Did you know an orthodontic check-up is recommended around age seven? It’s important to get ahead of any orthodontic needs and see what treatment may be helpful.
Orthodontic treatment is most commonly done during childhood years. However, healthy teeth can be treated at any age.
Your dentist will advise you whether they recommend orthodontic treatment. They may refer you to an orthodontist (remember, it pays to use an in-network provider). If orthodontic treatment is recommended, your orthodontist will prescribe the appliance best suited for your needs.
When we think of orthodontic treatment, many people first think of bracket braces. These are made of stainless steel, ceramic or plastic materials that are bonded to the front of each tooth. The type of material varies based on preference.
Though brackets are traditionally used, clear aligners are an alternative method.
Clear aligners are plastic replicas of your teeth. The gentle pressure of the aligners works to reposition the teeth properly. It is important that an orthodontist is involved in your treatment as they will establish a treatment plan.
In this treatment plan, a series of trays are made to ensure the teeth re-align properly. Typically the trays are changed every few weeks and the number of trays varies based on your needs.
Clear aligners are designed to be inconspicuous and easily removed to offer flexibility in your lifestyle. With that in mind, it’s important to note that extra care and caution is needed, as they can be easily lost or damaged.
While being able to remove them is an appealing quality of clear aligners, it’s important to wear them as prescribed. This means wearing them for a minimum of 22 hours a day for them to work as effectively as possible.
Additionally, in order to protect the material, sugary drinks must be avoided while the aligners are in. Liquids with sugar can stain the teeth and lead to decay. It also is important to brush after eating or drinking sugary drinks before you put your aligners back in.
It’s important to note that not all dental plans cover orthodontic treatment. Be sure to check your dental benefits to see if orthodontia is included before treatment begins.
Whether you end up taking the route of traditional braces or aligners, it’s important to be diligent and work with your orthodontist to make sure you’re following the treatment plan properly. After the process is over, be sure to follow up and take the proper steps to preserve your new and improved smile.
The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.