What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. This can include a bad bite, crooked teeth, missing teeth, or extra protruding teeth. Such conditions can arise in both children and adults, and Dr. Smith’s extensive experience makes him a reliable professional to deliver this treatment. To move the teeth into their proper position, orthodontics involves the use of devices placed on the teeth to facilitate their gradual movement. These devices can be braces, retainers, spacers, or a combination of them. Sometimes the problem is that the patient doesn’t have enough space in their mouth and the teeth are crowding each other. In these cases, some permanent teeth may need to be extracted in order to make room for the remaining teeth, moving them into their proper position.
Why choose braces?
Crooked, misaligned teeth can be more than just a cosmetic nuisance; misaligned teeth often also indicate a misaligned bite. That can place extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches; TMJ syndrome; even neck, shoulder, and back pain.
And without help, those teeth won’t straighten themselves out. In fact, issues such as overlapping teeth can lead to problems with hygiene that can spiral into gum disease and worse. Plus, straight, healthy teeth look better and are more likely to last a lifetime.
Dr. Smith provides orthodontic treatment as part of his overall mission of keeping your teeth functional, healthy, and looking great.
How can I spot a bad bite?
There may be a problem in your bite when there are teeth protruding or erupting out of their proper position. Such are clear indications that orthodontic intervention is needed. However, signs may also be less noticeable, such as mouth breathing, speech difficulties, and frequent cheek or palate biting incidents. In children, thumb sucking past the age of four can indicate a problem. It may also be present if the mouth does not properly close or if the jaws make sounds when they move together. In these cases, it is best to see Dr. Smith to have your condition checked.
Dr. Smith believes orthodontic treatment provides both an aesthetic and functional service to his patients. While his practice is known for its cosmetic dentistry expertise, giving patients the best-looking smiles possible, the functionality of the teeth and bite is of even more importance. Great looking teeth are also healthy teeth.
Can braces treat baby teeth
While in an ideal world, it is best to use orthodontics to move only the permanent teeth, some problems such as severe crowding, tooth eruption problems, open bite, crossbite, large over or underbite, severely protruding front teeth, and other issues demand more immediate action. Early intervention with orthodontics can help the permanent teeth come in properly. In these cases, early intervention with Dr. Smith doesn’t eliminate the need for braces later, but it can reduce the patient’s time spent in braces when they are teenagers. In many cases, patients will wear a retainer or space maintainer to maintain progress made until they’re ready for braces.
Should adults have orthodontic treatment?
While adults shy away from having orthodontic treatment because of the supposed stigma of braces, many modern styles such as behind the teeth bands can be far less visible. Braces can be quite effective for adults. In many cases, a family may not have had the funds for braces when the adult was a child, or in other cases the teeth have moved in their adult years. The benefits of a straight, healthy smile don’t have an age limit!
I have a bridge. Can I still get braces?
Adult orthodontic treatment often involves placing bands on teeth with either crowns or bridges. While this is somewhat more complicated, Dr. Smith does this all the time. Prosthetic devices in no way preclude the potential for straightening the teeth and correcting the bite.
How will braces affect my day-to-day life?
While teenagers often feel that having braces marks the end of their social existence, braces are so prevalent on the teeth of American teens that they are hardly noticed. The wearer will have to adjust to not having certain foods such as chewy candies and corn on the cob (the kernels simply have to be cut off). Things that are really chewy or sticky are troublesome, as they can pull the bands off the teeth.
The big difference is oral hygiene. Braces demand an increased level of care so that food doesn’t become lodged in the bands or between the teeth. Flossing still needs to be done, but is usually done with a threader or individual pick-style flosser.
Some people have trouble with bands rubbing on their lips and cheeks, or with wires occasionally poking the cheeks, but adjustments can be made to solve all of these issues, keeping the patient comfortable.
Does getting braces hurt?
Contrary to what most people believe, having braces placed on the teeth does not come with pain. There is no pain involved with the placement of bands on the teeth or adding the wires that create movement. Discomfort comes in the form of minor aching when the braces are first installed and after adjustments to tighten or change direction of the tooth movement. This can result to temporary soreness. While this aching can be uncomfortable, it is easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Alternative options to braces
For moving teeth into their proper locations there really isn’t an alternative to braces. But clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires can make the braces much less noticeable. Some people if they need relatively minor adjustment may be eligible for clear aligners instead of traditional braces.
Otherwise, some adults opt to have porcelain veneers placed over the front of their teeth in lieu of actually moving the teeth. Veneers are only cosmetic, but can cover flaws such as crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and the like. Unfortunately, they cannot correct bite problems.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information on orthodontics, contact our Beaumont, TX office today. Call (409) 895-0089 today to schedule a consultation with LVI dentist Dr. Joel Smith!