Fixing crowded and crooked teeth with orthodontics
Correcting problems with crowded and crooked teeth not only gives you a better smile, it also leads to a healthier mouth. Here are some facts:
- Malocclusion, also known as bad bite, involves teeth that are crowded or crooked.
- Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws may not meet properly and, although the teeth may appear straight, the individual may have an uneven bite.
- Problems such as protruding, crowded or irregularly spaced teeth may be inherited. But thumb-sucking, losing teeth prematurely and accidents also can lead to these conditions.
- As well as spoiling your smile, crooked and crowded teeth make cleaning the mouth difficult. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and possibly tooth loss.
- A bad bite can also interfere with chewing and speaking, cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel and lead to problems with the jaws.
- Orthodontic treatment can help correcting these problems giving you a better smile but, more importantly, creating a healthier mouth.
Your dentist will advise you on how orthodontic treatment could help you.
How braces can be made to look good
Orthodontic appliances such as braces can be used to help straighten out crooked and crowded teeth:
- This is not just about looking better; it also helps improve your dental health.
- How they look may determine how you feel about wearing them but, these days, braces can be as inconspicuous as you want.
- Brackets the part of the braces that attaches to each tooth can sometimes be attached to the back of the tooth, making them less noticeable.
- They can also be designed to look appealing. For example, they may be clear or tooth-colored. There can also be shaped in a variety of ways like hearts and footballs or created in favorite colors.
The brackets can be made in a wide range of different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic.
You could even go for gold-plated braces or glow-in-the-dark retainers!
How Invisalign can replace metal braces
The Invisalign system is a series of clear, thin, mouthguards that fit over the teeth and can gradually straighten them.
- These have been called invisible braces as they can be an effective alternative to metal braces in some circumstances.
- The big advantages of Invisalign are a much improved appearance and increased comfort.
- Invisalign mouthguards can be removed during eating and when brushing and flossing. As traditional braces may trap food and plaque, this is another major benefit of Invisalign.
While the system has advantages, it also has some drawbacks.
- For example, it is more expensive – costing 25-50 percent more than metal braces.
- Also the fact that you remove the mouthguards more often means that you may forget to wear them and it could take longer for you to achieve the desired results.
- Invisalign is better suited to some people than others – for example, it may be particularly suitable for adults who have slight to moderate spacing or crowding of their teeth.
Your dentist will be able to tell you if you might be a suitable candiate for Invisalign. You will get more detailed advice from an orthodontist who has been certified in the Invisalign system (Dr. Janet Gonzalez).
How space maintainers help children have healthy teeth
Space maintainers can be crucial to the dental health of a child.
- When a child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, the other teeth can shift and begin to fill the vacant space.
- If this happens, the problem is that, when the permanent teeth emerge, there’s not enough room for them.
- This can lead to crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking. To prevent that, the dentist can insert a space maintainer.
- This holds the space left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges.
- Space maintainers might be a band or a temporary crown attached to one side of the space.
- When the permanent tooth emerges, the dentist removes the device and protects the child’s future smile.