Orthodontic dentistry is a specialised form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are specialised dentists who are trained to provide orthodontic treatments, such as the placement of braces. Orthodontic treatments can help to improve the aesthetics of your smile, as well as the function of your teeth. Straightening teeth can also help to reduce the risk of dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Benefits of orthodontic dentistry can include:
- Improved aesthetics, including an attractive and healthy smile.
- Improved dental function, including better bite alignment, improved chewing and speech.
- Reduced risk of dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
- Improved self-confidence.
What Types of Orthodontic Treatments are Available?
Orthodontic treatments have come a long way from the traditional bulky metal braces that made us feel like robots. Today, there are a variety of options available to straighten your teeth and give you a confident smile. Here are some of the most popular types of orthodontic treatments:
- Traditional Braces: The OG of orthodontic treatments, metal braces have been around for decades. They consist of brackets, wires, and bands that work together to shift your teeth into the desired position. You can customise your braces with coloured bands to make them more fun and stylish.
- Clear Aligners: If you’re looking for a more discreet option, clear aligners could be the way to go. These are custom-made plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually move them into place. The best part? They’re practically invisible, so no one will know you’re wearing them.
- Ceramic Braces: Similar to traditional braces, ceramic braces use tooth-coloured brackets and wires to blend in with your teeth. This makes them a great option for those who want the effectiveness of traditional braces without the noticeable metal.
- Lingual Braces: These are like traditional braces, but instead of being on the front of your teeth, they’re attached to the back. This makes them virtually invisible, but they can be harder to clean and adjust.
- Removable Appliances: These are custom-made appliances that can be removed from your mouth. They include options like retainers, which are used after braces or aligners to keep your teeth in place, and expanders, which are used to widen your jaw.
How to Choose the Right Orthodontist for Your Needs
Choosing the right orthodontist can be a daunting task, but it is crucial to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect orthodontist for you:
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a trustworthy orthodontist who will meet your needs.
- Do your research. Take the time to look into the experience and qualifications of potential orthodontists. You can read reviews online, check their credentials, or even schedule a consultation to get a feel for their practice.
- Ask questions. It’s essential to make sure you feel comfortable with the orthodontist and their approach to treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask about their treatment methods, how long the process will take, or any other concerns you may have.
- Check out the office. A clean and comfortable office can make all the difference in your orthodontic experience. Take a tour of the office before scheduling any treatment to ensure it meets your standards.
- Inquire about payment plans. Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, so it’s crucial to understand the payment plan and what it covers. Don’t be afraid to ask about financing or insurance options to help make treatment more affordable.
The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Braces
Before choosing a type of braces, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each type.
Traditional braces are the tried and true method of straightening teeth. They consist of metal brackets, wires, and bands that are adjusted periodically by your orthodontist to gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
- The pros of traditional braces include their durability, versatility in treating complex dental issues, and affordability compared to other types of braces. Plus, with a variety of colourful bands to choose from, you can make them your own!
- Traditional braces are quite noticeable and can cause discomfort and difficulty with cleaning.
Clear aligners are a popular choice for those seeking a more discreet method of straightening their teeth. They are made of clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually shift them into the desired position.
- The pros of clear aligners include their subtle appearance, comfort, and ease of cleaning. Plus, you can remove them for eating and brushing.
- However, clear aligners tend to be more expensive than traditional braces and are not as effective for treating severe dental issues. Plus, they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day to be effective.
Lingual braces are a less common option that consist of brackets and wires that are placed on the back of your teeth, making them virtually invisible.
- The pros of lingual braces include their discreet appearance and ability to treat complex dental issues.
- However, lingual braces tend to be more expensive than traditional braces and can be more difficult to clean and adjust.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth After Treatment
Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, it is important to maintain your healthy smile. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy teeth after orthodontic treatment:
- Brush twice a day: Keep your teeth sparkling clean by brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This will help remove any leftover food particles and prevent plaque buildup.
- Floss regularly: Flossing is just as important as brushing, so make sure you do it regularly. It will help remove any food or debris that may be hiding between your teeth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste helps strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. Make sure you’re using a toothpaste with fluoride to keep your smile healthy and strong.
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks: Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can cause damage to your teeth, so it’s best to avoid them. If you do indulge in something sweet or acidic, make sure to brush your teeth afterwards.
- Schedule dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining healthy teeth. Make sure you schedule appointments with your dentist every six months to keep your smile in top shape.
- Wear a mouthguard during sports: If you play sports, wearing a mouthguard is a must. This will help protect your teeth from any potential damage while you’re playing.
- Wear your retainer: Your orthodontist may have given you a retainer to wear after your sure you wear it as directed to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position.
Orthodontic dentistry can help to improve the aesthetics, function and health of your teeth. There are many types of orthodontic treatments available, and it is important to choose the right orthodontist for your needs. It is also important to maintain healthy teeth after treatment by brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and wearing a retainer as directed. With the right orthodontic treatments and maintenance, you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.