Orthodontics for Children

WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN HAVE THEIR FIRST VISIT TO AN ORTHODONTIST?

It can be a common misconception that oral care is simply a luxury, and as adults with completely developed teeth this may be true. However, at a young age tooth care is extremely important for insuring healthy, functioning teeth. So, the important question is when should children begin to visit an Orthodontist? This question can be answered by observing the development of teeth. Between the ages of 6 and 12, when the facial structure and teeth further grow and develop, an Orthodontist is able to best correct any incorrect growth that might be occurring in the child’s permanent set of teeth.

Tooth development occurs in two stages; the first set of teeth, called primary teeth, and the final, permanent adult tooth set. The early stages of oral development are a crucial time for the teeth of children. Primary teeth begin to break through the gums around six months of age, typically emerging in a pattern of front teeth to back teeth (1). A disruption of this order is one of the main causes of child dental problems; leading to the growth of teeth in the spaces of other teeth, infections, and crowding in the mouth.

Even though the primary teeth may appear to be straight and orderly, the underlying adult teeth are experiencing a number of changes that could potentially lead to malformed permanent teeth. By the age of 3 the primary set will be completed and the growth of the jaw and facial bones will begin to increase. It is important to remember that during this period of growth a child’s teeth will go through a lot of normal changes, such as the seemingly crooked appearance of the front permanent teeth. This is a problem that will simply correct itself as the rest of the permanent teeth come in, filling in spaces and providing the pressure needed to move each tooth into its proper position (1). However, not all mouth oddities are normal and therefore it is important to consider early Orthodontic visits.

Recognizing the signs of primary tooth trouble is essential to good health in a child’s teeth. Children who are experiencing even slight discomfort caused by tooth abnormalities will engage in actions intended to relieve the
irritation, such as sucking on the thumb, grinding their teeth, or biting of the cheeks and roof of the mouth (2). Such actions tend to appear more frequently around the age of 7, when the progression from primary to permanent teeth is in motion. Your Dentist will examine and will discuss early orthodontic intervention to correct and guide musculoskeletal
discrepancies. Give us a call and bring your son or daughter for your early orthodontic intervention exam.

Reference:

1. “Your Child’s Teeth: Development Chart and Eruption Schedule.” WebMD. WebMD, 26 June 2015. Web. 26 June 2015.http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-your-childs- teeth>.

2. “A Child’s First Orthodontist Visit.” A Child’s First Orthodontist Visit. N.p., 26 June 2015. Web. 26 June 2015. http://www.dentalassociates.com/braces-orthodontics/childs-first- orthodontist-visit/>.

Braces vs. Invisalign

The Healthy Smile

by ADA (American Dental Association)

It’s never too late to perfect your smile.
Ask dental professionals about the health reasons for having a correct bite.

When you have your teeth that are in cross bite, your teeth that are misaligned, and there is a great chance to have food buildup in between your teeth, then plaque buildup which has a trickle-down effect because the more food buildup, the more plaque you get. Therefore, the more concern for periodontal disease.
Improper bite also means you can’t chew food properly, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

Orthodontic treatments that use either braces or Invisalign are just few of the many techniques used by dental professionals in straightening the teeth. They straighten teeth to give them an ideal position, improve their look, and promote proper function.  Traditional braces utilze metal wires to get the most ideal movement or position for the teeth.  Invisalign on the other hand, utilizes a set of clear plastic trays to achieve the position.

What is the great thing about orthodontic dental treatments that use braces or Invisalign is that they do more than just straighten the teeth. They also correct bite issues that often require special diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits of dental braces

Dental braces feature brackets that tend to run along a wire. An orthodontist or other trained dental professional is responsible for affixing the dental braces onto the teeth. The wire and brackets that form part of the braces are pressed against the patient’s teeth. This supports slight movements that can help in properly aligning and straightening the teeth.

Dental braces can correct even the most complicated issues in aligning the teeth. The braces are not only esthetically pleasing, but functional as well. These are beneficial in closing gaps and correcting crooked teeth.

Benefits of Invisalign

The use of Invisalign is an efficient method for tooth movements that are not too complicated. A set of clear, computer-generated trays is ideally worn 24 hours a day with change-outs every two weeks. There are certain trays that can last for six months to one year. However, these require some form of retention to prevent the teeth from shifting back. One of its best advantages is that the trays are relatively invisible. Hence the name Invisalign. Some people simply don’t want anyone to know they are wearing braces. They also provide help for people who wish to obtain straight teeth while still feeling comfortable in social situations. Wearing Invisalign offers comfort because it does not affect your speech.

Invisalign treatment can be expected to work more efficiently for esthetic purposes rather than for the purpose of improving the functionality of the teeth. This is why many people, especially those who have complex dental problems, still prefer dental braces.

Dental braces are better for complex cases

There are plenty of reasons why you might choose dental braces over Invisalign. Mainly composed either of colored metal or resin brackets, braces are attached onto the face of the teeth. Braces also come with a wire that runs through them and affixes them in place. One benefit of dental braces over Invisalign is that these are not removable.

Unlike an Invisalign treatment which is extremely useful for esthetic purposes and simple dental issues, braces are functional and work efficiently for fixing complex tooth issues. Braces can also be expected to work faster at closing gaps and aligning the teeth than Invisalign.

According to patients, braces work in moving misaligned teeth within a relatively short period. The use of these dental materials in aligning the teeth is also a huge help in fixing bites and creating an attractive and healthy smile. This plays a significant role in boosting the patient’s self-confidence. Dental braces are also useful in correcting malocclusion (crooked or crowded teeth) and bad bites.

If the patient’s bite is abnormal, then the application of braces can bring out his or her best smile. The immediate correction of this problem can improve the patient’s smile while also boosting his or her oral health. This is beneficial because being unable to correct an abnormal bite, or other dental issues that are treatable using braces, can lead to oral health problems. This proves the usefulness of dental braces in curing various dental problems.

Are braces better than Invisalign? Ultimately it’s going to come down to determining the specific need in each case and deciding which one will meet that need in the best way for your patient.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

BENEFITS OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
by Dr. Karnakova, DDS
A lot of our patients ask about benefits of having orthodontic treatment. The benefits are not only cosmetic, although who can argue the deep social impact of a good healthy smile. What happens clinically, and what are the health benefits with braces? First of all, crowding and overlapping teeth trap food and bacteria. It is very difficult to clean the teeth that are overlapping and over time, people become more prone to developing cavities. In addition, infection in the gums eventually spread to the bone and destroys the supporting structure that holds the teeth. This leads to loosing teeth and abscess formation.

A poor bite affects temporalmandibular joints and causes the degenerate process of the cartilage between the joints. This process is irreversible the cartilage does not regenerate. With time, damaged joints will cause difficulties opening the mouth for speech, and most importantly making eating difficult and sometimes impossible.

In my late 30’s, I was affected with temporalmandibular joint disorder and would sometimes wake up with my teeth only closing on one side. I would experience pain while opening and closing my mouth and often would experience clicking and soreness in my temporalmandibular joints. Besides ruining the dream of having a perfect Hollywood smile, I had to mend through difficult years of trying to prevent cavities and bone loss in the areas where the teeth were misaligned. All these complications motivated me to go through orthodontic treatment and I never regretted my two years of treatment.

My temporalmandibular joints no longer hurt and I can look in the mirror and smile with confidence. I wish this for all my patients; to have a beautiful smile and promote healthy living. Don’t shy away from braces. It is almost never too late. And for the parents of my young patients, I recommend having their first consultation as early as 6 or 7 years old. Sometimes an early approach helps for a more conservative treatment and easier on the child. It allows us to avoid or minimize possible surgery in the future which is a great thing.

One of the benefits of doing orthodontic treatment in our office is that we have our own orthodontic specialist doctor which minimizes prices and makes treatment affordable. Dr. Miller is a wonderful and great specialist who is loved by all our patients. Our office is very fortunate to have someone as special as her providing treatment to the patients.