You may have heard the term “Orthodontics” being discussed time and time again. So, what exactly is Orthodontics? Well, Orthodontics deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. While this may sound complicated it really isn’t, as the abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is common. This can be treated using various measures, the most common being braces.
For most people, orthodontics helps them have that beautiful, confident smile. For others, untreated misaligned teeth, and poor bites may lead to other dental problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, joint problems, the abnormal wearing of tooth surfaces, and difficulty in chewing. What’s more, the right orthodontic treatment can help you maintain good dental health.
Most orthodontic treatment is more effective if begun at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Children as young as 7 years, can visit their orthodontist for any orthodontic problem.
However, full orthodontic treatment usually starts when almost all or all of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted, around the age of 10 to 12 years.
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
You may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment if you have any or all of the following:
- Overbite: This takes place when the upper teeth stick out over the lower teeth, also called “buck teeth”.
- Underbite: This takes place when the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back, resulting in a “bulldog appearance”.
- Crossbite: This takes place when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally.
- Open bite: This takes place when there is a space between the biting surfaces of the front and side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
- Misplaced midline: This takes place when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth.
- Spacing: This takes place when there are gaps or spaces between the teeth due to missing teeth.
- Crowding: This takes place when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate.
How does Orthodontic Treatment work?
There are many different types of appliances – both fixed and removable – that are used to move teeth, retrain muscles, and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances put gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws and are very effective. Your orthodontist will determine the right kind of appliance for you.
Fixed appliances include:
- Braces: These are the most common fixed appliances and consist of bands, wires, and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth and act as anchors for the appliance. Brackets, on the other hand, are most often bonded to the front of the teeth. Archwires are passed through the brackets and attached to the band. Tightening the archwires gradually puts pressure on the teeth, moving them into their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted on a monthly basis to bring about the desired result. It may take a few months or even a few years before the teeth move into the right position. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter, and more aesthetic and comfortable than in the past. They even come in bright colors for children and clear styles for adults.
- Special Fixed Appliances: These appliances are attached by bands to the teeth. They can be used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. These should only be used as a last resort, as they are quite uncomfortable, especially during meals.
- Fixed Space Maintainers: These can be used if a baby tooth is lost prematurely. These help keep the space open till the permanent tooth erupts.
Removable appliances include:
- Aligners: These are an alternative to braces in adults. Serial aligners are increasingly being used to move teeth in the same way as fixed appliances but without the metal wires and brackets. Aligners are invisible and are removed for brushing, flossing, and eating.
- Removable space maintainers: These serve the same purpose as fixed space maintainers. They fit over the jaw and are made with an acrylic base. They have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep that space between them open.
- Jaw repositioning appliances: These are also called “splints”. These devices are worn on either the upper jaw or the lower jaw. They help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position. They can also be used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
- Removable retainers: These are worn on the roof of the mouth. They prevent shifting of the teeth into their previous position. They can also be used to prevent thumb sucking.
- Lip and cheek bumpers: These are used to keep the lips and cheeks away from the teeth. They help relieve the pressure that lip and cheek muscles exert on the teeth.
- Palatal expander: This is used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is a plastic plate and fits over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure is applied to the plate by screws. This forces the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, thereby widening the palatal area.
- Headgear: This consists of a strap placed around the back of the head, and attached to a metal wire in front. It slows the growth of the upper jaw, and pulls back the front teeth, keeping the back teeth where they are.
If you have any of the problems with your teeth mentioned in this article, you need to consult with your orthodontist. Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, is the right place to go to for any and all Orthodontics treatment in Hyderabad, India. We will correct your teeth, using the Orthodontic treatment that is right for you. We treat both children and adults for any orthodontic problems you may have.
One such treatment offered by us is Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment (IOT). This deals with abnormal factors that affect the normal development of dental and facial structures. It is done with simple, removable appliances that can be worn by the children themselves. We also offer specialized orthodontics treatment for adults. So, if you have any need for orthodontics treatment, do visit Vistadent and come away completely satisfied!
For more information about Orthodontics treatment or any other dental problems, as well as other dental procedures, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at email@example.com or visit our website at vistadent.net