Bellbrook Family Dentistry provides a wide variety of braces and other effective orthodontic treatments that straighten teeth, correct bite issues, and address other problems with teeth and jaws that might be affecting the way the teeth look, feel, and function. With advanced treatment options for adults and children, our Bellbrook dentist can help you or your child fix common orthodontic problems and prevent the development of certain dental issues in the future.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of misaligned teeth and jaws. While traditional braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatments, modern orthodontics now include a variety of treatments to straighten teeth and reshape jawbones. Orthodontics may be part of a comprehensive plan to reshape the teeth and jaws, or as a standalone procedure to restore a smile.
Traditional braces, which consist of metal brackets cemented to teeth and metal bands, can create a more functional and attractive smile. Braces can also fix a misaligned bite in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly when biting and chewing food.
Braces work by applying continuous pressure to teeth, with the brackets acting like handles for the tight wire band. This pressure moves the teeth in a specific direction to their optimal position on the jaw. As the teeth move, the underlying jawbone changes shape. The dentist tightens the wire incrementally so that it continuously applies pressure to the teeth.
Orthodontic Retainers – Removables
Worn near the end of orthodontic treatment, retainers hold teeth in place while they settle into position. Made from a plastic base and wire frame – or entirely of clear plastic – your custom-made retainer prevents your teeth from drifting out of alignment; drifting teeth ruin all of the hard work you have put into straightening your teeth.
Your removable retainer will stay in your mouth most of the time. You will remove it only when eating and cleaning. Your dentist will determine the number of hours you should wear your retainer, and how many months or years you will need a retainer to maintain optimal alignment of your teeth.
Orthodontic Retainers – Fixed
Fixed retainers also keep teeth in their optimal position created by orthodontic treatment. A fixed retainer features a custom-fitted wire securely bonded to the back of your teeth. The retainer holds teeth in position.
Because it is permanent, you cannot lose a fixed retainer as you can a removable one. Fixed retainers can make oral hygiene more time consuming that with a removable retainer. Your dentist will remove the fixed retainer after determining that your teeth have settled into their new location and will not likely drift out of alignment.
Clear aligners also apply pressure to move teeth to the desired position in your mouth, but they do it without the brackets and wires associated with traditional braces. Made from see-through plastic, clear aligners are barely visible.
Clear aligners are fitted plastic aligner trays that you wear over your teeth. The technique involves the use of a series of these trays, with each tray moving your teeth closer towards their ultimate location. You will receive the trays in the mail, and wear each tray for a predetermined amount of time, which is usually about two weeks.
Your dentist uses advanced technology to create three-dimensional (3D) images of your teeth. Next, your dental health professional feeds the 3D images into a computer that determines the final location of your teeth, and the path that they should take to get there. The computer then creates the patterns for the series of alignment trays.
While clear aligners are effective for correcting minor to moderate misalignments, they are not appropriate for the correction of severe misalignments and some other dental alignment problems. Your dentist can help you determine if clear aligners are right for you.
Your dental team can also help you care for your traditional braces or clear aligners and for your removable or fixed retainer. Orthodontic appliances, such as braces, aligners and retainers, can trap food particles. Food trapped near the surface of the teeth can promote the formation of plaque, which is a thin coating of microorganisms. Harmful bacteria in plaque digest sugars in food, a process that produces acids capable of eroding your teeth and gum to cause cavities, white spots on your teeth, gum disease and bad breath. Braces and fixed aligners can make it harder to remove this plaque.
For more information on orthodontics and braces, contact the dental health professionals at Bellbrook Family Dentistry.