Orthodontic treatment transforms teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and misaligned are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease. This also affects one’s appearance and causes extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome, and neck, shoulder, and back pain. The orthodontic treatment includes a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and better longevity of teeth for a lifetime. This treatment can be cosmetic, to improve a person’s appearance, but it often aims to improve oral function, too. Braces and other tools are used to straighten or correct the imperfect teeth.
An orthodontist can carry out this treatment to achieve the following:
- Closing the extensive gap between the teeth
- Arranging the tips of the teeth
- Correcting crooked teeth
- Reforming speech or chewing ability
- Improving the long-term health of gums and teeth
- Preventing long-lasting excessive wear or trauma of the teeth
- Transforming an improper bite
- Improving the appearance of the teeth
- Protect teeth from damage or decay
Diagnosis By An Orthodontist
The orthodontist will examine the condition of the patient’s teeth and assess how they are likely to develop without treatment.
The assessment may involve:
- Taking a full medical and oral health history
- Carrying out a proper clinical examination
- Taking x-rays of the teeth and jaw
- creating plaster models of the teeth
Then, the orthodontist will decide on a treatment plan. And orthodontic devices can be fixed or removable.
- Fixed appliances – These are the most frequently used devices used in orthodontics. They are used when precision is the priority. A person can generally eat with fixed appliances. Still, some foods and drinks need to be avoided, such as carbonated drinks, hard candy, gum, and other sticky foods for better results. The sportspersons need to tell their orthodontist, as they may need special gum shields.
- Braces – These composed of brackets, wires, and bands. Bands are attached firmly around the teeth and serve as anchors for the appliance. At the same time, brackets are usually attached to the front of the teeth. The arch-shaped wires in the shape of an arch pass through the brackets and are positioned to the bands. As the archwire is adequately tightened, tension is applied to the teeth. With time, this moves them into proper position. Follow-up involves monthly visits to adjust the braces.
- Fixed-space maintainers – If a child loses his/her baby tooth, a space maintainer is used to stop the two teeth at either side of the spaces from its movement. A band is attached to one of the teeth next to space, and a wire goes from the band to the other tooth.
- Removable space maintainers – These are the substitutes for the fixed-space maintainers.
- Special fixed appliances – These help to control tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. They may be uncomfortable, especially at the time of eating, and so they are only us