What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats malocclusion, a condition in which the teeth are not correctly positioned when the mouth is closed. This results in an improper bite.
Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth.
age for orthodontic treament
Problems that may benefit from orthodontic treatment can be detected at an early age by an oral health professional . Most orthodontic treatment is done after all the permanent teeth have come through,. Some treatment can be started earlier,which can help avoid major treatment later on. . Adults of any age can have treatment as well if they have orthodontic problems.
how do i know if i need orhtodontic treament?
Crooked, crowded and overlapping teeth can cause a range of problems, including:
- Tooth Decay and Gum Disease – teeth that are very close together can be harder to clean properly. A build-up of plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease
- injury to the gum – if a tooth doesn’t meet with its partner on the opposite jaw properly, it may dig into the gum and cause damage
- it may be difficult to eat or chew properly, or affect your ability to speak properly, swallow or dries out your mouth.
- teeth that stick out may be more likely to be injured or traumatised during sports or in a fall.
- wear and tear – if teeth don’t come together properly the action of chewing can wear them down unevenly
- self-confidence – teeth problems can make people feel embarrassed and they may not feel comfortable to smile.
how the treatment is done?
Removable appliances are not a precise as braces, which is why they are only used to move one tooth or a small group of teeth. We have used appliance therapy on many children and a few adults with minimal misalignment of their teeth. Patients are required to wear their appliance all the time during therapy and come in for regular observation and adjustment visits. Therapy can take anywhere from 6-18 months.
Our consultant orthodontist can screen your child as early as age seven to see if they may require braces in the future. Sometimes he may choose to have your child wear an appliance before all the adult teeth come in to improve eruption patterns and jaw alignment. This is called “Interceptive Orthodontics”. Children may or may not require braces after wearing the appliance; it just depends on the complexity of the case and the growth pattern of your child’s teeth and jaw.
Most often the choice of treatment is braces. Treatment time lasts anywhere from 1-2 years, depending on what our consultant orthodontist is treating. Prices of treatment vary depending on the complexity of the case and years that you will be in braces. Patients are required to come in for regular observation and adjustment visits and maintain excellent oral hygiene care at home.
There are a variety of colors of brackets, wires, and elastics, and you can talk to our consultant orthodontist about which ones are right for you. You may like glow in the dark, cosmetic ceramic, or bold gold. With the use of new copper NiTi wires, our consultant orthodontist can move teeth in a more gentle manner than years ago. This means teeth are less sensitive after adjustments and while they are shifting position in your mouth.
Our consultant orthodontist may request that teeth be removed prior to starting orthodontics if they are crowded, badly out of position, or wisdom teeth.
Jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) may be required when there are major differences in the size or position of your upper and lower jaws. It will help the upper and lower jaw to line up. You would need to be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for these procedures.
Orthodontic treatment does take time to complete, and in some cases, minor treatments may be needed later to correct small changes in tooth position. Treatment involves a time commitment from patients and in general, adults take longer to treat than children or teenagers. Treatment can range from 6 months to even 2 years in some cases. Patients are required to come in regularly for maintenance visits every 4-6 weeks. Brushing and flossing do take longer to complete, and are even more important because food gets stuck around the brackets and can cause decay and decalcification quickly.
Patients should have professional cleanings done more frequently as well. Your diet needs to change too in order to prevent the brackets from breaking off. Patients are recommended to stay away from chewing ice cubes, nuts, chewing pens and pencils, sticky foods, foods high in sugar, gum, toffee, and beef jerky. Orthodontics is a big commitment, but it has a lifelong result!