What Is Orthodontics?

What Is Orthodontics?

Feb 01, 2021

The word ‘Orthodontics’ isn’t likely to be a common word in your vocabulary. However, if you’re accustomed to seeing people with braces, you know more than you think you do. In this article, we will discuss all that orthodontics entails.

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and correction of a bad bite. Most times, an orthodontist near you will use braces to achieve this purpose. A bad bite is a result of crooked teeth that fail to fit together. With the help of the right orthodontist in Houston, TX, your crooked teeth can become straight. Many people don’t know that orthodontics in Houston goes beyond physical appearance. Crooked teeth are a risk for tooth decay or periodontal disease because they’re difficult to clean. They also make chewing a rigorous chore, leading to headaches and shoulder or even back pain. When you go for orthodontics in Houston, TX, you can take care of all these problems. How do you know that you need orthodontics in Houston?

Do You Need Orthodontic Treatment?

If you have a bad bite, then you need orthodontic treatment. There are many forms of a bad bite. The overbite is the kind where the upper front teeth stick over the lower teeth. In the case of the underbite, the reverse happens. The lower teeth stick over the upper teeth. A crossbite is a situation where the upper teeth fit behind the lower teeth when your mouth is closed. A person that has an open bite will notice that there is a vertical gap between the front lower and upper teeth when they bite down. Orthodontics in Houston will help you with these situations. There are other dental anomalies that an orthodontist in Houston, TX can correct. Let’s see what.

Beyond a bad bite, you need orthodontics if you have a misplaced midline. In this case, the center of your upper and lower front teeth don’t line up. Are there random gaps between your teeth? If yes, you will benefit from orthodontic treatment. The same goes for you if your teeth are too crowded.

How Does Orthodontics Work?

Orthodontists use the many appliances available to them to realign teeth arrangement. These appliances place gentle and steady pressure on the teeth and jaw to retrain the muscles. Gradually, the teeth move into place. The appliances they use can be divided into two broad types, the fixed and removable ones. Your orthodontist will advise you on the right one for you.

We will discuss the fixed types first. Braces are the foremost example in this class. They’re the most used appliance by an orthodontist. Braces are made of bands, wires, and brackets. Bands hold your teeth in place by anchoring them. The brackets are attached to the front of your teeth and connected to the bands by archwires. Adjusting the archwires puts the needed pressure on the teeth. Braces apply sustained pressure on the teeth and jaw, moving it slowly into position. Your orthodontist will continue to adjust the braces to account for changes in realignment until the process is complete.

Special fixed appliances can be used to break habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. However, they are uncomfortable because they’re attached to the teeth by bands. Orthodontists use them as a last resort when other methods have failed. Another type of fixed appliance is the fixed space maintainer. If a child loses a tooth earlier than normal, an orthodontist will fix a space maintainer at that position. This keeps the space open till the permanent tooth appears.

Removable appliances include aligners, removable space maintainers, and jaw repositioning appliances. There are also lip and cheek bumpers, palatal expanders, and removable retainers. Aligners are an alternative to braces in adults. They act just like braces to reposition teeth but they cannot be spotted easily as they lack metal wires and brackets. Removable space maintainers do the same work as the fixed ones. But, they’re made of plastic or an acrylic base and can be removed at will.

Jaw repositioning appliances are otherwise known as splints. To treat disorders of the TMJ(Temporo-mandibular joint), orthodontists fix them on the top or lower jaw. This way, they can train the jaws to close in a better position.

Can Adults Get Braces?

Yes. Aligners are popular options in adults. But, braces are best gotten in the teenage years when the jaw and teeth are yet to form fully. They’re easy to realign at this phase.

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