Orthodontics is a specific dentistry branch specializing in diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities. Such irregularities are placed under one specific term which is ‘malocclusion’ meaning a ‘bad bite.’
Orthodontic treatment varies but is often quite dramatic; improved smile and dental health. Both of which can greatly improve a person’s quality of life, regardless of age. Diagnosis must be made before orthodontic treatment can take place. Our expert orthodontists will photograph, x-ray and take impressions to determine if any problems are present.
The length of treatment will depend on the kind of treatment but you might expect it to last anywhere from 6 months up to 2.5 years. The patient’s age and severity of the problem are also determining factors of treatment length.
Orthodontic Treatment and Age
Children should have their first orthodontic visit by the age of 7. This helps us identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed. Children can have braces, if necessary, once their permanent teeth have erupted; typically age 10-12.
It’s important that your child and yourself have regular visits with your orthodontist in order to treat any problems right away; the earlier the better.
Braces can help you achieve a straighter smile and consist of braces, brackets and arch wires. The arch wire is responsible for moving the teeth via gentle, steady pressure and the brackets simply ‘hold’ the braces in place.
Separators help separate the teeth slightly by being placed between the teeth in order to fit the bands comfortably. The separators can possibly come out on their own when your teeth have enough space between them, a person plays with them (via tongue or fingers) or from eating chewy or sticky foods. If you haven’t done anything to make the separator come out it’s likely just done its job. You can determine this by flossing where the spacer was. If the floss gets stuck there is not enough space yet and the separators need to be replaced. If you can floss freely without it getting stuck then sufficient space has been made.
Some patients will be required to wear headgear during their orthodontic treatment. This gear will create a force that helps guide the face and jaw growth, in addition to moving teeth into the proper position or keep them from moving.
Headgear typically needs to be worn consistently in order to achieve the desired results. We will provide instructions but if you don’t follow them you can expect to have to wear the headgear longer, or undergo a different treatment altogether.
Always disconnect the straps before removing the headgear.
Do not lift the headgear over your face; you could injure yourself.
Avoid wearing headgear when playing sports or running.
Bring your headgear with you to each appointment. We can also advise on how to clean it if it becomes soiled.
Tenderness to the teeth is common during the first several days of wearing headgear but it subsides as you accustom to the new pressure.
If you experience tenderness or pain longer than several days contact our office right away. It’s important that you wear it and if it’s not comfortable come see us so we can help you get a better fit in order to proceed with the appropriate treatment.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign does not require any brackets or arch wires which is why it’s such a preferred option. You simply use a new set of aligners every 2 weeks until you finish treatment. Simple as that!
If you aren’t sure what kind of approach you should take to fix an orthodontic problem you’re facing just call our Martindale Dental office nearest you! We can schedule a consultation and discuss your options further.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.