Crooked teeth can be a constant source of low self-esteem, especially when the malocclusion’s are very conspicuous. What’s more, orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth is beyond what most people can afford. Fortunately, the treatment is not restricted to young people. In fact, an increasing number of adults are seeking out orthodontic treatment to fix their smiles once and for all, which brings to light the high prevalence of crooked teeth.
Teeth become crooked for a number of reasons, the main one being genetics. Genetics may cause bite problems, teeth crowding, gaps in teeth and malocclusion’s. Crooked teeth may also be caused by tongue thrusting, finger sucking and jaw accidents.
Treating Crooked Teeth
Treating crooked teeth requires a specialist, usually an orthodontist, although a regular dentist may be able to fix very mild cases. Before commencing orthodontic treatment, a few dental procedures may be necessary such as teeth extraction in the case of crowded teeth and orthographic surgery when the jaw is crooked. Other procedures such as teeth cleaning and whitening, filling, fixing of crowns, root canal treatment and implants may be carried out by a regular dentist.
Orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth is characterized by three stages. These include:
Pre-correction stage: This refers to the stage at which appliances are used to add space in the mouth. These include palatal ex-panders for expanding the palate width, and lingual bars for expanding the lower jaw.
Corrective stage: This is the stage at which braces are used to adjust and straighten teeth to correct malocclusion s. This could take some time depending on the severity of the malocclusion s.
Retention stage: Once treatment with bracers is over, the patient needs to wear retainers for a while to maintain the new teeth position. This period also includes constant monitoring by the orthodontist to ensure the straightened smile is maintained.
Treatment for crooked teeth has to include braces for alignment purposes. Patients can choose between the following types of braces
• Metal, ceramic or plastic braces (fixed or removable)
• Lingual braces
• Clear aligners (Invisalign)
• Short term braces
When Should Treatment for Crooked Teeth Start?
Modern orthodontic treatment is not limited to childhood and is especially popular with teens and adults who want to correct their smiles. However, the best time to start treatment is actually during childhood. Orthodontists recommend having the first evaluation at the age of seven. This is the time when the incisors and the first molars start erupting, and it is possible to determine possible misalignment’s. The jaw and mouth are still growing at this age, and since treatment is more preventive than curative, it is cheaper, less invasive and more effective than adult treatment. It also prevents loss of permanent dentition, as the necessary alterations can be made to the jaw to prevent crowding of permanent teeth when they begin to emerge.
If you were unable to get an orthodontic evaluation as a child and as a result are suffering malocclusion’s and misalignment’s, all is not lost. Adult orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth can correct these problems albeit over a longer period of time and still give desirable results.