October is National Orthodontic Health Month and it provides an important opportunity to bring awareness to the fact that dental health involves a whole lot more than simply getting your teeth cleaned regularly and filling cavities.
Many people may connect braces or invisible aligners to the thought of Orthodontic treatment. However, there can be much more to the process of gaining optimal orthodontic health. Even the process of straightening teeth with braces involves more than simply getting them put on and adjusted.
Do you know what is included in orthodontic treatment?
More importantly, do you know what part you play in your own orthodontic health?
You may think that a straight smile is not worth the time and money, but orthodontic treatments create far more than straight teeth. That is not to say that straight teeth are not important. They contribute to good oral health because they are easier to clean, which makes them less prone to decay or disease. Straight teeth are also an important element of a well-aligned bite.
In addition to straightening teeth, orthodontic treatment corrects the overall bite and even sometimes changes the structure of the jaw. Creating a properly aligned bite and teeth is often important to prevent the uneven wear of enamel, and eliminate grinding and clenching teeth, jaw pain, TMJ disorder, and certain types of headaches. Orthodontic care is also used to correct some breathing issues, sleep apnea, speech impediments, , , cleft lip, cleft palate, and other craniofacial disorders.
Orthodontists use fixed and removable appliances to gently reposition teeth, influence the growth and development of children’s jaws, and retrain muscles to create the healthiest possible mouth.
You may have heard of Phase I and Phase II treatment. These phases refer to the process when orthodontic problems are caught early, and a child receives their treatment in two distinct phases. The first usually begins around age seven, and the second begins sometime in adolescence.
The reason treatment may be completed in two phases is to take advantage of certain, predictable stages of dental growth and development. Many children will not need Phase I treatment, but it is highly beneficial for those that do. It can make room for adult teeth to erupt in an ideal position, guide jaw growth, improve speaking and chewing, and minimize Phase II treatment. Many problems are treated far more easily and in a shorter amount of time when a child is young. This is why the American Association of
Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist when they are seven years old so that certain problems can be caught and treated early.
Teenagers and adults do not receive two phases of treatment. It may take a bit more time and effort, but teenagers and adults can almost always still gain optimal results through orthodontic treatment.
Whether you are bringing in your seven-year-old, your teenager, or are considering treatment for yourself, we will create an individualized treatment plan based upon a thorough evaluation. The first step is a complimentary consultation. During your complimentary orthodontic consultation, our team at Jungle Roots will take necessary diagnostic records to conduct a comprehensive smile analysis. Afterward, we'll review your current condition and together we will be able to create a custom treatment plan that fits your treatment goals, financial needs, desires, and lifestyle. At Jungle Roots, we are set apart by our conservative approach to orthodontic care and your plan will be designed with your best interest.
A treatment plan may consist of more than just braces or invisible aligners. Rubber bands, mouthguards, separators, palatal expanders, space maintainers, and headgear may be included as part of a treatment plan. We will spend as much time as necessary explaining what is involved in treatment, the benefits to you or your child, why we recommend the individual aspects of treatment, and anything else you may want to know. Treatments are most successful when we work together, so please do not hesitate to bring up any questions or concerns that you may have.
We know that finances are a large part of the decision-making process when considering orthodontic treatment. We are prepared to guide you through financial planning and customized payment options so that you can move forward with orthodontic treatment for yourself and your child. Before you even walk in the door, we provide a complimentary benefits check to help you navigate through every insurance question you may have.
During the course of treatment, we will attach your braces and any other fixed appliances. We will provide you with specific instructions, dental wax, rubber bands, stock mouth guards for those in sports, and anything else necessary to effectively complete your treatment. You will visit us at regular intervals for adjustments and we will assess the progress, verify that everything is moving optimally, and make changes to the treatment plan when needed. If at any time you have a question, concern, or problem with your device, we are here to help. Please call us and we will let you know what to do and schedule an appointment when necessary.
Once your teeth and jaws are in optimal alignment and all treatments are completed, we remove your devices. After all the appliances are removed, we need to make sure that the changes made to your bone and the soft tissues in your mouth become permanent. Retainers provide the support necessary to ensure that your mouth finishes healing into the new position, so your teeth stay where you put so much effort into placing them. We will provide you with a custom fit retainer. Retainers and supervision are included with your treatment at Jungle Roots.
If you have decided to schedule your complimentary consultation, you have made a great first choice! Once we have decided on a treatment plan, your role is as significant as ours. It is up to you to keep your appointments and follow any instructions that we provide. Equally important, be sure to call us if you have any questions or concerns, or if something goes wrong, such as a wire breaking. Finally, it is vital to maintain excellent dental hygiene and get regular dental cleanings and checkups. A healthy mouth can make the process go faster. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. A mouth that is poorly cared for can lead to cavities and gum disease, add time to your treatment, and even prevent you from achieving optimal results.
At Jungle Roots, we are here to help you gain excellent dental health. In addition to providing dental care for children, we offer orthodontic services for your whole family. You benefit from coordinated dental and orthodontic appointments and a direct line of open communication between Dr. Culp and your Jungle Roots Orthodontic Team. We want you and your child to have a well-aligned bite, in addition to healthy teeth and gums, and are here to help make that happen.
At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.