July 15, 2019
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.
Your 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.
May 16, 2019
Braces may seem like a rite of passage for teenagers, but adults can benefit from working with an orthodontist, too. Braces for adults can be beneficial in a variety of scenarios. They may be used to correct an alignment regression that occurred years after initial treatment or straighten smiles for the first time.
Working adults who want to maintain a professional appearance throughout orthodontic treatment will have special considerations, however. Fortunately, such patients have access to a variety of treatment options that have minimal effects on the aesthetics of the smile.
Benefits Of Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Patients may notice that their teeth revert to their original positions in the years after they first sought treatment from an orthodontist, and correcting such misalignments is one benefit of braces for adults. Additionally, adults who never wore braces during their adolescence may find themselves dissatisfied with their crooked teeth and want to fix that problem at long last.
Regardless of the circumstances in which adult patients decide to get braces, the benefits of a properly aligned smile are numerous. Not only will your smile look better, which improves your self-confidence, but a straight smile also can chew more effectively and reduce the risk of damage to the soft oral tissues that can occur when they are bitten by a misaligned jaw. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may even correct conditions that are causing discomfort for a patient.
Orthodontic Treatment Options With Minimal Effects On Your Appearance
Understandably, adult patients who are considering orthodontic treatment may be put off by the idea of wearing clunky metal appliances on their teeth. However, there are alternatives for braces for adults that are more aesthetically pleasing. For example, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays to reposition the teeth, and those trays are barely noticeable. Ceramic brackets can also be used with standard orthodontic appliances for less visibility during treatment.
While Invisalign can correct a number of problems, including some that are fairly complex, this may not be the best treatment choice for all patients and ceramic brackets and orthodontic wires may be a better choice. After evaluating your case, your orthodontist will advise you of the treatment approach that will best help you to achieve your smile goals.
Don’t let reluctance about metal braces stand between you and a straighter smile. Explore orthodontic alternatives that will detract less from your smile’s appearance. Visit our team at Fleming Orthodontics for a consultation.
January 15, 2019
The 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.
November 16, 2018
Oral 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.
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.
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.
September 20, 2018
A 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.
July 19, 2018
One of the many benefits on the Invisalign orthodontic treatment system is that the clear plastic trays used to reposition the teeth can be removed at mealtime. That means you can take them out to eat and drink the foods and beverages that you’ve always enjoyed (although it’s always a healthy choice to limit sweet treats!). Tea and coffee can be safely consumed while you’re undergoing treatment with Invisalign clear braces, although you should not drink these beverages while you are wearing the trays.
Although you don’t have to chew when you’re drinking beverages, it’s important to remove the trays before consuming them. Especially in the case of drinks like tea and coffee, which are capable of staining the teeth. If you drink coffee or tea while wearing your aligners.
You can remove your Invisalign trays to drink coffee, tea and other beverages, as well as eat meals, but it’s important that you remember to put them back in to achieve the desired treatment results in the anticipated timeframe. Your orthodontist will educate you on how many hours the trays should be worn each day. It’s usually around 22 hours.
Your orthodontist will also instruct you when to change to a new tray. Invisalign moves the teeth using a series of clear plastic trays, which must be swapped out in a specified order. Being conscientious about this aspect of your treatment will also help you get the smile you desire.
This type of clear braces has other benefits in addition to the convenience of eating and drinking. They are barely noticeable to observers, so they are far less intrusive on your smile than conventional braces, even those that use clear brackets.
Invisalign offers patients the convenience to eat and drink typical things, including tea and coffee, although you must take care to do so properly to reduce the risk of staining your teeth. Talk to our orthodontist for more specifics about this aspect of Invisalign as well as general information about the treatment.