Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on aligning your teeth and your jaw to improve your smile. It can also help with your oral health. If you have crooked teeth that do not fit well together, it can make it harder for you to keep your mouth clean. This means you are at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Learn more about common orthodontic treatments that will improve your smile and dental health.
Four kinds of orthodontic treatments
Many people are born with teeth that need orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces can have a huge impact on adults and children. An orthodontist may recommend one of these four different orthodontic treatments to help correct a person’s specific problem.
Traditional braces have become more advanced since their introduction. Now, these braces are lighter in structure and weight less than ever before. Orthodontists use stainless steel for these braces. There are metal brackets that the orthodontist will attach to each tooth using a special type of cement. These brackets are then linked together with an arch wire. This will place pressure on the teeth to force them to slowly move into the proper position.
The arch wires attach to the metal brackets with small elastics called ligatures or O-rings. The orthodontist will change these out each time the braces are tightened. Some orthodontists will use brackets that do not need the O-rings. These are self-ligating braces.
Ceramic braces work just like traditional braces. However, the brackets are created from a transparent, clear ceramic material. This makes the braces less visible to other people. Many adults prefer them to traditional braces when needing orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes patients notice the elastics on these braces become discolored. This can leave marks on the teeth. The orthodontist may recommend using a fluoride rinse to protect the patient’s teeth from cavities.
Clear and removable aligners
Invisalign is one type of clear aligner that patients may prefer to traditional or ceramic braces. Invisalign involves using a range of plastic aligners that are similar to mouth guards. Each patient gets specific aligners. Some patients prefer them because the aligners can be taken out when the patient needs to eat, drink, brush their teeth or floss. Every two weeks, the orthodontist will exchange them for a new set of aligners that will adjust the patient’s teeth one step further.
If a patient has overcrowded teeth, two options can fix the issue. One is extraction, and the other is palatal expansion. Orthodontists might recommend the palatal expander over extractions. The device will fit the patient’s palate and apply pressure to the back of the upper molars. This will slowly move the teeth farther apart. This will expand the patient’s palate and allow an orthodontist to use other braces to correct the positioning of the teeth.
Orthodontics can improve smiles
You do not have to live with crooked or overcrowded teeth. Orthodontic treatment is available to help you achieve the smile you want. Whether you decide on traditional or ceramic braces or invisible aligners, your orthodontist can help you get started. Palate expanders may be the first step. Learn more by talking with an orthodontist about which option is right for you.
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