Teeth that are positioned improperly are harder to keep clean, possibly leading to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. An improper bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing, and excessive stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on aligning your teeth and jaws to improve the health and appearance of your smile. Your orthodontist can treat many different issues, including teeth that are overlapping or crooked, teeth that stick out too far, an incorrect bite, and a jaw that is not aligned properly. Orthodontic treatment can improve your oral health as well as the appearance of your smile. At our practice, we also offer clear aligners to correct many orthodontic issues, but we also offer traditional braces and other orthodontic treatments. We recommend scheduling a consultation to determine which treatment is right for you. During your consultation, we can assess the health of your mouth and determine the best course of treatment for your needs.
Benefits of Orthodontics
While orthodontics can benefit people of all ages, many individuals are choosing to receive orthodontic treatment as adults. Whether you’ve always had a gap or misalignment in your teeth or you recently began to realize that your smile isn’t aligned with your goals for function and appearance, you can work with your dentist to create a treatment plan that works for you. Some of the benefits of adult orthodontic treatment include the following:
- Improved Oral Health: Orthodontic treatment can help address a number of oral health concerns, such as crooked teeth. When your teeth are crooked, it can be difficult to brush and floss them properly. This can lead to plaque buildup, which can cause cavities and gum disease. Additionally, a smile that isn’t aligned can make chewing and eating uncomfortable.
- Better Confidence: According to a report from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, about 72 percent of adults think that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success. If you have an uneven smile, it can make you hesitant to smile and can cause you to shy away from social and professional events. Fortunately, there are many types of orthodontic treatment available that can give you the straighter and more beautiful smile that you are looking for.
- Better jaw alignment: In addition to improving the appearance of your smile, some forms of orthodontic treatment can also help with issues like TMJ disorder so that you can maintain healthy jaw alignment as well. This can boost your self-esteem and make you want to smile more often.
- Comfort: Traditional metal braces can be painful to wear, particularly when they are first applied. This discomfort can continue throughout your treatment and can result in difficulty eating certain types of food or even trouble while speaking. Clear aligners are designed to be much more comfortable than traditional braces and are removable,
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Braces, aligners, and retainers are all designed to move your teeth into a straighter position over time. The amount of time needed to wear braces or other orthodontic appliances varies from patient to patient based on their unique case. In the majority of cases, patients wear braces for one to two years, though treatments can last for up to five years in extremely complicated cases. Clear aligners offer a more discreet option for orthodontic treatment. However, the treatment may take between six and 18 months to complete.