You’ve had crooked teeth since you could remember. Perhaps you and your parents talked about braces when you were a teenager, but it never happened. Now you’re well into your adult years and you’re comfortable with how you look — so why go through the expense and time now to have them straightened?
There’s a good reason to consider orthodontics at any age — improved health. While we mainly associate teeth straightness with an improved smile, the more serious impact of misaligned teeth is on function — how we bite, chew and speak. As with many other areas of life, good form usually makes for good function. When we have crooked teeth, we may not be able to chew our food properly or speak as well as we could if our teeth were aligned properly.
Misaligned bites (malocclusions) can also have an impact on individual tooth health. Because they don’t interact efficiently with their opposing counterparts during chewing or biting, teeth can become loose or migrate further out of alignment.
While improvement in oral health is the primary reason for considering treatment for a malocclusion, don’t discount the benefit of orthodontics to your appearance. Your smile impacts many aspects of your life, including career and social relationships. A straighter, more attractive smile could also boost your self-confidence: even if you think you’ve grown accustomed to your smile, straightening your teeth could vastly change how you view yourself and how you believe others view you.
And if you’re dreading the look and feel of metal braces, orthodontic treatments have made giant strides in the last few decades. Clear aligners, for example, are much less noticeable than traditional fixed braces (and can be removed for special occasions), but still effective for moving teeth. There’s never been a better time to consider straightening your teeth — and change the course of your health and your life.
If you would like more information on orthodontics for adults, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Why Straighten Teeth.”
How Orthodontic Treatment from The Brace Place Can Improve Your Smile!
The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that over four million children and adults receive orthodontic treatment every year in the United States. With a variety of options available depending on your orthodontic needs and lifestyle, Dr. Josh Goldknopf, your orthodontist in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Verde, FL, is here to improve your smile!
Orthodontics From our Offies in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL
Metallic braces are one of the most common and effective tools to treat bite and alignment issues. Ceramic braces work using a similar methodology to metallic braces, but they are made from a tooth-colored material so as to be a more discreet option. Here are some of the benefits and differences for each option:
Metallic and Ceramic Braces
Metallic and ceramic braces' systems both consist of small brackets being placed on your smile, with each tooth being connected by a wire. Through gentle force and pressure, the teeth are gradually shifted into perfect alignment. Metal braces are typically more affordable, with the appliances also tending to be more durable due to their stainless steel construction. Although modern braces are generally smaller and more compact than in the past, they are still the most conspicuous option.
Ceramic braces do the same thing as metal braces, but the brackets are clear and blend in with the teeth, making them less noticeable than traditional metallic braces. Ceramic braces are also an effective and proven treatment method for common orthodontic problems, but the brackets may not be as durable as metal.
Find an Orthodontist Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL
For more information about the different types of braces and orthodontic treatment available for children and adults, contact The Brace Place Orthodontics today by calling (904) 249-0037 to schedule and appointment with Dr. Goldknopf.
Every year many parents learn their “tweenager” or teenager needs their bite corrected, often with specialized orthodontics. Imagine, though, if these families could go back in time to when their child’s poor bite was just developing to stop or slow it from forming.
Time travel may still be science fiction, but the approach suggested isn’t. It’s called interceptive orthodontics, a group of techniques and procedures performed during the early stages of jaw development. The focus is usually on getting abnormal jaw growth back on track, enough so that a poor bite won’t form.
The upper jaw, for example, may be growing too narrow, reducing the amount of available space for tooth eruption. If it isn’t corrected, teeth can erupt out of position. To correct it, an orthodontist places a palatal expander in the roof of the child’s mouth (palate). The appliance applies gentle pressure against the inside of the teeth, which stimulates the jaws to develop wider.
The expander works because of a separation in the bones at the center of the palate, which later fuse around puberty. The pressure applied from the expander keeps this gap slightly open; the body then continues to fill the widening expansion with bone, enough over time to widen the jaw. If you wait until puberty, the gap has already fused, and it would have to be reopened surgically to use this technique. Ideally, then, a palatal expander should be employed at a young age.
Not all interceptive techniques are this extensive—some, like a space maintainer, are quite simple. If a primary (baby) tooth is lost prematurely, teeth next to the empty space tend to drift into it and cause the intended permanent tooth to erupt out of place due to a lack of space. To prevent this an orthodontist places a small wire loop within the space to prevent other teeth from moving into it.
These are but two examples of the many methods for stopping or slowing a developing bite problem. To achieve the best outcome, they need to be well-timed. Be sure, then, to have your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6. If an interceptive orthodontic approach is needed, it could eliminate the need for more extensive—and expensive—treatment later.
Moving teeth to better positions through orthodontics not only improves dental function and health, it can vastly improve your appearance. But to achieve a result that continues to be attractive as you age requires thorough planning and forethought.
That’s because your body continues to change all during life. While the most accelerated growth happens in childhood and adolescence, even older adults continue to change, especially in their facial features. A good deal of research has helped identify and catalog these changes, which orthodontists now incorporate into their corrective treatments for poor bites (malocclusions).
For example, the lips grow until they reach their maximum thickness in girls usually around age 14 and boys age 16. But researchers have also found lip thickness gradually diminishes for most people beginning in their late teens until about age 80. In other words, the appearance of your lips in your elderly years will be vastly different than in your teens. The same holds true for other facial features: our facial profile flattens as the nose becomes longer and more pronounced while the lower part of the face shortens.
Using this knowledge of the effects of aging on the face, orthodontists now attempt to anticipate “where” the facial features will be decades down the road. This projection can help them design a treatment plan that takes advantage of these projected changes.
For example, orthodontists may begin treatment before a patient’s teenage years with techniques that serve to guide jaw growth. Keeping that development on track will help if or when braces may be needed a few years later. Guiding jaw growth will help shorten the distance of where a patient is in their orofacial development and where they should be later in life with normal development.
Orthodontists aren’t predictors of the future. But armed with an understanding of the aging process, they can help patients head in the right direction to produce a smile and facial appearance that will endure well into later life.
If you would like more information on moving teeth to achieve a more attractive appearance, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
If you're an adult, wearing metal braces may not seem very appealing. Fortunately, Invisalign, offered by your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville, FL, Orthodontist, Dr. Josh Goldknopf, provides a much more discreet straightening choice.
The Invisalign system uses clear aligner trays to reposition your teeth. The transparent trays fit your upper and lower teeth snugly and don't detract from your appearance. You'll be given a series of trays and will wear each set in the series for about two weeks.
Invisalign is a convenient orthodontic option
Despite the nearly invisible appearance of your aligner trays, it may not always be convenient to wear them. Fortunately, you can remove them for a few hours if you're attending a dinner or other event. You'll normally wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours per day.
Invisalign treatment won't require any changes to your diet, unlike metal or ceramic braces. You'll remove your trays when you eat or drink anything other than water. As soon as you finish eating or drinking, you'll rinse your trays and put them back in your mouth.
Your oral hygiene routine won't need to change just because you're straightening your teeth. After you remove the trays, you can brush and floss normally.
You're never too old for Invisalign
Whether you've had an issue with your teeth since childhood, or you've noticed that your teeth have begun to shift in the last few years, Invisalign is an excellent option. Invisalign not only straightens teeth but closes gaps and is an effective treatment for underbites, overbites, crossbites and open bites.
Your treatment may not take as long as you think
Your Invisalign treatment may be completed much sooner than you anticipated. In fact, you may only need to wear your aligner trays for six to 12 months if you're an adult.
You won't have to make time for frequent dental visits
If you choose metal or ceramic braces, you'll need to visit your dentist often for wire adjustments. Since Invisalign is a wire-free system, there are no adjustments. You'll only need to schedule follow-up visits every six weeks.
Transform your smile with Invisalign. Call your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville, FL, Orthodontist, Dr. Josh Goldknopf, at (904) 222-8588 to schedule your appointment.
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