Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth.  Orthodontic treatment is also a great way to improve overall self-image.   

Although having beautiful straight teeth is important, the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw may be even more important.  Crooked teeth may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth which may lead to tooth decay and possibly gum disease or total tooth loss.  Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.  Over time, excessive strain on the gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier.  State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to archwires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments.  

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you.

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) adults & children:

  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.
  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing may lead to snoring and sleep apnea. 
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue). 
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper gum behind the upper teeth. 
  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth. 
  • Pain of the jaw or jaw joint
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems. 
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw. 
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence. 
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large. 
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems 
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw.


Specific to children:

  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, and mouth breathing. 
  • Teeth erupting out of position – The teeth can be guided into proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1.  Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation. 
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth. 
  • Computer generated photographs of the head and neck. 
  • Photographs of your face and mouth. 
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the treatment appliances are removed and a new appliance is made.  Usually these retainers are removable and will help to maintain the positional changes made to your teeth.  Retainers are worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Your orthodontist will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.  

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.