It is nothing short of amazing the difference that straight teeth can make to your appearance and your self-confidence. But you might think that orthodontics (meaning braces) are just for teens. The fact is, anyone who has crooked teeth or a bad bite can benefit from orthodontics. And not only do straight teeth look better, they are easier to clean, and that means less chance of tooth decay or gum disease.
How Does Orthodontics Work?
It is really pretty remarkable. Orthodontics actually harnesses your body’s ability to remodel itself. With the application of gentle force, braces work to reshape your jawbone and coax your teeth into alignment. There are different types of braces available to you, depending on the nature and severity of your condition. You may require metal braces for severe malocclusion, but often, your teeth will respond equally well to clear aligners.
What Problems Can Orthodontics Correct?
Usually, orthodontic issues become apparent when a child reaches age seven. These issues can include overbite, underbite, or crossbite, as well as open bite (a condition where there is space between bottom and top teeth even when the mouth is closed), and excessive space or crowding between the teeth.
To fix these issues, the teeth need to be moved. This is what orthodontic appliances like braces achieve. Metal braces provide force by means of small brackets that are attached to the teeth, and wires that provide the tightening. Clear braces do much the same thing by means of a series of plastic aligners.
Not Just for Kids
You can have your teeth straightened at any age. As a matter of fact, adults now form about 20% of orthodontics patients. If you are an adult, though, your dentist will want to evaluate you for gum disease before beginning treatment, since 80% of adults 40 or over have some form of gum disease. Once the condition is under control, you can be fitted for braces.
Once your treatment is complete, regardless of whether you have had metal braces or clear aligners, you will need to wear a retainer as recommended by your Colorado Springs dentist.