Orthodontic braces are used to treat dental issues such as malocclusion's, disproportionate jaw relationships, crooked teeth, unwanted spacing, crowding, protruding teeth etc.
At Northern Kentucky Dental, we are proud to offer orthodontic treatment not only for teens and adolescents, but for adults as well. In fact almost 30% of patients undergoing orthodontics today are adults. Of course, it is recommended to begin the orthodontics process as early as possible, around seven years old, as the bones and teeth in children are still developing and are easier to manipulate into the proper alignment.
Orthodontic treatment will not only improve your aesthetic appearance but the functionality of your teeth as well. Traditional braces will work to slowly move your teeth by applying slight but constant pressure to manipulate them into proper alignment.
When teeth are crooked or crowded, maintaining oral health can be challenging. If a patient experiences difficulty brushing or flossing and the teeth cannot be cleaned properly, tooth decay, plaque, gum disease are likely to follow. In this case the patient will be recommended to do Invisalign (Clear Invisible Braces) if he/she qualifies.
How Braces Work
Braces are mainly composed of brackets and arch wires. The brackets can either be clear or made of metal and are safely bonded to the teeth without damage to the enamel. Also today's brackets are much smaller than previous designs making them less noticeable, and our patients more comfortable. Some brackets are designed with built-in clasps to eliminate the need for elastic bands to keep them in place.
Arch wires are dental brace wires that are created in the form of a perfect dental arch. The wire will activate from the heat of your mouth and bend to the shape of your individual arch. This dental wire is fabricated so that it is constantly trying to return to its perfect arch, and so it will work to slowly move your teeth into ideal positioning.
The movement of teeth with dental braces will be slight but constant. A tooth will move about a millimeter each month. However, results will vary depending upon the individual.
Invisible orthodontic treatment is available. Contact Northern Kentucky Dental or check out our section on Invisalign for more information.
Unfortunately much like the arch wire is designed to move teeth into it's original ideal positioning, your teeth are going to have a tendency to return to their original positioning as well. This relapse is preventable by the use of a retainer. Retainers can come in different forms depending on the need of the patient. For example, the Hawley retainer is an acrylic plate with metal hooks designed to keep teeth in place. The Essix retainer is used for Invisalign patients and is similar to the regular invisalign clear plastic trays, a lingual wire can also be used to prevent patient relapse and is a wire that is permanently bonded to the lingual side of the teeth so it doesn't show.