How Orthodontics Work
If your teeth are misaligned, you may understand that the problem is not limited to aesthetics. A bad bite can cause a variety of oral health problems.
The goal of orthodontic treatment is the same for children, teenagers or adults – to straighten teeth to alter their appearance and restore their function.
This goal is pursued by using braces that apply gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position over months or years.
If you're interested in a more discreet way to straighten your smile, we also offer Invisalign clear aligners at James Bay Dental.
Traditional braces are made of either metal or ceramic and have been used for decades to re-align teeth. In recent years, advances in orthodontic treatment have resulted in braces that are low-profile, more comfortable and easier to care for when compared to the braces of the past.
How Braces Straighten Teeth
Braces apply constant pressure to your teeth over a period of time, slowly moving them into their new, desired positions.
As pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate the new positions of your teeth.
- How can orthodontic treatment be beneficial to adults?
A straight, healthy smile plays an important role in life, not just socially, but also in terms of your health.
Orthodontic treatment may have an effect on your self-confidence.
Orthodontic treatment can also have a positive impact on your overall health. Correctly aligned teeth are less likely to become chipped or damaged and are also easier to properly clean compared to misaligned teeth. This can prevent problems like tooth decay, bad breath, gingivitis, and gum disease.
A well-aligned bite also creates less strain on the jaw muscles and joints, making for easier chewing and better digestion.
And though orthodontic treatment may seem costly at the outset, over time it can help you avoid more expensive dental procedures by proactively ensuring your smile is healthy.
- Why might a child need orthodontic treatment?
There are several reasons why your child may require orthodontic treatment at an earlier age. When your dentist begins your kid's treatment at a young age, they can make effort to influence the growth of your child's jaw and the emergence of their permanent teeth.
All of the following issues may be treated with early orthodontics:
- Open bite
- Crowded, loose, or impacted teeth
- Tongue thrusting
- Trouble with chewing and breathing
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Improper jaw alignment
- How long will I have to wear braces?
This is a very common question and with good reason! Having a time frame in mind can be very helpful in mentally preparing for your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from 9 months to 5 years from start to finish. However, the process typically lasts between 12 and 24 months.
The duration of your orthodontic treatment will be specific to you, depending on the following factors:
The issue that is being corrected - The current position of your teeth and the extent of the problem will influence the duration of treatment. Everyone's case is different!
If you’ve had early treatment - Pre-teens or teenagers that have previously received orthodontic treatment when they were younger. If you have had early treatment, you'll likely have a bit of a head start on your treatment timeline.
How you care for your teeth and braces during treatment - The maintenance you provide for your teeth and orthodontic appliances while you undergo treatment can impact how long it ends up taking. If you follow the care instructions your orthodontist gives you, you likely won’t need to wear your braces for longer than originally planned.
- What can I eat while wearing braces?
When undergoing treatment with braces, you will be able to comfortably and safely eat most of the foods you typically would, with a few exceptions. You should attempt to avoid the following kinds of food:
- Chewy/sticky foods - gummy bears, taffy, gum, caramels etc.
- Hard foods - hard pretzels, nuts, chips, hard candy
- Foods that you bite into - apples. corn on the cob, celery, carrots
- How will having braces affect my day-to-day life?
For the most part, your braces should have little to no impact on your day-to-day. Once your teeth and mouth have adapted to your braces (they may feel sensitive and tender at first), you’ll be able to go right back to your usual daily activities without any significant disruptions.