These days, braces get a bad reputation, but they are still the best orthodontic option for many people when it comes to getting straighter, healthier smiles. At OPD Smiles Orthodontic & Pediatric Dentistry in Lucas, we offer a full range of orthodontic treatments to help kids, teens, and even adults to get a beautiful, healthy, perfectly aligned smile. Whether you’re looking to even out tooth spacing or correct more advanced bite misalignments, traditional braces can deliver beautiful results. If you want to learn more about aligning your smile, give our Lucas dental and orthodontic office a call. We’ll schedule your orthodontic consultation to help you find the right smile alignment solution and keep the smile on your face.
Why is it Important to Straighten Teeth?
We all know that a straight smile looks great, but there are actually a number oral and overall health concerns related to uneven smiles. Some of the reasons it’s so important to straighten teeth include:
- Avoid excessive wear to certain teeth. An uneven bite means that specific teeth receive greater amounts of pressure than others putting them at greater risk for decay, chips, and damage.
- Misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean, so when you straighten your teeth, you’re less likely to experience oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease.
- People with more complex misalignment like over, under, and crossbite may struggle with a jaw pain condition called TMJ dysfunction. The TMJ are small joints that connect the jaw to the skull bone, and an uneven bite can cause a patient to constantly readjust their jaw position, straining the TMJ.
- People with misaligned smiles are more likely to struggle with airway blockage conditions like snoring and sleep apnea.
What Happens During Traditional Orthodontic Treatment?
Traditional braces use a series of brackets and wires to place pressure on teeth moving them into their ideal alignment. Brackets are fused to the front surfaces of teeth. Then, wires are connected through the brackets. At regular appointments, we’ll adjust the wires and place pressure on specific teeth to move them into their ideal alignment. For people who have more complex bite misalignment, we may also use bands or oral appliances to shift the entire bite at once rather than one tooth at a time.
How Long Does Treatment with Braces Take?
Every patient’s braces treatment is unique. In most cases, it takes between 18 and 36 months to move teeth into proper alignment. During your orthodontic consultation, we’ll review your case and give you an accurate estimate of the time it will take to complete your treatment.
Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?
After teeth are shifted into their ideal position, it will take time for the supportive alveolar bone and gum tissue to fuse with the tooth roots, holding it firmly in place. As the supportive structures regrow, you’ll need to wear a retainer. The retainer ensures your teeth stay firmly in their new positions. In most cases, you’ll start by wearing the retainer all day. Then, you’ll switch to evenings. We will continue to decrease the amount of time you’ll need to spend wearing the retainer as your teeth become more solidly fused into their new position.