Braces and You – Orthodontia

Braces and You – Orthodontia

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Braces are appliances or devices used to make these corrections.

The early warning signs of a bad bite are:

  • Upper front teeth protrude or are “bucked”
  • Top front teeth cover more than 25% of the bottom front teeth when the back teeth are biting together
  • Top front teeth grow in behind the bottom front teeth
  • A space exists between the top and bottom front teeth with the back teeth biting together
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth or extra teeth
  • Baby teeth are slow falling out
  • The centers of the top and bottom front teeth don’t line up
  • Finger sucking habit continuing after 6 years of age
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly
  • Jaws that shift off center when the teeth bite together
  • Excessive spaces between teeth that persist after the top permanent canine teeth appear
  • Teeth or smile often hidden by hands

Correct age for starting orthodontic treatment

The most confusing question for most parents, and some general dentists, is when to actually start treatment. The objective is to treat at the time when it will minimize treatment time, achieve a normal profile, and get the best long term, stable result. Some orthodontic problems start developing at the age of 6 to 7 years, and it is usually a good time to get an initial consultation, especially if the parent or general dentist suspects that a problem may be developing. Though no active treatment may be initiated at this time in most cases, some problems may need to be intercepted to prevent them from later developing into complicated situations. An example of an indication to start early treatment is the presence of a cross-bite of the front or back teeth. However, if there are no unusual circumstances, the first visit to the orthodontist should be at the age of 10 years for girls and 11 years for boys.

Causes of crooked teeth

Heredity is the main cause although local factors such as finger sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to a bad bite.

Teeth Straightening

Poorly arranged teeth can break easily and can trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. They can also lead to poor chewing and digestion which can be bad for your overall health. Finally, poorly arranged teeth detract from your smile which is one of the more important features of your face.

Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper positions. They don’t look like they’re doing much just sitting there, but in fact, during every moment in your orthodontic treatment period, there’s something happening in your mouth, something good for you. The brackets we place on your teeth and the main arch wire that connects them are the two main components. The bracket is a piece of specially shaped metal or ceramic that we stick on each tooth. Then we bend the arch wire to reflect your ‘ideal” bite- what we want you to look like after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to actually move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the arch wire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind. It may look like nothing is happening but we’re making a new smile here. Thanks to new materials and procedures, all this happens much quicker than ever before. It’s kind of an engineering feat.

Braces for Adults

If the teeth and gums are healthy, age is not a factor. About 40% of orthodontic patients are adults. Dr.UdhayaRaja has successfully treated several patients over 40 years of age and a few patients up to 62 years.

Growth modification

These are some special procedures used apart from braces to either restrict the excessive growth of the jaws or stimulate the under grown jaws. These techniques are used early during the active growth period of children just before their puberty using special appliances namely Bionators, Frankles Appliances, Twin Blocks, Face Masks, Rapid Maxillary Expansion. Dr.Udhayaraja’s research work and thesis makes the expertise used on the young children more effectively. The Growth modification helps in achieving balanced Jaws on which if irregular or protruded teeth present can be treated using braces as the next stage of treatment.

Before Treatment


After Treatment


Functional Jaw Orthopedics

Growth modification techniques otherwise called as Functional Jaw Orthopedics are special procedures used between 9 and 12 years during which time the active Growth of the jaws take place. Diagnosis is made by Clinical Examination and Face X-rays. If the jaw growth is excess it could be restricted or if the growth is short can be stimulated to grow using some special appliances. These procedures eliminate the need for Orthognathic Surgeries at a later date in majority of cases.

Functional Appliance treatment

Before Treatment


After Treatment


If the Jaw growth related problem is diagnosed after the Growth is over then using both Braces and Orthognathic Surgical Procedures. These procedures are either done in the Upper Jaw or Lower Jaw or combined Upper and Lower Jaws. Sometimes Chin Surgeries and Nasal Surgeries may be needed.

Micro Implants

Micro implants Dentos™ in Orthodontics used as an adjunctive to retract severely protruded teeth beyond the scope of braces. By using micro implants in orthodontic the need for surgical Orthodontics has reduced to a great percentage. These implants are TITANIUM and does not cause any excessive discomfort and can be easily removed once their action is over.

Before Treatment


After Treatment


Getting Started with Orthodontic Treatment

  • Initial Consultation
  • Records like Plaster models, X-rays, Photographs are done
  • Based on the clinical examination, History and Records a thorough treatment plan is arrived and explained to the patient and parents
  • Braces are bonded using Direct or Indirect Bonding techniques
  • Instructions are given and patient is off

New Techniques

  • Space age low force wires that remember their original shape allowing teeth to move faster without kinking.
  • Techniques like MBT TM 3M Unitek are practiced which are established after many clinical researches and the increased efficacy and better finish.
  • Clear, tooth-colored braces, and gold braces.
  • Totally Invisible braces – lingual braces.
  • Braces glued to teeth with adhesives that contain cavity fighting fluoride.
  • Combined treatment of orthodontics and surgery for abnormalities that are beyond the capabilities of orthodontics alone.
  • Self Ligating newer Braces (Smart Clips TM 3M Unitek) have great efficiency, less force and faster treatment results.

Treatment for TMD – TM Joint Problem

TM Joint is bilateral joint which helps the Lower jaw to open and close in articulating with the skull bone. Malocclusion and bad bite are the common reason for this problem and causes annoying pain of head and neck, muscles of mastication becomes sore and causes even pschological disturbances. Careful Diagnosis is done and treatment done using medicines and SPLINTS