Orthodontics is a specialisation which takes care of straightening and correcting the positions of the teeth. The purpose of orthodontics, besides achieving an aesthetic smile, is to correct the function such as occlusion (how the teeth bite together), swallowing, talking and ease of oral hygiene.
Orthodontic therapy (aligning the teeth):
– It is performed with the help of fixed or removable orthodontic appliances, depending on the patient’s age and severity of the problem.
– It can begin from young age (3-5 years); it is important to know that every child, until they reach the age of 7, would benefit from an orthodontic consult. For kids, treating different problems helps prevent future issues, which it can be harder to correct later in life. However, there is no upper age limit for straightening your teeth.
The length of treatment varies a lot from person to person. The approximate length is 1.5-2.5 years. It is important that the patient understand their own commitment to treatment and oral hygiene, and that they work closely with the dentist.
Review appointments are required every month in the case of braces, and in the case of removable appliances, it varies.
The removal of the braces will be followed by retention. During this period, the teeth brought into the correct position must be stabilised (enough bone around the roots must be formed) and in this way, any relapse (teeth returning to their original position) is prevented. This consists of fixing a thin wire to the inside side of the teeth (it is invisible) and keeping it there for a period (decided by the orthodontist). To further prevent relapse, the extraction of the wisdom teeth is also sometimes recommended.
– These are most efficient for patients between the ages of 6 -10 years.
– Therapy at this point is extremely beneficial as the development of the bones can be influenced, the dental eruption can be guided and bad habits can be corrected (like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, infantile swallowing) which are very damaging for the whole dental-maxillary system.
– Through stimulating the development of the maxillaries, enough space for aligning the teeth will be created and in this way, the necessity of dental extraction may be prevented.
– These can be metallic (silver colour) or aesthetic (tooth colour).
– These braces are bonded on a certain point of the surface of the tooth and using elastics (which can also be metal or tooth coloured), the teeth will be aligned.
– The aesthetic braces that we use are made of ceramic or sapphire (materials that do not impregnate in the buccal environment and therefore do not discolour during treatment).
– Regardless of the type of appliance, oral hygiene is imperative. For that purpose, interdental brushes, dental orthodontic floss and, if necessary, professional cleaning in the dental clinic will be required.