Orthodontics has long been a common way to repair teeth and jaw dysfunctions. If you are considering improving your smile, your general dentist could hold the key to achieving your goals. It is helpful to understand the treatments and processes you could undergo. Regardless of your age, you can get straighter teeth.
Deciding to take advantage of orthodontics
General dentists recommend that children as young as age 7 should start to get orthodontic care. Treatment will begin with an evaluation. The doctor will take X-rays of the patient’s teeth and will then make an impression. Once the doctor examines these, the staff will develop a plan, including when to start and how long the person will have to wear braces or other appliances.
General dentists help with a wide range of issues
Orthodontic care focuses on straightening crooked teeth, but there are other conditions the general dentist can address. People come to the office to correct overbites, underbites and crossbites. Wearing braces, retainers or headgears can also make room in a person’s mouth if they have overcrowding. Treatment may also help with gaps or buck-teeth.
There are various options
Traditionally, orthodontic practices use metal braces to improve a person’s smile and bite. Brackets, wires and elastics put pressure on teeth and gradually move them into the right places. Some patients do not prefer to wear braces, as they can stand out and hinder the person’s smile. Clear braces, made of ceramic, are also available. These work the same way but are much less visible to other people. Plastic clear aligners also help shift teeth correctly.
Regular visits are important
When it comes to going to the dentist, patients should make semiannual appointments. For orthodontics, much more frequent visits are necessary. Many patients will go in for follow-up and adjustments every four to six weeks. The general dentist will change elastic bands and may add different apparatuses to the braces. These appointments allow the doctor to measure the person’s progress.
Proper hygiene can make the treatment more effective
One of the challenges with wearing braces is that the patient must be more diligent about caring for their teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are critical, as food can get stuck in between brackets and wires. Also, the patient should be cautious about eating certain foods. The person should avoid hard items such as nuts, popcorn kernels and certain candies. Sticky foods such as gum can also pose problems. The general dentist will provide guidelines on proper care of the patient’s teeth and the braces or mouth appliance.
Worth the effort
Though getting orthodontic treatment requires hard work on your part, you can be happy with the results. Your general dentist has the knowledge and training to turn misaligned teeth or jaw abnormalities into the smile you have always wanted. Call your general dentist today so you can schedule a consultation to discuss your needs. You can soon begin the first steps to achieving a brand-new appearance.
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