How to Get Started With Orthodontics

Orthodontics aims to straighten teeth and correct malocclusions (bad bites). It can improve chewing, speech, and your oral health.


Orthodontic treatment can be done with many different kinds of appliances. These devices retrain muscles, slowly move teeth, and affect your jaw’s growth by placing gentle pressure on it.

Identifying the Problem

The problem with orthodontics is that it’s not just for kids, and there are many adults who are missing out on the benefits of having a healthy smile. Orthodontic treatments can improve your oral health and appearance, and help prevent issues such as tooth decay, gum disease and jaw pain.

The most common orthodontic problems include crooked or crowded teeth, gaps between teeth and improper bite alignment. These issues affect the way your teeth look and function, as well as the way you feel about your appearance.

Crowded and crooked teeth are more likely to be hard to clean, leaving space for food particles and bacteria to get trapped in the crevices. These problems can also increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and periodontal (gum) disease.

Spacing between your teeth can be caused by a variety of things, such as a big jaw structure, gaps in the teeth that happen due to missing or removed baby teeth or even when you have a gap in your adult dentition. When this happens, it’s important to see an orthodontist as soon as possible for treatment.

Another issue that can lead to early orthodontic intervention is when your upper teeth are overlapping your lower teeth, often referred to as “overbite”. This is a common problem that may be triggered by thumb or finger sucking and tongue thrusting habits, but it can also be the result of an underlying TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.

An underlying TMJ disorder can cause a person to experience jaw pain, headaches and other aches and pains in the mouth. This can be particularly uncomfortable at night or when you eat certain foods, so it’s important to have a consultation with an orthodontist as soon as you notice the problem.

Your orthodontic provider will be able to diagnose and correct any problem with your teeth, but there are some things that you can do at home to help keep your mouth healthy and happy throughout your orthodontic treatment. Using disinfected tweezers, you can remove o-rings that come off orthodontic brackets or wire ligatures that are loose or broken.

Treatment Options

Orthodontic treatment involves the use of different types of devices designed to help teeth move into their desired position. It is an extensive process that can take several years to complete. The result is a more attractive and healthier smile.

A straight, beautiful smile can have a profound effect on your oral health, self-esteem and overall happiness. It can improve your ability to speak, chew, brush and floss properly, reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease and prevent other problems such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, headaches and sleep apnea.

Patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontics. In fact, more and more adults are seeking the benefits of this form of preventive dentistry.

The most common form of orthodontic treatment is braces, which can be used to correct crooked or crowded teeth. These braces can be fixed or removable, depending on the severity of the problem.

There are several other types of treatment that can be used to straighten a smile, including headgear and retainers. These are not as visible as braces and are often used in combination with braces to straighten the teeth.

Another type of treatment involves surgery. This is sometimes necessary to correct severe misalignments that cannot be corrected by other orthodontic procedures.

Speech impairments like lisping, slurring and mispronouncing “S” and “T” are common in children, but can be corrected with early orthodontic treatment. This can greatly improve a child’s oral health and self-esteem.

People who have crooked or misaligned teeth and a faulty bite can be limited in what they eat. It can also be difficult to clean their teeth.

Besides improving appearance, orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for other dental procedures such as root canals, crowns or extractions. This can save a patient money in the long run.

A crooked or misaligned bite can cause abnormal jaw pressure that may result in tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ problems and headaches. It can also cause abnormal wear on the tooth enamel.

Expert orthodontic treatment can alleviate these problems by eliminating the pressure that causes them. In addition, it can reduce the risk of diabetes and help you sleep better at night.

Getting Started

If you’ve decided to pursue orthodontic treatment, there are some things you should know to get started. The first step is getting an evaluation from an orthodontist. This screening is necessary to determine if treatment is appropriate and to identify any other medical or dental issues that could affect the outcome of your orthodontic care.

After the initial evaluation, we’ll be able to provide you with the best treatment options for your specific needs. Depending on your case, we may recommend clear aligners, traditional metal braces or ceramic braces. Once you’ve decided on the best option for your smile, we can schedule your first appointment to fit you into our orthodontic treatment plan.

Whether you’re a parent looking to give your child a brighter, more beautiful smile, or you want to straighten your own teeth, braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments used today. With nearly 5 million Americans receiving orthodontic treatment at any given time, braces are a proven and affordable way to improve oral health and achieve a confident smile.

With the right orthodontics, you can get the beautiful smile that you’ve always dreamed of. And while it may be a bit of a learning curve, you’ll love the self-confidence that comes with a healthy smile.

Once you’ve got your braces, it’s important to keep up with regular visits and maintain good oral hygiene. This is to ensure that you’ll have a healthy and comfortable experience throughout your treatment.

It is also vital that you don’t miss any appointments as these can cause unnecessary delays in your treatment or adverse outcomes. By ensuring that you’re seeing your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks, you’ll be able to track your progress and adjust your treatment as needed.

Another great way to learn orthodontics is through continuing education courses from the American Orthodontic Society (AOS). They offer several options for general and pediatric dentists to learn the fundamentals of orthodontics, from basic straight wire courses to hands-on workshops.

After learning the fundamentals of orthodontic diagnosis and treatment, you’ll be able to use this knowledge to help your patients in your practice. By becoming an AOS member, you’ll gain access to dozens of online journal articles to help you stay on top of the latest clinical techniques and orthodontic materials.


Retention is the process of maintaining a tooth’s alignment after orthodontic treatment. It’s a vital part of the orthodontia process and plays an important role in preventing relapse.

Orthodontic retention involves wearing a retainer that keeps your teeth in the position you had them in during treatment. This helps keep your smile looking its best and prevents your teeth from shifting back to their original position.

There are many different types of retainers that can be worn to help keep your teeth in the position they had during orthodontic treatment. These include removable retainers, fixed retainers and lingual retainers.

The type of retainer used depends on your specific needs and the type of orthodontic treatment you received. For instance, Hawley plate retainers are often used for maxillary arch retention, and fixed bonded retainers may be used for lower front teeth retention.

A bonded retainer is usually made from a wire that is bonded to the tongue side of the front teeth, and may remain in place for months or longer. It’s not easy to remove, so it’s ideal for keeping teeth in the correct position.

Retainers can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic and metal. They are shaped to fit around your teeth and can be worn during the day or at night.

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that there is an increased risk of tooth loss and gum disease when retainers are not worn regularly. This is because the bones and ligaments in your mouth become weakened over time when teeth are not kept in their positions.

When wearing retainers, be sure to use proper oral hygiene and maintain a healthy diet. It is also a good idea to avoid hard foods, as they can cause a lot of irritation in your mouth and teeth.

A recent Cochrane review found that the stability of retainers is slightly poorer in the lower arch than multistrand retainers, a RR of 1.10 (95% CI 0.77 to 1.57; low heterogeneity; three trials, 228 participants). The results were not consistent, as one trial with 84 participants did not report retention failure or adverse effects.