Are you among that unfortunate but sizable part of the population that has to contend with crooked, crowded or poorly aligned teeth. If you have been considering having orthodontic treatment to correct one of these issues, you are certainly not alone. In fact over thirty percent of orthodontic patients in Australia are adults and these numbers are increasing.
Here are some reasons why you should go ahead and investigate having orthodontic treatment, a guide to the options available and what to expect.
Oral Health Risks
Poorly aligned or crowded teeth are certainly much more than simple cosmetic issues. Teeth that overlap are difficult to clean. The surfaces are hard to access and food particles become trapped, thus increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
The problem of an overbite or teeth that don't come together correctly can produce chewing and swallowing and chewing difficulties, and place unnecessary stress on jaw and facial muscles.
How Orthodontics Work
Orthodontic technique uses pressure to force teeth to change their positions. Braces are the most commonly used appliance as they are extremely versatile. They can gently move teeth in whatever direction is required and treat numerous teeth simultaneously.
Braces usually use brackets which are bonded to the surface of the teeth and arch wires are threaded through the brackets to apply the required pressure on each tooth. Quite often elastic bands are also attached to the wire to increase the directional pressure.
Innovations in Braces Today
Fortunately dental technology today provides a wide range of innovations in adult braces. They are much more comfortable and far less obvious than they used to be. The wires used today are more effective and less visible as they are smaller and make use of fewer brackets.
Options in Brackets
Stainless steel brackets are quite effective and are still used quite commonly as they are the most economical.
Ceramic or Plastic
However, many opt for the much less noticeable versions of clear plastic or tooth coloured ceramic brackets. There are some possible downsides to be aware of when choosing ceramic options.
Plastic may stain in time and does not have the same strength as metal. Plastic tends to create more friction along the wires between the brackets and as a result the teeth do not move in the required direction quite as quickly. This may mean a longer treatment time is necessary.
Lingual braces are bonded to the back of the teeth and therefore out of sight altogether.
The downside here is that they may irritate the tongue and produce speech problems and usually they are the most expensive option.
This overview should provide enough foundation knowledge to help ask your orthodontist all the right questions when choosing the ideal solution for your individual circumstances.
The process of fitting braces is quite painless and can be done quickly. The overall treatment plan can take range between twelve and twenty four months and depends on each individual case.
Orthodontic treatment will be a positive investment for your future happiness and health. Having a confident smile at last can be an overwhelming boost to your self esteem and well-being. Talk to an orthodontist, such as Dr Peter Vaughan Specialist Orthodontist, without delay to take you through your options, treatment plans and payment options.
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