Category Archives: braces

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.

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