Orthodontics
Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image.   While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.  Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss.  Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.  Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7.  Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health. 

With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier.  State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to NASA type wires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments!  Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires!

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) adults & children:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue).
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth.
  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth.
  • Jaw & jaw joint pain
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw.
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large.
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw.

Specific to children:

  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, and mouth breathing.
  • Teeth erupting out of position – Can be guided to proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1.  Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation.
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
  • Computer generated photograph of the head and neck that will aid in planning.
  • Photographs of your face and mouth.
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made.  Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Your orthodontist will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime. 

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.

 

Related Orthodontic Articles

Invisalign - Dear Doctor Magazine Clear Orthodontic Aligners
The orthodontic treatment using clear aligners consists of a series of aligners that you change about every two weeks over a course of treatment lasting six to eighteen months depending on how much movement is needed... Read Article

 

Clear Aligners - Dear Doctor Magazine Clear Aligners for Teenagers
Teens who regard traditional braces as restrictive, confining, and obstructive to their lifestyles now have another choice for orthodontic treatment: clear aligners. This advanced dental technology, originally geared toward adults, has recently evolved to treat a greater variety of bite problems in younger people. These improved orthodontic appliances can help teens function normally during a difficult phase of life... Read Article

 

Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine The Magic of Orthodontics
Proper alignment of the teeth is basic to “Smile Design.” Their position dictates how they work together and affects the way you look and smile. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the right position. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. Learn the basics of smile analysis and design and whether the magic of orthodontics will work for you... Read Article

 

Orthodontics for adults - Dear Doctor Magazine Orthodontics for the Older Adult
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment... Read Article

 

 

 



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