…and you’ll be happy to know that you're never too old to take advantage of it. With significant advances in orthodontics, there’s an appliance available to meet everyone’s individual needs, helping them to attain straighter teeth.
How Do Ortho Appliances Work?
The amazing thing about orthodontics is that it harnesses the body's natural ability to remodel its own tissue.
Teeth aren't fixed rigidly in their supporting bone. Instead, they're held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament, which is very responsive to forces placed on the teeth.
Orthodontic appliances move our dentition by careful application of light, constant pressure, gently reshaping the bone and repositioning our bite.
Benefits of Orthodontics vs. Other Cosmetic Dentistry Options
When considering your options to straighten your teeth, you may be offered treatments other than an orthodontic route.
Some common cosmetic dentistry treatments are bonding, veneers, dental crowns, and bridges, or even implants. While all of these may be possible, they work better for patients who want their teeth to be more aesthetically pleasing. These methods provide a nicer looking smile, but they require irreversible contouring to your natural teeth.
What if your teeth are already a nice size and shape? Maybe they could just benefit from being whiter and straighter. In this case, orthodontics, in combination with bleaching, is a perfect option.
During your consultation we’ll do a thorough exam, address all of your concerns, and make our recommendations. Working together, we can help you decide which option is best for you and we’ll help you attain the goals you have set for your new smile.
Benefits of Properly Aligned Teeth
Having a straight smile isn’t all about the looks. Properly aligned teeth have other benefits.
- Easier to clean
Slanted and crooked teeth can be impossible to floss and brush. When our teeth are straight, it’s easier to keep them clean. This helps to prevent issues like tooth decay, and gum disease.
- Fixing Bite Problems
A misaligned bite can mean you’re putting too much pressure on certain areas. This can cause problems like wear, grinding, clenching and jaw pain. Straightening your teeth puts them in the proper biting position. Orthodontic treatments can resolve a number of bite issues, which often become evident by around the age of 7.
Common Bite Problems Include:
- Underbite: Your lower front teeth are in front of your upper teeth. This is usually a jaw problem which causes pain and should be corrected.
- Crossbite: With your teeth together, you see that some of your upper teeth are sitting behind your lower teeth, and others aren’t.
- Excessive overbite (deep bite): When together, your upper front teeth are positioned in front of your lower front teeth. An overbite is normal but if the top teeth cover the majority of the bottom ones, this is called a deep bite. This condition causes a lot of wear.
- Open bite: An opening remains between the top and bottom front teeth when the jaws are closed. This is most commonly seen in patients that were thumb suckers for a long period of time.
- Crowding: The teeth are too close together and are often slanted or crooked. In this case, they’re hard to clean and can develop decay more easily. Gum infections can also occur, leading to periodontal disease.
- Excessive spacing: Teeth are gapped, or too far apart. Again, this can make them hard to clean.
Types of Orthodontic Treatments
Some examples of orthodontic appliances are traditional metal braces, inconspicuous clear or tooth-colored braces, and clear aligners such as Invisalign.
When you imagine someone wearing braces, you probably picture small metal brackets bonded to the front of the teeth, with a thin wire running through them. This time-tested style remains very popular — but it's no longer the only option. Clear braces use brackets made of ceramic or plastic, which except for the slim archwire, are hardly visible.
Removable clear aligners such as Invisalign, are an alternative to fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth exactly; each one moves your teeth a little bit until they are in the proper position.
If during your consultation we determine that you would, in fact, benefit most from orthodontics, we will discuss which form is best for you.