Seeing a dentist in Fort Lauderdale is usually enough to help with your dental concerns. But when it comes to complete oral health, you may need to see more than one type of practitioner. One that you should consider is an orthodontist.
Both dentists and orthodontists help people achieve optimum oral health. In fact, like dentists, orthodontists can also work with patients in a clinic. However, orthodontists undergo additional training in certain areas in dentistry.
These professionals require more schooling because they specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of misaligned bites, teeth, and jaws. They are also the experts you talk to when it comes to the use of orthodontic appliances, like braces.
This article will serve as your complete guide to orthodontic treatment – covering everything from the different types of orthodontic appliances to certain expectations you should know about before undergoing treatment.
3 Types of Orthodontic Appliances
There are several orthodontic devices used to correct teeth and jaw alignment, some of which are listed below:
When you hear the words “orthodontic treatment,” braces are probably the first thing that comes to mind. This is because it is one of the most common devices that orthodontists in Fort Lauderdale use to correct misaligned teeth.
Essentially, braces serve as the mechanism to “get a handle” on the teeth. In other words, they act as the attachment that allows specialists to adjust the teeth to the desired position with the help of wires and elastics.
Traditional braces use brackets bonded to most of the teeth, with bands wrapped entirely around the molars that serve as anchors. Orthodontists use a special type of glue to paste the brackets on the teeth that are strong enough to stay during the entire treatment but can be removed once it’s completed.
Of course, traditional bracket-and-wire braces aren’t the only option here. Today, invisible aligners like Invisalign already offer relatively similar results.
While braces use brackets and wires to encourage teeth movement, Invisalign has several sets of aligner trays that are tight-fitting and custom-made to fit over the teeth. These are called “invisible” due to the transparent material used to make them.
Take note, however, that clear aligners are not for everyone. They’re best suited for adults and teens as children’s teeth and jaws are still developing, which means it can be tricky to set up a clear aligner treatment for them.
To be sure, consult your orthodontist to learn what best suits your situation.
Fixed Lingual Retainer
Bonded behind either or both the upper and lower front teeth, fixed lingual retainers are usually used after braces have been removed. They help maintain teeth alignment, stabilizing the front teeth during the retention phase of orthodontic treatment.
Fixed lingual retainers usually need to remain in the mouth for a minimum of two years. However, it is ideal to keep them there as long as you can keep the back of your lower front teeth clean.
When used in the upper arch, these are installed behind the two upper incisors. This works best for people with a large gap along this section of the teeth prior to orthodontic treatment. The retainers should stay there for as long as possible or until the orthodontist (or even a general dentist) recommends their removal.
A fan-type expander is used when the upper arch’s front portion requires widening without affecting the back part of the mouth.
It is made of metal bands attached to six-year molars. It is also connected to metal bars on the orthodontic appliance’s main body which, in turn, is joined from both sides at the center using an expansion screw.
An expander’s primary purpose is to influence the growth of the bone, so it is ideally used for younger patients. Since their jaw is still growing, the expander can provide a faster and more stable correction.
It can be activated through the expansion screw with the help of a “key.” From activation, the treatment usually lasts between two and three weeks. However, it should stay in place for approximately six months to prevent relapse.
Orthodontic Treatment: What You Can Expect
The success rate of orthodontic treatment can be affected by how much you’ve prepared yourself for what’s about to happen. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by boosting your knowledge about it.
Here are some of the things you need to know:
It begins with a visit to the clinic.
Orthodontic treatment usually begins with a visit to the dental clinic. At this point, a dentist will perform an assessment and thorough examination to determine whether orthodontic treatment is the best course of action. He may also refer you to an orthodontist who will explain the process and everything else you need to know about the treatment.
Expect to have a minor lisp.
With braces and several other types of orthodontic appliances, you may experience a minor lisp in your speech.
The attached brackets to the teeth are most likely to affect how you speak, but you don’t have to worry much as this usually doesn’t last. Once you get used to the hardware attached to parts of your mouth, you’ll be talking normally in no time.
Discomfort during the first few weeks is normal.
The installment of orthodontic appliances takes getting used to, and not just with your speech. For this reason, you might experience discomfort during the first few weeks following the attachment of dental braces.
But don’t fret; time usually goes by really fast, and you’ll eventually become accustomed to having brackets, elastics, and wires attached to your chompers. And remember, this is all meant to correct your bite or any other alignment and positioning issues and ultimately give you a more flawless smile.
Flossing will be particularly challenging.
Flossing hasn’t always been the most effortless dental hygiene activity, and it won’t get any easier when you have orthodontic appliances. You might even find the task more challenging after you get braces.
However, this makes it much more important since orthodontic appliances attached to the teeth create more nooks where food can get stuck in.
Fortunately, all it takes is a simple change in flossing tools to overcome this. You can buy flossing threaders that help you pull regular floss through gaps. There are also water flossers that spray a narrow stream of water to remove food particles.
Orthodontics Made Easy
Wearing orthodontic appliances often comes with making significant changes in your lifestyle, among other things. Make sure that you’re ready by learning as much as you can before undergoing the treatment.