Debunking Common Myths about Orthodontic Treatment: An Expert Perspective from Burke & Redford Orthodontists
The Importance of Accurate Information in Orthodontics
In this rapidly evolving era of dental healthcare, accurate information about orthodontic treatment is crucial. Misconceptions can deter individuals from seeking necessary treatment, leading to potentially serious oral health complications.
Introduction to Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke have dedicated their professional lives to correcting these misconceptions by providing quality orthodontic care to patients in Southern California.
You can choose to meet with the doctors during a free orthodontic consultation in either their Temecula or Lake Elsinore offices.
The Medical Necessity of Orthodontic Treatments
Despite the prevalent myth that orthodontic treatments are purely cosmetic, they often serve a crucial medical role. The purpose of orthodontics extends beyond just creating a pleasing, straight-toothed smile; it is a vital specialty of dentistry concerned with diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities.
Orthodontic issues such as malocclusions (improper bites) and dental crowding are not merely aesthetic concerns. They can lead to a range of complications that affect not just oral health, but overall wellbeing. For example, an overbite, underbite, or crossbite can interfere with proper chewing and digestion. They can also lead to disproportionate wear on certain teeth, potentially causing tooth damage or loss over time.
Similarly, overcrowded or misaligned teeth can create difficulties in maintaining oral hygiene. Food particles may become trapped in the nooks and crannies between teeth, which are challenging to clean with regular brushing and flossing. This situation increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and eventually, tooth loss.
Orthodontic treatments can also have significant benefits in terms of speech. Misaligned teeth or jaws can cause speech impediments such as lisping or other articulation difficulties. Orthodontic intervention can correct these issues, leading to clearer speech and increased confidence.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, the focus of Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke goes beyond aesthetics. They understand the essential role orthodontics plays in comprehensive oral health and work diligently to not only beautify smiles but also to improve their patients’ overall health and quality of life. They create personalized treatment plans to correct malocclusions, enhance oral hygiene, aid proper digestion, and even improve speech, truly emphasizing the medical necessity of orthodontic treatments.
Orthodontic Solutions for All Ages
Orthodontics is not bound by age. The common misconception that braces or orthodontic treatments are just for children or adolescents is far from the truth. In fact, orthodontic treatment can be beneficial and effective at any age, including adulthood and even old age.
Orthodontic problems such as malocclusions or dental crowding do not discriminate based on age. They can cause complications and affect oral health at any stage in life. Thus, it’s never too late to address these issues and improve both the function and appearance of your teeth.
While orthodontic treatment during childhood or adolescence can leverage the ongoing growth and development for more effective results, adults can still enjoy significant improvements. Adult orthodontics can correct long-standing alignment problems, alleviate related complications such as uneven tooth wear or difficulties in maintaining oral hygiene, and enhance the aesthetics of the smile.
Moreover, modern orthodontics offers a range of solutions suitable for all ages. Traditional braces remain a reliable and effective choice for many, but alternatives such as self-ligating ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners like Invisalign can appeal particularly to adults. These options offer a more discreet appearance, enabling adults to undergo orthodontic treatment without feeling self-conscious.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke have extensive experience in treating patients of all ages. They appreciate the unique considerations of adult orthodontics, including aesthetic concerns, slower tooth response to orthodontic movement, and the presence of restorations or missing teeth. They offer a range of orthodontic solutions and create tailored treatment plans to meet the individual needs and preferences of their patients, truly making orthodontics a field for all ages.
Common Orthodontic Myths
Our doctors would like to set the record straight about some common orthodontic myths.
Myth 1: Orthodontic Treatment is Only Cosmetic
A pervasive myth surrounding orthodontics is the belief that its sole purpose is to enhance aesthetic appeal by straightening crooked teeth. While it’s true that orthodontic treatments often result in a more aligned and appealing smile, equating these treatments strictly to cosmetic dentistry oversimplifies and misrepresents the critical function they play in oral health.
Orthodontic treatments serve to correct improper bites, also known as malocclusions. These may include underbites, overbites, and crossbites. Malocclusions can lead to a variety of issues if left untreated, such as difficulty in chewing and speech, uneven wear of tooth surfaces, and strain on the jaw muscles and joints. These problems can exacerbate over time, potentially leading to more severe dental health concerns.
Crooked or crowded teeth can make maintaining proper oral hygiene more challenging. Food particles may become easily trapped in hard-to-reach areas, increasing the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Therefore, the goal of orthodontic treatment extends far beyond cosmetic improvement. It is an essential intervention aimed at rectifying alignment issues to ensure optimal functionality of the teeth and jaw, thus promoting overall oral health. At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke employ their extensive knowledge and skills to correct these functional issues, while also creating a well-aligned and beautiful smile – a pleasing side effect of a healthier mouth.
Myth 2: Orthodontic Treatments are Always Painful
One of the most prevalent myths about orthodontics is that the treatments are inherently painful. While it’s true that some discomfort is to be expected, particularly during the initial stages of treatment or following adjustments, describing orthodontic treatments as always painful is an exaggeration.
Orthodontic appliances, such as braces or aligners, work by applying gentle, constant pressure to gradually shift the teeth into the desired alignment. When these forces are first applied, or when adjustments are made, it’s normal to experience some mild discomfort or a feeling of pressure. However, this is typically temporary and should subside after a few days.
Moreover, the field of orthodontics has seen significant advances in technology and techniques over recent years, all aimed at improving patient comfort. For instance, self-ligating braces are much smaller and more comfortable than their predecessors, and they use flexible wires that apply more gentle forces. Similarly, clear aligners are custom-made to fit snugly and comfortably over the patient’s teeth.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, patient comfort is a top priority for Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke. They utilize the latest braces technologies and techniques to minimize discomfort and ensure a positive orthodontic experience. They also provide their patients with comprehensive guidance on managing any orthodontic discomfort that may arise during treatment, such as using over-the-counter pain relievers or orthodontic relief wax and adjusting dietary choices immediately after adjustments.
Myth 3: Orthodontic Results are Permanent Without Retainers
There’s a common misconception that once orthodontic treatment is complete, and the braces or aligners are removed, the results are permanent and unchanging. Many people believe that their teeth will stay in their newly aligned position indefinitely without any additional effort. However, this is a myth that can lead to disappointment and unexpected additional treatment.
Maintaining the results of orthodontic treatment requires a crucial follow-up step: wearing a retainer. Following the removal of braces or the completion of an aligner treatment, the teeth have a natural tendency to shift back towards their original positions in a process called relapse. This is due to the elastic fibers in the gums which tend to pull the teeth back to their previous position.
Retainers are designed to counteract this tendency. By wearing a retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist, you can maintain the new alignment of your teeth and prevent relapse. The type of retainer (removable or fixed) and the length of time it needs to be worn can vary based on individual circumstances, but it’s generally a long-term or even lifetime commitment.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, Dr. Ryan Redford, and Dr. Michael Burke place great emphasis on the importance of retainers in their treatment plans. They ensure their patients are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to maintain their new smiles. Post-treatment instructions, including when and how long to wear your retainer, are clearly communicated, helping patients keep their smiles beautiful and well-aligned in the long run.
Our top orthodontists are the most-referred doctors in Riverside County. Call (951) 699-8011 to schedule a free orthodontic consultation today.