According to the latest statistics, more than a million people in the UK have sought orthodontic treatment for a range of issues. But many people are still unsure which problems need to be addressed by an orthodontist. Read on to learn more about when is the right time to visit an orthodontist is and how treatment can help you achieve a radiant smile.

Causes for Concern

An orthodontist treats problems concerning facial irregularities, malocclusions, and tooth misalignment. Many orthodontic issues are easy to diagnose, so you should see an orthodontist if you have trouble chewing or swallowing due to an over- or underbite if your tooth alignment impacts the way you speak, or if your teeth are crooked, crowded or spaced too far apart. 

Other orthodontic issues may be less apparent or are easily overlooked and are characterized by symptoms such as breathing through the mouth, bruxism (grinding or clenching the jaws), facial asymmetry, inability to comfortably close the lips over the teeth or accidentally biting your cheeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need to see an orthodontist to check the position and alignment of your teeth. 

Affordable Braces & Expert Treatment

Many people avoid getting braces due to concerns over the affordability of the procedure. While orthodontic treatments can be costly, traditional braces are a more affordable option than Invisalign, and there are many ways that you can reduce the cost of your braces including payment plans or dental assistance programs.

To learn more about our orthodontic procedures and payment options, contact your dentist in Chesham for quality expert orthodontic treatments.

About Achieving Straight Teeth

There are many benefits to achieving straight teeth beyond appearance. Straight teeth can help to improve your overall oral health by realigning the teeth and creating just the right amount of space between them for effective brushing and flossing to remove harmful bacteria. This reduces the likelihood of developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

Orthodontic treatments work by applying a constant force to the teeth over time to reposition them in the gums and jaw. In traditional braces, the archwires that connect the brackets on the teeth are periodically tightened to increase the force as necessary. Alignment trays do not need to be tightened as the trays are designed to apply the correct amount of force without adjustment.

Orthodontics for Children

Orthodontic treatments are usually applied in childhood or adolescence to take advantage of the growing bone structure. Orthodontists typically recommend that children have their first visit between the ages of 6 and 8 to identify any alignment or eruption issues before they become serious, allowing for faster treatment results.

However, most young patients will not begin wearing an orthodontic device until the ages of 9-14 years old.

Some common orthodontic problems that are often seen in young patients include overbite, crossbite, premature or delayed loss of baby teeth, an abnormal eruption of adult teeth, and excessive spacing.

Orthodontic issues are more efficiently and effectively treated at a young age when the bone and tissue are still growing and shifting. Braces and other orthodontic treatments help to realign and maintain the correct position of the teeth during development.

Orthodontics for Adults

The good news is that you are never too old to receive orthodontic treatment. However, because of the lack of growth in the jawbones and tissues inside the gums, adults’ orthodontic procedures may require additional surgery to create space for the teeth to move and realign or may take slightly longer to see results.

However, one of the benefits of adult orthodontics is better compliance with treatment protocols which typically achieves better results, more quickly than children’s orthodontic procedures.

There are many different options for orthodontic treatment for adults depending on the condition that needs correcting and the preference of the patient. Traditional braces use metal brackets with metal archwires attached, while ceramic braces use ceramic material for the braces and appear clear for a more discrete option.

Another option is to use Invisalign, which uses moulded clear plastic trays to straighten teeth. This option is best for minor cosmetic corrections but allows patients to more easily adjust to eating and speaking as the tray can be removed. Studies have found that most adult patients prefer clear aligner trays to traditional braces as they are less noticeable and have less impact on their social and emotional wellbeing.

Final Thoughts

Braces and other orthodontic systems have huge benefits beyond simple cosmetic correction. They cannot only enhance your quality of life and boost your confidence, but they can also improve your overall oral health. If you want to learn more about how orthodontics can help you achieve a better, brighter smile, call your local orthodontist to make an appointment.

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