Your First Visit

What does the first orthodontic visit entail?

The first visit allows Dr Vic to assess you or your child’s concerns. It will involve a facial and dental examination. Photos, x-rays and study models may be taken on this first visit for a complete evaluation. Upon establishing the diagnosis, Dr. Vic will customize the treatment for you and your child’s needs. A treatment plan will be drawn up and you may request for an insurance letter as well for your insurance claims.

Home Care

Cleaning Your Teeth With Braces

Good dental hygiene is of utmost importance during orthodontic treatment. When you examine your new braces carefully you will see that there are many places where plaque and food can be trapped. If you do not take sufficient time to clean your teeth, permanent damage to the tooth structure can occur. Areas on the enamel surface will begin to decalcify, leaving unsightly white marks that eventually can progress to decay. Trapped food and plaque that is left on and around the teeth and braces may also cause swollen bleeding gums (gingivitis) and bad breath.

How often should I clean my teeth?
You must clean your teeth and gums every time after you eat meals or a snack. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste when you brush. IF your work/school day conditions do not allow for toothpaste use then brush with water only. If you cannot brush right away after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush.

Surviving braces

Broken bracket or wire
If a bracket or band comes loose or you break a wire, please call our office at 67370544 so that we can arrange an appointment long enough to repair it. Use the wax dispensed to cover the affected area first to reduce any discomfort.

Sore Teeth
After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 24-36 hrs. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Some irritation to the cheeks and tongue is normal. Use the wax dispensed to cover the brackets which are irritating your cheeks in the meantime.

Elastics
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:

  • You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.
  • Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away.
  • If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don't double up the next day - just follow your regular instructions.

Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don't provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.

Retainer care/removable appliance

Clean your appliance by brushing it daily with toothpaste. Denture cleaner or a diluted white vinegar solution can also be used for a more thorough cleaning. If you are wearing a bonded wire retainer behind your front teeth, be extra careful to clean the wire and the area around it. Flossing should be done every day.

Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue and set it down on the table. You or someone else may throw it away. Don't put it in your pocket when playing or you may break or lose it. Whenever it is not in your mouth it should be in its plastic appliance case. Keep your appliance away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them.

Orthodontic Retention phase
The orthodontic retention period begins when braces are removed. This phase is extremely important. A period of time is needed to stabilize the entire mouth once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions. The teeth must be retained in order to hold their new positions. The soft tissues, surrounding bone, the tongue and lips must adapt to the new dental alignment. Depending on your type of treatment and age, different retainers may be prescribed. Prior to your removal of braces, Dr Vic will discuss the retention options.

There are fixed and removable retainers:

Fixed retainers
Fixed retainers are lingually bonded wires placed at the canine region. The duration of the fixed lingual retainer can range from 6 months to indefinite period depending on the malocclusion. Dr Vic will also issue a clear Essix retainer to be worn over the fixed retainers during the night time.

The clear Essix retainers have an indefinite night time wear period. As facial growth and teeth movement never ceases in a lifetime, so does your retainer wear. It is advisable to wear your retainer at night for as long as you want to prevent any unwanted tooth movement.

Removable retainers
Removable retainers are be in the form of clear Essix retainers or a Hawley wire plate. The indications for the type of removable retainers will depend on the age of the patient and the type of orthodontic problem.



FAQ

When should my child see an orthodontist?

Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

  • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
  • While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
  • The check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development, and then if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
  • Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
  • In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
  • Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
    - guide jaw growth
    - lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
    - correct harmful oral habits
    - improve appearance
    - guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
    - improve the way lips meet
  • Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you'll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. /li>

Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist's goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.


Am I too old for braces?

Braces have been associated with adolescence,as depicted in movies and real life. However, current statistics show more than half of the patients receiving orthodontic treatment in the 21st century are adults.Orthodontics using modern materials and advanced applications provide more choices for adults concerned about the appearance of braces and the length of time for treatment. Regardless of age, it's never too late to create a more appealing and healthier smile. Hence, there are no age limits for orthodontic treatment. The best option is to get an orthodontic consultation and express your concerns to the orthodontist.


What are invisible braces?

Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces. Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you've always wanted. The best part about the whole process is that most people won't even know you're straightening your teeth.For more information on Invisalign, please visit www.invisalign.com


How do braces straighten crooked teeth?

Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. The two main components of your braces are the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind. Other appliances may be used to correct bites and move teeth and these are custom made for each patient. These can include fixed and removable expanders, bite plates, Herbst appliance, protraction facemasks and many others.