If you find you often avoid smiling when your picture is taken because you’re embarrassed by your teeth, or if you have a bad bite or irregular spacing, you may want to set up an appointment with an orthodontist to see if you’d benefit from orthodontic treatment.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics helps address improperly positioned teeth and jaws. The goal behind orthodontic treatment is creating straight teeth and a healthy bite (when your teeth meet the opposite jaw’s opposing teeth properly). It’s easier for you to speak, bite and chew when you have a good bite.
Teeth that don’t properly fit together or crooked teeth:
Are more difficult to clean.
Cause extra stress on your muscles that do your chewing (can cause TMJ syndrome, headaches and shoulder, neck and back pain).
Are at a risk of falling out due to periodontal disease and tooth decay.
When your teeth are not in place correctly or are crooked, it can also detract from your appearance.
Reasons to See an Orthodontist?
Only your orthodontist can know for sure if you’d benefit from orthodontic treatment. However, you could be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment if you experience any of these conditions:
Overbite (buck teeth): Your top front teeth are sticking out (lie too far forward) over your bottom teeth.
Crossbite: Your top teeth don’t come slightly down in front of your bottom teeth when you bite them together normally.
Underbite: You have a “bulldog” look where your bottom teeth are too far forward or your top teeth are too far back.
Open bite: When your back teeth bite together, you have a space between your side and/or front teeth biting surfaces.
Spacing issues: Spaces or gaps between your teeth because of teeth that don’t fill your mouth up or from missing teeth
Misplaced midline: When the center of your top front teeth don’t line up with the center of your bottom front teeth.
Crowding: When you have too many teeth that the dental ridge can’t accommodate.
If you recognize any of the above concerns, it might be time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist.
Types of Orthodontics Services
There are various types of appliances that fall under fixed and removable. These are used to help retrain muscles, move teeth and affect jaw growth. They place slight pressure on your jaws and teeth. The orthodontic approach the orthodontist will take will depend on how severe your issue is and which approach will likely be most efficient.
Some types of orthodontic treatment include:
Fixed Orthodontics Devices
Braces consist of wires, brackets and bands. The bands are firmly fixed around your teeth, serving as anchors for your appliance. The brackets connect to the front of your teeth. Wires go through the brackets and connect to the bands. Tension is applied to your teeth as the archwire tightens, moving your teeth into the right position over time.
You visit the dentist monthly to have the braces tightened or adjusted. The length of treatment will depend on the severity of your misaligned teeth, but could last anywhere from a few months to a few years. You have a choice between colored or clear braces.
2. Fixed Space Maintainers
A space maintainer can help if your child has lost a baby tooth prematurely. It helps keep the space between the other teeth open until their new tooth comes in. The dentist attaches the band to the tooth that’s next to the gap and extends a wire to their tooth on the opposite side of the space.
3. Special Fixed Appliances
Appliances that help with tongue thrusting or to control children’s thumb sucking. They’re attached by bands to the teeth. Since they can be uncomfortable during meals, they’re often a last resort.
Removable Orthodontics Devices
Invisalign aligners are an alternative to traditional metal braces and are clear. They’re nearly invisible. The orthodontist will evaluate your teeth and discuss the Invisalign treatment with you. They’ll begin by taking quick, precise digital scans and then map out a customized treatment plan for you.
This is a strap placed around the back of your head the orthodontist attaches to a wire in the face bow or front. It helps slow down the growth of your upper jaw and pulls back on your front teeth while keeping your back teeth in position.
Retainers help stop teeth after treatment from moving back to their first position. They may even help with thumb sucking, if modified.
4. Jaw Repositioning Appliances or Splints
The orthodontist places these either in our lower or top jaw. They’re used for helping your jaw properly close. Splints are often used for TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder which is a disorder that causes dysfunction and pain in your muscles involved in jaw movement.
Regardless of your treatment approach, it’s essential you follow both the oral hygiene guidelines and the orthodontist’s instructions with care so you have the best possible outcome.
Schedule an Orthodontic Appointment with Southern Oaks Dental Care
At Southern Oaks Dental Care, our orthodontist will conduct a comprehensive exam of your mouth and teeth, review your dental records like photos, X-rays and models of your teeth. From this information, we’ll develop a customized treatment plan. Your teeth could last a lifetime with orthodontic treatment and good care. Working closely with our orthodontist, orthodontic treatment can provide outstanding results in improved appearance, better function (chewing, biting, speaking) and increased self-esteem.
At Southern Oak Dental, we put you, our patient, first. We opt for the easiest solutions that will get you back to living your life as fast as possible. If you’re seeking a Beaumont, TX orthodontist, give us a call at 409-835-6257 or complete our online form to set up your appointment.
We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Contact our friendly team today to find out more about how we can help you.