Types of Braces
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.
The Invisalign System is a series of clear overlay templates—called aligners—that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system. Click here to learn more about Invisalign. Link to the Invisalign for Adults page.
When baby teeth are lost prematurely, it is usually necessary to hold the teeth on either side of the space created by the premature loss so it does not close up. If the space is not maintained, the space will close and the permanent teeth will be unable to come in properly. The replacement of primary anterior teeth for esthetics, or possibly to facilitate normal speech development, may also be indicated.
If a tooth is lost on one side of the jaw, a unilateral (one-sided) space maintainer is used. If teeth or a tooth is lost on both sides of the upper or lower arch, a bilateral (two-sided) space maintainer is used. These are described as a NANCE HOLDING ARCH for the upper teeth, or a LOWER LINGUAL HOLDING ARCH for the lower teeth.
Regular six-month checkups are recommended to make sure the appliance is still fitting properly or become loose. If you notice the new tooth erupting improperly under, or around the space maintainer, see us as soon as possible.
To avoid the cost and time of replacement, please avoid sticky foods, popcorn and chewing on ice. At night, please be certain to carefully clean around all wires, bands and other areas of the appliance, as it tends to trap food. After cleaning, please inspect the appliance carefully for damage.
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Habit correctors are appliances that help stop certain repeated motions or habits. They help stop tongue thrusting (pressing the tongue against the front teeth when swallowing) and to deter finger and thumb sucking. These habits can be bad for your teeth and jaws.
Wearing a habit corrector may take a few days, or a few weeks, to get used to. Some habit appliances are removable; others can only be taken out by your doctor. Most removable correctors are worn 24 hours a day. Here are some tips when wearing and caring for any type of habit appliance:
- Limit sugary foods and sodas. Also avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods as they can break your appliance.
- Brush your teeth and appliance with toothpaste each morning and night, and after eating, too.
Learning to stop a bad habit can take time. But it's worth the effort. Sometimes an expert in speech and swallowing can help also. Adopting healthy new habits can help your teeth look their best for a lifetime.
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When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.
If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.
You must be very careful when handling your upper retainers, as they are fragile and costly to replace. You are given a special case for your retainer; please make sure you keep them in this case when not wearing it! To clean these retainers, brush them with toothpaste (sometimes with denture cleaner) using warm water.
Retainers are to be worn no less than 10 hours daily for the first 2 years after braces are removed ( unless otherwise instructed). Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.
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Custom Fitted Mouth Guards
Please download and fill out our Printable Mouth Guard Registration Form and mail it to us. You may also request a mouth guard appointment online, or call our office to schedule your mouth guard appointment.
Properly designed and custom fabricated mouth guards are an important, but often overlooked aspect of preventative dentistry. Dental injuries are the most common type of orafacial injury sustained during sports participation. The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc. reports several interesting statistics: Victims of total tooth avulsions (knocked out teeth) may face lifetime dental costs of $10,000-$15,000 per tooth, hours in the dentist's chair, and the possible development of other dental problems such as bone loss. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone. Are you aware that mouth guards may reduce concussions following impacts to the lower jaw?
Unfortunately, mouth guards conjure up images of an uncomfortable piece of plastic purchased from a sporting goods store. That's because these "Stock" or "Boil and Bite" types of mouth guards constitute 90% of all mouth guards being worn today. They are ineffective since they fit poorly, are too thin to offer protection and can make breathing and speaking difficult. Stock mouth guards that must be held in place by constantly biting down come in limited sizes and are often altered by the wearer for a more comfortable fit, which further reduce the protective properties of the mouth guard. As health professionals interested in injury prevention we do not recommend this type of mouth guard to our patients. To be effective, a mouth guard has to be protective, comfortable, allow for easy speaking and breathing, have an excellent fit and sufficient thickness in critical areas. Only custom fitted mouth guards designed and fabricated by your dentist can meet all these criteria.
Custom fitted mouth guards allow Commerce Park Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics to address several important issues in fitting the mouth guard. For example, does the mouth guard take into consideration missing, loose or erupting teeth? What about orthodontic considerations? Is there a history of dental trauma and areas that need additional protection? These are important questions the sporting goods store retailer and the boil & bite type mouth guards do not address.
Made from a stone cast of the mouth using an impression taken by the dentist, a custom fitted mouth guard is made of a heated thermoplastic material that is adapted over the model with a special vacuum. The material is then trimmed and polished for an ideal fit. This technique allows the dentist to control the size, thickness and form of the mouth guard.
When children learn to wear mouth guards at an early age they become an integral part of their sports regimen. The first appointment takes under 15 minutes and the cost is less than a piece of sporting equipment.
Custom mouth guards can help children keep their teeth for a lifetime.
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