A beautiful smile with well-aligned teeth is the dream of every person. When one has crooked teeth, it does not only make them feel embarrassed to smile, but it poses challenges when it comes to cleaning. When you cannot reach every tooth properly to clean it, it builds up plaque and the hidden debris, causing decay and gum disease in the long run. When your teeth are misaligned, simple procedures administered by an orthodontic dentist will help to align your teeth, giving you a beautiful smile correctly. Finding an experienced and trusted dentist to work on your teeth can be a challenge. But, at Encino Dentist, we have years of experience in dental services. We additionally specialize in orthodontic services, ensuring you have that radiant and beautiful smile you deserve.

Understanding Orthodontics

This is a section of dentistry specializing in the correction of jaws and teeth not positioned correctly. When you have crooked teeth that don’t fit together well, it is hard to keep them clean. As a result, you risk losing them because of periodontal disease or tooth decay. Crooked teeth also add unnecessary pressure to the muscles when you chew, causing TMJ syndrome, headaches, shoulder, back, and neck pain. When the teeth are crooked, they also distort your appearance, making you have low self-esteem.

A dentist that specializes in this area of dentistry is referred to as an orthodontist. These specialists go the extra mile to receive more training at the dental school beyond the standard four years. They also ensure they get this training through an approved ADA orthodontic training program.

When do you Need Orthodontics Services

An orthodontist or a dentist is the one that can tell you if orthodontics treatment would benefit you. This is usually based on the outcome after using analyzing tools that involve:

  • Analyzing your dental and medical health background
  • Taking a clinical examination
  • Taking plaster impressions of the mouth and teeth
  • Specialized photos and X-rays

Once these get done, an orthodontic studies the outcome and recommends the treatment plan that will be beneficial and ideal for you. When you experience one of the below, visiting an orthodontic is essential to establish whether this is an option to correct them. These are:

  • Overbite – this is also termed as buck teeth. When your upper front teeth protrude out or lie very far in front over your bottom teeth.
  • Underbite – this is also termed as the bulldog. In this situation, the bottom teeth stick out or are too forward more than the top teeth.
  • Crossbite – this is when your upper teeth fail to come down a little forward from the lower teeth when bringing them together in a bite.
  • Open bite – this happens when there is a gap between the surfaces of the side and front teeth when your back teeth come together in a bite.
  • Spacing – this happens when you have spaces or gaps between your teeth due to missing ones or when your teeth fail to fill up your mouth.
  • Crowning – this happens when you have a lot of teeth that cannot be accommodated by a dental ridge.

The Orthodontics Treatment

Many appliances exist that are both permanent and removable used to aid in the moving of teeth, affect jaws growth, and retain muscles. These devices work by exerting pressure gently on the  teeth and jawbones. How significant your problem is, determines the approach in orthodontics to use that will be sufficient for you.

Permanent or Fixed Devices or Appliances

After examining your teeth, your orthodontist will advise on the best devices. If you are told to have fixed appliances, your options will include:

  • Braces – This is the most popular of all the appliances, and they consist of wires or brackets and bands. These bands are fitted around your teeth and support the device. Brackets, on the other hand, are usually bonded to the teeth at the front side. Through the brackets, archwires pass and attach onto the bands. The archwires are then tightened to apply tension to the teeth and slowly move them to the correct position. For best results, the orthodontist will adjust the braces each month for some months or even years. Modern braces are less dense, smaller, and conceal a lot of the metal compared to past ones. They are found in various colors with the bright colored ones preferred by kids and the clear ones favored by grown-ups.
  • Special fixed appliances – these are used to prevent or discourage thrusting of the tongue or sucking of the thumb. These devices are fitted by attaching them to your teeth by the use of bands. These appliances are, however, uncomfortable, especially when eating, making them the least favorite and are only used as the last option.
  • Fixed space maintainers – sometimes, a baby can lose a tooth prematurely, either through an accident or decay. This device is designed to keep the open space waiting for the eruption of a permanent tooth. To fit this appliance, a band is attached by an orthodontist to the adjacent tooth to the gap. A metallic wire is then used to connect to the other tooth and secure the gap in between.

Removable Appliances

They are the opposite of the permanent devices used in teeth alignment. Your orthodontist will discuss both the permanent and the removable appliances giving you the advantages and disadvantages of both. If you settle for the removable appliances, you will have various options to choose from. These include:

  • Aligners – this is an option from the permanent braces used by adults. Orthodontists are increasingly making use of serial aligners to adjust teeth just like they do with fixed appliances. The difference is that with the aligners, you do not use brackets or metal wires. These aligners are typically invisible, and one can remove them during meal times, to floss or brush them.
  • Removable space maintainers – the appliances serve a similar purpose as those of fixed space maintainers. They have an acrylic bottom fitting on the jaw. They also have wire or plastic branches fitted between particular teeth keeping open the space found between them.
  • Jaw repositioning appliances – these are also called splints. They are worn over the lower or upper jaw. As their name suggests, they assist in training the jaw in closing in a better position. These devices can also be helpful in temporomandibular joint disorders.
  • Lip and cheek bumpers – the devices are made to keep the cheeks and lips at a distance from teeth. The muscles of the cheeks or lips can sometimes put pressure on teeth. Using these bumpers, however, you will help reduce that stress.
  • Palatal expanders – these devices are used to increase the curve of your upper jaw. This plate is made of plastic and is fitted on your mouth’s roof. The pressure is exerted from the outside on the plate through the use of screws. This forces the bone joints on the palate to increase lengthwise, thereby increasing the palatal region.
  • Removable retainers – these are worn on your mouth’s roof. The devices are designed to prevent teeth from moving to their former position. These devices are sometimes modified to be used by those that need to stop or prevent the sucking of the thumb.
  • Headgear – this appliance is used to slow down the growth of the jaw. The strap is usually fitted behind your head and connected to the front with a metallic wire. A face bow is also used to hold it in place. Aside from slowing the top jaw from growing fast, it helps to keep the teeth at the back in position while pulling those at the front back.

Orthodontic Treatment in Children

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the recommendation for a child to visit an orthodontist is when they turn seven years. This is typically around the time the first permanent incisors and molars erupt. This is ideally the best time in determining whether there is a need for orthodontic treatment then or later as they grow.

Early treatment is highly recommended because it allows an orthodontist to use braces in guiding how the jaw grows and the other teeth as they erupt. This helps in keeping the new teeth in their correct position and avoiding complications that arise from having crooked teeth. Simply, early treatment is critical in paving the way to a radiant, beautiful, and lasting smile.

Orthodontic Treatment in Adults

Most people assume orthodontics treatment is for children only. However, this is not true. No one is old to profit from getting an orthodontics treatment. There are many adults over the age of 21 that get orthodontic treatment. Most adults know the benefits of a beautiful smile and strive to attain it.

When you have a bad bite, it will not only affect how you look, but it can have a negative effect on your health. As earlier stated, cleaning of misaligned teeth is difficult and can result in gum disease and decay of the teeth. Orthodontic technology has advanced tremendously in the recent past, making it easier and better for adults. Most teens and adults use invisible aligners to align their teeth that are not easily visible to others.

How Long Does an Orthodontic Treatment Take?

Most treatments take between a year and three. The length taken varies from one patient to the next and how severe the problem is. The growth of your face and mount is also a significant factor in determining the period it takes.

Different people respond to treatment differently, making the difference in the time it would take to get the teeth aligned. You must also ensure you care for the devices used in the procedure and have routine checkups with your orthodontic to ensure you get the best results.

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliances

After having your ideal appliances fitted, you must ensure to care for them sufficiently. Cleaning your braces and other devices is essential to take out the trapped food particles that cause plaque and the buildup of bacteria. When cleaning your braces, the following procedure ensures proper cleaning that is effective in keeping your teeth healthy.

  • When preparing to brush, remove elastics and any other parts that are removable of the appliance
  • While cleaning your braces, hold your brush at 45 degrees and gently clean around the pins and wires. Start from the top to the bottom and repeat the movement severally, ensuring you remove all the debris and plaque. Make sure to work on your lower and upper teeth thoroughly.
  • When brushing your teeth, ensure to clean each tooth at the same 45-degree angle. Using slight pressure, clean the gum line making circular motions for about ten seconds. Clean both the inner and outer surfaces ensuring to reach all the teeth.
  • Flossing is critical in removing trapped food particles. Ensure to floss at least once a day. Ensure to buy floss that is designed to be used on braces.
  • After cleaning, rinse your mouth with clean water thoroughly and mouthwash. Check through the mirror to see if your teeth are cleaned and your braces as well.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

The most popularly known benefit of getting orthodontic treatment is having a beautiful smile with well-aligned teeth. However, there are other health benefits aside from aesthetic ones. These include:

Reducing the Chance of Developing Oral Diseases

As the teeth straighten and get aligned, the deep crevices housing dangerous bacteria reduce. When you do not get orthodontic treatment, the hiding places continue to allow food particles to get stored. This is what causes cavities, plaque, and gum disease when not treated. When you get your teeth straightened, the areas that house the plaques reduce, and gum diseases are prevented.

Jaw Issues

While straightening your teeth is essential, fixing the bite is equally essential. When your teeth are misaligned, they exert pressure on your jaws. Over time, you develop the dysfunction of your jaw joint. Orthodontic treatment allows your jaw to align well, preventing the weakening of your teeth. When your teeth are weak, they begin to break or chip off, resulting in infections and eventual removal of the teeth.

Avoiding Injuries

Injuries in children that have buck teeth are common. While correcting the jaw, aligning the teeth and improving the bite is important, correcting the protruding front teeth is critical. This is even more important in children that are active in sports in avoiding injuries to their teeth as they play.

Find an Orthodontist Near Me

Having discussed why orthodontic treatment is critical to your dental health and aesthetic benefits, finding the best orthodontist is a challenge. For one to achieve the best results, he or she must ensure to find an experienced orthodontist surgeon to carry out the treatment. At Encino Dentist, we have highly trained and experienced orthodontists to help you benefit significantly from the procedure. Find us at 818-650-0429 and schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists.