Posts for tag: orthodontic treatment
How your dentists in Amherst, New Hampshire can help your child have a great smile
If you are thinking about orthodontic treatment for your child, it’s good to be prepared because your child will need to practice excellent oral hygiene habits.
The dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, New Hampshire offer a wide range of preventive dental care services for children to help your child have a beautiful smile before, during, and after orthodontic treatment.
Plaque is the enemy, especially during orthodontic treatment. Plaque contains millions of bacteria which produce toxins. These toxins can destroy the health of your child’s teeth and gums.
When your child is having orthodontic treatment, there are lots of areas around the brackets which can harbor plaque bacteria. The good news is, there are effective ways to keep one’s smile healthy, even during orthodontic treatment.
Your child needs to:
- Brush after meals and before bed. Children often do better with a sonic or electric toothbrush because it pulses and flushes away plaque and food debris. Make sure your child brushes around the brackets and along the gumline in addition to cleaning the tooth surfaces.
- Floss every day. Flossing presents challenges, but there are handy floss threading tools to help your child floss under the wires and between teeth. Floss picks work well also.
- Use a fluoride rinse after brushing and flossing to help keep tooth enamel strong and decay resistant. Make sure your child doesn’t eat, drink, or rinse after using the fluoride. It’s best to keep the fluoride on the tooth surface as long as possible.
It’s best to avoid some foods during orthodontic treatment to prevent breaking a bracket. Have your child avoid sticky foods like caramels and hard foods like hard bread.
Your dentist can help your child enjoy a healthy smile so make sure your child has a dental examination and x-rays at least every twelve months and a professional dental cleaning every six months.
A straight smile is a great investment for your child, and great oral hygiene can help you and your child reap the benefits. To find out more about oral care during orthodontic treatment and orthodontic options, call the dentists of Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, New Hampshire at (603) 673-1000. Call today!
Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"
"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.
The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.
Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.
Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.
Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.
So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Getting braces early in life has other awesome advantages besides a straighter smile.
As we all know, braces can fix misalignments in your smile and enhance your appearance, which is why so many parents turn to our Amherst, NH, pediatric dentists Dr. James McAveeney, Dr. Andrew Cheifetz, and Dr. Agata Bartels when their child’s permanent teeth start to come in.
Scheduling an orthodontic consultation around the age of 7 is the perfect time for us to determine if braces is right for your child. Here are some benefits of orthodontics that perhaps you didn’t even know about,
Reduce Your Child’s Risk for Cavities
When teeth are overlapping or crooked it makes it more challenging to keep teeth clean. As a result, those with crooked smiles are more likely to deal with cavities and gum disease, since plaque has more areas in which to hide. A straighter smile makes it easier for kids to keep their teeth clean through routine brushing and flossing. Just don’t forget to visit your Amherst, NH, children’s dentist every six months for checkups.
Prevent Wear and Damage
Malocclusions (“bad bites”) such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites can place excessive and uneven pressure on certain teeth. As a result, the teeth that are taking on more pressure will also wear down quickly. Over time, this results in weaker teeth that are prone to chipping or cracking. Orthodontic treatment can help redistribute the bite forces evenly throughout your child’s smile.
Aids in Better Digestion
This is something that most people don’t realize but a straighter smile also makes it easier to chew food properly. If you can’t chew food into smaller pieces then it will take the stomach longer to properly digest larger amount of food. By getting the perfect alignment through braces children may find that they have fewer digestive issues.
Prevent Speech Problems
If your child’s teeth are misaligned this could also impact their speech. Overbites, underbites, and gaps between teeth can sometimes lead to speech problems such as lisps. Braces can correct these common misalignments and often improve speech.
If you are wondering whether your child could benefit from getting orthodontics, then turn to our Amherst, NH, dental team to find out. Call Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire today at (603) 673-1000 to schedule a consultation for your little one.
You may not always be able to tell if your child's bite isn't developing properly. Â That's why you should have them undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6 to uncover any emerging problems with tooth misalignment.
Still, there are some visible signs all's not well with their bite. As the primary (baby) teeth give way, the permanent teeth erupt sequentially around ages 6 to 8. As they come in, you should notice that each tooth fits uniformly next to each other without excessive gaps or, on the other end of the spectrum, not crowded together in crooked fashion. Upper teeth should also fit slightly over the lower teeth when the jaws are shut.
If their teeth appearance deviates from these norms, they may have a bite problem. Here are 4 abnormalities you should watch for.
Underbite or deep bite. As we mentioned, the front teeth should cover the lower teeth with the jaws shut. In an underbite, the reverse happens — the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. It's also a problem if the upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much (often referred to as “deeply”).
Open bite. This occurs when there's a gap between the upper and lower front teeth while the jaws are shut together. One possible cause is late thumb sucking, which can put undue pressure on the front teeth and cause them to develop too far forward while forcing the bottom front teeth further backwards.
Crossbites. This kind of bite occurs when some of the teeth don't fit properly over their counterparts, while others do. Crossbites can occur anywhere in the mouth, for example the upper front teeth fitting behind the lower front teeth while the back teeth overlap normally, or the reverse (front normal, back abnormal).
Misalignments and Abnormal Eruptions. Sometimes upper teeth may align too far forward, a situation known as protrusion. Conversely, lower teeth (or the jaw itself) may come in too far back (retrusion). Because a primary tooth might be out of position or not lost in the proper sequence, a permanent tooth might noticeably erupt out of its proper position.
If you notice any of these situations with your child's teeth see your dentist or orthodontist soon for a full examination. If caught early, we may be able to take action that will lessen or even eliminate the problem.
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the iconic rock band Queen and its legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. But when we see pictures of the flamboyant singer, many fans both old and new may wonder—what made Freddie’s toothy smile look the way it did? Here’s the answer: The singer was born with four extra teeth at the back of his mouth, which caused his front teeth to be pushed forward, giving him a noticeable overbite.
The presence of extra teeth—more than 20 primary (baby) teeth or 32 adult teeth—is a relatively rare condition called hyperdontia. Sometimes this condition causes no trouble, and an extra tooth (or two) isn’t even recognized until the person has an oral examination. In other situations, hyperdontia can create problems in the mouth such as crowding, malocclusion (bad bite) and periodontal disease. That’s when treatment may be recommended.
Exactly what kind of treatment is needed? There’s a different answer for each individual, but in many cases the problem can be successfully resolved with tooth extraction (removal) and orthodontic treatment (such as braces). Some people may be concerned about having teeth removed, whether it’s for this problem or another issue. But in skilled hands, this procedure is routine and relatively painless.
Teeth aren’t set rigidly in the jawbone like posts in cement—they are actually held in place dynamically by a fibrous membrane called the periodontal ligament. With careful manipulation of the tooth, these fibers can be dislodged and the tooth can be easily extracted. Of course, you won’t feel this happening because extraction is done under anesthesia (often via a numbing shot). In addition, you may be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help you relax during the procedure.
After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well. You’ll receive instructions on medication and post-extraction care before you go home. While you will probably feel discomfort in the area right after the procedure, in a week or so the healing process will be well underway.
Sometimes, dental problems like hyperdontia need immediate treatment because they can negatively affect your overall health; at other times, the issue may be mainly cosmetic. Freddie Mercury declined treatment because he was afraid dental work might interfere with his vocal range. But the decision to change the way your smile looks is up to you; after an examination, we can help you determine what treatment options are appropriate for your own situation.
If you have questions about tooth extraction or orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Simple Tooth Extraction” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”