The American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting an orthodontist at age 7. This is to determine if any early intervention with orthodontic treatment needs to be done. Some of the major problems that would require early intervention with orthodontic treatment, called a Phase I, are:
Teeth “sticking out” or positioned forward
Teeth hitting together with too much force
Crossbites or “teeth positioned on the wrong side of the bite”
Phase I treatments typically last 12 months and needs to be followed by a Phase II treatment for most cases.
Phase II Treatment
Phase II treatment is needed after most Phase I cases where earlier intervention was needed. One of the main goals of Phase I treatment is to guide the permanent teeth into place and avoid possible extractions. Once the permanent teeth are present, a Phase II treatment is done to align these permanent teeth that came in after the Phase I treatment. This typically lasts between 18 and 24 months and treatment is complete after this phase. Treatment time can vary and the doctor can give you a better prediction at the complimentary screening.
Comprehensive Treatment for Adolescents
For most cases we recommend monitoring growth and development starting at age 7 once every 12 months until treatment is ready to commence. If early intervention (Phase I) is not needed, treatment can be started around the growth spurt. This is usually when all of the permanent teeth are in or right before the last baby teeth are lost and occurs between the ages of 11 and 13.
This is the optimum time to use the growth spurt with braces to aid in the alignment of not only just the teeth but also improve the facial profile. Treatment time averages between 18 and 30 months but treatment can vary and the doctor can give you a better prediction at the complimentary screening.
Comprehensive Treatment for Adults
Braces can be done at any age as long as the teeth and associated tissues are healthy. Ceramic braces can be used to improve the esthetics of the braces by making them more invisible.
We also can use tooth-colored coated wires that can make ceramic braces even more esthetic for cases that are too difficult for Invisalign to correct.
For mild to moderate orthodontic problems, Invisalign is also a great option. Invisalign is great for correcting simple alignment issues. Invisalign is ideal for the working adult who does not want to have braces or just needs minor retreatment after having relapse from previous treatment done as a child. It consists of a series of trays that are worn for two week intervals. They can be taken out while eating and brushing, which makes keeping your teeth clean much easier.
Although true orthodontic emergencies are rare, a loose bracket or poking wire may occur at very inopportune times. If you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, call us as soon as possible, so we can fit you in for a repair appointment. If it is outside normal business hours please follow the instructions on the recording on how to get ahold of Dr. Olson or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you first get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Advil, Tylenol, or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Brackets are typically directly bonded on the teeth, or they may be connected to bands, which fit around a back tooth. They are generally positioned in the center of each tooth. If the bracket is off center and moves along the wire, the bracket is loose and you need to contact our office ASAP to get it replaced. Remember, brackets can come loose as a result of chewing on hard, sticky or chewy goods or objects, as well as, from physical contact from sports or rough housing. If the moving bracket is bothering your tongue or cheek, simply place a piece of wax over the bracket until you can get into our office.
Wire Tie Irritation
The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic or a twisted wire. You may use a Q-Tip or pencil eraser to push the ligature wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position cover it with wax and call our office to come in so we can clip the wire. If the colored rubber band comes off, please contact our office for a replacement.
During the early stages when small wires are in place, if your wire shifts or begins to feel long out the back of the braces, you may use fingernail clippers to clip it. Otherwise, place a piece of wax (or sugar free chewing gum, temporarily, if wax will not stick) over the wire until we can see you to clip it.