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Brace Yourself - We're Talking Orthodontics!

 This post is in conjunction with the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.  Extract from a poem by Pam Ayres.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin'
It's me they are beckonin'
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth.

My mum used to recite this poem to me every time I rallied against the bedtime ritual of tooth brushing.  She'd stand in the bathroom door regaling me with the words of the great British poet, Pam Ayres.  It worked every time.  The thought of my teeth floating in a jar was too much for me to bear.

But nowadays, we know that toothbrushing is just one element of keeping our kids' teeth healthy.  Regular dentist visits (and we're so lucky to get these free in Australia for our little ones) are a must.  But lots of Australian parents are still feeling confused as to where the role of the orthodontist fits in.

I have to admit, I was exactly the same until my son came home with a referral from the school dentist for an orthodontist to take a look at his overbite. (TIP: did you know that you don't need a referral to see an orthodontist!)


The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) is a wealth of information for all things teeth related.  A quick visit to their website will give you an overview of what an orthodontist can do for your kids' teeth and how to find one near to you.

Your orthodontist does so much more than give your child a picture perfect smile.  Although braces are still a big part of what they do, early orthodontic intervention can be really beneficial for lots of little ones.

This photo of my youngest below is a case in point.  She's just seven but her mouth is severely overcrowded (if you met her, you would never believe she has a small mouth with how much noise she makes!) and needs some teeth removed at the back to make room for her adult teeth and then a plate to start spreading her jaw, and finally possibly braces to straighten everything up.

If I'd never taken her to our orthodontist I would never have known any of this which would've resulted in her teeth overlapping, her bite being skewed which would set her up for major dental disasters in years to come.


All of my kids need orthodontic work (I have my husband to thank for their overbites!) and a visit to the orthodontist for all three of them confirmed this.  They were amazed by the X-rays of their teeth - how cool to get to see your own skull, and came away confident and excited about the process that the orthodontist had explained to them.

A great orthodontist will explain exactly what treatment your child needs and put them at ease.  The fact that they're specially trained at aligning the jaw and straightening teeth is key to achieving a great result.  All orthodontists that are registered with the ASO have completed a general dental degree and a three year degree in orthodontics.

If your children are showing any sign of problems like the ones below, then find yourself an orthodontist on the ASO website and see what they have to say.

  • teeth overlapping or huge gaps
  • front teeth protruding
  • bottom teeth protruding
  • difficulty in chewing
  • thumb or dummy sucking
  • if the front teeth don't meet.
We all love our children's smiles, so make sure they love it too!


This post was sponsored by the Australian Society of Orthodontists.  All opinions are my own and all wonky smiles are my children's'. :-D


  1. Both my boys will need orthodontic years over the next decade or so! We need to start saving :-)

  2. As you know we've just been through this and jaw surgery with our eldest. A couple of tips to add... if you have a great dentist that is affordable and you trust, it is always great to get a recommendation from them. We went to our local first up and the quote was twice the price. The ortho recommended by our dentist much more affordable. The other thing, if you have cover on your health fund for this, I'm pretty sure our fund required a referral from our dentist.

    1. Not to be confused with our medical colleagues and their associated Medicare rebate system, a referral is not required to see any dental specialist. All health funds will pay your full entitlement on your orthodontist's invoice alone. For more info on health insurance and orthodontic treatment visit the Orthodontics Australia website

  3. Gorgeous pics of your kids! I could tell from the day Miss 19 was born that she would need braces; just the shape of her chin I think. It didn't help that she was a finger sucker for at least the first 8 or 9 years too! She had a plate at about 10, and went on to have braces which came off just in time for her senior formal. She often says now how grateful she is that we made a point of ensuring she had orthodontic treatment when she was a kid ... to us it is just something we should do as parents. Oh and we had to switch orthodontists after the plate, as Miss 19 (who was all of about 11 at the time) had a MASSIVE personality clash with her male orthodontist. To say she hated him was an understatement. Yet she loved the next one!

    Visiting from #teamIBOT X

  4. I suspect one of mine will need braces at some point. Hopefully that's the only one!


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