Dental care and hygiene are extremely important. Poor oral health can lead to all sorts of general health problems, especially through the digestive system. It is therefore extremely important to visit a dentist regularly to make sure that your teeth, gums and the rest of your mouth are in good condition.
However, a lot of people – people with otherwise perfectly healthy teeth and mouths – visit a special type of dentist to straighten and fix crooked teeth. This type of dentist is known as an orthodontist, and they specialise in treating orthodontic problems. That is, problems which involve things like crooked teeth, bad bites and misaligned teeth.
What Are Orthodontic Treatments?
Orthodontic treatments, or orthodontics, are treatments which are designed to fix orthodontic problems. Some of the more popular treatments include:
- Braces, which are designed to straighten crooked teeth or poor bites. They involves small metal brackets which are glued to the teeth and connected by wires. They are adjusted regularly to pull teeth into the desired positions.
- Aligners, such as Invisalign, which are designed to correct orthodontic problems without the pain and inconvenience of traditional braces. They involve specially made clear plastic aligners which can be removed from the mouth when needed.
- Lingual or ceramic braces, which are designed to be less visible than standard metal braces. They are often used by adults who want to get their teeth fixed, or by self-conscious children who don’t want to use standard braces.
These are just a few of the orthodontic treatments available. For more information on what treatments are suitable for you, see your local orthodontist.
Why Would I See An Orthodontist?
There are many reasons for people to see an orthodontist. Sometimes, people simply want straighter, better looking teeth. However, a lot of people have orthodontic treatment to correct problems which impair their ability to eat, speak or which cause pain or discomfort. Teeth which aren’t in the right place can cause significant oral health problems. They can decay or lead to periodontal disease, and they can cause pain in the gums and jaw. Orthodontic treatment, when done well, can do two things: first, it can lead to a healthier mouth; second, it can improve your looks and self-confidence.
Choosing An Orthodontist To See
Choosing an orthodontist shouldn’t be difficult. If you already see a normal dentist, they should be able to refer you to a decent orthodontist who will be able to deal with your problems. If you have a choice, find someone with experience, with a decent reputation and who has proven results with orthodontic treatments.
Unless your dentist has referred you to or recommended that you see an orthodontist, you probably don’t really need to. However, you may choose to get braces or some other sort of orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile. If you do go down this road, note that orthodontic treatments are usually expensive, and can take up to a couple of years to complete.