treatment

Time for an Orthodontist FAQ!

January 22nd, 2020

MANY OF OUR PATIENTS and potential patients come to us with the same questions about orthodontic treatment without realizing it. These are some of the questions we hear most often, and we’re sure that even more people haven’t spoken up but don’t know the answers either.

1. How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment length varies depending on the individual patient’s needs. A simple case may only take a few months to treat, while someone with a complicated bite problem or an impacted tooth that needs to be pulled into place may take closer to two years. Following the orthodontist’s instructions carefully is the best way to ensure minimum treatment length for your situation.

2. Can I speed up my treatment by wearing extra rubber bands?

More is not always better, and that is absolutely the case with your rubber bands. We tell you the exact number of rubber bands to wear and how often because that is the number that will safely and efficiently progress your orthodontic treatment. Wearing too many can easily create additional problems that will take more time to correct.

3. How old is too old for orthodontic treatment?

We tend to think of braces as being for teenagers, and while most orthodontic patients are teens, more and more adults are getting braces these days too. There is no upper age limit, so don’t think you missed your chance for a properly aligned smile just because you didn’t get braces in high school!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBItKesSms

4. What does the orthodontist mean by “malocclusion”? - See our blog post "Types of Bad Bites and their Treatments"

Malocclusion is Latin for “bad bite.” Some patients have overbites (the upper teeth are farther out from the lower teeth), underbites (the lower teeth are farther out than the upper teeth), crossbites (some upper teeth are in front and some lower teeth are in front), and even deep bites (the lower teeth touch the gums behind the upper teeth when the mouth is closed). Each type of malocclusion can cause problems, and we have ways of correcting them.

5. Can I still play musical instruments with braces on?

Yes! It may take some practice and adjusting, but you can absolutely keep playing woodwind or brass instruments while undergoing your orthodontic treatment. If you’re having an especially difficult time, though, talk to us about it, and we might be able to find a solution.

Bring Us Your Questions!

We hope these answers have been eye-opening for you! The more educated you are about the orthodontic treatment process, the more confident you will feel about the amazing transformation your smile is (or will be) undergoing. If you have any questions we didn’t cover here, give us a call or stop by our office!

We love our patients!

 

Top image by Flickr user Zoe used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions

 

Types of Bad Bites and Their Treatments

January 15th, 2020

WHAT IS A BAD BITE? A bad bite also called a malocclusion, is when the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together the way they should. Depending on the type of malocclusion, this can cause a variety of problems, from impacting speech to making digestion less efficient to worsening TMD troubles, and they can even increase the risk of breaking a tooth!

What Makes a Bite Go Bad?

Malocclusions happen for different reasons. Some are caused by genetics. If a child inherits large teeth from Dad and a small jaw from Mom, there’s a good chance their teeth won’t be able to fit together well. Other causes include injuries and bad oral habits in the developmental years, including thumbsucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting, nail-biting, mouth breathing, and teeth clenching.

By discouraging these kinds of bad habits, parents can help their children grow up with healthier bites. If one of these habits does cause a malocclusion, it’s still important to break the habit so that bite problems don’t come back after orthodontic treatment. Luckily, we can help with that.

Different Types of Malocclusions

When the teeth and jaws are aligned correctly, the upper teeth rest slightly over the lower teeth while the jaw is closed, and the points of the upper molars fit nicely into the grooves of the lower molars. Here are the five most common ways a bite can differ from this healthy ideal:

  • Open Bite. The front upper teeth flare out, creating a gap between them and the lower front teeth even when biting down. (Can be caused by thumbsucking beyond toddler years or tongue thrust.)
  • Underbite. When biting down, the lower teeth overlap or partially cover the upper teeth.
  • Crossbite. Some upper teeth bite down on the inside of the lower teeth while others bite down on the outside.
  • Excessive Overbite. The upper teeth overjet or overlap the lower teeth beyond what we want to see in a healthy bite.
  • Deep Bite. An overbite so severe that, when biting down, the upper front teeth completely overlap the lower front teeth, which sometimes drive into the gums behind the upper teeth, risking gum injury and other problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TkTbVJyT4U

Fixing Malocclusions with Orthodontic Treatment

Each of these types of malocclusions and others can be corrected through orthodontic treatment. Now, before you start picturing bulky headgear, remember that the field of orthodontics has come a long way. Surgery and headgear are still sometimes necessary for extreme cases, but we can typically correct a bad bite in very low profile and hassle-free ways.

Have You Scheduled an Initial Consultation Yet?

If you have concerns about the way your teeth bite down, schedule an initial consultation so we can see if a bad bite or some other alignment problem is the source of your troubles. Don’t wait to start working towards a healthier, more functional, and more confident smile! Call us today 860-872-8361!

We appreciate every member of our CVO family!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image by Flickr user Fake Plastic Alice used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Ask the Orthodontist Series 1 - "What are the best foods to eat the day I get my braces on?"

September 5th, 2019

Watch the video below for some suggestions from Dr. Daniels on which foods are great to enjoy after having your braces placed!

https://youtu.be/hODPqMbwPmE

Straight Teeth: Not Just About Looks

March 13th, 2019

 

THE MOST OBVIOUS impact of orthodontic treatment is a straighter, more attractive smile. While it is true that we tend to perceive people with properly aligned teeth as happier and more successful, the benefits aren’t just superficial.

Clearer Speech

Do you remember the lisp you had between losing your two front teeth and the adult ones growing in? Based on that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that our teeth are a crucial component to our ability to speak and enunciate clearly.

In order to make the right sounds, our lips and tongues have to maneuver around our teeth. When teeth are properly aligned, this is simple, but crooked teeth can result in a lisp, slurring, or difficulty making certain sounds that require tongue-to-tooth contact, such as the “t,” “s,” and “ch” sounds. Orthodontic treatment can solve these problems by moving the teeth into their proper positions.

Healthier Digestion

We don’t give our teeth enough credit for the role they play in good digestion. Chewing is a very important part of the process. It doesn’t just chop the food into small enough pieces to fit down the esophagus, it mixes the food with saliva, which begins the chemical digestion process.

When we wolf down our food without much chewing — or when we chew with misaligned teeth that don’t do the job effectively — it forces our stomachs to work harder than they should. If you already have straight teeth, put them to good use by chewing each mouthful for longer. If you don’t, your digestive system will thank you for getting orthodontic treatment.

Better Breathing

Having poorly aligned teeth can make it difficult or even impossible to comfortably close your jaws when you aren’t moving them, which can lead to habitual mouth breathing. Mouth breathing has a number of negative effects, including dry mouth, bad breath, snoring, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. The effects are an even bigger problem for kids, sometimes going as far as changing the development of their facial bone structure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA82k3a4rsM

Straight Teeth For A Better Life

Not only do straight teeth make it easier to speak, eat, and breathe properly, they’re also easier to clean! Maybe you’ve been avoiding orthodontic treatment because you’re happy with the way your smile looks, but the many benefits of straight teeth are worth considering.

Straight teeth lead to better oral health and better overall health!

 

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Baby Teeth and Braces: Why Early Treatment May Be Best

November 29th, 2018

WHILE MANY THINK BRACES are for correcting misaligned adult teeth, you may be surprised to learn that orthodontics can help correct your child’s bite before their adult teeth even come in!

Baby Teeth Play an Important Role in Oral Health

Primary teeth—more commonly known as baby teeth—play a key role in your child’s oral health. Besides providing an aesthetic appeal to your child’s smile and boosting their self-esteem, primary teeth have three main functions:

  1. They aid in proper chewing, fostering good nutrition
  2. They promote proper speech development
  3. They reserve a space for permanent teeth to grow in

If a primary tooth falls out or must be removed before its time due to decay, the surrounding teeth may shift into the gap, causing dental crowding and future orthodontic problems.

Watch the video below

Dr. Adam Daniels explains when a good time to get your child evaluated

Seven Is the Perfect Age for an Orthodontic Visit

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic exam at the earliest signs of any orthodontic issue, but no later than age seven. Although not every child will need treatment that young, some may benefit from early intervention.

Much of the treatment that takes place at this age is called Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, usually occurring when a child still has a mix of primary and permanent, secondary teeth. During this phase, we seek to correct any problems that may be occurring with jaw growth and even address certain bite issues. This phase is generally followed by a second phase of treatment when all of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted.

Beginning two phase treatment while your child still has primary teeth can have numerous benefits and can even reduce the time needed for a full set of braces.

Early Orthodontic Intervention Can Prevent Future Problems

Whether or not your child is showing signs of misaligned teeth, seven is the perfect age for them to come in for an orthodontic evaluation. Orthodontic treatment isn’t always necessary if there’s a space in your little one’s primary teeth or baby teeth, but we can help you determine the best plan for your child’s growing smile.

Thank you for trusting us with your family’s oral health! We love our patients!

~ Dr. Adam Daniels and the CVO Team

 

Image by Flickr user Loren Kerns used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Toothpaste Abrasiveness

July 19th, 2018

I see a lot of adults for consultations in our practice.  Many of them have gum recession, and some of them get sensitivity because too much of their root is exposed.  I usually hear “My dental hygienist tells me that I brush too hard.”  But the truth is, that isn’t always the case.

Did you know that the leading cause of gum recession isn’t brushing too hard? It is actually what you are putting on your toothbrush!  Toothpaste has a variety of ingredients.  Some of them help it taste better, some of them let it form that gel look, so it isn’t runny like water, and some of the ingredients help it get particles stuck to your teeth off.  The part of the toothpaste that helps you cleanse your teeth is a light abrasive (almost like sandpaper).  The stronger the abrasive ingredient, the more it scrubs your teeth – AND your gums away.

Toothpaste companies have gotten clever lately and know that everyone wants white teeth – they call their toothpastes all sort of cute names like “Bright White” and “Ultra-Whitening”.  What they do to make these claims is actually just put a stronger abrasive unit in the toothpaste. This abrasive unit actually causes gum recession and sensitivity to your teeth.  Put that on top of someone who had thin gums and bone from not receiving proper orthodontic care as a young child and you have a recipe for major gum recession.

Check out this chart below.  If your toothpaste has an abrasivity index over 70 – it could be destroying your gums.  Consider switching to one that has a milder abrasivity index score (under 70).  This could not only save your gums but save your pocketbook thousands of dollars in unnecessary dental work and gum surgery later on!

~ Dr. Adam Daniels

If unable to view the image below please follow this link:

https://www.ctvalleyortho.com/what-s-new

 

Summer Vacation is almost here! Follow these simple tips...

June 1st, 2018

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, Dr. Adam Daniels, Dr. Rola Alkhatib and the CVO team have put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town.

Putting the following items together in a kit keeps everything in one place and easily accessible:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Floss
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires, brackets or attachments
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Just a reminder:   if your vacation destination includes a flight, make sure they are travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.

If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems, contact us and we may be able to talk you through it until your return.  Otherwise, we may suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels, hard rolls and pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Hard cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

If you are wearing clear aligners, in addition to the recommended kit above, bring your previous aligner and/or next aligner with you.  If you happen to lose your current aligner, don’t worry! Simply put in the previous one or the next one if it fits and contact us as soon as you get home!  If you need an extra retainer case, just let us know, we'll be happy to provide one for you.

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Melanie

 

PALATAL EXPANDERS

May 21st, 2018

In Dr. Daniels’ previous post, he talked about some of the benefits of early treatment. You’ll hear us mention “expanders” a lot in the office. Most early treatment in our office involves the use of an expander.

What is an expander?                                                        

An expander is an appliance used to gently widen the upper jaw to help the top teeth fit properly together over the bottom teeth. After careful measurements in our office, we send the components to a lab so it can be custom-made for each patient. Our expander is nicknamed a “hygienic expander” because it’s easy to clean and will not accumulate food around it.

What should you expect with an expander?

The way an expander works is by turning the screw—every turn of the screw is actually 1/4mm, gently widening the upper jaw by opening the mid-palatal suture. It’s very common to have a space between the two front teeth as this happens—don’t fret! The stretchy fibers in the gums between the teeth will bring them back together and we will help close the rest of the space with braces.

Most kids feel very little discomfort with the expander and easily adjust to eating, swallowing, and talking with it after a few days. If they feel anything at all, it’s usually described as “pressure” or “tightness.” I actually had an expander when I was younger and remember feeling this. Since we turn the expander only once per day, it is a very gentle pressure and if there is any tightness, it goes away a few minutes after the turn is finished.

https://youtu.be/HFALOyCkspM

 

We will usually leave the expander in for 6 months after stopping the turns. This allows the new bone to fill in where the suture was opened in the palate. Basically, it needs some time to set in its new position and by holding the expander in there for that length of time, it prevents relapse.

Why not wait until all of the adult teeth are in and start everything all at once?

A common misconception is to wait until all adult teeth are in to start any orthodontic treatment (Please see Dr. Daniels’ first post to see why). In actuality, we usually recommend doing an expander when young (after age 7). The expansion we achieve at a young age is more impactful and will not relapse. The reason is that as our bodies mature, the sutures fuse and the two halves of the upper jaw fuse into one piece—when that happens after maturity, the only way to fix a narrow upper jaw is by doing surgery.

It’s important to be proactive and set the foundation for a more successful outcome when the rest of the adult teeth do come in!

Dr. Rola Alkhatib

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Protect Your Smile With A Custom Mouthguard

May 14th, 2018

THE CRISP SMELL OF FRESHLY CUT GRASS on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands… There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.

We love when our patients are having fun and being active, but unfortunately, sports-related dental injuries happen all the time. That’s why we make custom mouth guards in our practice, so you and your children can always play it safe!

Wear A Mouth-guard And Reduce Your Risk Of Injury

You may be surprised to learn that up to 40 percent of dental injuries are sustained during sports activities. In fact, not wearing a mouth-guard makes you 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the face and mouth! Wearing a mouth-guard during recreational as well as competitive sports activities decreases both the frequency and severity of injury.

A fractured, chipped or knocked-out tooth isn’t the only thing a mouthguard safeguards against. Did you know that wearing a mouthguard can also help prevent more serious injuries such as concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries? Not to mention the protection it provides for the soft tissues of the mouth like the tongue, lips and cheeks.

This is especially true for those of you with braces. Not only are your braces an investment you should protect, but those metal brackets can be especially damaging to your mouth if you’re hit by a stray ball or elbow. On top of that, if your braces are damaged, there may be a delay in your orthodontic treatment.

Custom Mouthguards Provide More Comfort And Protection

https://youtu.be/d0ktAyLnGTE

When it comes to purchasing a mouth-guard, you have a couple different options. A custom-fit mouth-guard made specifically for you by a dental professional is the most effective and comfortable choice. We can even specially customize your mouth-guard for the specific sport you play. Custom mouth-guards are:

  • Less likely to be displaced during the action because of their custom fit.
  • Durable and tear-resistant. Custom mouthguards last longer due to the higher quality of materials used to construct them.
  • More fitted and less bulky. This adds to the overall comfort and makes talking, breathing and swallowing easier.

Your Smile Is Worth Protecting

Customized specifically for your smile, the mouth-guards we make in our practice provide superior safety and genuine comfort.Your smile is worth protecting. Talk to us today about your own custom mouth-guard! Connecticut Valley Orthodontics, offers mouth-guard events, a whole team can come to our office for FREE CUSTOM MOUTH-GUARDS! Contact us to schedule your team event!

Our patients make our day!

~ Natasha

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Why Would Someone Ever Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?

May 7th, 2018

This is a question that I often get asked. Someone may see a 7 or 8 year old with braces, or their family member or friend may have just gotten referred to see us.  So why would someone so young need braces?

This question can’t be answered quickly or in simple terms, but I will try to give you a light overview of the direction that Orthodontics has moved.  Not everyone is born with a large enough mouth for all of their teeth to fit into.  The way our profession used to address this was to take pictures, x-rays, do some measurements then start extracting numerous teeth.  Some would be baby teeth, then move onto extracting permanent teeth. I have heard of adults having up to 16 teeth extracted in some cases between baby and permanent. Well, things change, our profession has evolved and research shows that in most cases, this is not the best way to approach our patients.

What we see is that extracting permanent teeth can set up patients in the future for a list of problems: narrow smiles, teeth that can easily be worn, jaw joint problems and even difficulty chewing and eating.  Research started showing us, that if we can make room for a patients’ teeth at an early age – we not only can give our kids much broader, more attractive smiles, but we can prevent a whole list of problems long term.  Treating as early as 7 years old has helped my patients avoid tooth impaction, gum recession, bone loss, tooth wear, recessed jaws, narrow smiles and joint problems (just to name some).

Now, not every child needs Early Orthodontic Treatment (Phase 1), but the only way to find out if it is right for your child, is to bring them in for a consultation around the age of 7.  In our office, we do a Panoramic X-ray on all patients and an exam completely complimentary.  It allows me the chance to properly evaluate a patient and educate their family regarding current or future needs for Orthodontic treatment.

In future blogs – I will talk a little bit more about the type of treatment that one might expect in this early stage (Phase 1).

Dr. Adam S. Daniels

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.