Think you're too old to have your teeth straightened? While we automatically pair “teenager” with “braces,” at least one in five orthodontic patients are adults. And there's many more that could benefit, as many as three-quarters of adults with a correctable bite problem.
But although orthodontics can be performed at any age, it's not a minor undertaking. It will require time, patience and expense. So, before you decide to undergo orthodontics, here are 3 simple questions to ask first.
Why? Like children and teenagers, adults can benefit cosmetically from correcting a poor bite. But there's another great reason besides a more attractive smile: misaligned teeth are more difficult to care for than normal teeth. Orthodontic treatment is an investment and potential cost-saver in your future dental health.
Why not? Even senior adults can successfully undergo treatment. But braces might be ill-advised if you have either poor oral or general health. Periodontal (gum) disease, for example, can cause bone loss, which makes it difficult to safely and successfully move teeth (and the effort could worsen current disease activity in the gums). Medical conditions like bleeding disorders, leukemia or uncontrollable diabetes could interfere as well. You'll need both a dental and medical examination beforehand.
How? We can use braces — or we might be able to use a newer, more popular option with adults called clear aligners. These are a series of computer-designed clear, plastic trays you wear in sequence until you finish the series. Each tray is slightly smaller than the previous tray, moving the teeth in much the same manner as braces. But unlike braces, you can remove aligners for cleaning or a rare special occasion — and they're much less noticeable than metal braces. Although in some cases braces may still be the best option, it's also possible clear aligners could be the option you've been looking for.
So, are you ready for a new smile and a more maintainable mouth? Visit us for the answers to your questions and see if braces (or clear aligners) can transform your life and health.
If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”
If there's anything that makes Alfonso Ribeiro happier than his long-running gig as host of America's Funniest Home Videos, it's the time he gets to spend with his family: his wife Angela, their two young sons, and Alfonso's teenaged daughter. As the proud dad told Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "The best part of being a father is the smiles and the warmth you get from your children."
Because Alfonso and Angela want to make sure those little smiles stay healthy, they are careful to keep on top of their kids' oral health at home—and with regular checkups at the dental office. If you, too, want to help your children get on the road to good oral health, here are five tips:
- Start off Right—Even before teeth emerge, gently wipe baby's gums with a clean, moist washcloth. When the first teeth appear, brush them with a tiny dab of fluoride on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Schedule an age-one dental visit for a complete evaluation, and to help your child get accustomed to the dental office.
- Teach Them Well—When they're first learning how to take care of their teeth, most kids need a lot of help. Be patient as you demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss…over and over again. When they're ready, let them try it themselves—but keep an eye on their progress, and offer help when it's needed.
- Watch What They Eat & Drink—Consuming foods high in sugar or starch may give kids momentary satisfaction…but these substances also feed the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The same goes for sodas, juices and acidic drinks—the major sources of sugar in many children's diets. If you allow sugary snacks, limit them to around mealtimes—that gives the mouth a chance to recover its natural balance.
- Keep Up the Good Work—That means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, every single day. If motivation is an issue, encourage your kids by letting them pick out a special brush, toothpaste or floss. You can also give stickers, or use a chart to show progress and provide a reward after a certain period of time. And don't forget to give them a good example to follow!
- Get Regular Dental Checkups—This applies to both kids and adults, but it's especially important during the years when they are rapidly growing! Timely treatment with sealants, topical fluoride applications or fillings can often help keep a small problem from turning into a major headache.
Bringing your kids to the dental office early—and regularly—is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of good checkups…even if they're a little nervous at first. Speaking of his youngest child, Alfonso Ribeiro said "I think the first time he was really frightened, but then the dentist made him feel better—and so since then, going back, it's actually a nice experience." Our goal is to provide this experience for every patient.
If you have questions about your child's dental hygiene routine, call the office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Your child has had braces for a few months and making good progress with correcting a poor bite (malocclusion), but you’ve also noticed something else: his gums are becoming red and swollen.
These are symptoms of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease. It’s an infection that arises when plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, isn’t adequately removed from teeth with daily brushing and flossing. The braces increase the risk for gingivitis.
This is because the hardware — metal or plastic brackets cemented to the teeth and joined together by metal bands — makes it more difficult to reach many areas of the teeth with a brush or floss string. The plaque left behind can trigger an infection that causes inflammation (swelling) and bleeding.
To exacerbate the situation, gums don’t always take well to braces and can react by overgrowing. Wearing braces may also coincide with a teenager’s surge in hormones that can accelerate the infection. Untreated, gingivitis can develop into advanced stages of disease that may eventually cause tooth loss. The effect is also heightened as we’re orthodontically putting stress on teeth to move them.
You can stay ahead of gingivitis through extra diligence with daily hygiene, especially taking a little more time to adequately get to all tooth surfaces with your brush and floss. It may also help to switch to a motorized brush or one designed to work around braces. You can make flossing easier by using special threaders to get around the wires or a water flosser that removes plaque with a pulsating water stream.
And don’t forget regular dental visits while wearing braces: we can monitor and treat overgrowth, perform thorough dental cleanings and treat occurrences of gingivitis. In some cases you may need to visit a periodontist, a specialist in gums and supporting teeth structures, for more advanced treatment. And if the disease becomes extensive, the braces may need to be removed temporarily to treat the gums and allow them to heal.
Orthodontic treatment is important for not only creating a new smile but also improving your teeth’s function. Keeping a close eye out for gum disease will make sure it doesn’t sidetrack your efforts in gaining straighter teeth.
If you would like more information on dental care during orthodontics, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”
Find out why more and more adults are turning to our Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, Orthodontist for braces.
While most people think of braces and think that it’s only something that children and teens have to go through, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many adults are able to get the smiles they want with help from orthodontic treatment. If you’ve ever wished that your smile was straighter and more aligned then it’s time to turn to our Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf to find out about your treatment options.
As an adult you could benefit from braces if you are dealing with:
- Cross bites
- Open bites
- Gaps between teeth
Why should you straighten your smile?
Besides the obvious benefit of having a more attractive smile, a straighter smile is also easier to care for than a misaligned one. In fact, misaligned smiles are more likely to develop cavities because certain areas may be more challenging to clean properly.
Also, teeth that are misaligned may also take on more chewing and biting pressure, which can lead to cracks or fractures over time. By getting a straighter smile you can maintain better oral health and protect your teeth from potential damage.
What are my orthodontic options?
When it comes to getting braces adults have many options. The type of braces you choose will depend on the severity of the issue you want to treat. The most common types of braces include,
Metal braces: traditional metal brackets and wires that are bonded to the front of your teeth
Clear braces: a traditional bracket-and-wire system that uses clear material instead of stainless steel
Lingual braces: traditional braces that are bonded to the back of your teeth
Clear aligners: this includes Invisalign and other removable aligner systems
We know that most adults are keen to find an orthodontic treatment that fits into their lifestyle and is more discreet; fortunately, there are several options that can help. More and more adults are turning to clear aligners such as Invisalign to help straighten their smiles without having to wear brackets and wires. Instead, they are given several custom-made aligners that cover the teeth and apply just the perfect amount of pressure to shift teeth into their ideal position.
If you are interested in discussing the different kinds of orthodontic treatments available to you in Jacksonville Beach or Ponte Vedra, FL, then call our office today to schedule a consultation with us. Turn to the smile experts at The Brace Place Orthodontics to give you the smile you want.
Say hello to a beautifully straight smile with help from this clear orthodontic system.
Are you an adult that is dealing with a crooked or misaligned smile? If so, our Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf can help. Find out more about Invisalign, the clear alternative to a straighter smile, and how it could improve your appearance.
Here are just some of the wonderful benefits you’ll reap when you choose to get Invisalign:
A Healthier Smile
Most people don’t realize that a misaligned smile is actually prone to decay, gum disease and injuries. Think about it: If two teeth are overlapping isn’t it much harder to clean it properly and to thoroughly remove plaque? plaque that sits on teeth too long can lead to cavities. By getting a straighter smile you are also promoting better oral health for the long run.
A More Attractive Appearance
A lot of our confidence stems from our appearance. After all, first impressions are often based on the way we look. If you want a smile that exudes success and confidence then you’ll want a smile that you think is perfect. Luckily, getting Invisalign can give you the smile you want so you can feel more confident smiling in public.
A Discreet Approach
When it comes to braces, most people think of the standard bracket-and-wire system. While these systems are ideal for handling more complicated tooth movements they are visible. We know that many adults want to be able to hide their braces but still get a straighter smile. This is where Invisalign comes in. Clear, custom-made aligners fit snugly against the top and bottom teeth, making them far less visible than traditional braces.
Don’t Restrict Your Diet
When wearing traditional braces you’ll have to stay away from certain crunchy, sticky or hard foods that could damage or pull off your braces. This isn’t the case with Invisalign. Just pop out your aligners prior to eating or drinking then brush your teeth and place them back in when you’re done. Enjoy all of your favorite foods while also working to get a straighter smile.
Keep Teeth Clean
It can be challenging to be able to brush around brackets and wires and often times those with braces find themselves dealing with decay if they aren’t careful. Luckily, since Invisalign aligners are removable you can easily clean and maintain a healthy smile without having to stress about flossing around or between your braces.
The Brace Place Orthodontics provides comprehensive orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages living in the Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, areas. If you are interested in discussing Invisalign or other orthodontic options with us then give us a call.
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