Your teeth play many important roles in your mouth. Along with biting and chewing, the teeth aid in proper speech and provide you with a gorgeous, confident smile. If you have crooked teeth, all of their functions, your oral health, and your quality of life, can suffer. At Ford Dental Group, we can provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need to straighten your teeth, improving your oral health and your smile, with orthodontics.
The Effects Of Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth can have several significant impacts on your life. One of the most obvious effects of crooked teeth is the impact that they have on the quality of your smile. With your smile is less than perfect, your confidence may also be affected. Other effects of crooked teeth include:
- An increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- An increased risk of tooth damage.
- Greater difficulty with biting and chewing. This can also affect your digestion as well as your overall nutrition.
- Bruxism and TMD disorder.
Types Of Orthodontic Issues
There are some different orthodontic issues that can affect the health of your mouth. Common orthodontic issues include:
- Spacing issues
- Overbites and underbites
- Cross bites
- Open bites
Early Orthodontic Evaluations
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. At this age, the adult teeth will begin to develop below the gum line. Some may have even begun to erupt. With this type of evaluation, we can determine the presence of any orthodontic issues or predict the likelihood of orthodontic issues in the future. This will then enable us to provide your child with the appropriate treatment to correct existing issues and reduce the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. In some cases, we may even be able to prevent the need for orthodontic treatment altogether.
As a part of early orthodontics, we focus on ensuring that the teeth and the jaws of your child grow and develop properly. We can work with you to help your child break habits such as thumb-sucking and pacifier use. We can also provide treatments such as space maintainers, which hold space for baby teeth lost prematurely, and palatal expanders, which can aid in providing treatment for crossbites and overcrowding.
Orthodontics For Adolescents
When the word orthodontics is mentioned, most people tend to think about adolescents, typically between the ages of 11 and 13. Adolescence is often the best time to undergo orthodontic treatment, particularly with braces. At this age, the jawbone is still growing and developing, so issues can often easily be corrected. During the adolescent years, orthodontia typically focuses on correcting a bad bite, spacing issues, and poor alignment.
In addition to being easier to correct the bite and alignment issues in the adolescent years, there is also a social aspect of undergoing orthodontic treatment during this timeframe. There is a good chance that your child will not be alone. There is a good chance that your child will have a few classmates undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment at the same time.
Orthodontics For Adults
Even though orthodontics are common for adolescents, older teens and adults can also benefit. Plenty of adults are dealing with bite and alignment issues that are affecting their smile, oral health, and their confidence. As an adult, you may not have had the money to undergo orthodontic treatments as a child. Perhaps you have already undergone orthodontic treatment in the past, but your teeth are beginning to shift out of alignment again. Some adults simply want straighter teeth because they are trying to find a new job.
Orthodontics for adults is fairly similar to orthodontics for adolescents. One of the biggest differences is that treatment for adults often takes longer than treatment in your younger years. This is because the bone has hardened, and is therefore not as malleable.
Braces are the traditional treatment for correcting alignment issues. This treatment uses brackets and wires to help realign your teeth. Brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of each of your teeth. A wire spans the entire arch of teeth, attached to each bracket using an elastic O-ring. The wire is responsible for most of the work. It places pressure on your teeth, which then puts pressure on the periodontal ligaments. This pressure forces the periodontal ligaments to widen. Your teeth loosen. The wires then work to shift your teeth into proper alignment and stabilize your teeth once they are where they need to be. Once your treatment with braces is complete, a retainer is provided to help maintain your new smile.
While braces are incredibly effective, they are not the ideal solution for everyone. One of the biggest drawbacks to traditional braces is that they are very prominent. Even younger patients may not be too thrilled with the idea of having a metal smile. Metal braces may be uncomfortable. They can also make it difficult to eat certain foods as well as to brush and floss your teeth.
Clear aligners provide an alternative to traditional metal braces. This treatment uses clear plastic aligners, which sit over your teeth, much like a sports guard. Treatment involves a series of aligners, each set slightly different than the one before it. Each set is made to be worn for two weeks at a time before moving on to the next. Aligners are removable but should be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day for optimal results. They should only be removed to eat and to brush your teeth. In addition to being removable, aligners are also completely clear, meaning that they disappear from view when placed on your teeth. No one will be able to tell that you are wearing them. All they will see when you smile is your confident smile.
Benefits Of Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment provides numerous benefits. These benefits include:
- Improving the quality of your smile.
- Improving your oral health.
- Your abilities to bite and chew are restored. This also helps to restore your digestion and nutrition.
- Evening out biting and chewing forces.
- Eliminating bruxism and TMJ issues.
Schedule An Appointment
With orthodontic treatment, we can straighten your teeth, improving the appearance of your smile, your oral health, and your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Ford Dental Group at (714) 409-6161 today.