- Protruding front teeth
- Problems with speech
- Significant crowding
- Severely misaligned teeth
- Occlusal issues such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites
March 12, 2020
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children receive their first orthodontic consultation by the age of seven. This appointment helps determine if children need early orthodontic treatment to correct potential issues with their dentofacial development. Following is a helpful guide to understanding early orthodontic treatment.
What is early interceptive orthodontics?
Early orthodontic treatment – also called early interceptive orthodontics – breaks up treatment into two phases. The first phase occurs during childhood and the second phase occurs during a child’s teenage years. Early treatment can anticipate potential problems and correct them to make the second phase of treatment more effective and efficient.
An example of how early orthodontic treatment helps children is correcting crowded teeth. Oral appliances such as palatal expanders can take advantage of growing bones to create additional space so that adult teeth erupt properly. Appliances used in early treatment can also help promote facial symmetry, improve a child’s bite, and correct issues that impair proper speech.
Not all children will require early treatment. At your initial appointment, our orthodontist will perform a physical examination and take diagnostic images. This process will help our team determine whether your child will benefit from two-phase treatment. It will also help us develop a treatment plan to address your child’s unique needs in the future.
What are signs that my child might need early orthodontic treatment?
The only way to be sure that you child needs early treatment is to consult with an orthodontist. Typical candidates for early treatment include those who have:
Orthodontic care offers more benefits than just improving the appearance of a smile. Properly spaced and aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to develop wear. Early treatment can reduce treatment times, decrease the need for certain types of surgeries, and improve your child’s oral function.
Call Fleming Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation with our family-friendly practice.
January 15, 2020
Wearing braces is a great investment in your child’s oral health and wellbeing. If you’re wondering if it’s time for your child to wear braces, the first course of action is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. A consultation will involve a physical examination and X-rays to determine if and when braces are necessary.
What types of problems can braces correct?
Braces can address a number of orthodontic problems and improve a person’s bite. Common orthodontic issues that braces improve include crowded, gapped, overlapped, and crooked teeth. Receiving orthodontic care can also improve bite issues including overbites and open bites.
When are braces recommended for children?
Braces are typically prescribed for children after their baby teeth have fallen out. Treatment times can vary, as some children have more pronounced needs than others.
Some children might need treatment sooner, however. Early interceptive orthodontic treatment can be used to take advantage of the fact that the jawbones are developing to make room for tooth movement. Normally, early interceptive treatment involves wearing oral appliances such as palate expanders. Those receiving interceptive care will likely wear braces a few years later.
Are braces really necessary?
Some people believe that braces only address cosmetic issues. While orthodontia certainly improves the appearance of a smile, having straight teeth improves oral health and reduces the risks for developing common diseases.
When teeth are misaligned, they are difficult to keep clean. Inadequate oral hygiene contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. Moreover, improperly aligned teeth tend to develop wear and tear because they make contact when and where they shouldn’t.
We encourage parents to look at orthodontic treatment for their children as an investment in their oral health and their confidence. Possessing a healthy, straight smile is beneficial to children’s self-esteem and their social development, too.
Our practice is here to help you make informed decisions for your children. Call Fleming Orthodontics to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist.
November 14, 2019
Do you need braces? Do you wonder if orthodontics is a worthwhile investment in your oral health? Beyond straightening the positions of teeth, wearing braces offers a number of benefits to your wellbeing. Receiving orthodontic treatment can reduce wear and tear on your teeth and even lessen the likelihood that you will develop destructive oral health conditions.
Our orthodontist offers conventional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign to accommodate our patients’ diverse needs.
Following are common benefits of orthodontics.
A More Attractive Smile
Improperly positioned teeth can affect the appearance of your smile. Many people who are unhappy with their smiles develop self-esteem and self-confidence issues. Fortunately, orthodontics can transform a smile so that a person feels more confident in their appearance.
Braces can correct common problems including gapped, crooked, and overlapped teeth. Orthodontic care also improves the appearance of malocclusions like overbites and underbites.
Easier Oral Hygiene
When teeth are improperly spaced and positioned, they can be very difficult to keep clean. For example, threading floss between crowded and overlapped teeth makes it almost impossible to remove debris and plaque properly. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar within a couple of days.
Straightening teeth with braces will ultimately make oral hygiene easier. Properly positioned and spaced teeth make brushing and flossing far more effective.
Reduced Risk for Common Oral Health Conditions
Orthodontic issues present more than just aesthetic problems; they contribute to the development of destructive conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. This is because food, plaque, and tartar collect between teeth. This is especially dangerous to oral health since crooked and crowded teeth cannot be brushed or flossed properly.
Lessened Incidence of Tooth Wear
When teeth are misaligned, they tend to make improper contact during oral function. Teeth making contact when and where they shouldn’t weakens them over time. Aligning your teeth can lengthen their lifespan.
Receiving orthodontic care is an investment in your appearance and your oral health. Call Fleming Orthodontics to schedule a consultation.
September 16, 2019
Do you want a straighter smile but dread wearing conspicuous orthodontia? Clear braces are a great alternative to traditional metal and wire braces. With Invisalign, you can enjoy discreet orthodontic treatment that’s also low maintenance and comfortable. Our orthodontist offers consultations for teens and adults looking to straighten their teeth inconspicuously with clear braces.
Facts about Invisalign
Invisalign is an orthodontic system that straightens teeth with removable, clear appliances. Instead of relying on fixed wires and brackets, clear braces straighten teeth with custom made components worn like retainers. These components, called “aligners”, are constructed from smooth, transparent plastic. They are worn over the top and bottom teeth for 22 hours a day.
Since aligners are custom made, they will facilitate tooth movement by applying consistent pressure to one’s smile. The force generated by this consistent pressure will close gaps between teeth, correct crooked teeth, and improve the spacing of crowded teeth.
Every two weeks, a patient will wear a new set of custom aligners. Each set is progressively tighter than the one before. As treatment progresses, patients will see noticeable improvements in the spacing of teeth and their positioning.
Aligners are comfortable since they have no sharp edges that can irritate soft oral tissue. They’re low maintenance, too, because they’re removed for meals, brushing, and flossing. Patients with Invisalign enjoy orthodontic treatment without dietary restrictions or obstructions during oral hygiene.
Why Orthodontic Treatment Matters
Orthodontic treatment promotes optimal oral health in addition to the cosmetic benefits of achieving a straighter smile. Those with improperly spaced and positioned teeth have higher risks of developing gum disease, worn dentition, and tooth decay. This is because improperly positioned teeth will make contact when and where they shouldn’t, accelerating tooth wear. Misaligned teeth are also more difficult to keep clean, thereby increasing the risks for developing hygiene-related conditions like gum disease and cavities.
Straightening your smile will boost more than your confidence; it will improve your oral health. Call Fleming Orthodontics to reserve a clear braces consultation with our orthodontist.
July 15, 2019
Orthodontics allows patients who have an incorrect bite a treatment option to achieve straight teeth. This is more important than just a great smile. A malocclusion resulting from an overbite, underbite, and/or crossbite creates areas in the mouth where dental plaque forms and grows. These areas are often difficult to reach with your toothbrush increasing the potential for dental decay and/or gum disease. Your orthodontist will provide a thorough examination and treatment plan to outline needed corrections.
Your orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. When it comes to teeth straightening, you should follow instructions very carefully as your provider has the success of your treatment as their primary concern.
Dental braces worn today are much smaller that the metal braces of years ago. However, the process has not changed much. A dental impression is made and photographs taken that are used as diagnostic tools. Brackets, bands, and wires are implemented. Each is placed strategically to allow teeth to be moved to their correct placement.
You will undergo periodic adjustments where the wires are manipulated to keep teeth moving. It is important to note that these visits do not take the place of dental appointments needed to have teeth cleaned.
Diet Adjustments During Orthodontic Treatment
There are foods that should be avoided throughout orthodontic treatment. Sticky foods like caramel can pull braces off or out of place. Chewing gum throughout treatment is ill advised.
Hard foods are probably the bigger adjustment … hard candy, popcorn, nuts, and ice can break brace components. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be consumed carefully – cut them into small bites. Don’t bite into them whole – while this may be inconvenient, their nutritional value makes them an important part of your daily diet. Crusty break, chips, crackers, and many cookies should also be consumed very carefully, if at all.
Once your dental braces are removed, you are free to enjoy all your favorite foods again. But the final phase of orthodontic treatment is essential – that is wearing the retainer. Wearing the retainer as directed will allow your teeth to develop a memory of their new location. Failure to wear it as prescribed may allow teeth to drift back to their original location.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Fleming Orthodontics today.
May 16, 2019
Braces may seem like a rite of passage for teenagers, but adults can benefit from working with an orthodontist, too. Braces for adults can be beneficial in a variety of scenarios. They may be used to correct an alignment regression that occurred years after initial treatment or straighten smiles for the first time.
Working adults who want to maintain a professional appearance throughout orthodontic treatment will have special considerations, however. Fortunately, such patients have access to a variety of treatment options that have minimal effects on the aesthetics of the smile.
Benefits Of Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Patients may notice that their teeth revert to their original positions in the years after they first sought treatment from an orthodontist, and correcting such misalignments is one benefit of braces for adults. Additionally, adults who never wore braces during their adolescence may find themselves dissatisfied with their crooked teeth and want to fix that problem at long last.
Regardless of the circumstances in which adult patients decide to get braces, the benefits of a properly aligned smile are numerous. Not only will your smile look better, which improves your self-confidence, but a straight smile also can chew more effectively and reduce the risk of damage to the soft oral tissues that can occur when they are bitten by a misaligned jaw. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may even correct conditions that are causing discomfort for a patient.
Orthodontic Treatment Options With Minimal Effects On Your Appearance
Understandably, adult patients who are considering orthodontic treatment may be put off by the idea of wearing clunky metal appliances on their teeth. However, there are alternatives for braces for adults that are more aesthetically pleasing. For example, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays to reposition the teeth, and those trays are barely noticeable. Ceramic brackets can also be used with standard orthodontic appliances for less visibility during treatment.
While Invisalign can correct a number of problems, including some that are fairly complex, this may not be the best treatment choice for all patients and ceramic brackets and orthodontic wires may be a better choice. After evaluating your case, your orthodontist will advise you of the treatment approach that will best help you to achieve your smile goals.
Don’t let reluctance about metal braces stand between you and a straighter smile. Explore orthodontic alternatives that will detract less from your smile’s appearance. Visit our team at Fleming Orthodontics for a consultation.