Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry devoted to correcting tooth alignment and bite problems. Mouth injuries, prolonged pacifier use in infancy and thumb-sucking in early childhood can all cause misalignment. Most often though orthodontic problems occur simply because the teeth and mouth are growing at different speeds.
Orthodontic appliances, such as braces and retainers, put pressure on your teeth and/or jaw forcing them into a more aligned form. Straightening your teeth improves more than just your smile; orthodontics can improve all of these problems:
- Crooked or overlapped teeth can impair chewing (and therefore digestion) and complicate dental hygiene.
- Poorly aligned teeth can cause biting down on the tongue and gums.
- Jaw irregularities can cause the roof of your mouth to block your nasal cavities leading to breathing difficulties. Orthodontics can prevent all of these potential problems.
While orthodontic treatment can occur at any age, our dentists typically recommend starting the process while the child is still growing since the teeth and jaw will move into place quicker. Most orthodontic patients are in their early teens with orthodontic treatment taking about two to two and a half years.
Those concerned with the aesthetic side effects or discomfort of metal braces can ask about “invisible” options. Manus Dental offers the option of Invisalign®, which is a series of virtually invisible aligners that gradually reposition teeth. Invisalign® works better for patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic concerns.
If you want straighter teeth, contact our office to find out what kind of orthodontic treatment is right for you.