Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one’s appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
How do I know if I need Orthodontics?
Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, our Board Certified Orthodontist can decide whether orthodontics is recommended, as well as, develop a customized treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
Overbite, sometimes called “buck teeth” — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
Open Bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
Misplaced Midline — when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the mouth
Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
How does Orthodontic treatment work?
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
Malocclusion literally means “bad bite” and is the number one reason people see an orthodontist. There are many different forms of “bad bites” which can lead to variety of complications. There are many causes of malocclusion. Genetics are one of the leading factors. A child may be born with a disproportionate jaw. There are also environmental factors, such as thumb sucking beyond the age of 4.
Crowded teeth, the opposite of spacing, are cause where there just isn’t enough space in the mouth for all those teeth. Crowding just gets worse over time as one tooth pushes over the other leading to overlapping teeth. Crowded teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth which may lead to gum disease, cavities and/or tooth decay. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion so as to avoid tooth removal.
When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend enough this is called protrusion. Because of the abnormal contact between the upper and lower front teeth it could cause injury to the lower teeth. It also causes poor bites and may even be from uneven jaw growth. This problem can be cause by thumb and finger sucking.
In a perfectly aligned face there should be a straight line from the bridge of the nose to the bottom teeth…all should be lined up. If they are not and the bottom teeth are actually misaligned from the top teeth, then your midlines are off. When your midlines are off your teeth could be drifted on your lower jaw could be shifted, which could result in an improper bite.
The malocclusion known as spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arch is too wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is the cosmetic concerns.
The common result of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, an open bite is when you can actually stick your tongue between your teeth while biting down. An open bite is a cosmetic problem, but it can also cause chewing problems.
An overbite, or deep bite is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth too much. An excessive overbite leads to wearing down of the teeth and may even cause the bottom teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth, a painful and unhealthy occurrence.
A crossbite is when the upper teeth fit into the inside of the lower back teeth. A crossbite causes tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
In an underbite, the lower jaw is longer than the upper which causes the lower teeth to protrude in front of the upper teeth. It is best to diagnose the problem early.
A deep bite is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth too much. An excessive overbite leads to wearing down of the teeth and may even cause the bottom teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth, a painful and unhealthy occurrence.
Orthodontic technology keeps advancing, and Smile Wide is a progressive practice that continually keeps pace with new developments. The new technologies we adopt allow us to achieve:
More accurate diagnoses
More precise treatment plans
Less conspicuous braces and teeth-straightening systems
Quicker treatment times
Less pain and discomfort during orthodontic treatment and dental work
More efficient scheduling and customer service
Types of Braces
Traditional braces have progressed since the early days and are now lighter in weight and structure than they used to be. They are made from a surgical-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a special adhesive. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin archwire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position.
The archwires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures, or o-rings, which will be changed each time your braces are “tightened”. Some types of braces have brackets that don’t need o-rings, and these are called self-ligating braces.
Self Ligating Braces
Self Ligating braces are braces with brackets that do not need ligatures (the small colored bands that hold the wire in place). Rather than using ligatures or metal ties, the brackets themselves have a trap door that holds the arch wire in place. This created less friction between the wire and the bracket. With lingual braces, achieving beautiful, healthy smiles are fast and comfortable…an altogether highly attractive process. Our patient-friendly design means that you have less chairtime, less discomfort and fewer office appointments than with traditional style braces.
Lingual braces are a unique choice because patients can smile with confidence both during and after treatment. Placed on the back side of the teeth, lingual braces are completely hidden from view. Lingual braces are 100% customized to meet the unique orthodontic prescription of every patient. Customization can lead to a more convenient and comfortable treatment experience.
Clear Aligners & Removable Braces
We offer Invisalign and ClearCorrect as an alternative to traditional braces. Clear aligners are a revolutionary system that utilizes 3-D computer graphics to design and manufacture customized clear appliances called “Aligners”. These appliances are virtually undetectable, easy-t-use and comfortable to wear. The invisible way to straighten your teeth, without braces. Invisalign and ClearCorrect can give you the beautiful straight teeth you’ve always wanted.
Wild Smiles Braces
Take your orthodontic braces from mild to wild with WildSmiles Braces! Designed to make your orthodontic experience fun, WildSmiles are a unique alternative to traditional braces, WildSmiles braces are specially designed braces that come in a variety of fun shapes including stars, hearts, soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, flowers and diamonds.
Clear Sapphire Braces
These work in the same way as traditional braces, but the brackets are made from a clear, transparent sapphire crystal. The braces are less visible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment.