People of Any Age Can Benefit from Orthodontic Treatment

orthodonticsThorough Dental Examination
Anyone with misaligned teeth can benefit from seeing a dentist experienced in orthodontics. In Glen Ellyn, Ill., children, teenagers and adults can visit Smile Glen Ellyn for a dental examination with medical images. Today, dental experts believe that children should undergo an orthodontic examination as soon as their first adult tooth erupts. Correcting malocclusions of the teeth and jaw problems at a young age can make it easier for a child to consume a healthy diet along with speaking correctly. Many adults also need orthodontia because they were unable to have braces at a younger age or due to teeth shifting again in the mouth.

Improve Overall Health
Orthodontic treatment can lead to a more attractive smile but also improve an individual’s overall physical health. Crooked teeth with poor spacing are often difficult to keep clean, leading to a buildup of plaque filled with bacteria that will erode dental enamel. When teeth are not cleaned thoroughly, patients develop cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Small caries can lead to deep cavities that cause inflammation in the dental pulp of teeth, leading to infections that require root canals. Gingivitis causes gum tissue to recede, exposing the roots of teeth. Both cavities and gingivitis cause halitosis that is embarrassing.

Improve Mental Health 
A bad bite can lead to additional health problems such as temporomandibular disorder that causes pain in the jaw along with headaches and neck pain. An individual with a bad bite may develop bruxism that wears down tooth enamel and causes earaches. Most individuals who gnash their teeth do this subconsciously while sleeping and are unable to control the behavior. An orthodontist can use jaw expanders to repair oral cavity issues such as having a cleft palate. In addition to physical improvements from orthodontia, patients feel better mentally with higher self-esteem at work, school and home.

Clear Plastic Aligners
An orthodontist can help a patient select the best type of braces to straighten teeth and improve a dental bite. For mild malocclusions, patients can often wear clear plastic aligners for a year or less. Plastic aligners are worn for approximately two weeks before changing to a new set. An orthodontist makes 25 sets of these disposable aligners in slightly different configurations using a computer imaging program. These aligners are designed to shift a patient’s teeth slowly into the correct positions in the mouth. Teenagers and adults can wear plastic aligners, but the devices are not recommended for children.

Traditional Metal Braces
Old-fashioned braces made of metal wires and brackets are appropriate for patients with moderate to serious malocclusions. These are also the best type of braces for children who need frequent adjustments due to rapid growth. Some adults or teenagers opt to wear ceramic braces that are made to match the color of teeth, making the devices difficult to see. For patients wanting fewer dental office visits, there are also braces that attach to the backs of teeth that will adjust automatically to straighten teeth.