What does an Orthodontist do

After examining your teeth, if your regular dentist thinks you may need to have them straightened or if you are having issues because of a misaligned jaw, you may be referred to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dental expert in correcting misalignments of the teeth and jaw. There are several problems that can result because of these misalignments, including:

  • Problems with chewing food.
  • Speech defects.
  • Problems with maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Finding Orthodontic Problems

A Los Angeles orthodontist will do a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw to check for misalignments and other issues affecting your teeth. They will use tools such as panoramic x-rays and bite impressions to examine the alignment of both teeth and jaws before they make treatment recommendations.

Treatment Options

Some of the treatments your orthodontist may recommend include:

  • Dental Braces
  • Facemasks and Headgear
  • Retainers

Dental Braces

Braces are used to apply pressure to teeth to properly align them. If necessary, teeth may have to be removed in order to make sure the other teeth can go into their proper positions. Braces are made from either metal, ceramic or, for those who need only minor adjustments, clear plastic.

Braces may be worn for up to three years, but that depends on each individual. Not everyone who gets braces will need to wear them for that long. Children and teens may only need them for up to 24 months.

Facemasks and Headgear

These devices are used to correct issues like overbites or under bites. They are also used to help align the jawbone and teeth. A Los Angeles teen orthodontist will fit them around the head and attach them to the braces to help correct the issues for which they are designed.

Most people who need headgear or facemasks to help align the jawbone or teeth may only need to wear it for six months. However, during the six months, it will need to be worn 12 hours per day. Although it can mainly be worn during sleep hours, it will also need to be worn during the day in order to have 12 full hours of wear.


Once the teeth have been realigned using braces or headgear, your orthodontist may recommend using a retainer so that the realigned teeth do not begin to draft back to their original positions. Retainers are usually worn for a few months or until the bone underneath the teeth has reformed into the correct position.

Patients who need retainers will need to wear them for several months, sometimes up to two years. Your orthodontist will recommend the best retainer for you to use in order to keep your newly aligned teeth in their proper position.

After your orthodontic treatments are complete, your teeth will be perfectly aligned and help you look your best. It may take some patience to get there, but it will be worth the effort.


About the Author

Michael Fred For more information regarding Los Angeles Orthodontist and Los Angeles Teen Orthodontist Please visit: 360orthodontics.com

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