Orthodontics is the practice of straightening teeth. When teeth are crooked, crowded or misaligned, orthodontic treatment is used to achieve an occlusion, or perfect bite. Through various orthodontic appliances, pressure is continuously applied to move teeth into the correct position.
Since so few of us actually have perfectly aligned smiles, just about everyone can benefit from an orthodontic exam. It is highly recommended that your children receive an orthodontic consultation by the age of 7.
No matter what age you are, orthodontics can help just about anyone! Orthodontics may be easier for children and teens, as their jaws are still developing and teeth are easier to move. But for adults who suffer from a malocclusion, or imperfect bite, it's never too late to seek orthodontic treatment.
Today's braces are very different from just 10 or 20 years ago. Gone are the days of the full metal mouth, and many orthodontic patients can achieve a smile with little discomfort.
For traditional and ceramic braces, brackets are cemented to the front of your teeth. Orthodontic bands help hold the brackets in place, and arch wires are placed through the brackets. Wires are usually adjusted every month to guide teeth in the right direction. Other orthodontic appliances, such as rubber bands, springs and headgear are also used to move teeth.
You may experience some soreness after the placement of dental braces and following adjustments, but it usually subsides quickly.
The Invisalign braces system uses a series of clear, removable aligners. The biomechanics of Invisalign are exactly the same as traditional metal dental braces. The series of custom-made aligners press directly on the teeth to exert pressure and gradually move them into place.
An Invisalign Certified Orthodontist/Dentist evaluates and creates a treatment program, which includes:
- A CT scan of your teeth
- An approximation of the movement of your teeth by CAD (Computer Aided Design)
- A review of your treatment plan and modifications, if necessary
- Molds of your teeth at each stage of treatment
- The creation of your Invisalign aligners
- Wearing each aligner for about two weeks
Only you and the dentist or orthodontist can decide if Invisalign is right for you. The nature of your teeth, the degree of work that will be required and your lifestyle are all taken into account. If the sheer unsightly look of metal in your mouth has kept you out of braces, there is hope! Straighter teeth make for easier cleanings and a healthier mouth.