The good news about people who have crowded teeth is that there are several ways to remedy them. In those uncommon cases where the person simply has more teeth than normal, the excess teeth can be pulled. However, most people have the normal number of teeth, and the answer to the crowding problem may be braces or an alignment system such as Invisalign. In children, crowded teeth are sometimes treated with a palate expander before braces or Invisalign are prescribed by our Texas orthodontists.
How Braces and Aligners Work
Braces and aligners work by slowly and steadily putting pressure on the teeth to move them into their correct positions. This process can take between six months and a number of years depending on the type and severity of problem that needs to be fixed.
Braces are devices that are placed on the teeth to align them. Traditional braces do this with the help of brackets, wires and rubber bands. The brackets can be attached to the front of the teeth or at the back of the teeth, in which case they’re called lingual braces. Lingual braces are invisible to a viewer. Another type of braces is made up of metal ligatures that are placed around the teeth.
Aligners such as Invisalign work under the same principles as braces, but the difference is they can be taken out by the patient. This frees the patient from having to avoid sticky or crunchy foods and having to take special care of their oral hygiene. Aligners come in plastic trays that the orthodontist changes every two weeks or so as the patient’s teeth come into alignment. They take about the same amount of time to work as regular braces, but the patent must remember to wear them 23 out of 24 hours a day. For this and other reasons, they may not be the best solution for younger children who may forget to put them back in after they take them out.
Some of our Texas patients are given orthodontics to help space their teeth or to prepare them for braces. A palate expander is often given to children whose teeth are crowded. This device actually pulls the edges of the palate apart to make more room in the mouth for the teeth. Though this sounds torturous, it is no more uncomfortable than braces, for the palate in a child doesn’t fuse until they reach puberty.
Contact Us if You’re Worried About Crowded Teeth
If you or your child have crowded teeth that are making it difficult to eat or speak or are affecting your or their appearance, reach out to make an appointment with Central Texas Orthodontics! At our convenient location in Austin, our caring and knowledgeable team of professionals will be pleased to explain your options in full and help you decide which route is the best for you. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!