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Everything Need to Know About Orthodontic Dental Treatments


A picture of a dental specialist filing clear aligners.

Orthodontic treatments can improve the appearance of your smile, enhance oral health, and improve bite function. If you struggle with bite problems or crowded teeth, you may be a good candidate for orthodontic dental treatments. Read on as we cover everything you need to know about orthodontic dental treatments—from traditional braces to clear aligners and more.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting the alignment and positioning of teeth and jaws. It involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, including malocclusion (improper bites), overcrowding, and misaligned teeth.

This can improve not only the appearance of a person's smile, but also their overall oral health by making it easier to clean teeth and reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

It is typically recommended for children and teenagers as their teeth and jaws are still developing, but it can also be beneficial for adults. A qualified orthodontist is trained to evaluate a patient's individual needs and develop a personalized treatment plan to achieve optimal results.


Examples of Orthodontics Treatment

Given below are some different types of orthodontic treatments available that can help you have perfect teeth.


Braces

Braces are used to correct malocclusion and other dental and facial irregularities. They consist of brackets, wires, and other components that are attached to the teeth and used to apply gentle, continuous pressure to move them into their proper positions. Here is a step-by-step overview of how braces work.


A  black-and-white picture of a person wearing braces.
Initial Consultation

The first step in getting braces is to schedule an initial consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth and jaws, take x-rays and photographs, and discuss your treatment options with you.


Bracket Placement

If you decide to proceed with braces, the orthodontist will schedule an appointment to place the brackets on your teeth. The brackets are typically made of metal or ceramic and are bonded to the front or back surfaces of your teeth using a special dental adhesive.


Wire Placement

After the brackets have been attached, the orthodontist will thread a thin wire through them and secure it in place with small elastic bands or other types of clips.


Adjustments

Over time, the orthodontist will need to make adjustments to the wires and bands to gradually shift your teeth into their intended positions. This typically involves tightening or loosening the wires and replacing the elastic bands.


Retainer Placement

Once your teeth have been moved into their correct positions, the orthodontist will remove the braces and fit you with a retainer. A retainer is a custom-made device that is worn to help maintain the new position of your teeth and prevent them from shifting back.


Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are used to correct malocclusions and other dental and facial irregularities. Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners use a series of clear, removable trays to gradually shift teeth into their intended positions.

Let’s further delve into how clear aligners work.

Treatment Plan

If you decide to proceed with clear aligners, the orthodontist will use specialized computer software to create a customized treatment plan for you. This involves using 3D imaging technology to create a series of clear aligner trays that are designed to gradually move your teeth into their proper positions.


Aligner Fitting

Once your treatment plan has been created, the orthodontist will fit you with your first set of clear aligners. Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks before being replaced with the next set in the series.


Aligner Changes

Over time, you will need to change your aligners on a regular basis to continue the process of gradually shifting your teeth into their proper positions. Your orthodontist will provide you with a schedule for changing your aligners, as well as instructions on how to care for them.


Retainers

Retainers are used to maintain the position of teeth after orthodontic treatment has been completed. They are typically custom-made from molds of a patient's teeth and are worn over a period of time to prevent teeth from shifting back into their previous positions.


Fitting

If you have completed orthodontic treatment and your teeth have been moved into their proper positions, the orthodontist will take molds of your teeth to create a custom-fitted retainer. The retainer may be made of plastic or wire, depending on your individual needs.


Wear Schedule

Once your retainer has been fitted, the orthodontist will provide you with instructions on how to wear it. This may involve wearing the retainer for a certain number of hours each day, or wearing it only at night while you sleep.


Palate Expanders

Palate expanders, also known as rapid maxillary expanders, are orthodontic devices that are used to widen the upper jaw. They are typically used to correct issues such as a narrow palate, overcrowding of teeth, and bite problems. Read on to know in detail how palate expanders work:


Fitting

If a palate expander is deemed appropriate for your case, the orthodontist will fit you with the device. The palate expander consists of metal bands that are attached to the molars in the upper jaw, with a wire running between them that sits against the roof of the mouth.


Activation

Once the palate expander is in place, the orthodontist will begin the activation process. This involves using a special key to turn a small screw located in the center of the expander. Each turn of the screw will cause the metal bands to gradually move apart, widening the upper jaw.


Advantages of Orthodontics

Orthodontics offers many advantages, both cosmetic and functional. Here are some of the key benefits of orthodontic treatment.


Improved Appearance

One of the most obvious advantages is that it can help to improve the appearance of your smile. Braces, clear aligners, and other orthodontic appliances can be used to straighten teeth, close gaps, and correct bite problems, resulting in a more attractive smile.


Better Oral Health

It can also improve oral health. Crooked or crowded teeth can be difficult to clean properly, which can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening teeth can make it easier to brush and floss effectively, improving overall oral health.


Enhanced Bite Function

Bite problems such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite can cause problems with chewing, speech, and jaw function. Orthodontic treatment can correct various issues, improving bite function and reducing the risk of long-term complications such as jaw pain and TMJ disorders.


Preventative Care

This treatment can also be used as a preventative measure to address potential orthodontic problems before they become more serious. This can help to reduce the need for more extensive treatment later on and improve the overall health of the teeth and jaws.


Increased Confidence

Straightening teeth can also help to boost self-confidence and self-esteem. People who are self-conscious about their smile may feel more comfortable smiling, speaking, and interacting with others after orthodontic treatment.

If you're ready to transform your smile, contact The Family Dental Center today to learn more about our orthodontic dental treatments. Our experienced team can help you achieve a healthier, more confident smile that lasts a lifetime. Don't wait—contact us now and schedule your appointment and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.

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