If you have been diagnosed with an orthodontic condition, you will have to decide on the treatment option that is best for you. Orthodontic treatments are generally a significant investment for both money and time. Today our dentists in Manitoba discuss the orthodontic products and devices that are often used for treatment options.
Popular Orthodontic Treatment Products
The best orthodontic treatment option or product for you will probably be determined by your orthodontic condition, its complexity or severity, and other factors. You also have to consider your financial situation. Below are just some of the orthodontic treatment options that are recommended by orthodontists and dentists for straightening teeth. You and your dentist or orthodontist will have to work together to decide which one will be right for you.
Because of the recent advancements being made in orthodontic technology, traditional braces have gotten a few upgrades over the last several decades to become modernized, lighter in structure and weight than in the past.
Made from high-quality stainless steel with metal brackets connected by a thin archwire and tiny elastics, braces apply pressure to your teeth to gradually shift them into their corrected positions. Braces can be used to help a range of simple and complex orthodontic problems, such as misalignments, excess spacing, overcrowding, crossbite, and crooked teeth.
Braces are fixed, which means you can’t remove them to eat, drink, brush or floss. Though braces treatment will necessarily eliminate some foods from your diet (very hard or sticky foods, for instance), you won’t have to do the mental work of counting your hours of wear time during the day as you would with clear aligners (see below).
These braces act similarly to traditional braces. The difference is that these brackets are made from tooth-coloured ceramic, making them appear more transparent.
A popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment but may not be candidates for clear aligners, these braces are lower profile in appearance than traditional braces. Keep in mind though that the elastics can become discoloured, and will require extra special attention when brushing and flossing.
Clear & Removable Aligners
Clear aligners are a popular alternative to braces for adults that require orthodontic treatment but want an option that offers a low profile appearance. Clear aligners are removable, so you can take them out to brush, floss, eat, and drink. Lots of patients find that they fit comfortably into their lifestyle and allows them to continue eating all of the foods they enjoy.
However, you’ll need to wear them for 22 hours a day for them to work, so sticking with your custom treatment plan and remembering to track your daily wear time, meal times and any time your clear aligners will not be worn is critical.
You’ll also need to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat or drink anything other than water, before you put your braces back in, to prevent bacteria from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligners and causing tooth decay and cavities.
A custom-made retainer may be either a fixed or removable device and is typically made of wires and clear plastic. They are mostly used to keep your teeth straight after treatment with braces or clear aligners. If yours is removable, it should be worn at all times at first, except when you are eating or brushing your teeth.
Like braces, retainers also require careful care and maintenance to work as they should and keep your teeth in place.
Palatal expansion and tooth extraction are two common options that are commonly used for patients with overcrowded teeth.
Though tooth extraction was used more often in the past, today’s dentists and orthodontists will often recommend a palate expander, which is custom fit to your palate and applies pressure to the backs of your upper molars, gradually moving your teeth further apart.
Over time, this expands your palate, making it possible for other types of braces to be used to correct the position of misaligned teeth.
Orthodontists and dentists can now screen children as young as 7 years old to find out whether they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. If they are, there are various appliances that can be used for treatment, including a Forsus appliance.
A spring on the Forsus appliance attaches to braces to bring the upper or lower jaw into position. These have mostly replaced the use of headgear for braces and are commonly used to help correct stubborn overbites.