In our dental office, we provide orthodontics treatments so that our patients can straighten their teeth and improve their smile. We have found that both children and adults can benefit from having straight teeth. In addition to improving a persons’ appearance, when teeth are straightened the likelihood of cavities is decreased. This is because food and plaque can easily become stuck in between a persons’ teeth when they are crooked where straight ones are easier to clean with normal brushing and flossing.
Another reason, that patients get treatments, is that their bite is misaligned. This can lead to a funny appearance, as with a severe overbite, or difficulty eating and speaking clearly. A misaligned bite can also create jaw and face pain over time. An orthodontist can treat this problem in combination with straightening teeth.
Here are some of the orthodontics procedures that can straighten teeth and align a bite.
- Expander. An expander is commonly used to create more room in the mouth so that adult teeth can come in. When a child loses their baby teeth too early, the remaining teeth can move and crowd out space that was supposed to be for the new adult tooth. This can lead to overcrowding issues and the need to expand the palate. Other people are simply born with a palate that is too small and need to have room created as a result. An expander is a metal device that is secured to the roof of the mouth and slowly pushes it outwards.
- Spacers. When an individual tooth needs more room, a spacer can be used to create it. This is a simple tool that is typically worn for a couple of months or so.
- Traditional braces. Metal braces are the most common orthodontics treatment. While they have been around for decades, technology has improved them to the point that both the brackets and wires are now smaller than they used to be. Fortunately, they are more effective as well. This is the best treatment for children since it has proven to be effective and is the easiest for them to care for.
- Clear braces. This works in a similar fashion to traditional metal braces, so the main difference is in their appearance. Clear braces are only recommended for adults because they are difficult to keep clean and stain free. The brackets are made of a tooth-colored resin that blends in with the natural teeth so for a fastidious adult, they are a good solution.
- Clear aligners. Both adults and older teens can use aligners to straighten their teeth instead of wearing braces. An aligner is clear and looks like a retainer. At the beginning of the procedure, impressions are taken of the teeth, and a series of aligners is created. A patient wears each one for around two weeks, and they are used to target specific teeth. As the aligners are all worn, teeth move into position.
In addition to these orthodontics treatments, many patients also use headgear and rubber bands to help with bite issues. To learn more or to see what treatments you may need, call and schedule a consultation.