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The Perks of Going to An Orthodontist Early

Did you know that early orthodontic care may help you avoid costly treatment in the future? Like most things in life, orthodontic health can be much more manageable if you get ahead of it. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that a child visits the orthodontist by age 7 in order to keep their oral health in check. Much like you wouldn’t skip a well visit with a pediatrician or a dentist appointment, you shouldn’t wait until your child absolutely needs braces to get an orthodontist’s opinion. Keep reading to learn more about how an early visit to the orthodontist may help you avoid more costly or invasive treatments in the future from Dr. Mark Reynolds at Reynolds Orthodontics.

There are several things an orthodontist may suggest when seeing a child. They may suggest a palatal expander, early interceptive treatment, baby tooth removal, or other things. A palatal expander is often used when the patient is still growing. This device in younger patients may reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth or prevent teeth from impacting. Cases that are not corrected in growing patients may require surgery down the road or lead to abnormal wear and tear on teeth. 

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How Orthodontics Can Help Treat Hypodontia

The majority of people’s teeth will come through in a specific order and in specific positions. However, some people have missing teeth. They may have one or more gaps because the teeth that should have erupted and grown in simply aren’t there. This condition is known as hypodontia, and it can affect both baby and permanent teeth. Read on to learn more about how orthodontics can help with hypodontia from Dr. Mark Reynolds at Reynolds Orthodontics.

From a dental health perspective, having gaps in your mouth can affect the health and functioning of your teeth. Gaps mean that neighboring teeth won’t have the right support to keep them in their correct positions. Additionally, from a cosmetic perspective, gaps in the front teeth can affect the appearance of one’s smile. If you have hypodontia, it is likely you will need some kind of treatment to either reinforce the surrounding teeth or to deal with cosmetic concerns. Fortunately, orthodontics can be a great solution for those with hypodontia.

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Why You May Need Teeth Extracted Before Orthodontic Treatment

Getting braces isn’t as simple as just putting them on your teeth as they are. In fact, there are several steps one must go through prior to getting the actual appliances on your teeth. First, you will need a thorough tooth cleaning to make sure there is a clean, healthy surface. In some cases, more extensive preparation is necessary – like a tooth extraction. While tooth extraction may not be necessary for every patient, some patients will require this. Read on to learn more about tooth extractions from Dr. Mark Reynolds at Reynolds Orthodontics.

There are a number of instances in which an orthodontist may recommend tooth extraction prior to braces treatment. Some of the most common reasons for extraction include when a tooth is so damaged or unhealthy it cannot be rescued with root canal therapy, when teeth are too crowded, or when a severe overbite surgery is not an option.

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Types of Dental Braces and How to Know Which is Right for You

dental braces

Are you living near North Carolina and considering choosing dental braces? Maybe you’re wondering how to know which braces are right for you?

It’s a lot easier to narrow down the options when you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Regardless of your choice, it can be difficult to clean braces and the teeth behind them. If you know you’re less diligent with your oral hygiene than you should be, thankfully, there’s an alternative to braces that might suit you best.

If you want to correct a crooked smile or bite issue, braces are often integral to your treatment plan. Who doesn’t want the benefits of beautifully straight teeth?

We’re going to explain all the different types of dental braces and how to choose the best ones to fit your lifestyle. Keep reading!

Metal Braces

Out of the top 3 types of dental braces, metal braces are still the most popular. The reason for this is that they are often the most effective in obtaining the fastest results. Some teenagers and adults aren’t keen on this option because they are more visibly noticeable than other alternatives.

These are sometimes referred to as traditional braces because they are the tried and true system that has stood the test of time. That said, it’s important to note that the technology has advanced, and these aren’t the big and bulky metal braces of yesteryear.

Metal braces work by exerting constant low force on your teeth, thus moving them into the desired position.

Your orthodontist bonds a bracket to the front of each tooth with cement. The metal used for these brackets is usually stainless steel, but sometimes it’s combined with titanium. The stainless steel can also be gold-plated if you have a nickel allergy since nickel is a necessary component of stainless steel.

The orthodontist uses an archwire to exert the desired force needed to move the teeth. Elastic ties hold the wires to the brackets. Other names for these ties are rubber bands or O-rings.

Children and younger teenagers are often attracted to the idea of customizing the color of their elastic ties, so they are more welcoming of metal braces. Late-teens and adults may be more self-conscious about the visible appearance of metal braces and opt for a less noticeable alternative below.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic dental braces are essentially the same technology as metal braces, with the difference being the material used.

The brackets are more transparent since clear ceramic is used that can better match your enamel coloring. The wires can be enamel colored as well, so they are much less noticeable than their metal counterpart. For this reason, ceramic braces are often a more popular choice for those who would otherwise be needing metal braces.

Ceramic braces move teeth slower than the metal variety. They also require you to be more stringent with certain food restrictions. That’s because ceramic isn’t as strong as metal, so can suffer damage from certain foods.

The light-colored brackets and wires are also prone to staining by certain foods if you aren’t extra careful with your oral hygiene routine.

Lingual Braces

These dental braces are similar to the traditional metal system, with one significant difference. The placement of lingual braces is on the inside of the teeth, rather than the outer surface. The benefit of this is that they are harder to notice than other types of braces.

They can’t be used for complex bite issues and aren’t as comfortable as traditional braces. They are also harder to clean and require longer adjustment appointments at the orthodontist.

In addition to braces, appliances may be added that replace the function of headgear that was once necessary. These are for more severe bite issues and include spring correction systems that sit inside the cheeks and correct an overbite.

Palatal expanders are also used sometimes for overcrowded teeth. These apply pressure to the back of your upper molars to slowly move your teeth apart. Palatal expanders might be used first to reposition your teeth so that you can progress to a traditional braces system.

There’s a variation on the traditional dental brace system, known as self-ligating braces. Instead of elastic ligatures, there’s a door mechanism that allows the brackets to slide freely along the wire. This enables the faster movement of teeth with less force, so appointments are usually only required every 8-12 weeks, instead of every 4-6 weeks.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are a popular alternative to dental braces. Instead of brackets, wires, and elastic ties, the clear aligner system uses custom-molded plastic trays to achieve the same result.

A 3d view of your teeth is mapped in a computer environment, and software is used to design the aligners. Next, the aligners are manufactured by a company such as Invisalign. The aligners move your teeth into position in stages, and you usually use new aligners every couple of weeks since each aligner has a slightly different position for your teeth.

Since the plastic aligners are clear, these are harder to notice than other types of braces. Unlike braces, aligners are removable, so can be taken out for meals. This means that you don’t have any food restrictions, though the aligners do have to be worn for 22 hours a day.

The removable nature of clear aligners makes oral hygiene far easier since you don’t have the wires and brackets to clean around. These are extremely popular with teenagers and adults alike, especially as they are easy to take out for photographs. You do have to be careful not to lose them!

The down-side of the plastic tray system is that they tend to move teeth into position more slowly. If you’ve got more extensive bite issues, then you might need a traditional braces system that can exert more force on your teeth.

Which Dental Braces?

We’ve now run through all the different types of dental braces out there, but don’t worry if you still can’t decide. An experienced orthodontist will always make sure that you end up with the right dental braces that you need to ensure correct dental alignment.

If you’re an adult or parent looking at braces for your child, we can help. We provide family orthodontics for patients in Greensboro and Summerfield, NC. Our mission is to exceed expectations from day one and give you a great smile, both inside and out!

Contact us today for a free virtual consultation.

How Orthodontics Can Help Jaw Alignment

Braces are a great option for correcting several dental issues. These issues include overcrowding, misalignment, spacing, and overbites and underbites. A lot of people like braces because of the aesthetic change that they can make, however, braces can also fix non-aesthetic issues that are pertinent to the health of your teeth and jaw. Braces help to bring your teeth into proper intercuspation, which means that your teeth will align properly over one another. Read on to learn more about how orthodontics can help jaw alignment from Dr. Mark Reynolds at Reynolds Orthodontics.

An overbite or underbite has an impact on how your jaw is positioned. The jaw extends outward because the teeth are misaligned when one has an underbite. When one has an overbite, the chin may look weak, and the lips may protrude from the face in a harsh, unflattering manner.

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3 Orthodontic Tips for Cold & Flu Season

With cold and flu season well underway, cough drops, tissues, and hot tea have probably become daily staples. Chances are your teeth and braces are probably the last things you’re thinking about! However, there are some things related to the cold or flu that can affect your oral health. Keep reading to learn some tips from Dr. Mark Reynolds at Reynolds Orthodontics.

  1. Make Sure to Keep Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth

Did you know most cough drops are loaded with sugar? Go for sugar for sugar-free cough drops and be sure not to bite down too hard! Cough syrup is loaded with sugar too – be sure to rinse your mouth out afterward to keep that sugar off of your teeth! Also, stomach acid is hard on teeth, so if you’re throwing up, be sure to brush your teeth afterward.

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