Do you keep your mouth closed in pictures? Do you feel embarrassed by your smile because of crooked teeth or another condition? Then the best option for you would be to go and see your orthodontist. Orthodontists are dentists with advanced training in making teeth change positions, and can realign crooked teeth into a straight, healthy smile. Dr. Nooshi Akavan of Akavan Orthodontics has plenty of experience working with patients who have the same problems, and is here to explain what causes many to seek orthodontic treatment or braces near Northridge, CA.
Types of Malocclusions
According to the American Association of Orthodontics (or AAO), one in five orthodontic patients in the US are adults, with the other 80% being teens or children. The main reason that people near Northridge, CA see Dr. Nooshi Akavan, is to fix a malocclusion- or “bad bite.” Common types of malocclusions include spacing, underbite, overbite, open bite, overjet, and crossbite.
Spacing or crowding- Too much or too little room can prevent permanent teeth from coming in properly (impacted teeth).
Underbite- When the lower teeth protrude farther out than the upper teeth.
Overbite- When a person’s upper front teeth come too far down over the lower front teeth. In extreme cases, the lower teeth can bite into the roof of the mouth.
Open bite- When the lower and upper front teeth don’t overlap, an opening straight through the teeth and into the mouth is created.
Overjet- Otherwise known as “Upper Protrusion,” the upper front teeth are pushed outward, commonly caused by a small lower jaw, or a change in the shape of the upper palate due to thumb-sucking or pacifier use.
Crossbite- When any of the upper teeth fit into the wrong side of the lower teeth.
The Orthodontic Process
There are many methods that an orthodontist will use to fix these types of malocclusions. The first step is Assessment. Dr. Akavan and an Akavan Orthodontics associate will assess the current state of your teeth and predict how likely they are to develop without orthodontic treatment. A full medical and dental health history, x-rays of the teeth and jaw, a clinical examination, and a plaster model of the patient’s teeth will help the doctor determine your treatment options. The second step is Treatment. Fixed appliances are used when precision is imperative. Although patients can eat normally with these appliances, they are recommended to avoid some foods and drinks that may damage them. Appliances regularly used are braces, fixed space maintainers, or special fixed appliances, the latter of which should only be used if necessary. Unlike fixed appliances, removable appliances can be taken out of the patient’s mouth at any time. However, they should only be taken out when cleaning, eating, flossing, or if the doctor recommends that they be removed for activities like sports or playing an instrument. Orthodontists regularly use removable retainers, lip and cheek bumpers, splints, aligners (like Invisalign), palatal expanders and headgear. The third step is known as Debanding, or the removal of any fixed appliances and ceasing to use removable appliances. However, it is recommended that you wear a retainer after treatment to ensure that your teeth don’t shift from their new positions. The general rule for wearing your retainer is “Wear your retainer for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.”
Dr. Nooshi Akavan and the team at Akavan Orthodontics will be more than happy to assist you with making your orthodontic treatment as professional and painless as possible. If you’re looking for braces near Northridge, CA, then contact us by calling 818-345-9601 to schedule a consultation and start your treatment today!