Orthodontics Overview

Some people seem to do everything right when it comes to their oral health. They may have the best at-home oral hygiene routine, visit the dentist every month for regular cleanings, and generally have a healthy smile. But even those people may still be dissatisfied when they look in the mirror and see a smile that is crooked and misaligned. Those crooked teeth can also put them at risk for oral health issues like tooth decay or gum disease. Food particles and bacteria can get stuck in the areas where the teeth are crowded, making it very difficult to clear those particles and bacteria away--even with a thorough brushing or flossing. So, what’s the solution?

With orthodontic treatment from Boerne Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, those crooked teeth become a thing of the past. We transform imperfect smiles into the smile you’ve always wanted. Using an array of orthodontic appliances like metal braces, clear ceramic braces, or clear aligners, your orthodontist can harness the body's natural ability to remodel its own tissue This is done by applying small amounts of force to your teeth that will jump-start the process of gently reshaping the jawbone to move your teeth into their ideal position. With properly aligned teeth, it becomes easier to eat, speak, and keep your teeth clean for a smile that’s pristine. 

For all the information that you need about orthodontic care, check out our full overview of the orthodontic treatment process below!

What Age Should Orthodontic Treatment Start?

Starting orthodontic treatment during childhood is ideal. This allows the orthodontist to take advantage of the body’s rapid, natural growth rate at an early stage to manage the development of the jaw and teeth to create a perfect smile. Early orthodontic treatment is common for kids and is designed to fix jaw alignment and spacing issues early on, before their adult teeth start to develop. This reduces the chance or severity of crowding when those teeth finally erupt. As kids enter their teenage years, they will go through “phase two” treatment, which includes the use of orthodontic appliances like braces or Invisalign Teen to straighten the teeth. Overall, the treatment time for braces and other appliances is kept to a minimum, since the process is sped up thanks to the child’s rapid growth. 

While starting orthodontics at a young age is ideal, it is not the only option since healthy teeth can be moved at any age. That means there’s good news for adults who feel as if they missed their chance at a perfect smile--it’s never too late to get a perfect, healthy smile! In fact, here at Boerne Orthodontics, about one in five of our orthodontic patients are adults who are just starting their journey towards a better smile. So don’t hesitate if you’re interested in getting treatment for yourself! We proudly offer a wide range of treatment options, allowing us to work with you to craft a treatment plan that best caters to the needs of your daily adult life. Adult treatment will take slightly longer than child orthodontic treatment since adult teeth and jaws are fully developed. Before treatment, it is highly recommended that you get examined for periodontal (gum) disease and are treated (if necessary). Untreated gum disease can lead to more serious oral health issues if not brought under control before you start with orthodontics. Once treated, you’ll be all set on your journey to a perfect smile!

Common Bite Problems & Why They Need Fixing

The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to correct both the alignment of your jaw and something called “malocclusions”, but what are those exactly? Simply put, they are problems with your bite. There are many types of malocclusions such as overbite, where upper teeth overlap over your bottom teeth when you bite down. Other malocclusions include crossbite, open bite, crowding, and spacing, all of which can be corrected with orthodontic treatment.
Problems To Watch For

But why do these bite issues need to be corrected in the first place? The primary reason is your health; misaligned teeth make it more difficult to keep your mouth clean, which in turn makes it easier to develop tooth decay or gum disease that can destroy your smile over time. If decay and gum disease are allowed to advance, you could be at greater risk for other health problems like heart disease or infection. The second reason is so you can have a smile that functions the way it was meant to. A misaligned jaw and teeth can lead to issues with speaking and eating, such as constant discomfort or unnecessary pain that can be avoided with proper treatment. 

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

In the early days of orthodontics, metal braces were the only way that anyone could straighten their smile. With advancements in orthodontic technology over the years, there are now many types of appliances for both kids and adults to choose from. At Boerne Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we work with every patient to craft a personalized treatment plan and match them with the orthodontic appliance that best meets their needs and preferences. No matter what option you choose, the result is always going to be a flawless smile that will last a lifetime with proper care. The types of orthodontic appliances that we offer for treatment include:

  • Metal Braces - The most traditional solution, metal braces are now smaller and more comfortable than they’ve ever been. Metal braces may be a straightforward appliance, but they are always reliable and affordable. 
  • Clear Ceramic Braces - Similar to metal braces, but the brackets are made from a translucent ceramic material instead of stainless steel. The ceramic blends in with the natural color of your teeth, providing a more subtle appearance. 
  • Lingual Braces - While these braces are made of metal, they are completely invisible. How is this possible? They go on the back of your teeth instead of the front! Perfect for those who want to keep their orthodontic treatment to themselves. 
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners - Instead of brackets and wires, you get sets of clear aligners that are made from a durable plastic and are practically invisible when worn. The aligners are also removable, giving you greater freedom during orthodontic treatment!
  • Types of Braces

    To learn more about these treatment options and find out which one is the best match for you, just schedule an initial consultation with Dr. VandeBerg today!

     

    Retention & Post Orthodontic Care

    Once you get your braces taken off or finish with that last set of Invisalign aligners, the next step is making sure that your new smile lasts forever. Unfortunately, once that appliance comes off, your jawbone hasn’t fully adjusted to your new smile yet. Your jawbone will want to work against you by moving your teeth back to where they were before you started treatment. Since you (and we) don’t want that to happen, we have a preventative phase of post-orthodontic care called retention. 

    Your orthodontist will provide you with a customized retainer that you will need to wear regularly. The retainer will keep your teeth in place while your jawbone adjusts, preventing them from shifting and keeping that new smile perfect. To start out, you will only be taking your retainer out to eat. Over time as your jaw adjusts and the position of your smile solidifies, you will be able to wear your retainer less often to the point that you’ll only need to wear it at night when you’re sleeping. 

    Start Your New Smile Journey Today!

    Whether you’re looking to get your kids started with their early orthodontic treatment so they can have a future of radiant smiles, or if you’re finally taking the initiative to get yourself the smile you’ve always dreamed of, Boerne Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in Boerne, TX is the place for you! Just contact us to schedule your first visit for you and your family to our office, and you’ll be on the way to healthier smiles before you know it. For any questions that you may have about orthodontic treatment, please reach out to us to speak with a member of our team who will be happy to assist you with everything you need. We look forward to seeing you in our office soon!  

    Boerne Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry

    • Boerne Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry - 215 W. Bandera Rd., #112, Boerne, TX 78006 Phone: (830) 331-8008

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