What Happens When You Decide to Have Braces in Your Mouth?
Orthodontics is a division of dentistry dealing in the treatment of malocclusion. This is a condition where the teeth are not properly positioned when the mouth is closed resulting in an improper bite. Orthodontic treatment specializes in straightening the teeth. The treatment offered may also be cosmetic for improving the appearance of an individual but it often looks forward to improving the oral function as well.
What Kind of Treatments Are Offered by Orthodontists?
Orthodontists can offer treatments that aim to achieve the following:
- Aligning the tips of the teeth.
- Straightening crooked teeth.
- Closing wide gaps between the teeth.
- Improving chewing ability and speech.
- Preventing excessive wear and trauma of the teeth in the long-term.
- Boosting the long-term health of the teeth and gums.
- Treating improper bites.
The treatments offered to improve the appearance of the teeth while also leading to better chewing and speech and help to protect the teeth from decay or damages in some cases.
When trying to achieve these goals orthodontists use a wide range of dental devices some of which include plates, headgear, and braces.
Types of Devices Used by Orthodontics
Orthodontic devices currently being used can be fixed or removable.
Fixed appliances are the most common devices used in orthodontists. Their use is important when accurate results are desired.
People with fixed appliances will be able to eat normally but will have to avoid certain foodstuffs and beverages including carbonated drinks, sticky foods, chewing gum, and hard candy.
People participating in contact sports should inform their orthodontist about it because they may be recommended special gum shields.
Some examples of fixed orthodontic appliances are as follows:
Traditional braces which are also known as conventional braces consist of brackets, bands, and wires. The brackets are generally attached to the front of the teeth and the bands are fixed firmly around the teeth to serve as anchors for the appliance.
The wires are in the shape of an arch to pass through the brackets and are fixed to the bands. Tension is applied to the teeth when the archwire is tightened. Over time the smooth the teeth into the proper position. People need to follow-up monthly with their orthodontist to tighten the braces or for any adjustments that are needed. The treatment can last for several months or years.
Traditional braces can be in the form of clear braces or colored braces and the patient will have the option of choosing the appliance according to individual choices.
Who Should Be Visiting an Orthodontist?
People who have jaws and teeth that have not developed properly would be the victims of malocclusion. Their teeth will be misaligned and crooked and the top and bottom sets of teeth would not be lining up.
The physical health of the individual will not be affected by malocclusion because it is not a disease. It is just a variation of the position of the teeth. However, it can potentially impact the appearance of the teeth to result in an embarrassing situation, the shape of the face, lack of self-confidence and even depression in some cases. Malocclusion results from injuries to the teeth or facial bones and regular thumbsucking or finger sucking among other conditions. Malocclusion of the severe variety of affects eating, speaking and maintaining proper oral hygiene.
When Should People Consider Visiting an Orthodontist?
Orthodontic treatment should begin at about at around 12 to 13 years when the adult teeth have erupted and developed fully. If no problems appear until later the treatment can also begin at a later stage. Presently over 2 million adults are receiving orthodontic treatment in the United States as stated by the American Association of orthodontists.
Orthodontic treatment for children with a cleft lip and palate will become necessary before the adult teeth develop fully.
Proper oral hygiene is essential before beginning any orthodontic treatment. When fixed appliances are placed on the teeth the chances of food particles sticking to the teeth are high. People need to brush carefully and frequently to prevent tooth decay during the treatment.
The risk of tooth decay increases during the treatment when people don’t follow proper oral hygiene practices. They will be recommended by the orthodontist to avoid sugary snacks, fizzy drinks, and any other foods or beverages that can cause tooth decay.