Many people resist smiling even when they are happy and cover their mouth with their hands because of crooked teeth. This is when you should come to our dental clinic at Douglasville Dental Associatesand see an orthodontist. Our orthodontists have undergone training in making your teeth move and realign your crooked teeth into a straight and healthy smile.
Orthodontists help straighten teeth and improve bite by correcting how your teeth fit together and how your jaws line up. Braces, trays (also known as aligners), and other appliances — such as headgear, which attach around the head or neck to add more force to help make teeth move, are used. They also use retainers to hold teeth in position.
Crooked or crowded teeth, as well overbites and underbites, can cause tooth decay, gum disease or tooth loss because it makes it hard for you to clean overlapping teeth. Over the years, orthodontics have gone a long way, some braces are even barely visible. Some have clear or tooth-colored brackets. Others are attached to the lingual (back side) of your teeth.
The following conditions are the ones that need orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite – this is also known as buck teeth, this is when the upper teeth lie too far forward over the lower teeth.
- Underbite – this is when the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back, this is also known at bulldog appearance.
- Crossbite – this is when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
- Open bite – the space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
- Misplaced midline – when the center of your upper teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
- Spacing – if there are gaps or spaces between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not fill up the mouth
- Crowding – this is when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
Many types of appliance are available to help move teeth, retain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. They can be fixed or removable. These appliances work by applying gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The following are examples of appliances used for orthodontics:
- Braces – braces consist of bands, wires and brackets, and are the most common fixed appliance. Bands are fixed around the tooth and are used as an anchor for the appliance, while brackets are bonded to the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, while gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are adjusted monthly to bring desired results which may be achieved after a few months to a few years.
- Fixed space maintainers – space maintainer is used if a baby tooth is lost in order to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts.
- Aligners – aligners are used as alternative to traditional braces for adults , this is used to move teeth in the way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing
- Removable space maintainers – They function the same as fixed space maintainers and are made of acrylic base that fits over the jaw and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open
- Jaw repositioning appliances – are also called splints, these are worn either at the top or lower jaw and these help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position. They may also be used for TMJ.
- Removable retainers – are worn to prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. These can also be modified and be used to prevent thumb sucking
- Headgear – headgear slows the growth of the upper jaw and holds back the teeth where they are, while the front teeth are pulled back. The device has a strap placed around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front or face bow.