Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth. Many people have crowded or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment can straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This not only improves their appearance but also the way the teeth bite together, which can make them easier to clean. In some patients the upper front teeth can stick out and look unsightly. Prominent teeth are also more likely to be damaged and may require orthodontic treatment to move them back into line. In others, the way the upper and lower jaws meet can cause teeth to look unsightly and lead to an incorrect bite. Orthodontic treatment may be able to correct this.When the teeth do not meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joints problems and in some cases headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.Orthodontic treatment is usually carried out in children, but adults can benefit from it too. Age is less important than having the proper number of teeth. In children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment.Your dentist may carry out your orthodontic treatment or refer you to a specialist who has extra qualifications. The specialist may be in a practice or in a hospital department, and is called an orthodontist. The dentist or orthodontist will give you a full dental examination, including looking at your teeth, taking X-rays and making plaster models of your teeth. He or she will then discuss your treatment options with you.
How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
We expect your treatment time to last from 12 to 30 months depending on your individual case. Your cooperation in keeping appointments, proper hygiene and care of braces may allow us to finish your orthodontic treatment early.
This malocclusion (bad bite) occurs most often with the front teeth, which in this instance are unable to meet when biting on the back teeth. This kind of bad bite is mainly caused by poor oral habits that are practiced in childhood. These habits often continue into adolescence and at times into adulthood.
This describes when the upper and lower teeth are biting in reverse position. For example, the lower teeth biting in front of the upper teeth. This kind of “reverse bite” can also occur at the sides. Crossbites mainly occur due to delayed loss of baby teeth, which causes the permanent teeth to erupt out of position. All types of crossbites can adversely affect jaw function, cause gum and bone breakdown as well as jaw joint (TMJ) disorder.
Crooked, rotated and overlapped teeth result when there is not enough space available in the jaws to comfortably hold the teeth.
Spacing between the teeth occurs as a result of:
- Small teeth or conversely relatively large jaws.
- Abnormal oral habits: finger sucking, tongue sucking etc.
- Abnormal tongue posture as well as tongue thrusting during swallowing.
- Spacing also occurs if a permanent tooth is extracted and is not replaced with a bridge or an implant. The teeth start to drift into the open space.
This can cause an unstable bite and orthodontic treatment is required to correct the bite.