If you are looking for orthodontics in the greater Houston, TX area, look no further than Dr. Jasmine and Best Dental.
Most people will need orthodontics at some point in their lives. Orthodontics is a necessary part of oral health and treatment to ensure you maintain excellent dental hygiene to minimize the risk of infections or oral diseases that can affect your health.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is similar to general dentistry, and you may have encountered an orthodontist if you’ve ever had braces fitted or removed.
It is considered the area of dentistry that relates to the supervision, guidance, and correction of growing and mature dentofacial structures. This can include everything from moving teeth or correcting issues between the teeth and facial bones or helps to realign teeth and the jaw for better health and more aesthetic benefits.
Simply put, orthodontics works to move teeth and fix overbites; it also helps with overcrowded mouths, improves your smile, and lets the teeth grow naturally.
In even simpler terms, this means wearing a brace.
When Would I Need Orthodontics?
Most people will need to visit the orthodontist at some point in their lives. Typically, most people visit when growing up as their adult teeth may not come in straight, or they could be misaligned following your face maturing. In these instances, dentists will recommend an orthodontist to help improve your appearance.
When a dentist recommends braces, they are helping to prevent potential issues later on in life. Misaligned teeth and an awkward jaw and facial structure can result in oral health problems including infection, tooth decay, gum disease, and problems biting or chewing.
Typically, people will receive braces between the ages of 10 and 14, which is when adult teeth start coming in, and your facial structure begins to change to what you will look like once you are finished developing. However, in some places, especially areas that did not have access to free dental care growing up, you may encounter adults who have braces fitted.
These cases are more for aesthetic reasons, although it could be that adult braces are required to help prevent or alleviate potential issues that are only recently coming to light in adulthood.
What Types of Orthodontic Treatments Are There?
As orthodontics involves using braces, treatments will vary between patients depending on how severe the alignment or other issues are.
To get the best idea of what orthodontic treatment is needed, you will need to undergo an x-ray, create a plaster model of your teeth, and have pictures taken. This helps the orthodontist get the most precise idea of the problem, and it will allow them to proceed with the correct treatment.
The four main types of orthodontic appliances are:
- Fixed braces
These are braces which you cannot remove and comprise of brackets that are glued to each tooth. They are linked with wires and improve alignment. Typically, you wear them for at least six months before they are removed.
- Removable braces
Removable braces are often plastic plates which cover the roof of your mouth and clip to some teeth to keep them in place. They are not as extreme as fixed braces and will only be used to adjust minor teeth movements. They should only be removed when you want to clean them or to protect them during certain activities.
- Functional appliances
These removable plastic braces join together and interact accordingly. They fit to the upper and lower teeth and improve alignment and other issues. While removable, most people will need to wear them all the time. To ensure the best results, you must follow the orthodontist’s advice on how and when to wear it.
While not strictly an orthodontic appliance, it can work in conjunction with existing braces to improve results. Typically, you wear it at night to prevent interference during the day, as you are unable to eat or drink while wearing this headgear.
These are not the only types of treatments, and in extreme cases, you may need to visit the hospital for surgery to help realign the jaw. This is rare, though.
Other treatments include retainers, which you will use towards the end of your orthodontic treatment. Retainers keep the teeth in place while gums and bones adjust to the new positions. You can choose whether you want your retainers to be fixed or removable.
Another and more extreme solution involves removing teeth. This is used to correct the position of teeth nearby and also their appearance.
Patients will usually see excellent results within 18 to 24 months as long as they follow the advice of their orthodontist, including following instructions on how to wear the appliance properly and treat your teeth and gums thoroughly.
Your orthodontist will provide end-of-treatment advice to help you transition away from using your brace. Still, they may recommend using the retainer for a while longer to ensure better alignment and reduce teeth movement. However, teeth movement is natural and will happen as you grow older, so do not worry about this should you encounter it.
How To Take Better Care of Your Teeth
If you want to avoid a visit to the orthodontist and leave the dentist with excellent feedback every time, the best way to do so is to make sure you take excellent care of your teeth and gums. This will minimize the risk of experiencing any oral health problems and ensure you maintain excellent dental hygiene.
- Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste
- Floss between your teeth to remove food and debris
- Cut down on sugary food and drink
- Limit alcohol intake (or don’t drink at all)
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Brush baby teeth as soon as they come through
- Get children into a teeth-cleaning routine
- Visit the dentist regularly
While these tips will not solve all potential issues, they can put you in the best possible position to avoid more severe problems with your dental hygiene. It would help if you also visited the dentist regularly (once every six months) to make sure you catch any issues early on.
What is the cost of orthodontics in Houston, TX?
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity of your case, and what type of appliances are used to straighten your teeth. Below is a chart summarizing different options:
|Type of Orthodontic Treatment||Average Cost in Houston||Price Range|
It’s essential to work with an dentist or orthodontist in Houston, TX if you need it, and even though there can be some misgivings about undergoing dental treatment, it is for your benefit and can help you feel better and look better, also.