Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work together to help you chew, speak, and smile. Proper positioning of your teeth not only makes it easier to brush, floss, and prevent cavities, but also ensures the long-term health of your gums and the jaw joint.
Why should I have orthodontic treatment?
For those with crowded, spaced, or crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment will properly position
and straighten your teeth to give you a beautiful smile and a well-functioning bite.
At what age should I have orthodontic treatment?
Most individuals have orthodontic treatment once all of the baby teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. However, because some patients may have orthodontic problems that need to be addressed before the jaws are done growing or before the permanent teeth erupt, it is important to have an orthodontic exam around age 7 (according to the American Association of Orthodontists). As for adults, there is no age too old to pursue orthodontic treatment!
Who carries out my treatment?
Your orthodontist, Dr. Schuler, will carry out your orthodontic treatment.
What does orthodontic treatment involve?
First, a full examination is required. An initial complimentary exam includes a comprehensive facial, intraoral and dental examination at the office with Dr. Schuler. You will also have standard orthodontic x-rays taken in order to evaluate the health of your teeth, their roots, and their position in the jaw bones. Models of your teeth will be made in order for the doctor to make measurements and evaluate how your teeth fit together. Once you are ready to begin treatment, Dr. Schuler and her team will discuss your case and carry out your treatment over the following months. Based on the rate of tooth movement, most patients have orthodontics check-ups approximately every 8 weeks.
How is the treatment carried out?
There are a variety of appliances that may be used in your orthodontic treatment, but most patients will only need upper and lower fixed appliances, commonly referred to as "braces." If you need any other type of orthodontic appliance, that will be discussed at your initial exam or during your treatment.
After your treatment with braces is complete, you will start wearing retainers, removable "trays" intended to maintain your teeth in their new position. Retainers will hold your teeth in their new position while the bone and gums around your teeth settle. If you don't continue wearing retainers for several hours every day after treatment, your teeth are likely to begin returning to their original positions as they were prior to orthodontic treatment.
If you ever lose your retainers, call the office right away to inquire about having new retainers made before your teeth begin to shift.
Will the treatment work?
Success is highly dependent on realistic expectations and the cooperation and commitment you devote to your treatment. It’s crucial you follow any instructions you’ve been provided by Dr. Schuler and her team, and make it to the scheduled appointments.
Can orthodontic treatment damage my teeth?
If you fail to properly care for your teeth during treatment, they can undergo damage during treatment. Orthodontic appliances (braces, expanders, retainers, etc) will not cause damage to your teeth, but poor oral hygiene and too much sugar will result in permanent damage. The brackets and wires of your braces can easily trap food and cause plaque accumulation. Effectively and consistently cleaning your teeth and gums (flossing and brushing) is essential to preventing damage.
How do I get started with my treatment?
Call our office to speak with a team member or leave a voicemail and we will schedule your appointment! 503-912-0443