- Appearance – when there is an overbite, underbite or crossbite, it may be quite evident merely from looking at the patient. Not only may these conditions detract from the smile’s appearance, they may also negatively affect the patient’s ability to chew.
- Discomfort – If the upper and lower jaws do not fit together properly, the patient may experience some discomfort. Additionally, malocclusions can contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which also can cause pain, along with clicking, popping or locking of the jaw. As such, orthodontic treatment may be recommended for patients who have TMJ disorders.
- Biting the cheek, lip or tongue – An incorrect bite may trap other soft tissues in its clenches while chewing food. Patients who notice that they repeatedly bite their cheeks, tongue or lips may have misaligned jaws, and orthodontic treatment can be helpful in fixing it.
May 17, 2018
The process of getting braces for adults differs somewhat from patients who pursue this treatment as children or adolescents. Because the patient’s jaw growth is complete by adulthood, the orthodontist can no longer manipulate the pattern of jaw development to correct misalignment of the teeth. As a result, patients with severe crowding may need to have teeth extracted prior to treatment. This creates room for the other teeth to move into the correct positions.
Braces for adults work just like braces for younger patients do. That is, the appliances apply forces to the teeth in order to break down the bone structure that holds them in place so that they can move into the right places. However, when a patient’s jaw is too small to accommodate this movement with all of the teeth remaining in the smile, extraction may be recommended. Your orthodontist will need to make this determination.
If tooth extraction is necessary, your orthodontist will advise you of this rather early in the process, possibly as soon as your initial consultation. This will give you adequate time to prepare for that component of your treatment. For adult patients who still have their wisdom teeth, extraction may be recommended prior to treatment as well. Impacted wisdom teeth can undo the results of orthodontic treatment, so patients who have this concern may want to explore extraction prior to treatment.
When an extraction is necessary, teeth that have erupted properly typically can be removed via simple extraction. Impacted teeth will most likely need to be removed surgically, however. Regardless, an initial extraction doesn’t need to delay braces for adults for any significant period of time.
Tooth extraction can help to achieve the goals of patients who are getting braces, although this step is not always necessary. Come to an initial consultation at Fleming Orthodontics to learn more about the course of treatment recommended in your specific case.
March 20, 2018
When you think of orthodontic treatment, you may focus your attention on getting a straighter smile. However, braces may also be used to correct a malocclusion or “bad bite.” Here are some signs of misaligned jaws that may be addressed using orthodontic treatment.
In addition to the brackets and wires associated with traditional braces, an orthodontist may use other appliances to correct the malocclusion. Your provider can advise you as to the recommended approach in your case.
Depending on the circumstances, an orthodontist may be able to intervene and correct a malocclusion using braces alone. This is particularly effective in adolescents whose jaws are still growing, and that development can be manipulated. However, orthodontic treatment may not be sufficient in other cases, when the orthodontist may need to collaborate with an oral surgeon on the overarching treatment plan.
A “bad bite” can interfere with your smile’s appearance and functioning as much as crooked teeth do. To learn more about orthodontic treatment solutions for this issue, please contact our team at Fleming Orthodontics and set up an evaluation.
January 21, 2018
Patients who are getting braces often have concerns about having their routines disrupted, including any sports that they may play. Fortunately, orthodontics don’t have to keep you off the field, court or ice if you take the proper precautions.
Orthodontics involve a significant investment of time and energy, so you want to do everything possible to protect that investment. For maximum protection, athletes should consider a custom-designed mouthguard provided by their orthodontist. Orthodontic mouth guards have a slightly different design that standard ones in order to make room for the appliances. They are just as comfortable as standard mouth guards, though, if not more so.
Getting a mouth guard from your orthodontist will reduce your risk of damaging the appliances, as well as safeguarding your soft tissue from injuries that may be caused by the sharp edges of the brackets or wires. Mouth guards are generally a good idea for anyone playing a sport, but especially for patients who are wearing braces.
Even sports with a lower risk of contact, such as cycling, track and field or volleyball, require some protection, as you can still sustain oral injuries as a result of these activities. Speak with your orthodontist about a possibility of getting a mouth guard regardless of which sport you play.
You might be tempted to get a standard boil-and-bite model mouth guard in your local sporting goods store, but we strongly discourage you from choosing that option. These mouth guards are less effective in general, and particularly so when orthodontics is involved. As the teeth shift as a result of the orthodontic treatment, the fit of a boil-and-bite mouth guard will decline significantly, giving the patient much less protection than a specialized orthodontic mouthguard.
Athletes may also want to consider Invisalign braces, which straighten the teeth using clear plastic removable trays rather than brackets and wires to reduce their risk of injury.
Getting braces doesn’t mean giving up your favorite sport, but you do need to be responsible about protecting your smile in order to stay in the game. Ask our provider what you can do to keep your smile as healthy as possible while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Call our caring team!
November 16, 2017
Traditional braces are sometimes the best option for orthodontic treatment, especially if your teeth are severely out of alignment. However, sometimes after treatment with traditional braces, the teeth can shift, creating a need for additional correction. Invisalign is ideal for correcting these minor gaps and slight misalignments that can develop after traditional orthodontic treatment.
When is Invisalign a Good Choice After Braces?
After you’ve had braces, you need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from moving out of position. Your orthodontist will give you instructions on when and how often to wear your retainer. If you follow these instructions diligently, you’ll keep your new, properly aligned smile for a long time.
However, some people have a hard time making sure they wear their retainer regularly, especially younger patients who have had braces. Without the retainer, the teeth can shift and move, creating new issues with alignment. Fortunately, these problems are nearly always much less severe than those originally treated with braces.
For these cases, Invisalign is an excellent option. Without the discomfort and unattractiveness of traditional braces, you can still have treatment to move your teeth back into the correct position. Invisalign is ideal for correcting these minor gaps and slight misalignments that can develop after traditional orthodontic treatment. It might also be applicable if you have undergone a full course of traditional orthodontic treatment and still have slight gaps or minor misalignment.
Caring for Your Teeth After Braces
Your orthodontist is the best source for information on caring for your teeth after you’ve had braces. In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular dental appointments, you’ll need to wear your retainer, usually at night, on a regular or semi-regular basis to keep your teeth positioned properly.
Even if you wear your retainer exactly as instructed, there is still a slight chance that your teeth might shift out of alignment. If this occurs, go back to your orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.
If you are interested in seeking Invisalign treatment and would like more information, contact Fleming Orthodontics today!
September 13, 2017
Plaque starts out as a sticky substance that eventually hardens on the surfaces of teeth clinging to bacteria already living in our mouth; whenever we eat or drink, we are giving plaque another opportunity to grow. For the patient wearing braces, the danger of plaque formation increases because of the many areas so difficult to reach around bands and/or brackets.
Plaque is more than just a nuisance … the acids from plaque can eat away at the protective enamel on teeth leading to decay and the potential for gum disease. Keeping plaque under control is important for everyone, just a little more difficult for someone wearing braces.
Before orthodontic treatment gets underway, your dentist will likely recommend having your teeth cleaned to remove any plaque already present on teeth. You may be wearing braces for many months, possibly even years. Pay close attention to the instructions given by your orthodontist on how to keep your teeth as clean as possible once your braces have been placed.
Your daily hygiene regimen might need to be tweaked; allow more time for brushing and flossing. Flossing may seem more cumbersome, but is important to maintaining your dental health. You are wearing braces to straighten your teeth enhancing your appearance and improving your dental health; you want those newly straightened teeth to be free from decay when your braces come off.
Every time you eat or drink, it is a good idea to rinse thoroughly. In the absence of being able to brush, rinsing may help flush away debris that might be caught on braces.
You will be visiting your orthodontist periodically throughout treatment, but it is important to remember that these visits are to monitor your teeth straightening program only. You still need to see your family dentist for teeth cleaning and a dental exam as often as recommended by your dental provider.
Once your teeth straightening program is concluded and braces are removed, a thorough cleaning is encouraged. Your family dentist has worked as hard as you have to keep your teeth as clean as possible while wearing braces; but there may be some residual plaque that needs to be removed as soon as possible.
A beautiful smile and healthier teeth can be achieved by wearing braces; do everything you can to sustain good dental health before, during, and after orthodontics.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at Fleming Orthodontics today.
July 15, 2017
Even though you may have worn braces as a child, teeth may have slowly drifted back. Or as you aged, you are no longer satisfied with your smile. It is never too late to improve your dental health and enhance your appearance. A visit with your orthodontist will demonstrate that there are braces for adults that will accommodate your needs.
Traditional metal bands and brackets are available for patients of all ages; but teens and adults alike have found that they can achieve the smile they want while wearing virtually invisible braces available with Invisalign. Teeth straightening with ceramic braces are available as well.
Traditional braces: The brackets from years ago have been replaced with smaller units; braces are more comfortable and trendy colors are available for the bands.
Ceramic braces: Instead of metal bands, the patient can opt for a tooth colored ceramic band.
Invisalign: Many adults are investigating this method as in addition to being transparent, these braces are removable for snacks, meals, and to brush/floss daily.
A consultation with your orthodontist will outline the teeth straightening program that is going to work best for you. But one thing is certain … straight teeth are more than just aesthetically pleasing. Healthier teeth and gums are more likely as the areas for plaque to form are limited once crooked or misaligned teeth are corrected.
Daily brushing and flossing will more easily remove food debris as those pockets where plaque used to form around crooked teeth will have been eliminated.
Our permanent teeth need to last a lifetime. Keeping them looking their best is a worthy goal, but maintaining great oral health is also important for good overall health. You are never too old to improve your health; if orthodontics can help you achieve better dental health, you owe it to yourself to investigate the many methods available that will help you reach that goal and enhance your smile as well.
To learn more about your treatment options, contact our team at Fleming Orthdontics and schedule your consultation today.