Biting the bullet (or anything else): the importance of alignment
What problems require orthodontic treatment?
Children or adults with crooked teeth are often referred to an orthodontist. Typical problems include overcrowding, teeth growing in the wrong position, or issues with the bite where the top and bottom teeth do not meet correctly.
What is an Orthodontist?
To register with the General Dental Council as a specialist orthodontist, a dentist has to undertake extra training and additional exams. This means that an orthodontist is able to use special techniques to move the teeth within the jaw. After this treatment, teeth are easier to clean and chewing will result in less strain on the jaw muscles. You can find out more about orthodontics from the British Orthodontic Society.
How are teeth straightened?
Many different techniques can be used to improve alignment, but you must adhere to the regime recommended by your orthodontist. The treatment can take up to two years to complete depending on how severe the problem was in the first place. Children are typically eligible for free NHS treatment, but this is not usually available for adults. You can find out more about accessing NHS orthodontics on the NHS website.
When we think of orthodontic treatment, we usually imagine metal braces that are fixed to each tooth and worn all the time. Whilst it is possible to continue eating and drinking normally with fixed braces, sugary drinks and chewy sweets should be avoided. For less severe problems, some people can wear removable braces, which can be taken out and cleaned. In some cases, people have to wear headgear to hold the back teeth in a specific position; these appliances are normally just worn for a few hours each day.
Do braces have to look so obvious?
Although they are not usually available on the NHS, there are a variety of appliances designed to blend in with the teeth or even be applied to the inner surface so that no one knows you’re wearing a brace. A specialist centre such as cathedraldentalclinic would be able to advise on these more physically subtle methods, such as Invisalign treatment in Cardiff.
What about surgery?
In some cases, a patient will need to have teeth removed or require surgery on their jaw. It is essential that you discuss all the options with a qualified dental practitioner.