Misaligned teeth can wreak havoc on your ability to speak clearly, chew easily, and smile brightly wherever you go. Without the smile you want, you may struggle with self-confidence issues and even avoid pursing opportunities in your life. Thankfully, you can easily overcome all those challenges by perfecting your smile with help from your Owensboro orthodontics pro, Travis Wilson DMD. We provide orthodontic care to both children and adults, helping fix their bite issues and align their teeth.
What is Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic care involves the use of specially-made devices to move teeth into their correct positions while straightening them out. In addition, the treatments help correct bite issues, like cross bite, underbite, and overbite.
In some cases, orthodontic treatments may help prevent misaligned teeth. For children who suck their thumbs, for example, it’s possible to help them stop this habit before damage occurs by temporarily placing fixed appliances in the mouth. Also, when kids lose baby teeth prematurely, they may benefit from a fixed-space maintainer to keep the nearby teeth from migrating.
Common Types of Orthodontic Devices
The devices used for orthodontic treatments may be fixed or removable depending on your care needs. The type of orthodontic devices you need depend on the severity of your misalignments and overall treatment goals. Here’s a look at the most common options for straightening teeth and fixing bite issues from our Owensboro Dentist.
Braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that gently pull teeth into place and straighten them out at the same time. This treatment involves the placement of brackets and bands on each tooth. An archwire attaches to the brackets and bands to serve as a guide for the teeth to follow.
As your orthodontist tightens up the wires at each monthly visit, the tension helps teeth slowly move to their correct positions. This process takes up to two years to complete, although most patients are done within one year.
To customize the look of the braces to your preferences, you can get the brackets and bands in your color of choice. If you prefer to minimize their appearance altogether, just get clear brackets instead.
A popular alternatives to traditional braces, clear aligners are removable devices that slowly bring teeth into proper alignment. Instead of using brackets, bands, and archwires, this system uses a series of clear aligners that fit over the teeth like custom-fitted mouthguards.
You just have to switch out the aligners on the given schedule to keep your teeth moving toward the goals. Although these aligners are removable, you must wear them for 22 hours a day, only removing them to eat, brush, and floss.
Most people get their desired results in about 12 months when wearing the aligners as directed by their orthodontist. Since the aligners are completely clear, they are virtually undetectable with the naked eye, helping boost confidence faster than traditional braces.
Used most often from age 7 to 13, headgear assists in correcting underbites and overbites while using braces to straighten teeth. The appliance features a headcap and facebow to help the jaw grow properly and correct bite issues.
Depending on the severity of the problem, the headgear may need to stay on for 12 to 22 hours per day. Most patients wear the headgear for between 12 and 18 months, which is usually how long it takes for the braces to straighten their teeth.
A palatal expander allows your orthodontist to gradually widen the arch of your upper jaw. This fixed device attaches to the rear molars to apply outward pressure to the full row of teeth. You’ll need to turn the screw daily to keep the pressure on as the arch widens.
Although this device is used most often during childhood, adults can benefit from it as well. The treatment process might take a little longer for adults since it works quickest with natural growth during childhood. Either way, most people can expect to wear the expander for anywhere from three to six months.
Retainers are removable devices designed to fit around your recently straightened teeth and keep them from migrating. Otherwise, your teeth might try to move back into their previous positions, throwing away all the time and money you put into your orthodontic treatments.
You’ll likely need to wear your retainers full-time for about six months after getting your braces off or finishing your clear aligner treatments. After that, you may be able to switch to wearing it at night only depending on your orthodontist’s recommendations.
In order to find the right treatments for your needs, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist. You can then get a full examination and discuss your options, so you can decide how to best straighten your teeth and eliminate bite issues.
Need Orthodontic Care Near Owensboro, KY? Call Today to Schedule Your Visit
If you’d like to schedule your consultation visit, call 270-274-3645 to make an appointment with Travis Wilson DMD. During that call, you’ll get to pick a convenient time to come down to the clinic and discuss your care needs. By the end of your appointment, you’ll know just what it’ll take to perfect your smile, so you can plan your orthodontic care from start to finish.