Orthodontists do more than straighten teeth for aesthetic purposes. Although having straight teeth is purposeful in its own right, braces can achieve more.
Orthodontists suggest braces if teeth need room to grow, teeth are overcrowded, an overbite or underbite needs correction, the jaw needs alignment, or there is other disorders of the jaw joint. If these issues are not addressed, tooth decay, gum disease, earaches and headaches can occur. In more extreme circumstances, some have difficulty chewing and speaking without their teeth being corrected through orthodontic treatment.
The orthodontist has three primary goals:
- To straighten teeth;
- To have teeth looking natural, symmetrical, and proportional to the face;
- To make sure the bite is in alignment and teeth fit into each other when closed; to correct the bite relationship.
Braces can be useful for children and adults. In some cases it is appropriate to suggest orthodontic treatment to children as young as eight. Many adults also receive braces if there has been mouth trauma or if they would like straighter teeth for a more beautiful smile. Mild discomfort can occur after a visit to the dentist when braces are tightened, but pain is brief and mild. The length of treatment time will vary depending on what is being remedied. Most treatment plans will be from 12 to 24 months.
Open communication and a positive dentist-patient relationship is necessary during orthodontic treatment as braces require extra commitment and care. The brackets and wires of braces create spaces that are difficult to clean and increase the likelihood of food and plaque becoming trapped, elevating the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Permanent damage to the tooth enamel can happen without daily care and cleaning. To prevent this, we clearly outline what treatment is needed and why, as well how the patient should care for their teeth while wearing braces.
At My Family Dentist, we will always welcome your concerns, reservations and questions, to ensure that having braces is a successful experience. During orthodontic treatment, we suggest regular visits, so that little problems do not become big ones and your needs are met with regularity.