Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry which deals straightening of crooked teeth and management of misalignment of the jaws. Most people ask for this treatment to improve the appearance of their teeth but in reality, well aligned teeth and jaws are a functional necessity as they have a reduced risk of tooth decay, gum disease and TMJ dysfunctions.
Orthodontists do not just make crooked teeth straight; they actually remodel the bone along with the tooth straightening. This is why children make ideal cases as their bones are fairly pliable, soft and beginning to grow and change hence is easy to guide. The ideal time is often between 12-14 years of age when all the milk teeth have fallen off and permanent teeth have erupted.
There are lots of reasons that many of us grew up with crooked teeth. Perhaps our parents could not afford the braces, or perhaps we refused treatment because the only option at that time was removable braces that were uncomfortable. For whatever reason, lots of us wish we could now have what we didn’t get when we were youngsters.
Well, the good news is that Orthodontics is not just for kids anymore!
Conventional orthodontics come with some inherent limitations such as unattractive appearance, food entrapment in the braces and poor hygiene since cleaning of nooks and crannies of brackets by normal tooth-brushing and flossing practices is inefficient. Often embarrassment of straightening of teeth as an adult is another barrier, especially when the teeth are mildly crooked. One does not want to look vain in front of peers, family and friends.
So what exactly are clear aligners?