Orthodontic appliances can be fixed or removable. Fixed orthodontic appliances are often called braces. Orthodontics can straighten teeth, helping to improve appearance, but not everyone is aware of the benefits offered to dental health. Braces and other orthodontic appliances can be used to correct the appearance, position and function of misaligned teeth. This can make it easier to brush and floss your teeth, reducing the risk of problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
The forces created during biting and chewing will be distributed more evenly amongst correctly aligned teeth, so there is less chance of one or more teeth becoming broken or fractured due to too much stress being placed on them. Orthodontics also helps reduce the risk of wear and tear to your temporomandibular joints which are the joints responsible for moving your lower jaw. Problems with these joints can result in a disorder called TMJ.
Who May Need Orthodontic Treatment?
You may need orthodontic treatment if your teeth or jaws don’t develop normally and your teeth don’t meet together correctly; in some cases this can affect your facial profile, impacting self-esteem and self-confidence. However you don’t need to have extensive problems with your bite to benefit from braces as nowadays orthodontics can also be used to reposition only a few teeth in the mouth using what are sometimes called cosmetic braces that focus on moving teeth visible when smiling and talking.
Orthodontic Treatment for Children
It is recommended children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 6 or 7 or possibly even sooner. This is because sometimes early orthodontics can help correct problems that would otherwise require more extensive treatment at a later stage through making maximum use of growth spurts at this time. Treatment at this time can help correct problems caused by thumb sucking or other oral habits, or we can supply appliances to help break these habits.
Suitable for Adults
In the past orthodontics used to be confined to children and teenagers but nowadays it is becoming far more common for adults to wear braces. While fixed braces are still very popular and can often use clear or ceramic brackets and tooth coloured wires, removable braces such as Invisalign can provide a nearly invisible form of treatment using clear plastic aligners that can be taken out for eating and cleaning.