Orthodontics is a part of dentistry that deals with correcting the alignment and position of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontics treatment solve problems associated with misaligned teeth are as follows- –
Difficulty in cleaning which increases the risk of decay of the teeth
Higher chance of losing the teeth due to decay or gum disease
Imbalance in biting forces leading to facial muscle stress, jaw joint problems, shoulder and back pain.
Crooked and misaligned teeth look unattractive and spoil the appearance of a person
The ideal age to start an Orthodontics treatment
Your dentist decides whether you need an orthodontics appliance. The type of appliance depends on your history, clinical findings, and other aids. 10 to 14 years of age is the ideal time to seek braces treatment, as this is the time when the jaws are still growing. But, adults too need orthodontic treatment for various problems. Some common problems include the upper teeth sticking out, the forward position of lower teeth, the teeth biting together in the wrong way and gaps between the teeth.
You can choose the type of braces you want
The most common type of appliances is metal and ceramic braces. It brings your teeth to the desired position with the help of bands or brackets. You can choose metal or ceramic wires, as well as different styles and colours for how you want them to look. The time frame can be from a few months to years. Generally, using braces for at least a year shows significant results.
Metal braces along with metal wires are the traditional braces used to correct the alignment. The metal brackets are fixed on the surface of the tooth and the metal wires are threaded onto these brackets exerting some pressure on the teeth and move the teeth into alignment. Metal braces are opted by people since they are less expensive.
Aesthetically concerned patients opt for ceramic braces. The ceramic braces are the tooth coloured braces where the brackets are of the same colour. The texture as the tooth making it difficult to notice. These braces are less irritating to the oral tissues but attain stains quickly if a patient is not able to maintain his oral hygiene. Ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional metal braces.
Lingual braces are the braces in which the brackets and wires are placed on the inner surface of the tooth. And, not on the outer surface making it unnoticeable.
Generally, the purpose of these braces is to push the lower teeth out so that they are in alignment with upper teeth. Initially, these are uncomfortable and there is difficulty in speech as well as to maintain oral hygiene.
Lingual braces have lots of disadvantages hence not all cases can be treated with lingual braces and depends on the severity of the non aligned teeth.
Invisalign or clear braces
Recently invisible braces are available wherein a series of transparent trays are used. That corrects the minor changes in the alignment of the teeth called clear aligners. These are more comfortable to use by the patient but are the most expensive among all the options.
It takes 1 to 2 years to achieve movement of the teeth without causing any damage. The dentist has to replace them every couple of weeks and the cost is significantly higher than other types available in India.
What is the exact procedure for fixing braces?
The process starts with a few Xrays and orthodontist studies and chalks out a perfect treatment plan.
It starts with placing ‘spacers’ which they apply to create space for the bands and appliance. Initially, the teeth are bonded so that the brackets or wire pieces can be attached to the dental cement. Then they use a special light to harden the cement. Then, we connect the brackets on the teeth with an ‘arch wire’. This arch wire applies light force on the teeth just enough to move them gradually which we adjust from time to time.
The dentist adjusts the wire every 3 to 6 weeks so that the teeth move into the correct positions. Once we achieve that, we can remove the arch wires and change it according to the further changes we need. Once the dentist has completed the treatment, he gives you a retainer to maintain the new position of the teeth and to stabilize the teeth.
Your dentist will recommend an appliance for your specific case depending on how much force can be applied to change the way your upper and lower teeth interact with each other. These appliances can help move the teeth, train the facial muscles and affect the jaw growth. Hence, this type of orthodontics treatment starts when jaw growth is still occurring at the age of 10 to 14.
Is it always necessary to extract a tooth before placing braces?
Not in all cases. But in some cases, the problem is due to the ‘crowding’ of teeth wherein there isn’t enough space for all your teeth to align correctly. To correct such cases, the dentist recommends extracting one tooth, a premolar from each of the four sides of the jaws (upper and lower) to create space for the other teeth to move into. Generally, the dentist recommends this in cases where the jaws simply do not have space to accommodate all the teeth in the correct position. It is absolutely in your best interest to remove these teeth so as to give u the perfect smile in a way that you don’t suffer from additional problems.
Does it hurt while fixing braces?
If you are getting braces, you can expect some amount of pain when you get them for the first time. Although this pain lasts for a few days, it becomes very comfortable soon.
Do’s and Don’ts during the Orthodontics treatments
You should avoid eating sticky, and extremely hard or hot substances since they can damage the braces. An important part of this treatment is maintaining a very good oral routine since braces tend to be difficult to clean. There are special toothbrushes for patients with braces which you must use twice a day with your regular toothpaste. It is important to brush the teeth and get a professional cleaning at the dentist regularly. It is difficult to treat dental disease if you already wear braces.