Braces and orthodontic treatments are used to correct “bad bites” which may be caused by crowded or crooked teeth. In some cases, your teeth may be straight but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. Straightening your teeth may be accomplished in different ways.
Traditional orthodontic treatments realign teeth by applying pressure. They usually consist of small brackets cemented to your teeth, connected by a wire, which is periodically tightened to shift your teeth and jaw. They may be metal or tooth colored. Removable clear aligners (Invisalign) is another option for treating these same problems. There is usually a series of aligners that you change every two weeks as the teeth move into their ideal position. Both of these options are followed by a period of wearing a retainer that holds the teeth in their new position.
Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the age of six and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between the age of eight and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces, as healthy teeth can be an orthodontically treated at any age.
Treatment plans will vary based on your situation, but most people are in treatment one to three years. Today’s braces are more comfortable than ever before. Modern materials and treatment methods produce a constant, gentle force to move teeth quicker and with fewer adjustments. Not all of us are born with beautiful smiles, but with a little help from your dentist, you can have a beautiful and healthy smile.