Orthodontics is the discipline of dentistry that deals exclusively with the prevention and management of malocclusions which is the misalignment of teeth and jaws.
Malocclusion or the misalignment of the jaws and/or the teeth can have many ill-effects on overall health such as:
- Higher risk for cavities and the need for fillings.
- Higher chances of gum and periodontal issues and the need for gum surgeries.
- Breathing difficulties including mouth breathing and/or sleep apnoea and/or snoring.
- Increased grinding and/or TMJ/TMD problems.
- Inability to chew food well.
- Poor smile leading to confidence issues.
There are many different modalities of orthodontics including preventive, interceptive, removable, fixed, clear aligners (like Invisalign), growth modifications, etc.
Unlike popular belief, patients of any age can benefit from Orthodontics and the best way to find out if it is the right time to start Orthodontics is to see an expert in the field. We often hear patients saying that it is too early to start. While certain treatment can only start after a certain phase of growth, many newer techniques of Orthodontics including growth modifications and jaw growth modifiers can only happen during a specific growth phase in your child.
We provide many different types of appliances to help us align teeth and/or jaws to their ideal positions including fixed orthodontics and Invisalign.
Stouffville Smiles Dentistry offers a number of orthodontic treatments for every kind of smile and for everyone in the family from adolescents to adults. Orthodontic treatment is great for improving your oral health and bringing out your best smile. Misaligned teeth and a crooked bite can be difficult to clean properly, feel uncomfortable and even painful. We can resolve these issues in as little as six months through our orthodontic treatments.
How do I know if I need orthodontics?
You might benefit from orthodontic treatment if you have experienced any of the following problems:
- Overbite – when your upper teeth sit too far forward.
- Spacing – gaps or spaces between the teeth.
- Underbite – when your lower teeth sit too far forward.
- Crowding – when teeth are overlapping or impossible to floss.
- Crossbite – a bite that doesn’t match comfortably.
- Pain – Chronic headaches, jaw pain, or upper back and neck pain.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
There are many different treatment options available depending on your personal needs and your budget. Here are a few of the options that may be available:
When you hear the word braces, you most likely think of those bulky metal brackets with wires. Modern dental brackets are now smaller, less noticeable, and just as effective as the older bulkier ones. They’re easier to keep clean and much more comfortable.
If you’re looking for conventional brackets, we also offer clear brackets that tend to be more popular among our adult patients. These brackets are designed to combine conventional orthodontics with discretion. At a quick glance, no one will even realize you are wearing braces.
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, have rapidly gained popularity. A series of custom made transparent trays gradually shift your teeth into their ideal position. They fit snugly and precisely and can occasionally be removed to eat, to brush and floss like normal, and for the occasional special occasion like that big meeting or special date.
How much does it cost?
When considering the cost of orthodontics, there are a few things to consider:
- The current condition of your oral health, including teeth and gums.
- How much your teeth need to adjust.
- The kind of orthodontic treatment you choose.
- The length of your treatment.
Because every smile is different, the only way to find out which treatment is the best solution for you and how much it will cost is to come in for a consultation. Tell us your goals for your smile, let us examine your teeth and we will tailor a personalized treatment plan to get the best results.
At what age can I get orthodontic treatment?
Ideally, orthodontic treatment would occur in younger patients before most adult teeth have arrived. This is called interceptive and/or preventive orthodontics. In this phase, we are able to modify the bone, growth and remove the causative factors that lead to malocclusion before it actually happens. Best results are achieved when orthodontic treatment starts early and the treatment becomes less invasive.
If you are a parent, as a general rule, we recommend bringing your child at age of 7 years in for a consultation but some may start as early as 3 or 4 years old and some as late as 13-14 years old. The determination on how soon treatment should start is individualized at our office as we have many tools at our disposal to treat different orthodontic problems.
It is also worthy to note that it is never too late to consider orthodontic treatment. While, it is not as easy to move teeth later in life and relatively there are more risks, with recent advances in customized 3D-printed brackets and orthodontic systems, we are able to minimize these effects.
Some of my children’s friends have already started treatment, but our orthodontist says my child should wait a while. Why is there a difference in treatment?
Each treatment plan is specific for that child and his/her specific problem as well as his/her growth and development. Children mature at different stages and interceptive treatment is indicated to prevent a more severe problem from occurring. Your orthodontist is the best person to decide the best type of treatment and its timing. If you have questions, you should discuss them with your dentist.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not hurt when they are first applied. When your teeth begin to shift you may experience some discomfort. Most patients describe the feeling as more annoying than painful. That being said, if you have any pain or discomfort, let us know! There are solutions available to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.
How long do braces take?
For the majority of patients, braces will need to be on for six months to two years. We can give you a more accurate estimate after an oral exam
My child’s teeth aren’t too crooked on top – can she/he just get braces on the bottom?
Orthodontic treatment is designed to develop teeth that fit well and, as a result, wear better over an individual’s life. Think of teeth in the mouth as a “gear” system. Teeth, like gears, must intermesh well to help avoid excessive wear throughout a lifetime of use. An ideal orthodontic result most often requires treatment of both the top and bottom teeth. Consult a Stouffville smile dentistry to learn what will best correct your child’s orthodontic problem.
I lost a tooth a long time ago and my teeth have shifted. I want to get implants but there isn’t enough space. What can I do? I have heard it is difficult to move teeth like this.
Fortunately at Stouffville SMILES, we have a unique setup where we have all the tools necessary at our disposal to fix these problems in one office. We are able to combine implant dentistry, orthodontics and even sedation to achieve great results that were not possible before. We are specially trained to use specialized temporary anchorage devices (TADs) to move very difficult to move teeth. Our in-house dentists and specialists work together to provide the ideal treatment plan.
We’ve seen three orthodontists and we have three treatment plans suggested. Which one is right?
There is not a single “right way” to perform orthodontic treatment. Different dentists and orthodontists use various bracket systems and appliances. As long as all of the doctors you have consulted are experienced, all of the suggested treatment plans can help your child develop a healthy and beautiful smile.
If my child wears extra rubber bands, will that speed up treatment?
No. Wearing extra rubber bands will not speed up treatment. In fact, your child’s treatment could be prolonged by wearing extra rubber bands. Rubber bands are used to deliver extra forces that braces alone cannot create, and unplanned extra forces could move your child’s teeth in an undesirable way. To finish treatment on time and with the best possible results, be sure your child follows your proviinstructions on wearing rubber bands, and any other item that they are responsible for placing and removing. Also be sure your child brushes and flosses as often as your orthodontist recommends, and see your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups at least every three to six months during orthodontic treatment, or more often if recommended.
My child has an allergy to nickel. Can my child still have orthodontic treatment?
Fortunately, there are nickel-free options available. This is why at our office we do a full set of medical history papers that includes questions about all your allergies and other medical conditions that we should be aware of to modify our treatment plan accordingly.
My child wants to get his/her tongue pierced. Will this interfere with orthodontic treatment?
Tongue-piercings may interfere with orthodontic treatment and can contribute to breakage of appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with the stud.
What foods should I avoid with braces?
Avoid food that might damage your braces or may be difficult to clean out of braces (like candy apples, caramel, corn on the cob, gum or popcorn). You may also want to avoid sugary or acidic foods which will be more difficult than usual to clean off your teeth. Clear braces can become stained by some foods like beets, curry and Kraft Dinner.
How do I floss with braces?
Floss threaders and super floss are available and specially designed for flossing your braces or permanent retainers. We’d be happy to show you how to floss your braces at your next appointment. Waterflosser is also the easiest and efficient way of keeping your braces clean.