We specialize in Orthodontics. Braces are used to assist in aligning and straitening teeth in order to not only improve appearance, but improve a person’s bite. Having braces isn’t just about improving your smile, but it’s also about improving your overall dental health. Orthodontics may be used to correct malocclusion, overbite, underbites, cross bites, deep bites, crooked teeth and other flaws of the teeth and jaws. Braces may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help with making corrections to a person’s bite.
Dental technology has improved over the years to include new options to help correct the above issues, and there are a number of techniques and products available that were not available just a few short years ago. The patient experience has improved and today’s options are less conspicuous than the full braces that were common in the past.
Traditional metal braces are still the most popular types of braces as they produce high quality results. Clear Ceramic braces are popular with adults and teenagers who want the results of braces without the look of metal. Your visit will begin with a consultation with the doctor to go over the best alternatives for your orthodontic care. The doctor will address any questions you may have regarding your treatment and will provide a plan for orthodontic therapy.
Metal braces made from stainless steel brackets and wires remain the most popular choice for braces and are very effective.
Virtually invisible, there are several advantages clear brackets have over traditional braces and aligners. Clear braces combine tieless braces with high technology archwires that are clinically proven to move teeth fast and comfortably with truly spectacular smile and facial results. Available from skilled orthodontists, clear braces combine the best of traditional clear braces and invisible aligners to deliver a discrete treatment experience with results that go beyond straight teeth.
Self-ligating brackets have some advantages over traditional metal braces. The primary difference is that they do not use elastics or metal ties to connect the archwire to the brackets. There are several potential benefits to choosing self-ligating brackets if it is determined that they are a good option for your treatment.
Aesthetics – Self-ligating brackets may appear smaller than traditional brackets.
Cleaning – The absence of elastics and ties can it easier for patients with self-ligating braces to keep their teeth and braces clean, although special care and attention to daily cleaning is important with any type of orthodontic treatment.
Appointment Time – Adjustment appointments are often shorter with this efficient system due to the specialized brackets that hold the archwire within the bracket.
Treatment Time – Overall treatment time with self-ligating orthodontic brackets is often shorter than that of traditional metal braces.
Lingual braces are a great solution for professionals or for anyone who prefers not to have the braces visible. Lingual braces are placed behind your teeth so that you get the same effective tooth alignment to create a beautiful smile, without everyone realizing you have braces.
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
Palatal Expander Device (PED)
Both removeable and fixed PEDs can be used to address crowding and other issues by expanding the upper jaw to make more room to accommodate tooth and/or jaw alignment.
Surgical Orthodontics involves orthognathic surgery and is done to correct misalignments or other abnormalities in the upper jaw and lower jaws. For this type of orthodontics, we work closely with an oral surgeon to create a treatment plan. This surgery and orthodontic treatment solution can help improve speech, breathing, chewing and appearance.
Orthognathic surgery can involve surgical procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last a few months up to one year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
This field of orthodontics is highly specialized and requires the involvement of an oral surgeon as well as our team. Craniofacial Orthodontics help treat a congenital birth defect know as cleft lip or cleft palate.
Cleft lip is an opening/split in the upper lip and cleft palate is an opening/split in the roof of the mouth (palate). Cleft lip and cleft palate result when these developing facial structures in an unborn baby do not close completely.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a cleft lip that is repaired will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.
Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may not need them.
For certain sports it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.
When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing gum and chewing on ice.
Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothbrushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.
- Use your fingers to put your aligners place. First place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two week period.
- Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, eating. It’s also best to remove the aligners when drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea.
- Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth.
- Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
- Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Wear each set of aligners for two weeks unless our office directs you to vary from this schedule.
- Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
- Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.
- Don’t place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue. Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
- Don’t use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
- If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
- Do not use Denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
- Do not use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
- Don’t chew gum with your aligners in.
- It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.
Just in Case
If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.
If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray. It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting. Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed. There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.
Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues.
Antibacterial Mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
A Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push a wire up against a tooth if it has come loose and is irritating the cheeks or gums. If it is not possible to reposition the wire so it is more comfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office so that we can set a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.