A great-looking smile will boost your self-confidence and properly aligned teeth help with chewing, biting, and speaking. Straight teeth are also easier to clean!
Orthodontic fixtures gently reshape bone and move teeth into a straighter alignment. When we perform orthodontic treatment, we use traditional metal braces, clear or tooth-colored braces, or clear aligners, a relatively new option for adults and teens.
Bite Problems and How to Fix Them
Orthodontic treatment can resolve a number of bite problems, which often become evident by age seven. These include underbite, crossbite, or excessive overbite, when upper and lower teeth don’t close in the proper position.
To correct bite problems, our laser dentistry recommends moving teeth around Teeth aren’t fixed rigidly in their supporting bone; instead, they’re held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament, which is very responsive to forces placed on the teeth. Orthodontic appliances move teeth by careful application of light, constant pressure. This force can be applied via metal wires that run through small brackets attached to the teeth (braces), or via the semi-rigid plastic of clear aligners.
Orthodontic treatment is for Children and Adults!
Orthodontic treatment in childhood uses a youngster’s natural growth process to help the teeth move into proper alignment. Like the rest of the body, the teeth and jaws change rapidly. At this time, it’s possible to create more room for teeth in a crowded mouth by using a “palatal expander” to rapidly widen the upper jaw. This phase of growth modification can shorten overall treatment time and ensure the best result if additional orthodontic appliances are needed.
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so you’ve never “missed the boat” for orthodontic treatment. In fact, about a fifth of today’s orthodontic patients are adults. Several new technological developments, including tooth-colored ceramic braces, clear aligners, and invisible lingual braces, have made orthodontic appliances less evident and have enhanced the treatment experience for grown-ups.
Before treatment, our cosmetic dentistry carefully examines mouths for signs of periodontal, or gum, disease.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
Wire braces are common, but they’re not the only option. Clear braces use plastic or ceramic brackets which are hardly visible. Lingual braces are just like traditional metal braces, except they’re bonded to the back of your teeth (the tongue side) so that no one can see them.
Removable clear aligners are an alternative to fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth; each one moves your teeth a little bit until they are in the proper position. Whether fixed or removable, each type of appliance may have advantages or disadvantages in particular situations.
Retention & Post Orthodontic Care
Once your orthodontic treatment is completed, wearing your retainer is the important next step because teeth drift back to their original locations, which is the last thing you want after braces! A retainer holds your teeth in their new position long enough for new bone and ligament to re-form around them, and helps keep your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.
Smiles by Dr Santos provides comprehensive orthodontic services. Call us today for an appointment! your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.