Orthodontics is the speciality of dentistry focused on the diagnosis and treatment of dental and associated facial irregularities. The results of orthodontic treatment can be dramatic, yielding beautiful smiles, improved dental health and an enhanced quality of life for people of all ages.

Orthodontic problems, which can result from genetic and environmental factors, must be diagnosed before treatment begins. Proper diagnosis involves taking photographs, x-rays and dental impressions, which enable us to make informed decisions about the treatment necessary.

How do braces straighten crooked teeth ?
Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time moves teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of your braces are the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them.
The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth, and serves as a handle to control each tooth. The archwire is connected to each brace and provides the force needed to move the teeth.
The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jawbone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows behind.

Treatment timing and duration
Orthodontic treatment can be carried out at any age provided the teeth and the supporting bone are healthy. There are certain problems that are best corrected at an earlyage. The AAO (American Association of Orthodontics) and the IOS (Indian Orthodontic Society) recommends that every child be seen by an orthodontist at the age of seven to rule out any problems that require early intervention. Generally proper time to initiate treatment is when most of the milk teeth have fallen off i.e. between the ages of 11- 12 years. Treatment duration varies according to the severity of the problem and ranges from 12-20 months for most patients.

How painful is orthodontic treatment ?
There is absolutely no pain during the placement of the braces. The teeth start feeling sore after a few hours and this would last for about 3-4 days after the first appointment. This soreness is completely manageable with the help of mild pain-killers. It takes most patients about a week to completely get used to the braces. This discomfort is minimal from the second visit onwards and usually lasts for a day.

How do you take care of your braces ?
You would need to take extra care of your oral hygiene during the treatment. Special toothbrushes & mouthwash are prescribed by the orthodontist. Diet requires some modifications in terms of avoidance of hard sticky food during the treatment as they may dislodge the braces from the teeth. More importantly, you would need to visit your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks for monitoring the progress of treatment and regular adjustments of your braces.

Different Types of Braces will help give you the look that you desire.

There are several types of appliances that can be used to achieve your goals of straight teeth, good bite, and a beautiful smile.

Standard Steel Braces : Stainless steel braces are the most popular with children and teenagers. Different color elastics (more commonly known as ligature ties) can be used and the colors can be changed at each appointment.

Mini Steel Braces : These are special miniature steel braces which are 30% smaller than the standard steel braces giving them the advantage of being more comfortable, less noticeable and easier to clean.

Standard Ceramic Braces : They are hardly noticeable until you get close to the person wearing them. As they are ceramic, they may break more easily as compared to steel braces and also because of the greater friction between the wire and the ceramic brace, the treatment may take a few months longer.
Metal Ceramic Braces : These braces are a combination of the good features of the steel and ceramic braces; the steel slot reduces the friction while the clear ceramic wings of the bracket give superior aesthetics.

Self Ligating Braces : The ultimate high-technology brace, their revolutionary design eliminates almost all friction between the wire and the brace, allowing teeth to move faster. With no friction to overcome, lighter forces can be used to move the teeth. The duration of treatment is also somewhat reduced and the patients report less discomfort due to the lighter forces used. Colored ties cannot be used with this type of braces.

Lingual Braces : "Go on Smiling", for Lingual orthodontics aims at just that. The brackets are bonded to the lingual surface, which proves as a main esthetic advantage over labial technique. The labial enamel surface is saved from chemical insults of etching and bonding procedures.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment ?
The obvious benefits of braces are a better smile, improved self image and greater confidence in one's appearance. Improved alignment of teeth allows for better brushing and healthier gums. Also, reduction in the degree of prominence of the teeth reduces the risk of injury to the teeth especially in children.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

These are a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that provide a hygienic, convenient and a aesthetic solution for the correction of malocclusion without having to wear brackets and wires.

The most obvious advantage of the treatment is cosmetic: the aligners are completely transparent, therefore far more difficult to detect than traditional wire and bracket braces. This makes the method particularly popular among adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional metal braces, which are commonly worn by children and adolescents.

In addition, the aligners are more comfortable than braces. Due to the removable nature of the device,food can be consumed without the encumbrance of metallic braces.

Clinically, aligners avoid many of the side effects of traditional fixed appliances, for example the effects on the gums and supporting tissues. Patients "graduate" to a new set of aligners in their treatment series approximately every two weeks. The aligners give less force per week and less pain than do fixed appliances (traditional metal braces). Fixed appliances are adjusted approximately every six weeks and apply greater forces.

Aligners should be removed to eat, drink, to clean the teeth, or to have them checked by the clinician. Because patients are able to remove the aligners, there are no restrictions on foods that could damage the appliances.

Like traditional fixed braces, they are largely dependent on a patient's habits and their co-operation. The success of the aligners is based on a patient's commitment to wear the aligners for a minimum of 2022 hours per day, only removing them when they are eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth. The system is more expensive than traditional wire and bracket systems. The aligners must be removed before eating, an advantage and disadvantage depending upon the person. They and the teeth should be cleaned before re-inserting them afterwards.

Because the aligners are removed for eating, they could be lost. Certain teeth are slightly problematic for Invisalign aligners to rotate. Some lower premolars with their rounded shape can be difficult for the aligners to grasp and apply a rotational force to.

Unlike traditional braces, if a patient grinds or clenches her or his teeth during the day or while sleeping, the aligners can become damaged, however this protects the teeth from damage which would otherwise occur. In practice, however, this problem is very rare and a new aligner can be ordered. Also, similar to traditional metal braces, aligners may cause a slight lisp at the beginning of treatment. This usually disappears as the patient becomes used to the treatment.

The aligners are constructed of medical grade plastics, and though extremely rare, there may be cases of allergic and toxic sensitivity reactions to aligners. Should the treatment go off track, or patients fail to keep the aligners in for the required length of time, then the next aligner in the series will not fit, and a new set of impressions and aligners will be necessary, adding to the cost.
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