In the past, most orthodontic treatment was designed for adolescents who undergo rapid growth, making it easier to repair malocclusions. Today, an orthodontist is able to help almost every patient who has a bad bite and an unattractive smile.
At an orthodontic office, you will need a physical examination to determine if you have tooth decay or gingivitis. After these problems are repaired, you can focus on fixing your misaligned teeth.
1. Aligners Are Made Using Customized Molds
Adults and teenagers with mild to moderate malocclusions can wear clear plastic aligners. These devices are made using customized molds so that the aligners fit properly over the top or bottom teeth.
When you require aligners for your teeth, a computer program creates 25 to 30 sets of aligners that are designed in slightly different configurations. You will wear one set of aligners for two weeks before switching to the next set of aligners.
It is important to save the old aligners so that the orthodontic team can look at the devices to check for abnormal wear and tear. As you change to a new set of aligners, you will feel a slight pressure against your teeth.
2. You Must Wear Aligners For the Majority Of the Day
You are required to wear aligners for at least 23-hours each day, including while you are sleeping. It is important to remove the aligners while you consume meals or drink beverages, and you must brush your teeth at least twice a day.
When you wear aligners, the treatment can last from six months to two years. Children are not permitted to wear aligners because their mouths grow too quickly, and also, the devices are a choking hazard for younger patients.
In some cases, patients who wear braces for their severe malocclusions will switch to using aligners to complete their treatment plans.
3. Treatment With Braces Lasts Two To Five Years
When you have severe malocclusions, an orthodontist will recommend braces that have brackets and wires. This type of orthodontic treatment lasts from two to five years, and in addition to wearing braces, you may need pretreatment with palatal expanders or extra treatment with headgear.
When you are wearing braces, you will need a new examination every six weeks to make sure that the devices are working optimally. During one of these visits, an orthodontist can tighten the wires on the braces.
If you have a problem such as a loose bracket or a broken wire, then you can make an emergency appointment to have a bracket or wire repaired.
Orthodontic treatment is designed for all age groups, including children and adults. If you have misaligned teeth or malocclusions, you can visit an orthodontic facility to have an examination with medical images to determine if you need braces or aligners.