Orthodontic treatment can be effective and beneficial at any age. However, as with any other decision regarding health matters, it is best to act when time is on your side. Being prepared to render orthodontic treatment at the right moment in your child’s life can drastically change the outcome of the dental experience for your entire family.
During childhood, when the bones are still forming and growing, and as the primary teeth and permanent teeth are battling for their positions, Dr. Bunn can perform orthodontic treatment that is timed to correspond with your child’s natural growth pattern.
Prepare for Success
Early orthodontic treatment is often used to guide the growth of your child’s teeth and jaws in order to prevent certain undesirable dental conditions. It can also serve as the first phase of a multi-phase treatment plan, shortening and simplifying any future orthodontic needs. Finally, early orthodontic intervention is helpful in identifying and addressing childhood habits such as thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting, conditions that are almost certain to impact growth, alignment, and speech.
Know When to Begin
Dr. Bunn recommends scheduling your child’s first orthodontic consultation around the age of 7. At this age, an orthodontic consultation provides a great opportunity for an evaluation of your child’s bite, alignment, and skeletal contours. The position of the teeth, the degree of facial symmetry, and your child’s side-view profile will provide valuable clues about the need for immediate or future orthodontic treatment.
At the conclusion of the consultation, if orthodontic care is necessary, Dr. Bunn may recommend early treatment that is appropriate for your child’s age. If no treatment is immediately necessary, annual evaluations may be scheduled to monitor your child’s growth and development.
Along with Dr. Bunn, our entire orthodontic team is anxious to meet your family! Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.
Your teen may look like an adult, but they are still growing. That’s what makes the adolescent years a perfect time for active orthodontic treatment. By taking advantage of this time of rapid growth, orthodontic treatment can be optimized, and a wide range of orthodontic problems can be corrected.
As the last of the primary teeth are exfoliated, Dr. Bunn can utilize orthodontic techniques to establish an ideal bite and guide the teeth into optimal alignment. In fact, seeking the proper orthodontic care during the adolescent years can minimize or eliminate the risk of the various dental conditions that your child could face later in life.
It’s in Your Child’s Best Interest
During the course of orthodontic treatment, proper oral hygiene and personal responsibility are emphasized. Once treatment is complete, your child will take pride in maintaining a fresh and clean smile, finding that straighter teeth can be cleaned more easily than crowded or crooked teeth.
A well-aligned bite promotes proper health in the jaw joint, less stress on the teeth and supporting ligaments, better speech, and can even improve breathing.
A natural and healthy smile has been shown to strengthen the adolescent’s self-image, self-confidence, and self-esteem. It influences the way that your child views herself and the way that she feels about herself.
Give Your Teen the Gift of a Healthy Smile
Straighter teeth will position your teen for optimal physical and emotional health, setting the standard for a healthy lifestyle. As a parent, you would like to prepare your child for a healthy and successful future. With orthodontic treatment, you can provide your children with the gift of a healthy smile—a gift that they will appreciate for the rest of their lives.
First, a proper introduction…
The orthodontic process begins with a professional consultation. Dr. Bunn can perform a complete oral evaluation in order to assess your teen’s orthodontic needs, followed by a recommendation of the most ideal treatment plan and a face-to-face conversation to discuss your questions and concerns.
To properly introduce your child to Dr. Bunn and the rest of our team, call to schedule an appointment today.
As an adult, your desire for orthodontic treatment may be fueled by a long list of factors. Whether you are motivated by a cosmetic interest or you have been plagued by functional complications, you should know that you are not alone. Each year, millions of adults turn to orthodontic treatment to properly resolve many common dental conditions.
Have it Your Way
Explore the orthodontic options that will be the best fit for your mature or professional lifestyle by calling to arrange a meeting with Dr. Bunn today.
Look Great, Feel Spectacular!
It is true– your smile is the first thing that people will notice about you. Whether you encounter children or business associates, your smile will either complement your personality or create a distraction. Dr. Bunn understands this dynamic and can use adult-oriented orthodontic treatment to create a smile that looks healthy and mature.
By simply correcting crowded teeth, unattractive spaces, protruding teeth, and unbalanced facial profiles you can improve the way that others see you. Most importantly, you can improve the way that you feel about yourself, and that can change the way that you interact with everyone that you meet!
Aside from the social advantages of a straighter smile, for adults, there are significant health advantages as well.
Dr. Bunn is treating more and more adults who are interested in enhancing their oral health. Poorly aligned jaws are known to contribute to TMJ (jaw joint) disorders, breathing problems, speech impediments, and inefficient chewing patterns. Uneven alignment also contributes to a condition known as hyperocclusion, in which the top and bottom teeth bite together with too much force, damaging the teeth and also the supporting ligaments and bones.
Adult orthodontic treatment is particularly helpful in the fight against gum disease. Crowded and crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, contributing to bone loss, receding gums, and cavities. Straightening the teeth can improve your ability to brush and floss more thoroughly, eliminating hidden plaque, food particles, and stain.
Choose Your Braces
If you are interested in getting braces. We offer Ceramic Braces. These are very popular with adult and teenage patients. They are made of translucent (clear) material and are nearly invisible on the teeth, giving them high cosmetic appeal. We also offer traditional metal braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and have come a long way over the years. They are small and comfortable. Finally, we have Invisalign available. Invisalign is a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth.
Ceramic braces are very popular with adult patients, as well as teenage patients. They are made of translucent (clear) material and are nearly invisible on the teeth, giving them high cosmetic appeal.
Metal braces are the more traditional way of straightening a person’s bite and smile. They are usually made of high-grade stainless steel and have come a long way over the years. Today’s braces are much smaller and more comfortable.
The Invisalign System is a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system.
Brushing & Flossing
The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces, and over time, turn into plaque. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Especially during orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After supper
- At bedtime
You will need to replace your toothbrush more often due to your appliances. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. It may be difficult for your toothbrush to reach some areas under your archwire. Do not swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride treatment throughout your orthodontic treatment and beyond for optimal oral hygiene.
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.
Use the reusable floss threader provided by our office to floss under your archwire daily. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it. After you floss between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.
If you are flossing without the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.
Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, inform a staff member at your next appointment.
Foods to Avoid
Your braces have the potential to give you the smile you’ve always wanted, and taking care of them during treatment is critical to their effectiveness. Pencil and pen chewing and nail biting should be avoided. In addition, it’s very important to steer clear of sticky, hard and sugary foods, as they can compromise your orthodontic treatment. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires, hard foods can actually break or damage the wires and brackets and foods high in sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities.
Please check your braces for loose wires and bent brackets on a regular basis. If you notice any problems, please contact our office right away to schedule an appointment for repair.
Minimize sugary foods like:
- Ice Cream
Avoid hard foods like:
- Jolly Rancher-type candy
- Pizza crust
- Hard taco shells
- Corn on the cob
- Apples and carrots (unless cut into very small pieces)
- French bread crust/rolls
Limit drinks like:
- Sugary drinks
- Sweetened tea
- Soda pop
Avoid sticky foods like:
- Starburst-like candy
- Gum (sugar-free or regular)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Roll-like candy
What to do in case of an Emergency – Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.