Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces used today. They are smaller and more comfortable than ever before. The metal braces used at Montvale Orthodontics are constructed of high-grade metal alloys that allow a significant improvement in both comfort and efficiency when compared to older generation braces.
With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile. You can pick and choose both your color and pattern at each visit.
Why settle for the limitations of traditional braces or invisible aligners like Invisalign when there are Clear Braces?
Virtually invisible, Clear Braces have “clear” advantages over traditional braces and aligners. In some ways, you get the best of both other treatment options. You get the results and speed of using braces compared to aligners, but are closer to the aesthetic of aligners than that of braces. In most cases, it is very difficult to even see that someone is wearing clear braces. Clear braces deliver a discreet treatment experience with results that will continue a lifetime.
PHASE I ORTHODONTICS / BRACES
What is Phase I Treatment or Early Treatment?
Early Treatment typically begins around age eight. The goal of Phase I treatment is to correct the skeletal growth of the jaw, and other bite issues. It also assist in creating adequate space for permanent teeth to come in properly, and thus lessening the chance of needing permanent teeth extracted in the future due to space issues.
Some of these issues are much easier to correct when your child is younger due to the pliability of bone, and the ability of correcting the eruption pathway of teeth before they erupt in the incorrect space. As your child grows, their bone gets harder, and can be more difficult to change. Phase I treatment is all about preventing more severe problems down the road. It allows the orthodontist to control the eruption of the permanent teeth and the growth of the jaws, while the primary teeth are still in the mouth. By age seven, your child’s mouth has grown enough and has enough sound structure to know how it will develop as the permanent teeth start to emerge. We are trained to identify bite issues at an early age, and can often intervene early enough to prevent any further issues.
Benefits of Early Intervention Include:
- Alleviating future, and possibly more invasive dental correction
- Decreasing the risk of damage to erupting teeth
- Correcting bite problems before they cause further damage to the developing jaw
- The ability to improve your child’s appearance
- Increasing self-esteem and confidence in your child
- Correction of habits that may disrupt development, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- Guide the growth of the jaw to accommodate emerging permanent teeth
- Prevent the need for extractions of permanent teeth, or surgery in the future
- Gaining space for erupting teeth
- Correct certain habits like thumb or finger sucking
- Eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech patterns
- A better prognosis for how the permanent teeth will develop
- Lowering the risk of damage to any protruding teeth
- The ability to improve your child’s appearance
- Creating a more pleasing and functional arrangement of teeth, lips and face
Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth are meant to complement each other. By timing treatment to stages of dental development, we can take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Problems that can be treated in a growing child may alleviate more drastic and invasive procedures later.
What Should I Look For?
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or other finger sucking
- Crowded teeth especially at the front
- Open bites
- Teeth that come together abnormally
- Teeth that protrude
- Lips can’t close at rest
- Missing Teeth
- Deep Bites
- Protruding front teeth
If your child is between ages of seven or eight, and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your dentist to seek an orthodontic consult, please schedule an appointment at our Request an Appointment page.
PHASE II Orthodontics
What is Phase II Orthodontics?
Phase II Orthodontics is typically performed once all baby teeth are lost. This treatment is commonly done in the teen years, but many of Dr. Oh’s patients are adults as well!
What’s the Difference Between Phase I and Phase II Orthodontics?
The simplest way to understand the difference between phases I and II orthodontics is to understand that an ideal occlusion involves two different factors: properly aligned teeth, and properly aligned jaws.
When a bite involves correcting both the jaw and the teeth, it is very difficult to address both problems at the same time. This is due to the fact that the window of opportunity to correct one issue closes once the other opens. Correcting major jaw issues is often done when the bone is pliable, at a younger age, prior to puberty. Typically aligning the teeth is done when all the permanent teeth are in, therefore into the early teen years.
A baby tooth normally stays in place until a permanent tooth comes up underneath it, pushes it out and replaces it.
If a tooth is lost earlier than usual, the surrounding teeth can shift into the empty space and prevent or block the permanent tooth from erupting.
To prevent future space loss and orthodontic problems, Dr. Oh may recommend a space maintainer.
A space maintainer will hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. It will hold the remaining teeth in place and prevent movement until the permanent tooth erupts into its proper position. It is easier keeping the teeth in their correct place now with a space maintainer than trying to move them back into place with orthodontic treatment in the future.
These appliances serve one of the most important functions in orthodontics. Maintaining space for permanent teeth to naturally come into the mouth at their own pace is imperative to proper tooth alignment. Without appropriate space maintenance, early loss of a primary tooth may result in a collapse of the arch, or over crowding.
HABIT BREAKING APPLIANCES
Habit appliances are sometimes utilized in order to assist a child who wants to stop a habit, such as thumb sucking, but needs some additional motivation. It is important to note that if your child sucks his or her thumb or has other soothing habits, this is a natural, comforting habit in children, and often working through the reasons behind the habit will often stop the habit from pursuing. However, oral habits can lead to dental problems if the habit is not discontinued at an appropriate age.
WHEN DOES THUMB SUCKING BECOME A REAL ISSUE?
Evidence shows that children who cease the habit by roughly age 3-4 tend not to display any permanent skeletal effects, however this relies heavily in part to not only the duration, and frequency, but also the force of thumb sucking. For example, the child who is sucking their thumb aggressively, and audibly for hours on end, will have a very different skeletal outcome to those who are passively resting their thumb in their mouth right before bedtime. This is why consulting your pediatric dentist early on is crucial in preventing any permanent skeletal discrepancies like open bites or crossbites.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AS A PARENT?
We see a decline in thumb-sucking in school aged children due to the social implications surrounded by the habit. However, if your child is still sucking their thumb into age 5,6 + make sure you encourage your children in a positive manner. Children at this age must make a conscientious effort to drop the habit, and many times cannot be forced to change. Informing your child that their habit could cause permanent damage to their teeth and developing jaw, in conjunction with positive reinforcement charts often does the trick. Once children have approached an age where they are motivated to stop, but need a helpful reminder, an oral habit appliance can be placed. This is typically done around age 6 or older.
An example of an oral habit appliance is the Bluegrass appliance that will gently stop the overall suction pattern. It is a fixed retainer that is placed in the child’s mouth.
This is one of many options, and If your child is struggling with an oral habit, we would be glad to discuss this at your next dental consult.