Orthodontics at any age
People of any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are crooked, crowded, or that stick out affect the way your teeth look and work. Orthodontic treatment not only improves the look of your smile but your health as well. Straight teeth are easier to clean and less likely to get tooth decay or injured. If you are not happy with the way your teeth look or work, orthodontic treatment may help.
What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment straightens your teeth so they look and work better. Braces or other appliances are used to put gentle pressure on your teeth. Over a number of months or years this pressure can move your teeth into the right position.
Why you may need orthodontics
The position of your teeth and jaws has an effect on your bite. Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth come together. When your top and bottom teeth do not fit together properly, this is called a malocclusion or a bad bite. Problems like missing, crooked, crowded or protruding teeth can contribute to a bad bite. Thumb or finger sucking may also affect your bite.
A bad bite can make it hard to chew some foods and may cause some teeth to wear down. It can also cause muscle tension and pain. Teeth that stick out are more easily chipped or broken. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and may be more likely to get cavities and gum disease. Fixing a bad bite improves your smile and your health. Different types of bad bites include an overbite, a crossbite, an overjet and an open bite.
Why you may need orthodontics.
An overjet occurs when the upper front teeth protrude.
A deep bite occurs when the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth too much.
An underbite occurs when the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth.
An open bite occurs when the back teeth are together and there is an opening between the lower and upper front teeth.
Gaps between teeth
A crossbite occurs when one or more of your upper teeth don’t line up with the appropriate lower tooth or teeth .
Crowded or overlapped teeth.
How long does treatment take?
Orthodontic treatment takes time. The amount of time depends on your age, the seriousness of your problem and the treatment technique used. Treatment generally involves a visit to your dentist or orthodontist on a regular basis over a period of months to years. In general, it takes longer to treat adults than children or teenagers. Most people wear braces for about 2 years.
The most common type of orthodontic treatment used by dentists or orthodontists is braces.
How braces are done
To apply braces, your dentist or orthodontist attaches brackets (or bands) to each tooth with glue. Arch wires are fitted into all the brackets and are usually held in place with rubber or wire ties.
You may feel some discomfort for a while when your braces are first put on and when they are adjusted. It will take a little time to get used to your braces and they can bother your lips and cheeks. If this happens, a relief wax can be applied to your braces. To make eating easier after an adjustment, soft foods are recommended.