Hello 2021!

    We are back and looking forward to a year full of smiles, laughter, health and happiness.  Unfortunately Covid-19 has again become active and present in Victoria, therefore we must remain vigilant to keep our team and community safe.  As always, we continue to maintain a high level of infection control within our practice, we kindly ask that anybody visiting our practice be aware of the current rules and regulations of the Victorian Government, as well as those of our own practice.  A list of potential exposure sites is available on the DHHS.vic website – Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Case locations and outbreaks (dhhs.vic.gov.au), if you have visited any of the listed locations your appointment will be affected and you will need to call us to reschedule your appointment with us. Please note this list is constantly being updated, so it’s a good idea to check this list prior to your appointment with us.  We kindly ask that you please –  DO NOT attend our clinic if you or anyone in your household has been tested for Covid-19 and are yet to receive a negative result or if you or anyone in your household has been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.  DO NOT attend our clinic if you or anyone in your household is feeling unwell and showing symptoms of Covid-19 – cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath.  Our practice is continuing with the following protocols –  Please do not arrive early or late for your appointment.  Where possible, we ask that patients attend appointments on their own. If you would prefer your child not attend on their own, 1 accompanying adult can attend with the patient. Adhering to this allows us to maintain adequate social distancing within our waiting room and clinic.   Anyone entering the building is to wear a face mask whilst in our practice (children under 12 years or anybody with a medical exemption may attend without a mask).  Prior to your appointment we will send you a confirmation SMS that will include a link to our QR code. On the day of your appointment, please ensure that you complete the Covid pass via the link or use the QR code at the practice entry. This is for contact tracing purposes.  Brush your teeth at home prior to your appointment. Please bring a pair of sunglasses to wear during your appointment.  On arrival, you will be asked by our reception staff to have your temperature taken, to wash your hands at our hand washing station and to complete the Covid pass if you haven’t already done so.  If you have any queries at all, please do not hesitate to contact our team.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

Why do I have to wear my retainer for so long?

When braces are removed, teeth have a tendency to move to their original position. In the first month without your braces, the risk of relapse is high. Relapse means that anything that the braces corrected (spaces, crowding, crooked teeth etc.) can be undone if left unattended. Hence, retainers are made and placed the day after your braces have been removed. Retainers are custom made appliances used to keep your teeth in place after your braces have been removed. Here at Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists, we use three types of retainers: Hawley, Essix and bonded retainers. Your orthodontist will determine which one or combination of these is best suited to your case. Hawley retainers have your classic ‘plate’ type appearance; they are constructed of rigid acrylic and very durable. Essix retainers are a clear plastic retainer, moulded to the shape of your teeth. Bonded retainers are the ‘wires’ (actually a thin chain) that are glued to the inside of your teeth. Although some people think that the removal of braces means the conclusion of orthodontic treatment, this is incorrect. Retainers will be given to you after your braces are removed to ultimately retain the position of your teeth in the long term; keeping in mind that braces are only removed with the approval of the orthodontist when they are sure that the teeth are in the most ideal position possible. After braces are removed, the teeth need time to stabilise and to maintain their position in the mouth. Your orthodontist will see you every few months once you are in the retention phase of your treatment, and will determine how your retainers should be worn depending on the treatment provided. Retainers are used full-time for the first few months and then gradually reduced as the teeth start to stabilise. They will then be worn in bed at night time only, ideally for the rest of your life, to maintain your beautiful new smile! By Simon Huynh – Orthodontic Therapist

What foods should I avoid with braces?

It is very important to keep away from certain foods during your orthodontic treatment. Eating anything hard, sticky or chewy can cause brackets to break, bands to loosen, bending/breaking of the arch wire and can even cause tooth decay. Foods high in sugar such as soft drink and lollies, cause bacteria in your mouth to start producing acids which can cause permanent stains, decay and damage to your teeth. If at any time you consume anything with high sugar content, make sure you drink and rinse thoroughly with water or simply brush your teeth immediately after. Some examples of foods to avoid are: Biting into apples or carrots (it is ok to cut them into small pieces) Corn on the cob Ice (great for keeping your drink cold, but not good to crunch on with braces) Nuts Meat that may be on a bone Pork crackling Popcorn Hard candy Bagels, crusty bread or crunchy pizza crusts Muesli bars Chewy lollies (of any kind) Hard block chocolate, M&M’s, chocolate bars etc Caramels or fudge Chewing gum or bubble gum Picking at your braces with your fingers or biting on your fingernails is not a good idea. Also chewing on items such as pens or pencils can break brackets and bend wires, so avoid doing this. Any damage incurred to your braces can prolong your treatment time.        


The Twin Block appliance is a removable functional appliance used to treat patients with excessive protrusion of the upper front teeth. The name “Twin Block” is derived from the fact that the appliance is comprised of separate upper and lower plates with ramps (blocks) that work in tandem. The appliance is very effective when patients are entering their adolescent growth spurt and acts to posture the lower jaw forward to move the teeth into a more harmonious position. A Twin Block is considered more comfortable than some other fixed orthodontic orthopedic appliances. As the appliance is also removable, it is easier to maintain excellent oral hygiene during treatment. Appliances are generally removed when eating and playing sport. Speech can often be affected in the short term (they may experience a slight lisp) but like any other orthodontic appliance, patients will adjust after several days. The appliance is generally worn full time to achieve bite correction. Patients with a Twin Block appliance will see the orthodontist every 8-10 weeks to check progress and adjust the appliance as needed. Treatment time with Twin Blocks is usually 12-18 months, however this will depend on the age and growth pattern of the patient. Early treatment with a functional appliance will often be followed by comprehensive orthodontic treatment with appliances such as braces to achieve ideal alignment and complete bite correction.           Written By Yvette Ding (Orthodontic Therapist)

Why is oral hygiene so important with braces?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for everyone, but when you are having orthodontic treatment, it is even more critical. Braces do not cause demineralisation, decay, gum disease or bad breath, but they can harbor food and plaque and make it harder to brush and floss. There are many types of bacteria that naturally exist in the mouth and in the food that we eat. Bacteria combines with proteins in saliva and creates a sticky film around the teeth and gum line called ‘plaque’, that subsequently allows more and more types of bacteria to attach. The bacteria have certain properties that allow them to produce acid, which can damage the tooth’s outer layer of enamel and underlying layer of dentine, as well as irritate the gums. If nothing disrupts the growth and reproduction of the bacteria (i.e. brushing and flossing), it can lead to a variety of issues including white spot lesions, tooth decay and gum disease. Some early warning signs to look out for are: White or yellow, creamy/sticky/furry film around your teeth and gum line Dull/matte white spots on your teeth (especially around the brackets and gum line) Yellow, brown or orange spots Red, puffy, enlarged, bleeding gums Over time, if the plaque is not removed, it can also harden into a calcified, grainy material called ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’. It is then unable to be brushed or flossed away and will need to be removed by a dental professional. The formation of calculus can also prevent tooth movement. At Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists we not only want to help you achieve the most beautiful smile possible, but we also care about the health and well-being of your teeth and gums! At the beginning of treatment, we will give you very precise instructions on how to maintain impeccable oral hygiene and we will monitor this at each appointment. It is extremely important to follow our advice to avoid increased treatment time, or even worse, having to take your braces off before treatment is complete!                                                                                    Can you spot the plaque?   By Angela Liu- Orthodontic Therapist      

How do I take care of my retainers?

After braces are removed, orthodontists will issue retainers to hold and maintain teeth in their final positions.   It is important to wear your retainers to avoid tooth movement. Retainers are worn inside the mouth and sit against the teeth.  If retainers are not cared for and cleaned well, they can harbor bacteria, plaque and create an unpleasant odor.  Therefore, it is really important to keep your retainers clean. Take your retainers out when you eat. Brush with a toothbrush without toothpaste and rinse under cold water at least once a day. Retainers are generally made out of plastic or acrylic. Hot water may distort the shape of retainers. For a further clean, you can soak retainers with a Steradent tablet and water mixture once to twice a week. Alternatively, you can mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts cold water and soak for around 30 minutes. Other things to be mindful of: Retainers are removable and they are easy to misplace. They are also costly to replace! Therefore if the retainers are not in your mouth, they need to be kept in a case.  Do not wrap them up in a tissue, place them in your pocket, or leave them lying around. Keep retainers away from pets as they like to chew them. Do not play with retainers, or flip them in and out. Always remember to bring your retainers to every appointment. By Jenifer Wu- Orthodontic Therapist

Meet our newest team member: Angela

  How long have you been working at Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists? 6 weeks. What is your role at Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists? Orthodontic Therapist. Have you ever had braces? Yes, for 2 years in year 8, but i didn’t wear my retainers and some of my teeth relapsed. Always wear your retainers!! Where did you grow up? I grew up in country Victoria in a town called Warragul. I then moved to the city when I turned 18 to go to university. What is your background? Chinese. I was born in Shanghai and moved to Australia with my parents when I was two years old. Do you speak any other languages? Yes, Mandarin and Shanghainese. My Shanghainese is probably better because that’s what i speak with my parents. What is the most rewarding part about your new job here at Sable and Pepicelli Orthodontists? I really enjoy being part of a passionate, caring team that helps create beautiful smiles that patients are proud of. I especially love seeing the before and after photos. What is your favourite holiday destination and why? So far …  Japan! For the food and shopping. The Culture is also incredible. What are your hobbies? Graphic design, brunching, reading, and playing badminton. What is your favourite restaurant? Sushi Hotaru, Bourke St, Melbourne. They have the best soft shell crab hand rolls ever!! I also love Humble Ray’s for brunch, everything on their menu is delicious. Written by Stephanie

Recipe of the day

If you’ve just had your braces placed and things are a bit sensitive at the moment, give this YUMMY braces friendly recipe a go- we think it sounds delish! CHEESY MUSHROOM AND PESTO RISONI BAKE INGREDIENTS 300g dried risoni 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 small brown onion, halved, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 20g butter 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced 150g button mushrooms, quartered 300ml light thickened cream 1 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated 80g baby spinach 60g (2/3 cup) pecorino, finely grated 55g (1/4 cup) fresh basil pesto 150g fresh mozzarella, in brine, torn METHOD Step 1- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Cook the risoni in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain. Step 2- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic for 1 minute until aromatic. Transfer to a bowl. Heat half the butter and half the remaining oil in the pan over high heat. Add half the mushrooms. Season. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil, butter and mushrooms. Step 3- Return the onion and mushroom mixtures to pan. Add the cream and rind. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the risoni, spinach, 1⁄3 cup pecorino and 1 tbs of the pesto. Season. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Step 4- Preheat oven grill to high. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Drizzle with remaining pest