A specialized area of dentistry, orthodontics (braces) treats malocclusions (improper bites), poor jaw alignment, and irregularly positioned (crooked or crowded) teeth. Commonly used to improve a patient’s appearance, orthodontics can also improve the ability to chew and enunciate properly, relieve jaw pain, and ease breathing, digestion and swallowing.
While orthodontic care applies to people of all ages, most treatment involves children aged five to 16. Treatment, which can range from months to several years, gradually moves the teeth using various apparatus:
- Clear or colored brackets and wires that reposition teeth
- Functional appliances and metal braces that help the jaw align properly
- Invisalign® clear plastic aligners that straighten teeth without braces
During your comprehensive exam, we will evaluate your orthodontic needs. If your orthodontic issues are complex, we’ll refer you to an orthodontic specialist. But often, Dr. Bickley can provide simple aligners and/or retainers to make minor changes without braces or elaborate devices. She can also provide cosmetic teeth whitening after your procedure to help your new smile shine.
Once you complete orthodontic treatment, be sure to wear your retainer nightly to keep teeth aligned and reinforce jaw changes. This simple step can help you keep your new smile and avoid additional orthodontic care.