Is there a space between your teeth? Do you have teeth crowding in one spot? Are you unhappy with the alignment of your teeth?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions you have probably already thought about receiving orthodontic treatment. Now I ask you, do you have pain in your jaw? Do your top teeth close behind your bottom teeth? Is there a space between your top teeth and bottom teeth when you bite down? If you answered yes to any of these questions, these may also indicate you may benefit from orthodontic treatment.
When Does Orthodontic Treatment Begin?
Orthodontic treatment may begin as early as four or five years old, or can even begin well into adulthood. Generally early intervention is ideal as a young patient is still growing, which makes it easier to correct minor issues and may prevent more extensive orthodontic procedures later in life. On average, treatment begins between nine and 12 years of age.
Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Required?
There are many different reasons orthodontic intervention may be required; some for clinical reasons and some more for aesthetic reasons.
Orthodontic treatment may be used to close gaps between teeth, to align tips of the teeth, or to straighten crooked or rotated teeth. It is also used to treat an improper bite such as open bite, under bite, or crossbite.
Orthodontic treatment is not only to correct your smile, but to also correct your oral health. An improper bite may lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. TMJ may make it harder to chew and in the case of crooked and crowded teeth, oral hygiene may become an issue making it harder to clean the area properly leading to tooth decay and other oral health issues. Orthodontic treatment is designed to make your teeth function properly and to make your smile more aesthetically pleasing.
What Appliances Are Used in Orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment may involve the use of different appliances that are either fixed or removable to help correct improper bite, expand the top dental arch, and improve profile. Traditional metal bracketing may be used and, in some cases, the use of clear aligners may be another option.
Where to Begin?
The first step is to see if you would benefit from any form of orthodontic treatment by booking an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation, the dentist or orthodontist will do a thorough assessment by taking measurements, checking for any discrepancies or abnormalities in your bite, determine if there is any issue with the position of the teeth such as crowding, spacing, or blocked teeth – x-rays are sometimes taken at this time. After this consultation, the dentist or orthodontist should be able to give you a general idea as to what is to be expected, both treatment wise and cost wise.
For more information on determining if orthodontic treatment would benefit you, click here!
Dr. Kate Bazydlo