Teeth Straightening

Having straight teeth isn’t just beneficial to the way they look, but also results in better oral health. Swollen and red gums can be the result of crowded teeth or teeth that are too far apart. These symptoms are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are straightened, gums fit securely around the teeth – creating the strongest and healthiest defence against potential periodontal problems.

Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. If these conditions are left untreated, they can cause mouth sores, tender/bleeding gums, bad breath and potential tooth loss. Studies have also shown that oral infections can lead to more serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes. Teeth that are correctly aligned can also improve problems that are known to be caused by an improper bite: speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems and increased wear on the tooth enamel.

Teeth can wear unevenly as a result of an overbite or an underbite. Forces of chewing are ideally distributed equally, however when teeth are not aligned correctly, extra force is positioned on just a few teeth rather than all. This can cause pain and excessive wear on the teeth. Misaligned teeth can also result in other issues such as TMJ dysfunction in the presence of unintentional altering of the mouths position when chewing.

Crowded teeth are difficult to clean properly with a standard toothbrush. Plaque that is left behind after brushing and flossing starts to turn into tartar within 24 hours. This cannot be removed with a toothbrush, so tartar needs to be removed by a professional dental hygienist. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and free of daily plaque build-up.

The most common thing that people with misaligned teeth do, is hide their smiles. They cover their mouths when they laugh as they are embarrassed for anyone to see their teeth. It turns into an ingrained social response. Straight white teeth are a confidence booster and with that comes higher self-esteem.

The ideal age to commence orthodontic treatment is between 8 and 14 years old as growth is still occurring. An assessment for orthodontic treatment is recommended by the age of 7 to determine if early intervention is required. Crowding generally gets worse over time as teeth continue to move even through adult life. Teeth can be straightened with either removable appliances or fixed braces. In some cases of crowding, teeth may require extraction to create space for teeth to become aligned. Clear retainers may need to be worn nightly after orthodontic treatment.

There are multiple options to straighten crooked teeth, including: Braces, Invisalign® and Inman Aligners®.

Braces

There are ideal age groups to commence brace treatment; however any age group is eligible. It’s recommended that children be assessed for early intervention regarding orthodontics by the age of 7. If early intervention is required, it may be a two-stage process.

The first stage addresses overcrowding of teeth or bite problems. An example of first stage treatment is the use of a removable expansion appliance called a “palatal expander” to expand a narrow upper jaw with crowded teeth that don’t fit correctly with the teeth in the lower jaw. This device increases the amount of space available and lets the teeth fit in alignment, thus making the upper jaw line up better with the lower. It is important to assess a child’s tooth development as widening of the palate can only happen during a small time frame in a growing child before the bone becomes too developed to change. Braces may be used during the first stage depending on the situation.

After stage one, there is a resting period to allow most or all of the permanent teeth to erupt. Stage two begins around the age of 12 or 13. This is the stage where the alignment of teeth is addressed using full braces.

Tooth alignment can be achieved in one stage if the time frame for two-stage treatment has passed. However, if this is the case, if there is significant crowding, some teeth may need to extracted to create room for the teeth to move.

Anyone who would like to have straighter teeth or improve their bite may be a good candidate for braces. A comprehensive examination with a qualified clinician is required to determine whether one is a good candidate for braces.

Invisalign®

Invisalign is a more modern method of straightening teeth and treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite. The appeal to use Invisalign instead of braces to straighten teeth is primarily due to Invisalign being much less obvious. Invisalign uses custom made, clear, removable aligners that gradually move teeth into a more ideal position. The aligners need to be changed approximately every two weeks until treatment is complete.

The final results of Invisalign treatment compared to Braces is practically the same, the differences being in the process of the treatment. There are benefits in having removable aligners compared to fixed braces, including being able to eat all foods, being able to remove the aligners when you want and brush and floss teeth normally.

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Inman Aligner®

The Inman Aligner is a removable appliance that is designed to align the front six teeth. It can be used for cases where there’s crowding, protrusion, rotations and crossbite. Aligning front teeth correctly benefits the long-term health of the teeth. The Inman Aligner is an ideal option for those who have previously had orthodontic treatment and the teeth have started moving out of their ideal positioning.

It’s an effective accompaniment for patients who wish to have a smile make-over, as it can be used for simple or complex cases. A simple case may involve Inman Aligner treatment alone or combined with tooth whitening and cosmetic bonding (white filling material added to tooth surfaces to shape teeth). For complex cases, the Inman Aligner may be used to pre-align teeth so that they don’t require as much preparation and Porcelain Veneers can be thin (teeth would require less surface to be taken away for room to be made for veneers).

The Inman Aligner is the perfect solution for people who are only have issues with their front six teeth being crowded or protruding. The treatment is fast, safe and excellent value. The teeth are gently guided into an ideal position in a matter of weeks. Majority of cases are completed within 6-16 weeks and has the added benefit of being removable to suit your lifestyle.

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Please call us on (07) 3359 7893 or submit an enquiry via our ‘Contact Us’ page if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment for a consultation to find what teeth straightening options will work for you.