How do we move your teeth?

DST Orthodontic Tools

Just as a Doctor prescribes drugs to help cure a particular problem, an Orthodontist uses mechanical force or pressure to move teeth.  Essentially the drug that an Orthodontist uses to move your teeth is force.   We chose the most suitable appliance to deliver that force to your teeth.  It’s as simple as that. Every orthodontic appliance no matter what its name works with the use of this fundamental principal.

Some of the broad types of orthodontic appliances that are used at DST are:

We offer the full range of clear, metal, and coloured braces and will discuss the right option for you.

Metal braces are the standard brace made of stainless steel, and are the strongest type of braces.

Coloured braces re popular with kids.  Kids can choose a new and different colour at each visit when we replace the rings. They are simply a small coloured ring used to hold the wire in place, and placed over standard braces.

Clear braces are made of a ceramic material and are either clear or a colour we choose to closely match your teeth. They can be more fragile than a metal brace but are aesthetically superior.

Lingual techniques, such as Incognito, can be a more aesthetic option which place the braces on the inside of the teeth, so they can’t be seen.

There are other names that manufacturers have given to their proprietary braces systems and all rely on force to move teeth.

There is still much research to be done to confirm various claims about faster treatment times.  The science remains firm however, that the key determining factor of length of treatment is the rate of turnover of bone surrounding the tooth and the limit this puts on how fast teeth can move.

The tooth doesn’t know that it is attached to a bracket or has a particular type of archwire … it can only react to the force delivered by the appliance.


Removable appliances are simpler appliances and can be removed by the patient (both an advantage and a disadvantage).

The most commonly used “Plate” rests against the roof of the mouth, clips onto the back teeth and has a wire around the front to move the top front teeth. The patient can remove it for cleaning. To be effective the plate needs to be in the mouth close to full time.

Other types of removable appliances fit on the lower teeth, some fit on both the upper and lower teeth at the same time with one or two plates (some functional appliances).

Overall they lack the precision of braces and are only very effective for simple movements of groups of teeth. They generally are good only for tipping movements of teeth.


Sequential Plastic Appliances, most commonly known as Invisalign, uses a series of clear aligners to straighten your teeth that are less visible than traditional braces. It moves teeth by applying a series of sequential plastic aligners for around two weeks per aligner. Simple cases in adults and teenagers can be tackled with Invisalign.

Invisalign is not suitable in cases where even moderate root movement is required. It therefore works best for patients who don’t need any teeth removed and therefore don’t require the closure of any extraction spaces. Invisalign Teen uses some compliance indicators to allow the Orthodontist to see how much the appliance is being worn, and allows for a guess to me made about the eruption of teeth.

Dr Tait was the first to use the Invisalign technique in the Toowoomba region and continues to use it in a limited capacity for selected cases, giving him a very high success rate. If the appropriate standard is not able to be achieved with Invisalign then the treatment may need to be completed using regular braces


Which tool for which condition?

The particular treatment you are offered results from a complex decision making process.
Because Dr Tait is an expert in the bio-mechanics of tooth movement, and has substantial experience, (not to mention being a perfectionist) he will look carefully at what is required and then recommend the best tool for the job. It’s as simple as that.

Detailed analysis of your particular condition is required to know exactly what jaw growth guidance, tooth eruption prediction, growth modification, space maintenance and tooth movement is required. Once this analysis is completed, Dr Tait will discuss treatment options with you and which tools are appropriate (for example regular braces, Invisalign, part braces, removable plates, functional appliance) to get the job done most quickly and to the best standard.

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