file000503516932It does not matter how young or old you are. If your teeth are crooked, crowded, or stucked, they affect the way you look and can affect the quality of your life. Orthodontic treatment not only improves the look of your smile but your health as well. Straight teeth are easier to clean and less likely to get tooth decay or damaged. If you are not happy with the way your teeth look or work, orthodontic treatment may help.

Orthodontic braces straighten your teeth. This helps them not only look better but also function better. Braces or other orthodontic appliances are used to put gentle pressure on your teeth. Over a number of months or years this pressure can move your teeth into the right position.

How your teeth line up and the structure of your jaw have a direct effect on your bite. Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth come together. When your top and bottom teeth do not align properly, this is called a malocclusion or a bad bite. Problems like missing, crooked, crowded or protruding teeth can contribute to a bad bite. Thumb or finger sucking may also affect your bite.

A misaligned bite can cause a multitude of problems. It can make it hard to chew certain foods, it can cause uneven wear on your teeth, and cause muscle tension and pain in your jaw and head. Teeth that stick out are more easily chipped or broken. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and may be more likely to get cavities and gum disease. Fixing a bad bite improves your smile and your health. Different types of bad bites include an overbite, a crossbite, an overjet and an open bite.

Your dentist may be able to handle your orthodontics himself or herself but typically you would be referred to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in orthodontics. Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with preventing and correcting malocclusions.

Many adults feel that braces and other orthodontic appliances are for teens and feel that they can’t or shouldn’t get them. But your teeth can be moved at any age. Today more and more adults are having orthodontic treatment to improve the look and health of their smile. Your dentist or orthodontist can evaluate if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Orthodontics take time to work, your dentist should be able to give you a good idea of the time you’ll need to wear your braces. The amount of time generally depends on your age, the seriousness of your problem and the treatment technique used. Treatment involves a visit to your dentist or orthodontist on a regular basis over a period of months to years. In general, it takes longer to treat adults than children or teenagers. Most people wear braces for about 2 years.