Some people have straight teeth that line up together, but many of us have crooked teeth that don’t fit together correctly. Crooked teeth can affect your bite. The good news is you can easily straighten your teeth and correct your bite with the help of the right orthodontic treatment. Find out what orthodontics is and how it can help you.
So What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the dentistry branch that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance, and correction of bad bites or dental irregularities, including the use of braces.
A specialist known as an orthodontist is the right person to consult for your orthodontic treatment. These specialists attend two or more additional years of education after four years of dental school.
You might think that straightening your teeth only has aesthetic benefits, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Crooked teeth can be harder to clean, which can lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease. Teeth that don’t fit correctly can make it harder to chew, leading to headaches, shoulder or back pain, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
How Do Orthodontic Treatments Work?
Orthodontic treatments involve different types of appliances used to retrain muscles, slowly move teeth, and affect your jaw’s growth by placing gentle pressure on your teeth and jaw.
Fixed vs. Removable Appliances
Orthodontic treatments could involve fixed or removable appliances. Depending on how severe your situation, your orthodontist will advise you on which approach is the right one for you.
Fixed appliances include:
- Braces– You’ve most likely heard of braces – they’re the most common fixed appliance. They consist of bands, wires, and brackets. How do they work? The bands are the anchors held in place around your teeth. Brackets are attached to the front of your teeth. Arch wires connect the brackets to the bands. Tightening the archwires puts pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them towards their target position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly and are worn for a few months to a few years.
- Special fixed appliances – These should only be used as a last resort to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Since they’re attached to the teeth by bands, they can feel quite uncomfortable while eating.
- Fixed space maintainers – Sometimes, young children lose their teeth prematurely. In such situations, an orthodontist might place a space maintainer in your child’s mouth to keep the space open until a permanent tooth appears.
- Removable appliances include:
- Aligners –These are increasingly becoming a popular alternative to traditional braces for adults. Aligners move teeth in the same way as braces, but they are virtually invisible and don’t involve metal wires and brackets. If you’re using them, you need to remove them while eating, brushing, and flossing.
- Removable space maintainers –These devices are used for the same reason as fixed space maintainers. They’re made up of plastic or wire branches and an acrylic base that fits over the jaw. They’re placed in open spaces between teeth to keep the teeth apart.
- Jaw repositioning appliances –These appliances are also known as splints. They’re placed either on the top or lower jaw and are used to treat TMJ disorders by training the jaw to close in a better position.
- Lip and cheek bumpers –Your lip and cheek muscles might exert pressure on your teeth. In such cases, you can use bumpers to keep your lips and cheeks away from the teeth.
- Palatal expander –This device is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. It’s used when the arch of your upper jaw needs to be widened.
- Removable retainers –These devices, worn on the roof of the mouth, prevent your teeth from shifting back to their previous position.
- Headgear –These devices slow down the growth of the upper jaw. They also hold the back teeth in place while the front teeth are pulled back.
How Do I Know if I Need Orthodontic Treatment?
Here are some problems with your teeth that may require orthodontics:
- Overbite – In this case, the upper front teeth appear to stick out over the lower teeth.
- Underbite – Here, the lower teeth may appear too far forward, while the upper teeth are set too far back.
- Crossbite –You know you have a crossbite when your upper teeth fit behind your lower teeth when your mouth is closed.
- Open bite – Some people have a vertical gap between the front lower and upper teeth when biting down. This is called an open bite.
- Misplaced midline — Here, the center of your upper and lower front teeth don’t line up.
- Spacing— In this case, your teeth don’t seem to fill up your mouth. There appear to be random gaps or spaces between teeth.
Crowding – This is what happens when the dental ridge in your mouth doesn’t have room for all your teeth.
However, only your orthodontist can correctly determine which orthodontic treatment is right for you. Using diagnostic tools such as clinical exams, plastic models of your teeth, and X-rays, your orthodontist will develop a treatment plan that works for you and your teeth.
We know that there is a lot to consider while looking at possible orthodontic treatment plans. But now that you know more about what orthodontics is, why it’s important, and how it works, we hope you’re well on your way to experiencing its benefits for yourself!
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. Many people mistakenly think that braces are only available for children, but in fact orthodontics can be used to benefit just about any age group. The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that children first visit to an orthodontist should be around the age of seven.
Types of Braces
1. Metal brackets are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first they may irritate your gums, but after a few weeks, when your cheeks get “toughened up” they are not a problem anymore. Most traditional metal braces require an elastic o-shaped rubber band, called a ligature to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Sometimes orthodontists use metal tie wires (little wires which are twisted around the bracket) in place of elastic ligatures.
2. Ceramic brackets are transparent and blend in with the teeth. They are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. The ligatures (tiny rubber bands) that hold the arch wire on to the ceramic brackets are often white or clear. They blend in with most teeth. They are not very noticeable at a distance or in photos. Some people feel that they are more comfortable than metal and irritate your gums less. Contrary to what you may have heard, ceramic brackets do not usually break or come off your teeth. They are very strong, and if bound with plasma light, stay on as well as metal brackets.
3. Lingual braces (Invisible Braces) are placed behind your teeth, and are therefore virtually invisible to other people. Usually, lingual brackets are made of metal. The obvious benefit of this type of treatment is that no one will know that you are wearing lingual braces unless they look inside your mouth.
Invisalign straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances (Trays ) called aligners. It’s virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you’re straightening your teeth.
The Invisalign System combines advanced 3-D computer graphics technology with 100-year-old science of orthodontics. Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth in small steps to the desired final position prescribed by your orthodontist. Each aligner is precisely calibrated and manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the treatment plan. Your first step is to visit our office to determine if Invisalign is right for you. After sending precise treatment instructions by taking impressions and few photos, Invisalign uses advanced computer technology to analysis and translate these instructions in a sequence of finely calibrated aligners — as few as 12 or as many as 48. Patients has this option to evaluate the 3D model of treatment progress and final result of treatment in advance. After confirming the treatment by patient, the aligners would be ordered. Each aligner has to be worn for about two weeks and only taken out to eat, brush and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next, your teeth will begin to move gradually — week-by-week until the final alignment prescribed is attained. Then you’ll be smiling like you never have before!
Call us today and book an appointment to take advantage of our Invisalign special before the special expires.
Invisalign Special: Free Consultation, Free Model Of Your Treatment Plan And Final Result, in advance.
Invisalign® clear aligners are:
Invisalign clear aligners are designed just for you from flexible SmartTrack® material that moulds to the shape of your teeth.
Straighten your teeth without interrupting your lifestyle. Simply remove your aligners to eat your favourite foods and brush your teeth.
Get Invisalign treatment that fits your budget with our transparent pricing and interest-free payment plans.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Invisalign® is the clinically proven, nearly invisible way to straighten teeth without metal braces. Invisalign treatment uses removable, clear plastic aligners that are worn day and night to gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
Invisalign treatment can be completed in as little as 6 months, with average treatment times of around 12-18 months. Your treatment length will depend on your individual needs as determined by your dentist.
You will need to wear your aligners day and night for approximately 20-22 hours per day. Each set of aligners is worn for about 1-2 weeks and is then replaced with the next set in the series until your treatment is complete.
No, as long as you have all of your permanent teeth, you may be suitable for Invisalign. We also offer Invisalign Teen® – an alternative orthodontic option designed specifically for teenagers. Our orthodontists can use Invisalign aligners to treat children 7-11 years old.
Invisalign clear aligners are made of SmartTrack®, an elastic aligner material made of a medical grade polyurethane resin that is Bisphenol-A (BPA) free. This thermoplastic material is custom-made into thin, clear aligners. They are smooth to the touch without any sharp edges to ensure you can avoid ulcers.
Invisalign aligners are easy to remove, so you can still enjoy your favorite foods, snacks and drinks without feeling uncomfortable. This also prevents the aligners from staining and damaging and ensures you are able to maintain your oral hygiene.
As with conventional treatments, you may feel temporary pressure when you’re wearing your Invisalign aligners for the first 2-3 days after each new set. Invisalign aligners can temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two until your mouth adjusts.
The most advanced way of silently correcting your teeth is where invisible braces play an important role. The use of ‘Invisalign’- clear and nearly invisible braces, help to gently straighten mis-aligned teeth with hassle free impressions.