Patients sometimes experience overcrowding of teeth, extra or missing teeth, protruding teeth and sometimes jaw growth problems. Orthodontic treatment is not just about aligning teeth, but also about the health and function of the teeth, jaws and muscles. Some orthodontic problems can be caused by poor habits of the lips, cheeks and tongue that were established during early childhood. These myofunctional habits (eg. tongue thrust, mouth breathing) can affect the growth of the jaws but can be changed with the help of some daily specific exercises.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include:
- Improving function: it is important to ascertain and maintain good function of teeth to reduce risk of tooth wear or jaw problems in the future.
- Improving appearance of smile: people are very aware of how their teeth look. An attractive smile can play an important role in enhancing self-confidence.
- Better cleaning of teeth: teeth that are crowded and overlapping can be difficult to clean. Inadequate cleaning is a major factor in tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause tooth loss.
- Improving facial appearance: by reducing poor habits with the lips, cheeks and tongue, the jaws can then grow to their full potential
Dr Kyle and Alex Tsikleas include an orthodontic assessment with every examination from toddlers to adults. The earlier the assessment, the better. Early intervention often results in less cost, less treatment time and often better long-term results.