Who would benefit from orthodontics?
There is a common belief that orthodontics is only for children, but this is not true. While catching misalignment issues early on in childhood is ideal, it is never too late to straighten your teeth. Therefore, if you are experiencing gaps, overcrowding or improper positioning, orthodontics is for you.
Some other concerns that orthodontics deals with are:
- Improper bites, such as overbite, underbite or crossbite
- Spacing issues, whereby the teeth have gaps
- Overcrowing, whereby the teeth overlap
- Skew midline, in which your upper bite and lower bite do not match up
What are the different orthodontic devices?
Various orthodontic devices work to correct alignment issues, but we specialise in two specific types:
- Fixed orthodontic appliances, such as braces.
- Removable orthodontic appliances, such as aligners and retainers.
Metal braces are one of the most common orthodontic devices available and use a metal framework to slowly pressure the teeth into the correct position. Metal brackets are cemented to the front of the teeth, and a wire is fed through. The wire is held in place by colourful rubber bands. During each regular visit, the wire is tightened to place pressure on the teeth.
Braces are fixed because they cannot be removed and remain on the teeth for the duration of the treatment. In addition, braces tend to be more popular among children due to the customisable rubber bands that keep the framework in place and the minimal maintenance required.
Braces are standard for orthodontic correction, but few adults want to wear a mouthful of metal for a year or more while teeth move into better alignment. Clear aligners address this problem by offering a discreet alternative to metal braces.
With clear aligner treatment, there are no brackets or wires. Instead, you will receive a customised series of transparent trays that you will wear for at least 22 hours daily. The aligners will straighten your teeth little by little over several months.
These mouthguards help prevent the teeth from shifting after receiving orthodontic treatment. They are typically worn at night when the teeth are more susceptible to moving and grinding.
How does orthodontics work?
Orthodontic devices are designed to be tightened (braces) or replaced (clear aligners) over time. This way, the devices push the teeth into the correct placement. Teeth are cushioned by the periodontal membrane in the gums, and this is also pressured by orthodontic devices so that the teeth can shift accordingly.
The orthodontic process
Orthodontic treatment is a lengthy process that can span several months to a year. Our first step is to assess whether you are a candidate for orthodontics and what device will best suit your needs and lifestyle.
We do a comprehensive examination of your teeth and bite, taking X-rays and scans to check your inner bone structure and how the roots have developed. From here, we can determine if braces or clear aligners will be best suited to your case.
Once your treatment plan is confirmed, you will have repeat visits where we will adjust your device and check your progress. With braces, the wire is tightened, and we apply new rubber bands, and in the case of clear aligners, you will receive a new pair every two weeks.