Orthodontics An investment in dental health

May 06, 2015 - Dental News

Orthodontics involves the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of facial irregularities. Commonly known as "bad bites", orthodontic problems can affect your dental and general health, as well as your appearance.

We all know how important a healthy smile can be. As your teeth, jaws and lips become properly aligned through orthodontic therapy, your self image can improve. This is just one of the benefits.

Preventing further physical health problems is equally important. If the teeth are out of position, they are more difficult to clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. If chewing is difficult, people may not eat the foods needed for good nutrition. If your bite is poor, extra strain may be placed on the chewing muscles, possibly causing pain and problems with your jaw joint.

Speech impairment, bone destruction and chipped teeth may also result from orthodontic problems.

Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial and successful at any age, fact is about 25% of today's orthodontic patients are adults. The human body and it's skeletal structure are not static, but change on a day to day basis throughout our lives. These changes in bone and tissue ultimately cause movement in our teeth as we grow and mature.

Orthodontic therapy has undergone considerable technical advancement in recent years. New materials and techniques are being used to improve the comfort of wearing braces, reduce treatment times, and make braces less noticeable. "Space age" wires being developed through NASA are more resilient, and offer many benefits. They are easier to apply and require fewer wire replacements, which can reduce the number of visits to the dental office for adjustments.

Braces are also being made less visible. Clear or tooth coloured brackets, (the portion of the braces bonded to the teeth) are gaining in popularity because they are less noticeable. There are even "invisible" braces available for people who want complete obscurity. These are applied to the inside surfaces of the teeth, and are completely hidden.

Typically, active treatment times range from one to three years, and vary with the age of the patient, the degree of movement possible, and the severity of the problem.

If you suffer from the effects of a "bad bite", you should consider a visit to the dentist to see if orthodontic treatment can be of benefit. Orthodontic treatment is an excellent investment in physical well being.