The earlier we catch problems with your child’s bite, the simpler they are to fix. The results are often better than if we wait and will require significantly less work. We may not need to keep braces on your child for as long when they are younger, which means less expense for you.
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children visit an orthodontist as soon as their dentist notices that there might be a problem, or before they are seven years old. We may not have to do anything at this age, other than monitor the child’s mouth. However, if we continue to watch your child, we can start treatment right away if something arises.
Early intervention can be beneficial. We will watch how your child’s mouth and teeth grow and develop, so if we see something that needs to be done, we can do it as soon as possible. We will also know exactly when to start treatment if needed.
At the age of seven, the first adult molars start to come in to help establish the back bite. We can start to evaluate your child’s permanent bite formation, both front-to-back and side-to-side.
Early treatment allows us to do the following:
- Make room for the permanent teeth when there is overcrowding
- Ensure facial symmetry
- Reduce trauma when the front teeth are protruding
Early treatment also reduces the need to remove teeth and the time patients must wear braces. According to AAO studies, skipping orthodontic treatment can lead to the following:
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
With proper and timely orthodontic treatment, you may have the following benefits:
- A healthier mouth since crowded teeth can be hard to brush causing cavities and gum disease.
- Fewer broken teeth since protruding teeth are more likely to get broken.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Your oral hygiene is important for ensuring the health of your teeth and gums, as well as the rest of your body. For example, the bacteria responsible for periodontal diseases can also get into the bloodstream and cause plaque buildup. This is incredibly dangerous since it can lead to blockages in the bloodstream, heart problems, and even cardiovascular disease.
Maintaining regular appointments with your dentist, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing can ensure your teeth remain clean and free of bad bacteria and plaque buildup.
Having healthy teeth is also important if you’re looking to start orthodontic treatment. Your dentist can ensure your mouth is free of cavities and that your teeth and gums are strong enough to go through treatment. Even during treatment, you must take extra precautions to ensure you get in all the crevices. If you were to get an infection during orthodontic treatment, Dr. Smith would have no choice but to stop treatment until the infection cleared. This would be bad for your health and put you behind in your treatment plan.
Always be sure you are taking proper care of your teeth and bring any concerns to your dentist or orthodontist.
Tips for Brushing & Flossing with Braces
When brushing and flossing with braces, you can use either an electronic or regular toothbrush; both will be effective. Also, be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste. It’s great for fighting off cavities and plaque build-up and will be the best option for braces. Avoid whitening toothpaste because it will leave awkward spots underneath the brackets where the toothpaste cannot reach.
Ensure you are brushing all surfaces of your teeth, front, back, and top, moving the toothbrush in circular motions. You may need to utilize an interdental brush for those tight spots along your brackets and the archwire.
For flossing, remove a long thread and wrap it around your fingers. You will have to thread it through the archwire and your teeth to ensure you can reach all the way to the gums.
After that, you may use a fluoride mouthwash for extra protection against bacteria and fresher breath; however, this is not required.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
One of the most common desires patients have is whiter teeth. When considering your options, it is important to consult your dentist to make sure you have all the facts and understand how they may affect your teeth and mouth.
Many people think the coloring of teeth is due to plaque or dirt. But a variety of factors can affect the color of your teeth, including food, drinks, tobacco, age, injury, and medications. Understanding what is causing the discoloration is important to whiten your teeth properly.
Zoom Whitening hydrogen peroxide breaks stains down into smaller pieces, which makes them harder to see and makes your teeth brighter. Our options for teeth whitening include Zoom Take-home kits and Zoom WhiteSpeed in-office bleaching.
Zoom WhiteSpeed (In-Office)
One of the most cutting-edge methods of professional teeth whitening, Zoom WhiteSpeed can deliver noticeable results in as little as 45 minutes! This revolutionary treatment uses effective laser technology to remove surface stains from teeth and restore their natural shine. Thanks to Dr. Smith’s expertise and the state-of-the-art equipment at our disposal, you can rest assured that you will get care of the highest quality.
Zoom Take-Home Kits
We also offer Zoom take-home whitening kits, so you can whiten your teeth when you want and where you want. These kits can provide beautiful, professional results in just one to two weeks of at-home treatment. There are a few different kits available, so you can speak with Dr. Smith during an initial consultation, and he will be able to provide you with the best kit for your needs.
Remember, slight sensitivity from teeth-whitening is normal and should subside with time. However, if you are experiencing prolonged side effects from teeth whitening, contact us right away.
There are a few common causes of a tooth extraction, such as extensive damage, tooth decay beyond restoration, wisdom teeth that are causing pain or impacting other teeth, or a stubborn baby tooth that won’t fall out on its own. However, an orthodontist may also recommend tooth extraction as part of your orthodontic treatment.
As part of your treatment plan, a tooth (or teeth) may be causing overcrowding or making your bite unstable. In these cases, braces alone will not be able to align or fix them.
How Is It Determined If a Tooth Must Be Extracted?
A tooth extraction is not necessary for every orthodontic treatment plan; in fact, it is very rare. Dr. Smith will first be sure that it is completely necessary and that there are no other solutions.
Several factors go into determining if a tooth should be extracted, including:
- The tooth cannot be straightened with braces treatment
- The tooth is too large and will cause overcrowding
- The tooth is growing incorrectly
- The tooth is causing pain
- The tooth is sensitive and/ or discolored
- The tooth is damaged
In most cases, the tooth that is extracted ends up being the fourth or fifth molars, known as the premolars, since these are the most likely to fit the above criteria.
What Causes Dental Crowding?
As we’ve mentioned, dental crowding is one of the biggest reasons for tooth extraction in orthodontic cases. Dental crowding is caused by having too many teeth, a smaller jaw, and an abnormally large or shaped tooth.
Overcrowding is a fairly common orthodontic issue and does not always mean a tooth must be extracted to resolve it. Dr. Smith will evaluate your teeth during your initial consultation and create an individualized plan for you.
Next Level Orthodontics is proud to offer surgical treatments for our orthodontic patients. Surgical orthodontics, also called orthognathic surgery, is used for severe cases of bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusions.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is considered a dental specialty and helps complex cases involving the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. If your case requires surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to provide you with the best and most comprehensive care possible.
Surgical orthodontics helps patients improve their bites, though it can also help with other aesthetic concerns, such as facial structure and symmetry. Surgery can only be completed after the jaw is finished growing. This typically happens by age sixteen for females and age eighteen for males.
Surgery is needed when the jaw does not line up correctly, and no amount of braces can correct the misalignment. We will line up your jaw correctly so that your braces can do the job that they are meant to.
Surgery is not always necessary, so it is important to discuss your case with an oral surgeon. They will be able to discuss your treatment options, whether they include surgery or not.
If surgery is needed, it will be done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The operation will be completed in a hospital and can take up to a few hours, depending on your needs.
After surgery, you will need to rest for about two weeks. It is considered a major operation, and you should take some time off of work and school while you heal. After you heal, your orthodontist will work on straightening your teeth. Most people have to wear braces for six months to a year after surgery. Then, you will need a retainer to maintain your beautiful smile and hard work.
Like all surgeries, there are risks. However, orthognathic operations have been around for years and are proven to be safe and effective overall. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to ask questions before the procedure.
Most people can’t wait to have the smile they dream of. Whether you need surgery to correct your bite, a malocclusion, or a jaw abnormality, we can help you have a smile you want to show off.