Orthodontic treatment is a long-term solution for misaligned teeth, gaps between teeth, and other irregularities that affect a person’s smile. Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment and are worn for an average of one to three years. Some patients may need to wear their braces for shorter or longer periods depending on the severity of the present misalignment or malocclusion.
Braces are placed onto the patient’s existing teeth and work by gently pushing and pulling them into place over time. The wires attached to the brackets across the front surface of the patient’s mouth will exert pressure on the tooth to move it to the desired position. In some cases, rubber bands may be placed around specific sets of teeth to help position them correctly.
Since patients’ teeth are continuously growing and changing throughout their lives, they will need to be checked every three to six months to ensure the treatment is working. If adjustments to the treatment plan are required, our orthodontist at Smileywood Dental Office can make them within a few weeks. Over time, a patient should see a dramatic improvement in both the alignment and health of their smile.
Once treatment is complete, patients must wear a retainer to keep their new smile in place. This custom-made dental hardware is worn over the teeth at night to keep them from shifting back to their original positions. Patients should always wear their retainer as directed by their dentist to ensure that their teeth remain straight and their treatment remains successful.
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
Some signs to look for include the following:
- Crowded teeth
- Teeth that protrude or are out of alignment
- An underbite, overbite, crossbite, or another type of misaligned bite
- Jaw or facial pain from misalignments
Plus, as your child develops, your orthodontist will monitor their teeth, jaws, palate, and more to ensure everything is growing.
The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
- Early treatment can prevent the need for tooth extractions later down the line. Many patients can avoid tooth extractions by guiding the movement of teeth and correcting bite alignment early on.
- Straighter teeth can improve the health of teeth and gums over time. When teeth are correctly aligned, there are fewer areas where bacteria and plaque can build up, significantly reducing the presence of cavities and gum disease.
- Creating better jaw alignment can help patients with TMJ disorders find relief from their symptoms. Using braces or clear aligners to shift the jaw into a more comfortable position gradually can relieve chronic headaches and other associated pain.
If you’re considering getting treatment for your smile to improve the way it looks and functions, visit Smileywood Dental Office at 4354 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029, or call or text (323) 741-0556. They will be able to walk you through the process from start to finish and discuss all of the available treatment options to help you reach your aesthetic goals.