Orthodontic treatment isn’t necessary for everyone, but a large percentage of people will be recommended to consider some sort of orthodontic solution during their lifetime. There are two primary goals of orthodontic treatment. The first is to create a healthy bite. Your bite refers to the way that your teeth come together when you close your jaw. People who have a good bite find it easier to bite, chew and speak. They are also less likely to suffer from some types of dental problems that occur because their teeth don’t come together properly. This includes uneven wear on the teeth, damage, and issues with the temporomandibular joint.
The second purpose of orthodontic treatment is to bring your teeth into better alignment with one another. This has both health and cosmetic benefits. Teeth that are twisted, crooked, overlapping and gapped are more likely to develop decay since they have tiny crevices and spaces where bacteria and debris can become trapped. By using orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth, the risk of decay and periodontal disease reduces. People also believe that straighter teeth are much more attractive.
If you have been recommended to consider orthodontic treatment, you will have a variety of options to choose from. Our knowledgeable and experienced orthodontic team will be pleased to discuss each option with you to help you decide which is most appropriate for you.
Orthodontic braces are the original solution used to correct misalignment and bite issues. Fortunately, the design of braces has evolved considerably since their original inception, and modern braces are more discreet and comfortable than before. Metal or ceramic brackets are attached to each tooth, through which a narrow wire runs to pull the teeth into alignment. Bands are then used to make adjustments to the amount of pressure placed onto the teeth, to move them into their new and improved position. Metal brackets are more obvious, whilst ceramic versions blend into the natural tooth color, making them much more discreet.
When you have braces, you will need to attend an appointment every 6 to 10 weeks to have your braces adjusted. This can make your braces uncomfortable for a few days whilst you get used to the adjustment. Other things to consider about braces include:
You will not be able to enjoy certain types of food during your treatment, such as foods that are chewy, sticky or very hard. This is because they could damage your braces.
Cleaning your teeth when wearing braces can be challenging. You must brush well to prevent decay and gum disease from developing. You will need to use special interdental brushes to enable you to clean around the brackets and wires.
Your braces are permanent, and you will not be able to take them off for the duration of your treatment.
Clear aligners are a popular alternative to conventional braces. There are several different brands of clear aligners available, including Invisalign and ClearCorrect – names which many people are familiar with. Clear aligners are worn over the top of the teeth in the manner of a mouthguard but are custom-designed specifically for each patient.
The treatment plan consists of a series of these clear aligners, all of which are slightly different. The design of each is bespoke, decided by cutting edge mapping technology which assesses the journey that a patient’s teeth need to take to move them into an improved position. It then converts this journey into stages, with an aligner created for each of them. Patients then wear the aligners over their teeth for approximately 22 hours per day, for the duration of the stage. Each aligner exerts gentle, consistent pressure onto the teeth to move them into the next position.
Here are some of the key things to consider when thinking about clear aligners to correct your orthodontic issues:
Aligners are made from transparent plastic, which makes them more discreet than braces.
Aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning but must otherwise be worn for the specified time each day to be effective. Not wearing them for long enough could delay your treatment.
Aligners are considered much more comfortable than braces since they are bespoke for each patient, and there are no metal parts that could scratch or cut the inside of your mouth.
Aligners mean that you don’t need to make any compromises about what you eat.
Aligners are more expensive than braces.
If you have been recommended to consider orthodontic treatment to improve the alignment of your teeth and jaw and give you a straighter smile, our friendly and experienced team would be delighted to help. Contact Above & Beyond Dental in Bedford, TX to schedule your confidential appointment.