Orthodontics Information

 
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About Orthodontics

For most people, achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is the reason for receiving orthodontic care. If you're self-conscious about your smile, correcting your concerns with braces will greatly improve the way you look and feel.

When your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you've always dreamed of and the confidence to show it off! We also want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire orthodontic experience, and our practice is dedicated to making sure that you receive the quality care you deserve.

How Orthodontic Treatment Works

Orthodontic appliances are made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position.

Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can now choose clear or metal brackets and, in some cases, the color of your appliance. Wires are far less noticeable, and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster with more comfort. Today, any age is a great age to wear braces!

Duration of Treatment

Treatment time varies and can last between one and three years, depending on several factors including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is. A big factor in a successful treatment is you! The more involved and diligent you are, the more efficient your treatment will be. For children, receiving interceptive or early treatment can also help provide a quicker treatment time.

Before beginning your orthodontic care, your doctor will discuss all of your options and provide an estimate for how long your full treatment may take. Please contact our practice to schedule a complimentary appointment and learn more about orthodontics and the treatments we provide.

For Children

Orthodontics for Children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
Create more space for crowded teeth
Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
Prevent more serious problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

Early or late loss of baby teeth
A hard time chewing or biting food
Mouth breathing
Finger or thumb-sucking
Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule a complimentary appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

For Teens

Orthodontics for Teens

Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!

You've just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”

Braces! What now?

Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait until they are older to receive treatment.
What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Braces Your Way!

Our practice offers a variety of braces, types, and styles to choose from. Some common options include:


Clear braces
Invisible aligners
Traditional metal braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.

For Adults

Orthodontic Treatment for Adults

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.

Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:

A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay, gum disease or loss of bone support
Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
Excessive wear of teeth
Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment options for adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:

Clear braces 
Invisible aligners
Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing.  For adults, these bones have stopped growing,which may make orthognathic surgery possible in some cases to align the jawbones. Other differences include:

Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.


Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?

Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.

Early Prevention

Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children

What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment, and why might my child need early treatment? How will early treatment benefit my child in the long-run?

These are just a few of the questions surrounding the topic of early orthodontic treatment for children. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. At this point the orthodontist will evaluate whether your child will need orthodontic treatment.

Early treatment (also known as Phase-One) typically begins between ages seven and nine (Phase-Two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:


Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all their permanent teeth around age 13)
Difficulty chewing and/or biting
Mouth breathing
Your child continues sucking their thumb after age five
Speech impediments
Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (crossbites)
Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early prevention benefit my child?
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.

Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.

If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule a complimentary appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.

Two-Phase Treatment

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process combining tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional and esthetic and comfortable result that will remain stable.


What if I put off treatment?

The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of the permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment is the possibility of a compromised result that may not be functionally healthy or stable and may require preventable adult tooth extraction and / or jaw surgery.

Phase — One

Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles

The goal of Phase-One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of eight have crowded front teeth, early treatment can prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.

Planning now can save your smile later
Children benefit tremendously from early phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaws.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retention and / or tooth guidance appliances may be recommended at the end of the first phase.

Monitoring your teeth's progress
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment (corrective). Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six to twelve month basis.

Phase — Two

Stay healthy and look attractive

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase two usually involves full upper and lower braces.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase to correct and realign the teeth and jaw. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 15-24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.