Q – Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A – Orthodontic treatment can alleviate and prevent oral health problems to give you a healthy and beautiful smile. Without treatment, patients can suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction and chewing difficulties. A “bad bite” can contribute to speech impairments, tooth wear, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.
Q – How do braces straighten teeth?
A – Braces use constant, gentle force, which over time, move the teeth into their proper positions. The two main components of fixed braces are:
– The brackets that are placed on your teeth; and
– The main archwire that connects the brackets.
The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is shaped to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth.
Sometimes attached to your braces are elastics (rubber bands) which exert the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.
The force provided by the aligners is similar to that of the conventional archwires, but with less magnitude and duration. Each aligner achieves a small incremental correction progressively.
Q – When should my child first see an orthodontist?
A – It is recommended that every child should have an orthodontic screening no later than age seven. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early. Early treatment may mean a patient can avoid surgery or other serious and complicated corrections later in life.
Q – Is it ever too late for a person to be fitted with braces?
A – Age is not a factor! The health of your gums is the main priority. Orthodontic treatment can improve the smile of any age.
Q – Are braces suitable for adults as well as children?
A – Yes, today’s high tech materials are very suitable for adults and children alike.
Some recent innovations include clear or tooth-coloured brackets and the sophisticated engineering of the archwires, which result in less time spent wearing braces. Invisible braces options such as Invisalign and lingual braces are most popular with adults and older teenagers.
Q – Who needs orthodontics?
A – No one can deny the importance of a winning smile. It creates a pleasing appearance, promotes self esteem and is valuable to social and career success.
Orthodontics is important not only for a great smile and improved self confidence, but for better dental health. Today, orthodontic treatment is convenient and affordable so that individuals from childhood through to retirement can reap its valuable benefits. Braces fit easily into today’s active lifestyles. They’re comfortable, easy to keep clean and less visible than in the past. New techniques and materials can extend the period between appointments, saving time and expense.
Q – What is the right age for orthodontic treatment?
A – The right age can be any age. Early examination allows us to determine when a child’s problem should be treated for maximum improvement, in the least time and at the lowest cost.
Certain treatment techniques provide significant benefits for patients between 6 to 11 years old. Treatment during these growth stages can achieve results not possible once face and jaw bones have finished growing. Full orthodontic treatment with braces is generally begins after all the permanent teeth are in place, often at ages 12 or 13.