Most orthodontic treatment is aimed at straightening crooked teeth or correcting a bad bite (a “malocclusion”)—something that can affect the shape of the face, cause teeth to wear down more quickly, and even alter a person’s breathing or speech.
When front teeth protrude, they are more prone to injury, and crowding can keep adult teeth from coming in properly. A teeth straightening orthodontic treatment may also be desirable to close wide gaps between the teeth or to align the tops of the teeth. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be hard to clean, too, and that can lead to tooth decay and gum problems.
Braces, Retainers and Palatal Expanders
Resolving these issues generally involves the use of orthodontic “appliances,” devices designed to correct specific problems. Made of metal, ceramic, or plastic materials, these may be fixed in place for a period of time (such as braces) or removable (such as headgear and orthodontic retainers). Fixed or removable space maintainers may be used to make sure there will be room for adult teeth to emerge properly. Palatal expanders are sometimes used in the roof of the mouth to create space by gradually widening the upper jaw. Orthodontic devices may be used alone or in combination, depending on the individual treatment plan.
At What Age Should I Think About Orthodontics
Most children start teeth-straightening treatment sometime between the ages of 9 and 14, though it’s recommended that they see an orthodontist by age 7 to identify any potential problems. Adults may opt for straightening procedures at any age—in fact, about one in five patients are over age 21 and have adult braces for teeth straightening, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
Treatment typically takes from one to three years, depending on how much correction is needed and other factors such as the patient’s age. Your doctor will discuss your specific goals and treatment options with you along with a probable timeline. Patients grow at different rates, of course, so the actual completion time may differ from this initial estimate. Carefully following the doctor’s instructions throughout the process will maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and help minimize how long it takes. The final goal: a head start toward lifelong dental health, along with a great smile. Learn more about dental braces and their cost, including Damon clear braces cost and Invisalign cost. Our teeth straightening patients come to us from Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Centennial Hills, Summerlin and neighboring locations.