Orthodontics is the field of dentistry concerned with helping to correct the spacing and position of teeth and jaws. This includes improper bite patterns, crooked teeth, or spacing problems. Many of these issues can make it more difficult to properly clean the teeth, which can eventually cause chronic dental problems such as dental cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. In addition to making the teeth easier to clean, orthodontic treatment can also improve one’s confidence in their smile!
Because of the natural growth patterns of children and adolescents, this is an ideal time for orthodontic treatment. Because growth is taking place, it’s easier to shift the teeth and jaws into the correct position. Orthodontic treatment for adults is absolutely possible, but it’s much easier performed in childhood when the bones haven’t had the time to stabilize.
The traditional metal bracket and wire braces are still common and effective, but there are many more options available these days. These options include tooth-colored braces, clear ceramic brackets and aligners, Invisalign®, and lingual braces, which are braces worn on the backside of the teeth instead of the front. These options provide a less obvious orthodontic treatment experience.
Once your orthodontic treatment is completed, it’s time to focus on maintaining your straight new smile. This makes it very important to wear a dental retainer regularly. Retainers will prevent the teeth from gradually moving right back into their old positions, which is a frustrating end to all the work you’ve put into your smile! Dental retainers will hold your teeth in position long enough for the ligaments and bone to stabilize around the teeth.