Orthodontics
in Sinking spring

what are

orthodontics?

The Greek translation of the prefix “orthos” means straight or erect and the suffix “dontics” means teeth so the direct translation of orthodontics is to straighten the teeth. That’s our ultimate goal in this branch of dentistry - to improve your smile, health, and teeth function by correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. 

Orthodontic problems can cause patients to have an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease because it is difficult to clean between the teeth. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also make it more difficult to chew or speak clearly, and can cause tooth or jaw pain, TMJ disorders, and headaches.

An orthodontist is someone who is specially trained in preventing, diagnosing, and treating misaligned teeth and jaws. We can straighten the teeth, correct a misaligned bite, and encourage proper facial growth and development.

Children -
Issues that disproportionately affect children include the premature loss of baby teeth, crooked teeth, and orthodontic problems caused by prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking. We can correct these issues with early orthodontic screening and phase 1 orthodontics that reduce the need for braces in the future.

Teens -
Crooked, overcrowded teeth, gaps between teeth, and a misaligned bite are common orthodontic problems seen in teens. Teens are in a position to qualify for either braces or Invisalign depending on the severity of their alignment issues.

Adults -
It is never too late to correct teeth and jaw misalignment. If you’re worried you’ve missed the orthodontics boat, then don’t worry. Adults can correct orthodontic issues such as crooked teeth, open, under, over, or open bites, and TMJ disorders with braces or Invisalign. 

It may take a little longer to correct these problems compared to children but the average treatment time ranges from 6 months to 3 years.

different orthodontic

treatments

Metal Braces - Traditional braces made of metal wires and brackets are still the tried and true gold standard for correcting severe malocclusions, especially a misaligned bite. These braces exert enough pressure to perform complex tooth movements. These braces are made out of sturdy stainless steel and are the most efficient orthodontic treatment for complex movements such as shifting the upper or lower jaws.

Invisalign - An invisible, plastic, and removable alternative to metal braces, Invisalign has become incredibly popular in recent years. While they are more suitable for minor orthodontic problems like small gaps, slightly crooked teeth, and overcrowding, they can be paired with attachments and elastics to correct improper bites.
 
The aligners are removable so you can eat whatever you want and clean your teeth with ease. The aligners are also transparent so they go unnoticed, and exert gentle pressure for a more comfortable treatment.

Ceramic Braces - Ceramic braces are structurally very similar to metal braces. These braces can perform the same tooth movements as metal braces but they are made of tooth-colored ceramic materials.

This makes treatment for severe malocclusions in adults more discreet, especially when a patient is not a good candidate for Invisalign or is allergic to metal. However, ceramic is not as sturdy as stainless steel and friction can result in a slightly lengthier treatment than metal braces.

Space Maintainers - When a child’s tooth falls out too soon, the surrounding teeth will begin to move and lean into the space where the tooth used to be. This causes problems with the proper eruption of the permanent tooth. 

When the surrounding teeth shift over, this can cause the teeth to become crooked. When the permanent tooth is due to erupt, it will no longer have a space to do so. Often, the permanent tooth will erupt at an improper angle, or press against the other teeth. 

A space maintainer solves this problem with a stainless steel band that is placed around the tooth next to the space and a wire holds the space open. The space maintainer is removed upon the eruption of the permanent tooth.

Have Questions About Orthodontics?
Find Ansers Here!

HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GET BRACES?

While braces are commonly associated with teenage years, there's really no age limit to receiving orthodontic treatment. In fact, plenty of grown-ups opt for braces or clear aligners to help them achieve their ideal smile and correct bite problems.

However, before making the decision to pursue treatment, it's important to chat with Dr. Molly. She'll consider several factors, including the severity of your case, your overall oral health, and your lifestyle, and advice you on the ideal time to start treatment.

WHICH IS BETTER, BRACES OR CLEAR ALIGNERS?

Honestly, both braces and clear aligners have their upsides and downsides. Braces may be more adept at dealing with complex orthodontic issues, but clear aligners are barely noticeable and more comfortable to wear.

When it comes to determining which one is best for you, the choice largely comes down to your individual needs and preferences.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?

You may be eligible for orthodontic treatment if you have any of the following issues:

  • Crowded or overlapping teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Jaw pain or clicking

Typically candidates must be in good oral health to be a candidate for orthodontic treatment. Book a consultation at our office to learn more.

HOW CAN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT IMPROVE MY ORAL HEALTH?

Orthodontic treatment can improve your oral health in many ways. For starters, straightening your teeth can make them easier to clean, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Proper alignment can also improve your bite, reducing strain on your jaw and preventing issues like TMJ disorder.

CAN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT HELP WITH SLEEP APNEA?

Orthodontic treatment can sometimes help with sleep apnea, a condition where your breathing is interrupted while you sleep. By repositioning your jaw or adjusting your bite, your airway may be opened up, reducing snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms.

HOW DOES ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT AFFECT MY FACIAL APPEARANCE?

Orthodontic treatment can improve your facial appearance by correcting issues like overbites or underbites, which can make your face look asymmetrical or affect your smile. By aligning your teeth and jaws, your face can look more balanced and attractive.

CAN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT HELP WITH SPEECH PROBLEMS?

Misaligned teeth or jaws can lead to difficulties with speaking, particularly with certain sounds such as "s" or "th." Orthodontic treatment can help realign the teeth and jaws, improving speech clarity and pronunciation.

IS ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT PAINFUL?

Orthodontic treatment may cause some discomfort or soreness, particularly after the braces or aligners are first applied or tightened. However, this discomfort usually subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help alleviate any discomfort.

CAN I STILL PLAY SPORTS OR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH BRACES OR CLEAR ALIGNERS?

Yes, you can still participate in sports or play musical instruments with braces or clear aligners. However, it's important to wear a mouthguard during sports to protect your teeth and braces and to be careful with instruments to avoid damaging your orthodontic appliances.

HOW LONG DOES ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT TAKE?

The length of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the severity of the issue being corrected. That being said, most people wear braces for 18-24 months, while clear aligner treatment can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

CAN I STILL EAT MY FAVORITE FOODS WITH BRACES OR CLEAR ALIGNERS?

You may need to make some adjustments to your diet during orthodontic treatment to avoid damaging your appliances. Sticky or hard foods can be particularly problematic with braces, while clear aligners should be removed before eating to prevent staining or damage. Dr. Molly can give you more specific guidance on which foods to avoid.

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY BRACES OR CLEAR ALIGNERS?

Braces and clear aligners require different types of care. With braces, you should brush your teeth after every meal and avoid sticky or hard foods that can damage the braces. Clear aligners should be cleaned daily with a gentle cleanser and stored in their case when not in use.

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