Hello friend! So, you’ve set your eye on orthodontic treatment, but you’re still unsure whether or not it will work for you. You do well to learn everything you can before settling on one option or another for your treatment.
This type of specialized care requires time and effort, and since there are so many things you should consider, we’ve prepared guides like this one to educate our readers on everything they need to know about dental alignment treatments.
Dr. Leemin and Dr. Handick are both thrilled to help as much as they can to clear your doubts. You should still write down all your questions, so you find out everything you need to when you visit an orthodontist; however, we’re pretty confident this guide will help answer most of your questions.
Let’s go ahead and review the main characteristics of the best orthodontic treatment Portland neighbors can get.
Will Your Age Affect Your Orthodontic Treatment?
Yes, but not in the way most people fear.
According to our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), parents should bring their children to an orthodontist around age 7. The goal is to help and avoid the development of severe orthodontic problems as early as possible.
This, however, doesn’t mean you’re running against the clock to start your dental care. Adults also make for great candidates. Each age group poses unique challenges for a specialized team such as ours here at Hillsdale Orthodontics; let’s check out what we’re talking about.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
As we mentioned, children can go to an orthodontist from a young age. Our goal is to help young kids with their dental development and quickly act if we notice any indication suggesting the presence of orthodontic problems.
As your kid loses primary teeth and their permanent ones erupt, trained specialists can determine if they will suffer from alignment complications or not. As such, they may suggest your child use an orthodontic appliance to prevent or minimize the impact of orthodontic complications.
If a child loses a primary tooth following an accident playing sports or some other direct trauma to the tooth, the surrounding teeth will begin to crowd. This premature tooth loss can affect their speech development and social interactions; similarly, this situation will result in dental alignment problems. Using an appliance called a space maintainer can help prevent those negative results.
Getting Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Many adults fear this ship has long sailed.
Fortunately, there is no age limit to start orthodontic care. Adults can benefit from this specialized care, albeit with a few additional considerations, and achieve the smile they’ve been dreaming about for a long time.
When adults consider starting dental alignment treatments, they have to pay close attention to one detail: their periodontal health.
As your orthodontic treatment advances, your orthodontic appliance pushes and pulls every tooth – and even your jaws – into another position to achieve an ideal relation between all your dental structures.
This process requires strong teeth, but if your teeth and periodontal tissues have suffered damage throughout the years and if this was left untreated, you may not be eligible for treatment.
Always consult with an orthodontist if you can start your treatment right away or what you should do before the alignment work begins.
The Role of Dental Hygiene
Don’t you dare forget about your oral hygiene! We may sound like a scratched record repeating this over and over.
But… oral hygiene is extremely important!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of untreated tooth decay in youths aged 2-19 was 45.8%. That’s almost half of all US children!
When you start your orthodontic care, you may have a more difficult time maintaining your mouth as clean as before. If you’re wearing clear aligners (which we’ll talk about in more detail a little later), you won’t have too much trouble.
However, patients wearing traditional braces will find themselves with additional ridges, surfaces, nooks and crannies where food particles can hide for a long time.
Leftover food particles will help harmful bacteria multiply and erode your teeth’ enamel layer, contributing to tooth decay, the development of caries, and potential infections.
Please, and we cannot stress this enough, pay close attention to your dental hygiene routines. Invest in specialized tools such as an interdental brush, and be thorough about your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after every meal, avoid sugary and sticky foods, learn to floss correctly, and use mouthwash to help fight off the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Having a successful orthodontic treatment also means taking care of your dental hygiene.
The Orthodontic Appliances We Can Use
Orthodontic care is all about non-surgical solutions for dental alignment problems. To achieve this goal, we rely on several tools that help us realign teeth and jaws. You may be used to hearing about traditional metal braces, but this is far from the only orthodontic appliance you can use.
Depending on the severity of your case, you could use other appliances that leverage design innovations and materials science breakthroughs to deliver discreet and unparalleled solutions for your orthodontic needs. You can always rely on tried and true solutions, but it wouldn’t hurt to know what else is out there.
This is a perfect middle-ground for patients hoping to escape the signature look of stainless steel metal braces while not breaking the bank.
The principle remains the same as the design changes very little (unless you expressly look for a different design, such as self-ligating braces), but what does change is the material used to manufacture the brackets and even the wires.
Did you know these braces use materials first developed for space exploration? You can learn more by visiting NASA’s website.
Ceramic braces won’t cost as much as other alternatives and remain almost invisible to the naked eye, but you will have to be even more careful as the material is more brittle than stainless steel.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Unlike the previous example, this alternative is entirely different from conventional braces. Invisalign manufactures non-BPA plastic trays that many patients like because they remain nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Custom-made aligner trays have become an increasingly popular option because of an additional advantage. Unlike permanent braces, clear aligners are removable.
With removable aligner trays, patients can more easily take care of their dental hygiene. You could take off the aligners when you go brush your teeth or use dental floss. Likewise, you can – and should – take them off when you go grab a bite and avoid getting food stuck between your aligners and teeth.
Still, please keep in mind what Invisalign tells us on their official FAQ Page. You will have to wear your aligners anywhere between 20 and 22 hours every day if you expect to get efficient results.
Make sure you ask your trusted orthodontist if you are a viable candidate for Invisalign clear aligners.
Help From the Best Orthodontist in Portland
The best orthodontist Portland has available is here to help. Our team is thrilled about helping you achieve the best possible version of your smile.
Make sure you give us a call or set an appointment online to learn more about how we would tailor this orthodontic experience to your case and circumstances. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and you do well to learn as much as you can about this specialized care before your next visit.
Come to the office, ask your questions, and start getting the professional help you need to achieve that beautiful and healthy smile!