Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. It is a common treatment for individuals who have crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth, as well as for those who have problems with their bite, such as an overbite or underbite.
There are several different types of orthodontic appliances that can be used to correct misaligned teeth and improve the appearance and function of a person’s smile. Some of the most common types of orthodontic appliances include:
- Braces: Braces are the most well-known orthodontic appliance. They consist of metal brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth and connected by a wire. The wire is adjusted periodically to gradually move the teeth into their proper position.
- Invisible Braces: ALINA is a newer type of orthodontic appliance that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten the teeth. The aligners are custom-made to fit the individual’s teeth and are changed out every two weeks as the teeth move into their proper position.
- Retainers: Retainers are used after braces or other orthodontic treatment to help keep the teeth in their proper position. They can be either fixed (bonded to the back of the teeth) or removable.
- Palatal expanders: Palatal expanders are used to widen the upper jaw in order to create more space for the teeth. They consist of a device that is bonded to the back of the upper molars and activated by turning a key.
- Headgear: Headgear is a type of appliance that is used to correct problems with the bite, such as an overbite or underbite. It consists of a metal frame that is attached to the head and a wire that is connected to the back teeth. The wire applies pressure to the back teeth, moving them into their proper position.
- Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from six months to several years, depending on the severity of the misalignment and the type of appliance being used. It is important to follow the orthodontist’s instructions and wear the appliance as directed in order to achieve the best possible results.
While orthodontic treatment can be time-consuming and require some lifestyle adjustments, the end result is a healthier, more attractive smile that can boost self-esteem and improve the function of the teeth and jaws. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, be sure to speak with an orthodontist to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.