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Few people are born with perfectly aligned teeth. Luckily, you aren’t stuck with crooked teeth for the rest of your life! Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting the way the teeth and jaws fit together. At Sheppard Village Dental, we are pleased to offer several orthodontic treatments to our patients. Orthodontic treatment is not just for children. Believe it or not, almost 50% of our ortho cases are adults who are ready to prioritize making their dream smile a reality. What’s stopping you?
In children, the main focus of orthodontics is to make sure there is proper functional spacing for the teeth to grow in, avoid crowding, assist with proper timing of the “baby” teeth to “adult” teeth transition, make sure the jaws have enough space to correctly align the teeth to grow into proper occlusion and alignment. Once the functional alignment is corrected with orthodontics, the teeth will be cosmetically straight and aligned as well. The advantage to getting orthodontics at a younger age is that the jawbones are soft and still growing, which makes it easier to guide the teeth into better alignment.
In adults, many of the newer orthodontic options, such as Invisalign (clear aligners), clear braces, and lingual braces (behind the teeth) allow more aesthetic-conscious patients to receive the benefits of orthodontics without the need for traditional metal braces. Adults can achieve a beautiful straight smile with orthodontics at any age.
Some of the conditions that can be corrected with orthodontics include: an overbite which some people call “buck teeth”, an underbite where your lower arch is too far forward, spacing or gaps, crowding, cross-bite where your upper and lower teeth don’t align properly, or an open bite where you have teeth (most commonly in the front) that don’t even touch together when closing or chewing.
Your treatment will be unique and customized just for you. An untreated poorly aligned smile can result in long-term issues. Our expertise at Sheppard Village Dental can move your teeth into the optimal position for long-term oral health, which can prevent future ailments. Not to mention, a beautiful straight smile can improve your self-confidence and aid in your ability to chew your food, improve your speech and minimize irregular wearing of your teeth. It’s never too late to perfect your greatest asset, your smile!
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SIX THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ORTHODONTICS:
1). WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF HAVING ORTHODONTICS LATER IN LIFE OTHER THAN FOR COSMETIC REASONS?
Adults tend to get gum recession, bleeding, wear, and periodontal disease when they have crowding or crooked teeth alignment. Orthodontics can help to minimize or prevent this from occurring if caught in a timely fashion. Many of our adult orthodontic cases are those patients who had orthodontics as a child and either never completed treatment or perhaps didn’t wear their retainer long enough and the teeth may have shifted. These can actually be the easiest cases because we already know the jaws will most likely have good alignment and there is room for all the teeth in the arch form. Orthodontics provides future benefit as well since straighter teeth are easier to clean and trap less bacteria.
2). HOW LONG WILL THE ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
This is determined on an individual basis. Depending on your age, the style of treatment you select, and the severity of your case, 90% of the cases we treat take from 4 months to 1.5 years. If you have issues with severe crowding or tilting of teeth more than 45 degrees, then these types of cases might take longer than those with mild rotations or slight overlap.
3). HOW DO BRACES WORK?
Using gentle forces either through brackets that are bonded to the teeth or through clear aligners such as INVISALIGN, the teeth are incrementally guided into proper position. The reason it takes time is because the bone needs to remodel around the teeth to support them in the new position. If you move the teeth too quickly, you could end up with bone loss. Our highly trained doctors will monitor the adjustments closely to ensure everything is moving at the perfect pace to craft your beautiful new smile.
4). DO I HAVE TO CHANGE MY DIET IF I GET BRACES?
With braces using brackets, you should avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods that can get caught in the wires. During the first few days after an orthodontic adjustment or switching to a new aligner, your teeth may feel slightly sore. You may want to eat soft foods for 1-2 days. To aid with the discomfort you can try a mild pain reliever, wax on the braces near the sore spot, or a warm salt water rinse. Salt is a wonderful healing agent for any sore spots on the gums or cheeks.
5). HOW DO I FLOSS WITH BRACES ON MY TEETH?
We can provide a special small flosser that is specifically designed to get in around the brackets. A water-pick type instrument can help flush out debris and bacteria stuck in between the teeth.
6). HOW EXPENSIVE ARE BRACES?
We welcome all of our patients for a consultation with our orthodontist to discuss the optimal treatment options for them. Once the treatment plan is complete, we can accurately estimate a price range. Given that this will be one of the most important aesthetic improvements you make, it is well worth the investment in a change that will quite literally improve how you feel and how the world sees you everyday. We believe everyone deserves access to this life-changing investment and can offer monthly plans to make it more affordable.