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Do you shy away from smiling freely and confidently because of your teeth? Are your teeth crooked or placed outwards? If you have any of these problems with your teeth, its time you start thinking about orthodontic (braces) treatment.
What is orthodontic/braces treatment?
Dental Braces are small devices which are used in orthodontic treatment to straighten or align teeth so that they can function well.
The advent of dental technology has brought to us various advanced treatment options when it comes to dental braces. There are many types of dental braces like traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and clear braces. Orthodontic treatment is no longer regarded as a fear for teenagers.
In fact, many adults also opt for braces to correct their smile and make the teeth more functional and attractive. It is possible to achieve perfectly aligned teeth with orthodontic treatment.
Who need braces treatment?
There are many reasons why you may want, or the dentist may advise you to get braces, one of the most common reasons
- being crowded, crooked teeth or irregular teeth
- Large spacing between teeth, though small spacing can be corrected with dental veneer
- You are constantly biting your cheek or lip or hitting the roof of your mouth. This could be because your teeth are misaligned.
- You experience difficulty chewing food because of crooked or misaligned teeth. Braces can help fix the alignment of your teeth.
- You are forced to breathe through your mouth. This could be an issue related to the development of your teeth or jaw, and braces or other orthodontic treatments might be able to help.
Are some very common issues with the bite of a patient and it interferes with the overall functioning of teeth.All these problems can be fixed with orthodontic braces treatment to obtain a fully functional bite.
Why teeth get irregular, misalign or crooked
The most common reason for crocked teeth is hereditary or genetics that means if parents have crock or irregular teeth, there are higher chances of crock or irregular teeth in their child.
It may be caused by a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between the jaw and tooth size. It causes tooth overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns. The shape of the jaws or birth defects such as cleft lip and palate may also be reasons for malocclusion.
Other causes include:
- Children has habits of thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifier use beyond age 3, and prolonged use of a bottle
- Extra teeth
- Removal of permanent teeth at early age
- Over retain or early removal or primary teeth in child
- Birth defects such as cleft lip and palate
- Impacted wisdom teeth or abnormally shaped teeth
- Misalignment of jaw fractures after a severe injury
- Tumors of the mouth and jaw
At what age braces treatment can start?
The best time to have braces is generally during childhood because of flexible bones and continuing growth of the body. But adults can have orthodontic treatment too and more and more are going for it to correct their dental problems.
It is important to have healthy teeth and gums for orthodontic treatment, patients with advanced gum disease are not suitable candidates.
Children may have to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting braces treatment, but parents must bring their child to the orthodontist once permanent teeth start to erupt because in many cases, an orthodontic problem can be prevented by a timely intervention by an orthodontist.
So in general orthodontic treatment can start at any age when problems gets appear.
How to Go About Orthodontic Treatment?
At first orthodontist will evaluate your teeth jaw gum and other oral structure. To conclude whether you need braces treatment or other treatment is suitable for you.
You will be asked to get a full mouth X-Ray and a lateral profile X-Ray for facial, teeth and bone evaluation.
After viewing your X-rays and performing a clinical examination, the orthodontist will design a treatment plan. You will also be given the treatment duration, cost and a complete quotation of different types of braces. Once you have understood the treatment plan and are prepared to go ahead with the treatment, your treatment will begin.
If you have any decay teeth need or impacted wisdom teeth need to be treated before orthodontic treatment begin, this will provide smooth finishing of braces treatment.
Type of dental braces
Modern orthodontics offers a wide variety of options for braces than ever before, like:
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the earlier ones. Also, new heat-activated wires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and make the treatment less painful. They are the least expensive but the most noticeable type of braces.
Ceramic braces are of the same size and shape as metal braces. They have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable. These are generally preferred by people who are more concerned about their looks. They are less noticeable than metal braces but more expensive than them. Ceramic brackets can stain easily if not cleaned well.
Lingual braces are same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inner surface of the teeth. The advantage of these braces is that they are invisible from outside but at the same time they are difficult to clean, more expensive and not suitable for all cases.
Invisalign or Clear braces
Invisalign are a set of clear hard plastic aligners like mouth guards that are customized for your mouth. They must be checked and replaced over the course of the first couple of months while they work at aligning your teeth into proper position. Invisalign is the most preferred choice of braces for teens and adults as they are nearly invisible.
What Should a Detailed Orthodontic Treatment Plan Include?
Orthodontic treatment is usually planned in two phases: Active phase and Retention phase. Active phase consists of moving teeth into proper alignment whereas retention phase focuses on maintaining teeth in their new positions using a retainer.
Orthodontic treatment can be carried out using various removable and fixed appliances and sometimes a combination of the two is used.
The type and approach of your orthodontic treatment will depend upon your case and the severity of the malocclusion. Each case is treated differently and appropriate appliances are chosen.
These appliances are used to cause movement of teeth and bring about jaw growth. Special types of appliances are used in kids to direct jaw growth and these are called as myofunctional appliances. These are used in some cases, where the growth is yet to be completed.
What appliance to use in which case is solely decided by your orthodontist.
Benefits of getting braces
There are multiple benefits that orthodontic treatment can bring to your teeth.
- Your smile become natural and beautiful, you feel more confident
- Your facial appearance also gets align with teeth
- Speech become much clear
- Decrease chances of developing dental cavies and gum diseases
- Well align teeth are easy to brush, clean and floss
- Improve your bite and chewing efficiency of food is increase.
- Less chances of teeth injury especially front teeth
Orthodontic treatment may be the best way to improve your teeth, but it is important that you discuss all aspects of your treatment and the possible realistic outcomes before starting.
How do I care for my braces and teeth?
Dental hygiene becomes of upmost importance during the orthodontic treatment. It is important to keep having your teeth checked by your dentist at routine check-ups, while you are having an orthodontic treatment.
Clean all your teeth carefully and the gum line around them. Having braces makes food get stuck between the braces and teeth, so ask your orthodontist to give you some additional teeth cleaning aids like inter-dental brushes or special small brushes to make teeth cleaning more efficient and easy.
Your dentist may advise you to use fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride mouth rinse to decrease the chances of tooth decay during the treatment. You can opt for electric or powered toothbrush to clean teeth more efficiently.
You can use ‘floss holders’ to help you get dental floss under the orthodontic wires to remove trapped bits of food. Flossing helps remove plaque and any food debris stuck between two teeth.
Along with this, it is recommended to limit the consumption of sugary food and drinks to reduce chances of tooth decay.
Also, while you are having braces on your teeth, it is better to avoid sticky and hard foods as it may damage your braces.
Lastly, brushing your teeth last thing in the night and at least once during the day time with toothpaste will ensure good oral hygiene and keep your teeth free from plaque, food debris and cavity during the entire treatment period.
How successful are braces treatment?
In most cases, orthodontic treatment yields successful results, but you need to be committed to your treatment for it to be successful.
Follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you. Wear retainers till the time the orthodontist advises you to, to avoid movement of teeth in their original positions.
While you are wearing braces, you need to be more careful about what you eat and how you keep your braces and teeth clean. To give your braces the best possible chance of improving your teeth, cutting down on sugary and acidic foods is a must.
This will make sure you do not have any decay in your teeth while the orthodontic treatment is going on. You should keep seeing your dentist during the orthodontic treatment and after the treatment is completed to get your teeth professionally cleaned.
Braces treatment cost in India
Price of orthodontic treatment varies from city to city also depend on case difficulty level, type of braces you select, and skill of orthodontist.
Metal braces are less costly then ceramic braces.
At sanjivani dental clinic cost of Full mouth braces ranges 25000 INR to 65000 INR per case.
Whereas clear braces or invisalign treatment start from 65000 INR on wards.
Frequently ask questions
How do I clean my removable braces or retainers?
Your orthodontist will demonstrate to you how to wear and remove your retainers after the fixed braces have been removed. You will also be guided how to keep it clean.
It is best to clean it over a sink full of water so that it is not damaged even if you accidentally drop it. A separate toothbrush can be used for cleaning the retainer with toothpaste.
Gently brush the retainer and rinse it thoroughly under water. Make sure to clean it after every meal to avoid any unpleasant smell from the mouth.
What does it feel like to wear braces?
Some braces are made of metal, some are made of ceramic. Ideally, they are designed to be comfortable for the patient, but they may sometimes rub on your lips or cheeks or make it feel sore.
During the orthodontic treatment, your teeth may feel tender or sore as they start to move to a new position. These issues don’t usually last long (a few days at most).
They may happen at the start of your treatment or when the braces have been adjusted. At first, the braces may feel uncomfortable, but slowly your mouth will adapt and get used to them.
It is necessary to keep patience and keep wearing them till your orthodontist tells you in order to achieve the most desired results.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Braces are devices fixed on to the teeth which can be later removed once the treatment is completed.
They work by exerting pressure on teeth, slowly moving them to a desired position. As the pressure is exerted, the structure of bone in the jaw changes to allow the teeth and the roots to move. Teeth moved to desired positions help in the long term health of teeth and gums and also make eating more efficient and comfortable by spreading the bite pressure equally across all teeth.
How long will the treatment take?
The duration of treatment depends on how much correction has to be done in your teeth. It may take anything from a few months to two-and-a-half years. Most people achieve desired results in one to two years.
How often do i need to see my orthodontist during treatment?
To get the best results possible, you will need regular appointments with your orthodontist. Generally the appointment is scheduled once every month. At every appointment, the orthodontist checks your braces and teeth and makes adjustments to the braces as required.
Is the Extraction of Teeth Required for Orthodontic Treatment?
Extraction of teeth is not required for all orthodontic treatments. The reason teeth are removed is when there isn’t enough space in the arch to accommodate all the teeth into alignment. The space obtained after teeth extraction is used to straighten other teeth and align them. After a complete evaluation of your case, the orthodontist will inform you whether you need dental extractions or not.
Is orthodontic work permanent?
It’s always possible that teeth might move back to their original position. The new position of your teeth should be a stable one. However, you should wear your braces for as long as your orthodontist advises.
This will help stop your teeth from moving back to where they were. You’ll need to wear a ‘retainer’ regularly for some time after your treatment has finished. This stops your teeth from moving back to the position they were in before the treatment. This comes under the Retention phase of the treatment.
Any patient, who fails to wear the retainers as long as the orthodontist advises, is more likely to experience teeth moving back to original positions.
Can braces damage my teeth?
Teeth may get decayed, have tartar deposits or develop gum disease if you don’t care for them enough during the treatment.
Orthodontic treatment itself does not cause any damage to the teeth, but poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating habits surely cause a lot of irreversible damage to teeth and gums during the treatment. So it is very important to keep teeth and braces clean.
Also, a fully trained and skilled orthodontist is recommended for aligning your teeth because if an incorrect treatment is carried out, it may cause permanent damage to the jaw bone, roots of the teeth and gums.