Although orthodontic problems occur due to genetic reasons, they can also occur due to long-term use of pacifiers or bottles during infancy, finger sucking, loss of milk teeth before they should be, or problems such as adenoids or polyps occurring in the respiratory tract. When children reach the age of 7, they must be consulted with an orthodontist to understand whether orthodontic treatment is needed.
What is Orthodontics?
It is possible to collect the subjects of orthodontics, which is one of the specialties of dentistry, under 3 main headings. The first of these titles is to place the teeth in the most correct position on the jaw. Another topic is to ensure that the lower jaw and the upper jaw are in harmony with each other. And the last topic is the correction of the skeletal structure of the jaw.
If the teeth are crowded or if the teeth are not positioned correctly on the jaw, it is much more difficult to clean the teeth. In such cases, the risk of developing periodontal diseases, also called periodontal diseases, increases. As a matter of fact, this process can even cause premature loss of teeth. In addition, the pressure on the jaw muscles may increase due to the incorrect positioning of the teeth on the jaw. In such a case, temporomandibular joint disorders are likely to occur. Such joint disorders may cause complaints such as headache, shoulder pain and back pain in patients. In addition to the health problems in question, an aesthetically pleasing appearance does not occur. Therefore, an orthodontic treatment is necessary in order to eliminate the problems in question, to have a much healthier oral structure and to make the image aesthetically pleasing.
In Which Situations Is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
A meeting with a dentist or orthodontist is a must to understand whether you need orthodontic treatment. In this process, the mouth and work are examined by the orthodontist and help from x-rays and similar techniques can be taken to view the jaw structure. In this way, your disease can be detected and the necessary treatment process can be planned. Situations where orthodontic treatment is necessary can be listed as follows:
- The condition called overbite, where the upper front teeth are positioned ahead of the lower front teeth,
- The situation where the lower front teeth are located ahead of the upper front teeth, which is called overjet,
- The condition of overlapping the lower front and upper front teeth, called crossbite or crossbite,
- The condition that the lower front and upper front teeth do not come into contact with each other during the closing, which is called openbite or open bite,
- The midline of the upper front teeth does not coincide with the midline of the lower front teeth, which is called midline shift,
- The condition of having gaps between the teeth, which can occur genetically or due to tooth extraction,
- Insufficient space for the teeth to line up on the jaw or crowding.
The treatment of all these conditions is only possible with orthodontic treatment. Early initiation of orthodontic treatment will stop the progression of these conditions and prevent more serious problems from occurring.
How Is Orthodontic Treatment Done?
Orthodontic treatment can be performed in two different ways, fixed and mobile. Although the type of treatment is determined by the severity of the problem, the main approach in the treatment is to apply light force to the teeth or jaw.
Fixed Practices in Orthodontic Treatment
The most commonly used fixed application in orthodontic treatment is bracket attachment. In this form of treatment, wires, brackets or tires can be used. After the brackets are adhered to the teeth, the wires passed through the brackets apply force to the teeth. In this way, the teeth are gradually moved to ensure correct positioning of the teeth. A treatment applied in this way may last only a few months, sometimes even years. In order to make adjustments on the wires, control is required every month or as planned by the orthodontist. Thus, the desired improvement in the teeth is ensured. Brackets used today are much lighter and contain as little metal as possible. Brackets produced as transparent for adults can also be produced in different colors to motivate children.
Apart from the bracket application, there are also special fixed applications. For example, appliances are used to eliminate the habit of thumb sucking in children. The prepared appliances are attached to the teeth with the help of tapes. They are generally preferred when alternative methods do not work because they can cause problems during feeding. Another application is fixed placeholders. If the primary teeth are lost early in children, fixed placeholders are placed in this gap. Thus, until the permanent teeth come out, other teeth are prevented from slipping into this space.
Mobile Applications in Orthodontic Treatment
There are 7 different movable applications used in orthodontic treatment. These animated apps are:
Aligner or Bracketless Treatment
There are no brackets or wires in this treatment method for adults. Therefore, it is always the first choice by orthodontists. The aligners used in this treatment method, which is applied to align the teeth, are usually transparent. They can also be removed during activities such as eating and brushing teeth.
Movable placeholders work functionally the same as fixed placeholders. Movable placeholders, consisting of an acrylic base and placed on the jaw, fill the gap between the teeth with wire or plastic.
Improved Appliances for Repositioning the Jaw
These appliances, which can be placed on the lower jaw or milk jaw, are called splints. With this treatment method, which is applied to correct temporomandibular joint disorders, the jaw is closed in a better position.
Lip and Cheek Bumper
While this movable tool prevents the lip and cheek from getting between the teeth, it also pushes the teeth back. The bumpers applied prevent the lip and cheek muscles from exerting force on the teeth.
This tool, which helps to expand the upper jaw, is made of a plastic material and is seated on the palate. In order to open the bones under the palate by moving, force is applied by using screws.
Movable reinforcers, also called passive appliances, are used to protect the position of the teeth after the treatment is completed and to prevent the teeth from returning to their original state. If properly modified, it can also be used to eliminate thumb sucking habit.
A band is placed on the back of the head and this band is attached to the front of the head with a metal wire. This tool, called the headgear, while slowing down the development of the upper jaw, on the other hand, keeps the back teeth in place. This allows the front teeth to move backwards.
The earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the easier and faster it will be to treat problems. Therefore, it is of great importance for children to make a habit of meeting with the dentist or orthodontist from an early age.