What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatments work by using appliances, braces, and aligners to move teeth that are crooked or that do not fit together right. By fixing these problems, orthodontics can also help keep your mouth healthy.
Why do we need braces or orthodontic appliances?
- Not everyone is gifted with a Hollywood smile.
- For some, the size of the jaw is larger than the teeth size â€“ resulting in teeth with spaces.
- For those whom the jaw size is smaller, the teeth happen to be crowded or overlapping.
- This also occurs due to childhood decay which might have resulted in the loss of space.
- For some with mouth breathing habits (due to deviated nasal septum or chronic allergies) â€“ the face seems to belong
- For some the teeth are forwardly placed â€“ it may have been a result of habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. They may not be able to close their lips fully. This may also result in an open bite where the front teeth do not meet together.
- Whatever the problem, it can be corrected and set right through some appliances and braces. The science of “straightening your teeth” is called orthodontics and the doctor who corrects it is called an “orthodontist”
Why should you go for braces or aligners
- Teeth that are overlapping and “ crowded” are harder to clean, putting you at risk for cavities and gum disease.
- Many times the overlapping teeth cause decay in the adjacent tooth too
- Teeth that are protruding are often prone to injuries
- Spacing in between teeth leads to early bone loss, and loss of support for the teeth, they are often lost earlier
- Jaw growth discrepancies may affect the jaw joint (TMJ) causing a chronic pain or Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
- Teeth alignment problems cause decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
- So these malaligned â€“ improperly arranged teeth can cause health problems, therefore, it is necessary to get
- them aligned and the sooner it is done the better
Teeth alignment also affect the facial appearance.
When should treatment begin?
Normally the orthodontic treatment is begun between the ages 10 and 14. This is when a child’s head and mouth are still growing and teeth are easier to straighten, treatment duration will be 8 months to 16 months based upon the severity of the condition. Certain jaw growth problems can be handled simply in mixed dentition period before the permanent teeth erupt â€“ hence the treatment can begin at eth age of 6!
But it’s can be done at any age â€“ better late than never.
In some children with mouthbreathing habits, thumb sucking â€“ the habits can be broken with orthodontic appliances.
Types of Braces
There are different types of braces. The most common are metal or ceramic braces attached to the front surface of the teeth. “Lingual” braces attach to the back of teeth. They are hidden from view.