Early Treatment (Ages 7-10)
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests an initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7: Why?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, as different problems are better treated at different ages. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but we can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. However, a short “Phase One” treatment is sometimes needed between ages 7-10 to help ensure healthy growth and development. At your child’s dental visits, your dentist should be able to tell you when the optimal time might be to see an orthodontist.
What makes this the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted, or come through the gums, establishing the bite of the back teeth. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships, as you bite and slide your teeth around. Also, the presence of erupting incisors (front teeth) can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or overly-gummy smiles.
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment usually lasts about 6-12 months. While the ultimate goal of orthodontic treatment with children is the elevation of self-esteem and self-confidence, the primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant skeletal problems to prevent them from becoming more severe. This is typically reserved for width discrepancies between the two jaws, bony asymmetries, or Class III growth tendency (the tendency for the lower jaw to outgrow the upper jaw).
Why screen by age 7?
The posterior bite is established when the first molars (permanent back teeth) erupt, or come up through the gums, around age six. At this time, the doctor can evaluate the relationship of both the front and back teeth, as well as discover any functional shifts that may occur when the jaws slide and the teeth come together. Because the incisors (front teeth) will be erupting around this age, certain problems like crowding, deep bites, open bites thumb or finger sucking habits, and some facial asymmetries can be detected early.
For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, this initial screening will provide a guide for a long-term treatment plan.
The benefits of early treatment
For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
• Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
• Harmonize width of the dental arches.
• Improve eruption patterns.
• Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
• Correct harmful oral habits.
• Improve aesthetics and self-esteem.
• Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics.
• Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
• Improve some speech problems.
• Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.
Numerous clinical research trials have demonstrated that untreated malocclusions (an improper bite) can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping or being knocked out. Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. And, open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontic treatment does more than make a beautiful smile: it creates a healthy, functioning bite.
The pre-teen and adolescent years represent an ideal time to firmly solidify that glowing smile! When all or almost all adult teeth have erupted, The doctor will be able to work to create the coolest smile in town! Even if you didn’t have a screening as a child, now is the perfect time to have an evaluation.
Who hasn’t seen their friends walking to class sporting their school or holiday colors across their teeth? These are not the painful, bulky braces your parents wore in the 1960’s or 1970’s! Today’s braces can be decorated with cool elastic colors, or be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”. Every smile is unique and spectacular, and you get to help the doctor decorate your smile exactly as you like. The doctor is committed to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that is truly remarkable and lasts a lifetime!
Who is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Were you the negligent teenager who refused to wear her retainer after orthodontic treatment or were you the one never allowed that glorious opportunity to sport a mouth full of metal down the school halls? Have you noticed that your teeth have continued to change as you’ve gotten older? Well, now is your time to bring back the healthy, beautiful smile!
Whether or not you’ve had braces before, you could be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment, if you have healthy gums and good bone structure around your teeth. And, the bonus is that these are not the painful, bulky metal braces of the 1960s and 1970s anymore. Today’s braces can be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”- or be completely clear, like Invisalign. You can also sport any color elastics on your braces to match your wardrobe, season, or sporting event. Why not start the road to a healthier, happier, smilier you today? After all, we are hoping you leave smiling with confidence!
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
A smile can be improved at any age. As a child, early orthodontic screening and treatment can lead to dramatic improvement in long-term oral health, as well as increased self-esteem and confidence. But, braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Adults, with healthy gums and bone structure, can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for all age groups.
Orthodontic treatment as an adult can dramatically improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as personal appearance and self-esteem. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of tooth enamel surfaces. Malocclusions, or bad bites, occur as a result of tooth misalignment or jaw discrepancies and can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
The doctor uses the latest technology in orthodontic techniques and appliances, including metal braces, clear braces, as well as clear aligners, like Invisalign®, which are primarily used for milder cases of tooth movement. He will work with you to choose the most appropriate appliance to fit your needs.
The doctor thoughtfully offers the following to his patients who seek results later in life:
• A separate Adult Treatment Room for patients who prefer privacy
• Clear brackets in addition to the traditional stainless
• Invisalign™ treatment for limited tooth movement and treatment of relapse.
• State of the art technology which means minimal discomfort during tooth alignment
• Retainer treatment for minor tooth movement
• Braces on upper or lower arch only (limited treatment goals)
Technically proficient and friendly orthodontic team
Diagnosis and treatment plan by an Invisalign®-trained orthodontist
We will give you an initial examination to determine if Invisalign® treatment is right for you. If it appears that Invisalign® is an option, we will take photographs, x-rays, and an impression of your teeth. The doctor will then complete further diagnostic analysis to verify that Invisalign® will work for you and create a treatment plan that will determine exactly how the teeth are straightened. At that time, we will be able to let you know if you qualify for orthodontic insurance benefits and the estimated cost and length of treatment. When the treatment plan is complete, your records will be sent to Invisalign® along with your the doctor’s instructions. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign® will translate the doctor’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners.
You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. Each set of aligners will gradually move your teeth closer and closer to the desired result. You will need to wear these aligners all the time except when you are eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth.
No metal wires and brackets
Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign® is more comfortable than traditional braces. And because they are removable, eating, brushing and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, and smile without holding back. With Invisalign®, there’s nothing to hide.
In both clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth. The doctor’s Invisalign® treatment takes about the same length of time as traditional braces and is far more comfortable. Thousands of patients are taking advantage of this revolutionary treatment.
Convenient treatment at our office
Throughout treatment, we will arrange for check-up appointments about every six weeks to make sure that treatment is progressing as predicted. As treatment nears completion, we will design a retention plan to help you keep your smile for life.
Talk to the doctor today to see if Invisalign® is right for you
You can sleep knowing that your treatment is being diagnosed and monitored by the doctor, an Invisalign®-trained orthodontic specialist. We will even be able to finish your case with tooth whitening dentistry if you desire, to give you a gleaming, bright smile. If invisible braces i are what you are looking for, you’ve come to the right place.
“What is Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® is the invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces. Invisalign® uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign® has been proven effective in clinical research and we have used it successfully .
“How Does Invisalign® Work?”
I recommend you wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position I have prescribed. You’ll visit our orthodontics office about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
“How Are Aligners Made?”
The aligners are made through a combination of our orthodontic expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology. Invisalign® is as close to invisible braces as you can get. Call today to find out if Invisalign® is right for you.
“Why should I consider Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® can help you get the great smile you’ve always wanted because it’s…
Invisible, so no one can tell you’re straightening your teeth. Now you can smile during treatment as well as after.
Removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment; plus brushing and flossing are no problem.
Comfortable, because it has no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in our office getting adjustments.
Invisalign® Can Work for You
The doctor has found that a vast majority of adults and adolescents can be treated with Invisalign®. Invisalign® treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, space closure, narrow arches, relapse, anterior intrusion, and limited treatment cases.
“How Do I Get Started?”
Getting started with treatment couldn’t be easier. In fact, you can be on your way to straighter teeth and a beautiful smile within weeks of visiting us.
Step 1: Visit Our Orthodontics Office
During this first step you will need to make an appointment with the doctor, an Invisalign® Certified Orthodontist. During the initial visit, the doctor will help you decide on your course of treatment. The doctor will take bite impressions of your teeth and send them, along with a set of precise instructions, to Invisalign®.
Step 2: Invisalign® Makes Your Aligners
Invisalign® uses advanced 3-D computer imaging technology to transform your bite impressions into a custom-made series of clear and removable aligners. There may be as many as 48 in the series or as few as 12, depending on your individual treatment plan.
Step 3: You Receive Your Aligners in a Few Weeks
During your next visit to the office, you will receive your first set aligners. The doctor will most likely give you a few additional sets for you to wear before you return for your next visit.
Step 4: You Wear Your Aligners
You’ll wear each set of aligners day and night for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months, but will vary from case to case. You’ll visit the office only about every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
Step 5: You’ve Finished The Treatment
Congratulations! When you’re finished wearing each aligner in the series, your treatment will be complete and you will have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
Frequently Asked Questions
“How much does Invisalign® cost?”
As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® is heavily dependent on the complexity of a patient’s case. However, the cost is generally more expensive than traditional braces. For more information about specific cost information, call our office.
Does insurance cover Invisalign®?
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, we have found that if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
“How does Invisalign® effectively move teeth?”
Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Will TMJ affect Invisalign® treatment?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular, or jaw, joint. Individuals can have a number of problems with the jaw joint, some of which can be aggravated by appliances and treatments like Invisalign®. To find out if your TMJ problem will adversely impact dental treatment, consult your Invisalign®-certified doctor.
How can I pay my monthly bill?
Will braces affect playing sports?
What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?
What is it like getting my braces on?
How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?
How can I pay my monthly bill?
We accept the following forms of payment:
MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express
You can pay your bill online, by phone, by mail, or in person. We can also set up an automatic debit from your credit card, checking or savings account.
Will braces affect playing sports?
You should be able to play just about any sport or activity you desire. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a risk of getting hit in the face.
What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?
Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If not worn as instructed, you teeth may shift back. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed, during the time the teeth need to be stabilized. Retainers should be worn as instructed by the Orthodontist. If your retainer(s) become lost, damaged, or broken please contact the office immediately.
What is it like getting my braces on?
Braces are attached quickly and easily to your teeth with a strong adhesive. This appointment normally lasts around 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Braces may feel a little awkward at first and your teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal. Some discomfort and soreness are also normal but should go away within the first few days or even hours. Some patients choose to take over-the-counter pain relievers for the first day to lessen the discomfort. You can also do this before your appointment and as needed afterwards.
It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.
How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?
Braces may become loose and wires bent and/or broken as a result of eating certain foods. Any breakage could result in a disruption of your treatment and possibly extend the length of time required to finish your case. A well balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth. You should avoid anything too hard, sticky or chewy. We also advise that you avoid any foods or drinks known to cause cavities. Consult your orthodontist with any specific food questions.
Foods to Avoid:
Hard or sticky candy
Whole apples (sliced okay)
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?
It’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy during treatment. This can be achieved by avoiding any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should also brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals. Food can get easily caught in brackets and wires, so it’s important to brush and floss not only for healthy teeth but a clean smile. We also recommend you continue cleanings with your general dentist every 6 months.
We offer the full range of cosmetic dental services including contouring or minor shaping of teeth , whitening at home or in the office, bonding with tooth-colored filling materials, veneers, crowns, and bridges in all ceramic materials, custom-designed dentures and orthodontics.
The state of the art in lost tooth replacement is now implant-supported restorations. Implants are proving to be the longest-lasting restorations yet. Artificial tooth roots can support single teeth or full arches and can be removable or permanently cemented
The key to good oral health, to keep your smile healthy and beautiful is prevention. We will help you to develop a personalized home care routine, have regularly scheduled professional cleaning and exams, and provide the best, most effective home care products at the lowest possible price.
Pedodontics or children’s dentistry should be fun. Bring kids in as soon as they have teeth. Let them get used to the sights and sounds of the office before they have any problems. Get them on a good preventive program early. Remember, 90% of all dental problems from cavities to gum disease and even oral cancer can be prevented.
Gum disease is responsible for the most tooth loss after the age of 30. Many people are not even aware they have it. Nearly all adults have some form of gum disease. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with periodontitis or gum disease. We provide nonsurgical treatment for gum disease. The key to controlling periodontitis is excellent home care and frequent professional maintenance appointments. A home care regimen will be tailored to fit your needs. Advanced cases are referred to a specialist or periodontist.
When disease or injury damages the nerve inside a tooth, it becomes a candidate for a “root canal.” If there is severe pain, minor treatment is done to control the pain and infection. Then endodontics or the root canal procedure can be done painlessly in just one appointment.
We provide all contemporary restorative dentistry procedures. Both the traditional metallic and the newer nonmetallic restorations are available. Fillings can restore smaller cavities while larger ones require inlays, onlays, or crowns.
If you have lost some teeth, we offer prosthodontic replacements. Removable partial dentures are the most economical option. Fixed bridgework is cemented permanently and requires a larger investment. Implant-supported bridges or dentures provide the most secure and longest-lasting replacements but with a proportionally higher investment.
Oral surgery procedures are a part of our mix of services. Single or multiple extraction can be done and temporary partial or full dentures can be placed immediately. You never have to go without teeth. We have nitrous oxide “laughing gas” and can arrange IV sedation if desired. Complex procedures are referred to an oral-maxillofacial surgeon.
When teeth are crooked, crowded or spaced, they can be aligned with orthodontics. Braces can prevent or minimize developing problems in young children. Usually braces are delayed until all the permanent teeth are in. Many of our adult patients have braces to gain the straight smile they have always wanted. There is really no age limit for braces!
Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
Sticky foods: caramels, gum
Hard foods: nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how! This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
Remove retainers when swimming.
Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Removable Expander Instructions
Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Fixed Expander Instructions
Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.