An orthodontic problem is called “bad bite” and can be caused by accidents, early or late loss of baby teeth, or sucking of the thumb or fingers for a prolonged period of time.
Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics.
Treatment may take a little longer for adults. Because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections may not be accomplished with braces alone. The average treatment time is about 24 months and varies with individual patients.
There are several types of orthodontic braces that can be used to straighten teeth. Braces for children and adults can be metal, clear or even colored, depending on the patient’s preference.
Braces employ the use of wires and are usually one of three types:
• Old-fashioned, conventional braces, which employ the use of metal strips, or bands.
• Metal or plastic brackets that are cemented or bonded to teeth.
• Brackets that attach to the back teeth (also called “lingual” braces).
After orthodontic appliances are placed, they need to be adjusted from time to time to ensure that they continue to move the teeth into their correct position. Retainers are used following braces to ensure that teeth remain in position.
Orthodontic treatment is important at any age because crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions that cause not only tooth decay but eventual gum disease and tooth loss.
If you are an adult who has braces you know the affect can be just as, or even more traumatizing than if you were a youngster. Simply because adults take more care in their appearance (hence the desire to fix one’s teeth) and a disruption like braces can prevent smiling and other social necessary protocol.
That’s why Invisalign was developed. While not braces at all, Invisalign is a small tray custom designed to the contours of your mouth that attempts to straighten your teeth much like braces would, but remain invisible and easy to remove. For instance, when you place the Invisalign system in your mouth it immediately goes to work straightening your teeth…and you’ll feel it. But, if you have a presentation, a big date, or a meal, you can easily remove the system and joy these activities with your normal exposed teeth.