Orthodontic care is focused on the prevention, identification, and management of malocclusion. This is accomplished through a range of corrective appliances, including headgear, retainers, and braces. Clear aligners and metal braces stand out as the most common and popular types of orthodontic appliances. These appliances accomplish dental adjustment by applying steady and precise pressure that moves them into their desired position over time. Dr. Alethea Coelho proudly provides orthodontic services to her patients in Visalia, CA, and the surrounding areas.
Did You Know?
Malocclusion is a technical term for uneven bites, literally translating to “bad bite.” When you close your mouth, your teeth are supposed to line up evenly, the upper arch over the lower. This doesn’t happen in patients with malocclusion. There are four major forms of this condition, they are:
- Open Bite: Open bite refers to when the upper and lower teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed.
- Crossbites: When the teeth don’t line up due to one set being shifted to the left or right, it’s known as a crossbite.
- Underbites: If the lower arch of teeth juts out beyond the upper arch, it’s known as an underbite.
- Overbites: Just the opposite of an underbite. Overbites occur when the lower arch of teeth sits behind the upper arch.
Each of these conditions has multiple consequences for those living with them. They can experience advanced wear and tear on their teeth due to improper bite. They may find it difficult to speak clearly or chew properly. These misalignments can also lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint, resulting in a painful condition known as TMD.
Is Orthodontic Treatment Right For Me?
Only a professional can provide a proper diagnosis calling for orthodontic care. However, the following signs may indicate that you would benefit from treatment:
- teeth crowding
- frequent thumb sucking
- Early or late loss of primary (baby) teeth
- A jaw that appears to be disproportionate
- Mouth breathing while sleeping
- Signs of overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc.
Regardless of whether or not your child is displaying these signs, it is recommended that they have an orthodontic screening no later than the age of 7. Early orthodontic screenings can detect and address potential problems, which can minimize the extent of orthodontic treatment needed down the line. To determine if your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with Alethea C. Coelho.
What To Expect During Orthodontic Care At Our Clinic
When patients see Dr. Alethea Coelho for orthodontic care, there are a few standard steps involved. The first visit will include a full dental workup, including imaging and scheduling for a cleaning. The health of your bite will be assessed, and any areas that need care identified. The information will be used to determine if orthodontic care is right for you.
The specifics of the treatment will be based on the age of the patient and their diagnosis. Many patients will be able to benefit from either braces or clear aligners, but other forms of orthodontic care may be called for. Especially young children may benefit more from braces since they cannot remove them themselves.
Dr. Coelho will go over your options and let you know which specific appliance will work for you or your child’s oral health. Certain types of orthodontic appliances require dietary restrictions during treatment, while clear aligners can be removed when eating. Dr. Coelho will walk you through how to care for the appliance and what dietary restrictions may be involved.