This three-part article series provides a comprehensive FAQ guide to orthodontics: the field of dentistry concerned with the correction of teeth orientation and jaw alignment.
Welcome back to this three-part article series on your frequently asked questions about orthodontics. In Part 1, a Silver Spring dentist helped us better understand what this field of dentistry focused on - the correction of badly orientated/aligned teeth and jaws - and what the benefits of this kind of treatment might offer patients: better bite function, comfort, smile aesthetics, long term oral health, etc. So, without further ado, let’s continue looking at those FAQ!
FAQ: What signs might indicate that I, or my child may need orthodontic braces?
The Orthodontist in Silver Spring MD Answers: Braces are used to guide poorly aligned and/or overcrowded teeth into better and more favorable positions. Therefore, some of the signs that indicate braces may be necessary include:
• You have a deep bite: Your upper front teeth cover your lower teeth when biting down.
• You have an overbite or “bucked teeth”: Your upper front teeth protrude notably over your lower teeth.
• You have an underbite: Your lower front teeth sit in front or on the outside of your upper front teeth when biting down.
• The central point of your lower set of teeth does not align with the central point of your upper set of teeth.
• You experience difficult chewing and frequently suffer jaw and headaches and stiffness.
• You have an open bite: Your lower front teeth and upper front teeth don’t come together when you bite down.
• Your teeth are overlapped and/or over-crowded.
• Your child continues to thumb-suck past six or seven years of age.
• You or your dentist has noticed an uneven and excessive pattern of wear across the biting surfaces of your teeth – this may indicate a maloccluded bite.
• You have large spaces between your teeth.
• Your lower jaw shifts to the left or right when you bite down.
Any of these problems could necessitate treatment from a Silver Spring orthodontist.
FAQ: At what age should I go for or bring my child for orthodontic treatment?
A Silver Spring Dentist Answers: Jaws and teeth that are still in the developmental state respond quicker and more easily to orthodontic treatment, which is why it is generally recommended that people take their child to an orthodontist for a check-up around the age of 7 years. This is especially the case if he or she is still sucking his or her thumb, which can cause serious orthodontic problems. Early treatment is also preferable because it avoids the many potentially more serious problems associated with a maloccluded bite, for example uneven and accelerated wear.
If, however, you have reached adulthood and suspect that you have orthodontic problems, you can still be treated! Many people in their 30’s and 40’s and even older have come to see the orthodontist for braces or other procedures to correct bad bites and poor jawbone alignment.
FAQ: What does it mean when an orthodontist talks about Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment?
A Silver Spring Orthodontist Answers: Phase 1 treatment is essentially early treatment and is typically done on patients who are between the ages of six and 10 and so haven’t received all of their adult teeth yet. Phase 1 orthodontic treatment would therefore typically involve partial braces or expanders, which can be used to create more space in the dental arch for emerging teeth as well as to address underbite, crossbites and overbites.
Phase 2 treatment is typically recommended by Silver Spring dentists to patients who have developed all of their adult teeth. This applies to the age bracket between 11 and 13 and generally involves the placement of full orthodontic braces.
Stay Tuned for Part 3
To read the answers to more of your frequently asked questions, stay tuned for the final installment of this three-part article series on orthodontic dentistry in Silver Spring MD.