What are braces?
Braces are appliances that the orthodontist uses to correct your bite. These braces are either fixed on to the teeth or rest against your teeth and bring about the desired movement of your teeth.
Why do we need braces?
Improves your smile- A good smile adds up to the personality of an individual. A fabulous smile makes you attractive and also improves one’s confidence levels. Braces improve your smile and therefore improve your appearance.
Improves chewing -Teeth are an important part of the digestive system. Chewing of food by the teeth is the beginning of the digestive process before the food is passed on to the tummy. So having a good bite improves the function of the teeth.
Prevents other dental problems- Crooked teeth prevent maintenance of good oral hygiene. This can lead to other dental problems such as dental decay and gum diseases.
Psychological benefits- Not having a good smile can adversely affect the appearance and therefore the mental well being of an individual. It tends to make one an introvert and highly self-conscious.
Risk of trauma- Teeth that are protruding out increase the risk of trauma to them. This is more so in children during play or due to an accidental fall.
What is malocclusion?
Malocclusion can be said to be a deviation from the normal, or abnormal arrangement of teeth.
Why do people have malocclusion?
Numerous are the causes of malocclusion. The following are some of the more common causes.
Heredity- The genes are probably the most important factors. Many disorders in the arrangement of the teeth are inherited.
Thumb sucking and other habits- Children at times tend to develop habits such as sucking of the thumb or fingers, lip sucking, lip biting etc. Presence of thumb sucking or finger sucking till 2-3 years age does not usually produce any ill effects on the teeth and the jawbones. Continued sucking of the thumb beyond 4 years of age very often causes protrusion of the teeth and other abnormalities in the bite.
Use of pacifiers- Children who have used pacifiers for too long tend to develop some problems of the bite
Injuries- Injuries to the teeth or the bone during childhood may cause abnormalities of the bite.
Dental decay and diseases of the gums – They may sometimes cause drifting of the teeth and therefore, problems of the bite.
Things that alert you to go to an Orthodontist
- In case of delay in the emergence of the teeth. Most children start getting their baby teeth by 5-7 months of age. In case of delay beyond one year of age in the emergence of the teeth it is advisable to seek the opinion of your dentist.
- If the milk teeth are shed off, and the permanent teeth do not replace it.
- Teeth that are erupting too close to one another or are crowded together.
- Teeth that are too far apart or spaced teeth
- If the front teeth are too far forward and the lip does not cover the teeth.
- The continued presence of habits such as finger sucking beyond 4 years of age often requires professional assistance to discontinue the habit and to rectify the damage done to the bite.
- Normally the upper teeth are ahead of the lower teeth. In case the lower teeth are ahead of the upper, it is called crossbite and should alert you to seek professional advice immediately.
- If space exists between the upper and the lower teeth when the teeth are brought together. This is called open bite and signifies improper bite that requires orthodontic care
- Presence of space in the middle between the 2 incisors. This is called midline diastema.
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Difficulty in pronunciation of certain words or lisping.
- Children who breathe through the mouth due to some nasal problem or as a habit.
- In case one or both the parents have had orthodontic problems in the past.
- In case your child is habituated to the use of pacifiers for too long.
Types Of Braces:
Conventional metal braces are most common and still widely used braces treatment. They give the same result when compared to other types of braces, but the only disadvantage is that they are unaesthetic.
Clear /Ceramic Braces
Clear braces make wearing braces less noticeable and hence, look aesthetic. They can be combined with vibrant colored elastic giving you a fancy look. These are braces which commonly people prefer.
Lingual / Invisible Braces
Lingual braces are attached to the inside or lingual side of the teeth, which makes them completely invisible.
Lingual orthodontics is particularly well-suited for adults whose profession keeps them in the public eyes such as actors, models, etc.
Invisible, removable braces are made from CAD-CAM technique. Being transparent and of high aesthetic value, it is widely used by actors, models, etc.