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Orthodontic treatment may comprise an array of procedures designed to move or straighten teeth. The goal is to enhance the appearance of the patient's teeth and how they function. For example, the treatment helps spread the biting pressure evenly over your teeth. This provides long-term health benefits for your jaw joints, gums, and teeth.
It is recommended that the individual start orthodontic treatment when he or she is young. Adults, however, can still have orthodontic treatment. In fact, more adults are opting for the treatment today. It is more important to have the right number of teeth, so age doesn't matter!
Oftentimes, orthodontic treatment will begin with a full dental examination. The orthodontist will examine the patient's teeth via dental X-rays. He or she may also make plaster models of the patient's teeth. Once the results are in, the dental team will propose a treatment plan that fits the patient's needs and goals. The treatment can be started immediately as long as the patient has enough permanent teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can help the individual achieve a more visually appealing smile. By correcting misalignment issues, the patient can also reduce serious strain on the jaw joints. This prevents TMJ or TMD from furthering developing. Common symptoms (if not treated) include clicking/popping of the jaw, difficulty opening and closing mouth, facial pain, etc.
Bruxism is another dental problem that some individuals experience. They may experience strain on the jaws from malocclusion. It causes them to clench their jaws or grind their teeth. This is damaging to one's teeth in the long run. Orthodontic treatment can help reduce the risk of bruxism.
Most importantly, orthodontic treatment helps to significantly reduce one's risk of gum diseases, including tooth decay, plaque buildup, receding gums – just to name a few.