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Am I too old to straighten my teeth?

June 24th, 2016

Have you always wondered if you could straighten your teeth but realized that your age is stopping you from getting your teeth straightened? You may also have been recommended by your dentist to correct your bite but your answer has always been, “I am too old for that.” Not necessarily. Age is not a contraindication for orthodontic treatment. Bad bite can be corrected at any age. There is no such thing as “too old” for braces. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that one in five orthodontic patients is older than age 18.
If you have been living with bad bite your entire life, you know that crooked teeth, crowded smiles, or poorly aligned bites raise more than cosmetic concerns. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean, making tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Teeth that don’t come together properly when you close your jaws can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Poor tooth alignment can also make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds and can put excessive stress on the chewing muscles, causing facial pain. Although childhood is the ideal time to make changes in the positioning of the teeth, more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment and coming away with excellent results.
You will find that a lot has changed since you were a teenager in terms of the orthodontic appliances themselves. Clear braces can be used that are far less noticeable than the metal braces. Invisalign or invisible clear aligners are also appropriate in many cases. These newer appliances have contributed to an increase in adults seeking treatment, with most reporting that they are very happy with the results. So remember that when it comes to straightening teeth, there is no age cutoff.
A great-looking smile is a surefire way to boost self-confidence and studies have demonstrated that orthodontic treatment can even enhance an adult's career opportunities and social life. So there are many reasons to consider orthodontic treatment at any age. If a better smile is something you really want, schedule a complimentary consultation with us to discuss your treatment options. As the saying goes, you're only as old as you feel.

Should I wait for my child to lose all the baby teeth?

May 10th, 2016

This question is frequently asked from parents. The answer is a resounding NO.
We typically see patients as young as age 7. At this young age we analyze the facial growth specifically the growth of jaw bones. For example, is the lower jaw bone keeping up with the upper jaw bone in terms of growth? Sometimes, one jaw bone will grow faster than the other and early detection and treatment of this situation will lead to a better result than if treated later when all the adult teeth have grown in.
Typical orthodontic problems treated early include crowding, cross bites or narrow palates, open bites, and under bites. By correcting the problem at a growing age, we can prevent a patient from invasive jaw surgeries and extractions of teeth.
In some instances we see that the jawbones are growing in harmony, and the child is placed on a complimentary six month recall schedule until the appropriate time. This will give you peace of mind that you won’t miss that optimal window for fixing your bite.
In other words, early treatment allows for the correct amount of space in the mouth for the incoming adult teeth so that when they do come in, they have room to be in the proper position. This makes orthodontic treatment simpler and less complicated process since the upper and lower jawbones are correctly aligned.
There is no harm in seeing an orthodontist too early but there is a lot of harm in seeing one too late.
Do not wait until all your baby teeth have fallen out because you may have missed a very valuable window period of growth.

Why Do I Need To Wear Rubberbands?

February 10th, 2016

During your orthodontic treatment Dr. Chary-Reddy may have recommended you to wear rubber bands and you may have wondered what those little rubber bands do? The purpose of these rubber bands is to put forces on the teeth to move the upper and lower teeth until they fit well together. They help to adjust the bite of patients that have overbites, open bite, under bites and cross bites.
There are several different ways rubber bands can be worn. Dr. Chary-Reddy and her staff will tell you at your orthodontic appointment the type of rubber bands to wear. We also make you practice during your appointment to make sure that you are wearing the rubber bands correctly. Rubber bands are generally worn all of the time, even while sleeping. They are removed when brushing, flossing and eating. These rubber bands are placed and removed by you. Rubber bands will lose their elasticity and efficacy after 6 hours of wear; therefore you need to replace them 4 times a day.
Once you get used to placing the rubber bands, it will become very easy and you won’t even need a mirror. We highly encourage the following routine. Change them after you brush and floss your teeth following each main meal and once before you go to bed. If your rubber bands break or you lose them, replace them immediately. You always need to carry a spare pack with you at all times. If you run low on your rubber bands, let us know and we will give you more.
It is important that rubber bands are worn as directed by Dr. Chary-Reddy, if not, it could delay the progress of your treatment or you may have an inferior result. We want your orthodontic result to be exceptional and that is why wearing rubber bands is so important.

Can Orthodontics prevent sleep apnea?

December 31st, 2015

Can Orthodontics prevent sleep apnea?

Yes, Orthodontic treatment can prevent sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is caused by a number of factors. One of the main causes is the anatomy of the jaw structure of the individual. Narrow jaws and receded or underdeveloped jaws cause the tongue to be pushed back into the airway during sleep and this prevents normal breathing. When we are not getting adequate air and in order to compensate for the lack of air we open our mouth to breath. This makes the tongue to move and thus causing the snoring sound. Snoring can be seen in patients as young as three years old to mature adults. In growing children enlarged tonsils and adenoids can narrow the airways further exacerbating sleep apnea. A combination of enlarged tonsils and narrow jaws causes sleep apnea and if this is not corrected early it affects the health.

In adult patients, a person maybe overweight and have a lot of fatty tissue in their neck that when relaxed in sleep pushes on the throat because of gravity closing off the airway. These factors singly or in combination cause us to stop breathing from time to time. Many studies have shown that sleep apnea in adults can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or irregular heartbeat, diabetes, and obesity. All this is because when you stop breathing, the level of oxygen in the blood decreases to a point that the organs of your body have a hard time functioning.

Thus having orthodontic treatment to expand the arches and removing the obstructions such as tonsils and adenoids can prevent sleep apnea and improve overall health. Orthodontics is not just to get a pretty smile but it also gives health.

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