Orthodontics is the art and science of positioning the teeth correctly in the dental arches while attaining optimal alignment of the jaws, through the use of orthodontic appliances and integrated approaches.
Orthodontics may be considered if there is evidence of:
- tooth and jaw size discrepancy
- narrow dental arch development
- dental crowding
- oral habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting
- missing teeth
- speech impediment
- breathing difficulties/snoring
- jaw joint dysfunction
- disproportionate facial growth
Orthodontics treatments may include:
- Traditional braces: Metal brackets placed on each tooth that are linked by wire and elastic to move the teeth into the correct position.
- Ceramic braces: Functionally the same as traditional braces, but the brackets are made with transparent ceramic.
- Damon braces: These braces use a self-adjusting slide mechanism rather than elastic to connect the wires between the brackets.
- Palatal expanders: Though removable aligners such as Invisalign can help with overcrowding, patients with severe alignment issues may need a palatal expander to gradually move the teeth apart. Tooth extraction is another option, but palatal expanders are the preferred choice today. Once the jaws are realigned using this method, a person can then wear braces or pursue other treatment methods to correct remaining issues with teeth and jaw alignment.
- Forsus appliances: These are springs attached to the braces against the patients’ cheeks to help position the jaw into proper position and thus correct issues such as severe overbites and underbites.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every child is evaluated for orthodontic treatment by age 7 , or earlier if a problem is evident. Early treatment gives our team an opportunity to:
- guide jaw growth which in turn often lowers the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- correct harmful habits
- create a more ideal occlusion
- improve facial and dental esthetics
If you are self-conscious about your smile it can affect your self-confidence and first impressions. Orthodontics can help make a world of difference!
Orthodontic treatment is also an excellent foundation for many cosmetic dental procedures including porcelain veneers, crown and bridge restorative dentistry and dental implants. Aligning teeth correctly in the dental arches prior to cosmetic dental treatment enhances cosmetic results in many cases.
It’s never too late to treat you and your smile to orthodontics. Live the rest of your life with a smile that radiates your true personality and self-confidence.