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Posts for: March, 2021


Applying braces or clear aligners to move misaligned teeth is only part of an orthodontist's overall mission to eliminate poor bites (malocclusions). Sometimes a malocclusion isn't caused by the teeth at all—the size of the jaw is the problem!

One type in particular, a cross-bite, often happens because the upper jaw has developed too narrowly. As a result, many of the upper teeth fit inside the lower, the opposite of normal. But a tool called a palatal expander can alleviate the problem if it's applied at an early enough age.

The device works because the upper jawbone initially forms as two halves that fit together along a center line in the roof of the mouth (the palate) running from the back of the mouth to the front. These two bone halves remain separate during childhood to facilitate jaw growth, but eventually fuse around puberty.

Consisting of two sets of wire arms joined together by a hinge mechanism in the middle, the expander device is positioned up against the palate. The orthodontist extends each arm to press against the inside of the back teeth, then adds more outward pressure by turning the mechanism in the middle with a small key. During wear, the patient or caregiver will turn the mechanism in the same way to keep up the pressure on the two sides of the jaw.

This continual pressure keeps the two bones moving away from each other and maintaining a center gap between them. In response, more bone forms on the two halves to fill the gap. In time, the newly formed bone should widen the jaw enough to correct any developing malocclusion.

Timing is everything with a palatal expander—if not used before the jaw bones fuse, the patient will need a surgical procedure to separate the bones to pursue treatment. To catch the problem early enough, children should have an orthodontic evaluation on or before they turn six. An orthodontist may be able to identify this or other emerging bite problems and intervene before it becomes worse. Taking this approach can help save you and your child more expensive orthodontic treatment down the road.

If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, 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 “Palatal Expanders: Orthodontics is more than just Moving Teeth.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
March 22, 2021
Tags: braces  

You may be surprised by some of these lesser-known benefits of getting braces.

We all know that braces are designed to shift teeth into the ideal position for a more attractive smile. However, this isn’t the only reason to turn to our Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf for braces. Braces offer a wide range of benefits, some of which you might not even realize. By getting braces to correct your misaligned or crooked teeth, here are some of the other long-term benefits that you’ll also enjoy.

A New and Improved Bite

The way your teeth fit together is incredibly important for their health and function. When teeth are misaligned, this means that more pressure is being placed on certain teeth when biting and chewing.

Over time, this can cause excessive wear on teeth and even lead to chips and cracks. By turning to our Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist for braces, we can correct your bite and prevent these problems from happening to you.

Easy Chewing and Better Digestion

When teeth are perfectly straight it also makes it easier to properly chew your food. If you’ve been noticing some digestive issues it could have something to do with your current smile. Crooked and misaligned teeth make it difficult to thoroughly chew food. You may be literally biting off more than you can chew.

As a result, larger pieces of food are going into your stomach. Your stomach has to work overtime to break them down. By correcting your smile with braces, we can make chewing easier and also give your stomach a little reprieve.

Cleaner, Healthier Teeth

Another major benefit of getting braces is that you’ll also have a healthier smile. Crowding and gapped teeth are harder to keep clean. This means that food can easily get trapped between and around teeth. This leads to an increase in plaque buildup. Over time, this can result in decay and gum disease. Straighter smiles are easier to brush and floss, which means less plaque and food left behind.

Do you have questions about getting braces from our Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontists? Want to discuss your orthodontic options with us? To schedule a consultation with Dr. Goldknopf today by calling The Brace Place at (904) 222-8588.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
March 19, 2021
Tags: Invisalign  

Does your child have crooked teeth or a bite problem? Invisalign for teens will help your child improve his or her smile. Invisalign, one of the orthodontic treatment options offered by your Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist, Dr. Josh Goldknopf, can be an excellent choice for teenagers.

Invisalign corrects smile issues discreetly

Like many teens, your child may be concerned about the change to his or her appearance during orthodontic treatment. Although metal braces are certainly a good choice, there's no hiding the fact you're straightening your teeth when your mouth is covered in metal.

Invisalign offers a more subtle choice. The system gradually realigns your child's smile using removable aligner trays worn over the teeth. The trays are clear, which makes them blend in with your child's teeth. Your teen receives a series of aligner trays, each designed to be worn for two weeks. Daily wear time is usually about 22 hours.

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign offers several advantages that make them a good option for teenagers, including:

  • Flexibility: Your child can remove the aligners to participate in sports, play an instrument, appear in the drama club show, or go to the prom. Removing the aligners for a few hours occasionally won't harm your child's progress.
  • No Food Restrictions: There's no need to avoid certain foods during Invisalign treatment. Aligner trays are removed before eating, making food restrictions unnecessary.
  • Comfort: Trays are made of plastic for your teen's comfort. Your child won't have to worry about cuts from stray wires or pain after adjustments. In fact, no adjustments are needed with Invisalign.
  • Simple Oral Hygiene Routines: Your child can brush and floss normally after removing the trays.

Worried that your teenager won't follow the wear schedule? Invisalign has a solution!

Many parents are concerned that their teens will forget about the schedule recommended by their Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist. Fortunately, there's a way you can tell if your child isn't wearing the trays as long as recommended. Blue compliance indicators added to the aligner trays gradually fade with use. If the dots don't fade, it's time to remind your teen about the importance of sticking to the daily wear schedule.

Could Invisalign for teens enhance your child's smile? Call your orthodontist in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, Dr. Goldknopf, at (904) 222-8588 to schedule your teen's appointment.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
March 14, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is a deeply held American trait for building, renovating or repairing things without the services of a professional. The Internet has only made this tradition easier: There are scores of videos showing people how to do things on their own like build a deck, fix a dryer or bake an award-winning soufflé.

But some things are best left to the experts, which if you tried to do using too little knowledge or a lot less training could turn out disastrous. A prime example is becoming your own orthodontist and using dubious home methods to straighten your teeth. If that sounds preposterous, the American Association of Orthodontists recently reported it does happen, with one in ten of their members saying they have treated patients who attempted their own smile-straightening projects.

Often found on social media, these methods usually involve household items like rubber bands or dental floss to straighten teeth. Like other forms of DIY, the object is to save money. In the end, though, these self-orthodontic methods could result in dental damage that could cost much more to repair (if indeed it's repairable) than what might have been spent with professional orthodontics in the first place.

Utilizing extensive training, experience and artistry, orthodontists work with the mouth's natural ability to move teeth in a precise manner for a planned outcome. They carefully consider each individual patient's jaw and facial structures, along with the severity and complexity of their bite problem, as they design and implement a treatment plan involving braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic appliances.

A rigged homemade device to move teeth can't adequately take these factors into account. As a result, you may be risking permanent gum and bone damage—and you may even lose teeth in the process. Even if repairable, such damage could require oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry or more extensive orthodontic procedures.

In the end, you're highly unlikely to be successful at DIY orthodontics—and you won't save any money. A healthy and beautiful smile is well worth the cost of professional, high-quality orthodontics.

If you would like more information on orthodontic options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
March 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health

We're all tempted occasionally to use our teeth in ways that might risk damage. Hopefully, though, you've never considered anything close to what singer, songwriter and now social media persona Jason Derulo recently tried in a TikTok video—attempting to eat corn on the cob spinning on a power drill. The end result seemed to be a couple of broken front teeth, although many of his followers suspected an elaborate prank.

Prank or not, subjecting your teeth to “motorized corn”—or a host of other less extreme actions or habits—is not a good thing, especially if you have veneers, crowns or other dental work. Although teeth can withstand a lot, they're not invincible.

Here, then, are four things you should do to help ensure your teeth stay healthy, functional and intact.

Clean your teeth daily. Strong teeth are healthy teeth, so you want to do all you can to prevent tooth decay or gum disease. Besides semi-annual dental cleanings, the most important thing you can do is to brush and floss your teeth daily. These hygiene tasks help remove dental plaque, a thin biofilm that is the biggest culprit in dental disease that could weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to injury.

Avoid biting on hard objects. Teeth's primary purpose is to break down food for digestion, not to break open nuts or perform similar tasks. You should also avoid habitual chewing on hard objects like pencils, nails or ice to relieve stress. And, you may need to be careful eating apples or other foods with hard surfaces if you have veneers or composite bonding on your teeth.

Wear a sports mouthguard. If you or a family member are regularly involved with sports like basketball, baseball/softball or football (even informally), you can protect your teeth from facial blows by wearing an athletic mouthguard. Although you can obtain a retail variety in most stores selling sporting goods, a custom-made guard by a dentist offers the best protection and comfort.

Visit your dentist regularly. As mentioned before, semi-annual dental cleanings help remove hidden plaque and tartar and further minimize your risk of disease. Regular dental visits also give us a chance to examine your mouth for any signs of decay or gum disease, and to check on your dental health overall. Optimizing your dental health plays a key part in preventing dental damage.

You should expect an unpleasant outcome involving your teeth with power tools. But a lot less could still damage them: To fully protect your dental health, be sure you practice daily oral care, avoid tooth contact with hard objects and wear a mouthguard for high-risk physical activities.

If you would like more information on caring for your cosmetic dental work, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”