- At what age should patients begin wearing braces? There is not a one size fits all answer for this one. However, it is advised that children consult with their orthodontist at around the age of seven. Although treatment may not begin that early, this is a perfect opportunity for laying the groundwork for what to anticipate as the child grows.
- How long would braces need to be worn? This is based on the severity of the malocclusion. A malocclusion occurs when the top row of teeth do not align correctly with their corresponding bottom teeth. For milder cases, braces may only be required for months; the more difficult the problem, the longer the need to wear braces for a solution.
- What kind of foods must be eliminated while wearing braces? This depends on the type of braces the patient elects to wear. Standard metal bands and brackets will mean more changes than teeth straightening methods where aligners are worn. With aligners, no food changes are required as aligners are removed before snacks and meals. With metal braces, foods that are sticky, hard, or crunchy are much more difficult to manage. It is imperative that the wires woven between teeth not bend or break. If this should occur, a visit to have repairs made is required.
- Will I still need to get my teeth cleaned while wearing braces? Yes, in fact it is very important that you do not skip your twice yearly teeth cleaning and dental exam appointments. Even though you will be seeing your orthodontist more often, this does not preclude the need to see your family dentist.
- Invisalign: A series of removable aligner trays made of clear plastic apply forces to the teeth to reposition them. Although many patients will be appropriate for Invisalign, this treatment may not be completely effective in particularly complex cases.
- Ceramic braces: Traditional orthodontic appliances (brackets and wires) are made of tooth-colored ceramic materials. Although not truly “invisible,” ceramic braces are not as noticeable as metal braces.
- Metal braces: Brackets and wires that are made of metal and manipulated to achieve the desired movement of the teeth. These appliances may be the most effective treatment option in certain cases.
March 12, 2021
Early orthodontic treatment has a number of advantages for patients. In the past, most orthodontic treatment was completed in one phase with braces and other oral appliances during one’s teenage years. Today, however, an orthodontist may break treatment into two phases with one occurring during childhood. Early orthodontic treatment can prevent a number of alignment concerns, reduce treatment times with braces, and improve a patient’s bite.
Here’s some helpful information on how early orthodontic treatment might benefit your child.
Prevents Crowding and Overlapping
Sometimes, a child may have too narrow of a jaw. As their permanent teeth begin to erupt, they may become crowded and overlapped because their jaw cannot accommodate the space all their teeth need.
Early orthodontic treatment can take advantage of the fact that a child’s jaws are still developing. For example, a palate expander can be placed to widen the jaw, which will ultimately prevent emerging teeth from crowding.
Reduces Treatment Times in Many Cases
Breaking orthodontic treatment into two phases can sometimes reduce the time a patient needs to wear braces. This is because interceptive orthodontics can create more room for teeth to emerge in upright, straight positions. By anticipating certain orthodontic concerns and treating them ahead of time, braces can be worn for less time during the second phase of treatment.
Lowers the Risk for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Early orthodontics helps prevent spacing issues. When teeth are crowded, overlapped, and crooked, it is difficult to brush and floss them properly. Proper spacing makes oral hygiene easier and more effective. Improving the effectiveness of oral hygiene reduces the risks for developing tooth decay and periodontal disease in the future.
Corrects Improper Bites
A “bite” refers to how the upper and lower sets of teeth line up during oral function. If one has issues with the alignment of their jaws, it can accelerate tooth wear and affect one’s appearance. Correcting bite issues early on improves oral function and protects teeth from tooth wear.
If you have questions about braces and orthodontic care, call Fleming Orthodontics to reserve a consultation with our orthodontist.
January 14, 2021
Wearing braces is a great investment in your oral health and your appearance. Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile, boost your self-esteem, and reduce your risks for many common oral health concerns. If you’re planning on wearing braces, you likely have questions for our orthodontist about how treatment will affect your day-to-day life. Here are some helpful tips on activities you should avoid.
Foregoing Necessary Dental Hygiene
Practicing good oral hygiene is always important but it’s especially important when you’re wearing braces. Food and surface debris can easily become trapped beneath orthodontic appliances. Mitigating this concern involves performing thorough brushing and flossing exactly as recommended by our orthodontist. Some patients invest in water irrigators to help keep their teeth cleaner while wearing braces.
Chewing ice is a destructive habit – with or without braces. If you have a habit of chewing ice, we strongly encourage you to break it. Not only does crunching on ice wear down your teeth, it can break orthodontic appliances like brackets and ligatures.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are not tools and should not be used to open bottles or packaging. Using your teeth as tools while wearing braces is particularly dangerous. The force from opening a bottle or a package could damage orthodontic appliances, which requires professional intervention to repair.
Considerations for Those Who Play Sports or Participate in Performing Arts
If you play sports, it is wise to invest in a mouthguard. Trauma to the face or head could cause severe injuries – especially if you are wearing orthodontic appliances. Custom mouthguards protect your teeth and gums so that you can enjoy sports and physical exercise.
For those who sing in choir or play instruments in orchestra or band, it is wise to avoid having new appliances (like palate expanders) placed or adjusted just before a performance. Orthodontic adjustments can cause some soreness for a few days and this could affect your ability to perform as well as you would like.
Call Fleming Orthodontics if you have questions about braces or would like to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist.
November 16, 2020
Having straight teeth is something everyone wants; however, in many cases we need a little help to achieve this goal. This usually means wearing braces to correct a malocclusion. But having straight teeth is more important than just a great smile. Decay prevention coupled with healthier gum tissue are two more reasons why orthodontics should be a priority for anyone dealing with a malocclusion.
Common Queries About Wearing Braces
Children, Teens, and Adults of all Ages are Great Candidates for Teeth Straightening
A primary requirement for patients seeking that great smile is healthy teeth and gums. Braces are not appropriate for patients suffering from severe decay or periodontal disease until those conditions are brought under control.For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Fleming Orthodontics today.
September 14, 2020
Orthodontic treatment doesn’t have to be unsightly or conspicuous. Patients have a few options for achieving the straight smile of their dreams discreetly. Our orthodontist offers clear braces such as Invisalign as well as conventional braces made of tooth-colored ceramic.
Following is some helpful information on ceramic and clear braces.
Ceramic braces use fixed appliances to correct orthodontic problems. Instead of noticeable plastic and metal, however, ceramic braces use tooth-colored brackets. These brackets blend in seamlessly with natural tooth structure for very discreet treatment. Like metal and wire braces, ceramic braces can correct a host of orthodontic issues including gapped, crooked, and overlapped teeth as well as occlusal problems such as overbites and open bites.
Invisalign Clear Braces
Invisalign is quite different from other orthodontic treatment options. Instead of using fixed appliances, Invisalign treatments consists of wearing removal appliances called “aligners”. Made from plastic, these clear braces correct the positions of teeth over time. Invisalign can correct positioning issues like gapped and crooked teeth, and improve a person’s bite.
Patients will switch to a new, custom set of aligners every two weeks. Aligners become tighter as treatment progresses to generate the consistent force needed to move teeth to better positions. Many patients enjoy Invisalign treatment over conventional braces because it is very inconspicuous and because aligners are removable. This means that aligners are taken out for meals and oral hygiene, a very convenient advantage associated with this unique orthodontic system.
Choosing the Right Orthodontic Treatment for Your Needs
Today’s orthodontic patient has abundant options, which can help them receive the care they need and the results they want. If you’re interested in ceramic or clear braces, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our orthodontist. This initial appointment will involve speaking to our team about your smile goals, inquiring about your oral health history and lifestyle, and receiving a physical examination. Initial consultations allow our team to develop the right treatment plan that suits your unique needs and objectives.
Call Fleming Orthodontics today to reserve a consultation.
July 16, 2020
Children receiving their permanent, adult teeth is an exciting time. Although many view the emergence of adult teeth as a rite of passage, some parents might experience concern if these teeth come in crooked. If you’re wondering whether orthodontic treatment or braces might be necessary, it’s important to discuss these concerns with your dentist. More than likely, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist for a consultation.
Why do teeth come in crooked?
Almost everyone’s adult teeth do not emerge perfectly straight and properly spaced. Many crooked teeth are caused by inadequate room in the mouth. Visiting an orthodontist for a consultation can help pinpoint the reasons for crooked teeth and help determine the best type of orthodontic treatment for your child’s needs.
Are braces always necessary?
No, braces aren’t always necessary. Orthodontic treatment methods can vary substantially between patients.
Some children might require two-phase or early-interceptive orthodontic treatment. This type of treatment means that patients may wear orthodontic appliances at a younger age, normally between the ages of seven and ten. This first phase probably won’t involve braces but it might involve appliances such as palatal expanders, which help widen the jaw to create the room necessary for teeth to emerge straight and upright. The second phase of treatment, however, will likely include braces when a child is older.
Other patients may not require orthodontic treatment until they are pre-teens or teenagers. Braces are an excellent method for correcting spacing issues, improving a patient’s occlusion (bite), and producing an overall healthier, straighter smile.
When should my child see an orthodontist?
Most children are referred to an orthodontic specialist by the age of seven for an initial consultation. Although many children may not yet need treatment, it gives our team a chance to evaluate any underling issues that could be corrected and/or predict the need for future intervention.
Achieving and maintaining a straight smile can help protect your child’s oral health for a lifetime. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give our team at Fleming Orthodontics a call today.
May 14, 2020
Adults may need to get braces for any number of reasons. Perhaps they are dissatisfied with a misaligned smile that was never corrected during their childhood or adolescence. Maybe they did undergo one round of treatment but the teeth reverted to their original positions.
Regardless of the reason for braces for adults, these patients have a number of treatment options. However, they have unique needs that a teenager doesn’t, so it’s important to consider these factors when deciding on a treatment option.
We recommend that adult patients explore all of their treatment options and work closely with their orthodontist to determine which one will be most effective and best meet their needs. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.
Considerations For Orthodontic Treatment In Adult Patients
Adult orthodontic patients have different needs from children and teenagers. For example, they will be more concerned with maintaining a professional image in the workplace. Certain options for braces for adults will have minimal impact on your smile’s appearance.
Additionally, adult patients who never were treated by an orthodontist earlier in their lives may have more complex cases. The misalignments may be more severe, requiring specialized appliances or possibly even surgery.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Fortunately, braces for adults come in multiple forms, and we can work with you to find the option that’s the best fit. Here are the main options:
After evaluating your case, our orthodontist can determine which option is most likely to be effective and as convenient for you as possible.
The best way to figure out which orthodontic treatment option is right for you is to schedule a consultation at our office. Call Fleming Orthodontics today to set up your appointment.