Orthodontics is the dental branch that corrects the alignment of teeth that are inappropriately positioned
Clogged teeth are harder to clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and can cause additional stress on masticatory muscles that can lead to headache, dysfunctional joint syndrome, and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are strained and not in the right place can also affect facial aesthetics.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more enjoyable look, and the teeth that have the best chances of living a life.
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How do I know if I need orthodontics?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine if you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a complete history of medical and dental health, a clinical exam, gypsum models, radiographs and special photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics is recommended and develop a suitable treatment plan for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite (deep occlusion) – if the top teeth are in front of the bottom
- Underbite – a “bulldog” look where the lower teeth are too back or the teeth up too back
- Crossbite – when your teeth do not descend slightly in front of your lower teeth
- Openbite – when some of the teeth do not touch even though the mouth is closed
- The middle line – when the center of the upper front teeth does not align with the center of the lower front teeth
- Spacing – Gaps or spaces between teeth due to lack of teeth or teeth too small
- Crowding, cramping – when there are too many teeth or they have too much volume
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Many types of devices, both fixed and detachable, are used to help tooth movement, muscle adaptation and modulation of jaw growth. These devices work by placing a slight pressure on teeth and jaws. The gravity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is probably the most effective.
Fixed devices include:
- Brackets – the most common fixed devices. Brackets are attached to the teeth and are used as anchor for the device. Tightening the arc wire places the tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to the correct position.
- Special fixtures – used to control finger tipping or pushing the tongue, these devices are attached to the teeth. Because I am very inconvenient during meals, they should only be used as a last resort.
Removable devices include:
- Aligners – an alternative to adult brackets, the series alignments are used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move the teeth in the same way that fixed devices work, only without metallic threads and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed to eat and brush.
- The jaw repositioning devices – also called splinters – are either worn on the upper or lower jaw and help the jaw to close in a more favorable position. These can be used for temporomandibular joint disorders.