When most people think of orthodontics, they think of braces. While most orthodontics do involve braces, there are many other alternatives to just braces. For example, arch expanders can be used on younger children at an early age to minimize or eliminate the need for traditional braces. Also, Invisalign (little circle with the R) (clear retainers) can be used on adults to correct mild to moderate tooth alignment issues.
Benefits Of Orthodontics
- Reduces injury- since permanent teeth are prone to trauma, orthodontics can reduce the risk of injury
- Reduces decay- when teeth are not aligned properly, they are more susceptible to decay
- Reduces wear- a poorly aligned bite can allow for more wear on your teeth
- Looks better- provides a more attractive smile which can boost self-esteem and confidence
How To Get Started
You can contact us at any time for an orthodontic evaluation where Dr. Lofton will determine if you or your child are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment. He will evaluate if orthodontic treatment would be appropriate or if another treatment would be better. If orthodontic treatment is needed, Dr. Lofton will take impressions of the teeth and take special x-rays of the jaw, head and teeth. After that, a consultation appointment will be set to discuss hi recommendations, how long treatment will last and the estimated cost.
When Should My Child Be Evaluated
If your child develops an "open bite" or if you have any concerns with how his/her teeth or bite are developing, contact our office right away for a consultation. Otherwise, Dr. Lofton recommends that children should be evaluated by age 6. In the past, dentists recommended that children be evaluated around the age of 12 before brackets be placed on the teeth. However, there are new techniques of correcting some problems earlier while a child is still growing. This could eliminate the need for braces all together or shorten the time they are needed.
This is a device that is used on younger patients that expands the arch in the mouth to allow permanent teeth more room to come in. This is a great device that can eliminate the need for braces when a child is older.
Braces are retainers, arch wires, elastic bands and bonded brackets that help align crooked or poorly spaced teeth. Braces allow for a better appearance and proper function of the teeth. Braces also help eliminate the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and TMJ (jaw joint problems. Newly invented brackets and newer technologies make orthodontic treatment faster and more comfortable for patients.
How Braces Work
Over time, if gentle and consistent pressure is applied, the teeth will shift. Metal or porcelain brackets are bonded to each tooth and wires are attached with elastic bands. This administers slight tension to move the teeth.
Braces Are Not Just For Kids
You probably notice more and more adults wearing braces. Many adults are deciding to use braces to reduce excessive wear on their teeth, reduce TMJ problems and booth their self-esteem. These are tremendous benefits that they can achieve.
Invisalign® is a virtually invisible way of straightening teeth. It is a transparent, custom-made aligner that is interchanged every few weeks. To position and properly align teeth, it replaces the brackets and wires of traditional braces and retainers. Treatments can be completed in an little as six months.
Invisalign® can correct common problems including:
- Gaps in teeth
- Mild bite issues such as overbite, under bite, cross bite, etc.
- Crowded teeth