Depending on the extent of your bad bite, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest one or a combination of the following orthodontic treatments to correct your bite.
The most common type of orthodontic treatment used by dentists or orthodontists is braces.
How braces are done
To apply braces, your dentist or orthodontist attaches brackets (or bands) to each tooth with glue. Arch wires are fitted into all the brackets and are usually held in place with rubber or wire ties.
You may feel some discomfort for a while when your braces are first put on and when they are adjusted. It will take a little time to get used to your braces and they can bother your lips and cheeks. If this happens, a relief wax can be applied to your braces. To make eating easier after an adjustment, soft foods are recommended.
Choices in braces
Today’s braces are smaller and less noticeable. Besides the traditional metal braces, there are tooth-coloured ceramic braces that are less noticeable. Clear aligners are also available for adults. Braces and elastics can also be multicoloured. Speak to your dentist or orthodontist about all your choices.
This treatment uses an appliance that fits around the head or neck. It guides the direction of tooth movement and jaw growth in someone who is still growing. There are different types of headgear and they may be worn during any part of the orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist or dentist will show you how to put on the headgear and tell you how long to wear it each day. In most cases it is worn during the evening and at night.
Although removable appliances are not as precise as braces, they can move a tooth or a group of teeth. They are fitted by your dentist or orthodontist. Removable appliances can be worn before braces are applied, while braces are worn, or on their own to treat specific problems.
Once your braces have been removed, a retainer can be used to keep your teeth in the right place. Retainers are fixed (attached to the teeth) or removable. They may need to be worn all the time or part of the time.
Tooth removal may be needed if your teeth are crowded or if a tooth is badly out of position. Jaw surgery (or orthognathic surgery) may be needed when there are major differences in the size or position of the upper and lower jaws. If your orthodontist thinks you will need jaw surgery, he or she will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Content courtesy of the Canadian Dental Association.