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In a perception study by strategic consultancy firm Kelton in 2012, about one-third or 29 percent of Americans said a person’s teeth is the most striking feature that draws them from the get-go.
Also, people with a straight set of teeth are perceived more likely to succeed and be wealthy than those with a crooked set of teeth despite similarities in skills and experiences.
Two in five Americans or 38 percent said they would not think about going on a second date with a person with misaligned teeth.
Many Americans consider an attractive smile more important than having clear skin. 39 percent said they are willing to forego a year of desserts while 37 percent said they would let go of a year of vacation for a healthier smile.
A smile is the “best accessory.” Knowing this is no longer surprising. After all, about 80 percent of Americans subscribe to orthodontic treatment.
Archaeological findings suggest that orthodontics traces its history to more than 2,000 years ago. Orthodontics was part of medicine in response to the need and want of people for a better smile.
Orthodontics, a combination of the Greek words orthos (correct or straight) and odont (tooth), is a dental specialty involved in the prevention, diagnosis, and correction of incorrectly positioned teeth. It is one of the American Dental Association-acknowledged dental specialties.
Candidates for orthodontic treatment include those with buck teeth, underbite, crossbite, misplaced midline, spacing and crowding problems.
Correcting such teeth alignment issues is imperative. Other than its aesthetic consequence, having crooked and malpositioned teeth also pose problems to oral health. As they are difficult to clean, the risk of decay and gum disease increases. They can also stress the chewing muscles that can cause headaches; temporomandibular jaw disorder; and neck, shoulder, and back pains.
There is no specified age when to correct the crooked teeth. Still, early treatment can help prevent further complications.
Orthodontic treatments can either be through fixed or removable appliances. Fixed orthodontic devices include braces, space maintainers, and other appliances. Removable orthodontic devices include aligners like Invisalign, removable space maintainers, palatal expanders, and removable retainers. Additionally, removable appliances include lip and cheek bumpers, jaw repositioning appliances, and headgear.
Braces are common devices to help improve an individual’s orofacial appearance. This orthodontic appliance is made up of brackets which run along a wire. The brackets and wires then press against the teeth. Applying pressure, braces provide minimal movements to straighten and align the teeth.
Braces include different options — metal, clear or tooth-colored, lingual, or gold. With braces, the treatment period usually lasts, on average, 18 to 24 months. The time frame is dependent on the severity of the case and the response of the patient to the treatment program.
Another popular option in the orthodontic treatment is clear aligners like Invisalign. Invisalign is a set of computer-generated trays which are “invisible” and removable. With this appliance, orthodontic treatment is less noticeable.
A specialist will conduct an X-ray of the teeth. Then, they will use the impressions and pictures to produce an accurate image of the teeth and set up the aligner trays.
Consult an orthodontist regarding the right solution to address your orthodontic problem. At Hawaii Family Dental, all treatment options are laid out to you. That way, you can properly weigh the pros and cons of each method and arrive at the treatment plan best fit for your needs and conditions.
Hawaii Family Dental offers teen orthodontics, adult orthodontics, and Invisalign. Our orthodontists are recognized as the “Best Dentists” by Honolulu Magazine.
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