What Is Orthodontics?
The area of dentistry known as orthodontics deals with the diagnosis, intervention, guiding, and treatment of dental abnormalities and faulty bites, including the use of braces.
The best person to talk to about your orthodontic treatment is a specialist known as an orthodontist. After four years of dentistry school, these experts pursue two or more extra years of education.
Although you might believe that teeth straightening simply provides aesthetic advantages, nothing could be further from the reality. Inability to properly clean crooked teeth might result in tooth decay or periodontal disease. Uncomfortable teeth can make it difficult to chew, which can result in headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
How Do Orthodontic Treatments Work?
Different types of equipment are used during orthodontics Sweetwater TN treatments to retrain muscles, gradually reposition teeth, and influence jaw growth by applying mild pressure to your teeth and jaw.
Fixed vs. Removable Appliances
Fixed or detachable appliances may be used during orthodontic treatments. Your orthodontist will advise you on the best course of action according on how serious your issue is.
Fixed appliances include:
Braces – You’ve most likely heard of braces – they’re the most common fixed appliance. They consist of bands, wires, and brackets. How do they work? The bands are the anchors held in place around your teeth. Brackets are attached to the front of your teeth. Arch wires connect the brackets to the bands. Tightening the archwires puts pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them towards their target position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly and are worn for a few months to a few years.
Special fixed appliances – These should only be used as a last resort to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Since they’re attached to the teeth by bands, they can feel quite uncomfortable while eating.
Fixed space maintainers – Sometimes, young children lose their teeth prematurely. In such situations, an orthodontist might place a space maintainer in your child’s mouth to keep the space open until a permanent tooth appears.
Removable appliances include:
Aligners – These are increasingly becoming a popular alternative to traditional braces for adults. Aligners move teeth in the same way as braces, but they are virtually invisible and don’t involve metal wires and brackets. If you’re using them, you need to remove them while eating, brushing, and flossing.
Removable space maintainers – These devices are used for the same reason as fixed space maintainers. They’re made up of plastic or wire branches and an acrylic base that fits over the jaw. They’re placed in open spaces between teeth to keep the teeth apart.
Jaw repositioning appliances – These appliances are also known as splints. They’re placed either on the top or lower jaw and are used to treat TMJ disorders by training the jaw to close in a better position.
Lip and cheek bumpers – Your lip and cheek muscles might exert pressure on your teeth. In such cases, you can use bumpers to keep your lips and cheeks away from the teeth.
Palatal expander – This device is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. It’s used when the arch of your upper jaw needs to be widened.
Removable retainers – These devices, worn on the roof of the mouth, prevent your teeth from shifting back to their previous position.
Headgear – These devices slow down the growth of the upper jaw. They also hold the back teeth in place while the front teeth are pulled back.