If you have crooked teeth and/or a misaligned bite (an underbite or overbite), there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten your teeth, including braces and retainers.
Altamonte Springs dentist Dr. Arnold will ask you questions about your health, conduct a clinical exam, gather impressions of your teeth, take photos of your face and teeth, and order X-rays of your mouth and head. An appropriate treatment plan is made based on analysis of the gathered information.
In some cases, a removable retainer will be all that's necessary. In other rare cases (especially when there is an extreme overbite or underbite), surgery may be necessary. In most cases, however, braces will be needed.
What Types of Braces Are Available?
Generally, there are three types of braces:
- Brackets: Made of stainless steel or clear or tooth-colored ceramic or plastic, brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth. Ceramic or plastic brackets are often selected for cosmetic reasons. Plastic brackets, however, may become stained and discolored by the end of treatment. Another disadvantage of ceramic or plastic brackets is that they cause more friction between the wire and brackets, which can increase treatment time.
- Lingual-type brackets: These are brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hiding the bracket from view.
- Traditional bands: which consists of the use of metal brackets soldered to metal bands that wrap around each tooth.
Newer "mini-braces," which are much smaller than traditional braces, may be an option for some. Your orthodontist will discuss the various types of available braces with you and determine which might be the best option for you.
How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?
The time required for treatment varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the problem; the amount of room available; the distance the teeth must travel; the health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone; and how closely the patient follows instructions. On average, however, once the braces are put on, they usually remain in place for 1 to 3 years. After braces are removed, most patients will need to wear a retainer all the time for the first 6 months, then only during sleep for many years.
How Often Will I Need to See the Orthodontist During Treatment?
Longwood cosmetic and family dentist Dr. Arnold will want to see you about every month or so in order to make sure that the braces are exerting steady pressure on your teeth. To create more tension and pressure on your teeth, Dr. Arnold will make adjustments in the wires, springs, or rubber bands of your braces.
Does the Age at Which I Get Braces Affect the Success of Treatment?
The mechanical process used to move teeth is the same at any age. So the benefits of orthodontic treatments are available to both children and adults who wish to improve their appearance and bite. The main differences between treatments in adults and children is that certain corrections in adults may require more than braces alone and the treatments may take longer because adult bones are no longer growing.
Can I Continue to Play Sports While Wearing Braces?
You can continue to participate in any sport you choose. When playing sports where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth, a specially designed mouthguard will need to be worn. The mouthguard, made of durable plastic, is designed to fit comfortably over your braces and will protect the soft tissues inside your mouth.