Everyone will eventually have to visit the dentist at some point in their lives. It is a good idea to get any potential problems looked at and corrected as early as possible. Getting braces used to be a big ordeal, but in recent years there have been incredible advances in orthodontic procedures and equipment. This article will go over common problems that can be correct by braces, as well as traditional braces and alternative options.
What Common Problems Can Be Fixed with Braces?
There are six common dental issues that braces can fix, such as overcrowded teeth, gaps in your teeth, crooked teeth, overbite, and underbite.
- Overcrowded Teeth. This common problem is caused by not having enough room in your jaws for your teeth to grow in properly. Teeth overcrowding starts because your baby teeth didn’t fall out in time for the adult teeth to come in. Your wisdom teeth coming in could also cause overcrowding because they shift your teeth forward.
- Gaps in Your Teeth. Gaps in your teeth most often occur between the two top front teeth. They can be caused by missing or small teeth or a mismatch between your teeth and jaw size. An incorrect swallow reflex or sucking your thumb can result in gaps in your teeth as well.
- Crooked Teeth. Crooked teeth are usually caused by your genetics, the same way your hair and eye color are. Few other causes of crooked teeth are you losing your baby teeth too soon, misaligned jaw due to injury or trauma, tumors in your jaw or mouth, pacifier use after your child is three years old, and thumb sucking. All of these things can contribute to crooked teeth.
- Overbite. An overbite is a condition where your upper teeth overlap your bottom teeth when you bite down. Most people have a small overbite, but it’s when your overbite sticks out too far that trouble starts. An overbite can be caused by your jaws being misaligned.
- Underbite. An underbite is defined as your lower jaw sticking out past your upper jaw and your teeth overlapping. Underbite is usually caused by a skeletal issue or component. If your child sucked their thumbs a lot or if they poked their tongues into the bottom of their teeth constantly, these could be contributing factors. This condition can affect your ability to chew properly and speak clearly.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Treatment options and orthodontic skill has come a long way in the recent years. According to Your Dentistry Guide, there are several options for people who want to correct their orthodontic issues.
- Traditional Braces. Traditional braces have been used in fixing overbite for years. They work by slowly adjusting the jaw bones into place and shifting the teeth by bonding brackets onto the front of the teeth. These brackets are connected by thin wires that the orthodontist will slowly tighten over months of visits to gradually use the braces to fix the overbite. Many people are afraid that the braces will hurt their lips or mouth when they first get them, and there is going to be some discomfort. The key to having the least amount of pain possible is to find a skilled Orthodontist. Your cheeks and the inside of your lips will eventually harden, and the discomfort will go away.
- Invisalign. Invisalign is an option for people with small or sensitive mouths. The Invisalign system is a set of clear retainers that your orthodontist will mold for you. They are designed to slowly straighten your teeth over the course of a few months, and you switch them for new ones every two weeks. You remove them to eat, floss, and brush your teeth but they are meant to be worn up to 22 hours a day. There is no irritation to your lips or gums because they’re molded to slip over your teeth for a snug fit.
- Retainers. A retainer is a custom-made plastic mold that is designed to slip over your teeth, and it is held in place by wires. Retainers are used after overbite correction surgery or after your braces or Invisalign comes off. These will help keep the teeth where they are supposed to be and stop them from reshifting and destroying all the work that was previously put into them. A retainer should be worn for a year at the minimum after your braces are removed to give your teeth enough time to solidify and bond to their new placement.
What Is an Orthodontist?
An Orthodontist is a dental practitioner that has had extensive additional training and specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of dental problems. According to the American Board of Orthodontics, any Board Certified Orthodontist has to finish dental school then apply and get accepted to complete an orthodontic program, attend 2 to 3 years of residency, complete a written and clinical exam, and get a certification renewal every ten years. They are trained in fixing overbite problems, as well as after overbite correction follow-up procedures. They are skilled at using braces fix overbite, as well as other dental issues. A good Orthodontist will be able to correct dental problems with a little amount of discomfort to your lips or cheeks because they have the experience necessary to apply your dental correction devices with the minimum amount of pain possible.
If you have a dental issue that is causing you discomfort, you should seek out a Board Certified Orthodontist that has a positive reputation, and comes recommended by people you know or your dentist. Orthodontics is the next step up from traditional dentistry, and your dentist can refer you to a trusted Orthodontist if the need arises. You want your teeth to be as healthy as possible for your whole life, and early prevention along with routine maintenance is a crucial step to keeping them healthy so schedule an appointment with an orthodontist and get your teeth checked.
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