About 4 million people in the United States wear braces.
You may not think about orthodontic care when you brush your teeth in the morning, but the two go hand-in-hand. As a matter of fact, they are so closely related that many people don’t realize how important orthodontic care is to their overall dental health and appearance.
Here we will discuss everything you need to know about this vital part of oral hygiene and why it’s crucial for maintaining good oral health and looking your best!
What is Orthodontic Care?
In the simplest terms, orthodontics refers to “straightening” your teeth. While this may not sound important, it actually has a huge impact on your oral health and appearance.
People who have crowded or crooked teeth often develop issues with their gums and jawbones which can lead to pain and discomfort.
If the teeth are crooked they can begin to grow in funny ways. This can lead to more issues down the line such as chipped or worn tooth enamel.
Gum recession and fractures around the roots of your teeth where it attaches into your jawbone can also occur. You may even discover worse problems with decay from food being trapped between uneven surfaces.
Orthodontic Care vs. Dental Care
There are some differences between orthodontic care and dental care, although they both relate to oral health.
Orthodontists work with patients who need braces, and retainers, for problems like teeth not coming together or crooked teeth.
Dental visits focus on removing plaque, dealing with cavities, taking x-rays, and just helping patients maintain good oral health.
Why Is Orthodontic Care Important?
As you can see, orthodontic care is very important to your overall oral health and well-being. Even if the only thing that bothers you about your smile or bite is a little bit of crookedness in a few teeth, it’s still worth getting them straightened out as soon as possible.
There are a few different options for treatment, but the most common include braces and Invisalign. You can talk to your dentist about which is right for you.
In addition to being uncomfortable or causing issues with eating and speaking, crooked teeth have been known to cause other health problems such as headaches from pinching on nerves. Crooked teeth can even cause back pain from a misaligned bite which puts pressure on the spine.
In some cases, it can also cause issues with your sinuses due to poor air circulation in and out of the nose. While these are not always directly related to crooked teeth, they may be exacerbated by them so it’s best to get those pearly whites straightened out!
The bottom line is that orthodontic care is not something you should avoid just because it’s expensive or inconvenient.
While the process for correcting crooked teeth can be lengthy, most people are pleasantly surprised by how rewarding their new smile feels in the end. If you’ve been putting this off your entire life, now may be the perfect time to take advantage of orthodontic care.
What to Expect at the Orthodontist
When you visit an orthodontist, they perform a variety of different tasks. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the different stages of the procedure, so you can know if you are getting quality orthodontic care.
Examination and Consultation
The orthodontist will take X-rays and photographs to get a clear view of your teeth and mouth. They’ll also answer any questions you might have about the diagnosis. This is also when they’ll begin discussing treatment options.
The orthodontist will assess how your mouth opens and its general appearance.
They’ll measure what’s called the ‘overbite’, which measures how high your top teeth bite into your bottom jawbone. They’ll also diagnose if you have a crossbite or a jaw position issue.
The orthodontist will determine which treatment option is best for you. This can be anything from braces or Invisalign. There are also other devices such as expanders, retainers, appliances that attach to the teeth, and headgear.
They’ll also discuss how long treatment takes as well as what the costs are.
The orthodontist will make a list of any custom appliances or devices that you’ll need to complete your treatment.
They’ll also create models of the teeth and show them an example of what they’re going to look like after treatment is completed. This way, there’s no guessing when it comes to making a final decision.
Once the treatment is completed, your orthodontist will recommend regular visits for checkups and cleanings as well as other maintenance procedures that promote oral health.
Maintenance is very important. If you properly maintain the corrective devices that have been placed on your teeth you will see better results, so if you need help with maintenance don’t hesitate to ask for it.
Once everything has been completed, your orthodontist will schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that you’re satisfied with the work they’ve done.
They’ll talk about any concerns or issues and discuss what should be changed moving forward. This is also when they’ll give you instructions on how to care for your teeth after treatment.
Schedule a Visit
Scheduling a visit with your orthodontist is something you should do sooner rather than later if you find yourself having severe problems with your teeth.
While taking measures to make your smile look its best can require your patience, it does pay off in the end. Proper orthodontic care means that you will have a smile that you can be proud of for a lifetime.
If you are seeking good orthodontic care do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to consult with you about improving your smile.