You may have heard of orthodontics before, but what exactly is it, and how can it help you?
“Orthodontics” is a term derived from two Greek words – “orthos” (meaning straight) and “dontics” (teeth). This gives a clear idea of what it is. Orthodontics is the practice of correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. Misalignment and malocclusions (abnormal positioning of the teeth when the mouth is closed) can cause a lot of problems with speech and eating. It can also potentially have a negative effect on your oral health in the future.
Orthodontic treatment can help gradually straighten the teeth and jaws in order to fix these problems. Along with fixing these issues, orthodontic treatments can also be used for cosmetic reasons and can help you to achieve a better smile.
What are some orthodontic treatments?
Orthodontists make use of various methods and appliances that can either be removable or fixed for some time. Depending on how severe the issue is, they will recommend a form of treatment that will suit your lifestyle and give you the best results.
Examples of removable orthodontic appliances include:
- Aligners. Aligners such as Invisalign are customized for your mouth and gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
- Retainers. These are used to prevent realigned teeth from moving back to their original position.
Examples of fixed appliances include:
- Traditional Braces. Traditional braces are the most common of all fixed appliances. Brackets, an arch, and a wire are attached to the teeth. The wire is tightened, which puts tension on the teeth. This causes them to move into the correct position over time. A retainer (see above) is usually needed once braces are removed to keep the teeth from shifting back into their previous position.
- Clear Braces. Clear braces are just like traditional braces, but they are made from a ceramic material that blends in with your teeth. They are not as discrete as clear aligners, but they are more visually appealing than traditional braces.
Each of these different options comes with certain care and maintenance requirements, which your orthodontist will inform you of before you receive the treatment. However, whichever device is used, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene, as food particles are more likely to get stuck in these appliances. This can cause cavities to develop during the treatment period.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?
Receiving orthodontic treatment can be life-changing. Not only are there clear cosmetic benefits like:
- An improved appearance and increased self-esteem.
- Straightening of crooked teeth.
- Closure of gaps between teeth.
But there are also numerous physical health benefits:
- Better chewing and improved functioning of the teeth.
- Reduced risk of dental cavities and tooth decay.
- Reduced risk of trauma or injury to the gums caused by overbites and misalignment.
- Fewer dental emergencies.
How to know if you need an orthodontist
You could be likely a candidate for orthodontics if you suspect you have any of the following issues:
Crowding occurs when there is not enough space available for all the teeth to fit between the jaws.
This refers to gaps between the teeth, which can either occur because of missing teeth or because of teeth that fail to fill the mouth.
An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth extend beyond the bottom front teeth.
This is the opposite of an overbite and occurs when the bottom teeth are situated too far forward.
An open bite happens when the top and bottom teeth do not touch each other when the mouth is closed.
This refers to the misalignment of the top and bottom teeth when the mouth is closed.
If you suspect you have any of these issues, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist so that they can help you make an informed decision.
How can Dream Orthodontics help you?
At Dream Orthodontics, we understand that you need options. We treat each case differently, and we make sure to provide a uniquely tailored approach to suit your needs.
Our team of professional orthodontists is trained to deal with even the most complex of problems. We offer modern treatments such as Invisalign, as well as clear and metal braces.