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Your Kids And Orthodontics: 3 Signs Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

Your Kids And Orthodontics: 3 Signs Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

Worried your child has crooked permanent teeth coming in? Ensuring your child receives the proper dental care could help them avoid issues later on.

For example, crooked teeth can make it easier for bacteria to take root. This can lead to problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Meanwhile, a straighter smile can improve their oral health and their self-confidence.

There were an estimated 10,658 orthodontists practicing in the United States as of 2017. That means you have a lot of options for your child if they’re ready to see an orthodontist.

Not sure if your child can benefit from an appointment? Here are the three signs it’s time to ask “Does my kid need braces?” After reading this guide, you’ll know when to take your child to see an orthodontist as soon as they need one.

Get ahead of the curve with this guide!

1. Bite or Spacing Issues

It’s better to set treatment for major teeth developmental issues sooner rather than later. Early treatment will support your child’s natural growth process. As a result, beginning treatment as soon as possible can ensure a better outcome.

When they’re younger, your child’s jawbones are still soft. This makes them pliable and therefore more responsive to corrective procedures.

Taking your child to see an orthodontist when they’re younger can make the procedures work faster. They’re also likely to work more effectively than they do for teens and adults who are more developed.

Many parents ask, “What’s the first sign my kid should see an orthodontist?”

First, determine if your child has any bite or spacing issues.

Protruding Teeth

As many as 25% of children have buck teeth; a bite problem where the teeth protrude outward. Protruding teeth are often prone to chipping and fractures. These teeth can often cause issues with your child’s self-image.

A severe underbite occurs when the lower jaw grows larger than the upper jaw. This can lead to biting and chewing problems. In these instances, an orthodontist might suggest braces or headgear.

These orthodontic appliances can help correct protruding teeth while you’re child is still in development. This can then decrease their chances of needing surgery.

Severe Crossbite

“Does my child need braces?”

Braces aren’t always the go-to fix. For example, your child might have a severe crossbite. This condition occurs when the upper teeth close inside your child’s lower teeth.

A severe crossbite could cause your child’s teeth to unevenly wear.

To treat this condition, the orthodontist might suggest a device called a palatal expander.

This device painlessly widens the upper jaw over time. It’s especially effective when your child is still growing and the jaw isn’t fully developed.

Waiting too long to treat this condition, however, can require more complicated treatment options. For example, your child might require oral surgery to correct a severe crossbite. Speaking with an orthodontist while your child is younger can help you determine when they’ll need treatment.

Severe Crowding

Crowding occurs when the jaw is too small to provide space for all of your child’s permanent teeth. Some orthodontists might recommend palatal expansion or a tooth extraction for this condition. These options will help adult teeth emerge from below the gums properly aligned.

In some cases, your child might also need braces later on.

However, treating severe crowding early on can help shorten their treatment time and limit complications.

2. Difficulties

The Mayo Clinic suggests taking your children in for an orthodontic evaluation by the time they turn seven. However, the best time to take your child in to see the orthodontist depends on the severity and cause of their misaligned teeth.

Your child might experience difficulties with their teeth while they’re in development.

For example, perhaps your child’s teeth don’t meet on either side. In some cases, your child’s teeth might grow in crooked. In other cases, there’s too much space between each tooth.

Crooked teeth are one of the most common reasons people visit an orthodontist. There are many reasons your child’s teeth might grow in crooked. For example, perhaps their permanent teeth are growing around their baby teeth.

Maybe their jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate their adult teeth yet.

These difficulties can prevent your child from cleaning their teeth properly. It can also cause self-esteem issues as they grow older.

An orthodontist can determine the issue and suggest the best solution, such as Invisalign or braces. These treatment options can help your child’s teeth grow into the proper place.

Other issues include trouble chewing or biting. Misaligned teeth can make it difficult for your child to eat. They might bite their tongue or the insides of their cheeks as well.

Another sign your child should see an orthodontist is difficulties speaking. Speech problems are sometimes a matter of misaligned speech. If your child has difficulty speaking, make an appointment.

3. Habitual Actions

Thumb sucking and mouth breathing are two habits your child can develop as a result of misaligned teeth.

Thumb sucking usually ends between the ages of 2 and 4. If this persists, the pressure of a digit on the front teeth and upper jaw can cause the teeth to move apart. Meanwhile, the jaws can change shape.

This can lead to an open bite and impair your child’s speech.

Tongue thrusting can cause an open bite as well. Check to make sure your child isn’t pushing their tongue against the inside of their teeth.

Another habit your child might develop is mouth breathing. An abnormal breathing pattern, this occurs when your child’s mouth remains open to allow air directly to the lungs. This can cause alterations to the muscular function of the tongue and face.

Mouth breathing can also cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, which leads to additional orthodontic problems.

If your child has any of these habits, it’s time to see an orthodontist.

Straighten out Young Smiles: 3 Signs Your Child Should See an Orthodontist

By visiting an orthodontist while they’re younger, your child can avoid larger orthodontic issues in the future. Then, they can grow up with a beautiful smile and strong self-confidence!

Set your child up for success. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

5 Signs That You Need Orthodontic Care (Fast!)

5 Signs That You Need Orthodontic Care (Fast!)

According to the American Dental Association, more than a quarter of adults aren’t happy with their dental health. Are you one of those people?

We all know the importance of getting regular checkups at the dentist, but what about trips to the orthodontist?

Sometimes the signs that you need to seek orthodontic care aren’t obvious. Here we outline the reasons why you need to see an orthodontist.

1. You Notice Changes in Your Teeth

Did you know that your teeth change and shift as you grow older? When you age, you lose bone density, and your gums recede.

Some people will even notice that their teeth appear shorter. Since your teeth go through everyday wear and tear, you’re bound to see some changes.

Your lower two front teeth are the first to begin shifting as you get older — this happens as early as your mid-20s. When these teeth shift, they hit your upper teeth when you chew. This results in more wear and tear.

To add, life’s many stressors affect your teeth as well. When you’re stressed, you more than likely clench your jaw without noticing. Doing this puts pressure on your back teeth, which causes them to change position. Teeth grinding is associated with other health issues, but we’ll get into that later.

2. You Have a Hard Time Eating and Digesting

If your teeth make it hard for you to eat, you probably need orthodontic care. One of the reasons why poor tooth alignment causes digestive issues is because it prevents you from breaking down food.

Specifically, those with an uneven bite will find it hard to chew foods and break them down properly. Not only does this mean they’re not getting enough nutrition, but they are more than likely are swallowing — this puts stress on the digestive system.

3. You Wake Up with Jaw Pain and Headaches

As mentioned earlier, tooth grinding can cause painful symptoms. Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition where you unconsciously gnash or clench your teeth.

While teeth grinding can occur at any time of the day, many people teeth clenching at night — this is known as sleep bruxism.

Sleep bruxism results in a sore jaw, stiff neck, and dull headaches. The cause for this condition is unknown, but it is prevalent in those with anxiety, sleep apnea, and multiple sclerosis. Also, misaligned teeth are associated with bruxism.

If you wake up with reoccurring headaches and a painful jaw, you may want to consult with an orthodontic care specialist. If this condition goes untreated, it results in damage to the teeth and severe headaches.

4. You Have Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of those things that sneaks up on you. An initial sign of gum disease is bleeding when you brush your teeth.

The primary cause of this condition is plaque build-up. Excess plaque causes inflamed gums. With misaligned teeth, it can be difficult to floss and remove plaque — thus causing gum disease properly.

Gum disease shouldn’t be ignored. It has been linked to several health conditions; some of them include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births.

That’s why it’s crucial to address misaligned teeth and seek orthodontic care.

5. You Have Speech Issues

Misaligned teeth can cause some issues with speech. One common speech impediment caused by misaligned teeth is lisping or whistling. This is often the result of the upper teeth overlapping the bottom teeth.

Also, misaligned teeth affect the correct placement of the tongue, which allows air to escape — making a whistling sound.

Another speech issue caused by misaligned teeth is word slurring. For people to correctly pronounce words, the tongue needs to move freely. With misaligned teeth, the tongue is restricted — resulting in slurred speech.

Although orthodontic care isn’t a cure to all speech disorders, it makes a huge difference.

Orthodontics for Adults

Some adults feel ashamed for seeking orthodontic care. But there’s no shame in wanting to improve your smile and dental health. In fact, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Most adults worry about the look aesthetic of classic metal braces — however, there are more options.

The growing popularity of clear aligners like Invisalign encourage more adults to seek orthodontic treatment. Like traditional braces, Invisalign trays gradually shift teeth and move them into an aligned position.

Additionally, translucent ceramic brackets and lingual braces are other alternatives to regular metal braces. Consult with an orthodontist to see which treatment is right for you. They will discuss with you the timeline of the procedure and the cost.

Orthodontics for Children

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic exam by age 7. At this age, a dental specialist will tell if the child has an orthodontic issue or if the teeth development is normal.

Also, an early exam is ideal because conditions are easier to treat if they are addressed early on in the child’s natural growth process.

For example, if the child has a misaligned jaw, it can be successfully corrected with a palatal expander appliance. However, if left untreated, oral surgery would be required later in life.

There are other issues that prompt orthodontic care. Some of these include persistent thumb sucking, early or late loss of teeth, or and mouth breathing.

At the child’s first visit, the orthodontist will begin an examination to determine if treatment is required. Often treatment does not start right away. Most children don’t begin orthodontic treatment until ages 9 to 14.

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Orthodontic Care

An uneven smile can not only impact your self-esteem, but it can take a toll on your physical health. Well-aligned teeth are easier to care for and decrease the risk of experiencing complications like the ones discussed in this post.

Contact us for orthodontic care by a team you can trust.

How Can an Orthodontist Fix Your Overbite?

How Can an Orthodontist Fix Your Overbite?

Do you smile with your teeth closed? Are you self-conscious about how your real smile looks?

If you can’t show your genuine happiness because you’re embarrassed about your overbite, you need to know about the options available to you. Orthodontic treatments can help reduce or eliminate the overbite and give you back the smile you’re proud of.

Read on for more details about overbites and the treatment options.

What Is An Overbite?

You’ve probably heard of an overbite, and you know it means that your teeth aren’t lined up quite right. But what exactly is an overbite? You have an overbite if your top teeth stick out over your bottom teeth by at least a third.

There are different kinds of overbites or malocclusions. You may have a horizontal overbite, meaning the top teeth stick out in front of the bottom teeth. Or you may have a vertical overbite, meaning the top teeth hang in front of the bottom teeth when you bite down.

Overbites happen for different reasons. When the jaw isn’t aligned right, it’s called a skeletal overbite. An overbite that happens because of crooked teeth is a dental overbite.

You might also have an overbite because of TMJ or if you grind your teeth. These are all cases that your orthodontist can evaluate based on your individual needs and history.

No matter the cause, overbites can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the best ways to compensate for malocclusions.

Braces for Overbite

The most popular way to correct a malocclusion is with braces. Even adults get braces, almost 1.5 million of them every year, and they love the results. 

Braces realign the teeth (and in children, the jaw) using metal brackets. They attach to the teeth with strong wires and work to pull the teeth into place slowly over time.

The length of time you wear braces depends on your medical and dental history and the severity of your overbite. Those with less severe cases could wear braces as little as 18 months, whereas someone with a more pronounced overbite may need to wear them as many as three years.

During the time you’re wearing braces, you’ll have to monitor what you eat more closely. Biting down on hard, crunchy, or chewy foods can damage the braces and cause you a lot of pain. You can minimize the difficulty by cutting your food into smaller pieces before you eat them and chewing with your molars.

Braces can also stain the teeth if you don’t take proper care of them, or if you drink too many dark liquids while wearing braces. You’ll have a special small brush that fits in between the metal brackets to help you clean your teeth after eating. Your orthodontist will also show you how to floss when you’re wearing braces.

After the braces get removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night for the rest of your life. This keeps your teeth in place even after the metal brackets and wires are gone.

Clear Aligners

Another type of orthodontic treatment for less severe overbites is clear aligners. This service is a series of aligners that slowly change the alignment of your teeth as braces do, but without the metal brackets. You wear the aligners all the time, except when you eat.

The advantage of aligners is that you don’t have the food restrictions that you have with braces. They can get stained, though, so you have to remove them when you’re drinking coffee or cola to keep the aligners clean. Proper care of your clear aligners means you also have to clean them and take good care of them, which is a little different than with braces.

Surgery

In some very rare cases of skeletal overbites, your jaw may be misaligned. In this case, uses braces or clear aligners to change the way your teeth sit in your mouth won’t help. You need to have surgery on your jaw to correct a skeletal overbite.

This could be a minimal surgery like a tooth extraction, which can help make more room in your mouth. This can help your teeth align without a more serious procedure. After the extraction, you can use the other orthodontic treatments like braces.

During surgery, the surgeon can reset your jaw forwards or backward. Irregularities in the jaw don’t have to hold you back. Ask about this surgery if your orthodontist tells you that you have a severe skeletal overbite.

A Cost Comparison

If you read about both treatments and aren’t sure whether braces or clear aligners will be more affordable to you, you may be surprised to learn that they usually cost around the same amount. There are different brands of aligners, and some may be more affordable with different insurance coverage.

For children, most insurance will cover at least part of the cost of braces. However, insurance policies don’t cover as much for adults. Check with your provider about the benefits you can take advantage of as you consider your orthodontist’s recommendations.

Don’t hide your smile. Make a change you can feel good about instead.

Smile With Confidence

Get rid of your reservations about your overbite and get your smile corrected today. Whether you opt for adult braces, clear aligners, or even extraction or surgery, you can smile with confidence. Your orthodontic treatment can give you the grin your proud to show off, instead of hiding behind closed lips.

For more information or to get started with your custom orthodontic treatment today, contact us at Koerich & Case Orthodontics.

New Year, New Dental Benefits

New Year, New Dental Benefits

A new year always brings new opportunities. The start of a new year also brings new dental benefits! Once January rolls around again, your dental benefits renew and you can add improving your dental health to your list of New Year’s resolutions. There are many perks of using your dental benefits, which all revolve around a happy, healthier smile in 2019.

Preventative Care

The benefit of most dental insurance plans is that preventative care like routine cleanings, oral exams, X-rays, fluoride treatments and sealants, are covered without needing to meet a deductible. This is good news if you are wanting to make your pearly-whites a priority in the new year. Preventative care will ensure that you are taking the necessary steps for a healthy smile so you can avoid more costly work if a dental or orthodontic problem were to persist. During these types of appointments, your dentist will also be able to refer you to your nearby orthodontist if they feel like orthodontic work would be the best option for you.

Basic Procedures

Perhaps in the New Year you find yourself needing a filling for a cavity, or maybe a tooth is causing you discomfort and you need an extraction. This type of work is classified as a basic procedure and most insurance policies will cover 70 to 80 percent after meeting your deductible. Coinsurance and copays will also help determine what you pay out of pocket. Additionally, if you require a root canal or treatment for issues like gum disease, your insurance will help you pay for it. If you have a deductible to meet, visiting the dentist for more basic procedures will help you reach that deductible so your insurance can pay any major procedures you may have.

Orthodontic Treatment

To receive coverage for orthodontic treatment like braces, InvisalignⓇ and other corrective solutions, most dental insurance plans or health insurance plans will allow you to add on insurance to cover these costs and make corrective procedures more affordable for you and your family. If you are considering braces for your child or even yourself, talk to your orthodontist in Charlotte, NC about different insurance options and what they recommend to work best for your life and goals.

At Case Orthodontics, we accept many different kinds of dental insurance to help you achieve a healthier smile in 2019. Regardless of what your need is, whether it be Phase 1 orthodontic treatment or Invisalign, talk to our team about your dental insurance options and what dental benefits your plan can give you in 2019. Put your best smile forward!

Should You Consider Braces or Invisalign This Holiday Season?

Should You Consider Braces or Invisalign This Holiday Season?

When it comes to straightening your teeth, two options immediately come to mind: traditional braces or Invisalign. There are many different pros and cons to each, depending on the person. What might work for one person may not necessarily be the right choice for you. If you have had a friend who has had Invisalign and they really enjoyed the treatment plan, it may not mean that you will also have the same experience. Everyone’s teeth are different and therefore treatment options and plans need to be different too. Case Orthodontics offers both types of treatment options and can advise you on which option may be best for you.

Invisalign vs braces

Braces

Braces have come a long way since the uncomfortable experiences of even a decade ago. Today’s braces are less noticeable and feel easier to wear. If you are worried about your braces being very noticeable, you have the option to get braces that are more clear. With braces, you have a bracket attached to each tooth and they are connected by a wire. Braces can be metal, ceramic or a hybrid combination of materials. Throughout treatment, these brackets stay on the teeth but they can be tightened to accommodate the movement of teeth as they straighten. Treatment plans as far as length of time wearing them will be different for different people.

Invisalign

Invisalign may be more logical for your lifestyle or professional life. Invisalign is made of clear, BPA-free plastic, so it is more discreet than metal braces. Additionally, Invisalign is removable so there are virtually no food restrictions! Simply remove the aligners briefly before enjoying your favorite foods! Aside from eating certain foods, you shouldn’t need to remove the aligners that often. It is recommended that the aligners stay in at least 20 hours each day.

Invisalign treatment works by wearing plastic aligners that you get adjusted about every two weeks. They may be more suitable for your lifestyle, but if getting them adjusted every two weeks seems too frequent, having braces may be more accommodating for your schedule as you will likely not be visiting the orthodontist that frequently as your treatment with braces continues.

Alternatively, if you feel like you may be tempted with removing your Invisalign aligners too frequently, a more permanent treatment like braces may be better for you.

No matter what treatment option you choose, both traditional braces and Invisalign will give you straighter teeth and improve your oral health! Consult your local orthodontist before being set on a treatment option. At Case Orthodontics, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, we offer both Invisalign and traditional braces to give you a happier smile this holiday season. Contact us to learn more, or to schedule an appointment.

 

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

 

Because a healthy smile leads to overall wellness, it’s important to make a habit of taking your child to the dentist at a very young age. Aside from general dental care, it’s also important that your child has an orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. While your child may not have a serious need for braces, getting a check-up at this age will help determine if your child does need orthodontic work in the future, as well as help correct any other issues early on. This early orthodontic work is also known as Phase 1 Orthodontics and can help lead to easier orthodontic work and a healthy smile in the future.

 

Phase 1 Orthodontics or interceptive orthodontics describes the treatment your child receives around the age of eight or nine, while there are still baby teeth present. During Phase 1, jaw growth and alignment is supported and more space is created to allow for erupting teeth to come through. This is sometimes done with spacers, which are bands placed in the mouth to prevent any overcrowding. This helps prevent having teeth to be pulled to make room in the mouth. If the teeth are too crowded, this can cause occasional or frequent headaches, tooth pain, and can lead to tooth decay.

 

Correcting jaw alignment at an early age can prevent things like jaw surgery that may need to be done to make sure that the jaw and teeth are properly aligned. This also helps with correcting bite issues such as an overbite or underbite and can also help with the symmetry of the face. Because the jaw bones are fully fused by around the age of eight, this early evaluation by an orthodontist is essential. If not corrected, overbites and underbites, also called malocclusions, can lead to jaw pain, tooth decay, headaches and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, which inhibits the movement of the lower jaw.

 

There are several benefits of receiving Phase 1 ortho, which include decreasing the amount of time that your child has to wear braces, among others. If these early steps are completed when the permanent teeth haven’t fully come in yet, getting orthodontic treatment such as braces will be a much easier process. When the teeth are essentially prepped during Phase 1, this can decrease the time that your child will need to wear braces and other orthodontic treatment can be less invasive and less expensive, saving you time and money.

 

Phase 1 orthodontics will give your child an easier and faster process to a more beautiful smile. When it comes to your child’s smile, it’s best to plan ahead.

 

At Case Orthodontics, we offer Phase 1 Orthodontics so your child can receive early interceptive treatment. We additionally offer Phase 2 Orthodontics for your child between the ages of 11 and 15. Because tooth alignment can change at any age, we also offer orthodontic treatment for adults. Schedule an appointment at our Charlotte, North Carolina office for an evaluation and start on your child on their path to a straighter and healthier smile!