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Posts for: June, 2021

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
June 22, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: aging  

Correcting a bite problem involves more than applying braces. Orthodontists must consider a wide range of factors, including the type of bite problem involved, complications like impacted or missing teeth, and their patient's overall dental condition.

Orthodontists must also keep in mind the future—how will a treatment implemented now impact a patient's appearance and dental function many years from now? In reality, orthodontists perform these treatments within a dynamic growth environment, especially involving children and teenagers whose mouth and facial structures are still maturing.

And although these growth changes slow in adulthood, they don't stop—orofacial structures continue to change throughout life. For example, a person's lips steadily thicken in size until the mid-teen years, and then slowly thin out over the rest of their lifetime. The distance between the lips both at rest and while smiling may also narrow in later years. Other changes continue to occur in the bones and soft tissues of the mouth and face.

Fortunately, this structural growth follows a fairly consistent track. Although variations do occur, an orthodontist can project the growth changes their patients will undergo as they age, and use that knowledge to plan out bite treatment. With this understanding, orthodontists plan not only what treatments will be needed, but when to perform them, and to what extent.

This may involve a number of treatment stages, spaced out to coincide with regular development. An orthodontist may focus first on general bite correction to bring the teeth and jaws into a reasonable state of alignment. Later, they'll use more refined methods to fine-tune corrections that better align with later adult growth.

More intensive treatments may be necessary to build a foundation for future treatment. For example, orthognathic surgery may be needed to correct a severe case of an over-extended lower jaw. During the procedure, surgeons move the lower jaw to a joint position higher on the skull. This retracts the lower jaw into a more normal alignment with the upper jaw, and can dramatically change the facial profile for the better.

Each orthodontic patient is different, and each requires their own a unique treatment plan. That plan has a greater chance of long-term success by applying knowledge of future growth changes.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, 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.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
June 12, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   headgear  

Most of us are quite familiar with what traditional braces look like. But occasionally we see more complex-looking devices being worn by young orthodontic patients: thicker wires that extend outside the mouth, with straps that may go behind the neck or over the chin. What are these devices, and why are they sometimes needed?

In general, orthodontic appliances with external parts braced by the head, neck or chin are referred to as “headgear.” These devices may be used to handle a number of particular orthodontic situations, but they all have one thing in common: They provide the additional anchorage needed to move teeth into better positions.

It may come as a surprise that teeth, which seem so solid, can actually be moved fairly easily over time. This is because teeth are not fixed directly into bone, but are instead held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament. Using a light, controlled force — such as the force of springy wires and elastics in traditional braces — teeth can be moved slowly through the jaw bone, like a stick being pulled through sand.

Of course, to pull a stick through sand, you need a firm anchorage — your legs, for example, bracing against a rock. Most of the time, the back teeth, with their large, multiple roots, provide plenty of support. But sometimes, the back teeth alone aren’t enough to do the job.

If a very large space between teeth is being closed, for example, the back teeth might be pulled forward as the front teeth are pulled back; this could result in poor alignment and bite problems. In other cases, the front teeth may need to be pulled forward instead of back. The back teeth can’t help here; this is a job for headgear.

Some types of headgear have a strap that goes behind the head or neck; they use the entire head as an anchorage. Other types, called “reverse pull” headgear, have a strap that comes over the chin or the forehead; they can pull teeth forward. Headgear can even influence the proper growth of facial structures — that’s why it is usually seen on preteens, whose growth isn’t yet complete.

Headgear is usually worn for 12 hours per day, for a limited period of time. In some cases, rather than headgear, appliances called “temporary anchorage devices” (TADS) may be recommended. These are tiny screws that are implanted into the jawbone in a minimally invasive procedure, and serve a similar function.

While it may not look pretty, orthodontic headgear is capable of moving teeth into their proper positions in a relatively short period of time — and ending up with a great-looking smile is what orthodontics is all about.

If you have questions about orthodontic headgear, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
June 08, 2021
Tags: braces  

Braces for adults from your dentist in Jacksonville Beach, FL, can help you enjoy a straight smile.

You may be thinking orthodontic treatment can’t help you, because you are not a teenager, you’re an adult. The truth is, it’s never too late to straighten your smile, no matter how old you are. Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment too.

Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic services for people of all ages, including adults. He has two convenient office locations in Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Vedra, Fl, to help you enjoy a straight smile.

These are just a few of the ways having a straight smile helps you:

  • You look better; a straight smile is far more aesthetically appealing than crowded, rotated teeth.
  • You have more confidence; when you look your best, you naturally will have greater self-confidence because you feel better about yourself and how you look.
  • You chew your food better; when your teeth come together fully, your chewing ability is enhanced, which helps your digestion and your overall health.
  • Your smile is easier to keep clean; straight teeth are much easier to brush and floss, so it’s easy to keep your smile healthy.
  • You decrease jaw stress; when your teeth come together properly, your jaws experience far less stress, which means less chance of TMJ problems and jaw pain.
  • You decrease tooth damage; when your teeth come together as they should, there is less tooth wear, which leads to less chance of you needing dental restorations later on.

No matter how old you are, you are a perfect candidate for orthodontic treatment if you have:

  • An overbite or underbite
  • An open bite or crossbite
  • Gaps between your teeth
  • Unevenly spaced teeth
  • Crowded, rotated teeth
  • Overlapped teeth

There are several types of orthodontic treatment to choose from, including:

  • Conventional metal braces, which are the traditional braces
  • Ceramic brackets with tooth-colored wires, offering a more discreet look
  • Lingual braces, which are cemented onto the back surfaces of your teeth

You can also try out plastic dental appliances, known as aligners. These are the most discreet orthodontic treatment, and they offer the added benefit of being able to remove them when you brush, floss, or eat.

To find out more about the benefits of a straight smile and orthodontic options to choose from, talk with the experts. Call Dr. Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics. You can reach him in Jacksonville Beach, or Ponte Vedra, Fl, at (904) 249-0037, so call now!

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
June 07, 2021
Tags: braces   Oral Appliances  

Braces conjure memories of teenage years for most, and you've likely come across conflicting advice regarding orthodontics at a younger age. But the truth is many benefit from early orthodontic intervention, and though not all children will require it, an early examination is important for all. Two-phase orthodontic treatment, just as the name suggests, allows for this early treatment by performing it in two phases, one before the permanent teeth completely come in, and the second after they have. If you would like to learn more reach out to Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL.

Why Early

While straight teeth are more attractive, the reason for the two-phase treatment is not merely an aesthetic one. Bite conditions, for example, can be best addressed at an early age while the jaws are still developing. It's also the case for other orthodontic problems, the earlier they are treated the less involved the procedure required to correct them.

First Phase

During the first phase of the treatment, while your child still has some baby teeth, the goal is to prepare the mouth for the incoming permanent teeth, to adjust the jaw as it grows, and to help halt bad oral habits, among others. Braces are not typically part of this phase but there is instead a focus on other types of appliances.

Second Phase

After a pause to allow most adult teeth to erupt, the second phase will usually begin. This completes the treatment begun in the first by wearing braces and can take from 12 to 24 months, depending on the condition being treated.

Two-Phase Treatment in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL

It's important to remember that not all children will require early treatment, but an early examination can save you and your child from future far more intricate work in order to correct their smile. To find out whether your child can benefit from two-phase orthodontic treatment, begin by scheduling an appointment today with Dr. Goldknopf of The Brace Place in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, by dialing (904) 249-0037.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
June 02, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

First, there were braces; then came removable clear aligners—both great ways to straighten teeth. But braces with their metal brackets and wires aren't the most attractive look. And, although nearly invisible aligners improve appearance, they don't work in every bite situation (although their range has improved of late).

But now a third choice has emerged: lingual braces. Like their traditional counterparts, lingual braces are fixed in place—but on the back side of the teeth rather than the front. Instead of "pushing" teeth toward new positions, they "pull" them, arriving at the same "destination" by another path.

This new method came about simultaneously by two different orthodontists a world apart and for different reasons. A Beverly Hills dentist was looking for an invisible form of treatment similar to clear aligners for his appearance-conscious patients. A Japanese dentist wanted an alternative that would reduce the risk of damage or injury posed by traditional braces to his martial arts patients.

Lingual braces (referring to their proximity to the tongue) address both of these concerns. All of the brackets and wiring are positioned out of sight. And because they're shielded by the teeth, they're not as likely to be damaged or cause injury following hard contact to the face—a great benefit for athletes, law enforcement officers and, yes, martial artists.

Even so, lingual braces won't replace the other two methods any time soon. You'll need to consider other factors, such as that lingual braces can cost up to a third more than traditional braces. And although their availability is steadily growing, not all orthodontists have been trained to offer lingual braces, so you may have to widen your search radius for a provider near you.

You may also find it takes a bit of time to get used to the feel of lingual braces. Upper braces can affect speech ability, at least initially, and the lower ones can interfere with tongue comfort. Most people, though, do adjust to them within a week or so.

But by and large, lingual braces do offer a fixed option that's out of sight, out of mind. With this newer orthodontic choice, you now have three good options for achieving a healthier mouth and a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on methods for straightening teeth, 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 “Lingual Braces.”