For the majority of people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious reason to choose orthodontic treatment. Braces can do much more than just make a cosmetically pleasing smile. They work to create stable, harmonious bites as well. Braces are important to improve the health and ensure the lifespan of the teeth. They create not only straight smiles, but properly-functioning ones, as well.
Orthodontic treatment using braces can straighten crooked teeth, close gaps, relieve crowding, align the jaws, improve aesthetics, and relieve pressure on the temporomandibular joint.
The good news is, braces have come a long way. Today’s orthodontic appliances are made from a variety of materials. They can be metal, ceramic, or even plastic. Many options are bonded directly to the teeth, but some, such as Invisalign, are removable. Braces and clear aligners place a constant, gentle force on the teeth to slowly guide them into their ideal positions.
In the past, metal brands with brackets were placed around each tooth.
Today, you can choose from clear, metallic, or tooth-colored brackets. The colors of the elastic ties that hold the brackets can be personalized or changed, depending on your mood or the time of year. Today’s brackets and wires are less noticeable than ever before, but are also more comfortable and efficient.
For patients looking for the most discreet way to straighten their teeth, Invisalign is a wonderful option. Made of clear plastic aligners that fit directly over the teeth, Invisalign works just like braces to elicit a gentle force to guide the teeth.
Treatment times vary from patient to patient, but the average length of time spent in braces ranges from one to three years. The amount of time you will spend in treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of your malocclusion and your age when treatment begins… No matter your age, each patient will respond differently to treatment. It is important to understand that your estimated treatment time is tailored specifically to you.
Braces are highly effective in not only straightening smiles, but in creating stable, well-functioning bites that can last a lifetime.
Here are a few signs to look for to see if orthodontic treatment is right for you:
- Irregular loss of baby teeth; such as too early or too late
- Delay in eruption of permanent teeth
- Teeth that do not meet at all or meet abnormally
- Jaws/teeth that look out of proportion to the rest of the face
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Large gaps in the smile
- Missing or extra teeth
- Overbite, underbite or open bite
- Jaw that makes sounds, such as clicking or grinding
- Incorrectly-positioned jaw
- Difficulty chewing or speaking