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4 Ways Orthodontics Can Make Over Your Smile
Orthodontic treatments have long been a method that patients have turned to for help straightening teeth. If you have been looking for a way to repair misaligned teeth or bite abnormalities, help is available. Your dentist can share with you the various methods to improve your appearance and oral health.
Beneficial for just about everyone
Orthodontic treatment does not just have to be for preteens and teenagers. Adults are becoming increasingly more interested in straightening their teeth, perhaps because they missed out on the chance during younger years. Also, dentists recommend that children start undergoing treatment as early as age 7. Different mouth appliances can correct conditions such as crooked teeth as well as crossbites, underbites and overbites. Different options can also help with a crowded mouth and gaps.
Braces have undergone many changes over the centuries. In the second half of the 20th century, dentists and orthodontists began using metal. Braces consist of brackets and wires that put pressure on the teeth, causing them to slowly but constantly move into the position the dentist desires. Cement fixes the brackets to the front of the patient’s teeth, and elastic bands hook onto the brackets to adjust the jaw position and bite.
More recently, orthodontic advances have led to the development of clear braces. This treatment works much the same way as traditional braces. The biggest difference is that these are made of porcelain or ceramic and thus blend in with the teeth. It is more difficult to detect these braces than the metal variety.
Patients who prefer faster treatment and more flexibility may enjoy this orthodontic option. Clear aligners are plastic mouthguard-type appliances that fit over the person’s teeth. The dentist will create a digital mold of the person’s mouth to get the right fit. These lightweight appliances are removable, so the patient can take them out at mealtime and keep them clean. The patient will wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Plus, total treatment time can be less than half the time of braces.
So named because of the popularity among older patients, these braces cover only some of the person’s teeth. Treatment time for these braces can be as short as a few months. The dentist may place the brackets on the back teeth only, so they are not detectable. Also, the total cost of this option is often less than other choices because of the shorter time period. The braces are the same as traditional braces; it is only the placement of the brackets and treatment length that differ.
Decide on the right orthodontic treatment
You do not have to make this difficult choice on your own. If you are not sure which orthodontic teeth-straightening method is right for you, consult your dentist. This professional has the knowledge and training to give you a recommendation for treatment that you can feel good about. Make an appointment today so you can start on the path to a new smile.
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