Orthodontic treatment is undertaken to correct teeth structures with irregular "bites," also known as malocclusion. The causes of misaligned bites can be traced to genetics, loss of baby teeth early, and other oral habits like nail-biting, thumb-sucking, etc. In some cases, irregularities are found right from toddlerhood. In others, the issues are more visible during late childhood or teenage. Crooked or crowded teeth hamper self-esteem and also make it difficult to reach all the corners of teeth while brushing and flossing. This, in the long run, could cause dental issues such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Make sure you visit your dentist twice a year so that Dr. Han may analyze your child's teeth structure and recommend orthodontic treatment if necessary. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends kids at the age of 7 to be evaluated for any signs of bite irregularities. Active treatments typically begin between ages 9 and 14. But now, even as an adult, you can get orthodontic treatment.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
The type of orthodontic appliance used depends on each unique case. Here are a few dental appliance types that are most commonly used:
Braces: Braces are dental aids that apply pressure on the teeth to move them to the right position. They are made of stainless steel, ceramic, plastic, or a combination of materials.
Invisalign: Invisalign is a transparent tray that applies the same kind of pressure as braces do. The difference here is in the fact that these are transparent and are removable.
TADs: Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) are miniature screws that can be temporarily fixed in the jaw bone that aids in moving the teeth.
Rubber Bands: Elastics are used over braces to apply more pressure to move teeth to the desired spot.
Headgear: A headgear is also an additional appliance that is attached to the braces and goes over the head. It is removable and most often recommended to be used at night.
Retainers: Retainers are appliances used after the treatment with braces. The retainers hold the teeth in place and prevent any sort of movement.
How long do orthodontic treatments last?
Dr. Han will give you a clear idea about treatment duration when he draws the treatment plan. The treatment depends on factors such as how crooked the teeth are, how well the patient cooperates with the treatment, and your child's growth rate. In most cases, orthodontic treatment lasts between 18 months to 36 months.
An improved smile has a great impact on a person's or child's self-esteem, given the enhancement in appearance. Along with this comes the benefit of being able to maintain good oral hygiene when teeth are straight and well-aligned. So, make sure you visit the dentist regularly and get your family's teeth checked for any signs of misalignment.
Call us at (623) 846-0329 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Han, and we'll be able to guide you further.