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Will I Need to Wear Retainers After Treatment?

August 3rd, 2020

Whether you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment, or currently undergoing treatment, you may be wondering, “Will I need to wear retainers after treatment?” The answer is yes, and here’s why. Getting straight teeth is only half the battle; the other half is keeping them straight, and that is where retainers come in.

Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon, and to maintain the result created by your orthodontic treatment, retainers must be worn. While small changes after treatment concludes are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.

Why are retainers needed?

Retainers are prescribed for two reasons: first, to allow the bone that holds teeth to rebuild after teeth have moved, and second, to maintain the healthy new positions of teeth after active orthodontic treatment ends. Your body changes your whole life, and your teeth change too.

Are there different retainer options?

Yes, there are two general kinds of retainers: removable (put in and removed by the patient) and fixed (placed and removed by the orthodontist)Both types of retainers hold teeth in their new positions after “active” orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows newly formed bone to mature around the teeth.

Two common removable retainers:

  1.   Wire retainers are made of wire and a plastic-like material. The part of the retainer that covers the roof of the mouth or goes behind the lower front teeth is plastic and wires help told the teeth in place.
  2.   Clear retainers are transparent trays made of a plastic-like material that are exact replicas of the teeth.

The orthodontist will teach you how to insert, remove and take care of a removable retainer.

fixed retainer consists of a thin, custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of upper or lower teeth.

How long will I have to wear them?

As long as you want to keep your teeth straight, many patients wear retainers nightly for life.  Wearing retainers becomes part of your oral hygiene routine: brush and floss before bed, and wear retainers at night for a lifetime.

 

source: aaoinfo.org

Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners

July 27th, 2020

 

Clear Aligners - Dr. Phil Shay, D.D.S. M.S. - Shay Dental ...

 

“Invisible braces” are here. Orthodontists call them “clear aligners.” Consumers may call them “Invisalign” (a brand name that’s become a generic term, like Kleenex, even though several companies make clear aligners). Aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous, and one of many “appliances” orthodontists use to move teeth and align jaws to create a healthy, beautiful smile.

How Aligners Work

Like traditional braces, aligners are designed to move teeth a little at a time. Before treatment begins, the orthodontist will examine the patient, and take diagnostic records including x-rays, photographs, and impressions or digital scans of the teeth. From that information, the orthodontist can arrive at a diagnosis, and then work within the aligner software to design your smile and plan the treatment process – which tooth moves where, and in what order – guiding teeth into healthy positions. Remember, this is all of the teeth – not just the few that are seen when someone smiles. The goal is a healthy “bite” – top and bottom teeth that fit together properly. Moving teeth is a complex biological process and needs start-to-finish supervision by an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Most people see their orthodontist for a check-up about every six-to-ten weeks.

With the end goal in mind, a series of plastic aligners are created using the patient’s initial impressions or digital scans as the starting point. The aligners are plastic replicas of your teeth. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth, ever-so-slightly repositioning them. It is recommended aligners be worn 22 hours a day, or as prescribed by the orthodontist. Each set of aligners is worn for a week or two before going to the next set. Over time, teeth reach their ideal places, according to the orthodontist’s plan. The total number of aligners will vary by the needs of each patient.  As with traditional braces, patients will need to wear retainers after their teeth reach their new positions.

Pros and Cons of Aligners

Besides being next-to-invisible, many patients appreciate that aligners are removable. Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social situations.

Aligners may not be the right “appliance” to correct every kind of orthodontic problem. Braces may be necessary for certain kinds of corrections.

With clear aligners, tooth-colored attachments will be placed on the teeth to help the aligners move the teeth. These attachments are removed once treatment is complete.

Care needs to be taken regarding drinks when aligners are in, and anything but tap water should be avoided. Liquid can seep into the aligners, and it stays there, in contact with the teeth, until aligners are removed. This can lead to staining of the aligner and the teeth, and if the liquid contains sugar and/or acid, as found in regular and diet soda pop, cavities can develop. So avoid soda pop, along with flavored water, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks. Even some bottled water can be acidic!

If you drink something sugary or acidic (a pH below 7.0), be sure to brush thoroughly before putting your aligners back in. And use fluoride toothpaste – it strengthens teeth.

Because aligners are removable, patients might be tempted to remove them if they experience some discomfort. Aligners can’t work unless they are in the mouth! They can be lost or misplaced when out of the mouth. Make it a habit to slip aligners into their case when they come out of the mouth. Do not place aligners in napkins, in a pocket or a purse. Also keep aligners out of the reach of pets.

If you should lose or damage an aligner, contact your orthodontist immediately for advice on next steps.

Are Clear Aligners Right for Me?

The best way to answer that question is to consult with Dr. Johnson, so call to schedule your appointment now! 630-887-1188

Because of orthodontists’ extensive education and familiarity with the many types of “appliances” (devices used to move teeth/align jaws) available, they can knowledgeably suggest what is right for you, based on your treatment goals and lifestyle needs.

 

source:aaoinfo.org

Is There a Benefit to Early Treatment?

July 23rd, 2020

Timing is everything – even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. “Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. Why age 7? By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, which in turn can provide a wealth of information. AAO orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems even in young children.

There are generally three outcomes of an initial check-up:

  • No treatment is expected to be necessary.
  • Treatment may be needed in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to grow.
  • There is a problem that lends itself to early treatment.

While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.

The kinds of problems orthodontists may recommend treating while a child still has some baby teeth include:

Early Treatment | Houston Orthodontics | Houston TX

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
  • Very crowded teeth
  • Excessively
  • spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Some of these orthodontic problems are inherited, while others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing.

Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable “appliance” – a device used to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes. Sometimes no appliances are necessary. Rather, removal of some baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better. The extractions will be timed to take best advantage of a patient’s growth and development.

Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

To give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile call to make a consultation appointment today 630-887-1188!. No referral needed! . Dr. Johnson can alert you to potential problems and recommend treatment when it is most appropriate for your child. Remember, timing is everything.

 

source:aaoinfo.org

3 Reasons to Take Your Child to the Orthodontist Today

July 20th, 2020

 

Wondering when it’s the right time to take your child to the orthodontist? Here are three reasons you should get an orthodontist appointment for your kiddo scheduled now.

#1: You may notice something appears off but there are also some things the untrained eye won’t see.

Parents are often the first to recognize that something isn’t quite right about their child’s teeth or jaws. You may notice your child’s teeth not fitting together, difficulty chewing or biting, mouth breathing or other issues. When you notice something not quite right, it’s time to get it checked out. Sometimes it’s more than meets the eye. ⅔ of what goes on in your mouth happens below the surface. Your child may have impacted canines, preventing adult teeth from erupting properly. Let an orthodontist take a look and see what is below the surface with an x-ray.   You do not have to wait for your general dentist to refer you because a referral is not needed to schedule an initial appointment with an orthodontist!

#2: The earlier, the better. Take them by age 7! 

By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate if a problem exists or is developing. Most orthodontists take x-rays and photos to evaluate any concerns or potential problems with permanent teeth – such as extra teeth, missing teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.

Some problems lend themselves to early treatment and may prevent more serious problems from developing or intercept any issues from getting worse. For example, your child may benefit from a palatal expander which will widen the upper jaw while they are still young and the bone is still pliable – saving them from more costly and einvasive orthodontic work down the road. Orthodontia also has been shown to improve sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sometimes baby teeth can be gently removed to guide the other permanent teeth into a better position.  Consult with your orthodontist to learn more.

#3: You don’t need a dentist referral.

Parents may assume that their dentist will make a referral to an orthodontist when the time is right. A referral might not happen if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite.

Call Johnson Orthodontist for a consultation 630-887-1188 !

source:aaoinfo.org

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