Three Types of Orthodontic Care and Treatments

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Are you coping with an orthodontic issue? If so, you should ask for the assistance of an orthodontist, correcting the position of teeth and jaw structure in patients. Misaligned teeth not only make individuals embarrassed by their smiles but also put pressure on the jaw joints, gums, and other teeth in the oral cavity. 

Some of the most common orthodontic issues include crossbite, crowding, spacing, open bite, improper eruption, etc. For instance, crowding occurs in patients whose mouth has not enough space to accommodate all teeth. Conversely, spacing refers to the unnatural space between teeth, leading to tooth decay and gingivitis. 

Fortunately, orthodontic issues can be resolved with the right care and treatments, such as braces, clear aligners, and retainers. There are various orthodontic practices, like Grinz Orthodontics, offering high-quality orthodontic care in a comfortable environment. 

Learn more about the most common types of treatments. 

Braces

One of the most popular orthodontic treatments involves using braces, which come in various types. For instance, metal braces are the most common type used worldwide, present for more than a hundred years. Due to the advancements in technology, metal braces are no longer as bulky and uncomfortable as they were in the past. 

The innovations in the field of orthodontics have made metal braces more effective, comfortable, and smaller. Orthodontists apply them to the teeth of patients by connecting them with a wire. The elastic ties that secure the wire to the braces come in a variety of colors. Appointments are required every four to eight weeks for the orthodontists to make the necessary adjustments.

Despite the technological advancements, metal braces are still considered the most noticeable orthodontic devices. Patients wearing such devices will most likely experience difficulties brushing and flossing, meaning they have to pay special attention to oral hygiene. 

Ceramic braces, on the other hand, are made of clear material, resembling the color of teeth. These devices are less visible and more discreet when compared to metal braces. Therefore, they are mostly preferred by adolescents and adults. Nevertheless, the size of ceramic braces is a bit larger compared to their metal counterparts. Since the material is prone to staining, patients are supposed to be careful with their diet and brushing habits. Read here about the advantages and disadvantages of ceramic braces. 

Self-litigating braces are another type of orthodontic treatment, straightening teeth in a similar way to the metal and ceramic variants. What makes these devices different is the use of clips instead of rubber ties to secure the wire. This feature makes them suitable for patients who are overly sensitive to discomfort, as well as those with developmental delays. 

Lingual braces aren’t as common as the other types, as they require special orthodontic skills to get installed. These devices aren’t installed on the front teeth but behind them, which makes them completely invisible and versatile. Orthodontists recommend lingual braces to adults coping with orthodontic issues who refuse to wear noticeable devices.

Nevertheless, prior to agreeing to such treatment, it’s important for patients to understand the possible challenges they might face while wearing these devices. Since they are placed behind the teeth, patients are likely to experience tongue irritation and minor changes in speech. These symptoms, however, have a tendency to disappear after wearing lingual braces for several weeks. Once the mouth becomes accustomed to the appliance, patients won’t experience any discomfort. 

Aligners

Clear aligners have become amazingly popular in the course of the last decade, as they are capable of straightening teeth without wires and brackets. These aligners are in the form of removable trays made of invisible material, which are placed over your natural teeth. They are supposed to be worn in intervals of two weeks until the teeth of patients are moved to the desired position. 

Additionally, clear aligners like Invisalign should be worn at least twenty hours per day, both during day and night. Patients can remove them whenever they want to eat, brush, or floss their teeth. Invisalign is usually worn between six and eighteen months, depending on the type of misalignment issue. 

The popularity of clear aligners is not surprising, given their transparent nature. They allow patients to practice regular brushing and flossing without any trouble, as well as provide faster treatment. The appointments for Invisalign and other clear aligners are shorter and less frequent. 

Such orthodontic treatments are appropriate only for patients whose dental issues are mild to moderate. They can help individuals with open bite, overbite, crossbite, and other problems. The following link, https://www.healthline.com/health/open-bite, explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment of open bite. As far as more serious dental problems are concerned, clear aligners are limited in their effectiveness. In such cases, orthodontists recommend a combination of lingual braces and Invisalign.  

Retainers

Retainers are another form of orthodontic device, usually used in the last stages of orthodontic treatments or as part of the aftercare. Their job is to ensure teeth don’t go back to their previous position and become misaligned once again. Even though teeth move to new positions in the mouth, it takes a longer time for gums to reform and adjust to the new position of each tooth. 

Therefore, orthodontists recommend wearing retainers to patients until their teeth stabilize. Retainers are available in two types, removable and fixed. Removable models, as the name explains, can be easily removed from the mouth of patients. They resemble gum shields made of thin material, which fit over the teeth and keep them in a perfect line. Most patients are suggested to wear retainers only at night, but some individuals should wear them longer. 

In contrast, fixed retainers are made from a stainless steel wire, which goes behind the front teeth to keep the retainer secure. These devices are relatively discreet, so patients are comfortable wearing them. Anyhow, you should only be attentive when brushing or flossing so as not to get hurt.

To sum up

Make sure you visit a professional orthodontist if dealing with a misalignment issue!