Ortho2Do you have crooked or crowded teeth?  Do you have an overbite or underbite? Orthodontics, commonly referring to braces, is a branch of dentistry that prevents, diagnoses, and corrects bad bites and crooked teeth.  When straight teeth meet the opposing teeth properly, it creates a healthy bite.  A healthy bite makes it easier to bite, chew and speak.  Orthodontics is usually associated with children and teenagers, but braces and clear aligners are also useful for adults who wish to correct long-standing problems.  If you have any of the following symptoms, Dr. Tom Watkins General Dentist in San Antonio, Texas may recommend orthodontic treatment.

  • Crowded teeth
  • Protrusive teeth
  • Teeth that are spaced too far apart
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or not at all
  • Misaligned jaw

Orthodontics uses appliances like braces and aligners to straighten teeth.  Braces are the most common means for straightening your smile and correcting bites.  Braces apply pressure to the teeth and jaws to move them into the optimal position.  Today’s braces use brackets that are bonded to each tooth’s surface, or behind the teeth to make them less noticeable, with wires connecting them.  For patients with minor orthodontic needs, clear aligners are an option.  Aligners are clear, custom-made trays that slip over the teeth.  They put pressure on them, moving them slowly into their ideal position.

To learn if orthodontic treatment is right for you and to schedule a consultation with our dentist, contact W Dental Group today!

Orthodontic FAQs

Ortho1Do braces hurt?
Your teeth may feel a little sore after your first receive braces and after straightening appointments, but this discomfort is minimal and goes away after a couple of days. If you want, you can take some over-the-counter pain medication to get rid of the soreness.

Do braces cause mouth sores?
The metal wire and brackets of braces can rub against your soft oral tissues and cause sores to develop after you first receive braces. However, there are oral rinses you can use to help your mouth heal as its tissues toughen against the braces. Ask our team for a recommendation.

When should a child receive an orthodontic consultation?
It is usually recommended that children as young as seven-years-old have an orthodontic consultation. Even though they haven’t gained all of their permanent teeth yet, there are some early orthodontic treatments available that prevent more serious alignment problems from developing in their future.

Can adults wear braces?
Orthodontia isn’t just for children; an adult can gain the straight, healthy smile they have always dreamed of when they visit our office for braces. If you want, you can ask us about using the clear, removable aligners of ClearCorrect instead of traditional metal braces.

How long do straightening treatments last?
Orthodontic treatment time is different for every patient depending on the severity of their malocclusion problems. Treatment often lasts 18-24 months, but some patients can gain a straight smile in as little as six months.

What foods should I avoid while wearing braces?
The general rule is to avoid foods that are either sticky or hard. Sticky foods like caramel, taffy, and chewing gum are difficult to clean off of braces and can even separate brackets from teeth. Hard foods like popcorn kernels, ice, and nuts can break the wires and brackets of braces.

Do I still need to have routine dental exams and cleanings while wearing braces?
Yes! In fact, these visit become even more important if you have braces because it is harder to brush and floss your teeth while wearing orthodontia. A dental team provides the professional cleanings and services needed to prevent the white spots of decalcified areas from developing around the brackets.What do I do if my braces break?
If you have a wire break, part of your braces poking your mouth, or a bracket separate from a tooth, then call our office immediately for emergency orthodontic care. We will put your treatment as a priority in order to stop the braces from hurting your mouth. Call us if you have an orthodontic problem so we can get your straightening treatment back on track.