Category Archives: braces

When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?

braces Garland TXThe American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have their first orthodontic checkup no later than age seven. A dentist might recommend visiting a specialist sooner, however, if abnormalities or concerns are revealed during routine checkups and cleanings.

While it is common for children to wear braces, orthodontics helps people from all age groups, including adults. Determining when to receive braces varies from person to person because everyone’s oral anatomy and developmental progress is unique. A consultation with an orthodontist will help determine the best course of action.

Early Interceptive Orthodontic Care

Early interceptive orthodontics is a treatment method that breaks up treatment into two phases, with the first phase occurring during childhood. This first phase takes advantage of the bones and palate continuing to develop. Since bone growth still occurs, orthodontic appliances like palate expanders can be used to widen the jaw and create room for the emergence of adult teeth.

By creating room and correcting occlusal issues that might arise, some patients can enjoy significantly shorter treatment periods. Many children do not have to wear braces as long with early intervention. Moreover, interceptive care can eliminate the need for external headgear.

Braces for Teens

Teenagers might need braces even if they do not require interceptive care in childhood. Fortunately, today’s braces have unique design elements to increase comfort and streamline the movement of teeth. There are also multiple options for maintaining a natural looking aesthetic, if desired.

For instance, ceramic braces have tooth-colored brackets and clear wires, which look incredibly natural when compared to braces made from metal archwires and brackets.

Orthodontic Intervention in Adulthood

Sometimes people need braces during their adult years. This is common when people never had access to orthodontic care, their wisdom teeth emerged and forced teeth out of position, or when patients do not wear their retainers as directed after braces.

There are a number of solutions for adults in need of braces that are more comfortable and aesthetically appealing than conventional orthodontia. For example, there are self-ligating braces that speed up treatment times and clear alternatives to braces made from plastic.

If you have questions about your treatment options, call Fleming Orthodontics today to reserve a consultation with our orthodontist.

Categories: braces, clear braces, Garland orthodontist

Importance of Plaque Control During Orthodontic Treatment

orthodontics Garland TXOral hygiene is important – especially during orthodontic treatment. While orthodontics is a wonderful investment in your oral health, it is important to know that you have an increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay when wearing braces. This is because food and plaque collect on the surfaces of orthodontic appliances and because braces can make cleaning teeth more cumbersome.

Patients with braces should practice vigilant oral hygiene in addition to having frequent follow-up appointments with our orthodontist.

Brushing

If we brush properly, we can clean about 70% of the surfaces in our mouth. Brushing thoroughly controls the development of plaque and tartar. We should brush our teeth at least twice a day, preferably when we wake up and before we go to bed.

It takes a couple minutes to brush since we need to clean all sides of our teeth, the gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth. Patients should choose soft bristled brushes or brush heads and ADA-approved toothpaste for effective brushing.

Interdental Cleaning

Even though brushing is important, it doesn’t improve interdental hygiene. We must use interdental cleaners like floss to clean between our teeth. Since braces can make flossing more difficult, it is important for orthodontics patients to make extra time in their schedules for oral hygiene. Floss should be threaded behind the archwires of braces to avoid breaking them and to reach between teeth.

Some people wearing braces choose to use other types of Interdental cleaners like handheld disposable picks and water irrigators.

Dietary Considerations

Our diet affects oral health. If we consume starchy and sugary foods, we feed bacteria. Harmful oral bacteria grow stronger and colonize after feeding on sugar molecules. They also release acids, which can weaken tooth enamel, as a by-product of the feeding process. The American Dental Association encourages people to limit intake of sugary and starchy food items.

Our orthodontist is accepting new patients. Call Fleming Orthodontics to reserve a consultation with our helpful team.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist, orthodontics

Orthodontic Treatment: Give Your Child the Gift of a Healthy Smile

orthodontist Garland TXA beautiful, healthy smile takes effort. Parents must work with children and their dentist to develop good oral hygiene habits. It is important to brush and floss diligently, eat a healthy diet and limit sugary snacks. Children should also visit the orthodontist as part of their oral health routine.

Not all children need orthodontic treatment, but they should all be evaluated around age seven. Many parents avoid having children evaluated until all adult teeth have erupted, but this is a mistake and it increases the chances that a child may spend a longer amount of time wearing braces.

Early Intervention is the Key to Optimum Oral Health

A child should ideally have their first orthodontic evaluation between the ages of six and eight years old. This is when permanent teeth begin to erupt, and orthodontic issues may become apparent. During this time a child’s facial features are still developing making it easier to correct minor issues. Preventive orthodontics is best applied at this age to prevent the need for more invasive treatment later. This is typically referred to as Phase One treatment.

Does My Child Need Braces?

After an orthodontic evaluation, you may find that your child can benefit from braces. Dental braces are used to correct many issues including crooked or crowded teeth and malocclusions. They put gentle but steady pressure on teeth to shift them into the desired position. Most children benefit from traditional metal braces with wires and rubber bands. Children typically get to choose the color of the rubber bands which makes it more fun for them.

Time of Treatment

Once braces are placed, your child will need to visit the orthodontist regularly for adjustments. This is what helps move teeth to the desired position. The length of time your child will need to wear braces depends on many factors including the issue being treated, their age at treatment and the intended results. People are never too old for braces, but the process is easier and more effective when started early.

If you have been told your child needs braces, or you think they might, schedule an appointment with our team at Fleming Orthodontics. Our highly skilled and compassionate staff is always happy to set up an evaluation and answer all your questions because everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile.

Categories: braces, early orthodontic treatment, Garland orthodontist

Orthodontic Treatment: Signs the Bite’s Not Right

early orthodontic treatment Garland TXWhen 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.

  • 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.

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.

Categories: braces, early orthodontic treatment, Garland orthodontist

Am I still a candidate for Invisalign if I’ve had braces?

Invisalign Garland TXTraditional 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!

Categories: braces, clear braces, Garland orthodontist, Invisalign

Plaque Control and Orthodontic Treatment

orthodontics braces Garland TXPlaque 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.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist, orthodontics

Clear Braces: Invisible, Removable, Comfortable

clear braces Garland

Clear braces, such as the Invisalign system, are tremendously popular among patients because they straighten your smile without hiding it behind clunky metal appliances for the better part of two years. Invisalign straightens the teeth by applying forces to them via a series of progressive, removable trays made of clear plastic.

Your orthodontist will use the same principles that are the foundation of conventional braces in order to move your teeth and design the Invisalign treatment plan to achieve this goal. The patient is then responsible for switching the trays according to the designated schedule, usually every other week or so. The patient must also wear the Invisalign tray for the recommended period of time (20-22 hours) each day.

As a reward for following these rules, Invisalign patients gain a number of benefits over those who choose traditional appliances. Of course, the aesthetic benefits are obvious. You can see your results in real time rather than counting down the months until the brackets and wires are removed from your teeth.

Invisalign is more convenient in many ways, as well. Since the patient is taking on the responsibility of making the “adjustments” by switching trays every couple of weeks, there are fewer trips to the orthodontist. You’ll only come into the office periodically so that the orthodontist can monitor your progress and make sure that everything is going as anticipated.

Additionally, the trays can be removed at mealtime and for oral hygiene purposes. You don’t have to eliminate favorite foods from your diet (although you should limit your sweet treats) or wrangle your toothbrush and floss around the appliances.

Invisalign trays are comfortable as well. With no sharp-edged brackets or wires that can break free and poke the mouth’s interior, you won’t experience a painful soft tissue injury during treatment.

Patients who want to straighten their teeth without being saddled with a “metal mouth” should consider Invisalign. Schedule a consultation at our office, Fleming Orthodontics in Garland, TX, to get more information about this treatment option and find out whether it will meet your needs.

Categories: braces, clear braces, Garland orthodontist

Orthodontic Treatment: What is the purpose of the rubber bands?

orthodontist Garland TXOrthodontia is a specialty field of dentistry which deals mainly with the alignment of teeth. A malocclusion, or improper bite, can be detrimental to a child’s oral health and the aesthetics of their smile. Crooked and crowded teeth are harder to keep clean, especially for children. This can contribute to tooth decay, periodontal disease and other oral health risks later in life. Children with malocclusions and crooked or crowded teeth often visit an orthodontist for corrective braces.

What Are Dental Braces?

Dental braces are corrective devices which are worn to correct the alignment of teeth. Braces help straighten crooked or crowded teeth and bring the jaw back into alignment to correct the bite. Braces typically consist of brackets, archwire and ligatures, or rubber bands. The length of time they are worn depends on the individual case and the specific issue being treated.

Ligatures and Rubber Bands

With dental braces, the archwire runs through the brackets to help provide the necessary pressure to slowly move teeth. The ligatures are tiny rubber bands that help hold the archwire in place and they are usually changed by the orthodontist each time the wire is tightened. This is known as getting the braces adjusted.

Interarch rubber bands are the final part of the process. They attach to the brackets and connect the top jaw to the bottom jaw. These rubber bands help adjust the position of teeth as well as the jaw. These interarch rubber bands are one of the most important factors in ensuring that a child’s teeth are aligned properly. They are typically replaced daily to keep them in good working order.

Every Case is Different

Not every child who receives braces will need these interarch rubber bands. It depends on their individual issues and existing jaw alignment. Parents usually make this decision based on the plan of care recommended by the orthodontist.

If you have a child who needs braces, or you think you may, make an appointment with our office. Our goal is to give you, or your child, the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

Discuss your options by calling our office today!

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist

Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign help?

clear braces Garland

Teeth shifting after the removal of braces is referred to as orthodontic relapse. Teeth may shift as a result of the arrival of wisdom teeth, or people stop wearing their retainers as directed. Sometimes teeth are just stubborn, and they slowly drift back to their original position. Either way, a subsequent visit to the orthodontist is usually necessary and a routine exam will tell the story.

Can Invisalign Help?

Most of the time, the answer is yes. Of course, every case is different and treated on an individual basis. However, patients who have previously worn dental braces typically make good Invisalign patients. Invisalign clear braces are great for treating smile gaps, crowded and crooked teeth as well as many other minor orthodontic issues. Some more extreme issues may call for traditional dental braces.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a set of custom made clear aligners that are worn for up to twenty-two hours per day. These removable clear aligners slowly shift teeth to the desired position. They are worn for up to two weeks until it’s time to move on to the next aligner in the series as directed by the orthodontist. Invisalign clear aligners produce permanent and powerful results.

Why Patients Love Invisalign

Invisalign is discreet as opposed to traditional braces. Since they are clear, they are virtually invisible, so they don’t interfere with sports or work-related activities. They are easily removed for eating and dental hygiene making them very convenient. Invisalign clear aligners are custom made for each individual patient, so they fit comfortably. Additionally, since there are no wires to abrade soft oral tissues. There are also no dietary restrictions with Invisalign and patients can resume normal activities immediately.

If you have worn braces before but your teeth have shifted again, you may be a great candidate for Invisalign. Make an appointment with our office today and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Let’s see if Invisalign can give you back your beautiful, healthy smile.

Categories: braces, clear braces, Garland orthodontist, Invisalign

Is it too late to have braces if I’m an adult?

braces orthodntist GarlandThe short answer is no, it is never too late to have braces. In fact, many people do not pursue orthodontic treatment until they are adults. They are dissatisfied with crooked, crowded teeth or spacing issues. Braces for adults have become quite common and the evolving dental landscape presents various options. Many adults choose to use Invisalign clear braces rather than conventional orthodontics because they don’t detract from a professional appearance.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of custom crafted clear aligners which are worn for up to twenty-two hours per day. These comfortable medical grade plastic aligners slowly shift teeth to the desired position. Each aligner is worn for up to two weeks as directed by the orthodontist until it is time to move to the next in the series. These innovative dental appliances provide a welcome option to traditional braces for adults.

Why Invisalign?

Patients love the convenience of being able to remove these clear aligners to eat and for hygiene purposes. The aligners are virtually invisible, so they can be worn at work undetected. Since they are composed of medical grade plastic, there are no wires to abrade soft oral tissues. There are also no dietary restrictions and patients can resume normal activities immediately.

Now that there are more options available, patients who pursue orthodontic treatment later in life can make choices that meet the needs of their lifestyle. Many times, they are seeking treatment that was overlooked in adolescence or was bypassed to due monetary restrictions.

If you have been told you need braces, or think you might, make an appointment with our office today. You may be a great candidate for Invisalign. It is never too late to pursue orthodontic treatment and take charge of your oral health. Call our team at Fleming Orthodontics to schedule your evaluation.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist, Invisalign