Orthodontics refers to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dental and facial irregularities such as crooked teeth, crowding, spacing, protruding upper teeth, overbite, underbite, open bite and crossbite. Braces and other orthodontic appliances are used to correct these “bad bites” or malocclusions by moving the teeth and jaw into proper alignment. Orthodontic treatment is designed to help the patient both aesthetically (by improving the smile) and functionally (by improving the bite). Orthodontic treatment can help patients of all ages, although treatment is most effective as soon as a problem is detected. Children should have an orthodontic exam before they turn 7 to detect and treat any problems early and to ensure optimal results. It is important to treat malocclusions before problems worsen or cause tooth decay, gum disease, surface wearing, stress on the gum and bone, jaw misalignment, headaches or face and neck pain.
While many people think of braces as the primary form of orthodontic treatment, there are many other appliances used. Fixed appliances, or those that are not removable, also include special fixed appliances, which are attached to the teeth by bands and help control thumb sucking to prevent overbites. Additionally, there are a wide variety of removable appliances to help prevent and correct dental irregularities. These include aligners, removable space maintainers, jaw re-positioning appliances for those suffering with TMJ, lip and check bumpers, palatal expanders, removable retainers, and headgear. Name an orthodontic issue, and we can solve it. Our Upper East Side dentists will work with you to solve your orthodontic issues in the best way possible.
Orthodontics Are Not Just for Children
Another popular misconception is that orthodontic treatment is only for children. While early orthodontic treatment is advisable as a child’s teeth are still growing and therefore easier to correct, adults experiencing orthodontic issues can also receive treatment.
If your gums and bone structure are healthy, individuals of all ages can correct dental irregularities. More and more adults are attaining braces to correct their smiles. This does not only improve their appearance and make them feel more confident, this also improves their overall oral health. In fact, if orthodontic treatments are left untreated, various oral health issues can arise. For instance, crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and floss, which can contribute to tooth decay and even gum disease. Those with overbites, or protruding teeth, are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
Crossbites can cause unfavorable growth, and finally, open bites can cause tongue-thrusting habits that are damaging to one’s oral health. It is also important to take good care of your oral health during orthodontic treatment. Since braces have spaces where pieces of food and plaque can build up, this can result in staining, white spots, tooth decay, and gum disease. You should brush and floss your teeth frequently to ensure you get the best results, and attain your new perfected smile.