773 Broadway El Cajon, CA 92021

Schedule an Online Appointment

Dr Gary Olen and Dr. Michael Maurer Pediatric Dental Care BBB Business Review

Orthodontics and Braces in El Cajon

 

 

It's tempting to think of braces as having only aesthetic goals in mind, as it's their most common selling point. Straight teeth, after all, do make for an attractive smile, a worthy goal in itself. But braces accomplish much more. The dental conditions they correct are varied, conditions that do not improve on their own, very much the opposite.

Braces, the way they work, is by putting slight pressure on your teeth so that they will gradually move to the correct position. Both modern aligners and braces that employ traditional technology follow this same basic principle, if through different implementations. Both also aim to address many of the same problems, but only your orthodontist can help you decide which solution is best for you or your child.

Spacing

Crowded teeth will usually only become a bigger problem with age, it's why braces are typically recommended early in life. Even minor crowding, which may not seem like a visible concern, creates hard-to-reach areas so that bristles or even floss can't access. Plaque builds in these spaces and can turn to tartar thanks to the minerals in our saliva. Unchecked, the bacteria that live within eventually decay the tooth's enamel, causing cavities.

On the opposite end, braces can also help close gaps between teeth that are too far apart just as it can treat crowding.

Bites

Beyond decay, teeth can suffer wear over a period of time due to incorrect bites. Braces can treat overbites, underbites, crossbites, and others, just as well as they can spacing between teeth.

 

Your orthodontist may also recommend braces to treat complications related to the jaw joint, also known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Symptoms of which include popping noises when speaking or chewing, as well as discomfort and pain.

 

Investing in Your Smile

Braces require an investment of time but pay dividends in a smile you're proud to show off and savings in the future by avoiding invasive, and often expensive, procedures. Contact your orthodontist to learn about your options.

 

 

Bite Problems and How to Fix Them

Orthodontic Problems.

Orthodontic treatment can resolve a number of bite problems, which often become evident by around age 7. These include underbite, crossbite, or excessive overbite, where upper and lower teeth don't close in the proper position; open bite, where space remains between top and bottom teeth when the jaws are closed; and crowding or excessive spacing, where teeth are spaced too close together or too far apart.

To correct bite problems, teeth need to be moved — but doing that isn't as hard as you might think! Teeth aren't fixed rigidly in their supporting bone; instead, they're held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament, which is very responsive to forces placed on the teeth. Orthodontic appliances move teeth by careful application of light, constant pressure. This force can be applied via metal wires that run through small brackets attached to the teeth (braces), or via the semi-rigid plastic of clear aligners.



Orthodontics is for Children — and Adults

Having orthodontic treatment in childhood is ideal in order to take advantage of a youngster's natural growth processes to help move the teeth into proper alignment. Like the rest of the body, the teeth and jaws are now changing rapidly. So at this time, it's possible (for example) to create more room for teeth in a crowded mouth by using a “palatal expander” to rapidly widen the upper jaw. This phase of growth modification can shorten overall treatment time and ensure the best result if additional orthodontic appliances are needed.

Adult Orthodontics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

 

Orthodontic Appliance Options.

Clear braces use brackets made of ceramic or plastic which, except for the slim archwire, are hardly visible.
Removable clear aligners are an alternative to fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth exactly; each one moves your teeth a little bit until they are in the proper position. Whether fixed or removable, each type of appliance may have advantages or disadvantages in particular situations. After a complete examination, the best treatment options for you will be discussed.
 

Lingual braces are just like traditional metal braces — except they're bonded to the back of your teeth (the tongue side) so that no one can see them.

Retention & Post Orthodontic Care

Once your orthodontic treatment is completed, it's extremely important to wear a retainer as directed. That's because teeth naturally tend to drift back to their original locations — which is the last thing you want after you've gone to the trouble of straightening them! Wearing a retainer holds your teeth in their new position long enough for new bone and ligament to re-form around them, and helps keep your gorgeous new smile looking good for a lifetime.

To schedule your child's braces consultation, contact our El Cajon Dental office at (619) 440-5915 today!

 

 

 

Related Articles

Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Magic of Orthodontics Proper alignment of the teeth is basic to “Smile Design.” Their position dictates how they work together and affects the way you look and smile. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the right position. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. Learn the basics of smile analysis and design and whether the magic of orthodontics will work for you... Read Article

Adult Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine

Orthodontics for the Older Adult Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment... Read Article

Clear Aligners for Teens - Dear Doctor Magazine

Clear Aligners for Teenagers Teens who regard traditional braces as restrictive, confining, and obstructive to their lifestyles now have another choice for orthodontic treatment: clear aligners. This advanced dental technology, originally geared toward adults, has recently evolved to treat a greater variety of bite problems in younger people. These improved orthodontic appliances can help teens function normally during a difficult phase of life... Read Article