Orthodontics is devoted to creating beautiful smiles and improving overall health by bringing teeth, lips and jaw into proper alignment. By straightening teeth that are crooked or overlapping, correcting gaps, and realigning the jaw, orthodontic treatment enhances patients’ smiles and reduces the risk of a range of health problems.
Orthodontics is often associated with teenagers wearing braces, but patients of all ages can benefit from treatment. The American Dental Association recommends that children have their first orthodontic assessment by age seven, and 30% of today’s orthodontic patients are adults.
Advancements in modern orthodontics allow us to offer more options than ever for effective treatment with minimum discomfort and a discreet appearance. From traditional braces to removable appliances, there are options for every patient.
Visit us today to learn more about what orthodontics can do to improve your quality of life!
TMJ is acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects the jaw to the skull.) Because the temporomandibular joint involves many elements: muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. TMJ can affect all of these elements, causing a wide range of symptoms:
headaches, especially in the morning
earaches, especially in the morning
migraines, especially in the morning
tinnitus (ringing sound in the ears)
neck and shoulder pain
cracking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
jaw pain or tenderness
trouble or discomfort biting or chewing
Anything that places undue strain on the temporomandibular joint may contribute to TMJ. These include, but are not limited to:
bruxism (unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth)
trauma such as a blow to the jaw
degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis
excessive nail biting or gum chewing
misalignment of the jaw or teeth (bad bite)
The first step in treatment is thorough examination of the patient’s jaw and also their history to determine what’s causing TMJ. Treatment may include one or more different approaches depending on the cause:
Orthodontic treatment – If the TMJ is thought to stem from a bad bite, orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment may cure the TMJ, and bring other cosmetic and health benefits also.
Splints (mouth guards) – if bruxism is causing TMJ, nighttime mouth guards can reduce clenching in some patients.
Biofeedback – bruxism may also be treated with nighttime biofeedback using a headband that detects clenching and grinding and sounds an alarm that prompts the patient to stop clenching or grinding, without waking up.
Relaxation therapies – bruxism may be caused or worsened by periods of high stress; TMJ treatment may include therapies to reduce or deal with stress.
It’s estimated that one third of today’s orthodontic patients are over 18. Treatments typically take longer than those for teenage patients, but still yield great results.
Your smile and the confidence to display it more often is reason enough to explore orthodontic treatment, but the benefits may go much further. In general, straight teeth are healthier teeth – easier to clean, less prone to decay. Correcting misalignments may also help to alleviate other health concerns.
Virtually unnoticeable new alternatives to traditional metal braces are further tipping the scales in favor of treatment for adults Virtually unnoticeable new alternatives to traditional metal braces are also leading more adults to consider treatment.
Metal (traditional) braces – a metal bracket affixed to each tooth, attached to an arch wire with tiny rubber bands (ligatures) or tiny wires. The orthodontist adjusts the arch wire every few weeks to gradually move teeth.
Ceramic Brackets are tooth-coloured and used with clear ligatures for a much more discreet look. The system is otherwise the same.
Self-Ligating Braces use brackets that fasten to the arch wire without ligatures, offering a discreet look and generally requiring fewer adjustment appointments over the course of treatment.
Invisalign™ treatment isn’t braces at all, but a series of custom-molded clear aligners that are virtually invisible when worn.
Visit us today to learn more about what we can offer to meet your unique treatment needs.
People of all ages can benefit from orthodontics, but the teen and pre-teen years remain the best time for treatment, since the jaw is still growing. Treatments are generally shorter and simpler, and patients can begin to reap the health and aesthetic benefits sooner.
Children may be wary of orthodontic treatment because they are afraid it will hurt. The good news is that modern orthodontic treatment involves little or no discomfort. The American Dental Association recommends that a child receive their first orthodontic assessment at age seven. This basic examination can identify emerging problems that will benefit from treatment as the adult teeth come in (interceptive treatment), or problems that are best monitored, and treated when adult teeth have emerged in the early teen years.
Fixed braces – a bracket affixed to each tooth, attached by wires, often with elastic bands on the brackets to further guide specific teeth. The orthodontist attaches the braces, and adjusts them at regular intervals over the treatment period. Modern braces are quite discrete in appearance.
Headgear – a removable appliance that sits in the mouth, fastened around the head with straps. Headgear is worn for a portion of each day, from 12-20 hours. It is often used for interceptive treatment.
Retainer – a custom-molded, removable dental appliance used to ‘retain’ proper alignment after braces are removed, often worn at night.
Contact our office to discuss your child’s needs and find out more.