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What is orthodontics?
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist for your care?
Are braces necessary?
When should I look for the early warning signs of a bad bite?
When is the best time to schedule an initial consultation?
Who should come to the initial consultation besides the patient?
What should you take home from the orthodontic consultation?
Will additional jaw growth allow self correction of crowded teeth visible in a 8 year old?
What are the benefits of early treatment?
What causes crooked teeth?
Why should I have my teeth straightened?
How do braces straighten crooked teeth?
Will things sometimes look worse before they will look better during orthodontic treatment?
Can I have my teeth aligned without having braces glued to my teeth?
What do rubber bands do?
What can I do to play down braces?
What are self-ligating braces?
Will braces correct TMD or jaw joint problems?
Can you be too old for braces or Invisalign?
Will orthodontics change my lifestyle?
How long do you have to wear braces?
If my child has early treatment often called Phase One, will additional treatment be necessary?
What will happen in the time between Phase One and Phase Two?
How do orthodontists save room for the permanent teeth?
How do orthodontists make more room for permanent teeth?
Will you have any teeth pulled?
What is serial extraction?
Why does orthodontic treatment sometimes take longer than anticipated?
Can tooth alignment change later?
What should do if your child does not want braces?
What is "instant orthodontics"?

 
What will happen in the time between Phase One and Phase Two?
This growth/observation period will involve a combination of retaining the correction that has been made in Phase One and guiding the growth of the permanent teeth into more favorable positions. Because treatment timing is critical, a child's growth and development is monitored very carefully during this period.

 
How do orthodontists save room for the permanent teeth?
Baby teeth hold room for the permanent teeth that will come in later. A lower lingual arch space maintainer can be placed when the baby canine and baby molars are getting loose or fall out prematurely. The space maintainer prevents the lower back permanent molar from slipping forward and prevents the lower front permanent incisor teeth from tipping toward the tongue. This saves or preserves the maximum amount of space for the permanent teeth (canines and bicuspids) that grow between the permanent back molar and the permanent lower incisors.

 
How do orthodontists make more room for permanent teeth?
They use headgear/night brace which applies pressure to the upper teeth and jaw, lip bumpers which applies pressure to the lower molar teeth and restrains lip pressure away from the lower front teeth, expanders which apply sideways pressure to the teeth to widen the jaws the teeth are imbedded in, springs which move teeth away from one another, Herbst which holds the lower jaw forward encouraging the bone and jaw muscles to support the lower jaw in this new forward position and sophisticated removable "retainer like" appliances. Some of these approaches take advantage the fact that bone is pliable or flexible and can be pushed, pulled and reshaped.

 
Will you have any teeth pulled?
Only if your orthodontist cannot save or make enough room for all your teeth. Don't worry, if you have teeth pulled, recovery is about 2 days for most patients. Your orthodontist will close the spaces and no one will even notice.
 
What is serial extraction?
If your permanent front teeth do not have enough room to grow in properly, it is sometimes advisable to remove certain baby teeth in sequence. Removing/extracting baby teeth is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Room is gained for the front permanent teeth by borrowing room from the teeth along the sides. Eventually the borrowed/loaned space must be repaid, by using orthodontic appliances to increase the space or by taking permanent teeth out. Why do serial extraction at all? Because carefully timed early extractions may prevent unfavorable positioning of permanent teeth and damage to the roots of adjacent teeth.

 
Why does orthodontic treatment sometimes take longer than anticipated?
Patients grow at different rates and speed of the biological process that allows teeth to move can vary between patients. Slower than normal tooth growth and poor patient cooperation are the two things that lengthen treatment the most and both are out of the direct control of the orthodontist.

 
Can tooth alignment change later?
Studies show that people's teeth may shift as they age. This maturational shift continues to some degree throughout life. The most common change is crowding of the bottom front teeth. Surprisingly, careful studies have shown that third molars or wisdom teeth, do not cause or contribute to this crowding. Wearing retainers can minimize tooth position changes of this type

 
What should do if your child does not want braces?
First, ask your child "Why?" If your child has misconceptions, have your orthodontist address them. If a reasonable explanation to all of your child's objections does not change your child's mind, then don't push or force them into braces. Everybody loses when a child begins treatment against their will. Circumstances may change over time and your child may become more receptive even if that takes growing into adulthood. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

 
What is "instant orthodontics"?
Instant Orthodontics is not orthodontics at all in you define orthodontics as moving teeth to straighten them. Instant Orthodontics is performed by non orthodontists. The leave the roots of crooked teeth crooked and place crowns or veneers on the top half of the tooth to make it look straight. In the December 2006 Journal of the American Dental Association, Dr. Gordon Christensen wrote: "Even the most conservative ceramic veneer placement procedures remove some tooth structure, during either initial tooth preparation or finishing procedures. Ceramic veneers have a finite life expectancy. Veneers placed on a young adult will require replacement several times during life, each time requiring the removal of more tooth structure and potentially causing damage to pulp and/or supporting structures.....the orthodontically treated patient retains his or her own tooth structure and tooth anatomy, which can serve for as long as a lifetime."

 

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