For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit
of orthodontics. At our office, we strongly believe that the key to
self-confidence is feeling good about yourself. Your smile can reflect your
confidence, but more importantly, it can build your confidence. A person who
is happy with their smile will smile more, creating a positive image. It's no
coincidence that the people we like to be around the most are happy and
confident people. Orthodontics is the key to an attractive smile and
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or
plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By
placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces
slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear
braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around
each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can
choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also
less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth
faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years,
depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of
the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to
orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the
original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands
or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment.
Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis,
prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?
more attractive smile
Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
Better function of the teeth
Possible increase in self-confidence
Increased ability to clean the teeth
Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
Better long term health of teeth and gums
Guides permanent teeth into more favorable positions
Reduces the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
in optimizing other dental treatment
What are some signs that braces may be needed?
Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting
together (deep bite)
Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
Crowded or overlapped teeth
center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
Spaces between the teeth
what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are
easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed.
Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious
complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every
child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected
by parents, the family dentist, or the child's physician.
What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment
(i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have
erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This
treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth,
correction of crossbites, overbites, and underbites, or harmful oral habits.
Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment because it involves
full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the
ages of eleven and thirteen.
adult patient benefit from orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful
and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today
orthodontic treatment work?
steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions.
The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them
are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it
tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to
move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one
to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and
severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon
patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular
appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed
and connected with the archwires you may feel some tenderness of your teeth
for two to three days. Your lips and cheeks may need up to one week to get
used to the braces on your teeth.
interfere with playing sports?
No. It is
recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth
guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are
comfortable and come in a variety of colors. We suggest the use of an
over-the-counter mouthguard such as; Boil and Bite or equivalent.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
Yes. You should continue to see your general dentist every six months for
cleanings and dental checkups.