Orthodontics typically involves a couple of key visits over a lengthy period. This begs the question, ‘how do I find an orthodontic practice near me?’ That is a burning question.
Before examining how to explore options, it makes sense to figure out why orthodontics might be needed over regular dentistry.
What is the Difference Between Dentistry and Orthodontics?
Simply put, much as a qualified doctor might specialize further in other fields, such as neurology or cardiology, a qualified dentist could choose to specialise in orthodontics.
Dentistry is chiefly concerned with oral health, you know, the condition of your teeth, gums, mouth, and even your tongue. They will see to your fillings, tooth extractions, and your crowns or veneers. Dentists are not small fry. They can perform oral surgeries, prescribe treatments for oral health, treat gum disease and whiten your pearlies.
Orthodontics takes care of the heavier stuff and your dentist will happily refer you if a case requires specialist treatment.
What Sort of Dental Issues Do Orthodontics Manage?
The skills of an orthodontist are required when structural assistance is needed, such as malocclusions and the like. To follow are treatments in the arsenal of orthodontics:
Braces – mostly commonly, using fixed braces, which work for serious problems.
Space maintainers – both fixed and removable, used to avoid teeth closing the gap where a baby tooth was lost early.
Jaw repositioning – aka splints, for TMJ disorders in both upper and lower jaw.
Palatal expanders – to widen the arch of the upper jaw.
Headgear – used to slow the growth of the upper jaw or hold the back teeth in place while the front is pulled into place.
Only an orthodontist can determine the right treatment plan, but you will not be sorry when the treatment period is over. You or your child emerge with balanced facial features and a great set of teeth to smile with.
The Six Month Smiles® System is an alternative solution to traditional braces which is discreet, neat and speedy for straightening teeth.
Orthodontics and Children – Warning Signs
As soon as all the baby teeth are replaced, orthodontics can lend a hand for problems associated with the jaw, bite (malocclusion), and negative facial impact. With the option of coloured aligners these days, it can be fun for children to choose one or more colours and to change them up if they need to wear braces for many years.
Warning signs to watch for from about the age of 7, include:
- Cheek biting
- Finger sucking
- Facial imbalance
- Protruding teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Difficulty speaking
- Teeth that don’t meet
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Crowding or misplaced teeth
- Late or early loss of baby teeth
- Jaws that shift, protrude, make sounds, or are recessed
You may want to consult an orthodontist near you regarding palate expanders, which will expand the roof of the mouth to make more room for the teeth. Up till 16, there is plenty of flexibility in the mouth and jaw to facilitate altering what nature might have not delivered perfectly when it came to your children’s teeth.
Your Age and Orthodontics
Don’t panic if you missed the magic 16 years of age, traditionally considered ideal for orthodontic work. The good news is you’re never too old for things like braces, which do wonders for your teeth, bite, and appearance – well, after they’re removed that is.
These days, you don’t have to have the ‘metallic smile’ usually associated with metal braces. While the strands may need the strength of steel to do their job at times, aligners might be just as effective and can be anything from clear, to all colours of the rainbow.
Once you’ve been assessed by an orthodontist, and treatment has begun, you will have appointments approximately every 4 – 6 weeks. Of course, you don’t need to move house just because you or your kids need treatment. However, you need to appreciate the importance and value of those visits and make a plan to get there. The closer the better, right?
The great thing about dental offices such as Shine Dental is their proximity to main railway lines and motorways. This makes journeying to your appointment well within reach of many towns and boroughs.
Children who are afraid of dentists and specialist orthodontists could have their whole viewpoint changed if visits were combined with an outing or adventure to a new town near an orthodontic practice.
The bottom line is, that liaising with orthodontics near you to correct the issues that they do, truly benefits self-confidence in life. There is no longer any excuse for either yourself or your loved ones not to have movie-star smiles these days.
You’re always welcome to contact us at Shine Dental Clinic for advice. We have both dental and orthodontic specialists on our team.