Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)
Orthodontic treatment has lots of benefit beyond straighter teeth and improved bite; it also helps to improve the overall confidence of a person. While straight and beautiful teeth are great to have, the need to eradicate any potential health challenges connected with the teeth or jaw is more desirable. Jaw or teeth problems may lead to cleaning problems, which will eventually lead to loss of teeth. Orthodontic problems, when not treated, can lead to speech impairments, digestion problems, and abnormal wear of the tooth. The excessive strain of the bone and gum tissue that holds the teeth, over time, can cause a problem for jaw joints, resulting in problems such as neck pain, face pain, or headaches.
It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) that children are given orthodontic evaluation at age 7 or less. Though one can undergo orthodontic treatment at any age, timely treatment provides the best dental benefits.
With the recent breakthroughs in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been more beneficial. Lots of sophisticated appliances and treatments can now be accessed, from tooth colored and clear brackets, to traditional metal braces, to NASA that are activated by heat and only a few adjustments! Some patients may even be treated with Invisalign, a remarkable method of straightening teeth using clear, retainer-type aligners that do not require wires or braces!
We are open to discussing which treatment procedure is perfect for you, if necessary!
Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) children and adults:
- Swallowing or Breathing problems – Mouth breathing can result in snoring (sleep apnea)
- Crossbite – some upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (around the tongue).
- Crowding – Involving malpositioned teeth or extra teeth
- Deep Overbite – the tissue of the upper teeth is bitten by the lower teeth
- Disfiguring of the mouth and face – Affects jaw development and teeth position
- Jaw & jaw joint pain
- Extra or missing teeth – Due to inherited problems, injuries, or tooth decay
- Protruding upper teeth (overjet) – Upper teeth protruding excessively
- Self-image – a bright smile capable of improving a person’s confidence and self-image
- The spacing between teeth – missing teeth or may be too large or too small.
- Biting, chewing or Speech problems
- Underbite (protruded lower jaw) – Lower jaw appears to be significantly longer than the upper jaw.
Specific to children:
- Thumb or Finger sucking – these habits can cause the upper incisor teeth to protrude
- Eruption of Teeth out of position – can be trained to align properly
What does orthodontic treatment involve?
Orthodontic treatment is broken down into three phases:
1. Planning Phase – the following may be incorporated into your first few visits:
- An evaluation of dental and medical history
- “Mold” or castings of your teeth
- Computer generated image of the neck and head for the planning purpose
- Photographs of your mouth and face
- X-rays of the jaws and teeth
Your orthodontist, after planing, will design and apply braces, create custom-made appliances for you.
2. Active Phase – during active treatment, regular visits to the orthodontist is made for adjustments and following requirements that lead to successful treatment.
3. Retention Phase – the orthodontist, at the completion of treatment, removes the braces and makes a new appliance. These retainers are usually removable and will ensure that the changes made to your teeth are maintained if used consistently until the bone and teeth are adapted to their new positions.
Depending on the individual, times of treatment and retention varies. Your orthodontist will make sure that that the treatment results in a beautiful and lasting smile for you.
Orthodontics, aside from improving your smile, improves the health of your teeth, jaw, and overall health.