Your dentist has probably already brought up the possibility of seeking jaw or teeth alignment treatment, but maybe you’ve been hesitant. The treatment most likely involves wearing braces, which may be something you want to avoid at this point in your life. What if we told you that you’re not alone? Millions of people in the United States need braces. In fact, many Americans wait to seek treatment until they begin to experience pain. We are here to advise differently.
Getting any form of tooth alignment treatment is about improving your health and smile, and contacting an orthodontist is just the first step toward that perfect smile. Make sure to learn about your options, and ask your orthodontist which treatment is right for you. Orthodontists offer different treatment options to fit different issues, budgets, and lifestyles. We provide children, teen, and adult orthodontics.
Over four million people in the United States are currently going through some form of tooth alignment treatment, and about 25% of these individuals are adults. Therefore, you can be assured that you are not alone and there is no reason to wait.
What is an Orthodontist?
The process of becoming an orthodontist can take more than ten years to complete. Orthodontists must first earn a bachelor’s degree, then they must graduate from a four year accredited dental school program, and finally they go through a two to three year specialty training program in orthodontics. In these two years, they are trained in diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of bite issues. After completing the orthodontics program, they must pass the written section of the American Board of Orthodontics exam in order to become a practicing orthodontist. Orthodontists are required to have great knowledge about dental neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities.
In conclusion, an orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in jaw and teeth abnormalities.
Best time to visit an orthodontist?
Aside from a regular dental check up, the best time to see an orthodontist is whenever you have bite problems, crooked teeth, crowded teeth, or teeth and jaw misalignment. An orthodontist can diagnose these issues, and offer treatments options to their patients.
Misaligned Jaw is exactly what it sounds like, and refers to situations in which your lower jaw doesn’t perfectly align with your upper jsaw when you bite down. In some cases, a slightly misaligned jaw can be harmless. However, it can cause headaches, ear pain, breathing problems, wear and tear on your teeth, and can also cause difficulty with chewing.
Three of the most common jaw alignment issues are overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Patients with misalignment issues may also experience difficulty breathing during the day and night, especially when lying down. An orthodontic jaw alignment treatment can help expand the palate and correct the airway for easier breathing.
Technology has made it easier to detect the severeness of misaligned jaws. Equipment such as x-rays and intraoral photography can give your orthodontist a greater understanding of your jaw structure.
Gapped teeth might seem harmless, but they can lead to bigger issues. Food can easily get stuck in between teeth gaps, increasing the risk of plaque and dental decay. It is important to maintain clean oral hygiene by flossing and brushing regularly. The best way correct gapped teeth is through teeth alignment treatments which gradually tighten the teeth until no space is left.
Health Benefits in aligning your teeth and jaw
- Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis. Straight teeth can help the patient improve and maintain their overall oral health.
- A correct bite allows your teeth to chew food like the way they were designed to, making the process more comfortable and easier.
- Teeth that are not properly aligned can put wear and pressure on adjacent teeth. This improper alignment can also cause the teeth to wear faster.
- Teeth alignment can correct some speech issues because both teeth and jaw will be aligned properly.
In some instances, these teeth and jaw alignment issues can cause serious health issues if left untreated. The best way to know if your smile could be improved is to see a board certified orthodontist. They will have the equipment and knowledge to guide you through the smile correction process.
Jaw and teeth alignment treatments
The most common way to treat teeth and jaw alignment problems is with braces. You may feel some discomfort at first, so let your orthodontist know if something seems abnormal. Over-the-counter pain medication may help alleviate some of the pain during the first few months while you adjust.
Remember to avoid any hard or sticky foods and treats like gum and hard candies. These foods can cause damage to your braces.
We know we have mentioned some of these treatments in other posts, but we strongly believe in these treatments and they are our most popular offerings.
- Traditional braces: Metal or traditional braces are the most commonly used type of braces. They are often what comes to mind when individuals think of braces. Orthodontic technology has made traditional braces much more comfortable and affordable for patients. Traditional braces are made of stainless steel, and straighten your teeth using a combination of brackets and archwires.
- Clear (ceramic) Braces: Ceramic braces provide the effectiveness of traditional braces without being as visible as traditional braces. Clear braces are made of a translucent material that makes them as clear as possible. These braces are a great option for patients who are concerned about the cosmetic look of traditional braces. Clear braces do have their own drawbacks, including being more fragile and requiring more dental visits. Patients must also be more selective in the foods they consume because of the fragile nature of the clear braces. However, clear braces are exactly what they sound like, clear and not easily noticeable.
- Damon Braces: Damon braces are the newest technology of braces for teeth alignment treatment. Damon braces are a tie-less system, which allows for less friction and faster teeth movement. Damon braces don’t require the typical tightening and require fewer adjustments because they utilize shape-memory wires. Treatment times are shorter, and fewer appointments are required.
- Invisalign (clear aligners): Invisalign is a clear aligner system that is custom-made with plastic aligners. These aligners are designed through computer simulation to ensure optimal results. From these simulations and impressions, orthodontists will make the patients clear and removable aligners. They are similar to the clear braces that we mentioned above, but Invisalign treatment is aesthetically designed and can barely be seen by your peers.This treatment is very popular among adults and other people who would like a more discreet treatment.
No matter what stage you’re at in life, you’d be surprised by the impact that a perfect smile can have in your life. Your jaw and teeth serve a great purpose in your everyday activities such as eating, breathing, communicating, and much more. Don’t wait for a problem to become a bigger one, especially if it’s concerning your own health. Orthodontists offer a variety of different solutions to suit your own lifestyle, budget, and aspirations. Don’t wait! Call your dentist or a local orthodontist today.