Orthodontic treatment is highly advantageous. Very often, it is taken as some sort of cosmetic treatment with which the smile of a person changes and the whole facial structure too improves. However, what some people do not realise that as an offshoot of this process, there is a great deal of enhancement done to the entire image and even the self-esteem and morale levels of the person concerned.
Having a set of beautifully arranged teeth is one part of this whole issue. What is even more essential is the reduction to any kind of dental hazard that a person may be facing. Crooked or improperly arranged teeth eventually lead to deteriorating teeth and cause all kinds of dental maladies. Not just the teeth, there could crop up diseases related with the mouth, jaw and even gums. At times, orthodontic misalignments which remain untreated can even result in chewing and digestion problems, improper speech patterns and quick wear and tear of teeth.
Getting braces is no longer the very painful and time consuming procedure that it was a few years ago. Now, even tooth-coloured brackets and NASA style wires are available. At times, patients may be able to make do with clear retainer type of aligners with no traditional braces or wiring.
There are several reasons why braces are recommended for children and at times, even for adults. There could be breathing or swallowing difficulties; crossbites; crowding in which there could be an extra tooth or two or the existing teeth are not positioned in the way they should be; deep overbite wherein which the lower front teeth bite into the lining of the upper teeth; the jaw line is disfigured; a tooth or teeth are missing or have decayed; overjet where the upper teeth are protruding; self-image – by this we mean that the person wishes to have his or her facial appearance bettered; the space between teeth is erratic; underbite – by this one means the lower jaw is bigger than the upper.
Orthodontic sessions commence with the planning stage where a thorough case study is done. After this, castings of the teeth made, pix and x-rays of the face and mouth taken. The braces are tailor made for each individual undergoing the treatment and these placed over the teeth. The second stage involves making regular trips to the orthodontist for adjusting and subsequent treatment.
At times elastic bands too are used for pulling the teeth backwards. This process is a bit painful when the bands are changed after regular intervals. The third stage constitutes removal of the braces. In their place, retainers are put. These are removable. This phase too is for a certain duration. After the given time, the person can make do even without the retainers since the teeth have gotten aligned in the manner in which it was desired. However, to be on the safe side, one should continue six-monthly or annual visits to the dentist just to be sure that the teeth are not slipping back into their earlier misaligned positions.