If you are self-conscious about your smile due to gaps in your teeth or a overbite, you might be a good candidate for braces or other orthodontic treatments. Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that deals with correcting misaligned teeth, getting your bite in order for cosmetic or hygienic purposes. It is a common misconception that orthodontic treatments are only appropriate for children. In fact, any age can benefit from orthodontic treatments, provided that the patient has healthy teeth, bones, and gums to work with.
Teeth movement is based on the physical manipulation of the existing teeth and their structures. This movement is repeated several times during the course of a full orthodontic treatment, so that you can see slow but steady progress. The full treatment can take anywhere from 18 months to several years, depending on the age of the patient and their current state of oral health. To get started with any new treatment, you must first meet with your orthodontist or general dentist for a consultation. During this consultation, you can expect to have your smile looked at closely. This will include a discussion of your medical and dental history, as well as a physical examination. You will have photographs, X-rays, and impressions taken from your teeth and bite for diagnosis.
There are numerous benefits associated with orthodontics. Some of the primary benefits are purely cosmetic. If you are feeling self-conscious about your crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment can leave you with perfectly straight teeth. However, beyond a great smile this type of treatment is also beneficial for hygienic reasons. When you have large gaps in the teeth or an overcrowded mouth, it can be difficult to clean in between teeth properly. By moving the teeth to a more manageable position, you can be sure to get in between each and every tooth for a thorough cleaning, preventing gum disease.
Another benefit to orthodontics is that that it can correct protruding teeth, reducing the risk of injury during regular sports or other activities. Realignment can cause a better facial profile, and less stress is placed on your jaw joints. Orthodontic treatment can also cut down on the wear and tear that teeth are subjected to at times. If you are in need of further dental treatments, it helps to have a properly aligned jaw and bite to make this work go more smoothly, and you may find it easier to speak and eat with well arranged teeth.
These are only a few benefits of choosing orthodontic treatment for those with crooked, crowed, or misshapen teeth. The right treatment may vary in between every individual, and so orthodontics can be a highly individualized science. With smaller braces and more treatment options than ever before, you can choose from a wide range of styles when you start your treatment. It's best to speak to your general dentist to get the ball rolling and receive a referral to a orthodontist if you are in need of orthodontic treatment, as it's better to treat this problem sooner rather than later for best results.