A Bit About Braces
by Dr. Laura Morgan
Making you smile is the number one goal of Dr. Laura Morgan and her staff. Through individualized orthodontic treatment and exceptional patient service, Dr. Morgan can create a smile that enhances your appearance, health, comfort, and self-esteem.Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with proper alignment of teeth and jaws which support the teeth. A team effort between the patient, the dentist, and the orthodontist can create a smile that is good for life.Orthodontic treatment can improve dental health and change a person’s facial appearance for the better. Early examination allows orthodontists to detect and evaluate problems. The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that every child get a check-up with an orthodontist if a particular problem has been noted by the parent, family dentist, child’s physician or at age seven. After this check-up, the orthodontist may schedule periodic appointments to monitor facial growth and tooth eruption or initiate preventative treatment. Early treatments can prevent serious problems from developing, achieve optimal results unattainable when growth is complete, and speed completion of future treatment.The American Dental Association requires dentists to have at least two years of advanced training in an accredited program to become an orthodontist. This training teaches the skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.Orthodontic treatment can benefit any age individual. With healthy teeth and supporting structures, adult orthodontics can improve and maintain oral health as well as correct aesthetic concerns.If you, your child, other family member or a friend may need orthodontic care, please call and schedule a Complimentary Consultation.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist in dentistry who has completed 2-3 years of advanced education in orthodontics following dental school and undergraduate studies, to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.
What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?
A more attractive smile
Better function of the teeth
Increased ability to clean the teeth
Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
Better long term health of teeth and gums
Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
Reduce the risk of injury to protruding front teeth
Aid in optimizing other dental treatment
Increase in self-confidence and reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
What are some signs that braces may be needed?Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth (buck teeth)
Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (under bite)
Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
Upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
Crowded or overlapped teeth
Spaces between the teeth
The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
Lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician.
Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Twenty to twenty-five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Braces use steady, gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to three years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointment are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
Do braces hurt?
The placement of brackets and bands on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires, your teeth may feel sore for one to four days. We often describe the discomfort as being similar to doing a workout. The day you do the workout is like the day you get your braces and the next few days are similar to the sore muscles you often feel. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth. Over the counter headache medicine (such as Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve) that the patient has taken before is often recommended for the first 24-48 hours to alleviate discomfort. Orthodontic wax is given to the patient to help with sore lips and cheeks.
Will braces interfere with playing sports?
No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouthguards are provided by Dr. Morgan; they are comfortable and come in a variety of colors.
Will braces interfere with musical instrument?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
Absolutely, yes! You should continue to see your general dentist as he or she recommends or every six months for cleanings and dental check-ups.
We invite you to contact Morgan Orthodontics at 972-351-8721 for all of your Orthodontist and Orthodontists questions.
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