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What is orthodontics?

Far More than Creating Straight Teeth

“Ortho” is Greek for straight or correct, and “dontic” means teeth. Orthodontics is defined as treating dental irregularities, including malocclusion and jaw misalignments. General dentists can treat cosmetic issues with veneers, crowns, or cosmetic bonding and contouring. Orthodontic treatment goes beyond addressing cosmetic imperfections.

Orthodontic issues often involve correcting malocclusion, which is a disharmonic fit between upper and lower teeth when the mouth is shut. Healthy occlusion is balanced, meaning the teeth, their alignment, the jaw joints, and all other oral structures work together to deliver comfortable, effective function and rest. Dental, gum, or jaw pain is not healthy. Also, the mouth should open and close completely, with all but the top front teeth touching opposing teeth on the lower arch.

As a board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Wint W. Tun provides expert orthodontic treatment for children and adults. Harmony Orthodontics in Tomball offers traditional braces, phase one (early orthodontics), Invisalign, and clear braces. We invite new patients to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation so they can learn how orthodontic treatment could improve their health, comfort, and self-esteem.

blonde teenager holding invisalign clear aligners

The Duties of Our Teeth

Human teeth bite and chew foods, which is the first step in digestion. When foods cannot be properly masticated in the mouth, digestive issues may result. Furthermore, teeth help us pronounce sounds for speech and communication. 

Equally important, teeth contribute to our facial appearance, which has a significant impact on self-esteem and how others perceive us. As part of the mouth, teeth participate in conveying emotion through facial expressions. 

Straight teeth make us look healthy, youthful, and attractive. Because of this, orthodontics has cosmetic implications and applications. Patients with good occlusion may seek orthodontic treatment solely to improve their smile’s appearance.

Genetics, as well as external factors like injury, can negatively affect occlusion. People with malocclusion, with or without cosmetic concerns, need orthodontic therapy to correct the occlusal issues behind oral health problems, such as:

  • Enamel wear and resulting dental sensitivity

  • Tooth breakage

  • Enamel crazing (weblike cracks) and resulting dental sensitivity

  • Tooth failure

  • Dental restoration failure

  • TMJ disorder and resulting pain

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding) and resulting dental sensitivity

  • Headaches and migraines

Contemporary Orthodontic Treatments

To diagnose orthodontic problems, Dr. Tun will thoroughly examine your mouth and jaws. She will study your x-rays and extraoral photographs, as well. All of this information, as well as a discussion with you about your concerns, will contribute to the development of your treatment plan. 

Dr. Tun will present her findings and recommendations, explaining treatment options in as much detail as you like. Treatments include:

  • Traditional braces

  • Clear braces

  • Invisalign

  • Phase 1 orthodontics

Each of these treatments has unique variations, so Dr. Tun will guide you through the decision-making process and answer all of your questions. 

Orthodontic therapy requires a commitment of time, money, and adherence to temporary lifestyle modifications, such as using an interdental toothbrush for traditional braces and flossing after every meal. If you wear traditional braces, you’ll need to make some dietary changes and may also need to break bad habits, like chewing gum, pencils, or your fingernails.

Regular appointments, approximately every three to six weeks, are standard for orthodontic patients. These visits allow Dr. Tun to evaluate treatment progress and make adjustments, as necessary. Patients must keep the goal in sight: improved oral health and esthetics. If you wear your post-treatment retainer, the beautiful results could last the rest of your life.

Do you need braces?

Call 832-699-3683 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with board-certified orthodontist Dr. Wint W. Tun. In our fresh and welcoming Tomball office, you’ll find excellent service and superb clinical care for your family.