Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that deals with corrections involving jaw and teeth alignment. There are several options for you to consider if you would like the "PERFECT SMILE".
Many factors can cause teeth to become crooked or jaws misaligned, including thumb-sucking or a traumatic injury and some conditions are inherited.
Treatment is usually either with braces or Invisalign for teens or adults who have all of their adult teeth. However, often orthodontic problems such as narrow arches or teeth that will not fit can be dealt with at an earlier age, whilst a child is still growing. This is known as interceptive orthodontics.
Often early problems are associated with breathing issues, such as snoring or mouth-breathing. Read more about kids breathing issues here.
A variety of different "plates" (known as orthopaedic plates or functional appliances) can be used to deal with issues before they become a big problem requiring full blown orthodontic treatment with braces/Invisalign, and or extractions/surgery. We recommend a brief consultation before the age of 4, then again around age 7 to check for issues which can be addressed early. Adult braces usually entail additional procedures because their faces have already fully developed.
There are three main forms of orthodontic treatment:
Metal or ceramic brackets that are cemented or bonded to teeth.
Brackets that attach to the tongue-side of the teeth (also called "lingual" braces).
Invisalign - Thin, clear plastic appliances which when worn can not generally be seen.
Today's braces are made from extremely lightweight and natural-coloured materials. The metal and ceramic brackets are bonded to the teeth and this is easily removed. We can use Speed Brackets, which are smaller and thus less conspicuous than brackets you may have seen in the past, and are also more comfortable and make it easier to keep your teeth clean.
Because orthodontic appliances need to be adjusted every 6 to 12 weeks to ensure they continue to move the teeth into their correct position, this can create pressure on the teeth and jaws. This mild discomfort usually subsides following each adjustment.