Happy National Orthodontic Health Month!

Oct 11 • 4 minute read

Did you know that braces and other orthodontic treatments do more than just provide a perfectly straight smile?  The goal of orthodontics is to help patients of all ages achieve optimal oral health as well as a smile they are proud to show off.

Orthodontic care is for everyone.

With developmental growth patterns in children- this age group is ideal for orthodontic treatment. In fact, orthodontic care can begin as early as age seven when dentists first begin to offer orthodontic suggestions and even consultations.

However, the truth is that everyone can benefit from orthodontic care regardless of age. These days there are many different treatment options to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, budgets, and preferences. From the fun color bands on traditional metal wires and brackets to the tooth-colored ceramic brackets and even clear aligners, such as Invisalign®. There’s no need to worry about when the best time is, the best time is always now.

Orthodontic care is about more than straight teeth.

A beautiful smile and straight teeth are always the first things we think about with braces. The reality is that orthodontic care can treat a variety of conditions that lead to problems later on in life. Conditions known as

  • Overbites

  • Underbites

  • Crossbites

  • Open bites

can all lead to a variety of concerns long term. Oral and overall health problems associated with these types of malocclusions can include: 

  • Unnecessary wear and tear on the chewing surfaces of the teeth

  • Jaw issues and TMJ disorder

  • Gum disease

  • Tooth loss

  • Malnourishment (which can lead to numerous overall health problems)

  • Sleep apnea

The American Association of Orthodontists has even studied the relation between orthodontic care and breathing problems such as sleep apnea.

In short, orthodontic care is important to a patient’s overall present and future health.

Orthodontic care is custom.

As mentioned earlier, there are so many treatment options available that we did not have even two decades ago. Treatment times and methods also look different for each person. Orthodontic care is continually progressing, and we don’t approach it as a “one size fits all” treatment process. Orthodontic care is custom to you.

There’s more flexibility in orthodontic care than there has ever been and our team is here to help you understand the process.

The Orthodontic Process

The orthodontic process can be broken down into these five steps:

  1. Orthodontic care starts with a consultation. This quick exam is a chance for the orthodontist to establish concerns and answer questions. It’s a great visit for mom and dad to attend or anyone involved in the decision-making progress.

  2. This appointment is followed by obtaining orthodontic records which can happen on the same day or during a different appointment. These orthodontic records include x-rays, pictures, and molds of your teeth. Using these records, the orthodontist will put together your treatment plan. This plan will answer questions about pricing, time frames, and all the available treatment options specific to you.

  3. The first appointment depends on your treatment option. It may include placing brackets and wires or doing a digital scan for Invisalign or other clear aligners. 

  4. From there, you’ll come in for periodic ortho visits which may be every 4-6 weeks or longer. Usually, these appointments will take place about once a month. Treatment times vary for everyone and can range from 6-24 months. 

  5. Once your treatment is finished, you will have impressions (molds of your teeth) taken to make a set of retainers. It is important to wear these retainers as instructed and if anything happens to them (if they get broken or lost) it is important to contact the office right away. Retainers help keep your teeth in their newly perfected condition and are especially important in the months following treatment completion. 

Commitment is key.

Everything good in life takes commitment and orthodontic care is no exception. Commitment is the key to successful orthodontic care. Commitment to appointment times, wearing appliances, and, later on, retainers are all along the pathway to success.

Our team can help you understand this process from start to finish and everything in between. Start when you are ready and our office will be here with you every step of the way.

Schedule Your Orthodontic Consultation

Orthodontic consultations are a fast and simple way to establish if you are a good candidate for ortho care. This is an excellent time to ask questions about orthodontic care. Call our office to schedule a consultation and ask one of our knowledgeable team members any questions you may have about getting started.

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