Monday, July 23, 2012

12 Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems in Children

12 Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems in Children
Because orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or teeth while a child still has primary or “baby” teeth present, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age seven.
Some problems are not so subtle, and you may notice them early on. If you see any of the following signs in your child, please make an appointment immediately. (If your child is younger than seven, it is not necessary to wait till his or her seventh birthday to visit our office.) We want to identify any problems as early as possible so that we can implement the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time for your child’s individual needs.
  1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
  2. Difficulty in chewing or biting
  3. Mouth breathing
  4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
  5. Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  6. Speech difficulty
  7. Jaws that shift or make sounds
  8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  9. Teeth that stick out too far
  10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet at all
  11. Upper and lower jaws that don’t line up
  12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Thanks to the American Association of Orthodontists

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fitting Braces into Your Life

Fitting Braces into Your Life
Fitting Braces into Your Life
When you’re wearing braces, there are a few things you’ll have to adjust to get the optimal results in the shortest amount of time. If you have any questions about the “do’s and don’ts” of living with braces, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment.
When you have braces, there are a few types of foods that can damage your brackets and bend your wires, leading you to more appointments and longer treatment times. By simply avoiding sticky, chewy, crunchy, and hard foods, as well as foods like corn on the cob, your orthodontic experience will be smoother and will help prevent unnecessary emergency visits.
Maintaining a clean mouth takes focused attention, more so when you are undergoing orthodontic care. You’ll never believe the amount of food that can get lodged between your braces when you eat. Plaque buildup as a result of poor brushing and flossing habits can cause bad breath, or worse, tooth decay! It is so important to brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day. It may seem like a hassle, but it will all be worth it in the end!
Protecting your smile if you play sports is essential when you have braces, and mouthguards are an ideal solution to protecting your teeth and gums from injury. Some mouthguards work better than others when you’re wearing braces, so check with our team first. We can advise you on the right mouthguard if you plan on participating in any kind of contact sport.
Following these tips throughout your treatment will help ensure you get the results you want from your treatment in a timely manner. If you have any questions, please give our office a call. We are here to help!

Invisalign: As Easy as 1, 2, 3!

As Easy as 1, 2, 3!
As Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Looking to improve your smile, but eager to keep your treatment to yourself? Consider Invisalign, the invisible way to straighten teeth. The clear, custom aligners are removable, which makes for easy eating, brushing and flossing, and no disruption of your lifestyle. More significantly, you do not face the challenges of having brackets to contend with for the treatment period. More than 1.7 million people have chosen Invisalign in their quest for a healthy, appealing, and more confident smile. The process is simple:
1. We’ll Create a Custom Treatment Plan for You
First we’ll take impressions of your teeth. Based on their current position and their ideal end position, we’ll create a treatment plan that maps out the movement of your teeth with a series of Invisalign aligners.
2. Your Unique Set of Aligners Are Created
Using precision-computer mapping and design, a series of clear, removable aligners are custom-molded to fit your treatment plan. We’ll provide you with your aligners and precise instructions on how long each aligner is to be worn.
3. Wear Your Aligners to Guide Your Teeth into Place
Wear each set of aligners night and day for the prescribed time period, removing them only to eat, brush and floss. We’ll set regular check-ups to monitor your progress. While treatment duration varies, adult treatment typically takes a year, while for younger patients treatment is comparable to that of traditional braces.
Before you know it, you’ll see a straighter, healthier, and more confident smile in the mirror. To learn more about this exciting treatment at our practice, visit our website or give us a call and come in for a consultation!

7 The Magic Number For an Initial Orthodontic Exam

Many parents assume they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Some orthodontic problems are easier to correct while the jaw is still growing. Consequently, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven.

What’s so great about age seven? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.

Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and detrimental to good oral hygiene. 

Am I Too Old for Braces?

Am I Too Old for Braces?
Am I Too Old for Braces?

Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile at any age! A well balanced mouth and a healthy bite prevent uneven wear to teeth and reduces the risk of gum disease. In addition to these important clinical benefits, in a society where appearance matters, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.
Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
  • Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
  • Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • Most of all though, adult patients come to our office seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.
Technology has evolved to the point where adult orthodontic care may be rendered using different treatment modalities, from braces to clear aligners. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit us for a consultation. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Bad Bite: What Causes a Bad Bite?

A Bad Bite: What Causes Malocclusion?

If you’ve visited our office, you’ve likely heard us use the term “malocclusion.” But what is malocclusion, and what causes it? Commonly referred to as overbite or underbite, malocclusion is the condition of having poorly aligned teeth, in which the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly. There are a number of risk factors that can lead to malocclusion, and fortunately, some of them are preventable. Read on to find out what causes this condition:
Family History
Most often malocclusion is a hereditary problem. Jaw and tooth size are inherited traits that can produce a mismatched proportion, such as teeth too large for a small jaw or small teeth that don’t fill the space available in a larger jaw.
Oral Habits
In children, habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting (placing the tongue against or between the teeth while swallowing), or the prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle may cause malocclusion.
Dental Health
Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, which in turn can lead to tooth loss or require extraction (removal by a dentist). The loss of a tooth may cause bordering teeth to drift out of place. 
Tooth loss can also occur when a tooth is knocked out due to injury or an accident. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth may shift in their foundations and move into the empty space.
Treating Malocclusion
Problems with teeth alignment are much easier to treat when attended to early on. Orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusion will not only give you a better smile – it will improve your oral health by lowering the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In some cases treatment can also improve speech patterns and facial balance. If you or a member of your family suffers from malocclusion, call us to set up a consultation about the best way to address your needs.