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If you have crooked teeth and/or a misaligned bite (an underbite or overbite), there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten teeth, including braces and retainers.
At Therapeuo our braces specialist doctor (orthodontist) specializes in correcting irregularities of the teeth and jaw.
In some cases, a removable retainer will be all that's necessary. In other rare cases (especially when there is an extreme overbite or underbite), surgery may be necessary. In most cases, however, braces will be needed.
Dental braces have come a long way since they were invented in the 1800's. Today, we are privy to a large number of tooth-straightening options, each of which offers different benefits. Currently, the most popular types of braces used are:
Metal Braces – These are traditional braces most often seen in children and teenagers. Metal braces use a system of brackets and wires to move the teeth over time.
Ceramic Braces – "Ceramic, or "clear," braces are made of materials that are weaker and more brittle than their metal counterpart. Ceramic brackets are larger than metal brackets and require small rubber bands, or ligatures, (or built in spring clips on "self-ligating” brackets) to hold them to the arch wire. Because the ligatures are white or clear, they can stain. However, staining is not a big problem because ligatures are changed every time you get an adjustment (generally monthly). The "self-ligating” clips do not require retying with wires or elastics.
Traditional braces are more effective at treating extreme overcrowding than other options like clear braces or Invisalign aligners and are less expensive. They give our orthodontist the control needed to move the teeth in small increments at a time. The main disadvantage of traditional braces is the metal mouth appearance or the bulky brackets in the mouth which could lead to ulcers and difficulty in chewing regular food.
While less noticeable orthodontics like Invisible aligners (Invisalign, Flash orthodontics, I-Aligners) may seem like a better choice for those who are conscious of their appearance, today's braces are more visually appealing than in past years, with a range of colour options for both the brackets and the elastics. Wearing these types of braces (metal or ceramic) also means that you don't have to worry about ever misplacing your aligners.
In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied.
If you and our dentist/orthodontist decide that metal braces are the right choice for your orthodontic needs,
some things to keep in mind include:
You will be wearing your braces for a fairly lengthy period, so it is important to follow your orthodontist's instructions and care for them properly. While braces may seem like an inconvenience, once the treatment is over, your new smile will be all the reward you need.
Only you and our braces specialist (orthodontist) can determine whether braces are right for you. However, chances are you could benefit from treatment if your teeth are crooked, overlapping or protruding. Schedule an appointment with us for more information.
Our orthodontist will ask questions about your health, conduct a clinical exam, take a digital scan of your teeth, take photos of your face and teeth, and order X-rays of the mouth and head (Full mouth Xray or OPG and lateral cephalogram). An appropriate treatment plan is made based on analysis of the gathered information and your preference on fixed braces (metal or ceramic) or clear aligners (Invisalign, Flash Orthodontics or I- aligners)
You will have certain dietary restrictions with most types of braces except Invisalign. Some foods such as hard, sticky and chewy foods, can have an adverse effect on braces and damage the brackets and wires. You will also need to make frequent visits to our clinic to have the orthodontic wires tightened. If you have clear aligners, there are no dietary restrictions, as the orthodontic trays are fully removable when eating. You'll also be able to switch to a new clear aligner tray every few weeks without visiting our orthodontist.
Our orthodontist will want to see you about every month or so in order to make sure the braces are exerting steady pressure on the teeth. To create more tension and pressure on your teeth, the orthodontist will make adjustments in the wires, springs, or rubber bands of the braces. In some cases, braces alone aren't enough to straighten the teeth or shift the jaw.
Some of the adjustments our orthodontist may make (such as tightening the wires) to your braces may make your mouth feel sore or uncomfortable. If you always experience a lot of pain after your braces are adjusted, talk to our orthodontist about it so that we may be able to make the adjustments a bit differently.
The mechanical process used to move teeth with braces or clear aligners is the same at any age. So, the benefits of orthodontic treatments are available to both children and adults who wish to improve their appearance and bite. The main differences between treatments in adults and children is that certain corrections in adults may require more than braces alone and the treatments may take longer because adult bones are no longer growing.
After braces are taken off, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. Our orthodontist will want to take another set of X-rays and bite impressions to check how well the braces straightened your teeth and to see if any wisdom teeth have developed. If wisdom teeth are beginning to come in after braces have been removed, our dentist/orthodontist will recommend the wisdom teeth be pulled to prevent newly straightened teeth from shifting.
Your dentist or orthodontist will also fit you with a retainer. A retainer is a custom-made, removable or fixed appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after braces have been removed. Retainers can also be used to treat minor orthodontic problems.
The use of a retainer is a very important part of post-braces care. Retainers, which are typically made of rubber or clear plastic and metal wires that cover the outside surface of the teeth, need to be worn all the time for the first six months and then usually only during sleep. The time frame for wearing a retainer will vary from patient to patient. The reason why a retainer is needed is that even though braces may have successfully straightened your teeth, they are not completely settled in their new position until the bones, gums, and muscles adapt to the change. Also, after long periods of time, teeth tend to shift.
You do not have to have crooked teeth to benefit from braces. Even patients with a little bit of crowding can benefit from orthodontic treatment. When the teeth are properly aligned, patients can better clean between the teeth, preventing decay and gum disease. Furthermore, teeth that are optimally aligned can help remedy complications arising from an odd bite, such as headaches.