For Kids

     

    Orthodontics for Children

    While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.

    By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner.

     

    Why early evaluation is so important:

    • Allows your orthodontist to be involved early to help correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
    • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches if needed
    • Create more space for crowded teeth, so adult teeth can come in without getting stuck or delayed
    • Help correct thumb sucking and potentially help improve minor speech problem

     

    What to look for to know if it’s time to see an orthodontist:

    • Recommendation from your dentist
    • Early or late loss of baby teeth
    • A hard time chewing or biting into foods
    • Mouth breathing
    • Sleep related issues/sleep apnea
    • Lip entrapment
    • Obvious tongue thrust/tongue tied/speech impediments
    • Finger or thumb sucking
    • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
    • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
    • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
    • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
    • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

    Orthodontics for Teens

    So, it’s finally time! Your teenager or soon to be needs braces. Full phase orthodontic treatment is typically indicated starting around age 12.

     

    What to expect  

    Once you know that your teenager is ready for braces, there will surely be questions that your orthodontist will answer for you. Treatment typically consists of getting your braces (or aligners), and beginning routine adjustments which come in 4-6 week increments. Though treatment plans vary, 18 months is the average treatment length.

    See our “New Patient-Treatment Options” tab to look at the different orthodontic appliances.

    Orthodontics for Adults

    Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for adolescents. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.

     

    Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:

    • Discomfort when biting, chewing or when the teeth come together
    • Over health of teeth including excessive wear, cracks or cavities
    • In conjunction with your dentist when having crowns, veneers, bridges, or other prosthetics done
    • Visual appearance of smile

     

    Treatment options for adults

    • Clear braces
    • Ceramic braces
    • Self-ligating braces
    • Lingual (behind the tooth) braces
    • Clear aligners
    • Traditional metal braces

    Life with Braces

    If you love popcorn and potato chips- don't worry! You will be back to enjoying them in no time. However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, it's important that you learn about your new braces and how different foods should be eaten and what precautions should be taken in order to keep your braces in good shape for the duration of your treatment.

    Foods to limit with braces:

    • Chewy foods — licorice, pizza crust, jerky
    • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
    • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum, taffy
    • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, pizza crust
    • Foods that require biting into directly — corn on the cob, apples, carrot sticks

    Foods that are ideal to eat with braces:

    • Dairy — soft cheese, yogurt, milk-based drinks
    • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, waffles, sandwiches,  muffins without nuts
    • Grains — pasta, cooked rice,
    • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
    • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
    • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables
    • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
    • Treats — ice cream without nuts, frozen yogurt, fruit smoothis, milkshakes, Jell-O, cake, pudding

    Discomfort

    When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender, sore or bulky. This is a normal reaction to your new appliances, and after about a week (varies) you should be feeling good as new!  These aches may come and go with adjustments, but typically become much more manageable as you progress through treatment.
    If the pain is persistent enough, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will provide orthodontic wax at the initial appointment, but if you need more at any time, please let us know.

     

    Loose Teeth

    If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth a small amount to allow for orthodontic movement, once your teeth have been repositioned, they will become stable again.  

     

    Loose Wires and Bands

    Although your braces are cemented to the teeth, in some situations, the wires or brackets on your braces may come loose.  If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
     

    Take Care of Your Appliances

    Damaged or abused appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take special care.  This means following our food and eating guidelines, keeping your teeth and appliances extremely clean, and wearing a mouthguard during sports. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor, so compliance plays a large role in the success of your treatment.

     

    Playing Sports with Braces

    For all of our athletes our there- don’t fret! You can still play sports as you normally would while in your braces.  It's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. We will give you one on the day you get your appliances.
    In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
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