Can Orthodontic Treatment Improve Bite Function as Well as Appearance?
Orthodontic treatment is often associated with improving the appearance of teeth, but did you know it can also improve bite function? Bite function is the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite down or chew. When bite function is not properly aligned, it can lead to a variety of problems such as jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and even speech impediments. In this article, we will explore how orthodontic treatment can improve both the appearance and function of your teeth.
What is Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting the alignment of teeth and jaws. It uses braces, clear aligners, and other appliances to move teeth into their proper positions. Orthodontic treatment can be used to correct a variety of issues including crowded or crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and gaps between teeth.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Improve Bite Function?
Orthodontic treatment can improve bite function by correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaws. When the teeth are properly aligned, they work together to evenly distribute the forces of biting and chewing. This can help prevent excessive wear and tear on the teeth, as well as reduce the risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
In addition to improving the alignment of the teeth, orthodontic treatment can also help correct issues with the jaws. For example, if the upper jaw is too narrow, it can cause the upper teeth to bite inside the lower teeth. This is known as a crossbite and can lead to uneven wear on the teeth, as well as difficulty chewing. By widening the upper jaw, orthodontic treatment can help correct this issue and improve bite function.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Improve Appearance?
Orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance of your teeth by correcting issues such as crooked or crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, and overbites or underbites. By moving the teeth into their proper positions, orthodontic treatment can give you a straighter, more attractive smile.
One of the most popular orthodontic treatments for improving appearance is Invisalign. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move the teeth into their proper positions. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is virtually invisible, making it a popular choice for adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of metal braces.
What Are the Different Types of Orthodontic Treatment?
There are several different types of orthodontic treatment available, including:
- Traditional Braces: Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires to gradually move the teeth into their proper positions. They are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and can be used to correct a wide range of issues.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets are made of clear or tooth-colored material, making them less noticeable.
- Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets and wires are placed on the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible.
- Invisalign: Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move the teeth into their proper positions. They are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating and brushing.
- Self-ligating Braces: Self-ligating braces use a special type of bracket that does not require elastic or metal ties to hold the wire in place. This can reduce the amount of pressure on the teeth and require fewer adjustments.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of orthodontic treatment can vary depending on the severity of the issue being corrected. Most treatments take between 12 and 24 months, but some more complex cases may take longer.
Is orthodontic treatment painful?
Orthodontic treatment can cause some discomfort or soreness, particularly after adjustments. However, this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and typically subsides within a few days.
Can adults get orthodontic treatment?
Yes, adults can get orthodontic treatment. In fact, an increasing number of adults are choosing to straighten their teeth later in life. There are several treatment options available that are designed specifically for adults, including Invisalign and lingual braces.
Do I need a referral from my regular dentist to see an orthodontist?
Most orthodontists do not require a referral from a regular dentist. However, it is always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if they require a referral in order to cover the cost of treatment.
|Crowded teeth||Traditional braces, Invisalign|
|Crossbite||Traditional braces, expanders|
|Overbite||Traditional braces, Invisalign|
|Underbite||Traditional braces, Invisalign, jaw surgery|
|Gaps between teeth||Traditional braces, Invisalign|
If you're interested in learning more about orthodontic treatment, here are some recommended resources:
- American Association of Orthodontists - The official website of the American Association of Orthodontists, which provides information on orthodontic treatment and finding an orthodontist in your area.
- Invisalign - The official website of Invisalign, which provides information on Invisalign treatment and finding an Invisalign provider in your area.
- The American Board of Orthodontics - A nonprofit organization that certifies orthodontists and provides information on orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can improve both the appearance and function of your teeth by correcting alignment issues and improving bite function. While many people may seek orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons, it can also have significant benefits for overall oral health and functionality. There are several different types of orthodontic treatments available, including traditional braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces, and the right treatment for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment, it is important to consult with an experienced orthodontist who can evaluate your teeth and provide a personalized treatment plan. With the right treatment, you can achieve a healthier, more functional bite, and a beautiful smile that you can be proud of for years to come.