Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

Orthodontic treatment is one of the most effective ways to transform your teeth for a flawless, attractive smile. The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve your overall self-image. While having beautiful, straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.

Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of the teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss. Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces. Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints, leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health.

With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier. State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth-colored brackets, to heat-activated wires that require fewer adjustments. Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear aligners!

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss the best options to meet your needs.

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) for adults and children include:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue)
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth
  • Deep overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth
  • Disfigurement of the face and mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth
  • Jaw and jaw joint pain
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large
  • Speech, chewing, or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) specific to children:

  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth and mouth breathing
  • Teeth erupting out of position – These teeth need to be be guided into proper alignment

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1.  Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth
  • Computer-generated photograph of the head and neck to aid in planning
  • Photographs of your face and mouth
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws

After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the braces or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made. Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Your orthodontist will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw and teeth, and even your overall health.

Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. Our treatments are designed to cater to different age groups, and to give you the overall results that you want. Don’t hesitate to ask if orthodontic treatment is right for you.