Over nine million individuals in the US receive orthodontic treatment each year. In fact, orthodontics is now the third-largest treatment category in dentistry. If you’re unhappy with your smile, consider visiting an orthodontist in Cleveland.

How exactly can Cleveland orthodontics contribute to your healthy smile? Read on to find out!

After reviewing this guide, you can determine if it’s time for your own smile makeover. Discover seven ways your orthodontist can improve your smile today!

1. Fixing Overcrowding

Consider visiting your orthodontist in Cleveland if you’ve developed dental crowding issues. Crowding issues can range from mild to severe (usually depending on the size of your jaw or how many teeth you have). 

Crowding can occur due to:

  • Poor dental care
  • Facial/dental trauma or injury
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Tongue thrusting/reverse swallowing
  • Hereditary predispositions
  • Losing a primary tooth too early
  • Frequent pacifier use
  • Permanent teeth that don’t erupt properly

Dental crowding can also occur later in life, even after you received braces in Cleveland, Ohio. 

In addition to causing discomfort, crowding can also cause temporomandibular joint pain or migraine headaches.

If you have crowded teeth, you might also struggle to floss, which could increase hidden bacteria. When you fail to brush and floss thoroughly, plaque and tartar can develop. Your risk of tooth decay or gum disease could increase as a result.

Sleep apnea is another common side effect of overcrowding.

If these issues sound familiar, talk to your orthodontist about your treatment options. For example, they might recommend traditional metal braces or Invisalign treatment.

Both treatment options can remedy your overcrowding issues before complications develop. 

2. Straightening Teeth

Of the 61% of people wishing they could change something about their teeth, crookedness is among the top concerns. 

Crooked teeth can affect your quality of life. For example, they can affect your ability to chew, causing pain and discomfort. You might feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, affecting your self-confidence. 

Remember, your risk of gum disease and tooth decay will increase if you’re not brushing properly, too.

Crooked teeth can also lead to wear and tear on your gums, teeth, and jaw muscles. You could develop jaw strain, temporomandibular joint disorder, or cracked teeth. Headaches are common as well. 

Otherwise, you might experience issues chewing (leading to digestive issues) or speaking. For example, you could develop a lisp.

Orthodontists diagnose and treat anomalies of the oral cavity. They can use different, personalized appliances to realign your teeth and jaws. Ensuring your teeth and jaws are in proper alignment can improve your overall oral health.

There are many orthodontic treatment options for straightening teeth, including:

  • Metal braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Invisible braces
  • Lingual braces

Your Cleveland orthodontist can help you determine which teeth straightening option suits your needs. For example, you might find you’re not an ideal candidate for clear aligners if you have a more severe orthodontic issue. Your dentist might recommend metal braces for your smile makeover instead.

3. Treating Malocclusions

Malocclusions develop when your upper and bottom jaws aren’t in proper alignment. Your orthodontist can assess your jaw to determine what type of malocclusion you have. 

For example, an overbite occurs when the top teeth extend too far in front of the bottom teeth.

An underbite, on the other hand, occurs when the bottom teeth protrude beyond the top front teeth.

You can develop an overbite if the top and bottom teeth don’t meet. A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth.

If any of these issues sound familiar, talk to your orthodontist about treating dental malocclusions. Their recommendations will vary based on the malocclusion type. 

4. Maintaining Space

Some children lose their baby teeth too early. An orthodontist might recommend space fillers to prevent neighboring teeth from overgrowing. Otherwise, the teeth around the gap can shift, making less space for the child’s adult teeth.

If a child doesn’t receive space fillers, their adult teeth might not grow into the proper space. These children are more likely to require orthodontic treatment later in life. 

5. Lip and Cheek Pressure

Orthodontists don’t only treat teeth alignment issues and dental malocclusions. They can also help if a patient’s lips and cheeks protrude enough to put pressure on nearby teeth. This problem can cause pain and discomfort if you neglect to see treatment.

In these instances, your Cleveland orthodontist might recommend lip and cheek bumpers. Bumpers will ensure the lips and cheeks don’t come in contact with nearby teeth. The bumpers can ease pressure and provide comfort.  

6. Bone and Joint Alignment

Your orthodontist might recommend palatal expanders instead of braces or aligners. Unlike these treatment options, palatal expanders treat the bones and joints of the mouth. They’re able to correct alignment issues for a healthy, beautiful smile. 

Palatal expanders can treat crossbites or narrow upper jaw issues. They can widen the jaw for proper tooth alignment (which otherwise causes crowding issues).

7. Maintaining Treatment

If you’ve already visited an orthodontist for misaligned teeth or other issues, you might want to maintain the results of your treatment. Otherwise, your teeth might revert back to their previous position, wasting your time and money.

You’ll begin experiencing the same symptoms you struggled with in the past as well.

Before that can happen, talk to your orthodontist about retainers. Retainers will keep your teeth in their current position after your treatment plan. 

In some cases, retainers are even used to move teeth slightly before orthodontic treatment. 

Visit Your Cleveland Orthodontist Today for a Healthy Smile

Want a stunning, healthy smile? Consider visiting your Cleveland orthodontist for a consultation appointment. They can assess the state of your smile to develop a treatment plan based on your needs.

With their help, you can straighten your teeth, improve your smile, and maintain better oral health. 

Ready to schedule your next appointment? We can’t wait to see you here.

Contact us today to get started.