Orthodontics

What is orthodontics?

More than just a pretty smile: Orthodontics can help you keep your mouth healthy.

Orthodontic treatments like braces help move teeth that are crooked or that do not fit together right. By fixing these problems, orthodontics can also help keep your mouth healthy. Crooked teeth can be harder to clean, putting you at risk for cavities and gum disease.

Using x-rays and other tools, we will decide if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

When should treatment begin?

The best age is between 10 and 14. This is when a child’s head and mouth are still growing and teeth are easier to straighten, but patients can get braces at any age. In fact, more and more adults are getting braces.

For best results, practice good oral care.

Braces have tiny spaces­­ where pieces of food and plaque can accumulate. This can cause staining, white spots, tooth decay, and gum disease. That’s why it is important to brush and floss your teeth after every meal.

How your teeth and gums look when braces come off has a lot to do with how you treat them while the braces are on.

The most common orthodontic treatment is braces.

Braces are made of bands, wires, and brackets. They gently move teeth into the right position. This can fix the way you bite together.

There are different types of braces. The most common are metal or plastic brackets attached to the front surface of the teeth. “Lingual” braces attach to the back of teeth. They are hidden from view but harder to clean.


How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?

Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, we can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.

If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:

  • Overbite, sometimes called “buck teeth” — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
  • Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
  • Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
  • Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
  • Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
  • Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the mouth
  • Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate