Friday, February 17, 2012

Will I Need to Have Teeth Extracted Before Getting Braces?

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments, usually used to correct crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, or crowding in the mouth. Although braces are still most common among adolescents, more and more adults and younger children are undergoing orthodontic treatment either to correct issues that were not dealt with when they were younger or to prevent problems from developing in the future. A consultation with our experienced orthodontist can help answer your questions about braces and other orthodontic treatments.

When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

At one time, it was considered routine to remove teeth before placing braces, especially with younger patients who were experiencing crowding. Now, however, most orthodontists will consider other methods to alleviate crowding. These methods can include palate expansion or other means of increasing the amount of space available in the mouth. If this is not successful, or if it will not create sufficient room, extraction might be necessary to properly align the bite.

If you are concerned about having teeth extracted, your orthodontist will discuss this with you during an initial consultation. He will also provide explanations and suggestions for the best possible treatment for your teeth or those of your child. Be sure you are comfortable with the explanations for why teeth must be extracted if this approach is suggested.

How Braces Work

Braces use metal brackets and bands to gradually move the teeth into the proper position. The brackets are affixed to the surface of the teeth, and the bands are changed periodically to change the pressure on the teeth or the direction of the pressure. Typically, orthodontic treatment with braces takes a year or two. In some cases, treatment is performed in stages, with an early stage performed when the patient is younger and a later stage performed when more of the permanent teeth have arrived.

If you or your child has crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, or spaces between the teeth, please contact our office serving NYC to schedule a consultation. We’ll provide all the information you need to decide the best course of treatment.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Importance of Plaque Control During Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is intended to give you the best smile you can possibly have. Orthodontics such as braces move your teeth into the correct position, closing gaps, properly aligning your teeth, and straightening teeth that have come in crooked. During your orthodontic treatment, though, it is vitally important to keep your teeth clean and free of plaque to prevent decay and the additional problems it could create.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky substance formed as a byproduct of the actions of bacteria on your teeth. Bacteria congregate around bits of food left behind after you eat and consume them. Plaque can form as a result. With regular brushing and flossing, the majority of this plaque is removed from the teeth. Some, however, can stay behind and form tartar, a harder substance that is more difficult to remove.

Both plaque and tartar are highly acidic. They can eat into the surface of the teeth, causing damage and tooth decay. If plaque is kept under control, it is not as likely to build up into tartar, and tooth decay does not occur.

Keeping plaque off your teeth becomes more challenging when you are wearing braces. The braces interfere with thorough brushing, and it is also more difficult to floss between the teeth during orthodontic treatment.

Keeping Plaque at Bay During Orthodontic Treatment

To keep your teeth clean and plaque-free while you are wearing braces, be sure to follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist. This will include:

Avoid sticky or sugary foods
Brush regularly
Floss regularly
Visit the dentist according to your regular schedule
Visit your orthodontist as arranged

Your orthodontist will provide guidance about what kind of toothbrush and toothpaste to use during your treatment, as well as how often to brush. He will also help you with your flossing technique to ensure optimum effectiveness. By following these instructions and keeping your teeth clean, you can prevent the long-term problems that can occur if your teeth experience decay during your orthodontic treatment.

For more information about orthodontic treatment and how to keep your teeth clean while you are wearing braces, please contact Jackson Heights Orthodontics, serving Queens NY, at 718-335-4444 to schedule a consultation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How Long Will It Take To Complete Orthodontic Treatment?

Malocclusions are caused by genetics and abnormal mouth habits. Braces are a popular option for those who want straighter dentition. If you have considered orthodontics in Queens, you may be wondering how long the treatment will take. The average span is two years. However, there are certain factors that influence the length of the treatment.

Age is the first factor to consider. Most orthodontists recommend that the parents wait until at least the age of 12 before considering braces. In some instances, where the malocclusion is severe, children younger than 12 have received orthodontic treatment. Therefore, younger children may benefit from braces if their condition could potentially harm there skeletal or muscular development.

The severity of the bite should be considered as well. Slight malocclusions can be corrected in a shorter span of time. It should be noted that more complex cases will take longer to resolve. The dentition of the patient should be moved in a gentle pace so as not to damage the alveolar bone and the supporting structures like the periodontal ligaments.

The orthodontist will also examine the patient’s teeth and gums before he or she can be considered for orthodontic treatment. Gum recession may be a warning sign of possible tooth loss. The gums help anchor the teeth to the alveolar bone. If the gum line is insufficient, a visit to the periodontist may be required to further assess the situation.

Each case requires a different treatment plan. It is easier to close gaps than straighten overlapping teeth that are crooked. The patient’s dentition will be moved according to the calculations of the orthodontist. Your orthodontist is an expert in this field of treatment and you can be assured of proper procedure coupled with the best treatment plan for your specific case. If you think that you might be a possible candidate, schedule an appointment with our experienced orthodontists today to find out how your smile can be improved with the help of braces.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is It Too Late To Have Braces If I Am An Adult?

With regard to orthodontics, age is nothing but a number. Many adults are choosing Invisalign in Queens instead of settling for traditional braces because it is more practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Invisalign is both safe and easy to maintain. You will be given a set of plastic trays by your orthodontist that you will wear for a minimum of two weeks. You will be told to remove them when you eat and to avoid wearing your aligners when you drink coffee, tea, red wine or any heavily colored beverage. This is to prevent the staining of your appliance.

To be considered for this sort of treatment, your jaw should be of average bone density. You should also be mindful of your oral hygiene since you will be wearing your appliance for 20 to 22 hours a day. It should be noted that you may speak with a slight lisp for a week or so until you learn to speak with your aligners.

Invisalign aligners move your teeth at a slow and gentle pace. There have been almost no reports of discomfort. To make certain that you are a possible candidate for the treatment, your orthodontist will review your dental history and check if you have TMJ problems as this may pose as a contraindication to the treatment if your TMJ condition is not resolved.

The treatment will last for an average of 12 to 18 months and may take longer for complicated cases. The average number of trays used in this treatment will vary from 25 to 30. However, it is important to note that complex malocclusions will take a longer period of time as the movement is gentler than braces.

To learn more about Invisalign orthodontic treatment and to schedule your consultation, please contact Jackson Heights Orthodontics at 718-335-4444 today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Orthodontic screening: At what age should I schedule an appointment?

Children and teenagers who undergo orthodontic treatment enjoy a variety of benefits, including increased self-esteem and improved oral and physical health. Their parents want to guide them down the right path with our Queens NY orthodontist, but they may not know the best time to begin the treatment process.

Not all children may need braces, but all children will benefit from an orthodontic screening that will determine whether their teeth will eventually need to be re-aligned. It’s best to initiate the orthodontic relationship early, not only to address potential problems but also to give the child an opportunity to begin to build trust with the orthodontist.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Typically, at least some permanent teeth have erupted in a seven-year-old child, and the orthodontist can get a preliminary idea of any issues that may need to be addressed.

At the initial evaluation, your orthodontist will examine the child’s teeth for any indications for orthodontic treatment, such as crowding, uneven spacing of the teeth and extra or missing teeth. Your orthodontist will also ask about habits such as thumb-sucking that can affect the teeth’s alignment.

Orthodontic treatment can take place in different phases, with younger children fitted with appliances, such as expanders, that are intended to prevent malocclusions or patterns of jaw development that would compromise proper tooth alignment. The second phase of treatment, most often initiated in preteens or early adolescents, involves the traditional braces that most people identify with orthodontics.

Even if the orthodontist does not identify any problems at the initial evaluation, parents should still plan to schedule periodic follow-up visits for their children. As the jaws continue to grow and develop, an issue requiring orthodontic intervention could arise at any time until the child’s growth is complete.

Orthodontic treatment is not merely an investment in your child’s appearance, it also helps to promote good oral health over the lifespan. Contact our experienced team of orthodontists serving Queens and schedule an initial evaluation to determine what orthodontic treatment may be appropriate in your child’s case.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advantages of clear braces

Many orthodontic patients—especially those who are well past their teen years—are reluctant to sport a mouth full of metal. The point of orthodontic treatment is a more attractive smile, so patients may want to avoid appliances that detract from the smile for the long duration of their treatment. Clear braces are a good solution for these NYC patients.

Clear braces involve ceramic tooth, colored brackets that blend in with the teeth, making them far less noticeable than their metal counterparts. These ceramic brackets tend to be stain-resistant.

Your orthodontist uses these clear brackets in the same way that traditional metal brackets are used. The brackets are bonded to the teeth, and archwires are weaved through them. The brackets are attached to the archwires using elastics, and the archwires are switched out throughout treatment to adjust the forces and tension applied to the teeth in concurrence with the treatment plan.

The most obvious advantage of clear braces is aesthetic. Although they’re not completely invisible, clear braces do not have the same type of negative effects on the smile that metal braces do.

Because clear braces are less visible, patients who wear them may be agreeable to a few extra weeks or months of treatment. As treatment comes to a close, patients who opt for traditional braces may pressure the orthodontist to remove the appliances prematurely because they’re weary of their “metal mouth.” When wearing clear braces, patients are less likely to be in such a rush, meaning that they are more likely to get the full benefits of their orthodontic treatment.

The clear brackets are stain-resistant, but patients should still take care to keep the devices (as well as the rest of the mouth) clean. Brush at least twice a day – perhaps more often for heavy coffee drinkers or smokers –and be a dedicated flosser, even if it means using a floss threader.

If you are considering your orthodontic options, contact Jackson Heights Orthodontics at 718.335.4444.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Am I a candidate for Invisalign orthodontic treatment?

The Invisalign system is helping millions of adults and teens to enjoy beautiful smiles every day. Our orthodontist is using Invisalign in NYC to design smiles that patients are proud to display.

Invisalign’s revolutionary technology makes it possible for patients to enjoy a beautiful new smile with comfort and privacy. The thin, clear, medical-grade plastic aligners will be barely visible as they gently guide the teeth into position.

Generally, Invisalign is recommended for teen and adult patients whose permanent second molars have erupted. Patients who have teeth that are incorrectly aligned (crowding, spacing, overbite, crossbite) are typically the best candidates for the Invisalign system. Patients whose teeth stick out too far or tip inward too much can also expect dramatic results using Invisalign.

Often, adults who have been treated with traditional braces during the childhood or teenage years may notice shifting or crowding in the later years. Invisalign can be used to retreat these types of orthodontic cases, followed by a crystal clear, removable retainer to prevent future shifting.

Other ideal candidates for the Invisalign procedure are those patients who would prefer a less obvious treatment option, compared to traditional metal braces. This group of patients may include adults who wish to maintain a professional appearance or patients who may be participating in important social functions where priceless photographs will be taken during the treatment period.

In order to accurately determine if Invisalign is right for you, a consultation with your orthodontist is necessary. At your initial visit, the orthodontist will use x-rays and impressions of your teeth to design your treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be converted into a series of custom aligners with the help of 3D computer technology.

Each set of aligners is designed to be worn continuously for a 2 week period before being replaced with a new set. Your orthodontist will monitor your progress carefully, evaluating the position of your teeth approximately every 6 weeks until your treatment is complete.

For more information, Contact Jackson Heights Orthodontics today to schedule your Invisalign consultation appointment.