What Exactly Can An Orthodontist Do For My Teeth?
Orthodontics is the area of dentistry that corrects the positioning of teeth, and the word comes from the Greek for ‘perfect, straight, or proper’ and ‘dontos’ which means teeth.
An Orthodontist can use a variety of devices, depending on your particular issue, to guide teeth into a better position to improve the way they work so you can eat and speak properly, and to ensure your teeth look straight, even and in proportion to your face.
Why Fix The Alignment Of Your teeth?
There are two main reasons, which come down to form and function.
- The cosmetic appearance- crooked or sticking-out teeth, as well as overcrowding of teeth, can affect your confidence. It also affects the very shape of your face and jaw.
- Proper bite pressure – your teeth come together to chew, and the human bite pressure is very strong. If your teeth don’t align properly, they can’t come together evenly. This can cause headaches, jaw problems, and even impact your speech.
Benefits Of Orthodontics For Misaligned Teeth
An Orthodontist has a whole arsenal of tools at their disposal, from braces which go over the teeth to braces that can be placed behind the teeth (‘lingual’ braces), as well as a variety of aligners like the clear plastic ‘Invisalign’.
Your Orthodontist can:
- Straighten crooked teeth
- Close wide gaps between teeth
- Ensure teeth come together properly
- Treat improper bite to relieve pain and avoid further damage
- Improve chewing ability
- Improve speech
- Prevent further trauma and wear to gums and teeth caused by improper alignment
Orthodontics For Children & Adults
It is never too late to see an Orthodontist, but the earlier, the better. As baby teeth fall out and adult teeth are fully developed, from age 9-12, your Orthodontist can see if the development of the child’s jaws and teeth is normal or if they need correction.
As the growth of teeth is gradual, any problems will become worse over time; the early correction of misalignment means the teeth can be brought into line before the get too out of hand. It’s also far cheaper to treat misaligned teeth early with minimal correction than later in life when any correction will take longer; is more complex and inevitably more expensive!
Adult treatment is tailored specifically for each case, and as teeth don’t become misaligned overnight, gentle correction and guidance into place may take between 6 – 18 months, depending on the corrective device and the position of your teeth.