What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with correcting abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. Treatment is designed to help patients both cosmetically and functionally
Reasons for orthodontics
While many individuals are drawn to orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons, orthodontics is frequently necessary to prevent or correct:
- Jaw misalignment
- Speech problems
- Damage to the inner cheeks and tongue
- Gum disease
What are malocclusions?
Malocclusion (poor bite), also known as misalignments refers to a number of possible conditions like:
- Upper protrusion (buck teeth)
- Open bite
Orthodontists examine patients to determine whether they require orthodontic treatment or not. If necessary, treatment involves the application of braces, to move the misplaced teeth gradually into their appropriate positions. Many other appliances, including headgear, plates, retainers and expansion devices may also be used, depending on the nature of the misalignment.
What are braces?
Dental braces are orthodontic devices used to straighten or align teeth for patients suffering from malocclusion or other bite abnormalities. These devices apply continuous pressure to the teeth over the entire length of treatment to slowly move them to the desired position so that patients can achieve a straight, properly aligned smile.
Types of braces
Braces may be made of various materials, such as:
- Stainless steel
- Ceramic and are sometimes nearly invisible.
To help make the wearing of braces more fun, patients have a choice of at least 40 different colored elastics. The model below has red and green elastics in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
Are braces painful?
The application of braces is not normally painful and requires no anesthesia. However, most patients report discomfort in the teeth and gums during the first week or two after being fitted with braces. Over-the-counter painkillers can help relieve this pain.
Will I need a tooth extraction?
In many cases, a patient may require one or more tooth extractions to allow the remaining teeth to be aligned correctly. Once the braces have been worn for the appropriate period of time, there will be no visible gaps between teeth.
Braces Before And After
How long will I need braces for?
The length of time braces must be worn varies depending on the extent of correction required. Generally speaking, patients wear braces for 1 to 2 years. In some cases the time could be less, it is necessary for the orthodontist to check the braces regularly, usually every 6 weeks to make any necessary adjustments and evaluate the progress of the teeth.
Recommended care during treatment
It is important that patients wearing braces keep their braces and their teeth clean by thoroughly brushing and flossing with special floss, preferably after every meal. In addition to visiting the orthodontist every 6 weeks, it is also essential that the patient sees a general dentist for a routine check-up.
Braces age limit
There is no age limit to get braces, from children to adults are good candidates. Ideally, children should have an orthodontic exam before they are seven years old in order to catch problems early and to ensure optimal treatment results.
Special care after braces removal
Most patients will need to wear a retainer after braces are removed in order to maintain the new position of the teeth and to prevent further movement. The retainer should be worn at all times for the first 6 months and then only during sleep.
Once treatment is complete, patients can enjoy and take pride in their straight, beautiful smiles.
Schedule a consultation
If you are unsure of whether you need braces or have questions about orthodontics procedure and appliances, Call Sullivan Dental Center today at 225-635-4422 For more information on the best dental procedure for you