Orthodontic Treatment. Don’t shy away!!!

Dr Rahul Krishan Sharma
The flawless and well defined set of teeth reflects elegance and vitality. Most importantly, perfect tooth positions provide optimal conditions for good health and longevity of your dentition. Recent advances in the science and art of braces, “Orthodontics”, enables correction of extreme tooth positions in a systemic and controlled manner, to give you drastically improved teeth at any age.
Masterpieces are never urgent, neither are they built overnight. Everything that’s beautiful and pleasant requires some amount of time, be it a smile makeover for that sake.Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is a time bound procedure and should not be hurried to achieve results. This article primarily holds the concern of the people who at any point of time ever thought of getting an orthodontic treatment done either for their kids or them per se. Since orthodontic treatment involves a good amount of money and time it becomes very genuine for the patient’s part to be aware and demanding of the things. The article majorly contains some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about orthodontics. Listed below :
What is Orthodontic Treatment?
An orthodontic treatment involves building beautifully positioned teeth and jaws that will function and appear terrific throughout life.
Who does this treatment?
Orthodontists are the best Specialists to offer Orthodontic treatment. An Orthodontist is a specialist dental surgeon, who after graduating from 5 year BDS program, goes for another 3 year post graduate program just in Orthodontics.
When should the child undergo his/her first Orthodontic check-up?
Its recommended that your child gets an Orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. By then, your child’s teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth.
What is right age limit to undertake Orthodontic Treatment?
Your age is not a consideration for orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth, bone and gums can be moved at any age. Though orthodontic treatment conventionally was carried out for children and young adults, braces today are a reality at any age.
What is the approximate cost for this treatment?
Cost of Orthodontic treatment varies widely. The expenses vary due tothe complexity (difficulty) of the problem, the experience of the orthodontist, the place/ locality, the technique/appliance used. Certain techniques like invisible aligners, ceramic braces, lingual braces are more expensive than routine metal braces. Prospective patients should ask for information from the orthodontist/ dentist.
Do the orthodontic appliance / braces hurt?
Teeth may feel sore and eating may be difficult for a day or two after the orthodontic appliance is placed. These problems gradually ease away as you get accustomed to the appliance/ braces. Pain killers may be prescribed occasionally by your doctor if needed. Lukewarm water mouth rinses also ease the process.
For how long will I undergo Treatment?
It depends upon the severity of the problem. However, most of the cases can be treated in about 18 to 24 months. The problem needs and demands of each patient are unique. Therefore, the length and type of treatment varies from patient to patient.
What is the frequency of my visits to the Orthodontic clinic?
Usually it will be once in four weeks unless it is an call for some emergency. Orthodontic emergency includes protruding wire, irritation on lips or cheeks, loose brackets wires or bands or if any piece of an appliance is swallowed.
What if I miss a scheduled appointment?
In unavoidable circumstances inform the doctor. Maintain cleanliness of appliance and do not break any part of the appliance (in case of breakage, inform the doctor) and usage of elastics (if prescribed) should not be discontinued.
Are there any diet restrictions?
Although you can eat or drink many foods while in orthodontic treatment, certain eating habits are known to cause breakage of appliance and increase risk of dental problems and delay treatment. It is strongly suggested to avoid these foods: Ice, sticky or hard candy, caramel, chocolates, chikky, hard chips, peanuts, corn, popcorn, coconut, biting into apples etc.  In addition it is advisable not to chew on pen, pencils, hairpin or other hard objects.
Does orthodontic treatment always need extraction of teeth?
Extraction requirement differ from patient to patient. Some may require removal; however some are best treated non-extraction. After a thorough diagnosis, your orthodontist only will tell you regarding your case.
What are the precautions to be exercised after removal of braces?
Once your braces have been removed ,you and your orthodontist would want to maintain / keep your teeth in the same place where your braces moved them. The best way to do that is by wearing retainers. Your orthodontist will provide retainers for you to wear. Wearing your
Retainers as instructed are the key to maintaining the success of your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will determine how long you’ll need to wear your retainers.
What if the subject is given an option of cosmetic makeover of smile by aesthetic restorations rather undergoing orthodontic treatment?
Cosmetic dentistry in lieu of orthodontic treatment , because braces take longer time, is a misguided treatment decision . Changes achieved by orthodontics are permanent and ensure long term health of teeth and jaws. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance orthodontic treatment effects, but never substitute them.
I don’t want my braces to be seen, do I have an option?
Orthodontic advancements in last few decades have provided us various options of braces. Lingual braces are put on inner side of the teeth. Ceramic brackets are tooth coloured brackets and thereby have minimum display onto the teeth.  Both these are viable options over conventional metal braces.