Improving your smile is one way to improve your overall physical appearance, confidence, and well-being. Orthodontists are excellent at correcting your bite, straightening crooked teeth, and correcting overlapping or excessive gaps in teeth. They employ various treatment methods, like clear aligners, braces, and teeth retainers. Thus, consider orthodontic services if your teeth are less than perfect and you want to improve your smile, chewing function, and oral health. Beach Dental Care Anaheim's specially trained orthodontists will guide you through the treatment process and work on your teeth until you achieve the desired results. Thus, if you are in Anaheim, you can contact us for a consultation and to discuss your treatment options.

An Overview of orthodontic Services

Orthodontics is a specialty in the dental industry whose focus is on straightening crooked or misaligned teeth and aligning bad bites. Orthodontic patients have teeth that are overlapping, crooked, gapped, or twisted, giving them a less-than-perfect smile and affecting their confidence. Orthodontics entails various treatment techniques, like braces, aligners, and teeth retainers, to correct the underlying problem and address expected dental issues like gum disease and cavities.

Orthodontics is an essential branch of dentistry because it treats common dental issues and fixes teeth problems that are the leading causes of oral problems. It primarily concerns how teeth on your lower and upper jaws fit together when you bite down. How your lower and upper teeth fit together when you bite can significantly impact your oral well-being. By improving your bite, orthodontists can lower your risk of oral health problems like gum disease, cavities, and erosion(excessive wear).

Orthodontists are specially trained dentists that primarily provide orthodontic services. Orthodontists receive additional training for two or three years after completing their studies in a dental school. The training focuses mainly on improving a patient's bite to treat visible tooth problems and oral issues those problems can cause.

Orthodontic services can benefit people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and adults. It is recommended that a child see an orthodontic specialist by their seventh birthday. The specialist will examine a child's teeth and make recommendations or treatment based on their findings. People can require more treatment and suggestions as they age. Unfortunately, some people put off seeking dental care until it is almost too late.

Regular dental visits are critical in preventing major dental issues that can quickly escalate and result in major oral health issues. However, some people only seek dental care when they have a problem. Most people look for orthodontic treatment to improve their facial appearance and smile. In addition to the cosmetic benefits of orthodontics, you can benefit from improved oral health and chewing functionality.

Common Dental Problems That Orthodontic Services Can Fix

You could require orthodontic services for a variety of reasons, including if you have the following:

  • An overjet, or when you bite down, your upper teeth protrude outwards and rest on your lower teeth. An overjet does not affect your facial appearance but can affect how you chew, bite, or drink. It could also cause jaw pain. Some overjets are minor and barely noticeable, while others are severe.
  • Underbite, meaning that your lower teeth are longer than the upper teeth. Underbites cause jaw misalignment.
  • Overlapping teeth— overlapping affects tooth alignment. It happens when some of your teeth overlap or when one tooth takes the place of another on the gum. Overlapping teeth are very noticeable and will impact your smile and confidence.
  • Crowded teeth. They occur when your mouth has insufficient space to accommodate all your teeth. Some teeth are twisted, and others are displaced as a result. It can happen if your teeth are larger than the available space in your jaw.
  • Crooked teeth, or teeth that do not align with the other teeth in your jaw. Crooked teeth can result from dental crowding, jaw size, or shape.
  • Rotated teeth. They could happen before or after your teeth develop. The most common causes of rotated teeth are trauma to your teeth from a blow or fall, cysts, and tumors.
  • Impacted teeth. They occur when some of your teeth become trapped beneath the gum line and grow awkwardly, sometimes resulting in complications.

If you have any of these conditions or have been diagnosed by your dentist, it could be time to seek orthodontic services.

However, you need treatment first if you have a severe dental problem, like gum disease or extensive tooth decay. Your dentist will treat the underlying problem before referring you to an orthodontist. It is because using braces or aligners on diseased teeth could exacerbate the problem. Once the underlying condition has been treated, your dentist will recommend orthodontic treatment to improve your smile, look, and feel.

Available Orthodontic Treatment Methods Today

Orthodontists provide various services to patients who want to improve their appearance, smile, confidence, and oral health. Here are some of the standard orthodontic treatment options available for you today:

Dental Braces

Metal braces are widely used to correct crooked teeth and treat malocclusion. They treat overbites, underbites, and scissor-bites to align teeth effectively. Orthodontists aesthetically place dental braces to improve your appearance or smile. They are most commonly recommended to dental patients with misplaced teeth, overcrowded teeth, uneven teeth, or teeth that are unsightly.

Braces take advantage of gaps in your jaw, allowing your teeth to shift and move. They apply constant pressure to your teeth, focusing on one tooth at a time. As your teeth move to the ideal position on the gum, the pressure from the braces causes your jawbone to change shape.

Traditional dental braces have several advantages, including the assurance that your teeth will look and feel better at the end of the treatment period. However, treatment takes a long time because you must wear them continuously for two or more years. However, you will have a lower risk of dental problems like gum disease after treatment. Compared to crowded, crooked, or overlapping teeth, properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are also available as a teeth-straightening treatment option for those seeking an effective alternative to traditional dental braces. While metal braces are the most well-known, better and equally effective treatment techniques gradually emerge as technology advances. Clear aligners, unlike metal braces, are thin and custom-made to fit your teeth. They are also removable and not permanently fixed. After the initial installation by the orthodontist, you are responsible for taking them out and replacing them after cleaning. If you choose clear aligners, you will receive a set designed to move your teeth like metal braces: with gentle, constant pressure.

In this regard, clear aligners are similar to metal braces. They eventually return your teeth to their proper position and alignment on your jaw. However, aligners outperform metal braces in terms of benefits. Clear aligners use a different system of clear, custom-made aligner trays instead of permanently installed brackets and wires. Wear one set of these trays for a week or two, then switch to the next series until you obtain the desired results. The aligners will gradually shift the misaligned teeth into the proper positions.

However, clear aligners are more expensive than metal braces. They are also easily lost because they are removable and not permanently attached to your teeth.

Teeth Retainers

Teeth retainers are the orthodontic treatment you wear after braces or aligners. Remember that you must wear braces or retainers for a specific time. After the treatment period with braces or aligners, you will require retainers to keep your teeth properly aligned. They will keep your teeth in proper alignment.

Even after using braces or aligners to align your crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth, they are usually not completely firm in their proper position on your gum. Your teeth will not be properly aligned until your bones, gums, and muscles have adjusted to the change. Some everyday habits, like grinding or chewing, can put more pressure on your teeth, causing them to shift out of place after braces. Malocclusion will eventually result from shifting teeth. Retainers are required to continue treatment where braces or aligners are left off.

Dental braces move your teeth into the proper position and keep them there for a long time. Nothing, however, will prevent your teeth from returning to their previous position once your orthodontist removes the braces. After your orthodontist removes the metal braces or stops treatment with aligners, your dentist can place retainers to prevent future problems. Depending on your preferences and the extent of the damage to your teeth, you can choose between removable and fixed retainers.

Palate Expanders

Palate expanders are oral devices that widen the upper jaw if it is too narrow. If you require a palate expander, your orthodontist will place one on the roof of your mouth to separate the two parts of your upper jaw. They are primarily intended for children but can also be used on teenagers and adults. Your orthodontist can recommend a palate expander if you have overcrowded teeth, a crossbite, or other dental issues. Depending on the severity of the underlying condition, you could wear the device for weeks, months, or even a year.

Crooked teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, impacted teeth, misaligned bites, and difficulty chewing can all be corrected with a palate expander. It widens your upper jaw to make more room for your teeth or improves the fit of your lower and upper teeth when you bite down. It can also benefit children and adults with obstructive sleep apnea.

Palate expanders in children can reduce the need for oral surgery later in life. They can be used to prevent the majority of dental problems. These devices can also be used with other orthodontic treatment devices like braces. They work quickly for children whose bones are still developing and could take longer for adults whose bones have fully developed.

The Advantages of Orthodontic Services

Orthodontic services are primarily beneficial for cosmetic reasons. However, they also benefit your oral health and overall well-being. Here are some of the benefits to keep in mind:

Orthodontics services keep your teeth properly aligned to make it easier to keep them clean. Cleaning teeth that are crooked, crowded, or overlapping can be difficult. You leave food particles between your teeth, allowing bacteria to grow in those difficult-to-reach areas. They can eventually develop dental decay, gum disease, or periodontitis. Teeth alignment facilitates cleaning and flossing, reducing the likelihood of such oral issues.

Teeth that are correctly aligned function better than teeth that are misaligned. You can chew and bite more effectively. Orthodontic services can also help you improve your speech and smile.

It enhances your overall appearance, feelings, and confidence. After orthodontic treatment, you will be able to socialize more effectively.

Orthodontic services alleviate any pain you could be experiencing due to TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder, which affects the temporomandibular joint, causes severe pain in the jaw joints and muscles that support jaw movement. You will never have to worry about pain again after treatment.

Orthodontic services can help to reduce the likelihood of dental decay, gum disease, or other serious oral health problems. Remember that if your teeth are correctly aligned, you can clean them better with daily brushing and flossing. You can clean every surface of your teeth, removing stuck food particles and bacteria.

Orthodontic treatment restores and maintains a beautiful and healthy smile.

The Disadvantages

One of the few disadvantages of orthodontic services is that you must follow the treatment guidelines patiently to achieve the desired results. All orthodontic treatments take time to work. Metal braces, for example, can take two years or more to straighten your misaligned teeth. Some treatment options work in weeks for some patients, while others take months or years to produce the desired results. If you want to enjoy the results for years, you cannot give up along the way.

You must also put effort into the treatment process for your orthodontic devices to work. For example, you must always keep your mouth and devices clean to reduce the risk of oral problems like cavities and gum disease. To avoid cavities and other oral issues, your orthodontist will recommend some oral hygiene guidelines that you must follow.

When To See an Orthodontist

Many people have dental issues that could be treated with orthodontic services but are unaware of. It is critical to understand when to schedule a meeting with your orthodontist to restore your beautiful appearance and smile while preventing serious oral issues like cavities and gum disease. If you are concerned about your teeth' appearance, oral function, or health, you should immediately seek orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, some orthodontists will agree to see you without needing a general dentist referral. However, if you already have a dentist, you should consult with them first to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

If your child's teeth are misaligned or have cavities, the first step is to take them to the dentist. Before considering orthodontic treatment, it is critical to rule out any other dental issues and receive treatment for any problems they could have. Fortunately, an orthodontist can see your child as young as seven.

Remember that if oral problems are not treated promptly, they can escalate into significant issues affecting your overall health. As a result, if you have any concerns, it could be time to see your dentist.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Last

If you have had malocclusion for a long time, you know how difficult it can be to smile, eat, speak, or keep your mouth clean and fresh. You do not want a treatment that will only help you for a few months or years, only for the problem to reappear. The good news is that orthodontics is a highly effective malocclusion treatment. If you receive a popper recommendation and follow through with treatment, all orthodontic treatment options are very effective.

If your orthodontist recommends braces or aligners, you must wear them for the prescribed period. If you discontinue treatment in the middle, your teeth will not be properly positioned on your gums. Wear a retainer immediately after braces or aligners. A retainer will keep your teeth in place for a little longer, allowing your jawbone and gums to adjust to the new positions. Once your jawbone and gums have become accustomed to your teeth, they will be difficult to shift out of place. That means you could have flawless results for the rest of your life.

Find Competent Orthodontic Services Near Me

Do you or someone you know in Anaheim have crooked teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, impacted teeth, or bad bites? Do you want to improve the appearance of your teeth, your smile, and the functionality of your teeth? Today, you can consider orthodontic services for proper tooth alignment and improved appearance and feel. Orthodontic services can also improve your oral health and teeth function. Beach Dental Care Anaheim's orthodontists provide a variety of orthodontic treatments based on your needs and preferences. We will accompany you on your treatment journey until you achieve the desired results. To learn more about us and our services, call 714-995-4000.