Orthodontic Treatments 101: Everything You Need to Know

Orthodontic treatments 101: Everything you need to know
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Many patients in Mississauga will seek orthodontic treatment in their lifetime to correct functional and cosmetic issues with their smile. Crooked, crowded teeth can really put a damper on your confidence, while serious bite issues can compromise your oral health. Regardless of the complexity of your case, the orthodontists at Bristol Dental Clinic are ready to help.

It’s natural to have questions about any dental procedure, including orthodontics. In this article, we will overview everything you need to know about orthodontics so you can feel comfortable going into your treatment.

What are orthodontics?

Orthodontic dentistry focuses on diagnosing and correcting misaligned teeth, incorrect spacing, improper bites, and all complications that these conditions can bring. The goal of orthodontics treatment is to improve the functionality and appearance of the patient’s smile. For example, orthodontics can improve your ability to speak and chew while also providing a straighter, more symmetrical smile.

Since alignment and bite issues can affect oral hygiene, orthodontics can also reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.

What are the advantages of orthodontics?

Orthodontics has many functional, cosmetic, and health-related advantages. Here are a few of the most significant:

  • A straighter, symmetrical, more aesthetically pleasing smile.
  • No more gaps between your teeth.
  • Having properly aligned teeth can improve your ability to chew and speak.
  • It’s easier to clean straightened teeth.
  • An aligned bite reduces the risk of cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, etc.
  • Reduced pain from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.

    When should you see an orthodontist?

    You should see an orthodontist if you have misaligned teeth or bite issues, especially if these conditions are affecting your quality of life. Although several people seek orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons, many others require treatment to improve the functionality of their mouth.

    Is there a right age for orthodontic treatment?

    It’s a common dental myth that orthodontics are only for children and teenagers. However, just because it’s common for teenagers to get braces does not mean that they are the only ones who benefit from orthodontic treatment!

    Adults often need or want orthodontic treatment to improve the look and function of their smile. Teeth naturally move as we age, so teeth can become crooked later in life.

    At Bristol Dental Clinic, we recommend that all children have an orthodontic consultation by the age of 12. The orthodontist can identify developing issues and recommend appropriate treatment. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more costly, lengthy treatments later in life.

    Common Orthodontic Problems

    1. Spacing

    Spacing is a common orthodontic issue defined by abnormal spaces or gaps between the teeth. A gap between the two front teeth is the most obvious example; however, spacing issues can occur anywhere in the mouth.

    In most cases, spacing is a purely cosmetic issue. It tends to resolve itself in children with the emergence of their adult teeth. Spacing can, in extreme situations, negatively affect the bite and lead to problems with chewing, speech, and oral hygiene.

    2. Crowding

    Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough room in the jaw for all the teeth. As a result, teeth emerge crooked or overlapped. Since misaligned teeth are harder to care for, cavities and tooth decay are common.

    Orthodontic treatments (like braces or aligners) correct crowding without the need for tooth extractions. The appearance of your smile will be improved, and proper oral hygiene will be easier.

    3. Underbite or overbite

    An underbite is when the lower jaw overlaps the upper jaw, whereas an overbite is the inverse. The severity varies significantly. Although minor cases often don’t require treatment, serious cases can have profound consequences for your oral health.

    Severe underbites and overbites can cause difficulty chewing, lisping, slurred speech, crooked teeth, jaw pain, gum disease, and trouble breathing. In these instances, orthodontic surgery may be recommended.

    4. Protrusion

    A protrusion is when your upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth. It can cause bite problems and negatively impact the appearance of your smile. This issue is usually fixed with braces, although mild protrusions can be treated with retainers.

    Examples of Orthodontic Treatments

    1. Braces

    Braces use a combination of brackets, bands, and wires to gradually shift your teeth into the desired positions. Traditionally, braces have been made out of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the outside of the teeth via metal brackets. Ceramic and lingual (behind the teeth) braces are also available today.

    Most patients wear braces for 1-4 years. Over this time, the metal wires and rubber bands put small amounts of pressure on certain areas, coaxing the teeth into the right place. You need to visit your orthodontist once a month to have the braces adjusted.

    2. Clear aligners (Invisalign)

    Clear aligners, like Invisalign, also use pressure to guide teeth into the proper positions. Patients are given a series of custom aligners, each slightly different from the last. Not only are they comfortable to wear, but the clear plastic also makes them practically invisible.

    You must wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day for treatment to be successful. The entire treatment takes 12 to 18 months, depending on the complexity of your case.

    3. Retainers

    Retainers are custom oral appliances that prevent teeth from drifting out of their proper positions. They’re used to maintain the result created by an orthodontic treatment, like braces or clear aligners.

    Two types of retainers are used today: wire retainers and clear retainers.

    4. Palate expanders

    Palate expanders widen a child’s upper jaw to fix bite issues early. Since children’s facial bones are still developing, they’re easier to move and manipulate. By creating more space in the upper jaw, children can avoid a tooth extraction or orthodontic surgery later on. A palate expander can be used to correct overbites, crossbites, and crowding.

    5. Orthodontic surgery

    In extreme cases, orthodontic surgery can remedy skeletal problems with the jaw. Corrective jaw surgery can improve your ability to bite, chew, and speak by moving the upper and lower portions of the jaw into the right position.

    Looking for an Orthodontist in Mississauga? Visit Bristol Dental Clinic

    Correcting alignment issues, bite problems, incorrect spacing, and protruding teeth can dramatically improve your quality of life, as well as the appearance of your smile. That’s why many patients decide to undergo orthodontic treatment at Bristol Dental Clinic.

    Bristol Dental Clinic provides a range of orthodontic services to patients in Mississauga. We are highly experienced with orthodontic treatments and offer affordable treatment options.

    To find an orthodontist in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 866-673-2109 or contact us here.

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