Straight teeth, while attractive, contribute to good oral health. Orthodontics is the dental science of repositioning teeth into a proper bite. We do this with braces, retainers, spacers, clear aligners, and other mechanisms. Many people relate metal braces with adolescence. However, children as well as adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. No matter which method is used, the idea behind orthodontic correction is the same: pressure is applied slowly over a length of time, encouraging teeth to move into a more attractive and uniform formation.
In children, it is sometimes necessary to begin orthodontic treatment before the jaw and gums fully form; for this reason, we recommend that you bring your child in for an orthodontic consultation by age seven. This way, we can proactively treat potential problems from habits such as thumb sucking and mouth breathing, or genetic issues like crowding, underbite, or overbite. Our interceptive approach enables us to nip teeth alignment issues before they escalate, gently expanding and reshaping a young person's smile. When all the permanent teeth emerge during adolescence, some children may need a second treatment phase, which can include comprehensive orthodontics and an appliance, like a retainer, to maintain teeth position.
More adults than ever wear braces these days – one in five orthodontic patients is an adult* – but not exclusively for cosmetic reasons. The savvy consumer knows that you're never too old to enjoy the health benefits of a straight smile. For instance, symptoms like earaches, dizziness, headaches, and neck pain can all be associated with a misaligned jaw. Correcting the bite will alleviate these symptoms and improve function and comfort, while reducing the potential for tooth wear. In addition, straight teeth are less prone to decay and gum disease.
Typically, when people think of orthodontics, they picture traditional braces: the ones that most people had as children. Metal brackets are bonded onto each tooth that needs alignment; the brackets are joined with wire that, when tightened over time, provides steady pressure on the teeth. Eventually, the teeth reach their new positions. Depending on the patient's situation, the wearing of a retainer may be required for some time after the braces come off. This kind of orthodontics has stood the test of time, because it is highly effective for a wide range of misalignments, and the effects are usually permanent.
Sometimes traditional braces may be recommended as the preferred orthodontic treatment rather than cosmetic dentistry procedures:
Cosmetic reasons: If you have crooked or misplaced teeth that are too severe for other treatments, such as porcelain veneers, braces might be the best solution. The benefits of braces are often more profound and long lasting than veneers and crowns.
Medical reasons: Sometimes a misaligned bite can affect the health of your mouth, by causing inappropriate grinding, wear, or jaw pain. Our Dentists be able to fix many of these problems through the use of orthodontics.
You deserve a straight smile! So do your children!