Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry focused on correcting the alignment of your teeth and jaws. Treatment involves using braces or aligners placed over your teeth to encourage them into a favourable position and improve the function and appearance of your smile.
Most people think of braces as a phase in your teenage years, however adult braces are becoming more and more popular with the emergence of new technology over the years where braces are becoming less bulky and visible and with options that don’t interfere with daily life. Braces are available for all ages and can also be used in childhood to identify potential orthodontic problems and prevent their exacerbation.
Our dentists believe that prevention is always better than treatment and particularly in the case of children, identifying and managing their orthodontic issues early on can prevent costly and invasive surgical procedures later on down the track. Genetic and hereditary factors as well as certain habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing can lead to serious orthodontic issues in children. Early detection and management is key and so it is never too early to bring your child in for assessment and monitoring to prevent more serious future complications.
In addition to improving the overall look of your smile by straightening your teeth, braces can improve their function in everyday tasks as chewing, biting and speaking. Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean as they don’t fit together as they should and therefore increase the likelihood of developing tooth decay, gum disease and premature tooth loss.
Reasons for braces include:
- correcting gaps and irregular spacing between teeth;
- overcrowding and crooked teeth;
- improving a bad bite (known as malocclusion);
- bring the teeth and lips into a favourable alignment to improve smile and facial profile.
There are a number of different types of braces available with different hardware and associated pros and cons. Your dentist can determine which is best suited to correcting your orthodontic issues with reliable results and minimal impact on your lifestyle.
Your options include traditional braces which involve attaching metal or ceramic brackets onto the front of each tooth which are linked together with wires and tiny ‘o’ ring elastics (bands) to hold your teeth in place. You can wear them loud and proud by choosing coloured bands which are a popular option amongst our younger patients where rainbow and footy team themed bands are a common request! Alternatively, you can opt for a more discreet look by choosing ceramic brackets with clear bands for an equally effective end result in straightening.
Another modern teeth straightening option we offer is Invisalign whereby clear braces are made to fit over your teeth like a mouth guard. For more information on Invisalign click HERE.
Your braces must be worn for the duration of your treatment and work by applying small pressures onto each tooth and gently pushing them into a desired position over time. By correcting the alignment of your teeth and jaws you can expect to have a healthier mouth and teeth as well as a winning smile at the end of treatment.