Orthodontic treatment revolves around the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of improperly aligned teeth or a misaligned bite. The primary goal of orthodontic treatment is to properly align the teeth and bite so that biting, chewing, and speaking functions are improved. Properly aligning the teeth and bite also eliminates gaps between the teeth and can improve the overall appearance of an individual’s smile. While there are a range of orthodontic treatments available, two of the most common are traditional metal braces and Invisalign®. Traditional metal braces use metal brackets and a metal archwire to gradually reposition the teeth and bite, while Invisalign® uses clear aligners.
Did You Know?
Orthodontic treatment works by applying constant pressure to the teeth, which causes them to gradually shift their position. In some cases, moving the teeth is enough to correct bite problems, while other cases may require additional orthodontic appliances to align the bite.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
You may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment if you:
- Have crowded, crooked, or protruding teeth
- Have gaps between your teeth
- Cannot close your lips comfortably
- Breathe through your mouth often
- Grind or clench your teeth
- Notice your jaw shifting or clicking
- Have an improperly shaped jaw or facial asymmetry
- Have trouble chewing or biting
- Want to improve the look of your smile
By correcting the alignment of your teeth and bite, orthodontic treatment can correct these concerns and prevent future problems associated malocclusion (bad bite) and improperly aligned teeth. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with your Maxtown family dentist today.
Which orthodontic method should I choose?
At Maxtown Family Dental, we offer orthodontic treatment using both traditional metal braces and Invisalign®. Both treatments have been found to be effective in properly aligning the teeth and bite. However there are certain cases where traditional metal braces may be recommended over Invisalign® such as when the teeth are severely rotated, the teeth don’t fit in the aligners, or the midline is too uneven. During your orthodontic consultation, your dentist will describe what your orthodontic options are and provide you with their professional recommendation.
At a glance, here is some information about both orthodontic methods:
When using metal braces for orthodontic treatment, you can expect to have metal brackets cemented to your teeth. An arch wire is then passed through each bracket and held in place by colorful bands. Pressure is exerted on the teeth from the archwire, which causes them slowly to move into the proper alignment. Metal braces are a fixed appliance, meaning that they cannot be removed until treatment is over. This means that you will need to temporarily modify your diet and may be prone to minor soft tissue irritation until you have adapted.
When using Invisalign® for orthodontic treatment, you can expect to use clear aligner trays. While these trays are removable, they are only to be removed while brushing, flossing, and eating. Otherwise they need to remain in your mouth for at least 22 hours pers day to be effective. In some cases, additional orthodontic appliances may be used in coordination with your treatment plan.
How long does orthodontic treatment last?
The length of your treatment will depend upon the type and extent of the corrections that need to be made. In the case of Invisalign®, it will also be dependent on you wearing your aligners as directed. On average, orthodontic treatment takes about a year and a half, regardless of the appliance used.
After undergoing orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to maintain your results regardless of the method used. There are two types of retainers that your dentist may recommend. The first is a Hawley retainer, which is made of plastic or acrylic and uses a metal framework to hold it in place. The second is the Vivera® retainer made by Invisalign®, which is a clear aligner. Retainers are generally worn full time for the first few months and then can be reduced to being worn at nighttime only.