The goal of orthodontic treatment is to create a beautiful healthy smile through tooth and jaw alignment. Straight teeth makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. This can enhance your dental health, your overall health, and your self-esteem. Did you know that orthodontists have an additional 3 years of specialty training beyond their general dental degree?
Most dentists work with an orthodontist to achieve the best overall result.
A variety of orthodontic appliances are available today, thanks to ongoing research in orthodontics. Options include traditional metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth, clear aligners and other devices, as appropriate. Orthodontists are trained in many techniques and will help you choose the best treatment for you.
When to see an orthodontist
If you recognize any of these signs in your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips
Orthodontics has come a long way
A variety of orthodontic “appliances” are available today, thanks to on-going research in orthodontics. Options include traditional metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth, clear aligners and other devices, as appropriate. Orthodontists are trained in many techniques and will help you choose the best treatment for you
While the appliances used in orthodontic treatment have come a long way since orthodontics became dentistry’s first specialty in 1900, what endures is orthodontists’ desire to help you achieve your healthiest bite possible.