One of the common dental concerns affecting both kids and adults is malpositioned teeth. A misaligned dental not only robs you of good looks but also causes a myriad of problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and chewing issues, just to mention a few. If you want to spruce up your smile by having your teeth aligned correctly, you need to visit an orthodontist in Carson, CA. At Washington Dental, we offer top-notch orthodontic services and can realign your teeth or even your jaw to help you discover your best smile.
Orthodontists are smile specialists who can work with patients of all ages. However, the optimal time to start treatment and ensure great results is when you see the first sign of an orthodontic problem. While a child under seven years old may not be ready for any form of treatment, early evaluation and detection of orthodontic problems allow us to guide the growth and development of teeth. This prevents severe issues and helps us decide on the best time to begin a treatment plan.
Orthodontics is a type of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, guidance, correction, prevention, and interception of dental misalignment. A specialist who practices orthodontics is known as an orthodontist. This type of dentist has gone through specialized training to master treatment for bad bites caused by teeth or jaw irregularities.
A List of Dental Concerns Orthodontic Care Can Address
Often a perfect smile is associated with good health. It is impossible to have overall well-being without addressing oral concerns such as malocclusion or dental misalignment. If you were not born with straight teeth, you are not alone. Bad bites or huge spaces between teeth are common concerns that can be addressed through specialized orthodontic care.
Here are some of the teeth issues an orthodontist provides services for:
Dental Malocclusion (Misaligned Teeth and Jaws)
Dental malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth where the upper and lower dental arches do not meet when the jaw closes. This is commonly caused by anomalies of the oral cavity, including misaligned and overcrowded teeth.
There are three main classes of malocclusions. They include:
Class 1 — This type of malocclusion occurs when your jaw is in excellent shape, but your teeth don’t perfectly line up. The upper and lower teeth overlap slightly, creating a crossbite.
Class 2 — This is when your upper jaw is considerably bigger and falls in front of the lower jaw, causing an overbite.
Class 3 — This is when your lower jaw is relatively more prominent and protrudes in front of your upper jaw, causing an underbite.
An orthodontist can use braces and other devices such as aligners, dental retainers, or palatal expanders to treat these anomalies. There are different types of braces, although they are all designed to do the same job. They put pressure on the teeth, pushing them to align within a particular position. This will correct the dental alignment and the jaw structure, giving you a generally enhanced smile.
When kids lose their milk teeth early, it is essential to see an orthodontist obtain space fillers. They prevent teeth neighboring a removed milk tooth from overgrowing and leaving inadequate space for the adult tooth to grow.
Often failure to obtain space fillers for your child may result in the adult teeth growing in an improper shape. This only means that your child may suffer from concerns such as dental overcrowding, increasing the need for orthodontic care in the future.
Apart from missing teeth, improper spacing may also be caused by small teeth, prolonged thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting.
Arguably, more than half the adults who seek orthodontic treatment do so to address dental overcrowding. This concern arises when adult teeth lack adequate space, forcing them to overlap or align in a crooked fashion.
An open bite is when the upper and lower front teeth don’t meet or overlap. When a patient closes their jaw, a wide opening is left between the teeth.
With an overjet, the upper teeth protrude past the lower teeth horizontally. Such a concern can cause chewing problems and interfere with proper speech (the pronunciation of certain words).
A diastema is a gap between two teeth. This space is often between the two front teeth, and it may become more prominent if you have a habit of tongue thrusting. A diastema is common in children, and the gap often closes gradually as the teeth grow. It may, however, fail to close if the teeth are relatively smaller compared to the size of the jawbone.
Orthodontists often correct a diastema by applying dental bonding to fill in the space between the teeth. The expert can also use braces, aligners, veneers, or dental crowns.
An impacted tooth doesn’t erupt through the gum’s surface naturally. It could fail to erupt entirely or only protrude partially.
Even though such a concern may not have any symptoms at first, it could cause damage to neighboring teeth and gums or the jaw if left untreated. An orthodontist can surgically remove an impacted tooth or expose it to allow the fitting or braces.
Hypodontia is a developmental anomaly that causes one or more permanent teeth not to develop. This concern is often genetic, although it may also be caused by environmental factors such as dental trauma.
An orthodontist can treat hypodontia by installing implants, dentures, or bridges. Sometimes, highly invasive treatment is not necessary, and an expert can correct your smile using braces.
It is never too late to seek orthodontic treatment. Even though early intervention helps to identify and address concerns before they go from bad to worse, help is available, irrespective of your age. We will meet you for consultation and inform you of the treatment options available to help you regain optimal oral health.
The Importance of Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatments are a big deal for many people, especially those with major dental cosmetic concerns. If your teeth are in a generally good state but are misaligned, an orthodontist can put them back on the right track. Treatments often yield satisfying outcomes, allowing patients to enjoy remarkable dental cosmetic improvements.
Here are other compelling reasons to seek orthodontic care:
Improved Oral Hygiene
Straight white teeth will do more than just make you more aesthetically appealing. Correcting overcrowded teeth, a misaligned dental, or even overjet can play a fundamental role in enhancing your overall oral health.
Without proper dental alignment, food particles may be stuck between the teeth and hide in spaces your toothbrush or flossing tape may not reach. This drastically increases the risk of tooth decay and gum infections. Often, patients with dental or jaw misalignments are referred to orthodontists before scheduling cosmetic or restorative dentistry.
Improved Jaw Alignment
Jaw misalignments may not cause any symptoms, although they may increase the risk of requiring TMJ (temporomandibular joints) treatments in the future. In extreme cases, though, a misaligned jaw can cause excruciating pain, especially when eating.
Treating dental misalignments can naturally correct a misaligned jaw. Your orthodontist may use treatment options like Invisalign or traditional braces to align your teeth and ensure that your jaw lines up correctly.
No Age Restrictions
Orthodontic treatment is not just for kids. Even adults can benefit from the services of an orthodontist. If you are worried about people knowing that you are trying to correct your smile, worry not. Competent specialists can offer a range of treatment options, including the use of invisible dental trays (Invisalign).
Enhanced Overall Well-Being
A bright, healthy smile can boost your self-confidence and improve your psychological well-being. Most importantly, it can open social and professional opportunities that you may not have enjoyed with an unappealing smile.
Orthodontic treatment doesn’t work overnight. However, the treatment plans of most patients, including adults, only take about two years. This is a small sacrifice to make for you to enjoy a lifetime of contagious smiles, good oral health, and optimal overall well-being.
Through clinical exams and X-rays, we can help diagnose your dental concerns and advise you about the orthodontic treatment that is right for you. We will work together to develop a treatment plan that works for you and can ensure your objectives are met sooner than later.
Telltale Signs That You Need Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatments quite literally change lives. Sprucing up the alignment of your teeth and jaws can serve a cosmetic purpose and increase your dental functionality, mainly through painless chewing and improved speech.
Here are definite signs that you should schedule for orthodontic treatment:
You Breathe Through the Mouth
A congested nose or chest does not always cause Mouth-breathing. It could also be a result of jaw-width irregularities. Patients with relatively narrow jaws are more prone to mouth-breathing because their airways are obstructed, making it easier to breathe through the mouth than through the nose.
This concern can cause sleep apnea, a condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. Through orthodontics, you can expand the size of your jaw to open up your airways. We will examine the nature of your concern and create a customized plan ideal for you.
You Hate Your Smile
A smile is a powerful tool that could come in handy in your professional and social life. If you find yourself hiding your smile, it may be an indication that orthodontic treatment is necessary. Most people with visibly poor bites, crooked teeth, or other forms of dental misalignment feel self-conscious and hardly smile to avoid embarrassment.
You can restore your confidence through orthodontic treatment. Irrespective of your age, we can recreate your smile or inform you of other suitable treatment options.
Chewing is easy and painless when the top and bottom teeth meet neatly in the middle. You may experience pain chewing certain foods if you have a poor bite that affects the jaw functions. Again, orthodontic treatments can come in handy when treating poor bite conditions such as underbites, crossbites, open bites and underbites.
Some orthodontic conditions cause speech impediment, mainly caused by malocclusion or a poor bite. When the top and bottom teeth don’t meet perfectly, pronouncing certain words can be an impossible task. If you have an open bite or overjet, for instance, you may not be able to pronounce sounds like ‘s’ and ‘z.’
Your Kid’s Adult Teeth Are Improperly Aligned
The best time to schedule the first orthodontic appointment is before your little one turns 7. Ideally, you should see an orthodontist when you realize that your child’s adult teeth are not aligning well as they erupt through the gums. Often, it is easy, fast, and cheap to direct the teeth to proper alignment before they stabilize.
We have a skilled team of orthodontics who can assess the dental alignment of your kid and detect and treat orthodontic conditions as they emerge. Early intervention arrests problematic conditions that may otherwise impact your kid’s quality of life.
There is hope for you, irrespective of how bad your orthodontic condition may seem. We have a history of making award-winning transformations through personalized treatment plans that work for our clients. If you notice any of the above signs, visit us or call us today for a no-obligation consultation.
What to Expect During Your First Orthodontic Treatment Appointment
For some people, the thought of seeing their dentist for regular check-ups is already terrifying enough. They could experience double the anxiety when they begin to consider orthodontic treatments. One of the best ways to kill fear is to know what to expect during your first orthodontic appointment.
Here is what to expect during your first visit:
Introduction and Consultation
We believe that a proper introduction is instrumental in ensuring you have a great overall experience. After giving you a quick tour through our facility, you will also meet our team before examining your teeth and mouth through physical assessments, advanced 3-D scanning, and X-rays.
Examining the current state of your dental allows us to understand the kind of assistance you need. Once we have a clear idea about the concerns that need addressing, we can now discuss your treatment options. We will also inform you about your insurance options and the available financing plans.
Before we can conclude which treatment plan is best for you, we will need to know some things about your health history. You can trust us with your information because all data is kept highly confidential.
Choosing a Treatment Plan
There are numerous aspects we must consider when helping you choose an ideal treatment plan. First, we will note your medical history and any concerns or ongoing treatments that may make specific orthodontic procedures unsuitable. We will also consider your budget, expectations, and the treatment length you deem fit.
Once we have a suitable treatment plan, we will inform you what to expect. Even with top-tier treatment services, we understand that having unrealistic expectations can ruin your entire experience. We are always happy to answer any questions our patients may have before, during, and after treatment.
Discuss Payment Options
A good number of medical insurance policies don’t provide coverage for orthodontic treatments. This is more so when treatment is considered to be more cosmetic than curative. If we cannot use your insurance policy, we can discuss a flexible payment plan that suits your budget and makes treatment costs more practicable.
Schedule Your Next Appointment
Now that everything is set, we can schedule a different date for your first treatment. We are always eager to begin the journey with you and walk together until you achieve that radiant killer smile!
A Basic Guide to Help You Prepare For the Installation of Braces
Addressing orthodontic conditions can change your life for the better. Often, orthodontists use braces to correct poor bites and treat misaligned jaws. There are different types of braces, including:
- Traditional metal braces
- Lingual braces
- Self-ligating brackets
Even though these braces are different in appearance, they all play the same functions and help to correct dental misalignments.
Here are simple tips to help you prepare for this fascinating journey of changing your smile forever:
Be Mentally Prepared
Dental treatments are not always the most comfortable. Even tough individuals sometimes become nervous when they see their dentist. One of the best ways to calm your nerves is to know what to expect during orthodontic treatment.
Depending on the treatment plan you select, you may have to undergo a specified set of procedures. It is essential to know what to expect during these procedures and the benefits of each process. You are more likely to feel excited about each step when you fully know its purpose and perks.
Additionally, do not shy away from asking questions before, during, and after treatment. Your orthodontist will ensure that you understand your options well and their unique sets of pros and cons. For instance, while traditional braces may not be the most discreet or appealing, they often yield effective results, and installation is pocket-friendly.
Another surefire way to keep your mind at ease is to ensure you find the right orthodontist. We are skilled and experienced, not to mention that we have numerous success stories to share. Checking out our portfolio of the before and after pictures of our past patients may also help you prepare yourself mentally for orthodontic treatment.
Be Ready For Some Slight Discomfort and Soreness
Irrespective of your age, you may feel some level of discomfort and soreness as your gums and teeth adjust to the braces. Braces put constant pressure on the teeth, and this allows them to adapt to the preferred alignment. Your orthodontist is likely to prescribe painkillers to help you cope with the soreness.
Often, patients only experience discomfort as the braces are installed. You may also experience soreness for a week or two following the treatment. Fortunately, your mouth will quickly adjust and heal, making it unnecessary to take painkillers.
Orthodontic treatment is, in most cases, minimally invasive. While this is the case, there are crucial aftercare tips that you must follow to the latter. Your orthodontist will share these tips and provide a small care kit to keep you comfortable until your next appointment.
The small kit may contain a numbing cream for pain relief, orthodontic floss (specially designed for use with braces and wax that you can apply on the ends of wires that break or pop out. Make sure you keep these items within reach at all times to make your treatment more comfortable.
Moreover, your orthodontist may impose a few dietary restrictions during your treatment. Right after your appointment, you may not be able to eat hard foods, making it necessary to stock your fridge with soft treats. They may include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
It is crucial to avoid hard foods that could result in dislodged wires, broken brackets, or bacteria buildup. Some of the foods you should not eat during treatment include:
- Hard candies
- Sticky substances like chewing gum
- Sugary foods like Twizzlers and skittles
- Hard fruits like apples
Focus On the Positives
The excitement of correcting your smile may dwindle, especially during those moments when your mouth feels sore, and you cannot have some of your favorite foods. The best way to overcome this is to keep your mind fixed on the positives of wearing braces. It’s only a matter of time before you complete treatment, and you can enjoy your brand new smile.
Find Washington Dental (Carson) Near Me
At Washington Dental, we take pride in improving profiles and creating beautiful smiles. While treating concerns like overcrowded teeth and jaw issues is easier said than done, we strive to ensure our patients enjoy rewarding outcomes that spruce up their looks and heighten their self-esteem. We are among the best in Carson, CA, thanks to our dedicated team of specialists who work together to ensure each treatment is a complete success. Visit us at our clinic or call us at 310-217-1507 for a consultation, and let us help you discover your best smile!