Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that specialises in moving and straightening teeth, using braces, aligners or other appliances to move teeth into an ideal position. This makes teeth easier to clean and provides a straighter smile and a more even bite. Orthodontics not only helps your smile look better but also gives you a healthier smile in the long run.
There are a number of teeth straightening treatments, to suit all smiles.
When it comes to straight healthy smiles, it is important to intervene early to make sure a child’s teeth and jaws grow in a way that avoids problems later in life. A child should see an orthodontist once they start to have some permanent teeth that are grown into their mouth, which happens at the age of seven. From there, an orthodontist can check their smile and rule out any issues with their teeth that could need early intervention (also sometimes known as Phase One treatment).
Early intervention treatments are useful to spot and eliminate dental issues that can cause more invasive dental treatment to become necessary later in life. These include teeth that are blocked as they try to grow into the mouth, tooth crowding that could need extracting later, teeth that are crossed over, front teeth that protrude forward, among other conditions.
As well as treating potentially major conditions, our orthodontist can guide where teeth grow into your mouth, which will give them a better chance to ensuring they have room to erupt into the mouth normally. They are also in a better position to notice subtle issues that are less obvious as well.
Fixed orthodontic treatments are the most versatile and effective treatments. Whilst it often calls to mind teenagers wearing metal brackets and wires in their mouths, the truth is that a lot of people, children, teenage and adult seek teeth straightening treatment, and what is usually seen as a single kind of treatment actually takes a number of forms:
The most traditional and common form of orthodontic treatment, and whilst they are less discreet than other braces, they offer some significant benefits over other methods. They are more cost-effective than other methods, and also are able to be used for more complex cases, such as people with particularly crooked teeth or where teeth need to be removed.
Ceramic braces work under the same principle as metal braces, however, they are made from tooth-coloured ceramic material. This makes them less noticeable to other people that you are wearing braces. This makes them a popular option for adult patients, who don’t want to get noticeable metal braces.
Invisalign is a different way to straighten teeth. Instead of a number of brackets and wires that are directly bonded to your teeth, Invisalign use a number of custom-designed removable aligners. In sequence, they provide a very comfortable way to straighten teeth, one that a patient is in complete control of.
For more information about Invisalign, click here.
One of the most important parts of any orthodontic treatment happens after it is complete. Retainers are a variety of devices that keep your teeth secure and in their new, straightened position. There are a number of different retainers, from fixed bonded wire retainers to removable Essix and Vivera retainers. How often they need to be worn depends on the treatment and will need to be discussed with your orthodontist.
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