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Posts for: October, 2020


Many otherwise attractive smiles have one noticeable blemish — a large gap between the two upper front teeth. If you have such a gap, there’s a solution that could transform your smile.

The most likely reason for the gap is an issue with a bit of muscle tissue between the gums and upper lip known as the frenum, part of the face’s muscular system. The frenum, though, can overdevelop and grow between the two front teeth into the front part of the palate (roof of the mouth). This can keep or push the teeth apart to form a gap.

To correct the issue, it’s first necessary to consult with an orthodontist, a specialist in bites and tooth alignment. It’s possible for there to be other factors contributing to the spacing including tongue thrusting or finger sucking habits, or missing or misaligned teeth. If the examination reveals an overly large frenum, then the treatment usually commences in two stages.

First, we would need to close the gap by the moving the teeth toward each other with some form of orthodontic appliance like braces or clear aligners. Once closed, the next stage would be to surgically remove the excess frenum tissue and cosmetically alter the gums if necessary.

The order of treatment is important — if you remove the frenum tissue first, any resulting scar tissue could prevent closing the gap with orthodontics. Further, cosmetic surgery on the gums beforehand could result in the loss of the papillae, the small triangular gum tissue between teeth, which results in an unattractive “black” hole.

A frenectomy, the procedure to remove the excess frenum, is a relatively minor procedure that can be performed by a periodontist (gum specialist), oral surgeon, or a general dentist with surgical training. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic, the tissue dissected with a small scalpel, and the resulting small wound closed with a few stitches (another option is to use a surgical laser to remove the frenum). Healing should be complete in about a week with only minor discomfort.

Depending on your individual circumstance, full treatment can take time. But in the end these otherwise routine dental procedures can have a huge impact — a more attractive smile without the noticeable gap.

If you would like more information on treating abnormal teeth spacing, 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 “Space between Front Teeth.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 21, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces  
Braces are a life-changing experience. They can dramatically improve your smile in the long term, but it can be difficult to look past the short term and the necessary, and often temporary, lifestyle changes. Everyone's treatment will vary, and you may qualify for something less invasive, so get in contact with your orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL.
Good Foods and Bad Foods
Braces are rarely painful, if they are, give your dentist a phone call right away. But the adjustment is nonetheless a difficult one for some. The pressure they exert upon your teeth, as well as the armature itself, can take a few days to get used to. But what a lot of people have trouble with at first is the changes to their diet.
Early on your dentist may recommend sticking to softer foods. Think yogurt, scrambled eggs, and pasta, anything along those lines.
The biggest concern with braces and what you eat is that you may damage them as you chew, or that the food might make it more difficult to clean your teeth after. So hard and sticky foods are what you'll want to avoid. Think popcorn, nuts, breads that are even normally hard to bite into, like bagels or pizza crust, and crunchy fruits and vegetables.
Braces in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL
Good dental hygiene becomes even more of a necessity with braces. Plaque buildup is something everyone has to contend with, but with braces, you have to be a little more meticulous in brushing and flossing around them.
For this reason, you may be advised to limit considerably your consumption of sugary foods and drinks, as the sugars are a favorite of the bacteria that make up the plaque on your teeth.
Also don't forget to keep up with your dental checkups and cleanings, as they're as important to good oral health as daily brushing and flossing.
So get in contact with your orthodontist, ask them about what to expect with the treatment, and if you qualify for Invisalign clear aligners, which don't come with as many restrictions as braces, but may not be advisable for more difficult cases, or young teens and children. Call Dr. Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, by dialing (904) 249-0037.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 21, 2020
Tags: braces  

Orthodontic treatment can be just as effective for adults as it is for children. If you're ready to improve your smile with braces, your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist, Dr. Josh Goldknopf can help you evaluate your treatment options.

Why smile issues shouldn't be ignored

Orthodontic problems can cause:

  • Excessive Wear and Tear on Your Teeth and Gums: Wear and tear, cracked teeth and receding gums can occur as a result of bite problems. Bite problems occur when your upper and lower teeth don't fit together properly.
  • Difficulty Speaking: In some cases, orthodontic issues can even affect your ability to pronounce certain sounds or words clearly and correctly.
  • More Cavities: Overlapping teeth trap plaque, making it hard to remove the cavity-causing film when you brush and floss.
  • Self-Esteem Issues: It's hard to feel confident if you want to hide your smile. Appearance concerns are an excellent reason to receive orthodontic treatment.

How braces can help adults

Orthodontic treatment straightens crooked teeth, closes gaps, eliminates crowding, and corrects overbites, underbites, crossbites and open bites. Depending on the type and severity of your orthodontic issues, Dr. Goldknopf may recommend one or more of these options during your visit to the Ponte Vedra or Jacksonville Beach dental office:

  • Metal Braces: The traditional orthodontic treatment uses wires threaded through brackets to move teeth by exerting pressure on them.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces also use the wire-and-bracket system. Tooth-colored or clear wires and brackets make these braces less noticeable.
  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces keep wires and brackets hidden on the backs of your teeth. These braces are made in a dental laboratory and are a more expensive option than metal or ceramic braces.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign eliminates the need for wires and brackets. Instead, you'll wear a series of clear, removable aligner trays that gradually realign your teeth. Each set in the series is designed to be worn for about two weeks. Invisalign treats many orthodontic issues and offers a discreet straightening experience for adults.

Are you ready to straighten your teeth with braces? Call your orthodontist in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, Dr. John Goldknopf, at (904) 249-0037 to schedule your appointment.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 13, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

In many ways, the teenage years are the best time to have orthodontic treatment. It’s a good time emotionally because your teen is likely to have friends who also wear braces; orthodontic treatment becomes a rite of passage they can go through together. It’s also advantageous in a physical sense because all 20 baby teeth have come out, and most of the 32 adult teeth (except the 4 wisdom teeth) have emerged. At the same time, especially with younger teens, jaw growth is not yet complete — allowing orthodontists to harness the growing body’s natural adaptability. We can use a variety of appliances to do that — some of which weren’t around a generation ago!

Appliance Choices

In many cases, traditional metal braces are still the best way to achieve the desired results. However, these are not the “train tracks” of old. Braces are smaller and lighter, with brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of teeth rather than to bands that encircle the entire tooth (except in the very back). Braces can be made much less noticeable by using ceramic brackets that are clear or tooth-colored; however, ceramic brackets are easier to break than metal. An even stealthier way to undergo orthodontic treatment is with clear aligners. These removable clear plastic “trays” are custom made with the help of computer software that divides the treatment process into two-week stages. After each two-week period, the tray is changed and the next stage of movement takes place until the teeth are in correct alignment. The Invisalign system has two modifications especially for teens: “eruption tabs” that hold space open for emerging molars, and “compliance indicators” that can tell parents and orthodontists if the teen is keeping the trays in for the prescribed amount of time. We’d be happy to discuss whether clear aligners would be an option for your child.

Keeping It Clean

No matter which type of appliance is used, oral hygiene becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces presents special challenges in terms of keeping teeth clean; however, it’s extremely important to do an effective job every day so that gums do not become inflamed and cavities do not develop. It’s far easier to clean teeth with clear aligners, which can be removed, but the aligners themselves can build up bacteria, leading to the same types of oral health issues if they are not cleaned each day.

Making It Count

Another way in which orthodontic treatment will not vary regardless of the type of appliance chosen is the necessity of a retention phase. Everyone who has their teeth straightened (and this goes for adults and younger kids, too) must wear a retainer to hold the teeth in their new and improved alignment while new bone grows around them. Yes, braces are easier to wear than they used to be… but no one wants to wear them twice!

If you have questions about braces for your teen, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Clear Aligners for Teenagers” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 06, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   Flossing  

So, you’ve finally had your braces installed. How do you take care of them? While brushing is most certainly recommended, flossing is just as important. Sometimes flossing can be a little tricky while you are aligning your smile. The Brace Place in Jacksonville Beach, FL, and Point Verde, FL, is an excellent resource if you have any questions on how to take care of your orthodontics. Dr. Josh Goldknopf offers extensive knowledge in this area.

What do you do when you are at home and not in the orthodontist's chair? Here are a few tips:

Get acquainted with a water flosser.

Using a Waterpik to shift debris from in between your teeth is much easier than struggling against your orthodontics to get clean.

Waxed floss

If you are going to use manual floss, try flossing with wax coated floss instead. The coating over the floss will allow the floss to move in between tight spaces.

Use a floss threader.

This contraption can reach into places that your fingers may be too large to fit. The threader can pull the floss through, breaking up any tartar in its path. You can find floss threaders at any drugstore.

Reach for the Superfloss

Superfloss works similarly to a floss threader, but the difference is that you will not need to prepare it. Superfloss is comprised of a stiff end and a flexible end, making it very easy to reach in between your dental work.

If you have or are considering braces, looking for more hints and tips to care for your teeth, and would like to speak with licensed orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place, contact our Point Verde or Jacksonville Beach location at (904) 249-0037 to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to help.