What is ‘Orthodontics’?
While many will have heard of an orthodontist and will know that there is an association between this and the dentist, some may be unaware of precisely what orthodontics is. It’s vital for us to seek dental and orthodontic treatment if we have problems with our teeth, but knowing what type of treatment you’re likely going to require before you visit your dentist can be beneficial. To help you understand what orthodontics is and the types of treatments that fall under this category, we’ve put together this handy guide to explain everything to you.
Simply put, orthodontic treatments are used to rectify the misalignment of teeth and correct any issues with the teeth that prevent them from biting correctly. An orthodontist will be able to provide you with specially made aligners, mouth guards, braces, and retainers to help reverse the impact of dental overcrowding and even realign the jaw and teeth so that your bite is straightened. This all helps improve quality of life both physically and mentally, as our dental health can enormously impact our overall wellness. A misaligned smile can be a source of pain, discomfort, anxiety, and self-esteem issues if left untreated.
Finding A Good Dentist
While your location will impact this option, finding the best possible dentist and orthodontist for you is ideal. Where possible, find a dentist with recognised accolades as well as good reviews from patients to make sure you’ve got a good chance of quality treatment. A good dentist will be able to identify any serious issues early on and have the foresight to notice potential problems in the future. Don’t neglect to take the time to find a good dentist, as having one at hand ready to handle treatments, whether they’re emergencies or not, is ideal. Needing a dentist when you currently have a dental problem will slow down the process of finding treatment. After all, it’s better to have a dentist and not need one than need one and not have one.
The Importance Of Check-Ups
Regular check-ups are vital to your dental health. Preventing problems is a much better course of action than fixing them, and for your dentist or orthodontist to be able to avoid these problems, they’ll need to do a check-up first. Visiting your dentist and hygienist is very important as they will be able to spot any issues and decide what sort of treatment you require. They will then refer you to an orthodontics if you need help with the realignment of your teeth.
When Do People Have Orthodontic Treatment?
As an adult, the chances are that any interaction you have with an orthodontist will be when taking your children to see them. Most of these problems arise throughout childhood, and tackling these problems early on is much better. While this is the most common time for people to receive orthodontist care, adults still can receive treatment, no matter their age, but the treatments available to them may be slightly more limited. Often a dentist will refer you to an Orthodontist if required.
You’ll need to make sure you’re currently looking after your teeth as best as you can before undergoing this type of treatment. If not, your dentist will assess what changes you need to make and assist you in achieving better oral hygiene levels. This is because many orthodontic treatments can often increase our chances of developing further issues (temporarily suring treatment) like gum diseases and tooth decay – because the teeth can be harder to clean.
Much of the time, especially for children, ‘train tracks’ are the primary choice for orthodontic care. This is a metal frame affixed to the teeth and gently manipulates them into alignment. They are a great way to make teeth straighter and can help to reduce the risk of further dental issues occurring. Clear braces are another great way to straighten your teeth as a more aesthetic option. You can also have fixed metal braces on the inside of your teeth so you cant see them.
This is a popular choice among adults that require teeth straightening treatment. In fact, one of the main reasons that adults opt for this is related to the fact that braces can have an effect on our appearance and self-esteem. Invisalign is a clear aligner that is fitted over your teeth. The process of Invisalign treatment isn’t complicated, but it is a gradual treatment that can last months-years. This thin yet sturdy device is very difficult to notice and can help to straighten your teeth over time without it being obvious. People that spend a lot of time meeting others and speaking during their work will often choose to use Invisalign as it’s unintrusive and difficult to see compared to metal braces. This aligner can also be removed, although you shouldn’t do this too often. It’s fine to remove when eating and to clean your teeth but should be swiftly refitted once you are finished.
These are used after the treatment of braces and aligners. They are used to retain the shape of your teeth once you’ve finished straightening treatment. These robust plastic guards prevent teeth from returning to their original shape, as this would require the treatment to be started all over again. Retainers allow your teeth to get used to their new positioning, and this means that they usually have to be worn for the same amount of time as your braces and aligner, at least for the first few months. Eventually, your orthodontist will decide when it’s time to start reducing the time you need to wear your retainer, and this can decrease to just wearing it while you sleep.