The goal of orthodontics is to correct a malocclusion – a bad bite. Teeth may be crowded, or crooked or the upper and lower jaws may be out of alignment. Occasionally, even when teeth appear straight, the patient may have a bite that is not even, and which may be causing further dental problems.
Malocclusions may be inherited familially, may be developmental, or may be caused by poor oral habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
Orthodontic treatment seeks to address any or all of these problems. The goal of orthodontic treatment is not only to create an attractive smile but to develop a bite that can promote oral health. Straight, uncrowded teeth are a lot easier to keep clean. Crooked, crowded teeth are much more difficult to maintain and can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Orthodontics utilizes physics to slowly move teeth into the proper position. This is performed by using corrective appliances, including braces and retainers. Brackets are placed on the teeth using bonding technology.
Arch wires are then threaded through these brackets. The tension and tightness of these wires determine the individual movement of each tooth. Orthodontics applies constant pressure on each tooth in the desired direction. By adjusting the pressure at follow-up visits, we will control the slow movement of the teeth until the malocclusion is corrected.
Generally speaking, orthodontic treatment can last from one to three years or longer depending on the patient’s age and severity of the malocclusion.
Contact our office to learn more or to schedule your appointment today.