Having a straight and even smile can often be a great source of pride and boost self-confidence. However, many patients experience crowding and spacing between teeth, which creates both aesthetic and dental health concerns. Orthodontic treatment options focus on correcting tooth position and the fit of the bite. The goal of treatment is to improve your dental health with a straighter, more balanced bite. Orthodontic treatment is also designed to give you an aesthetically pleasing smile.
At Clinton Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can offer traditional and improved orthodontic treatment for everyone in your family. Braces are available for children and adults and our team will create a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs.
Why Seek Orthodontic Treatment in Clinton, NC?
Orthodontic treatment isn’t just a way to improve the look of your smile. It’s incredibly beneficial to your oral health and the function of your bite. When your teeth are out of alignment, you can experience uneven pressure on the teeth and gums when you talk or chew. This pressure can lead to worsening dental conditions, such as:
- Chips and fractures
- Loss of tooth enamel
- Gum disease
- Jaw pain
- TMJ disorder
Straighter teeth make it easier to be effective with daily brushing and flossing. Patients with malocclusion are more likely to develop plaque build-up and decay. Orthodontic treatment could help improve your oral health and avoid disease.
What Problems Can Orthodontic Treatment Fix?
Everyone’s bite is different. Many patients suffer from similar dental disorders, but no two mouths will have the exact same issue. Regardless of what kind of orthodontic problem you have, your dentist can create a unique treatment plan using braces and other orthodontic appliances to help fix the following concerns.
- Spacing – Too much room between teeth
- Crowding – Not enough room between teeth
- Overjet – Upper front teeth protruding past the lower front teeth (aka buck teeth)
- Misplaced Midline – Center of upper and lower teeth do not align
- Overbite/Deep Bite – Upper teeth overlap and cover bottom teeth
- Underbite – Lower teeth protrude and overlap upper teeth
- Open bite – No contact between top and bottom teeth
Any issue with your bite can lead to worsening dental conditions. We recommend that children receive an orthodontic screening at around age 7, when many permanent teeth are erupting. The sooner a patient identifies these problems and seeks orthodontic treatment, the lower their risk of developing malocclusion disorders.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
As dental technology improves, treatment for many issues becomes easier, quicker, and more efficient. When seeking orthodontic treatment, there are two main options available: traditional metal braces and clear aligner braces (such as Invisalign). Each has its own pros and cons, and your dentist can help recommend the best option for your dental needs.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional wire and bracket braces are still the most recommended treatment for younger patients. But some adults may also need metal braces. With traditional braces, metal brackets are attached to each tooth with wires connecting them. Your dentist adjusts the tension and direction of these wires to help guide your teeth into place.
- Effective for complex cases where on-the-go adjustments are necessary
- Permanently applied for maximum efficiency
- Allows for customization by choosing the color of brackets
- Generally more expensive than other orthodontic treatments
- Can make brushing and flossing difficult, resulting in poor oral health
- More noticeable than other orthodontic treatments
- Greater dietary restrictions to avoid damage
The invention of clear aligners for orthodontic treatment changed a lot for many patients. The option to discreetly adjust teeth made orthodontic treatment a real possibility for many adults. With clear aligner treatment, patients receive a series of plastic trays that they wear over their teeth. Every few weeks, patients swap the trays out, a process that essentially has the same effect as getting your braces tightened. As long as a patient is responsible and wears their aligners regularly, treatment can be just as quick and effective as traditional braces, if not more so.
- Removable, allowing patients to maintain their regular diets and keep up on brushing and flossing
- Discreet enough to wear daily with minimal notice
- Fewer trips to the dentist for adjustments and check-ups
- Can be ineffective if not worn enough, requiring patients to be responsible
- Does not allow for adjustments if there is unexpected shifting or other dental problems
- Not always offered by dentists or covered by insurance
Orthodontic Treatment for All Ages
Although most common for pre-teens and teens, patients of any age could benefit from orthodontic treatment.
Ortho for Children
While it’s not always recommended as a first option, younger children may need some form of orthodontic intervention as their teeth develop. When baby teeth fall out and adult teeth grow in, your child’s oral health is in a critical development stage. Keeping an eye on their dental growth is crucial for identifying any early signs of trouble. Some signs that parents and dentists look for include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty transitioning to hard foods/trouble chewing properly
- Excessive thumb sucking
- Crowded teeth
- Popping jaw
- Disproportionate jaw
By paying attention to the early warning signs of malocclusion, your child’s dentist can recommend early intervention. Starting your child on orthodontics early on can help prevent issues as they grow. Early intervention could even reduce the need for full braces in the future.
Ortho for Teens
Pre-teens and teenagers are at an interesting point in their dental development. All of their adult teeth are usually grown in, but their jaws and gums are still susceptible to movement. This means they have a greater risk of developing malocclusion, but they are also able to have greater success with orthodontic treatment.
For most teens, metal braces are the most recommended treatment plan. This is usually because younger patients tend to be less responsible when it comes to their treatment. While some teens may benefit from clear aligner treatment, braces are usually the best option. Braces also allow your teen’s dentist to make any necessary adjustments as your child continues to develop.
Ortho For Adults
Adults have many more options for treatment available to them than ever before. Not only can adults still get traditional wire and bracket braces, but they can also benefit from clear aligner treatment. Many adult patients need to seek orthodontic treatment because they didn’t have any early intervention while they were growing up. Others need retreatment after an orthodontic relapse (most often caused by failing to wear a retainer).
While clear aligners are the most popular choice of treatment for adults, it’s not always recommended. If you never had orthodontic treatment before, or your case is extensive, your dentist will most likely suggest metal braces instead. How long you’ll need to wear braces can depend on a few factors, such as the complexity of your case. But many patients tend to be in treatment anywhere from 12 to 24 months.
Do You Need Braces?
Straightening your teeth can help improve the appearance of your smile. But it can also help maintain your oral health and protect your teeth. If you suffer from spacing, crowding, or any other bite disorder, Clinton Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help. We provide a wide range of orthodontic treatment in Clinton, NC, including traditional braces and clear aligners with Invisalign. Call us today at 910.507.7348 to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about our orthodontic options.