Treatment Procedures / Orthodontic Treatments



Orthodontics, formerly orthodontia (from Greek orthos ‘straight or proper or perfect’; and odous ‘tooth’) is the specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both.

Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only, or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth. In the latter case, it is better defined as ‘Dentofacial Orthopaedics’. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out for purely aesthetic reasons with regards to improving the general appearance of patients' teeth.

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both.

All aspects of orthodontics are practiced at our clinic including adult orthodontics and invisible braces. Here are the most commonly asked questions about Orthodontics.

What exactly is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty of Dentistry that helps in:

  • Straightening of crooked and irregularly placed teeth using metallic or tooth colored braces
  • Assuring that milk teeth fall off on time and guiding and helping the permanent teeth to take their proper positions
  • Correction of improper growth of upper and lower jaws if present by using special appliances that can alter and correct the jaw growth in growing children
  • Controlling of harmful mouth related habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, nail biting or tongue thrusting and correction of any dental problems caused by such habits.

Do I need orthodontic treatment?

You may need orthodontic treatment if:

  • You feel that you have teeth that are crowded or irregularly placed
  • There are gaps present between your teeth
  • You feel that you do not have a pleasing smile
  • You feel that your jaws are very prominent or there is excessive growth or undergrowth
  • You have persistent habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
  • You feel that you have increased fullness around upper and lower lips (forwardly placed teeth)

If it is decided that I require treatment what would be the next steps?

The immediate next thing would be to take your records before the treatment is started. These records include photographs, duplication of teeth (impressions) and X-rays (Radiographs). After these records are taken and studied in detail, the actual treatment procedure would be started according to the requirement.

How long would the treatment take?

The duration depends on the type of treatment being done. It usually varies from 14 months to 20 months, though it may sometimes take lesser and sometimes more, again depending on the type of treatment required. You would be required to visit the clinic approximately once a month for your appointments for the entire duration of the treatment.

Is it possible for an adult to undergo orthodontic treatment?

Yes absolutely! Orthodontic treatment can be performed irrespective of the age. More and more grownups today seek orthodontic treatment and are treated successfully. It is an extremely common misconception that adults cannot be treated orthodontically and their crooked teeth cannot be straightened!

Most adults get orthodontic treatment because they realize that taking care of your smile is part of taking care of yourself. A beautiful smile is achievable orthodontically in most of the people, irrespective of their age!

What do you mean by ‘Braces’?



Braces are flexible wires fixed on the teeth used to straighten irregular teeth. Any child or adult person with crooked irregular teeth, protruded or forwardly placed teeth, retruded or backwardly placed teeth, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth or gaps between teeth can be corrected with braces or orthodontic treatment.

How is orthodontic treatment done?



Orthodontic treatment is done by fixed braces which can be - made of steel, metallic or invisible. Orthodontic treatment can also be done with some appliances which are removable in nature, that means they can be removed by the patient. Treatment is decided depending on the type of malocclusion, patient's age, or if any habit is present like tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, lip biting or nail biting.

What are invisible braces?

  • Braces can be placed on inner surface of tooth known as lingual orthodontics. So, they continue to do treatment hidden behind all the teeth.
  • Invisible braces are White in colour/tooth coloured. They are made up of ceramic material and are highly cosmetic in nature.
  • Most advanced & latest treatment is when orthodontic treatment is done without fixed braces. In this, the patient is made to wear different appliances, Invisaligns at all stages of treatment. All of them are transparent and hence invisible to the observers.

Why do teeth become malaligned/irregular?

Reasons for malaligned/irregular teeth are:

  • When milk teeth do not fall off at the right time and the permanent teeth start coming from behind. Small jaw and big sized teeth.
  • Bad and deep cavities in milk teeth not treated on time, cause loss of space for the permanent teeth.
  • Thumb sucking, lip biting or tongue thrusting habit, mouth breathing.
  • Incompetent lips.

Is extraction/removal of teeth compulsory in Braces Treatment?

No, all cases do not need extractions. Only those cases where teeth are highly crowded and the jaw size is small and we cannot realign all the teeth in a straight line, we need to extract 2 or 4 teeth. After your complete check up & X-Ray analysis, your specialist is the right person to decide the same.


When should be the first orthodontic visit?

The best time to get your child for first orthodontic visit check up is when she/he is 7-8 years. It’s the time when milk teeth start exfoliating and permanent teeth are erupting in the child's mouth. If you see your child having irregular teeth, consult an Orthodontist immediately.


Is the treatment very painful?

The treatment is absolutely painless, slight discomfort may be felt after first orthodontic visit as braces & wires will be a new entrant to the mouth. This feeling vanishes soon after the braces get well adjusted in your mouth. The high quality of braces is designed to behave smooth & most comfortable in your mouth through the entire treatment.


How can I brush with a regular toothbrush when I'm wearing braces?

  • Keep your toothbrush at 45° angle to the gums. Apply gentle pressure as you brush with a short back-and-forth motion, cleaning each tooth individually for about 10 seconds.
  • Now, move your brush in the line of the braces placed on all the teeth gently, above & down separately. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
  • Remember to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth - and make sure you reach the teeth in the back too.
  • Finish by cleaning around your braces, brushing first from the upper & then lower teeth. (Brush gently, being careful not to break or bend any of the brackets or wires.)
  • Brush all your gums as well after you have cleaned your teeth.
  • After brushing, be sure and look at your teeth very thoroughly in the mirror to make sure you have gotten rid of all the plaque on your teeth.
  • Use Interdental Brush to clean in between the teeth
  • Floss nicely after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing

What are the do and don’ts that I have to take care of while my orthodontic treatment is going on?

  • Avoid eating hard and sticky food. Hard food includes apple, guava, nuts, carrot, radish, cucumber, chicken bones etc. Sticky foods include chicky, chocolates, chewing gums, candies etc.
  • Avoid sports activity such as football, boxing & judo which may injure you or cut your lips or cheeks.
  • Sometimes you may get a sore spot or an ulcer due to the friction between the bracket surface and your gums.
  • In such times, apply Mucopain gel and consult your Orthodontist.
  • You need to use an orthodontic brush during orthodontic treatment. You must spend at least 3 minutes in brushing your teeth and use a circular stroke.
  • You must rinse with mouthwash daily at least 3-4 times for proper hygiene. Finally, you must massage your gums with gum paint as per instructions given to you.

What are the post-treatment instructions of braces?

Retainers are worn once the braces are removed to prevent the relapse of the teeth, as bone and gums need additional time to stabilize around the teeth. Retainers can be removable or fixed (invisible) depending on the requirement. The time period for wearing the retainers will depend upon the individual mouth condition, age of the patient & Cephalometric Analysis.