When you or your child have crooked teeth or teeth that are out of alignment, Dr. Jessica Wyatt may recommend orthodontic work. While you have several treatment options, they all share the single goal of putting continuous pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired position.
Most patients seek orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons. However, properly aligned teeth are important for your long-term oral health as well. It can be difficult to brush and floss teeth that are crooked or too close together. This makes gum disease and cavities much more likely. While the ideal time to get braces is between the ages of 10 and 14, Dr. Wyatt can treat adults of any age. She may need to extract one or more teeth prior to starting orthodontic treatment to give the remaining teeth enough room to shift into their new location.
Straightening Your Teeth with Traditional Metal Braces
Teenagers and occasionally adults have been flashing metal smiles for decades. Although newer methods of straightening the teeth have come along since then, traditional metal braces are still extremely effective at getting the job done. When you receive them, Dr. Wyatt adheres a bracket to each of your teeth and then loops a wire through the brackets. You or your child need to come to All in One Dentistry approximately once a month to have the brackets and wires adjusted. This is what puts the necessary pressure on your teeth to enable them to gradually shift.
The average treatment time with typical braces is 18 months to two years. You may need to wear a retainer after Dr. Wyatt removes the braces to prevent your teeth from moving back to where they were before you started treatment. She may be able to offer you or your child the option to change the color of the wires and bands each month. Other options for braces may be available as well.
Orthodontic Treatment without Braces
Adults who didn’t have the opportunity to wear braces as a teenager are not always keen to have a metal smile for up to two years. If that describes your situation, you may be interested in wearing clear plastic mouth trays instead. Dr. Wyatt customizes these trays so they fit securely in your mouth. You wear one tray for approximately two weeks and then exchange it for the next one. Each one puts increasing pressure on your teeth to move into the proper alignment.
The clear appearance of the mouth trays means that you can keep the fact that you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment to yourself if you want to. For best results, you should wear the retainers except when eating and cleaning them. While this option generally costs more than typical braces, the duration of treatment is shorter.