The duration of orthodontic treatment is related to the type and level of the existing disorder. In cases where the treatment is simpler such as minor crowding, orthodontic treatment can be completed within a few months, while in more difficult cases accompanied by skeletal disorders, the treatment may take several years.
Oral hygiene is very important during orthodontic treatment. In cases where good oral hygiene is not provided, the teeth can decay much faster during orthodontic treatment. The accumulation of plaque that may occur around the brackets and wires used can damage both teeth and gums. For this reason, standard tooth brushing is not sufficient to provide oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. As recommended by physicians, it is also necessary to properly clean around the brackets and wires with products for oral hygiene such as interface brushes, single-bundle brushes, special dental floss..
Especially during fixed orthodontic treatment, hard and shelled foods such as plums, nuts and these should not be consumed. Since these foods will exert strong pressure on the brackets, they can cause them to break and separate from the teeth. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted without wasting time and the treatment should be continued by attaching a new broken bracket.
Consumption of acidic beverages negatively affects the adhesion of teeth and brackets. For this reason, it is necessary to stay away from acidic beverages during orthodontic treatment.
If removable removable appliances are used in the treatment, these appliances should not be removed from the mouth except when eating, in order for the treatment to progress quickly. At the same time, the correct use and cleaning of the appliances as described by the physician is also important.
During orthodontic treatment, the stages of treatment are usually carried out once a month under the control of a physician. For this reason, care should be taken to regularly attend physician appointments.
After orthodontic treatment, sometimes there may be a small amount of return in the crowding. As a precaution against these, protective appliances or protective wires attached to the back of the teeth are applied to the patients. Even if the treatment is terminated, it is important to check the physicians twice a year in order to avoid any relapse.
Before orthodontic treatment, it is very important to examine the patient’s teeth and jaw structures and to determine the treatment need correctly. For this reason, a detailed intraoral examination is performed first. In addition, jaw models are obtained by taking measurements, and the closing shape of the teeth is determined by means of special waxes and applied to these models.
If there are problems such as decayed teeth and tartar in the patient’s mouth, these problems are resolved before orthodontic treatment is started.
Radiological images, namely x-ray films, make a great contribution to the classification of existing skeletal and dental disorders. Radiologic images called “cephalometric” and “panoramic” chin films are used to determine the need for orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic disorders are determined exactly by the angular calculations made by the physician on these x-ray films.
In cases where there are crooked teeth, which is called stenosis of the jaw, sometimes the jaws can be expanded by using expander appliances in order to properly line up the teeth. This method is generally used in young patients who have not yet completed their jaw development.
In cases where the necessary space cannot be provided in this way, tooth extractions can be performed.
Sometimes extraoral applications can be used in orthodontic disorders due to the position of the lower or upper jaw.
After solving the problems related to the lack of space and skeletal positions, it comes to the stage of ensuring the correct alignment and closure of the teeth. At this stage, special materials and wires called brackets and bonded to the teeth are used. While the appliances are generally used in removable ways, the brackets and the wires attached to them are fixed in the mouth. For this reason, bracket treatments are referred to as fixed orthodontic treatment.
While conventional metal brackets can be used in fixed orthodontic treatments, aesthetic ceramic brackets can also be used according to the patient’s request. In some cases, the method known as “lingual orthodontics” can be applied, in which the brackets are attached to the back parts of the teeth facing the tongue instead of the front faces.
Sometimes, special tires are used together with brackets and wires in order to close the teeth correctly and to create the correct alignment of the teeth.