About 25 percent of all orthodontic treatment performed today is on adult patients. Chances are that you too can benefit from orthodontic treatment.
Why Should I Have Orthodontics Now?
There are a number of reasons for deciding to have orthodontic treatment as an adult:
Orthodontics can help you enjoy a straighter smile, more even teeth and greater self-confidence in social and business settings. Other benefits include ease brushing & flossing and reduced chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease later on. You may also notice greater ease in chewing and swallowing.
What Will Happen at My First Appointment?
First your teeth, jaw, bite and profile will be evaluated. A panoramic X-ray, showing your head, face and jaw will be taken to help Dr. Bertolini take specific measurements and plan your treatment.
Impressions are also taken to record the way your teeth and jaw fit together. Dr. Bertolini will take photographs of your face, teeth, and profile. (Often the difference between the “before” and “after” photos is astounding!) From these diagnostic records the doctor will determine the type of malocclusion (improper bite) you have, as well as any other orthodontic problems.
How Teeth Are Moved?
Dr. Bertolini will move your teeth into a position using one or more appliances (like braces and retainers). Braces work by gently applying pressure to your teeth. This causes bone to be absorbed on one side. New bone then grows in and slowly hardens on the other side of your teeth, holding teeth in new position.
A number of factors will determine the best method of treatment for your individual case. Dr. Bertolini will consider the diagnosis and the amount of time necessary to achieve the desired result. Here are the most common treatment considerations and terms to familiarize yourself with. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have with Dr. Bertolini and his team.
Some orthodontic vocabulary
BANDS are metal braces usually attached to your back teeth.
BRACKETS are often bonded to your teeth, to hold special archwires.
SPACERS are small pieces of wire or plastic worn between your teeth for a week or two prior to getting your braces.
ARCHWIRES are the wires conforming to the dental arch used with braces to slowly move the irregular
teeth into proper occlusion.
LINGUAL BRACES are placed behind the teeth, so the brackets are not seen, for esthetic purposes.
HEADGEAR is sometimes prescribed to help the braces move your teeth.
ELASTICS are tiny rubber bands used to apply pressure to individual teeth, to help them move faster. They
are often used to hold your teeth in their correct position after the braces come off. These
can be permanent or removable.
Proper home care and nutrition are more important than ever in keeping your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. Brackets and or appliances provide extra areas which can easily trap food particles. Dr.
Bertolini has detailed instructions on how to brush and floss during treatment. You may also want to consider purchasing an oral irrigation device to help keep your smile sparkling.
It may be necessary to change your eating habits while wearing braces. Although you can still enjoy most of your favorite foods, there are some you should avoid. These include sticky foods and crunchy foods as they can knock off brackets or break arch wires and hinder the progress in your treatment. Hard foods are okay if cut into
bite-sized pieces. Sweets should be avoided.
Orthodontics is a personal decision and commitment that will affect the rest of your life. Working together with Dr. Bertolini will help you get the best possible esthetic result. You can do this by wearing your removable
appliances for the prescribed amount of hours per day, keeping your appointments and by having your teeth cleaned every six months. Remember your smile is yours to keep for a lifetime!