These are usually available or supermarkets and pharmacies. It’s a good idea to floss gently and slowly so that you don’t put too much pressure on your braces.

Food to avoid

Orthodontics Australia recommends that you avoid eating the following foods when you have braces:

  • chewy foods such as hard rolls
  • crunchy foods such as popcorn
  • sticky foods such as caramel and chewing gum
  • hard food such as nuts
  • sugary foods such as lollies
  • foods that you need to bite into forcefully such as apples, raw carrots and corn

Instead, you can eat soft foods that are low in sugar and don’t need too much chewing. These can include foods like mashed potatoes, soup, rice and pasta. To find out more, read safe food for braces at the Orthodontics Australia. 

Orthodontics Australia recommend avoiding sugary foods and drinks as these can cause staining around your brackets. These stains will be even more obvious when your braces are taken off.

It’s also a good idea to stop habits like chewing on pen lids or your nails as this can cause damage to your braces.

While all of this may sound like a lot of work, the best thing about braces is that they won’t be permanent. After some time, they’ll be removed, and you’ll be able to show off your new smile!


All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified Healthcare professional.


Suggested Articles

  • An image of nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bow

    Mexican in a bowl

    If you can’t go out for Mexican, make it at home! This nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bowl is a quick and easy dinner.
    • Nutrition
    19 May 2020
  • Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    CBHS has agreements with over 500 private hospitals across Australia including the Healthscope Group of Hospitals (Healthscope).
    • Membership
    18 May 2020
  • 2003_COVID19_Blog-08

    Financial assistance to members who hold Extras cover

    Here is what we are doing to support our members from both a health and financial perspective through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • News
    • Membership
    6 May 2020
  • 2003_COVID19_Blog-08

    CBHS COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program

    Here is what we are doing to support our members from both a health and financial perspective through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • News
    • Membership
    27 April 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F