Orthodontic treatment is part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. It enhances your oral health and creates beautiful smile. Teeth can last a lifetime with good oral care. People with crowded or crooked teeth are said to have a "bad bite." The teeth may look straight but the upper and lower teeth may not fit properly.
It is harder to clean crooked teeth and this could lead to tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment straightens the teeth and creates a “good bite ” where the upper and lower teeth fit properly. It is easier to clean, chew and speak with a good bite. Both children and adults can undergo orthodontic treatments. Orthodontic treatments can be started as early as age eight. Important criteria for orthodontic treatment is viable healthy bone for tooth movement.
Every patient needs tailor-made treatment, planned by the orthodontist and agreed with you, the patient. In order to decide what treatment is required for you, your orthodontist will need to carry out a full assessment of your teeth which is likely to include x-rays, impressions (moulds of the teeth) and photographs. Treatment can take more than two years so it is important you are happy from the outset with what is recommended. Braces are almost always needed.
This is the most common type of brace today, often known as "train tracks". Brackets are glued onto the teeth and linked by wires. Small elastic hoops are often used to hold the wire in position. The wires exert gentle pressure to move the teeth into a new position. The brackets can be metal, ceramic or even gold and the elastic loops come in many colours.
This is sometimes used for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth or expanding the dental arch. It has a plastic baseplate with wires and springs attached. Removable braces need to be worn all the time except for cleaning or sport.
These are used to harness the growth of the jaws and improve way the upper and lower teeth meet. There are several designs all of which fit on to both the upper and lower teeth and hold the lower jaw forward. They are mostly removable but should be worn as near to full-time as possible.
At the end of treatment, all patients should wear retainers to hold their teeth in the new position. These can be removable or fixed and are an important part of treatment.
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