Welcome to Make a Smile Dental in Rocklin, CA!
At our Make a Smile orthodontics office, your child’s smile is in great hands! Our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontics staff work with both the patient and parents to ensure great care and service. We are dedicated to the correction of adolescent dental irregularities through the use of our personalized, friendly service and state of the art facility. We offer preventive care and tailor oral treatments to suit your individual growing child’s health needs.
Many adults never received orthodontic procedures as a child while others have seen their previously straight teeth relapse over time. Whatever the reason, treatment can be successful at any age. In fact, one out of every five patients in dental treatment is over the age of 21. The advancements of dentistry care treatment has given orthodontists new techniques and appliances that allow for a quicker, more comfortable oral 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 option will fit their lifestyle best.
Kids and Parent Patient Program
The Parents and Children Together Program is unique to Make a Smile Dentistry. This program allows parents to become directly involved by undergoing their own procedures right beside their child, becoming their treatment partner. If you are interested, contact our office for more information.
What to Expect at an Orthodontist Consultation
The first appointment with our orthodontist will be used to determine the best course of dental 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 team by asking questions and letting them know any of your concerns. This will also help them come up with the best orthodontics treatment plan for you. Whether it be braces or just a simple cleaning, we’re here to answer all of you orthodontic questions.
WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
An orthodontist is a highly-trained dental professional who has been certified to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. Only 6% of dentists have continued through a graduate program from an accredited American Dental Association school.
Orthodontics fix conditions 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. An orthodontist 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 VISIT AN ORTHODONTIST?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should get their first evaluation no later than the age of 7. The advantage of an early procedure is that child growth, which is rapid, can be monitored and utilized to optimize the child’s oral care treatment plan. Guiding growth and development can prevent serious conditions later on in life and can avoid more costly, invasive measures.
Patient Treatment Options
Choosing between early phase versus traditional orthodontic treatment options can be hard to decide as a parent but your dentist can help determine which approach is best for you and your child. Early detection and treatment of a problem can help influence your child’s jaw and mouth growth. Phase 2 is often used to straighten teeth, however a second phase of braces is sometimes not needed and the procedure 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 and dental team are trained to detect early signs of conditions that may require you or your child to get orthodontic treatment. Early phase intervention may need to be initiated for those even as young as 4 years old, although most children begin between the ages of 7 and 9, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children get evaluated no later than 7 years of age or at the first sign of orthodontic problems.
Taking advantage of phase 1 means your child’s growth can be monitored and utilized to optimize care, possibly erasing a need for braces. 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 is more common and consists of straightforward orthodontics for adolescents and adults with an erupted permanent tooth. Traditional cosmetic care can be initiated any time after age 12, such as the application of braces. Through 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
Braces have advanced leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, offering patients a more tailored approach. Please discuss with your orthodontist which option is best for your child.
Traditional braces are the most commonly used for children. Braces 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 orthodontics plan. A retainer is often used after you have had braces, aligners, or other appliances as a way to maintain the progress of the procedure plan. It is important that the patient continue to maintain their retention regimen to optimize a timely recovery.
There are three basic things patients should know about retainers and braces:
- Wear them as directed – A retainer can only work if you wear it. Wearing your retainer is going to keep your teeth in the proper alignment.
- Keep it clean – whether it can be removed 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 remove your retainer from time to time such as when you need to eat, but it is very easy to damage or lose your retainer. Just remember to always put it in it’s case if it’s not in your mouth.
Invisalign is rapidly growing in popularity. The first design was created by Align Technology and consists of a clear plastic brace with changeable trays or “aligners” that are generally swapped out weekly and customized for each patient. This orthodontic procedure is not recommended for young children, however it is regularly used for teenagers and adults with mild problems in place of traditional braces.
Here are a few things to know about Orthodontic appliances:
- 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 the nighttime, as determined by your dentist.
- 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 arches and palate and an undesirable movement of teeth.
HANDLING ORTHODONTIC ISSUES AT HOME
While there are steps you can make to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, our office staff should always be notified if you’re having to address orthodontic 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 Rocklin 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 Rocklin 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.