What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a special kind of dentistry for people whose teeth are crooked or don’t fit together correctly when they close their mouth. Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if needed.
You might need to see an orthodontist if you have the following:
– Overbite: The upper front teeth stick out over the lower teeth.
– Underbite: Either the lower teeth stick out or the upper teeth sit too far back.
– Crossbite: The top and bottom rows of teeth cross when the mouth is closed.
– Open Bite: When the top and bottom rows of teeth are touching, there is an opening where you can see into the mouth.
– Misplaced Midline: The middle point of the upper front teeth doesn’t match up with the middle point of the lower front teeth.
– Spacing: Missing or crooked teeth can leave noticeable gaps between teeth. Sometimes the teeth just don’t fill up the mouth all the way.
– Crowding: The gums are too small for all the teeth in the mouth.
How Does Orthodontics Treatment Work?
Over a period of weeks or months, the orthodontist will move teeth and bones in your mouth into the right position. Here are the different types of orthodontic treatment:
– Braces: The most common orthodontic treatment. A wire attached to the front teeth is slowly tightened over time, bringing the teeth into the correct position.
– Fixed space maintainers: If a child loses a baby tooth too early, this sits where the tooth used to be until the adult tooth comes in.
– Special fixed appliances: Helps prevent the tongue from pushing on the teeth or against the roof of their mouth. Can also help stop thumb sucking.
– Removable: Usually for less serious stuff like straightening mildly crooked teeth or preventing thumbsucking. These can be taken out while eating, flossing, and brushing.
When Can You Start Orthodontic Treatment?
Usually after all adult teeth have come in around age 12 or 13. But many adults also get orthodontic treatment. Because the jaw bone is finished forming in adults, they may have to wear retainers for the rest of their life.
How Do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Ask your dentist if they think you could benefit from orthodontics. If so, you will be referred to an orthodontist in your area.
Want to know if orthodontics is available at your Kool Smiles office? Call (877) 654-6581