Orthodontics is the part of dentistry responsible for the improvement of the functions and aesthetic qualities of misaligned teeth. The actual procedure used for the correction of misaligned teeth is referred to as orthodontic treatment.

Factors That Bring About Orthodontic Problems

The major cause of orthodontic problems is hereditary. Parents pass it on to their children through their genetic makeup. Signs of orthodontic abnormalities include badly aligned teeth, crowded teeth, and spaced teeth. Apart from hereditary factors, other causes of orthodontic issues are accident, teeth loss, thumb sucking over a long period etc.

The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

It is very difficult to properly clean teeth that are badly aligned and crooked. This is because the irregular arrangement of the teeth will make it impossible to reach tight corners.

These tight corners will trap and accumulate food particles, and over time, these food particles will get rotten and cause gum diseases, tooth loss, cavities etc.

With misaligned teeth, you will find it hard to have a proper bite. The consequences of bad teeth alignment include chewing difficulties, abnormal speech patterns, wearing away of the teeth enamel, contorted facial structure, e.t.c. you may experience one or all of these consequences. When you manifest any of these difficulties, your confidence level will go down and you may become withdrawn from the social scene.

At what age should a child start an orthodontic examination?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), children should start getting orthodontic evaluations as soon as they are seven years of age. This stage, at which the child is still developing, is the most suitable period for the dentist to detect and rectify any orthodontic problems.

Will adults also benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Despite the fact that younger people respond better to orthodontic treatments, adults constitute an average of 20 percent of all the patients that have access to orthodontic treatment. There is no restriction in the use of braces whatsoever. The current advancement in dental processes and technology has brought about an increase in the number of receptive adults.

Types of Braces

Metal Braces:

These are the cheapest of all the braces. However, it does not address the aesthetic needs of the patient. Metal braces are very durable and are made of stainless steel. When you first start using the braces, you may experience some irritation over your cheeks and gums; however, this should subside, as your mouth gets adapted to the braces. Choose type of food you eat wisely. Gummy and hard foods are not good and can dislodge the braces.

Ceramic Braces:

The main advantage of the ceramic braces is the ability to blend with the teeth. They cost more than the metal types and are fragile, which can take time to repair and maintain.

Invisalign Braces:

Invisalign braces are the costliest. This is because they are manufactured with the latest technological processes. They are transparent plastics and practically invisible to the eye. They are very convenient, especially for people whose dental problems are not very serious. You can even remove them whenever you want to have a meal or brush your teeth.

What are my responsibilities while receiving an orthodontic treatment?

For a successful outcome of an orthodontic treatment to be possible, the dentist’s skill and experience is not enough. The patient must also abide by all the dentist’s instructions guiding the treatment.

What is the length of time for an orthodontic treatment?

This usually lasts for a year to three years. However, it depends on the type of problem, and the method of treatment.

How much does it cost to have an orthodontic treatment?

The cost of an orthodontic treatment is determined by the period of treatment, the type of brace, and the seriousness of the problem.