Every year, over 4 million Americans use some form of orthodontic treatment to realign their teeth. Orthodontic treatments have come a long way, expanding from classic metal brackets and wires to state-of-the-art, nearly-invisible clear aligners. At The Dental Way in Bergenfield, New Jersey, your doctor can help you choose the right type of orthodontics for you, improving your oral health and giving you back your best smile.
Orthodontics is the study of proper tooth alignment, correcting improper bites to improve the health of the patient’s chewing system. The term also refers to the treatments for correcting and maintaining tooth alignments, such as braces and retainers.
Orthodontics help properly align your teeth through the use of constant force and pressure, pushing and pulling them into their proper positions. This process must be undertaken very slowly, which is why orthodontics must often be worn for an extended period of time to achieve satisfactory results.
Generally, anyone, of any age, can be treated by orthodontics. However, there are some optimal ages to begin orthodontic treatment. Currently, doctors recommend that your children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7, though many children don’t receive braces until age 12-13. Because children’s bones grow so rapidly, early orthodontic intervention can optimize the effectiveness of the treatment.
If you’re an adult, you can still benefit immensely from orthodontic treatment. It’s not too late, and there are several orthodontic options like invisible aligners that avoid the potential embarrassment and inconvenience of traditional metal braces.
Braces have greatly evolved over the past few decades, and a number of treatment options are available depending upon your needs. Different types of braces include:
Modern braces are much smaller, work faster, and are less noticeable than they used to be.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces, except their brackets are made out of tooth-colored or clear ceramic.
Lingual braces sit on the back (or “lingual”) side of your teeth, making them a more discreet option.
Aligners, made of clear plastic, gradually shift your teeth back into place. They’re almost invisible, and you can remove them to eat and brush and floss your teeth. Because they’re so discreet and cause minimal discomfort, they’re popular among adults and older teens.
At an orthodontic consultation, your dentist reviews your options and determines what’s best for you.
After your doctor removes your braces, they will evaluate your results through dental molds and x-rays. They may then order you a retainer, which prevents your teeth from shifting back without your braces.
You’ll likely wear your retainer full time for a few months, but then, with your dentist’s approval, will only need to wear it at night. This will keep your teeth in place and ensure you feel your best.
If you think you could benefit from orthodontics, call The Dental Way now, or book an appointment online.