Orthodontics can have a huge impact on the health of your smile and your overall well-being. Not only will a straighter smile help you look great, it can also give your immune system a boost, enhance periodontal health, and correct jaw misalignment issues that may be causing problems such as snoring and sleep apnea.
Your orthodontist will examine your teeth, your bite, and your jaws before deciding on the right treatment plan. This will usually involve castings or molds, photographs of your face and mouth, and X-rays.
During treatment, your Orthodontics will place braces on your teeth to slowly move them into position. These can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic square bonds, and are attached to your teeth with wires that guide them into the proper positions. The appliances may be removable or fixed, and they can be placed on your front or back teeth.
The first step in putting on your braces is to have them put on and bonded to your teeth with a dental adhesive, similar to what is used to white fillings. Once the teeth are bonded, they will then be fitted with what is called an orthodontic archwire.
These archwires exert a constant pressure on your teeth and their surrounding tissues as they shift into the correct positions. This pressure causes a process known as bone remodeling, which allows the bones to gradually change their shape to support the new tooth placement.
Once the braces are in position, your orthodontist will make frequent adjustments. These adjustments occur four to eight weeks apart, and the orthodontist will swap out different sets of wires so that your teeth are always being applied with the appropriate amount of pressure.
Most of the time, you will wear your braces for 12 to 24 months. This will be enough time for them to work on correcting your bite and aligning your teeth, but sometimes a bit longer is necessary.
Your orthodontist can also prescribe a retainer to ensure that your teeth stay in the right place after the braces have been removed. This will prevent your teeth from shifting or becoming crooked again.
In addition to making your smile more attractive, orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem and confidence. It can help you to express your emotions more freely, and it will give your friends and family a better impression of you!
Having a bad bite can lead to a number of problems, such as difficulty with chewing and eating, an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, or even injury to the teeth. Often these problems are not obvious, but the orthodontist will be able to spot them.
Malocclusion can also cause depression and poor concentration in school, as well as social isolation and a negative impact on your self-esteem. Some people hide their smiles when they talk or laugh in public, and may become withdrawn from the outside world.
The best way to get orthodontic treatment is early on, as it will be more effective in treating these issues than waiting until they become more serious. This is because the teeth and jaws develop rapidly during childhood, and problems can be hard to detect before they are in a worse position than they should be.