Why do I look forward to October every year? First of all, it’s my wife’s birthday month. Secondly, it’s National Orthodontic Health Month. Since you already know about birthdays, let me help you better understand about orthodontists, orthodontic treatment and how we do more than give people a better-looking smile here in Charlottesville and Staunton. Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the formal name of my dental specialty, which is concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, intervention and correction of bad bites. In 1929, orthodontics became the first recognized specialty in dentistry. Today, orthodontic specialty training requires a two to three year post-doctoral orthodontic certification in addition to the four-year dental degree program.
The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy bite — straight teeth that properly meet opposing teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. Braces are one of the appliances I use to guide your teeth into their proper positions, and retainers preserve and stabilize the results of orthodontic treatment once completed.
Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. In the past, orthodontic treatment was associated with children and teens, but today more and more adults are wearing them, for a variety of reasons.
Some adults want to correct problems with their teeth or jaws before they cause serious or further damage. Others want to feel better about their appearance by addressing longstanding cosmetic concerns. Keep in mind that even “cosmetic” problems can cause real damage over time. Teeth and jaws that are not aligned properly can lead to premature wear and tear, advanced tooth decay and gum disease, dentures or other reconstructive solutions and even more extensive surgery to correct serious problems.
New techniques and the advent of clear, less noticeable braces means that adults are increasingly turning to braces to correct:
- Gaps between teeth (spacing)
- Teeth that push against one another (crowding)
- Crooked teeth
If you think you might benefit from braces, feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation. Or just call me with any questions you might have about the orthodontic process. You make the call ~ we’ll do the rest. Now, that’s something to smile about!
Dr. Mark Cloth
Charlottesville and Staunton, VA Orthodontist