Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy"
– Thich Nhat Hanh
If you’re ready to improve the look and feel of your smile, patients can visit Dino Dental at any age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Research demonstrates that serious orthodontic problems can be more easily corrected when the patient’s skeleton is still growing and flexible. By preparing the mouth for the eventual eruption of the permanent teeth in younger patients, Dr. Lauren and her team can help ensure there is plenty of space for permanent teeth to come in beautiful and straight and minimize the potential for future orthodontic work. If necessary, complete braces can be placed for final alignment and detailing of the bite when the patient is age 12-14 and once all permanent teeth have come in.
Delivering orthodontic treatment in two steps can provide excellent results, often allowing Dr. Lauren to avoid removal of permanent teeth and jaw surgery. Whatever the recommended treatment, Dr. Lauren and the Dino Dental team provide personalized care to best suit the needs of every patient.
There are many reasons a patient may require orthodontic care. Some are hereditary: extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spacing and small jaws can all contribute to a crowded mouth. Other reasons for crooked teeth may be caused by thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of baby teeth or a poor breathing airway. No matter the reason for the need for orthodontic care, Dr. Lauren and the Dino Dental team provide personalized care and support to you and your family.
Dr. Lauren and the Dino Dental staff make every effort to ensure patients have a comfortable experience. Sometimes, however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. This usually lasts about 24 to 72 hours and tends to lessen as treatment progresses. We recommend pain medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) to help relieve the pain. Know you can always call our team if pain persists or worsens.
The amount of time you’ll need braces will vary from patient to patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with Dr. Lauren to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.