Orthodontics in Croydon
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on alignment of the teeth. By using certain products such as aligners and braces, orthodontics will involve diagnosing as well as treating crowded, protruding and crooked teeth, problems with the bite as well as improper jaw alignment.
Many people believe that orthodontics is only for children and teenagers but recently adult braces have become very popular. At Smile 4 U, our team of orthodontists in Croydon will provide effective orthodontic treatment and solutions to patients of all ages offering discreet brace solutions.
What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a great way to shift or straighten teeth to improve your overall appearance and ensure they function optimally. It can help to look after the overall health of your teeth, jaw joints and gums by spreading biting pressure over all your teeth.
Why would I need orthodontic treatment?
People who have crooked or crowded teeth need to have orthodontic treatment to move the teeth into a better, straighter position. This may help to improve the teeth’s appearance and the way they bite together as well as enabling easy teeth cleaning.
Some people have upper front teeth that look unattractive. These ‘prominent’ teeth are also at risk of being damaged. Orthodontic treatment can shift them back into alignment. The way upper and lower jaws meet together can make the teeth appear unattractive and give an incorrect bite. Orthodontic treatment can help in correcting these problems.
If the teeth do not meet properly, this may cause a strain on the jaw muscles, causing joint and jaw problems and headache. Orthodontic treatment may help achieve an even bite.
At what age should I go for orthodontic treatment?
The right time is during childhood, however adults can also undergo orthodontic treatment. Age is not so much of an important factor as having the right number of teeth. Children may have to wait until their teeth mature before starting treatment.
Who performs orthodontic treatment?
Your dental surgeon in Croydon may perform orthodontic treatment or send you to a specialist with additional qualifications in this area.
What does the procedure involve?
The dentist will conduct a full examination of your teeth and mouth by taking dental X-rays and creating plaster models of your teeth. The treatment can begin once enough permanent teeth have developed (in children)
Will teeth need to be extracted to make room?
You might have sufficient space for all your permanent teeth. If not extraction of some permanent teeth to create sufficient space may be needed.
How is treatment performed?
Orthodontic treatment may be done with the use of different kinds of appliances, called braces.
What is a removable brace?
A removable brace is a plate that can be taken out for proper cleaning. It consists of delicate springs and wires attached that move the teeth with a gentle pressure.
What is a fixed brace?
Often, the teeth need to be guided with a fixed brace. This has bands and brackets that may be stuck onto the teeth, temporarily. A flexible wire will join all brackets and allow the teeth to shift properly. As you cannot remove the appliance on your own, it is known as a fixed appliance.
What is a functional brace?
Sometimes it might be possible to change how your jaws grow with a functional brace.
What are the brackets usually made of?
Fixed braces are not always made of metal. Ceramic and plastic may be used for adults.
What is ‘headgear’?
Some people may have to wear headgear. You will usually need to wear this appliance in the evening or at night only. If you do not wear it as suggested by the specialist, your front teeth may protrude at the end of the treatment.
What are invisible braces?
These are clear plastic ‘aligners’ or molds that are used for teeth straightening. Different sets of slightly different and specially molded aligners are prepared for the patient. Each set will be worn for at least two weeks before you may replace them with the next one. Since they are made of clear plastic, these are almost invisible which means no one will know that you are undergoing straightening treatment.
You need to wear the clear braces for at least 20-22 hours in a day to attain optimum results. However, they can be removed easily for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. All adult teeth need to be present before undergoing this treatment.
What are elastics?
Delicate elastic bands are sometimes attached to fixed braces to help move your teeth. Your orthodontist will tell you if you need to use these elastics.
How long will the treatment take?
The treatment time will depend on the severity of the problem. This could be from a few months to almost two and a half years. Most people can be treated within one to two years.
What happens when your teeth are in the right position?
Once the treatment is over, your teeth will need to be retained in the right position. This is known as the ‘retention’ period, and the appliances that hold your teeth in place are called retainers.
The retainers will hold the newly straightened teeth in position while your jawbone and surrounding gums settle down. The retainers can either be fixed or removed types.
Will the treatment hurt?
All the appliances may be a little uncomfortable at the initial stage. If the problem does not go away, then the orthodontist may perform some adjustments. Your teeth may be uncomfortable immediately after the braces are adjusted, but this will settle.
How many dental visits will I need?
Orthodontic braces are usually adjusted every 4 to 6 weeks. At our dental clinic in Croydon, your orthodontist will tell you how often your braces will need to be adjusted in.
How successful will the treatment be?
The success depends on the skills of the orthodontist and commitment of the patient. Make sure you follow the instructions of the orthodontist and keep the appointments you fix with him.
The success of the treatment does always depend on the commitment of the patient, adult or child. In the case of orthodontic treatment for children, it is extremely important that the patient remains as enthusiastic as the parent.
Can orthodontics cause damage to my teeth?
Your teeth may be damaged if you do not take proper care during the treatment. The braces won’t cause damage but poor cleaning and eating sugary foods and drinks can lead to permanent damage to the teeth. Braces, wires and brackets may trap food and cause plaque so you should clean your teeth and appliance properly.
Is the orthodontic work permanent?
After the retention, it is quite normal for minor tooth movements to occur and no. absolute guarantee can be provided for your teeth.
How will my orthodontic treatment be done?
The first thing is to see your dental team and seek advice. Your dentist will tell if you require further treatment and make the necessary arrangements.
How will I care for my teeth and braces?
It is extremely important to check your teeth properly during orthodontic treatment and take extra care of your teeth and mouth:
- Clean teeth carefully in between the gaps properly, daily. Since braces are delicate, make sure you clean them properly so that they don’t break. Your dental team will show you special techniques to use, based on the kind of appliance you are wearing.
- Cut down on the intake of sugary foods and drinks. Avoid taking snacks and drinks that have added sugars in them. Say no to hard and sticky foods that may cause damage to the brace.
- Brush teeth twice a day and use a mouthwash for proper cleaning. Your dentist may suggest using toothpaste containing fluoride, a fluoride gel or a mouth rinse.
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