Learn the Lingo of an Orthodontist

Orthodontic terminology often sounds scarier than it really is. Medical specialists, including orthodontists, have their own lingo they use to describe dental issues that can be treated with braces and the latest orthodontic technology, like Invisalign. According to Dr. Barry Glaser, a top orthodontist in Yorktown, New York, understanding the terms doctors use can help alleviate the anxiety some patients have before a consultation. Dr. Glaser tells prospective patients in Yorktown, New York, to learn these 8 simple words before visiting an orthodontist: 1. Invisalign is an alternative to braces in Yorktown, New York. The relatively new technology, which straightens teeth with a series of clear, custom-molded aligners, is removable and nearly invisible. Patients wear them throughout the day but can remove them to eat and clean the teeth, according to Dr. Glaser. 2. Crowding is a common dental misalignment, which is caused when the dental arch is too small or the teeth are too large. The teeth bunch together and form a crooked smile. Dr. Glaser describes the issue as more than cosmetic. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, crowding often causes gums to recede and weaken, which can lead to impacted teeth, or teeth that grow beneath the gum line but never push through the surface. 3. Cross-bite, sometimes called under-bite, is when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. Dr. Glaser has seen the issue lead to gum loss and uneven wear on teeth in some of his patients in Yorktown, New York. 4. Open-bite is when the upper and lower teeth do not touch because they thrust forward. The condition may be caused by a number of potential causes, including thumb-sucking, thrusting your tongue against your teeth when you swallow or sleep, underdeveloped teeth or an abnormal jaw structure, Dr. Glaser said. 5. Over-bite is when the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth. Many people have a small amount of overbite. A deep-bite, where the lower teeth are completely covered by the uppers, can be quite unhealthy. Dr. Glaser said deep-bite may contribute to gum loss and cause excessive wear on the top front teeth. 6. Spacing refers to significant gaps between teeth, which is caused by teeth that are missing or small or when the dental arch is very wide. Dr. Glaser said the condition can lead to uneven wear on teeth on patients in Yorktown, New York. 7. Retainers are one kind of appliance orthodontists have their patients wear after braces are removed. The retainer attaches to a patient’s teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, and others are bonded to the tongue side of several teeth. 8. Appliance is a general term used to describe anything orthodontists like Dr. Barry Glaser attach to teeth. The devices help reposition the teeth or changes the shape of the jaw.