Orthodontics is more than just a beautiful smile, it involves the correction of a bad bite, repositions misaligned jaws, reduces overcrowding, and straightens crooked teeth, maximising your overall oral health. There are also some intangible emotional benefits to having orthodontic treatment which include a boost in confidence and self-esteem as the symmetry between the lips and the rest of the face improves.
We have various appliances used at Artiste Studios - L'Orthodontiste that gently move teeth and jaws and retrain the muscles to correct bite problems, jaw discomfort, tooth pain, and other issues stemming from improper tooth positioning.
THE BEST AGE FOR HAVING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT:
Patients of any age with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment. The ideal time for placement of braces is usually between 10 and 14 years of age, while the jaws and mouth are still growing, and teeth are most conducive to straightening. Otherwise, any other time is good too. It's also better late than never to start benefiting from the improved oral health a straightened smile brings.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT INVOLVE?
In the first instance, it is important to have a full examination, diagnosis and treatment plan. This will involve a good look at your teeth, orthodontic x-rays and study models to plan the treatment. We then can discuss the possible treatment plans with you. Once you have decided to go ahead, the treatment can start and we can plan for the braces to be fitted.
When the braces get fitted, within the first 1-2 days the teeth will begin to feel pressure and shift and may feel "loose". This is the normal physiology of tooth movement to enable teeth to move through orthodontic treatment. Once the teeth are in their new positions, the periodontal ligament around them stabilises to hold the teeth in their new positions, with the aid of retainers.
TYPES OF BRACES:
Removable Brace: Simple treatment may be carried out with a removable brace (a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned). It has delicate wires and springs attached, which move the teeth using gentle pressure.
Fixed Brace: It is used when more accuracy is needed to achieve the detailed results you are after. It consists of brackets and/ or bands which are temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be straightened.
Functional Appliance: Sometimes we can utilise a child's natural growth to facilitate favourable growth of the jaws. This works best prior to and with the growth spurt during puberty. There is an upper age limit on this, and this treatment is not usually carried out once a child has passed puberty as most of the jaw growth will already have taken place. This means that other options will have to be utilised, like extractions to create space.
Headgear: Some people are recommended to wear headgear to provide extra-oral support and anchorage to effect their treatment. Due to societal and convenience factors, these are usually worn only at night or in evening with ongoing treatment. This can also be used to alter growth patterns, and used to limit amount and direction of unfavourable growth.
Invisible Brace: These are tough, clear plastic 'aligners' that are used to straighten teeth. Several sets of specially moulded, slightly different aligners are made for each patient. Each set is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next one. They are made from clear plastic, so they are nearly invisible. This means that no one need know you are straightening your teeth. The aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours a day for the best results. They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and for cleaning in between your teeth. You do need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.
AT THE END OF THE TREATMENT:
This is called the ‘retention' period, and the appliances that hold the teeth in place are called retainers. The retainers hold newly straightened teeth in position while the surrounding gum and bone settles. The retainers can be removable or fixed, and our recommendation will depend on the original problem but usually we will recommend both to be used in conjunction.
Clean your teeth carefully every day, including between your teeth where you can.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day. Use a mouthwash if you need to. Your dental team may recommend a stronger fluoride toothpaste.
For more information on various orthodontic services we offer, get in touch with the team at Artiste Studios. We are happy to answer your questions and assist you in scheduling an appointment for an initial discussion to explore the options possible to achieve your best smile.