A dentist is usually the first stop for people who are looking to improve their oral health. Yet it is not uncommon for issues with your teeth or jaw fall outside of a dentist's expertise. In these cases, it is recommended that you see an orthodontist who can help identify and implement treatment services that work for you. If you are wondering about whether scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist would be beneficial, keep reading below for just three of the most common ways they can help.
More so than anything else, braces are the treatment most people associate with visiting an orthodontist's office. Braces can be colorful or clear, but regardless of their appearance, they always serve to do one of two things: first, to either gradually straighten the teeth or, second, to correct a severe overbite, underbite, or crossbite. While braces might initially cause discomfort, they are powerful orthodontic tools that can eventually create a perfect smile. Whether you have a younger child whose teeth are not growing in completely straight, or you are an adult who wants to fix a longstanding malocclusion, speaking with an orthodontist about braces can be hugely beneficial.
Many children begin to experience orthodontic issues when their permanent teeth begin to grow in. One of the most common problems is that the upper jaw is too narrow to allow for comfortable growth, and therefore needs to be expanded. Thankfully, palate expanders are designed to do just that. By creating and inserting a custom metal device that is molded to the child's upper molars, the palate can gradually be made wider than the lower jaw. Such alignment allows for proper growth of permanent teeth as well as pain-free speech and chewing.
Most people are relieved when they remove their braces, and many may assume that there is nothing they need to do from that point forward. The truth is, however, that it is essential to ensure your teeth do not grow back into their previous positions. An orthodontist can help accomplish this by means of a permanent retainer, which is a custom device made of metal or plastic that fits perfectly over your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend that you wear your retainer both day and night for a few months after having your braces removed. After that, it is sufficient for most patients to wear their retainer only at night.
For more information, contact a local office like Laveen Smiles.