Malocclusions, or bad bites are very common, and fortunately quite easy to fix. Frequently the product of tooth crowding, malocclusions affect your smile and appearance, and may interfere with your ability to floss. Oftentimes, braces are a simple and very effective way to move your teeth into their appropriate positions and fix the overall shape of your bite. Braces are not just for kids anymore; in fact, they’re now an appealing solution for people of all ages. It is never too late to improve your smile.

The first step toward correcting a malocclusion is to ask your dentist for a reference to an orthodontist. Orthodontists are specialists trained to deal with irregularities of the teeth. To obtain an accurate diagnosis and decide on the plan of treatment that is best for you, the orthodontist may take x-rays of your mouth or a plaster cast of your teeth and gums. He or she will then construct a custom-fitted appliance that will correct the specific problems in your bite. Brackets are then bonded to your teeth with a wire running between them. Throughout the course of your treatment, your braces are adjusted periodically so that your teeth move gradually into place.

The exact time required for braces to correct tooth alignment varies from person to person, but it is usually around 2 years. Adults may take a little longer to treat, but many feel the results are worth it. If you’ve been thinking about correcting your bite, but have concerns about your appearance during treatment, several less noticeable options are now available. The brackets that hold the wires in place can be translucent or tooth colored. Some people even opt for braces in the back of their teeth, depending on the kind of correction required.

While there is no question that braces are expensive, millions of children and adults continue to opt for appliances that will fix their bites. Many feel that the cost and slight inconvenience more than justify the end results-a beautiful smile to be proud of. The popular procedures we’ve just discussed are only some of the ways in which dentistry is helping people obtain the perfect smile.

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