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What is Phase I Treatment?

July 6th, 2016

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontics recommend that children be seen for their first orthodontic consultation by the age of 7.  While some parents may think this is too young to start taking their child to the orthodontist, this is the ideal age to detect subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth.  Most patients do not require treatment at this age and will instead need what’s known as Comprehensive Treatment when all/most of their adult teeth are in (around age of 11-12). However, some patients benefit greatly from early treatment called Phase I treatment. The goal of Phase I, also known as Early Intervention, is to pro-actively prevent future problems from developing.  Phase I treatment will produce a better setting for the adult teeth to erupt into.  While most kids who receive Phase I treatment will still need braces in the future (known as Phase II), the amount of work required may be significantly reduced.

Phase I treatment has many benefits for the right patient.  It’s good to keep in mind that there are certain orthodontic problems that are significantly easier to correct before age 10. If these problems are not treated in time, later treatment is often more extensive (i.e. requiring extractions or teeth, surgery, etc.) and may take longer to complete.  Getting a bigger picture of what your child might need in the future treatment-wise, time-wise, and financially is a good idea so that your family can plan accordingly.

Since consultations are complimentary at our office, there is no need to be hesitant about the age at which you bring your child to see Dr. Hussaini.  Parents with younger children who have concerns about the development of their children’s teeth and/or jaws are always welcome at our office!

Why Isn’t My Retainer Fitting Properly?

May 11th, 2016

When a patient’s retainers are no longer fitting properly, there are usually two main reasons for this:

1) Not being worn as prescribed. While the prescribed length of time your retainers should be worn will vary after initially getting your braces removed, it is important to follow the instructions given by your orthodontist. If you stopped wearing your retainers for more than a few days, your teeth will move more than likely. This will result in your retainers either fitting too tight or no longer fitting at all. If this happens, it is important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible!

2) Shape of retainer becomes distorted. This particularly may happen with an Essix retainer (or a clear retainer) because the material is plastic-based that is heat-sensitive. Hot temperatures may make the retainers lose their shape. Therefore, make sure to ONLY use lukewarm water when cleaning your retainers. Also be sure to keep them away from environments that may expose them to extremely temperatures. Do not attempt to clean retainers in a dishwasher! If a retainer does change its shape and stops fitting, it must be adjusted or replaced by your orthodontist.

In either case, if your retainers are no longer fitting, make sure to call your orthodontist ASAP to have them examined before your teeth start shifting and the beautiful results we obtained with your braces/Invisalign are lost.

Why Did my Bracket Break/Come off?

April 14th, 2016

While there are several reasons a patient’s bracket could fall off, some of the most common causes are as follows:

1) DIET: As we try and stress to all patients, it’s best to avoid anything that is/would be considered HARD, CRUNCHY, or STICKY as all of these categories will weaken the glue used to bond the bracket overtime. Although patients commonly believe a broken bracket is the result of brushing too hard as that’s usually when they notice they have a broken bracket, in reality it was probably already loose but was merely discovered at that time.

2) BITE: When biting/chewing, if a tooth in the upper arch is hitting/touching a bracket in the lower arch, it is more likely that a bracket will come off. There is little that can be done to avoid this. As the treatment progresses, the bite will change and the tooth may be in a better position to allow for a bracket to be placed without being hit by the upper teeth.

3) TOOTH (baby teeth, crowned teeth): When an orthodontic bracket is attached to any other surface besides normal enamel, there is a loss of bond strength that can sometimes result in the failure of the bonding process. Some examples of “other surfaces” include porcelain (veneers, crowns, bridges, etc.) and dental restorations (composite or amalgam fillings). The composition of enamel of baby teeth is also different than adult teeth and tends to allow for lesser bond strength with brackets as well.

Spring Has Sprung! :)

March 9th, 2016

Spring is definitely here with the beautiful weather outside! And with that comes Spring Break around the corner.  

If you are going out of town for Spring Break please make sure you have enough rubber bands and wax to get you through your trip. And as sports start back up, make sure to wear a braces compatible mouthguard while playing all contact sports.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break!

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