Taking good care of your oral health may sometimes require more than visits to your regular dentist. In some cases, particularly those concerning teeth alignment, bit correction, or closing gaps, you’re going to need a different kind of oral care. In these instances, you’re better off setting an appointment with an Aurora orthodontist.
How an Orthodontist can Help
An orthodontist essentially holds the same certification as a dentist in terms of general oral healthcare. This covers the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the mouth and its parts: teeth, gums, tongue.
What sets orthodontic care apart, however, is that it requires specialization in the treatment of conditions that involve the jaws as well. This is why an orthodontic treatment will usually involve oral appliances, such as aligners, braces, or retainers, among others. They also usually do surgeries, if needed, for teeth straightening.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
Depending on what your condition is, you may be recommended either fixed or removable orthodontic devices.
Removable devices are commonly used for minor issues such as slight misalignment of teeth. It may also be used in pediatric orthodontic treatment to prevent the habit-forming thumb-sucking.
Examples of removable devices include aligners, headgears, and retainers. There’s also the palatal expander, which is worn specifically to help widen the arch of the upper jaw. Unlike the other appliances that are more easily removed, however, the palatal expander must be screwed to the roof of the mouth, so that it can force the expansion of the upper jaw by pushing it outward.
Permanent orthodontic appliances are best suited for cases that require utmost precision in fixing teeth alignment. Braces are the most common type of permanent appliance. It is composed of individual brackets glued to the teeth and connected by a wire running through each bracket. These are then secured by elastics, which also act as adjusters.
Tight bands facilitate the movement of the tooth, depending on whether it needs to close a gap or make space. Adjustments are done on a regular basis throughout the period required for wearing the braces; this can last anywhere from a few months to several years.
The other type of permanent appliance is the fixed-space maintainer. Basically, this is used to stop the teeth from falling out of alignment by growing leaning into the space left empty by a removed tooth. For example, a baby who lost a baby tooth may need a space maintainer to maintain the space between the remaining teeth on either side, at least until the permanent tooth comes through.
You don’t need to worry about wearing permanent appliances in case your orthodontist requires you one. You can still eat normally, although you’ll need to avoid certain drinks and food such as gum, hard candy, and carbonated drinks to help maintain the quality of the appliance.
The only way to determine if you’ll need orthodontic treatment or any of these appliances is if you visit your orthodontist.