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The More You Know: How the Cosmetic Aspects of Orthodontic Dentistry Can Change Your Smile

Posted in Adults, Braces, Children, Clear Aligners, General, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Teens, Tips & Advice

You might know that orthodontic treatment is designed to help create a healthier bite and ensure your teeth function properly, but did you know there are cosmetic reasons a patient may choose orthodontic care? Here, our orthodontists and teams explain the cosmetic dentistry. 

What are some cosmetic reasons people choose orthodontic treatment?

Some patients come to us with dental irregularities that require orthodontic treatment. This may be due to issues with jaw development or positioning, misalignment of teeth, genetics, environmental factors, accidents, injuries or other reasons. 

No matter the specific issue, all of these irregularities are classified under one umbrella term: malocclusion. This includes impacted teeth, crowded or crooked teeth, and teeth that may have gaps or too much space between them. 

While these irregularities can cause pain and long-term damage to your oral health, they can also cause aesthetic issues, and affect confidence and self-esteem. Improper positioning of teeth can also make brushing and flossing more difficult, leading to tooth discolouration, cavities, decay, gum disease and in severe cases, bone loss. Of course, all these conditions along with the original problem not only negatively affect long-term oral health, but also the appearance of your smile. 

You may find yourself hesitating to reveal your full smile in photos, avoiding speaking or eating in public or looking at your reflection in the mirror, wondering if anything can be done to help straighten teeth that may be crooked.

The good news: with advancements in orthodontic treatment and technology, there are now low-profile treatment options that can help discreetly resolve your (or your child's) orthodontic issues while focusing on the needs of the patient. While resolving orthodontic issues and straightening your teeth, braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic treatment options can reduce your risk of suffering gum disease, cavities and other conditions that can affect the appearance of your smile in the long-term.

Meanwhile, the average observer would be hard-pressed to tell you are wearing most types of braces or clear aligners.

Though these options present different aesthetic opportunities, at  My ORTHODONTIST we focus on establishing an overall balance for dento-facial health and providing holistic, non-invasive orthodontic treatment. Patients will sometimes ask our orthodontists questions such as, "What is cosmetic dentistry?" and whether we provide cosmetic dental services.

While orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is a dental specialty recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, cosmetic dentistry is not and we do not offer cosmetic dental services. However, many dentists do provide cosmetic dental treatments such as bonding or veneers. We advise patients to talk to their dentist about whether they are a candidate. 

Options for Orthodontic Treatment

As orthodontists at My ORTHODONTIST, we have had many people, adults included, come to us saying, "I'm embarrassed of my teeth. How can you help?"

While the answer to this question for you will depend on your specific orthodontic issue, there are a few potential approaches to take. Your orthodontist will likely recommend one of the following options:

  • Conventional metal braces
  • Translucent (ceramic) braces
  • Coloured braces (if you'd like to complement your style)
  • Invisalign clear aligners

Your orthodontist can explain the pros and cons of each orthodontic treatment option, explain what you can expect and help you decide on the one that most suits your lifestyle, requirements and other circumstances. 

What about orthodontics for kids and teens?

As children age and they become more concerned about their appearance, part of getting them onboard with orthodontic treatment may rest on making the case for aesthetics.

For children between the ages of 5 and 11, we take a preventive approach to orthodontic treatment. When children are young, the jaw is still is still developing and we can often guide healthy development by addressing orthodontic issues early. This early detection and proactive intervention are critical to your child's future oral health - and a straighter smile in the years to come.

Depending on your child's orthodontic issue, our orthodontists may recommend palatal expansion to widen the upper jaw to reduce issues with teeth crowding, crossbite and more. Dental orthodontic treatment for kids may include braces, Invisalign First and/or a retainer or dental appliance recommended by one of our orthodontists in BC. 

By age 12, most or all of a child's permanent teeth have usually emerged and are in place. If your teen's speech, confidence and other aspects of their life are affected by orthodontic issues, this can be a great time to start resolving them with ortho dental treatment for kids.

Like with adults, while a straighter, more even smile supports long-term oral health, orthodontic treatment can positively impact your teen's self-image and self-confidence, changing aesthetics while correcting bite issues and shifting alignment of teeth. 

While there is no such thing as cosmetic dentistry for kids, there are cosmetic reasons that sway many teens to invest their time in straightening their smile with braces, Invisalign Teen or another orthodontic treatment option. Dental orthodontic treatment for kids 

At My ORTHODONTIST, we understand that each patient - and their needs and concerns - are unique to them. Whether you are thinking of looking into orthodontic treatment as an adult or are considering dental orthodontics for kids or teens, we're here to guide you through the orthodontic care process and explain what you can expect as you get started, and along the way. 

Sometimes families need to take those first few steps slower - and sometimes they want to get going right away. Whatever your requirements, we are happy to discuss and find a way to meet them.

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