Although orthodontics are usually associated with children, you can adjust the alignment of your teeth and jaw at any time. Many adults never received orthodontic treatment when they were younger, even though they needed it. Now, there are more options than ever before to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
The traditional method for moving teeth, braces are the most common type of fixed appliance. Braces are made from a combination of brackets, bands, and wires. The brackets are usually bonded to the teeth. The wires and bands apply pressure in the right places to push teeth into the right position. Most require adjustments every month.
A popular alternative to braces, aligners are especially common for adults and teens who would feel self-conscious about having metal brackets. Aligners are made from clear plastic, which means they are virtually invisible. Patients remove aligners to eat, to drink, and to brush their teeth. Usually, patients change aligners every two weeks, but, as they receive new sets in advance, they only need to visit the clinic every month or so.
Space maintains are less common orthodontic devices. These are necessary when a child loses a baby tooth too early. They keep the space between teeth free until the permanent tooth erupts, preventing misalignment and crowding. Space maintainers can be fixed or removable.
Jaw Repositioning Appliances
If the problem is in your jaw rather than your teeth, such as in cases of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), we may recommend a jaw repositioning appliance. This will shift your jaw to a better position.
Another appliance for the jaw is a palatal expander. This widens the arch of the upper jaw using a plate that applies pressure to the roof of the mouth.