Orthodontic treatment is a procedural means of straightening or moving teeth to boost their work and appearance. Being a dentistry sub-group, orthodontics aims to improve oral function by correctly positioning the teeth and treating the malocclusion condition. Orthodontic treatment is an oral hygienic measure that protects the teeth from decay, improved appearance, and better chewing.
Orthodontic treatment may begin as early as 12 years. Orthodontists use varying medical, dental devices such as plates, headgear, and braces to facilitate the best functionality of the teeth. The orthodontic appliances placed on the teeth/ gums are either fixed or removable. Orthodontic dentistry objectives may vary to achieve the following goals;
- Straightening crooked teeth
- Aligning teeth tips
- Treating an improper bite
- Boosting long-term oral health of teeth and gums
- Closing wide gaps between teeth
- Ensuring chewing ability
- Deterring trauma of the teeth and excessive wear
Fixed Orthodontic Medical Appliances
Fixed orthodontic devices are suitable when precision is imperative though the intake of sticky foods, carbonated drinks, hard candy, and gums is discouraged. The devices include;
Braces: These are fixed devices consisting of bands, wires, and brackets. To anchor the device around the teeth, bands are firmly fixed while brackets are fused to join the front of the teeth. The arching wire passes through the brackets and is set to the bands creating tension to the teeth and moving them into the proper position. Brace devices are available in varying colors and clarity. Brace appliances incorporate monthly checkups by the orthodontist for adjusting and tightening. Referrals can access orthodontists and braces near me from dentists.
Fixed-space maintainers: This is a device that aids in preventing two teeth at a gum space of a child. Until an adult tooth develops, a band is fixed to one of the teeth while the wire intersects into the other tooth near the space.
Special fixed appliances: The devices are essential in controlling the sucking and tongue thrusting. Special appliances need to be used when necessary since they may be uncomfortable.
Removable Orthodontic Medical Appliances
These devices are built to treat minor hurdles like correcting slightly crooked teeth and preventing thumb sucking. Removable appliances are taken out when eating, flossing, cleaning, engaging in cycling activities, or playing a wind instrument. They include;
Aligners: The device is virtually unnoticeable and is used for about 2-3 weeks. They are eligible for adults. Aligners can be removed when brushing or flossing teeth.
Palatal expander: It is eligible for making the arch of the upper jaw wider. The appliance is designed with components of a plastic plate with screws on the roof of the mouth. Palatal expander functions by exerting pressure on the bone joints forcing them outward and expanding the area’s size.
Headgear: This entails attaching a metal wire in the front and a strap around the back of the head. The headgear helps keep both the front and back teeth in position and slow down upper jaw growth.
Retainers: These are devices essential in stopping teeth from moving back to their original positions after treatment. Metal and acrylic retainers are designed to fit around the roof of the mouth while the wire surrounds the anterior teeth. Plastic retainer act like an Invisalign aligner over the teeth. Permanent retainers may be glued or bonded to help lower anterior teeth.
Orthodontic treatment devices range from varying retainers, aligners, and braces. Orthodontic dentistry is eligible if the jaws and teeth are crooked and misaligned. Although malocclusion doesn’t affect physical health, it may impact the appearance of the teeth and the shape of the face. Orthodontic brace treatment entails several steps, including identifying an orthodontist, consultation, designing treatment, placing braces, inserting the wire, discussion of oral care, adjustments, dentist appointments, and dietary restrictions.