Posts for: April, 2020
The longer many health problems go on, the worse they become. Treating them as early as possible could stop or slow their development.
That holds true for poor bites: while we can certainly correct them later in life, it's often better to "intercept" the problem during childhood. Interceptive orthodontics attempts to do this with treatments that influence how the jaws and other mouth structures develop during childhood. Many of these techniques are usually best implemented before puberty.
For example, some very complex problems called cross bites can occur if the upper jaw grows too narrowly. We might be able to stop this from happening by using an orthodontic appliance called a palatal expander during the childhood years. It works because the bone at the center of the palate (roof of the mouth) has a gap running back to front until the early teens when the gap closes.
We fit the palatal expander up under and against the palate, then extend out metal arms from a center mechanism to the back of the upper teeth that exert outward pressure on them. This widens the center gap, which the body continually fills with bone as the device gradually exerts more pressure. Over time this causes the jaw to widen and lessens the cross bite. Timing, though, is everything: it's most effective before the gap closes.
Another way to aid jaw growth is a Herbst appliance, a hinged device that alters the movement of the jaws. As a child wears it, a Herbst appliance draws the lower jaw forward to develop more in that direction. Like the palatal expander, it's best used before significant jaw growth occurs.
These are just two examples of techniques and tools that can guide structural growth and prevent bite problems. Because they're most effective in the early years of oral development, your child should undergo an orthodontic evaluation as early as age 6 to see if they need and can benefit from an interceptive treatment.
Interceptive orthodontics can stop or at least slow a growing bite problem. The effort and expense now could save you much more of both later on.
If you would like more information on interceptive 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 “Interceptive Orthodontics: Timely Intervention can make Treatment Easier.”
How your orthodontist in Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Vedra, FL, can help your smile
If you’ve straightened your smile with orthodontic treatment, you've made an excellent choice. After all, a straight smile is not only more attractive, but it’s also far easier to clean than if your teeth are crowded together.
Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic services, including tools and techniques to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. He has two convenient office locations in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, to help you.
Caring for your smile before, during, and after orthodontic treatment involves removing plaque as thoroughly and frequently as possible. That’s because plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria. These bacteria produce toxic by-products that can eat through tough tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. The toxins also cause inflammation and infection in your gums, and eventually, the bone that supports your teeth is affected. When this happens, you have periodontal disease.
You can do a lot to keep your smile healthy after orthodontic treatment. Remember to:
- Brush your teeth after meals and before bed, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush gently in a circular motion, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth, and along the gumline. You can also use a sonic or electric toothbrush if you wish.
- Floss every day, using a single piece of floss or floss picks. Make sure you wrap the floss around the widest part of your tooth as you floss in between your teeth. When you wrap the floss around the tooth, it keeps the floss firmly against the tooth surface, allowing for a better clean.
- Regular dental visits have been an important part of your dental care during orthodontic treatment, but they remain necessary after completion. That’s because when you have braces, a dental examination and x-ray screening may miss small areas of decay in between your teeth. After the braces are removed, your dentist can perform a comprehensive dental examination and take definitive x-rays to show all areas, including in between your teeth.
To find out more about caring for your smile before, during, and after orthodontic treatment, call Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL: (904) 249-0037.
Tara Lipinski loves to smile. And for good reason: The Olympic-gold medalist has enjoyed a spectacular career in ladies' figure skating. Besides also winning gold in the U.S. Nationals and the Grand Prix Final, in 1997 Lipinski became the youngest skater ever to win a World Figure Skating title. Now a sports commentator and television producer, Lipinski still loves to show her smile—and counts it as one of her most important assets. She also knows the importance of protecting her smile with daily hygiene habits and regular dental care.
Our teeth endure a lot over our lifetime. Tough as they are, though, they're still vulnerable to disease, trauma and the effects of aging. To protect them, it's essential that we brush and floss every day to remove bacterial plaque—that thin accumulating film on teeth most responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
To keep her smile in top shape and reduce her chances of dental disease, Lipinski flosses and brushes daily, the latter at least twice a day. She also uses a tongue scraper, a small handheld device about the size of a toothbrush, to remove odor-causing bacteria and debris from the tongue.
Lipinski is also diligent about visiting the dentist for professional cleanings and checkups at least twice a year because even a dedicated brusher and flosser like her can still miss dental plaque that can then harden into tartar. Dental hygienists have the training and tools to clear away any lingering plaque and tartar that could increase your disease risk. It's also a good time for the dentist to check your teeth and gums for any developing problems.
The high pressure world of competitive figure skating and now her media career may also have contributed to another threat to Lipinski's smile: a teeth-grinding habit. Teeth grinding is the unconscious action—often while asleep—of clenching the jaws together and producing abnormally high biting forces. Often a result of chronic stress, teeth grinding can accelerate tooth wear and damage the gum ligaments attached to teeth. To help minimize these effects, Lipinski's dentist created a custom mouthguard to wear at night. The slick plastic surface of the guard prevents the teeth from generating any damaging biting forces when they clench together.
The importance of an attractive smile isn't unique to celebrities and media stars like Tara Lipinski. A great smile breeds confidence for anyone—and it can enhance your career, family and social relationships. Protect this invaluable asset with daily oral hygiene, regular dental visits and prompt treatment for disease or trauma.
Braces play an important role in your child's oral health. Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, recommends orthodontic solutions to improve physical "orofacial" appearance. Orthodontic treatment fixes crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position and other jaw disorders.
When should I consider braces for my child?
Orthodontists advise wearing braces during the ages of 10-to-14 because the head and mouth are developing and teeth are more likely to straighten but make sure your child sees the orthodontist by age seven.
By age seven, the first permanent molars and incisors have come and your orthodontist in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra can evaluate teeth and create a plan to ensure proper growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment also helps:
- properly develop the upper and lower dental arches
- increase space for incoming permanent teeth
- avoid permanent tooth extractions
- eliminate swallowing or speech problems
Treatment duration varies from one person to another but most people need to wear braces between 18 and 30 months, followed by wearing of a retainer from a few months to two years so teeth remain straight. There are several types of retainers (removable hawley wire retainers, removable clear plastic retainers and bonded permanent retainers) so ask your dentist which works best for you. In some cases, patients need to wear a permanent retainer.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances come in different materials, metal, ceramic, or plastic, and different appearances and functions, removable or brackets bonded to the teeth.
All braces pretty much work the same way though. They place a constant and controlled force on teeth. The gentle pressure directs teeth to their corrected position.
Would you like to consult your orthodontist?
Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, can help answer your questions. Just call to make an appointment or for a consultation at (904) 249-0037 today!
Oral health depends on more than a pretty smile. It stems from proper bite, muscular function, and balance, plus the right growth and development early in life. At The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach, FL, Dr. Josh Goldknopf provides the detailed orthodontic care needed for a smile that looks amazing, performs well, and lasts a lifetime.
Just what is orthodontia?
Orthodontia is the dental specialty that corrects problems associated with tooth alignment, occlusion (bite), smile appearance, and muscular function/balance. It also evaluates and corrects how a child's jaw grows and develops so that problems related to speech, biting, chewing, and facial appearance may be avoided.
However, it's important to note that adults may receive treatment from an orthodontist such as Dr. Goldknopf, as well. As long as teeth, gums, and jaw bone are healthy, you can achieve the smile you want and the oral function and health you deserve.
Problems that braces can treat
Braces and other orthodontic devices, such as palatal expanders, move teeth and other soft and hard oral tissues into more favorable positions. The British Orthodontic Society says typical treatment plans which employ conventional metal braces may take up to three years to complete.
The desired outcomes are to:
- Balance how teeth close together
- Improve speech
- Make biting and chewing more comfortable and efficient
- Limit mouth breathing
- Smooth jaw function
- Close gaps and open space between crowded teeth
- Correct underbite (the lower jaw protrudes), overbite (the upper jaw extends over the lower), crossbite (the lower jaw is skewed to one side) and open bite (top and bottom teeth do not meet)
- Help teeth meet at the midline between the upper and lower jaw
What will your care plan involve
Much depends on your consultation with Dr. Goldknopf. During this meeting at either our Jacksonville Beach or Ponte Verda office, your orthodontist will perform an oral examination of the gums and teeth and take special 3-D images with the i-CAT cone beam scanner. He can then tell you which smile alignment issues you should address, what kind of appliances are best for you, and how long your treatment will take.
Get going on that new smile
Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics looks forward to seeing you for a smile consultation at one of our two offices. To schedule an orthodontist appointment at either our Jacksonville Beach or Ponte Verda, FL, location phone (904) 249-0037.