What Causes Orthodontic Problems?
For the most part, malocclusions are passed down from our parents, but some situations can be acquired. Crowding, spacing, extra teeth, and missing teeth are just some examples of passed down traits from our parents that can cause problems that may be addressed. There are other situations where trauma, bad habits like thumb or finger sucking, or even airway obstruction by adenoids and tonsils, or losing baby or adult teeth too early from tooth decay can cause teeth to become poorly aligned. Many of these problems affect not only alignment of the teeth but facial development and appearance as well.
At What Age Should My Child See An Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child be evaluated by age 7. This is the age where the first few adult teeth should be appearing in your child’s mouth. An orthodontic screening no later than this enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems that exist, advise the parent on whether treatment will be necessary, and determine the best time for any treatment. Early detection of orthodontic problems is important so that early corrective action can be takes and more difficult treatment later can be avoided.
What Are Some Common Issues?
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
When you first get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for up to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Request An Appointment
The first step toward achieving a beautiful, healthy smile is to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment, please complete and submit the request form below. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you soon to confirm your appointment. And we have two locations to choose from.
Please note this form is for requesting an appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule an existing appointment, or if you require immediate attention, please contact our practice directly. There are many ways to communicate with our office. Please choose the method most convenient to you.