Some people are lucky enough to have well-aligned teeth, but others have teeth that do not fit well together. Misaligned teeth will give you a bad bite and affect your self-esteem. Fortunately for you, a dental solution for misaligned teeth could benefit you today. Orthodontic services involve the prevention, diagnosis, guidance, interception, and correction of dental irregularities and bad bites. Several solutions are available today, including braces and Invisalign. At The Whittier Dentist, we offer quality and affordable orthodontic services for all. It is an excellent way to achieve a perfect smile and fix health issues resulting from dental misalignment.

Overview of Orthodontic Services

Dental problems are prevalent. Everyone faces a different dental issue from another. The greatest desire for some people is to have a perfect smile and be free from dental problems. One of the common issues many people experience is teeth misalignment. Misaligned teeth affect how you smile and cause the many dental issues you deal with daily. Orthodontic treatment focuses on straightening your teeth using various techniques to give you a perfect smile and treat other underlying conditions. A typical orthodontic procedure in California is the installation of braces.

Braces are a traditional form of treatment for misaligned teeth. It has been there for ages and is still very helpful today. However, technological advancements have brought newer and better treatment options for misaligned teeth. You will likely find more options when you seek orthodontic services in California today. It is advisable to consult with an experienced orthodontist first to determine the underlying problem and the best treatment options available for you. Your orthodontist will then guide you into choosing the best treatment option for your needs.

Orthodontic services include specialized dental treatment for jaw and dental misalignment issues. They aim at correcting any misalignment that could be causing your dental problems, including jaw and muscle pain. Patients requiring orthodontic services visit their dentists with diverse issues, like unexplained pain, discomfort, or crooked teeth. An experienced dentist will examine their teeth then refer them to an orthodontist for proper diagnosis, advice, and treatment.

As previously mentioned, your orthodontist could recommend mental braces to apply pressure on different teeth, forcing them in the required position in your mouth. You will likely attain proper dental alignment at the end of this treatment which lasts for six months. Other options are available, too, like Invisalign. Sometimes the issue could be grave, requiring surgical treatment.

Your input as the patient is necessary to attain the desired results after an orthodontic service. Your orthodontist will send you home with a list of dos and don'ts that you must adhere to throughout the treatment period. You will meet him/her regularly for progress checkups. It is advisable to follow the advice and instructions given after every dental treatment. That way, you can be happy with the results.

What Orthodontic Treatment is All About

Orthodontic treatment mainly involves dental services geared towards moving or straightening teeth to improve their appearance and function. It also aims at improving the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw joints to prevent future dental problems. By aligning crooked teeth, you spread biting pressure on all your teeth, preventing issues resulting from pressurizing just one or a few teeth. Here are some orthodontic procedures that could help you achieve the desired results:

Closing Gaps Between Teeth

Teeth should be as close together as possible, without overcrowding or leaving significant gaps between them. Gaps between teeth could affect your smile and self-esteem. It might also leave little room for other developing teeth, resulting in overcrowding. Orthodontists offer treatment solutions to close gaps and correct any resulting issue causing your dental problems.

Some dental gaps appear naturally as teeth develop, while the others result from tooth loss. You need to find a solution that will restore your smile and fix any dental problem you could have regardless of its cause.

Correcting Misaligned Teeth

Orthodontists do an excellent job of correcting misaligned teeth. Teeth misalignment is the cause of many dental issues, including bad bites. The kind of dental issue you experience will depend on the type of misalignment you have and how severe it is. Severe dental misalignment will affect how you eat, drink, and speak. It could also cause you breathing problems.

Sometimes your teeth will dig into your mouth or lips when you bite down, which is very painful. Misaligned teeth are also overpressured and could eventually become wobbly, decayed, or damaged. If you continue to put more pressure on the affected teeth, your jaw joints will tighten and become painful.

Misaligned teeth will also affect your smile and esteem. You cannot smile confidently or even speak well. That is why you deserve a quick and effective solution from a competent orthodontist.

Correcting Crossbites, Overbites, and Underbites

Your teeth should align properly when you bite down. The upper and lower teeth must rhyme to give you a good and healthy bite. Crossbites, overbites, and underbites are various bite disorders or malocclusion. The good news is that they are treatable.

A crossbite occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not bite correctly. It can be caused by the wrong joint or tooth position. When you bite down, your front teeth could sit inside or outside the lower teeth. Crossbites could result in jaw pain, gum recession, teeth grinding, and headaches if left untreated. They could also impact your facial structure and esteem.

Overbites occur when your upper teeth stick out more than the lower teeth when you bite down. They can result from many issues, including prolonged use of a bottle or pacifier during infancy or thumbsucking. You could develop an overbite during your teen or adult years if you excessively bite your nails or chew writing materials. An overbite will likely result in sleep apnea, speech impediment, altered facial structure, headaches, and jaw pain.

Underbites occur when a misaligned lower jaw causes the lower teeth to stick out more than the top teeth when you bite down. They could be genetic or due to tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, mouth breathing, or overusing a bottle or pacifier when young. Underbites cause TMJ disorders and chronic jaw pain. TMJ will present with earaches, chronic headaches, chewing difficulties, speech problems, and extreme mouth breathing.

Reducing Dental Crowding

Your jaw should have enough room for all your teeth. If that does not happen, and some teeth compete for space with others, you might experience dental crowding. Dental crowding results in misalignment and twisting teeth, both of which are unhealthy and could develop into other dental issues like gum disease and dental decay.

Dental crowding occurs due to several issues like genetics, abnormal growth of teeth, extra teeth in adulthood, larger than regular teeth, or premature loss of milk teeth. You must treat dental crowding immediately when you experience it to avoid lasting problems that could impact your teeth, mouth, gums, and overall health. For instance, crowded teeth are difficult to keep clean. That could result in increased bacterial growth, plaque buildup, and extreme issues like periodontitis.

Treatment Options Offered by Orthodontists

Orthodontic services start when an orthodontist examines your teeth during your initial consultation. The specialist will make several treatment recommendations based on the underlying issue. Sometimes dental patients come in with their preferred method of treatment, which the orthodontist listens to and advises according to his/her observations. Competent orthodontists are well-trained and experienced in various dental issues requiring dental alignment. Therefore, you can trust their recommendation for the desired results. Here are some of the treatment recommendations you could receive on this initial visit to the dental office:

Metal Braces

As previously mentioned, metal braces are the traditional mode of treatment for misaligned teeth. Many dental patients have benefited significantly from metal braces and have treated and prevented dental problems like dental decay and gum disease. Metal braces have also helped restore the smile of millions of people across the globe.

Meta braces are made from very high-quality stainless steel. Orthodontists use rubber bands to attach the wire. Traditionally, braces were bigger, somewhat uncomfortable, and very conspicuous. Nowadays, we have smaller ones that are super comfortable and nice looking. You can look and feel good throughout the treatment period. The modern-day metal braces also use heat-activated wires that use your body heat to move your teeth in place much quicker. You will also experience less pain.

The advantage of metal braces is that they are cost-effective. You can restore your smile, treat and prevent several dental problems at a more affordable cost. Additionally, the current o-rings are available in a wide range of colors, allowing you or your loved ones to choose a color that matches their personality.

However, metal braces are still very noticeable. Many people will shy away from people to avoid questions or others noticing that they have installed braces. Thus, your esteem could remain affected until the end of the treatment period.

Ceramic Braces

Most adults are shy about the conspicuous nature of metal braces. They would take time to go for treatment for fear of raising eyebrows whenever they go. The good news is that we have less noticeable ceramic braces. They are made from translucent material, allowing adults the privacy they desire while treating dental misalignment. Some ceramic braces come with colored wires, which makes them more attractive.

The main advantage of using ceramic braces is that they are less visible. Unless you tell them, no one needs to know that you have installed braces. Ceramic braces move teeth in position faster than other treatment options like Invisalign. But, they are more expensive than metal braces. You will have to dig deeper into your pocket to afford this mode of orthodontic treatment.

The Invisalign

Invisalign is the most recent model of orthodontic treatment. It is developed to offer greater comfort to patients during the treatment period. Invisalign is made from a strong plastic material and is designed to take the shape of your preferred dental structure. They work by fixing your misaligned teeth into that ideal structure modeled by the plastic appliance.

Invisalign uses between 18 and 30 aligners, which are templates that mimic mouthguards. A computer simulation generates the templates. Patients must wear them for a minimum of fourteen days to allow their teeth to move in the position. After two weeks, your orthodontist will examine your progress and install another pair of Invisalign to continue the treatment. It will go on like that until you attain the desired results.

However, Invisalign is not meant for all orthodontic problems but a particular bite problem common with teenagers and adults. The advantage is that the installation does not limit what you can eat and drink during the treatment period. Additionally, aligners are clear and less visible. No one needs to know that you have them installed.

But, Invisalign is a costly mode of treatment. It may not be the right treatment option if you are on a budget. Again, it is not adequate for most dental problems. Your orthodontist will recommend Invisalign for a specific bite problem.

Aligners can also be easily mislaid. That would prolong the treatment period for you.

Self-Ligating Dental Braces

They are a better option for dental patients that wish to experience less pain and discomfort with braces. Metal braces work by applying pressure on the installed o-rings to move misaligned teeth into position. Self-ligating braces do not use o-rings or any wires to hold the archwires in place. They use a slide mechanism to force misaligned teeth into position. Teeth can move more freely, causing you less pain and discomfort.

The improved design of self-ligating dental braces makes them work better. Thus, you do not need to visit your orthodontist more often for readjustments. But your teeth will eventually fall into position after the treatment period.

Self-ligating dental braces are more compact, easier to manage, and clean. Patients report less pain than those who use metal braces. But, this mode of treatment is more expensive than metal braces. It will not be your most ideal mode of treatment if you work on a budget.

Lingual Braces

These are an improved version of metal braces. They are installed at the back of your teeth and not at the front like metal braces. They are chosen by orthodontic patients that prefer a more discreet and less expensive mode of treatment. If you work with people most of the time, are a public figure and are experiencing dental issues that require orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist can recommend lingual braces as a way to enjoy excellent results but discreetly.

The treatment method with lingual braces is almost similar to metal braces. But, the treatment period with lingual braces could be longer.

Preparation for Orthodontic Services

Dental problems are pretty severe as they can affect your overall health. That is why you should start treatment immediately an orthodontist recommends a treatment option for your misaligned teeth. But before you start the treatment, you must go through some processes to prepare for the installations.

The orthodontist will begin by studying your dental structure to understand problematic areas and what is needed to fix the problems you are experiencing. A dental mold is a perfect tool to use for this study. It gives the specialist the exact replicate of your dental structure.

The next step would be for the specialist to design your Invisalign or braces from the mold. The mold also helps him/her project the treatment results. Taking dental impressions does not take much time and is painless. That could occur during your first visit to the dentist’s office.

In some cases, the orthodontist must study the underlying structure of your teeth to determine additional issues that cannot be seen from mere observation. In that case, you could be required to undergo an X-ray exam of your jaw and teeth. The results of this test will help devise a treatment plan if you have a dental problem that has affected your teeth’ underlying structures. They will also help the orthodontist project how your teeth would move in place after treatment.

The tooth extraction procedure is what makes many patients nervous. However, your dentist will numb the target area to minimize pain and discomfort. You will also receive painkillers after the extraction to ensure that your healing process will be painless.

If your dental misalignment is due to an improperly-positioned jaw, Invisalign and braces alone will not treat the entire problem. You will need surgical treatment to reposition your jaw, braces, or Invisalign to remedy the misaligned teeth. Your orthodontist will give you some time to think it over since surgical treatments are very invasive and require careful thought.

You are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible to understand all the processes you need to undergo to treat the dental issues. Making an informed decision will make you happy with the results during dental treatment.

The Treatment Process

Once you decide on the right orthodontic treatment option for you, you can begin the treatment process.

Your orthodontist will begin by cleaning your teeth to remove any bacteria that might cause additional dental issues after treatment. Deep cleaning of your teeth and spaces in between will ensure that your mouth is free of any food particles and teeth of any buildup that could cause dental problems like gum disease.

Once all the teeth are clean, your orthodontist will prepare each tooth as a foundation for the braces or Invisalign. A strong adhesive is used in this case to hold the brackets in place even when you apply pressure on the braces when chewing. That will minimize the number of emergency visits you should make to the dentist’s office during the treatment period.

The installation of brackets will occur in the setting of the adhesive. Your orthodontist will install a metal bracket on each tooth. The brackets will hold the archwire in place. Once all the teeth have a bracket, the specialist will use a UV light to finish the attachment. That will ensure the adhesive dries completely.

The drying procedure will follow the installation of the archwire. The archwire starts applying pressure on your teeth after installation. That is why your orthodontist might repeat the UV light exposure process once again, just to be sure that the attachments are strong.

The final process is tightening the archwire to fit the desired results. The archwire for metal braces is secured using metallic flaps or elastic bands. The installation process is generally fast and painless. It could take a maximum of one hour to complete.

As previously mentioned, the treatment starts immediately after the installation process is over.

Care After Installation

You must take time to adjust to the braces before you can eat, drink, speak or even breathe normally. You should be good to go after a few weeks into the treatment. Your orthodontist will give you a list of aftercare tips you must follow to prevent pain, discomfort, and emergencies. Some of the precautions you can take immediately after orthodontic treatment include:

  • Eating only soft foods to avoid breaking the archwires or brackets

  • Cleaning your teeth and mouth after every meal

  • Avoiding high-impact activities or wearing protective gear if you must participate in them

  • Visiting the dentist’s office regularly for follow-ups

  • Treating irritations immediately to avoid infections

Your orthodontist will also recommend wearing elastics throughout the treatment period to help realign your teeth. However, they could affect your abilities to eat, speak, and your general appearance. But, they are very effective in orthodontic treatments and could reduce the length of time you have to wear braces if used consistently. You can wear them throughout and only remove them during feeding to minimize discomfort.

Find Excellent Orthodontic Services Near Me

If your teeth are visibly misaligned or crowded and seek treatment in Whittier, CA, you could benefit from orthodontic services. Dental misalignment or crowding is the cause of several dental issues, including dental decay and periodontitis. Quality treatment from a competent orthodontist will align your teeth, restore your smile, treat and prevent serious dental issues. At The Whittier Dentist, we diagnose, treat, and prevent dental irregularities and bad bites to regain your beautiful smile and treat any dental problems you experience. Call us at 562-632-1223 for proper diagnosis, quality advice, and affordable treatment.