Why you might need orthodontic treatment
If your child experiences any of the following:
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Crowding, misplaced, protruding, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
- Speech difficulty
- Problems resulting from biting into a cheek or the palate (roof of the mouth)
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- A facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
An orthodontic appliance is prescribed based on a patient’s age and his or her teeth and jaw alignment needs. There is a wide range of available orthodontic appliances. Each appliance has several techniques for treatment use. While dental braces are the most universally known, only an Orthodontist can prescribe the appliance and restorative technique that is right for you.
Types of Braces
The most commonly known orthodontic treatment is braces: an orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. Braces can be prescribed for teens, adults, and children who have permanent teeth. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances prescribed to widen the palate or jaws or to shape the teeth and jaws. The average treatment time for braces is just over two years, but treatment time varies by the individual patient.
There are two major types of braces: fixed and removable. If you are a candidate for braces, our Orthodontist will recommend the type best suited for you.
After reviewing your dental x-rays and performing a thorough exam of your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure, and any pre-existing dental work, our Orthodontist will recommend a treatment plan and answer your questions. If your agreed-upon treatment plan is for traditional braces:
- You and our Orthodontist will decide upon conventional or self-ligating braces
- Each tooth that will receive the brace has its front surface prepared so it can receive a bracket
- Bonding and composite material are used to hold the small metal bracket to the tooth
- A special light is projected onto the bracketed teeth to harden the composite material.
- Metal bands are placed on your first molar and archwires are threaded through the brackets
- If you receive conventional braces, either elastic or metal ligatures will be added. If you receive self-ligating braces, no ligatures are used.
During the first week after being fitted with braces, or after having your braces adjusted by the Orthodontist, your teeth may hurt.
This generally subsides within a week. Typically, discomfort can be managed with the use of an over-the-counter analgesic used according to the package label.
After the recommended treatment period, our Orthodontist will remove the braces and give you a retainer to wear for a prescribed time. The retainer helps keep your teeth from moving back to their original position.