An Orthodontist Can Help to Straighten Teeth Using More than Braces

Posted on: September 8, 2014

OrthodontistThere are multiple ways to straighten teeth and as an orthodontist we can help.  More often than not, kids need braces because their bite is off, and they have an over or under bite, gaps in their teeth, or overcrowding.  Braces are an excellent way to address these issues and are extremely effective at doing so.  The reality, however, is that there are more ways to accomplish these goals than strictly providing braces.With children, it is extremely important for them to keep their baby teeth for as long as possible.  Baby teeth hold a place for adult teeth to come in.  When they fall out too early, the surrounding teeth can start to shift, and the space for the new tooth is eliminated.  This can lead to an adult tooth coming in behind existing ones or coming in crooked – both of which are not ideal solutions.  When this happens, you can help to protect the rest of your child’s teeth and prevent the need for braces at the same time.When there is overcrowding, like in this situation, we will typically use a spacer to help move the tooth. This first step is often necessary but done in conjunction with other procedures.  For example, we will use an expander to open up the pallet and make room for additional teeth to come in without a problem.  The expander is a metal piece that is secured to the roof of the mouth by the orthodontist.  Over the course of several weeks you will need to turn it with a key and once done, continue to wear it for a certain period of time in order to make sure that your mouth accepts its new shape and size.  This can often prevent the need for braces overall because as the mouth expands, new teeth can come in properly.If you are older and want to have straight teeth, wearing aligners is a good option.  Clear aligners look like a retainer that surrounds your teeth entirely.  Over the course of the treatment, you switch out aligners every couple of weeks and your teeth gradually move into position.  This is an excellent option for adults that want straight teeth, but don’t want to wear normal braces due to their appearance.Braces may still be necessary for some people since most bite problems cannot be fixed without them.  If you need to get braces, we can make sure that the process is as comfortable as possible and that they look great.  You may also need additional assistance in moving your teeth.  For example, many people with braces also wear head gear to pull an overbite backwards.As an orthodontist, we will make a thorough recommendation as to what you can expect and what devices you will need in order to straighten your teeth and beautify your smile.  If you want to learn more about your options, the best way to do so is to schedule a consultation.