An orthodontist is a dental specialist that straightens and align the teeth. If you have crooked teeth and are unhappy with your smile, an orthodontist can help. There are many tools and methods an orthodontist may use to give you the straight, pearly whites you've always wanted. Some common tools that they might use include:
Braces are probably the most popular tool that an orthodontist will use. Consisting of metal or ceramic brackets, metal bands, and wires, braces are attached to the teeth via glue and anchors. Over time, the orthodontist will tighten the braces to shift your teeth into a straighter and more aligned position. Although braces might sound painful, they are usually painless and fairly comfortable.
For those that don't want traditional braces, there are also the invisible style straightener which consists of several plastic plates. The plates are worn on the teeth for the majority of the day. When it is time to adjust, you simply take out the existing plate and put a new one on. Over time, these clear plates will shift the teeth into a proper position.
Another tool the orthodontist might use are spacers. Consisting of plastic, these small rings are fitted between the teeth to create the desired affect. They may be used alone or in conjunction with braces.
3. Bite Plates
If you have an over or under bite, the orthodontist might also use bite plates. These plates are made from acrylic and have little metal hooks. The metal hooks attach to the teeth to create a more permanent plate. If you have a large bite gap, you will generally wear this device first before going on to get braces.
If you have already undergone orthodontic treatment, you will likely need a retainer. This handy device helps to keep the teeth in their straightened position. Created from acrylic, these devices have a metal wire that cross in front of the teeth. For those who don't want their retainer to be seen, you can opt for an invisible version which consists of heavy-duty, clear plastic.
Finally, if you have a tight or small jaw you might need to use an expander. Constructed from metal, these devices attach to the teeth and rest against the roof of the mouth. Over time, the device is adjusted to create a wider jaw. Although it might not sound necessary, these tools can help ensure that your teeth are no longer over crowded.
As you can see, orthodontists use a variety of tools to help give you a strong and straight smile. If you are interested in having your teeth realigned, talk to your dentist about visiting an orthodontist.