Orthodontist In Fairfield, CA
LOOKING FOR AN ORTHODONTIST NEAR FAIRFIELD, CA?
At Make a Smile Fairfield, your child’s smile is in great hands! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff work with both children and parents to ensure great orthodontic service. We are dedicated to the correction of youth and adolescent dental irregularities through the use of our personalized state of the art orthodontic facility and treatment plans. We offer both interception and preventive orthodontics, tailoring treatments to suit your individual growing child’s needs.
Every child should never feel uncomfortable with their smile. Oftentimes, kids can feel a little self-conscious if their teeth or bite are askew, resulting in hiding their beautiful grin. Building that confidence starts with keeping your teeth not only in tip-top hygienic condition, but also in the proper alignment.
Our main goal is to make sure your mouth, jaw, and teeth are in the proper position for functional purposes as well as to provide the tools to create a straightened smile. We are here to work with you and help create those dreams into a reality. That’s why our Orthodontics team at Make A Smile in Fairfield will work efficiently on correcting any oral abnormalities we come across.
Many adults never received orthodontic treatment as a child. While others have seen their previously straight teeth relapse over time. Whatever the reason, orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. In fact, one out of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over the age of 21. The advancements of orthodontic treatment has given orthodontists new techniques and appliances that allow for a quicker, more comfortable treatment plan for adolescents and adults. Adults are excited about the clear aligners and clear brackets because these alternatives give patients the opportunity to choose which orthodontic option will fit their lifestyle best.
Kids and Parents
The Parent’s and Children Together program is unique to Make a Smile Orthodontics. This program allows parents to become directly involved by undergoing their own orthodontic procedures right beside their child, becoming their treatment partner.
Make A Smile provides Invisalign in Fairfield, CA . Schedule an appointment with our orthodontist for a Invisalign treatment.
Why Visit With Our Orthodontist
When your child’s dental issues go beyond the help of a dentist and require a specialist to come in and realign your jaw, straighten your teeth, or fix another oral irregularity, that’s when you’ll need an Orthodontist by your side. Becoming an orthodontist requires extra training that dentists are not generally equipped with. In fact, it takes a few more years on top of general dentistry school to specialize in Orthodontics. With these extra skills, an Orthodontist has the ability to diagnose your dental problems regarding crooked or crowded teeth and work on preventing and treating the situation.
If you or your kids are facing any of the following dental problems, please reach out to our Fairfield office team at Make A Smile to receive an orthodontic consultation:
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Off-centered bite
- Speech Difficulty
- Large gaps
What to Expect at a Orthodontist Consultation
The first consultation with an orthodontist will be used to determine the best course of treatment using a clinical examination which may include x-rays. We encourage you to take this time to get to know our highly trained orthodontist by asking questions and letting them know any of your concerns, which will also help them come up with the best treatment plan.
Common Questions Asked By Patients
Sometimes you just need a simple question answered quickly. Here are a few common ones patients tend to ask our Orthodontics team:
How long will my orthodontic treatment take?
You’ll find that there isn’t one specific timeframe for how long a patient must go through orthodontic treatment. Most commonly, it takes about 24 months of consecutive wearing of the appliances, but other times it may take less than 12 months. There is even the chance – although probably unlikely – a patient could need to do 3 years of treatment if the problems were more difficult to correct. Every mouth is unique so it will all depend on what your Orthodontist finds best for you.
What should I expect at my first consultation with the Orthodontist?
After arriving at our dental office, our Orthodontics team will work on providing you and your child a comfortable experience. We’ll start with a quick examination where photographs and x-rays will be taken for a closer look. A customized plan will then be created to help correct any malalignment.
When will I get braces after the first appointment?
On average, you will need to wait about 2-3 weeks before getting braces put on. If you are getting Invisalign aligners, you may have to wait for up to 4 weeks.
Will I have to wear headgear?
Not necessarily! Not everyone who receives orthodontic treatment needs to use headgear. This is generally only used in situations where the bite needs extreme help such as the front teeth needing to be moved forward or there is a severe overbite or underbite affecting your smile.
Am I a candidate for Invisalign?
Possibly! Invisalign can work for most individuals unless there is a severe case that requires traditional braces. Of course, that doesn’t always mean these clear aligners are the right call for you. It is a great option for busy adults and teenagers, but there is a level of responsibility and commitment that comes with wearing Invisalign that may be difficult for a younger child to manage. Our Orthodontist will be able to assess your case and let you know if Invisalign is a potential option for you or your kid.
What if a wire from my braces comes loose while at home? What should I do?
If the braces or bands have come loose in any way, call our office to determine the appropriate next steps. This will probably entail setting up a prompt appointment to fix the wire and prevent any discomfort.
How can I alleviate any discomfort from wearing orthodontic appliances?
Wearing braces can be uncomfortable, especially at first as your mouth gets used to the appliances. In order to ease your pain, taking an over-the-counter pain medication should do the trick. Oral anesthetics, an ice pack, and avoiding hard food all are greats ways to prevent oral pain from increasing
Can I eat whatever I want without consequence?
Braces have a lot of pros, but one con is that you don’t get to eat whatever you want. Chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard foods should all be avoided while wearing braces. These foods can either get stuck in hard to reach areas, creating hot spots for cavities, or they can cause a bracket to separate from the tooth. They may be off-limits now, but the wait will be worth it!
Do my brushing habits need to change?
Yes! Wearing braces means that when you eat food, the debris is more likely to get tucked away within the brackets. When this happens, the bacteria stays on your teeth longer, increasing the likelihood of plaque buildup. Because of this, brushing after every meal is highly recommended when wearing braces.
When should I bring my child in for an evaluation?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should visit an Orthodontist to receive their first evaluation no later than at 7 years old. Although their teeth may not be fully developed, the advantage of early monitoring can provide insight into the direction your child’s teeth are growing so that any serious problems can be avoided or corrected as soon as possible.
What is an Orthodontist?
Orthodontists are highly-trained dentists who have been certified to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. Only 6% of dentists have continued through the orthodontist graduate program from an accredited American Dental Association school.
Orthodontists fix problems like crooked, crowded teeth or facial and oral deformities of the mouth that could have a direct effect on you or your child’s health. Orthodontics can greatly enhance a person’s self-esteem by giving them a healthy and confident smile. Below are a few symptoms that could make you eligible for orthodontic treatment:
- Malaligned front or back teeth
- Off-centered bite
- Crooked front teeth or protruding teeth
- Excessive gapping of front teeth
- Finger or thumb sucking after the age of 5
- Speech difficulty
- Mouth breathing
- Biting on the cheek or roof of mouth
- Difficulty biting or chewing
Why See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should get their first evaluation from an orthodontist no later than the age of 7. The advantage of early treatment is that child growth, which is rapid, can be monitored and utilized to optimize the child’s care and treatment plan. Guiding growth and development can prevent serious problems later on in life and can avoid more costly, invasive measures.
Treatment Options For Patients
Early phase treatment versus traditional treatment from an orthodontist is sometimes a hard choice to make as a parent. Our Make a Smile orthodontist office can help determine whether an early or traditional approach is best for you and your child. Early detection and treatment of a dental problem can help influence your child’s jaw and mouth growth. Phase 2 orthodontics is often used to straighten teeth, however, a second phase of braces is sometimes not needed and treatment time is greatly reduced when a child’s jaw is allowed to develop to its full potential with the use of early, Phase 1 treatment.
Our dentists are trained to detect early signs of dental problems. Early phase intervention may need to be initiated as early as 4 years old, although most children begin between the ages of 7 and 9, and the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children be evaluated no later than 7 years of age or at the first sign of problems.
Taking advantage of early Phase 1 treatment means your child’s growth can be monitored and utilized to optimize care. Guiding growth and development can prevent serious problems later on in life, such as creating room for crowded teeth to reduce the need for tooth removal.
Phase 2 treatment is more common and consists of straightforward orthodontics for adolescents and adults with erupted permanent teeth. Traditional orthodontics can be initiated any time after age 12. With the use of braces and other appliances, the permanent teeth are adjusted to a straighter position in the mouth, reducing discomfort and health problems associated with misaligned teeth, as well as creating a lasting cosmetic effect.
Types of Braces for Patients
Braces have advanced leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, offering patients a more tailored approach to orthodontics. Please discuss with your orthodontist which treatment is best for your child.
Traditional braces are the most commonly used for patients. They are designed with a small bracket that is adhered to the front of the tooth. These brackets can be made of metal, ceramic (clear/white), and gold. The ligatures (or bands) attached to the brackets help to guide the teeth to the proper position.
Retainers are a very important part of your treatment plan. A retainer is often used after you have had braces, aligners or other orthodontic appliances as a way to maintain the progress of the treatment plan. It is important that the patient continue to maintain their retention regimen to optimize a timely recovery.
There are three basic things you should know about retainers:
- Wear them as directed – A retainer can only work if you wear it. Remember, wearing your retainer is going to keep your smile beautiful.
- Keep it clean – whether it is removal or fixed, keeping your retainer clean is key to a healthy smile. Also, it is important that you continue your regular 6 month check up and cleaning.
- Handle them with care – you will need to take out your retainer from time to time, when you eat or if you are only supposed to wear it part of the day. It if very easy to damage or lose your retainer, so remember – if it’s not in your mouth…keep it in the case.
Invisalign is rapidly growing in popularity. The first design was created by Align and consists of a clear plastic brace with changeable trays or “aligners” that are customized for the patient. This treatment is not recommended for young children, however is regularly used for teenagers and adults with mild orthodontic problems.
Appliances Used By Orthodontists
Here are a few things to know about appliances used by Orthodontists:
- Separators are small elastic rings that are placed in-between teeth. The separator is used to push the molars apart using slight pressure. The separator is usually used for 1-2 weeks and is said to feel like a piece of meat stuck in your teeth.
- Elastics, or rubber bands, create pressure that will help to improve the fit of your teeth. Elastics may need to be changed throughout the day as the elasticity wears.
- Herbst Appliance is used to promote a correct relationship between the upper and the lower jaw, when the lower jaw is too far back relative to the upper jaw.
- Headgear uses the skull as an anchor in moving teeth and dental bones. Typically headgear is worn for only a limited time during the day and throughout night time, as determined by your orthodontist.
- Palatal Expander applies gentle pressure to the teeth or palate to help widen the upper jaw. An expander can be removable in design or glued temporarily in place.
- Holding Appliances are used in children to maintain space while waiting for permanent teeth to come in.
- Thumb/Tongue Cribs is used as a reminder device to help stop patients from harmful thumb/finger sucking or excessive tongue pressure habits. These habits are known to cause a distortion of dental arches and palate and an undesirable movement of teeth
Handling Issues With Braces at Home
While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, our office should always be notified if you’re having to address issues at home.
TOOLS + SUPPLIES
With these tools and supplies on hand, you will be prepared to handle the most common issues. Feel free to ask any of our staff where to purchase these supplies.
- relief wax
- Dental floss
- Disinfected tweezers
- Interproximal brush
- Non-prescription pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Topical Anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)
An “O” ring is the tiny rubber band or sometimes a very thin wire (ligature), that holds the wire in the bracket/brace. If a rubber o-ring should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with the tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation.
It’s normal to have some discomfort during a procedure as your teeth move however it should not last longer than a couple days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate some discomfort. If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple days, be sure to call and discuss with our staff.
Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be brought on by an irritation from braces. Several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips, or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but may be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab – reapply as needed. If after a couple days the discomfort does not resolve, call us or email us at our office to discuss.
IRRITATION IN MOUTH
Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. Wax can be purchased at any drug store if you are unable to get some from us at our Elk Grove office.
Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate the mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax.
LOOSE BRACES OR BANDS
If the braces or bands have come loose, call or email our Fairfield office to determine the appropriate next steps.
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Retainers are a very important part of your treatment plan. A retainer is often used after you have had braces, aligners or other orthodontic appliances as a way to maintain the progress of the treatment plan.