What are Orthodontic Braces?
Orthodontic braces are composed of clear or metal brackets that are bonded to the surface of the teeth. In conjunction with a fully mapped out treatment plan, braces are used to treat and correct a variety of orthodontic issues like crooked teeth, overbites, gaps, and more.
Braces can be used for both cosmetic and medical reasons. An orthodontist may recommend braces in order to improve a patient’s overall dental health, fix a misaligned bite that is causing jaw pain and soreness, or simply straighten out any teeth to perfect a patient’s smile.
There are many candidates for braces: no problem is too small. Whether it’s a few gaps in your teeth or a clicking jaw, orthodontic braces are a reliable and time-tested form of treatment.
Who Can Get Orthodontic Braces?
Contrary to popular belief, you’re never too old or too young to pursue orthodontic treatment. Patients of all ages are welcome to start their smile journey!
We offer customized treatment plans that will work to straighten your teeth and correct your bite no matter your dental history, or lack thereof—it’s never too soon or too late to get the smile of your dreams!
What Can Orthodontic Braces Fix?
Every person is different, and everyone has a unique smile and bite. Here are the most common types of orthodontic issues patients face prior to their treatment.
An underbite is when the lower teeth extend further than the upper teeth, creating cosmetic and medical issues.
Due to this misalignment of the jaw, an underbite can trigger pain and cause difficulties with chewing and speaking.
An overbite is the opposite of the underbite, when the upper teeth extend too far over the lower. This creates similar problems with chewing, speaking, and jaw pain.
With an ideal bite and jaw alignment, the upper set of teeth falls a little outside the lower teeth. When they don’t meet correctly in this way, it’s considered a crossbite.
When you have a space between two or more teeth, this is considered a gap. Gaps in teeth can occur if the teeth are too small for the jawbone. Having spaces between your teeth can affect chewing and may increase the likelihood of bad breath and tooth decay due to food becoming trapped.
Many people have teeth that simply grow in crooked, twisted, or with overlap. Even if these teeth aren’t posing significant threats to your dental health, they can still be fixed through a method of orthodontic treatment.
Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space for new adult teeth to erupt properly. Without the proper room to protrude safely and easily, adult teeth can erupt wherever there’s extra space, even if that space isn’t able to accommodate them.
A deep bite is the term for when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth to an unusual degree, potentially even causing the lower teeth to impact the roof of the mouth. A deep bite can cause injury or affect the shape of the face.
Is it Too Late to Get
In most cases, it’s not too late to go after the smile you deserve. With a consultation from our experienced orthodontist, a customized treatment plan you’re comfortable with, and constant monitoring and supervision, anything is possible!
Even if you’ve had braces, a retainer, or Invisalign earlier in life, sometimes your teeth can shift back into their old positions. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be put back into place!
Our orthodontist will be able to assess your smile and recommend the best course of action at any age. All you have to do is follow the treatment plan provided! Once you’ve been given your new smile, make sure you wear your retainer.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
The AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist by the age of seven. By this age, early signs of orthodontic issues can already begin to arise.
By seeing your child early, we can take preventative measures to ensure their smile and bite can be corrected before any issues have a chance to become more serious, and make sure your child’s smile is as healthy and straight as possible!
Dentofacial orthopedics focuses on guiding facial growth and development towards the optimal jaw and bone position.
As your child grows, so does their bone structure. Retainers and other appliances gently direct your child’s facial development so their bones, jaw, and teeth align properly, eliminating the need for orthodontic treatment later in life.
Orthodontic Braces for Adults
We’re starting to see more and more adults taking the plunge and deciding to get orthodontic care in their later years. In fact, the AAO estimates that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18!
With clear braces as an alternative to traditional metal braces, adult patients no longer need to feel self-conscious about pursuing treatment. While it is certainly more common to see children and adolescents receive orthodontic therapy, adult orthodontics are becoming very popular and attainable for anyone and everyone.
There are a few key things to remember as an adult looking into braces or other forms of treatment. One of the first is the current position of your teeth and jaw. Because these bones have stopped growing, the structural changes you’re after may need to be accomplished with surgery. Your orthodontist will be able to analyze your teeth and jaw for any bone loss or gum disease that may hinder the success of orthodontic therapy, and can construct a custom treatment plan that works for you and your needs.
It may also take a little longer than expected to achieve your smile goals as an adult. Keep in mind that treatment times vary, but as a general rule, you should always expect to be in braces for around two years.
Whether your concerns are medical or cosmetic, it’s never too late to correct any crowding, gaps, or misaligned bites with orthodontic braces.
These days, there’s more than one option for the style of your braces. While traditional metal braces were once the only option available, we offer clear braces to patients who are after a more discreet look.
Clear braces work just like metal ones. Most are made from ceramic or porcelain, while others are created with a material similar to plastic. Either way, they’ll blend in seamlessly with your teeth.
If you decide to go for clear braces, there are just a few key things you’ll need to remember. Firstly, clear braces stain more easily and will restrict your diet just a tad more. Secondly, drinks like coffee, tea, and wine all have the ability to discolour them. Your orthodontist will be able to talk you through caring for your clear braces, and also help you determine if this alternative is right for you.
Sometimes, traditional orthodontic treatment isn’t enough to tackle certain irregularities. Surgical orthodontics, sometimes referred to as orthognathic surgery, is used to correct severe malocclusions (imperfect positioning of the teeth) that braces won’t be able to fix.
TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, refers to a disorder that affects the position of both the upper and lower teeth, the jaw joint, and the various muscles in the face that control movement and chewing.
Some people live with TMD for years before a diagnosis, or before they realize they have it. Like any other joint or muscle in the body, it can become sore, overexerted, or fractured, resulting in pain and limited movement. It can also be caused by frequently grinding and clenching your teeth, these actions putting too much stress on your jaw muscles.
In order to stop you from clenching and grinding and ease the pain that comes with it, we’ll schedule an appointment for you to have a custom mouthguard created to wear when you sleep.
In more extreme cases, surgery may be required to correct the jaw muscles and ensure everything is functioning normally and healthily. We’ll be able to analyze the state of your jaw muscles and joints during your routine hygiene appointments and take action as needed.
A good night of rest is essential for maintaining your overall health. You may be surprised to know that the anatomy of your teeth and jaw can have an effect on the quality of your sleep.
Braces and/or clear aligners may be used to treat sleep apnea caused by misalignment of the teeth and jaw. If there are teeth impeding your airflow while you’re snoozing, this will lead to discomfort, constant waking throughout the night, and a generally low quality of sleep. You may feel fatigued throughout the day, unmotivated, and have a hard time staying awake or focusing on work and everyday life.
Consistent, high-quality sleep is so important for overall health and wellbeing. Orthodontic treatment can help correct any misalignment by slowly, gently, and accurately moving any obstructive teeth out of the way so you can breathe normally and naturally again. This will help you get the rest you deserve, and ensure you have a beautiful, straight smile to show off when you get up for the day!