From the time you hit your pre-teens onward there seems to be a need to look good. Misaligned teeth don’t fit into that picture. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to straightening teeth. Unlike decades ago when metal braces were the only option, today correcting alignment problems can be tackled in several ways depending on the type and severity of the case.
DETERMINING THE NEED FOR BRACES
Regular dental checkups from the first birthday onward can help keep teeth in good condition and in alignment in many cases. Some misalignment is the result of habits kids develop. With regular checkups your child’s dentist can determine if a misalignment problem is in the making and give you advice on how to prevent it. Unfortunately, some misalignment problems are the result of conditions not of anyone’s making or in their control. This can be the case with overcrowding of teeth, or when the jaw bone is too big or too small to accommodate permanent teeth. Misalignment can also occur because of missing teeth. Sometimes teeth are lost because of decay or trauma. Over time adjacent teeth can move out of alignment cause a variety of dental health problems. When problems like these occur, braces may be indicated.
VISITING THE ORTHODONTIST
When your child is diagnosed with misalignment the next step is to decide which type of braces are best suited for correcting the condition. The orthodontist will examine the teeth thoroughly and check the “bite” or how the upper and lower teeth meet or “occlude.” After a thorough examination the orthodontist will make suggestions on when and how to treat the malocclusion. Optimum treatment is on an individual basis. Your orthodontist will discuss the factors which will determine the best time for beginning treatment for your child.
ADULTS AND BRACES
Correcting misalignment isn’t just for children. Many adults are having their teeth straightened to enhance their smile. Your orthodontist will make suggestions on the best method to straighten your teeth effectively. Some types of braces may be more effective than others on older orthodontic patients. You will need to wear a retainer after treatment to keep your teeth in their new position.
TYPES OF BRACES
There are several types of braces used in orthodontics. Traditional braces with wires and brackets are used in certain situations and to treat particularly difficult cases of misalignment. There are plastic aligners which are often used to treat less severe cases and minor malocclusion with anterior teeth. Lingual braces are sometimes used for moving teeth discreetly. These are similar to traditional braces with the exception that the wires and brackets are on the back side of the teeth, so they are virtually hidden from view. Straightening misaligned teeth has evolved over the decades. Your orthodontist will discuss the assorted options suited to your situation. At The Smile Artisans, we help all ages achieve their best smile. Contact us for more information about braces and how we can help you achieve a beautiful, straight smile.