Category Archives: braces

My Child’s Teeth are Coming in Crooked: Are Braces Necessary?

orthodontist Garland TXChildren 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.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist, orthodontics

A Parent’s Guide to Early Orthodontic Treatment

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 Garland TXEarly 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:

  • Protruding front teeth
  • Problems with speech
  • Significant crowding
  • Severely misaligned teeth
  • Occlusal issues such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites

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.

Categories: braces, early orthodontic treatment, Garland orthodontist

I think my child needs braces: what are the first steps?


braces Garland TXWearing 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.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

orthodontics Garland TXDo 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.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist, orthodontics

Foods to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment

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.

Dental Braces 

orthodontist Garland TXYour 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.

Categories: braces, Garland orthodontist

What is early orthodontic treatment?

early orthodontic treatment Garland TXEarly orthodontic treatment involves anticipating orthodontic issues early on during childhood and addressing them with treatment, if necessary. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist for a consultation by their seventh birthday. This consultation will involve an oral examination to monitor the development of the jaws, bite, and tooth transition (the replacement of baby teeth with adult teeth).

Since the oral cavity is still developing, early orthodontic treatment (also known as interceptive orthodontics) can prevent the development of malocclusions like underbites, crossbites, overbites, and open bites. It can also decrease the need for tooth extractions later on. Sometimes, patients who had interceptive treatment enjoy reduced treatment times for braces.

What does interceptive treatment involve?

Interceptive treatment can involve using functional growth appliances to reduce the severity of developing orthodontic issues. Appliances such as palatal expanders to widen the jaw or create room for adult teeth to emerge might be used. Other examples of interceptive treatment include tooth extractions and limited braces.

Will all children need interceptive care?

Whether your child requires interceptive orthodontic care depends on the results of the consultation with an orthodontist. Not all children require early care. There are three outcomes to your child’s initial consultation for orthodontics. The first is that treatment is necessary. The second is that treatment might be necessary and the development of the jaws, bite, and emerging teeth need to be monitored. Lastly, an initial consultation can conclude that early orthodontics isn’t necessary.

Does early orthodontic care eliminate the need for headgear?

External orthodontic appliances can be uncomfortable and do look very obvious. Fortunately, early treatment and advancements in orthodontic appliances have greatly reduced the need for external headgear. There might still be instances where headgear is necessary, however.

What can parents look for that might indicate the need for early treatment?

While a consultation is the best option for revealing whether early treatment is needed, there are some issues that parents can look for. Common indicators for early treatment include bucked teeth, speech impediments, and thumb sucking passed the age of five. Crowded teeth, difficulty chewing, and “mouth breathing” are typical indicators, too.

Call Fleming Orthodontics today to reserve a consultation.

Categories: braces, early orthodontic treatment

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.


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