Orthodontics: The Quickest Way to a Straight Smile
Everyone deserves a smile to be proud of, and thanks to modern advances in the world of dentistry, there are new technologies available that are specifically designed to accelerate the tooth straightening process.
The benefits of a healthy smile
There are significant benefits associated with a healthy, straight smile, including healthier teeth, healthier gums, easier cleaning, improved tooth longevity, improved speech, better digestion, and perhaps most importantly, improved overall health. As desirable and significant as these benefits are proven, a straight smile isn’t achievable unless patients thoroughly understand the importance of compliance.
The importance of patient compliance
Patient compliance is the critical factor in successful dental treatments results, especially when it comes to orthodontics. The more diligent a patient is in regards to their treatment, the better the results will be. It is the role of the orthodontic team to motivate a patient into taking the necessary steps towards an improved smile, and this requires trust-building steps between the orthodontist and the patient. But once trust is developed, it’s time for the patient to do their part.
Avoid delays in your treatment
If you do not wish to have your orthodontic treatment prolonged, it’s essential to follow your orthodontist's directions. It’s imperative to brush and floss your teeth regularly so you eliminate the risk of developing cavities or gum disease, which in turn will delay your treatment. Additionally, attending all of your scheduled appointments allows your orthodontist to monitor how well your mouth is responding to treatment.
Now that we’ve stressed the importance of compliance, let’s discuss potential treatment options available to help patients achieve the smile they’ve always hoped for. But it’s essential to remember that everyone’s mouth is unique, and there are too many variables to consider when it comes to the length of treatment. Treatment time is dependent on the type of malocclusion that needs to be corrected, the severity of the malocclusion, the type of orthodontic treatment chosen, your oral health history, and any previous orthodontic care performed during childhood.
Typically, orthodontic treatments can last anywhere between one to three years, and once completed, there is a follow-up phase of at least two years with a retainer to ensure your new bite is stable. Below, we’ll outline potential orthodontic treatment options and what patients can expect:
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. The metal braces are designed from high-grade stainless steel and titanium and work to straighten the teeth using brackets and archwires. They are suitable for both minor and more complex orthodontic cases and require regular appointments for necessary adjustments.
Ceramic braces are made from a clear compound and are less visible on the teeth but they are not entirely transparent. The brackets are made from ceramic in a shade that matches closely to the natural tooth colour. Even though they are a more cosmetically pleasing option, they require a heightened level of oral hygiene compliance because the braces are bigger and more delicate than the traditional metal option.
Lingual braces are installed on the back of the teeth and are uniquely customized to match the exact shape of the teeth. They are one hundred percent hidden and completely invisible when talking or smiling. Though treatment times vary on the severity of the orthodontic condition, lingual braces often take longer to correct misalignment or bite issues and can be more expensive.
Clear aligners are the most convenient and comfortable orthodontic treatment option and perhaps the most popular choice amongst adult patients. Invisalign clear aligners, for example, are a series of custom-made trays that are switched out every two weeks during treatment. The aligners are subtle and almost entirely unnoticeable on the teeth and can be removed to eat, brush, and floss. It’s important to note that patients must wear clear aligners for at least 22 hours each day for the treatment to be effective.
If you’re interested in correcting your smile, take the first step and book a consultation today. An orthodontist can provide a complete orthodontic evaluation and design a treatment plan customized to your specific needs.