Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, and TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
The goal of orthodontic treatment in our Fairfax, VA office is to create a beautiful, functional, and healthy smile that will last a lifetime.
What are the Different Types of Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is used to correct alignment issues with the teeth and jaws. There are several different types of orthodontic treatment available, each with its own features and advantages. The most common types of orthodontic treatment are braces and clear aligners.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional braces are the most common type of braces used by orthodontists. They are made of metal brackets that are cemented to the front of the teeth. A wire is then threaded through the brackets and tightened. The wire applies pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position. Traditional braces are effective at correcting a wide variety of dental problems.
Invisalign is a clear aligner system that is used to straighten teeth. It is an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign consists of a series of clear, removable aligners that are custom-made for each patient. The aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable material that is virtually invisible.
Invisalign is a popular choice for adults and teens who want to improve their smile without metal braces. The treatment is exceptionally effective and can be completed in a shorter timeframe than traditional braces.
After treatment with orthodontics, patients can expect to see a significant difference in the alignment of their teeth. In some cases, the results can be quite dramatic. Following treatment, patients will be provided with a retainer to maintain the new alignment of their teeth.
What is the Purpose of Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is important for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Properly aligned teeth are not only more aesthetically pleasing, but they are also easier to clean and less likely to suffer from dental problems. In addition, a straightened smile is important for the following reasons:
- The aesthetics: A smile is one of the first things we notice about someone. A beautiful, straight smile can convey confidence, joy, and attractiveness. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with perfect teeth. This is where orthodontics comes in. Following orthodontic treatment, patients can enjoy the beauty of a straight smile.
- The emotional influence: A straight smile is often seen as a positive sign with regard to social or professional status. It can also have a significant impact on a person’s emotional well-being. A study by the American Association of Orthodontists found that people who had straight teeth were more likely to report higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. They were also more likely to report being happier overall.
- The health: A straight smile is also important to the health of your teeth and gums. A straighter smile is easier to clean—as all surfaces of the tooth are reachable by either a toothbrush or floss. With crowded teeth, it can be difficult to adequately clean all surfaces of each tooth, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
The Perfect Smile
While orthodontic treatment is most commonly started during childhood or in the early teenage years, it can be performed on patients of any age. Our practice specializes in straightening smiles for every patient, young or old! It’s never too late to achieve a straightened smile, and we invite you to call today and schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation! We look forward to helping you reach your smile goals.