Orthodontic treatment is the original smile makeover tool — and you will be happy to know that you're never too old to take advantage of it. But it isn't all about looks: Properly aligned teeth help you to bite, chew and even speak more effectively. They are also easier to clean, which helps keep your mouth free of tooth decay and gum disease.
Dr. Sidrys does not provide orthodontic treatment and will refer you to a local orthodontic specialist.
Bite Problems and How to Fix Them +
Orthodontic treatment can resolve a number of bite problems, which often become evident by around age 7. These include underbite, crossbite, or excessive overbite, where upper and lower teeth don’t close in the proper position; open bite, where a space remains between top and bottom teeth when the jaws are closed; and crowding or excessive spacing, where teeth are spaced too close together or too far apart.
Orthodontics Is for Children — and Adults +
Having orthodontic treatment in childhood is ideal in order to take advantage of a youngster’s natural growth processes to help move the teeth into proper alignment. Like the rest of the body, the teeth and jaws are now changing rapidly. So at this time, it’s possible (for example) to create more room for teeth in a crowded mouth by using a “palatal expander” to rapidly widen the upper jaw. This phase of growth modification can shorten overall treatment time and ensure the best result if additional orthodontic appliances are needed.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances +
Retention & Post Orthodontic Care +
Wearing a retainer holds your teeth in their new position long enough for new bone and ligament to re-form around them and helps keep your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.
Here are some other advantages of the Invisalign system:
Clear aligner technology has been improving over the years and can correct many malocclusions that once would have been too complicated for this form of treatment.
Your aligner is designed to be worn 22 hours a day, allowing you to take it off for meals or important social occasions. Yet even when you're wearing it, it's pretty hard for anyone else to tell it's there — a big difference from metal braces! Plus, it offers other advantages that aren't so easy to see.
One benefit of aligners over traditional braces is that they make your teeth easier to clean. Because they're removable, there's nothing to keep you from brushing and flossing everywhere in your mouth, just as you would without appliances.
You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day (preferably after meals), for at least two minutes each time. Remember to brush all the tooth surfaces: the outside, the inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. Be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth and between brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped.
You may use an interdental toothbrush or a “water pick” to reach the difficult areas.
Some of the newer, less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult's personal and professional lifestyle.
Types of orthodontic appliances include:
Whether you're starting now or later, the first visit is the best time to ask questions about the process. Topics to discuss include treatment choices, what to expect at the different stages of the process, and any of the following:
When you leave the office, you should have a better understanding of how you can get the best possible smile.
Metal Braces – Typically made of high-grade stainless steel, traditional metal braces remain by far the most common type of fixed orthodontic appliances
Ceramic Braces – They use the same components as traditional braces — except that the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the tooth's natural color.
Lingual Braces – In some situations, special appliances called lingual braces can be placed on the tongue side of the teeth. They work the same way other metal braces do — but even though they’re made of metal, they can’t be seen because they’re hidden behind the teeth themselves!
There are only a few true orthodontic (or dental) emergencies. They include:
In any of these situations, you should seek help as soon as possible — go to an emergency room if that’s your best option.
Essentially, TADS are small, screw-like dental implants made of a titanium alloy. As the name implies, they're temporary — they usually remain in place during some months of treatment, and then they are removed. Their function is to provide a stable anchorage — that is, a fixed point around which other things (namely, teeth) can be moved.
If your child has a thumb or finger-sucking habit that has persisted past the age of 3 and you’ve been unable to tame it, then it may be time for you to visit the dental office for a consultation. A “habit appliance” such as a fixed palatal crib or a removable device may be recommended for your child. This crib isn’t for sleeping — it’s a small metal appliance worn inside the mouth, attached to the upper teeth.
There are several different types of orthodontic headgear, each designed to work best in a specific situation. A treatment program will be designed to address your individual needs and select the most appropriate type of headgear.
You will also be instructed on its use and care. It's important for you to follow instructions carefully so that you can achieve the best results from your treatment.
What do orthodontists do?
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment, or spacing of the teeth and related irregularities in the face and the jaw.
Why should I (or my loved ones) get orthodontic treatment?
There are two good reasons: aesthetics and function. Having an attractive smile not only changes the way people see you — it enhances your own self-image as well.
When should orthodontic treatment be started?
You're never too old to begin orthodontic treatment — but if you start at an earlier age, your problems may be easier to treat.
How can I recognize a potential bite problem?
Teeth that are protruding, crowded together, or erupting out of position are clear indications that treatment is needed. Less obvious signs are mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek or palate, speech difficulties, and thumb sucking that goes past 3-4 years of age.
Does getting braces hurt? What about wearing them?
Having braces put on is generally painless. Some people experience minor aches and pains in the first couple of days or so as they adjust to wearing their appliances. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any discomfort but are usually unnecessary.
How long will treatment take?
It's different for each person, but generally the active stage of treatment (that is, wearing braces or other appliances) may take from 6-30 months.
How often will I come in for an appointment?
It depends on what’s being done and how often you need to be monitored. During active treatment, you’ll typically visit the office once every 4 to 10 weeks.
Will I need to have any teeth extracted?
If your teeth are severely crowded (because your mouth is too small to properly accommodate all of them) or if you have impacted teeth (teeth trapped beneath the gum line by other teeth), extraction may be necessary.
Will I have to watch what I eat?
Yes — you should pass up the types of foods that could damage or become trapped in your braces. You will receive a list of foods to avoid.
Will I be able to play sports/ play my instrument?
In a word: Yes. Of course, whether you wear braces or not, we recommend you wear a mouthguard when playing most sports.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist while I'm getting orthodontic treatment?
You do — in fact, it’s more important than ever! Keeping teeth free of plaque (and potential decay) can be challenging when you’re wearing braces.
Will I wear a retainer when my braces come off?
Almost always, the answer is yes: If you don't wear a retainer, your teeth can rapidly shift out of position — and then all the effort put into your treatment is lost!
Is orthodontic care very expensive?
Orthodontic care is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. Yet its cost hasn't increased as fast as many other consumer prices, and many financing options are available that make orthodontic care affordable.