Crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. Given time, they may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment at your Wausau dentist can result in better dental health. Bad bites can result in abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and damage to supporting gum tissue. Sometimes crooked teeth and incorrect bites contribute to TMJ pain and associated headaches. Orthodontic treatment often costs less than paying for treatment for more serious problems caused by problem bites.
In today's world a premium is placed on health and beauty. The mouth is a focus of attention because we consistently communicate and express our feelings through it. An attractive smile can make a positive difference, and create a better first impression. This can help with a child's acceptance in school and or an adult's projected image in their career or perhaps even a job interview.
In addition to improving the health of the mouth, orthodontics is one way to improve a person's looks and self-esteem. Orthodontic treatment gives a person a sense of control because it provides an opportunity to participate in improvement of one's appearance. Increased self-confidence often is observed even before treatment is completed.
An improved appearance through orthodontics treatment can greatly enhance one's self-esteem, and enhanced self-esteem can improve one's quality of life.
How do braces work?
Braces use precise amounts of pressure placed onto the teeth to move them into their corrected positions. Traditional braces use metal brackets affixed permanently to the teeth and arch wires to apply this pressure. The brackets and wires remain on the teeth throughout treatment and come off when treatment ends. To correct other orthodontic issues like problems with the bite, rubber bands connecting certain parts of the mouth help guide the jaw into the correct position for optimal functionality.
What can braces do for me?
Braces correct many things, including:
- “crooked” or misaligned teeth
- gapped teeth (under crowding)
- overlapped teeth (overcrowding)
- cross bite
- open bite
Since braces properly align the jaw, they can help relieve the effects of conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and teeth grinding. Aligning the bite also creates an effective biting surface on the teeth, making tasks like eating and chewing easier.
Who can benefit from orthodontics
- Phase 1: Begins while your child still has many of their baby teeth and their permanent front incisors—typically around the age of 7. The goal of this phase is to improve moderate or severe orthodontic problems early. These problems include skeletal dysplasias, crossbites and moderate to severe crowding. Phase 1 treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This may help reduce the need for extractions and/or surgery
- Phase 2: Begins a few years after Phase 1 and the majority of the permanent teeth have erupted — typically around the age of 11. Phase 2 treatment involves the placement of full braces on all of the permanent teeth. The goal of Phase 2 treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion and alignment with all of the permanent teeth
Most patients begin orthodontic treatment between ages 9 and 16, but this varies depending on each individual. Because teenagers are still growing, the teen years are often the optimal time to correct orthodontic problems and achieve excellent results.
Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the problems that can develop in later years. Then there's the emotional side of an unattractive smile. When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers. Teenagers whose malocclusions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand.
It's never too late and it's rarely too early to enjoy the many benefits associated with braces. You don't have to live with less than perfect teeth. Regardless of your age, We have a treatment that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Maybe you didn't get braces when you needed them as a child, or maybe you did, but you stopped wearing your retainer. Orthodontics can still help you. You are never too old for a beautiful smile.
The Benefits of Braces
Most people know that orthodontics can give you a straight smile, but braces also offer many practical oral health benefits. Dental braces can correct overcrowded and overlapping teeth, underbite, overbite, and other bite alignment issues.
Orthodontics can treat current oral health problems and prevent future issues. Crowded and crooked teeth can be hard to clean, which can make them more susceptible to decay and gum disease. Untreated tooth decay can lead to tooth loss and infection. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to heart disease. Crooked teeth can also contribute to a misaligned bite. Over time, misalignment of your bite, and the strain it places on the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), can produce chronic headaches, face or neck pain, and other symptoms of TMJ Disorder.
Candidates for Braces
Anyone with crooked teeth or a misaligned bite might be a candidate for braces. Children more commonly undergo treatment with traditional braces than adults, but adults can enjoy the benefits of traditional braces too. Adults tend to need to wear braces longer than children, since adults’ facial structures are no longer developing. If you are interested in a more discreet alternative, we can help determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign®. This popular treatment straightens teeth with removable, virtually invisible corrective aligners.
To prepare for traditional braces, first we will perform a full oral exam. We will take some x-rays and plaster models of your teeth to help plan your treatment. Braces will be attached to the outside surfaces of the premolars and front teeth. Ring-like bands will encircle the molars. A flexible metal wire will then be attached to all of the brackets to connect them. This will control the movement of the teeth. In some cases, rubber bands may be attached to the brackets and wires.
After the braces are placed on your teeth, we will periodically tighten or bend the wires. These adjustments will ensure that your teeth are aligning safely and effectively. After your adjustments, your teeth and jaws may feel a little sore.
When your teeth are in proper position, the braces will be removed. You will have to wear a retainer for a period of time to stabilize your teeth and prevent them from shifting out of proper alignment.
Caring for Braces
When you first have your braces applied, your teeth and jaw might feel tight. During this adjustment period, be sure to eat softer foods, and stay away from crunchy foods, or foods that require a lot of chewing. After you get used to your braces, it is a best to avoid foods that might break or damage your braces. Hard foods should be avoided, such as suckers, pretzels, or crunchy chips. You should also avoid sticky foods like caramel or gummy bears.
Good oral hygiene is very important for everyone, especially people with braces. We will demonstrate how to floss and brush with your braces. With a little practice, you will get used to caring for your teeth as easily as if your braces were not there at all.
Braces treatment length
The length of Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment typically depends on the severity of the problem to be corrected. Full treatment in correcting a protruding bite can take between 18 - 24 months. If the back teeth are aligned properly and the front teeth have minor crowding, treatment may only take between 9 - 18 months.
Call our orthodontist today at (781) 648-0279 and make an appointment for braces consultation. We serve other nearby communities like Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.