We usually check for misalignment of teeth during regular dental visits. But if the jaws or teeth are out of line, especially in children we will suggest a visit to our specialists. They will first assess the patient’s face, mouth as well as the state and position of their teeth. Using X-ray images they will determine what has caused them to be in their current position and with the aid of photographs and a plaster model of the patient’s teeth they will determine what future movement to the teeth will be needed so that the patient’s bite is fully functional.

Some Common Orthodontic Conditions

Anterior Open Bite Crowding Spacing Deep Bite
Posterior Open Bite Protruding Teeth Under Bite Cross Bite

Removable and Fixed Braces

Braces are dental appliances that exert constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. In addition to straightening teeth, braces can also help move a child’s jaw(s) into the right position.

Removable braces can be used to correct slightly crooked teeth in children. Functional removable braces however treat problems with the position of a child’s upper and lower jaws. They are used to change the growth of a child’s jaws to normalize the bite of their teeth.

Fixed braces also referred to as “train track” braces, correct crooked teeth of patients from as young as 13 years old onwards. Made of metal (stainless steel) or clear ceramic, they consist of brackets, and bands that are bonded or cemented to a patient’s teeth, and very thin metal wires (arch wires) that gently push teeth into their right positions. The teeth move when the arch wires put pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to exert more force in a specific direction.

Once the braces are placed, regular check-ups will have to be done for any decay or gum problems. The braces will also need to be adjusted regularly to make sure they are working properly.

Treatment with fixed braces usually takes between 12 and 24 months, but could take longer if the problem is severe. With removable braces, treatment takes less time but one might have to wear a removable brace before and/or after they have finished their treatment with a fixed brace.

Clear Aligners

Clear orthodontic aligners can straighten your teeth without the wires and brackets of traditional braces. They consist of a sequence of clear tight-fitting custom-made removable trays that slip over the teeth to straighten them.

Clear aligners are suitable for patients who have moderately crowded teeth or minor spacing issues. They must be worn by the patient for a specified amount of time as per the advice of the doctor before the patient can progress to new aligners to continue moving the teeth into the desired position.

Treatment time with teeth aligners is based on how much the teeth need to be rotated or moved. The more your bite is off or the more crooked your teeth are, the longer it will take to straighten them. In most situations, aligners can straighten teeth from 1 to 3 millimeters but while they can correct a mild misalignment, patients with severe overbites, under-bites and cross-bites will require more advanced orthodontic treatment.

Like traditional removable braces, clear aligners, made of clear plastic or acrylic material can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. And because the aligners are clear, patients who undergo this type of orthodontic treatment don’t have to experience the usual discomfort associated with regular braces.

Orthodontic Appliances

Removable Brace Lingual Fixed Brace Buccal Fixed Brace Invisalign – Invisible or Clear Aligners

Most of the time crooked teeth can be a source of embarrassment for adults and children and may only be a cosmetic problem. But if the crooked teeth begin to be a source of concern to you or your child and are causing problems with eating or speaking, let our specialists at The George R. Owino & Associates Dental Centre examine you or your child and give you appropriate treatment options and advice. Whether you consider traditional braces (either removable or fixed) or clear aligners, our doctors have the training and experience to make sure you get your best smile.