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Orthodontics

Orthodontics describes the practice of straightening misaligned teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work
Girl during an appointment with her orthodontist
Girl during an appointment with her orthodontist

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry which addresses the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws. It also address the misaligned bite patterns and the modification of facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics. By spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth it helps to look after the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints. Abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is very common.

Did you know that the term “orthodontics” can be broken down into two Greek words – “orthos” meaning straight or correct and “dontics” meaning teeth? As mentioned before, that’s because Orthodontics describes the practice of straightening misaligned teeth or malocclusions to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. So our dentists who specialize in orthodontics are able to help manage abnormal positioning of the teeth, jaws and face.

Why should I have an orthodontic treatment?

As we all know, a lot of people have crowded or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. Therefore it can improve your appearance and the way the teeth bite together while also making them easier to clean. Not only does it have additional benefits over improving cosmetic appearance, it also improves self esteem and reduces the risk of dental caries occurring due to the collection of food particles between the teeth.

Furthermore, orthodontics reduces the risk of gum injury and trauma due to overbites and malocclusions, and improves function of teeth including better chewing and clearer pronunciation and speech. In addition, when your teeth don’t meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw. As a result you may experience jaw and joint problems as well as headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.

At what age should I have an orthodontic treatment?

The answer is: it depends! It is true that the majority of growing children would benefit from orthodontic treatment but

there are several factors that we take intro consideration before making a decision. Before starting an orthodontic treatment for your child there are three important things you should know:

The first molars are the first permanent teeth which grow behind the very last baby molars. While the front teeth, also known as central incisors are the first teeth to replace baby teeth.

Usually, most of the children get their full set of permanent teeth around age 12-13.

Last but not least, it’s worth noting that the child’s age is not always an accurate indicator of dental development. So, some children develop and grow their teeth quickly while others do not. You can see a 9 year-old child with a full set of permanent teeth as well as a 15 year-old with several baby teeth in his/her mouth. There are a variety of causes for delayed dental development and in most cases they are not a concern as long as permanent teeth grow eventually.

Age is less important than having the right number of teeth.

Did you know that adults can have orthodontic treatment too? More and more adults are doing so. On the other hand, in children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment. That’s one of the reasons why orthodontic treatment for younger children is not always recommended. 

Nevertheless, even when we do not recommend treatment at this age, we can observe and monitor your child’s dental growth until he/she is ready for orthodontic treatment. We call this process “the growth guidance” and we offer it at our ClassDent office on a regular basis until your child is ready for braces.

The best age for orthodontic treatment is right before your child loses his/her last set of baby molars, which, of course varies, but is usually between 12-14 years old for most children. Keep in mind that if you start the treatment too early it may result in longer treatment duration and potentially more negative consequences.  Too early means that there are too many baby teeth present. In opposition, if you start the treatment too late then certain treatment options that rely on jaw growth will be more difficult and sometimes impossible without jaw surgery. Do you want to avoid these issues? Don’t hesitate to see our orthodontist on a regular basis for growth guidance. We will guide you to start a treatment at the right time if it’s needed.

Remember that early orthodontic treatment is often referred to as Phase I orthodontic treatment. This indicates that Phase II treatment will be needed once most or all permanent teeth grow. As a result your child will wear braces for a longer time, no matter the fact that you’re increasing the cost and potential side effects of orthodontic treatment. That’s why early orthodontic treatment should be avoided unless there is a clear indication for it.

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What do braces feel like?

Are you wondering what braces feel like? Braces are a foreign object and for sure there will be some discomfort. It’s true that the first several days of wearing them will be the most uncomfortable. Your teeth might feel achy as the alignment process begins and you may feel steady pressure from the wires. However the pain is not severe, but it can certainly be annoying and disruptive. So usually all braces take some getting used to.

The good news is that you’ll get used to your braces over time.

It is also worth noting that not everyone experiences braces the same way. Patients who are not thrilled about their orthodontic treatment will see them like an unwanted sentence and any discomfort they experience can be intensified by their reluctance.

On the other hand, patients who are excited about their braces, have a more optimistic viewpoint. They know the braces won’t feel natural, but it’s all good. The end is worth the means. So remember, a little suffering is a small price to pay. When you’re done with your orthodontic treatment you’ll end up with a gorgeous, straight smile.

How long do braces take?

Many of our patients ask this question during the initial consultation. Adults are especially concerned about the amount of time they need to wear braces. It is very important to understand that the amount of time you wear braces or aligners will vary based on your treatment needs. So it varies significantly from one patient to another. However your behaviors can also impact the duration. Try to make sure you follow our orthodontist’s advice and work on maintaining healthy habits while wearing braces. As a result, this is going to contribute to the effectiveness of your treatment plan and help avoid additional months with braces.

 

Usually, it takes about 24 months to complete an orthodontic treatment but there are patients who require less than 12 months. On the other hand, there are also patients requiring up to 3 years of treatment before their teeth reach the desired position.

Each patient’s mouth is unique so we cannot tell you with certainty the exact duration of treatment for your specific case. However we can explain to you the factors that influence the amount of time you’ll need to wear dental braces.

Did you know that orthodontic treatment over 20 years ago involved almost routine teeth extractions? This increased treatment time. Today we try to avoid extracting teeth where possible. If you are requiring orthodontic treatment now have several options. There’s conventional metal braces which are made from stainless steel (making this system very strong and robust), ceramic braces, as well as clear braces.

However, ceramic braces and clear aligners, look nicer than metal braces. Traditional stainless steel and cosmetic ceramic braces, can gain results faster and they can be adjusted. Clear plastic aligners can take longer as the change between each fortnightly tray can only be minor.

Teens and children tend to get results faster than adults because their jaws are still growing. As a result their teeth are easier to manipulate. However, this doesn’t mean all adults need to wear braces for two years or more as there are a lot of other factors that affect the length of treatment.

If you are an orthodontic patient it is very important to follow all instructions provided by our orthodontist. We will help you to ensure a successful treatment. The instructions might includes maintaining proper oral hygiene, keeping your dental appointments and use your orthodontic appliance as directed. Our orthodontist won’t know how your teeth will respond to braces until you have been to the first couple of appointments. We all know that everyone is different. There are people who have teeth that move into the desired position quickly and efficiently while others don’t respond as well.

Is It Possible to Reduce the Amount of Time Needed to Wear Braces?

Yes that is possible. Here at The ClassDent, we are happy to offer Propel Technology to our patients which helps teeth move faster into their desired position.

This results in significantly reduced treatment times. Such an innovative technology ensures that the treatment is effective and fast no matter which brace you choose. On the other hand, it’s essential to keep your braces on the entire length of the treatment time. We understand that people want their orthodontic treatment finished as soon as possible.

Following ClassDent orthodontist’s advice will ensure treatment time doesn’t extend unnecessarily. As mentioned before, patients should practice proper eating habits while wearing braces. So you will have to try to avoid sticky or hard food like gum, corn, popcorn, hard pretzels or chips and most candy, as this can improve the treatment time. Broken or missing brackets can stretch out the time required for treatment.

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