For most people, achieving a healthy, beautiful, confident smile is the reason for receiving orthodontic care.
However, orthodontics is not only for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. They are caused by genetics, trauma, excessive wear, early/late exfoliation of baby teeth, missing or presence of extra teeth, and some habits (thumb sucking). Malocclusions affect the way you smile, talk, chew, clean your teeth, how long and how healthy you get to keep them.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances are 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 the proper position.
Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can now choose clear or metal brackets and, in some cases, the color of your appliance. Wires are far less noticeable, brackets are much smaller and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster, with less force and more comfort.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time varies and can last between one and three years, depending on several factors including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is. Each patient’s orthodontic condition requires a treatment plan based on a specialized diagnosis. Orthodontic records, including radiographs, dental impressions and photographs are often essential for complete treatment planning. A big factor in a successful treatment is you! The more involved and diligent you are, the more efficient your treatment will be. For children, receiving interceptive, or early treatment, can also help provide a quicker treatment time.
Before beginning your orthodontic care, Dr. Julia Starobinets will discuss all of your options, and provide an estimate for how long your full treatment may take. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment, and learn more about orthodontics and the treatments we provide.