Introduction to Orthodontics Treatment
Are you considering orthodontics treatment but unsure of what to expect? Do the terms braces, aligners, and retainers sound daunting? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about orthodontic treatment. From different types of appliances to common misconceptions about braces, buckle up for an informative ride on your journey toward a straighter smile!
Types of Orthodontics Treatments
Orthodontic treatment can be broadly divided into two types: ‘active’ treatment, which works to move teeth into their correct position; and ‘passive’ or ‘retention’ treatments, which work to keep teeth in their newly straightened position. Your orthodontist will usually recommend a course of active treatment first, followed by passive retention treatment to help ensure your new smile stays put.
Active treatments typically involve the use of braces, which apply pressure to teeth in order to gradually shift them into place. Invisalign is another popular type of active orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners instead of metal brackets and wires. Active treatment typically takes 12-24 months to complete, depending on the severity of the misalignment.
Once active treatment is finished, your orthodontist will likely recommend a course of passive retention treatment in order to keep your newly straightened teeth from shifting back into their original positions. Passive retention treatments include traditional metal braces (without the brackets and wires), clear aligners, and retainers. Retainers are removable appliances that are worn at night or during other periods when you are not wearing braces in order to keep your teeth from shifting. Passive retention treatments typically need to be worn for 1-2 years after active treatment is completed in order to be effective.
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment can offer a number of benefits for patients, both cosmetic and functional. For many, the most significant benefit is the improved appearance that comes with straight teeth. But orthodontic treatment can also help to correct bite problems, making it easier to chew and reducing the risk of tooth wear and other issues. In some cases, it can even help to improve breathing.
Risks Involved in Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment is not without its risks, and it is important for patients to be aware of these risks before beginning treatment. The most common risks associated with orthodontic treatment include:
- Damage to teeth: Orthodontic treatment can occasionally cause damage to the teeth, roots, or gums. This is usually due to improper placement of the brackets or wires, or excessive force being used during adjustment appointments.
- Allergic reactions: Some patients may experience allergic reactions to the materials used in orthodontic treatment, such as latex or metal.
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection associated with any type of dental procedure, including orthodontic treatment. This risk can be minimized by practicing good oral hygiene and keeping your mouth clean during treatment.
- Irritation: Orthodontic appliances can sometimes cause irritation of the lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue. This is usually due to incorrect placement of the appliance or poor oral hygiene during treatment.
- Pain: Orthodontic treatment may cause some discomfort or pain, especially during the first few days after the placement of braces or other appliances. This discomfort should gradually lessen as you become accustomed to wearing the appliance and will eventually go away completely once treatment is completed.
Preparing for an Orthodontic Appointment
An orthodontic appointment is an important step in ensuring you receive the best possible care for your smile. By preparing for your appointment ahead of time, you can help your orthodontist get a clear picture of your smile and how best to treat it. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your next orthodontic appointment:
-Make sure to brush and floss your teeth before your appointment so that your orthodontist can get a good look at your smile.
-Wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in easily.
-Bring any x-rays or other dental records that you may have.
-Be prepared to discuss your medical history with your orthodontist. This includes any allergies or medications that you are taking.
-Think about any questions that you may want to ask during your appointment. Your orthodontist will be happy to answer any questions that you have about treatment options, expected results, and more.
Aftercare and Maintenance
It is very important to take good care of your teeth and braces during treatment. Here are some tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including along the gum line.
- Floss your teeth once a day with unwaxed floss. Gently guide the floss between each tooth, using a back-and-forth motion.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your braces or get caught between your teeth. Cut up hard foods into small pieces, and be careful with crunchy foods like chips and carrots. Avoid sticky sweets like gum and taffy.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating, and brush your teeth if you can. This will help remove food particles from around your braces.
- Visit your orthodontist for regular checkups and adjustments. During these appointments, they will check to make sure that your braces are working properly and that your teeth are moving as they should be.
Alternatives to Traditional Orthodontics
There are a number of alternative methods to traditional orthodontic treatment. These include:
Invisalign – This is a clear aligner system that is virtually invisible when worn. It is custom-made for each patient and uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth into their desired position.
Lingual Braces – These are braces that are placed on the back side of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front. They work in the same way as traditional braces but can be more difficult to clean due to their location.
Clear Braces – Clear braces are made of ceramic material and are less visible than metal braces. They work in the same way as traditional braces but can be more expensive.
Self-Ligating Braces – These are brackets that do not require elastics (rubber bands) to hold the archwire in place. They are smaller and less visible than traditional braces and often require less time in treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can be a great option for patients looking to straighten their teeth and improve their smile. With proper knowledge, patients can make the most out of their visit to the orthodontist and have an easier time making decisions about their dental care. We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable information on what every patient should know about orthodontic treatment and how it can help them achieve the perfect smile they deserve.