A question we get asked a lot is, “can teeth be straightened at any age?”. The good news is, getting straight teeth is possible for children and adults alike. There is no real age limit for receiving orthodontic treatment.
Having a straight smile allows you to smile with confidence, but it also has oral health benefits. When seeking orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, it’s essential to choose a professional, experienced dentist.
At Dental on York, we have helped many patients straighten their teeth with our range of quality orthodontic treatments. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about getting straight teeth at any age!
Problems Orthodontics Can Solve
Some of the common reasons patients turn to us for orthodontic advice and treatment are:
- Overcrowding of teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Crooked, misaligned teeth
- Poor bite alignment
The problems with a misaligned smile go beyond aesthetics. Crooked, misaligned teeth are harder to clean. Overcrowding of teeth or a crooked smile can mean a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This is because there are more places for bacteria to get trapped and build up.
Straight teeth help to maintain correct alignment of your bite. When your bite becomes misaligned it can cause neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches. What’s more, misaligned teeth, especially those that protrude forwards, are at a higher risk of being damaged or fractured during an accident.
As you can see, there are several reasons why having straight teeth can be beneficial.
Orthodontic Options For Straight Teeth
Do you have a structural issue that needs correcting? Or are looking to have orthodontic treatment for cosmetic purposes only? Either way, there is a range of orthodontic treatments available to suit your needs, lifestyle and budget.
The practice of orthodontics has come a long way. Having your teeth straightened is a lot less awkward and a lot more comfortable than it was a few decades ago.
Below are some of the most popular orthodontic treatment options for creating straight teeth:
Traditional braces remain a popular option for straightening teeth. Though, these days they are much smaller, less noticeable and more comfortable. The two most common types of braces available are metal and ceramic braces.
Metal braces, as the name suggests, consist of brackets and wires made from metal. Some feature heat-activated archwires which utilise your body heat to encourage movement in your teeth. This is the most affordable style of orthodontic treatment. Ceramic braces do the same thing as metal braces but feature tooth-coloured ceramic brackets for a more subtle appearance.
Getting Straight Teeth With Braces
The process may differ slightly from one patient to another due to their specific case, treatment plan and orthodontist. Generally speaking though, the process for getting straight teeth with braces looks like this:
During your consultation, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and decide what needs to be done to straighten them. They will also take a mould of your teeth in this appointment to help design your treatment.
Designing Your Braces
After your consultation, the design of your specific treatment will begin. Each mouth is unique, so the treatment needs to be 100% personalised to be effective. The mould of your teeth will be used to create the design of your braces.
Fitting Your Braces
This appointment involves the conditioning of your teeth’s surface, cementing the brackets into position and placing the wire.
During your treatment, the wire will need ongoing adjustments to encourage movement in your teeth. Each wire will have a slightly different configuration or be stronger than the previous one. Usually, your first adjustment takes place within the first month of the placement of your braces. Subsequent adjustments then take place periodically thereafter.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
As cleaning your teeth effectively can become a little tricky during the time you wear braces, it’s extra important to maintain regular check-up and clean appointments. Your dentist can help you keep your teeth clean and track your oral health during this time where you have more ‘hard-to-reach’ places than usual.
This method of straightening teeth provides a discrete treatment option with minimal negative impacts on one’s lifestyle. As such, Invisalign continues to grow in popularity, especially amongst adult orthodontic patients.
This wire-free way of getting straight teeth involves wearing a series of transparent aligners. These clear aligners need wearing for the most of the day (around 22 hours per day). However, they are removable for eating, oral hygiene routines and playing sports, etc.
Getting Straight Teeth With Invisalign
Patients may have a slightly different Invisalign experience based on their specific case, treatment and orthodontist. Generally speaking though, the process for getting straight teeth with Invisalign looks like this:
During your consultation, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and decide what treatment is most suitable for you. If Invisalign is the right solution for you, they will create a customised treatment plan for you.
Designing Your Treatment Plan
After your consultation, the design of your specific treatment will begin. Your orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth and create a digital 3D image of your teeth to use for the mapping out of the different stages of their positioning.
Receiving Your Aligners
Once your aligners are ready, your orthodontist will fit your first pair. They will also give you all the information you need for your first few weeks of Invisalign treatment.
During your treatment, you will need to wear your aligners for about 22 hours per day. Every one to two weeks, as instructed by your orthodontist, you will change your aligners to a new and ‘updated’ set. You’ll see your orthodontist periodically for routine follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
As your clear aligners are removable, maintaining good oral hygiene is simple. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing and keeping up with regular check-up and clean appointments, as always, is essential to the health of your teeth and gums.
Orthodontics Sydney CBD
If you’re looking for quality orthodontics in the Sydney CBD, Dental on York has you covered. Our experienced team can cater for the whole family’s orthodontic needs.
When it comes to our younger patients, early management of orthodontic problems is key. Our dentists recommend that at the age of 7 or 8 your child have an orthodontic evaluation. This helps ensure their optimal jaw development and facial growth.
Adults are also very suitable candidates for orthodontics. It’s never too late to get the straight teeth you have always wanted. And with the lifestyle-friendly treatment options we offer at our Sydney dental practice, straightening your teeth has never been easier.
To discuss your or your child’s orthodontic needs and options with our friendly, knowledgeable team, please contact us.