When it comes to straightening the teeth and fixing jaw-alignment problems, one of the most trusted and reliable treatments are traditional metal braces. They have been used for decades to correct a wide array of orthodontic issues for patients of all ages, and thanks to the latest advancements, they are now smaller, sleeker, and more effective than ever.
When you get braces with Dr. Timothy Wigal, he won’t just consider the alignment of your teeth when formulating your treatment plan. He’ll also take into account the function of your bite as well as the proportions of your face. That way, you won’t just achieve a straighter smile, but a result that’s spectacular for both your health and overall appearance as well. This is the kind of attention to detail you can only get with a specialist like Dr. Wigal.
Why Should the Teeth Be Straightened?
It’s easy to think that crooked teeth are merely a cosmetic problem, and that orthodontic treatment is not really necessary. When it comes to children, many parents think that their child will simply “grow out of” their crooked teeth by the time their adult ones come in. Unfortunately, all of this is not true for a number of reasons.
When the teeth are misaligned, this makes them much more difficult to clean. This, in turn, makes a patient much more likely to develop tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Furthermore, crooked teeth can also affect how the bite comes together, which cannot only make simple things like chewing and speaking uncomfortable, but it can also cause the teeth to rub together and wear down unnaturally, which can lead to them weakening and breaking over time.
For children, the alignment of the baby teeth is a huge factor when it comes to their adult/permanent teeth. The baby teeth are intended to create a clear path for the permanent teeth, and if they are crooked, this can cause the adult teeth to come in misaligned as well, which usually means a child will need much more involved treatment to correct the problem.
In the end, straightening the teeth isn’t just about looks, but oral health as well. This is especially true for children as the formation of the teeth also influences the development of the jaw. With orthodontic treatment, we cannot only improve a patient’s smile cosmetically, but also protect it so that it will last for a lifetime.
Traditional metal braces straighten the teeth using a system of metal brackets and wires. A bracket is applied to each tooth, and these are connected to a wire that runs along each row of teeth that will slowly guide them into the proper position over the course of treatment. This wire is held in place using a small elastic band on each bracket, and it will be regularly tightened every month. If a patient has a bite misalignment (such as an overbite, underbite, or cross-bite), larger elastic bands can be attached to the brackets to help correct this problem as well.
The treatment time for braces can vary depending on each patient’s particular situation, but the average treatment time is usually about 1-2 years. In most cases, they will move the teeth in two phases. During the first, the crowns of the teeth (the portion that shows above the gums) will be shifted, and that will be followed by moving the roots. This will straighten crooked teeth, close gaps, and make sure a person can eat, speak, and smile with ease.
How Do I Know if I/My Child Need Braces?
Here are some clear signs that you or your child might benefit from braces:
- The alignment of the teeth prevents comfortable chewing or speaking
- The jaw does not come together evenly
- If a child has early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
- The teeth are crowded, gapped, or blocked-out
- The jaw or teeth are not proportional to the face
One of the biggest concerns with traditional braces is their noticeable appearance, and this causes many patients to avoid getting the orthodontic care they know they need. Fortunately, we can offer a much more cosmetically-minded, subtle option with clear/ceramic braces. Rather than metal, the brackets are made of a clear ceramic, and the wires and elastics are clear or tooth-colored as well. What you get is the same reliability as braces without the concern for your appearance. Clear braces are barely noticeable on the teeth, assuring you’ll be able to smile with confidence during your treatment.
Phase 1 Pediatric Orthodontics
Phase 1 Pediatric Orthodontic treatment can help a child who still has some of their baby teeth and none of their permanent teeth yet. It can be used to not only straighten the baby teeth, but also assist in the development of the jaw, correct it’s alignment, and even help the permanent teeth come in straight as well. With this, a child’s permanent teeth will require much less treatment in the future, which will help shorten their overall treatment time and improve their overall experience.