Braces

Orthodontics:

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image. While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw. Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss. Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces. Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health.
With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier. State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to NASA type wires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments! Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires!
If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for Orthodontic treatment (braces) adults & children:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems: Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.

  • Crossbite: One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue).

  • Crowding: Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.

  • Deep Overbite: The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth.

  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth: Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth.

  • Missing or extra teeth: Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.

  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth): Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw.

  • Self-image: An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.

  • Spacing between teeth: Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large.

  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion): Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw.

Specific to children:

Finger or thumb sucking habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, and mouth breathing.
Teeth erupting out of position can be guided to proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

  1. Planning Phase: Your first couple of visits may include the following:
    • A medical and dental history evaluation.
    • Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
    • Computer generated photograph of the head and neck that will aid in planning.
    • Photographs of your face and mouth.
    • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

    After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.


  2. Active Phase: Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

  3. Retention Phase: When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made. Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case. Your orthodontist will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should my child see the orthodontist?

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Most parents wonder when is the best time to have their child evaluated for braces. One common misconception regarding orthodontic treatment is to wait until all of your child's permanent teeth (except the wisdom teeth) are present. However, an orthodontist can identify most problems involving the alignment of the teeth and jaw growth by the time a child is in the first or second grade. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have a check up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

How long do you have to wear braces?

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It is important to keep in mind that aligning the teeth and the jaws does not happen overnight. Whether you are wearing conventional braces, clear aligners, or any other type of appliance, orthodontic movement is a gradual process. Orthodontic tooth movement is based on the use of light and continuous forces to correct your bite in an incremental, predictable, and healthy manner.

The total duration of orthodontic care, not including wearing retainers to maintain the result, depends on several factors. Such things as growth, as well as compliance with care, may influence treatment time. On average comprehensive orthodontic care to correct a malocclusion can take anywhere between 18-36 months. Orthodontic treatment for more limited problems with tooth alignment typically ranges from 6 to 18 months.

How often do you need to be seen after your braces are placed?

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Because orthodontic movement takes time, most appointments after the initial placement of appliances are scheduled approximately four to eight weeks apart. This interval gives your teeth time to move at both a steady and healthy pace. However, there may be situations where more frequent visits to evaluate the status of your case, tooth movement, or to have an additional adjustment are required.

Can adults wear braces?

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Teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment as an adult can completely transform an imperfect and poorly aligned smile into one that is attractive and functions at its best. However, initiating orthodontic care and achieving a successful outcome relies on the presence of healthy teeth and supporting bone. For these reasons, it is essential for adult patients to address any outstanding dental problems before their appliances are placed and to remain diligent about maintaining their oral health throughout care.

About Us

Our goal is to help every patient experience the benefits of good oral health and a beautiful smile. We value the trust you have placed in our office and strive to provide solutions that meet your dental needs and expectations of care.

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