Finding the best orthodontics in Chicago means you first need to understand what orthodontics is and how it benefits your child.
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting improperly positioned teeth and jaws. In addition to detracting from your appearance, crooked teeth can cause complications.
Crooked teeth impair your ability to brush and floss properly, making them prone to decay.
Having crooked teeth can also put stress on the chewing muscles which leads to TMJ syndrome, neck and shoulder pain, as well as headaches.
Orthodontic treatment can produce a healthier mouth and a beautiful smile.
Who Needs Orthodontics?
You may benefit from orthodontics if you have any of the following conditions.
- Open bite- a space between the biting surface of the front and/or side teeth
- Overbite- front teeth that are too far forward
- Crossbite- upper teeth do not come down in front of the lower teeth
- Underbite- lower teeth are too far forward or upper teeth are too far back
- Spacing- spaces, or gaps, between the teeth
- Crowding- teeth are too close together, or overlap
- Misplaced midline- center of the upper front teeth does not line up with the center of the front lower teeth
Your orthodontist will review your medical and dental history, do a clinical exam, produce plaster molds of your teeth and take special x-rays and photographs to decide whether you need treatment.
If it is recommended, the orthodontist will create a unique treatment plan for you.
How Orthodontics Work
There are many options when it comes to orthodontic treatment.
The appliances use gentle pressure to shift teeth into the proper position, retrain muscles, and manipulate the growth of the jaw.
Some types of orthodontic treatment include:
- Braces-most common type of fixed appliances. These include bands, wires, and brackets. Brackets are bonded to the teeth and arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. This puts pressure on the teeth and helps them gradually move into the proper position. These traditional braces are normally adjusted each month.
- Special Fixed Appliances- these are used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. They are attached to the teeth by bands. These are generally only used as a last resort because they can be quite uncomfortable during meals.
- Fixed Space Maintainers- a space maintainer is used to fill gaps between baby teeth and keep them open until the permanent tooth erupts.
- Removable Space Maintainers- While they serve the same function as fixed space maintainers, these can be removed.
- Aligners- Serial aligners are used to straighten teeth without metal wires and brackets. They are made from clear, hard plastic that is removable. They are virtually invisible and allow for normal eating, brushing, and flossing.
- Lip and Cheek Bumpers-because the lip and cheek muscles exert pressure on the teeth, sometime bumpers are needed. They keep the lips and cheeks away from the teeth.
- Palatal Expander- this device is used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is devised of a plastic plate that covers the roof of the mouth. Screws apply pressure to the plate that forces the joints in the palatal bones to expand and open.
- Jaw Repositioning Appliances- these are worn on either the top or bottom jaw and retrain the jaw to close in a proper position. It is used to treat TMJ disorders.
- Headgear- This device consists of a strap that is placed around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front. It slows the growth of the upper jaw and holds the teeth back.
- Removable Retainers- these devices are used after orthodontic treatment to prevent the teeth from shifting back into an improper position.
Best Orthodontics in Chicago
If you are concerned that your child may need orthodontics, it is best to act soon. Early treatment of orthodontics produces better outcomes.
If you are looking for the best orthodontics in Chicago, contact Dr. Smith today to schedule a consultation.