Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is "malocclusion," which means "bad bite."
Dr. Kneib applies either fixed or removable corrective appliances to bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance. Fixed orthodontics are brackets or appliances cemented or bonded to the teeth. Removable orthodontics are any appliances that can be removed by the patients during treatment. Any orthodontic care may need multiple phases of care. All orthodontic care needs an initial workup before treatment is rendered and diagnosed.
Fixed Orthodontic technology is a specialty of dental technology that is concerned with the design and fabrication of dental appliances for the treatment of malocclusions, which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both.
What usually happens during an initial orthodontic exam?
In order to determine your specific needs, a dentist will completely evaluate your mouth. This will likely include:
The doctor will then carefully evaluate your specific needs and provide you with a treatment plan for correction. Following the recommended plan is important for proper correction.
What are spacers?
Teeth normally fit tightly against one another. Spacers are inserted before placement of your braces to provide some space between teeth for attaching the bands. There are two types of spacers, small springs or plastic modules. In just a few days they gently move desired teeth slightly apart.
Spacers often cause some soreness, but this goes away in a few days. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to relieve the irritation. Your normal chewing also helps to get your mouth feeling better.
What do I do if a spacer comes out?
Contact us immediately for a replacement. That little spacer is making just enough room for a comfortable fit for your braces and plays an important role.
What causes orthodontic problems?
Most orthodontic problems are inherited, including tooth size and jaw size, and may lead to crowding of teeth or spacing of teeth. Overbites, underbites, extra or missing teeth, and irregularities of the jaws, teeth, and face also are inherited.
Other orthodontic problems can be caused from accidents, pacifier or thumb sucking, dental disease, or the premature loss of either the primary or permanent teeth.
How early should children get an orthodontic evaluation?
At Kneib Dentistry we use the simple guideline that children should be examined at the time their permanent teeth are beginning to come in. However, every child is different, and the best starting time for orthodontic treatment depends on the type of problem and how severe it is. So the answer really is: "It depends..."
If your child requires treatment, early intervention can make a real difference. We see the best results with treatments that would be impossible once your child's face and jaw have completely developed.
Also, when started early, completion of treatment at a later age is much easier.
During an initial examination, we will evaluate your child's facial growth, spacing between teeth, crowding, extra or missing teeth. And they will look for habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking that may hinder normal growth and development. These problems can change tooth alignment as well as alter facial appearance.
If your child doesn't require any early treatment, most dentists will schedule periodic follow-up exams while the permanent teeth are coming in and the face and jaws continue to grow.
Orthodontic treatment can bring your child's teeth, lips and face into harmony. And we all know that a pleasing appearance and beautiful smile give children—and adults—a big advantage in life.