Orthodontics

People of any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are crooked, crowded, or that stick out can affect the way your teeth look and function. Orthodontic treatment not only improves the look of your smile but improves your health as well. Straight teeth are easier to clean and less likely to decay or get injured. If you are not happy with the way your teeth look or work, orthodontic treatment may help.

What is orthodontic treatment?

Braces or other appliances are used to put gentle pressure on your teeth. Over a number of months or years, this pressure can move your teeth into the right position.

Why might you need orthodontics?

The position of your teeth and jaws has an effect on your bite. Malocclusion or a bad bite is when your top and bottom teeth do not fit together properly. Different types of bad bites include an overbite, a crossbite, an overjet, and an open bite. Problems like missing, crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth can contribute to a bad bite. Thumb or finger sucking may also affect your bite.

A bad bite can make it hard to chew some foods and may cause some teeth to wear down. It can also cause muscle tension and pain. Teeth that stick out are more easily chipped or broken. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and may be more likely to get cavities and gum disease. Fixing a bad bite improves your smile and your health.

Who can get orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens, as teeth can move at any age. In fact, more and more adults are having orthodontic treatment to improve the look and health of their smile. Dr. Hanson can evaluate if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

In some cases, it is helpful to start orthodontic treatment before all the permanent (adult) teeth come in. We call this interceptive orthodontics. Dr. Hanson can do an orthodontic screening to find out if your child will need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite. Interceptive orthodontics can allow Dr. Hanson to treat or stop a problem as it is developing.

How long does treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment takes time. The amount of time depends on your age, the seriousness of your problem and the treatment technique used. Treatment generally involves a visit to Dr. Hanson on a regular basis over a period of months to years. In general, it takes longer to treat adults than children or teenagers. Most people wear braces for up to 2 years.

Orthodontic treatments

Depending on the extent of your bad bite, Dr. Hanson may suggest one or a combination of the following orthodontic treatments to correct your bite:

  • Braces
  • Headgear
  • Removable appliances
  • Retainers
  • Oral surgery

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