Orthodontics focuses on correcting misaligned teeth. Orthodontics can be used to fix problems with spacing, bite, and jaw alignment, but it also improves your overall dental health. Orthodontic treatment is one of the most common reasons people visit their dentist. Orthodontics means “straightening teeth” and includes many different procedures – namely braces – that can straighten teeth and improve your smile. Orthodontics can also treat jaw misalignment or bite problems, affecting your ability to chew correctly or causing pain when eating certain foods.
The goal of orthodontic treatment is always to achieve a straight smile that is pleasing to you and others around you. Many patients also choose to have their teeth whitened during orthodontic treatment to have whiter teeth after their braces are removed.
There are many different types of orthodontic procedures available today, but all fall into these categories:
- Removable Appliances. Removable orthodontic appliances are used to move the teeth. They may be transparent or colored. The most common removable appliance is a bracket connected to a wire bonded to your teeth. The wire makes it possible to bend the brackets and move your teeth into position. You wear braces for about 18 months or until your teeth have moved into their new positions. Braces are available in various forms and sizes to fit together snugly on your teeth without rubbing against each other uncomfortably.
- Fixed Appliances. Fixed appliances are removable devices worn only while braces are being removed; some examples include retainers and palatal expanders. Retainers are placed after braces have been removed; they keep your bite stable, so your new smile stays beautiful for years to come.
- Surgery: Permanent. Orthodontists can use various surgical techniques to move teeth, including the use of braces and wires. Orthodontic surgery is a type of surgery that moves the jawbones. This procedure can be performed when the jaws aren’t correctly aligned, and the teeth aren’t fitting together perfectly, affecting how well you chew food or speak clearly. The operation may also involve dental implants if your existing teeth need to be removed before the operation.
- Surgery: Semi-Permanent. If you need orthodontic treatment but don’t want braces, you might consider semi-permanent orthodontic appliances that can move your teeth without being permanently affixed to them. These devices are usually made of metal, wire, or plastic and are customized to fit each patient’s mouth.
Benefits of Orthodontics
- Improved self-esteem.Many adults who were once embarrassed by their smiles now say they’re more confident in public due to their improved smiles.
- Healthier teeth and gums.Properly aligned teeth help reduce the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw problems such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome.
- Improved oral health.A study published in The Journal of Periodontology found that adults with braces experienced less plaque buildup than those without braces. Plaque buildup can lead to cavities, which affect nearly half of adults with untreated, periodontal disease by age 35.
Contact North County Dental Care
Contact our orthodontist at North Country Dental Care and Orthodontics to book an appointment. Once your orthodontist has made an initial diagnosis of crooked teeth, they will discuss available treatment options with you including whether any part of the recommended treatment should be done before age 18. Our office is located in Vista, California, and serves patients from all over the San Diego area. Send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 760-940-4266 and book an appointment today.