Posted on: 21 August, 2020
Orthodontics is most associated with teenagers, but since the development of more discreet and comfortable treatments, many adults are now also choosing to straighten their teeth later in life. Orthodontic treatment can seem like a big commitment when you first start to wear braces o...
5 minute read
Orthodontics is most associated with teenagers, but since the development of more discreet and comfortable treatments, many adults are now also choosing to straighten their teeth later in life.
Orthodontic treatment can seem like a big commitment when you first start to wear braces or clear aligners, but your mouth will quickly adjust and you can look forward to the reward of a healthier, straighter smile.
If you have crooked, crowded or gapped teeth, talk to your dentist to find out how orthodontic treatment could help. They'll give you all the information you need to decide for yourself whether orthodontics is the right choice.
Orthodontic treatment can help to bring the teeth, bite and jaws into better alignment for a more balanced smile. Some people want to straighten their teeth because of the aesthetic benefits, but there can be wider health benefits of a straight smile that are less well known.
Properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss and less likely to trap food and plaque, lowering the risk of oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease that can also affect general health. Correcting orthodontic problems may also help with eating and speech.
Straight teeth and jaws are also less likely to grind together. This can cause tooth wear and damage over time, as well as damage to fillings and other dental restorations and putting strain on the jaw joints, which can lead to headaches and TMJ pain.
(Want to learn more about TMJ pain? Read our blog: 9 Things You Should Know About TMJ Pain).
Orthodontics treats problems affecting the bite. A bite is the way the upper and lower teeth fit together, also known as the occlusion. If you or your child have a problem with your bite (known as a malocclusion), your dentist will observe this during your regular check-up and may recommend treatments to help bring your teeth and jaws correctly in line.
The most common bite problems that orthodontics can treat are:
The upper jaw is further forward than the lower jaw, which causes the upper front teeth to cover the lower teeth more than normal. Severe overbite may cause teeth to wear down faster and can injure or damage the gums if the lower teeth touch the upper gum.
When the lower jaw is further forward than the upper jaw, the lower front teeth can sit in front of the upper teeth. This may cause problems with eating, speech and oral hygiene and is sometimes linked to breathing problems such as mouth breathing, loud snoring or sleep apnoea.
A narrow upper jaw can cause a combination of overbite and underbite, with some lower teeth overlapping the upper teeth and vice versa. Crossbite can put the teeth and jaws under a lot of stress, leading to irregular tooth wear and damage, headaches and jaw joint problems.
This is when the back teeth touch together but the front teeth stay open, leaving a gap. This can cause problems with biting and chewing as well as speech, if it affects the tongue position. As the back teeth are under more pressure, they can also wear down, chip and crack more easily.
A small or narrow jaw can cause teeth to grow too close together. Pressure from their neighbours can lead to teeth shifting out of alignment or protruding, which can make chewing and cleaning your teeth harder, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
A wider jaw can leave gaps between the teeth that affect their appearance. Without support on both sides, widely spaced teeth may also go crooked. This can affect the bite and make them more difficult to clean.
If the upper jaw is further forward than the lower jaw, this may cause the front teeth to stick out. Protruding or 'buck' teeth are more vulnerable to injury.
Teeth that aren't straight can be harder to brush and floss, making them more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. They may also cause excess wear and tear as they press against other teeth or affect chewing, which could put strain on some areas of the mouth or lead to digestion issues.
A lost tooth can lead to orthodontic problems if the surrounding teeth start to move into the gap. Your dentist may discuss treatments such as a dental implant, dental bridge or partial dentures to replace a missing tooth and prevent these problems from developing.
When you attend a consultation with our dentists in Victoria Park, we'll examine your teeth and jaws for signs of orthodontic issues and then discuss any treatment options that could help to balance your smile.
We'll explain the pros and cons of each treatment type, including orthodontic costs and timelines, so you can decide which options suit your lifestyle and circumstances.
Our dentists serve the areas of Victoria Park, South Perth and Bentley. They are qualified and experienced to provide a range of teeth straightening treatments using braces, clear aligners and other systems.
Read more about the orthodontic treatments we provide at EVP Dental below.
Orthodontic braces are suitable for teenagers and adults with a wide range of orthodontic issues. These are attached to the teeth and apply gentle force to gradually move the teeth into their new position.
Modern braces are designed to be more discreet and more comfortable than those of the past. There are different types of braces to choose from, including:
Once your braces have been attached by your dentist, they need to remain in place until the treatment is complete. Your dentist will make minor adjustments at each of your regular appointments to move your teeth to the next step.
Invisalign® treatment is a popular alternative to braces that uses removable aligners fitted over the teeth. These aligners are made from a clear plastic that's virtually undetectable on the teeth. They can be removed when you eat and drink or brush and floss your teeth, unlike braces which are fixed in place.
Invisalign treatment is a popular choice with older teens and adults who don't want to draw attention to their orthodontic treatment, but it may not be suitable for more severe orthodontic problems. We'll tell you if you or your child are a candidate for clear aligner treatment during your consultation.
If you choose Invisalign treatment at EVP Dental, we'll take 3D images of your mouth and use Invisalign software to design your custom aligners. Each set of aligners is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next set, gradually moving your teeth into alignment.
Inman Aligners™ are a short-term orthodontic treatment that can correct problems with the front teeth, such as protrusion or crowding. The removable aligners are fitted over the teeth where they apply the force needed to guide them into their preferred position.
An Inman Aligner™ may be an option if only minor straightening is needed, or as preparation for another orthodontic treatment or veneers. The treatment normally takes between 6 and 18 weeks, considerably shorter than other orthodontic treatments that can take 6 months or longer.
After your braces or aligners are removed for the last time, you will need to wear a retainer to help your teeth hold their new position. Without a retainer, teeth may start to shift back to how they were before, undoing all of your hard work.
Depending on the type of treatment you had, you may only need to wear a retainer for a short time or for the long term. We'll explain more about retention during your orthodontic consultation so you know what to expect.
Orthodontics isn't the only option for straightening teeth.
If you only need to straighten the appearance of one or several teeth, an alternative could be to cover the tooth with a custom crown.
If your front teeth are only slightly crooked or have small gaps, another option might be placing porcelain veneers. These alternatives give the appearance of straight teeth without straightening them.
We'll make sure you know all the options, and what the costs and possible risks are, so you can be confident you're making the right decision.
Book a consultation for orthodontics in Victoria Park
If you want to know more about orthodontic treatments or you're ready to book a consultation with a dentist in South Perth, book online today, or call our friendly team at EVP Dental today on 08 9470 3944.