Orthodontics is a field of medicine that is mainly used by someone who has developed a dental problem. It is rare to find someone visiting an orthodontist for preventive measures. However, most problems with tooth alignment can be effectively dealt with if found out in time.
If you are unhappy with your smile, you are not alone. Fully 80 percent of teens and an estimated 25 percent of adults are currently seeking the help of orthodontic professionals to achieve a straighter, whiter smile. Most parents are now advised to schedule their child’s first orthodontic visit as early as age seven, especially if there is a family history of not aligned teeth or adult bottom and top teeth that grow in with improper spacing.
To alleviate your suspense, the answer to the question posed in the title to this article is a definitive YES. Absolutely, braces can help to correct issues of tooth spacing, alignment, bite, jaw pain, and other oral health issues. Read on to learn more about how this process works.
LAST UPDATED: APRIL 25, 2017
When you’ve gone through the lengthy process of treatment with braces, it’s a great sigh of relief when those braces come off and you can finally show off those pearly whites. Wearing an orthodontic retainer is just par for the course, the final stage of treatment that will help you to preserve those straight teeth after all of that time and effort.
LAST UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2017
Is it Possible for a Patient to Change Orthodontists?
You may not think about it before you get braces, but it may become a question you need to address. What if you need to change orthodontists?
Why do you need to change orthodontists?
The number one reason people change orthodontists is they are moving. We live in an area where there’s a fairly large military community, and a lot of people move in and out. Sometimes these moves are unexpected and the kids or adults are in the middle of orthodontic treatment. Or, they’ll come from one office in another part of the country to a different one. So, “yes,” it is possible to change orthodontists.
LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 28, 2017
How Long Should Someone Wear a Retainer after Braces are Removed?
It’s the first question a patient asks after their braces come off, we’ve celebrated the momentous occasion, and handed him a retainer: How long do I have to wear my retainer?
It’s a good and valid question.
I’ll highlight the type of retainer used most often, why retainers are so important and how long you need to wear them.
LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
Five Signs that a Child, Teen, or Adult Needs Braces
Although these fall in no particular order of importance, I’ll highlight five signs you may need braces, regardless of your age.
You may need braces if…
1.) You have an uncomfortable bite.Does your bite feel funny? Do you bite down and your teeth don’t fit together? Do you bite down and have a big space between your upper and lower teeth (an overbite)? Can you put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth? If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, you may need braces. You may also feel comfortable eating and chewing, bit that large space between your upper and lower teeth puts the teeth in a position where they can’t protect themselves that well (in addition to being unaesthetic).
When the teeth fit together nicely, they protect themselves as you move your jaw forwards or backwards. When you have a large overbite, the teeth aren’t protected. Another bite issue is an underbite. Your lower teeth stick out further than your top ones. With an underbite, it’s hard to chew, and your teeth are susceptible to trauma and damage.
LAST UPDATED: JULY 29, 2016
What is the Best Way to Fix Spaces or Gaps in Between the Teeth?
“What’s your No. 1 concern?” I ask patients.
“I’ve got a space between my two front teeth,” they reply.
This conversation is common.
Sometimes, they’ve dealt with for a while and thought, “Okay, I’m ready to get this fixed.” Other times, it’s a recent concern that pops up.
Teeth Gaps FAQ
Can Orthodontic Expanders be used on the Lower Teeth to Avoid Extractions?
An orthodontic expander, also commonly referred to as a “palate-widening device,” is commonly used on the top teeth to create space in between the teeth. The device, which is secured around one tooth on each side of the top of the mouth, gradually creates space in the top of the teeth through the course of a few weeks or months. By spacing out the palate, the teeth have more room to shift, which is ideal for patients who plan to get braces. Because the orthodontic expanders create more room at the top of the teeth, it lowers the chances of needing to extract teeth as a method of creating space as well. Since orthodontic expanders are successfully used to create room on the upper teeth, can’t the same method be used to resolve crowding with the bottom?
An orthodontist is able to use an expander device on the upper teeth because of the mid-palatal suture in the upper arch of our mouths. The palate can be expanded if there is soft cartilage in the suture. Each time the expander is activated, either at home or by an orthodontist specialist, a gap between the front teeth develops as the teeth space out. But when an expander is used on the lower arch of the teeth, there is no such suture, which doesn’t allow them the chance to expand.
Tooth brushing Mistake No.3: “Not Brushing Often Enough or Long Enough”
If your child has the bad habit of not brushing often enough or long enough, you know that there are going to be problems down the line. In addition to flossing on a daily basis, your child should brush his or her teeth for at least two minutes every time. That means devoting at least a minute to the top and a minute to the bottom, thoroughly brushing every surface to ensure the teeth are cleaned well. It’s also essential that your child knows the proper method to brush teeth. Strokes should be short, moving back and forth across every surface, using the tip to get in hard to reach places, such as behind teeth that are in the front. If your child doesn’t brush long enough, bacteria can continue to breed, leading to gum disease. Accumulating debris can cause decay and excess plaque can actually lead to heart problems in the future.
Tooth brushing Mistake No. 2: “Not Picking the Right Bristles”
A parent who cares about his child’s oral health will encourage that they brush their teeth twice a day in addition to setting a good example by doing this themselves. In addition to investing in braces to make their smile beautiful, the next best investment a parent can make is investing in a toothbrush with the right bristles. It’s easy to avoid the mistake of not picking the right bristles for the toothbrush used on a daily basis.