Orthodontics is a specialised field of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities, such as malocclusions (misaligned teeth and jaws) and other problems related to the alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Orthodontic treatment involves using devices such as braces, aligners, retainers, and other appliances to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Specialist Orthodontists are dental specialists who have received additional education and training in this field beyond that of a general dentist
When can you start Orthodontics in children?
Orthodontic treatment can begin in children as early as 9 years old, although the ideal time to start treatment will vary depending on the individual child’s needs and the type of orthodontic issue they are experiencing. In general, it’s a good idea to have a child evaluated by a specialist orthodontist around the age of 9 so that any potential orthodontic issues can be identified early on. In some cases, early orthodontic treatment can help guide the growth and development of a child’s jaw and teeth, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes and a shorter overall treatment time. However, many orthodontic issues are best addressed during adolescence, when all of the permanent teeth have come in and the jaw has finished growing. Ultimately, the decision of when to start orthodontic treatment will depend on the specific needs of each child, as determined by their specialist orthodontist.
How long are fixed braces on for?
The length of time that fixed braces are worn can vary depending on the individual case and the severity of the misalignment. Typically, fixed braces are worn for a period of 12 to 24 months. However, in some cases, the treatment can take longer or shorter than this. It is important to follow your orthodontist’s advice regarding the length of time needed to wear fixed braces and to attend all appointments as scheduled to ensure the best possible outcome.
Do fixed braces hurt?
Fixed braces can cause some discomfort or pain, especially in the first few days after they are applied or after an adjustment. This is because the braces are gradually shifting the teeth into their correct positions, which can put pressure on the teeth and surrounding tissues. However, the level of pain or discomfort can vary from person to person. Some people experience only mild discomfort, while others may experience more significant pain. Factors such as the severity of the orthodontic problem being treated, the individual’s pain tolerance, and how well they follow their orthodontist’s instructions can all play a role in the level of pain experienced. It is also worth noting that any discomfort or pain caused by fixed braces tends to subside after a few days. Over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help manage any discomfort. Overall, while fixed braces may cause some discomfort or pain, it is typically manageable and temporary. Your orthodontist can provide more specific information and advice based on your individual situation.
How fixed braces work?
Fixed braces work by applying constant pressure on your teeth, causing them to move gradually over time. They consist of brackets, wires, and elastic bands. The brackets are small metal or ceramic squares that are bonded to each tooth using a special dental adhesive. The wire, which is also known as an archwire, is threaded through each bracket, and secured in place using elastic bands or small metal ties. The archwire applies pressure to the brackets, which in turn applies pressure to the teeth. As the teeth move, the wire is adjusted or changed regularly by the orthodontist to maintain the correct amount of pressure needed to continue the movement of the teeth. The elastic bands or metal ties can also be adjusted to help move specific teeth in a particular direction. Over time, the constant pressure applied by the braces causes the bone surrounding the teeth to reshape, allowing the teeth to move into their correct positions. This process typically takes between 1.5 to 2 years, but the length of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the dental issues being corrected. In summary, fixed braces work by applying continuous pressure on the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position, using brackets, wires, and elastic bands. The treatment is overseen by an orthodontist, who adjusts the braces as necessary to achieve the desired results.
Do fixed braces damage your teeth?
Fixed braces, also known as traditional braces, do not damage your teeth if they are properly installed and maintained. In fact, they can help improve the health of your teeth and gums. However, there are some risks associated with braces if they are not properly cared for or if they are installed incorrectly. For example, if the brackets and wires are not properly cleaned, they can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, if the wires are too tight, they can cause discomfort and even damage the enamel on your teeth. To avoid these risks, it is important to work with a qualified specialist orthodontist who has experience installing and maintaining braces. Your orthodontist will be able to provide you with detailed instructions on how to properly care for your braces and avoid any potential complications. With proper care and maintenance, fixed braces can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
Do fixed braces increase the chance of decay?
Fixed braces do not cause tooth decay directly. However, they can make it harder to clean your teeth and may increase the risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. When you have braces, it’s important to be diligent about brushing and flossing regularly. Food particles and plaque can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires, making it harder to clean your teeth thoroughly. This can lead to the build-up of harmful bacteria, which can eventually cause tooth decay. To reduce the risk of tooth decay during orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing regularly, using fluoride toothpaste, and attending regular check-ups with your dentist. Your orthodontist may also recommend additional tools, such as interdental brushes or water flossers, to help you clean around your braces more effectively. In summary, fixed braces do not cause tooth decay, but they can increase the risk of it if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. With good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, you can minimize the risk and maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Can fixed braces fixed an over bite, under bite or cross bite?
Yes, fixed braces can be used to correct overbite, underbite, and crossbite. These types of malocclusions, or misalignments of the teeth and jaws, are commonly treated with braces. An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth too much. This can cause aesthetic concerns and lead to bite problems, such as difficulty biting and chewing. Fixed braces can be used to gradually move the teeth into the correct position, reducing the overbite. An underbite occurs when the lower front teeth are in front of the upper front teeth. This can cause difficulty biting and chewing and can also affect speech. Fixed braces can be used to move the teeth into the proper position, correcting the underbite. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth do not properly align with the lower teeth. This can cause asymmetry in the mouth and jaw, leading to functional problems such as difficulty biting and chewing. Fixed braces can be used to move the teeth into the proper position and correct the crossbite. It is important to note that the severity of the malocclusion will determine the length and type of treatment required to correct the problem. A consultation with an orthodontist can help determine the appropriate treatment plan for each individual case.
Are fixed braces better than Invisalign?
The choice between fixed braces and Invisalign depends on several factors such as the severity of the orthodontic issue, personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a particular individual can vary. Fixed braces use metal brackets and wires to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. They are generally more effective in treating complex orthodontic problems, such as severe crowding, crossbites, and open bites. Fixed braces are also less expensive than Invisalign and do not require as much discipline from the patient to wear them consistently. Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of clear plastic aligners to gently shift teeth into their correct position. They are nearly invisible and are a popular choice for people who do not want the aesthetic look of metal braces. Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easier to clean teeth and eat comfortably. They also require fewer clinical visits than traditional braces. Ultimately, the choice between fixed braces and Invisalign should be made in consultation with an orthodontist or dentist. They can evaluate the individual’s specific orthodontic needs and help determine which treatment option will be most effective and practical.
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