Most adolescents will, at one time or another, visit the orthodontist, if only for an evaluation. In some cases, braces will be necessary to ensure teeth are in the right position in the mouth. Successful orthodontic treatment can prevent a number of long-term issues, including, in serious cases, eventual tooth loss.
Purpose of Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment is used to ensure the teeth are positioned properly in the mouth, and that the top and bottom teeth fit together properly. Malocclusion, where the top and bottom teeth do not fit together right, can lead to a number of issues, including:
- Abnormally rapid wear and tear
- Teeth grinding
- Aching or clicking in the jaw
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
Malocclusion can take the form of overbite, underbite, crossbite, or other types of misalignment. Orthodontic treatment can also help if teeth are overly crowded because there is insufficient room, or if teeth are spaced too widely apart.
In the long term, orthodontic treatment such as braces, Invisalign, palate expanders, or other appliances or treatment options can ensure the long-term health of your teeth. Without the help of an orthodontist, your teeth could wear down much more quickly than normal, or the joint in your jaw could become misaligned, leading to a wide range of unpleasant symptoms. In severe cases, misalignment can even lead to tooth loss.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic treatments work by moving the teeth gradually into the proper position or by modifying the growth of the jawbone and facial bones to ensure there is sufficient room when the permanent teeth arrive. With traditional braces, metal brackets are affixed to the teeth and used to anchor rubber bands. These bands exert pressure that shift the teeth gradually into the proper place.
Other orthodontic treatments help make room for teeth that would otherwise emerge improperly. A palate expander widens the arch of the teeth by gently pressing apart the two halves of the roof of the mouth. Other, similar appliances can widen the lower jaw or otherwise make room for teeth or shift teeth into position.
To learn more about your orthodontic treatment options, contact Bunn Orthodontic Group at 210-921-9191 today.