Your Arnold, MO orthodontist at JL Dental uses traditional braces to create straight, healthy smiles
Doctors Jonathan and Laura Mears of JL Dental are family dentists who offer orthodontic treatment as part of their practice. They use traditional metal brackets to correct bite, tooth function and smile aesthetics in a typical 1 to 2 year process for youngsters and adults.
Traditional metal braces change facial appearance, improve the health and function of teeth and correct bite and alignment problems that can lead to gum disease, dental decay, tooth grinding and TMJ dysfunction later in life. Averaging 1 to 3 years, orthodontic treatment with metal brackets and archwires remains the fastest process with the most predictable and satisfactory results.
While individuals of all ages get braces these days, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends children get orthodontic screening by age 7. This early evaluation forestalls future dental problems almost before they start. Plus, teeth are just easier to reposition when the mouth is young.
Dr. Mears begins evaluation with a simple oral examination, looking the number and alignment of teeth and how the top and bottom jaws bite together. X-rays and photographs are often part of this initial evaluation, too.
At first, braces should move teeth to correct bite and align the top and bottom jaws. The Arnold, MO dentist also wants to ensure emerging teeth come in as straight as possible and to protect teeth that may be protruding or overlapping and crowding other teeth.
As treatment continues, goals change. The brackets and wires maneuver teeth into permanent position, and appearance becomes a priority.
Traditional orthodontic treatment corrects issues such as:
l cross bite
l over bite
l under bite
l open bite
l overlapping, crooked and crowded teeth
l teeth that are emerging improperly or not at all
l facial imbalances
l jaw misalignment
During a 1 to 2 hour dental appointment, Dr. Mears cleans and dries the teeth and then bonds the metal brackets onto the tooth surfaces. Metal archwires connect the brackets. While this process is not painful, teeth will be sore for a week or so afterwards as the mouth adjusts to the vector forces exerted on each tooth.
Periodic soreness continues through
out treatment, and sometimes mouth sores develop from the friction of the appliances against the soft tissues of the mouth. Placing special wax on selected areas alleviates friction, and products such as Orajel relieve pain.
The team at JL Dental recommends a soft diet for a few days and also use of over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen to alleviate discomfort. Patients should brush and floss 2 times daily, taking extra care to clean around brackets and between the teeth. Interdental brushes and water flossing devices remove plaque and food particles efficiently when used each day.
Patients see their Arnold, MO orthodontist every few weeks or so for adjustments on their braces.
They also should eat a healthy diet and avoid extra-hard, sticky or sugary foods.
Orthodontics could help your smile
You may have questions about braces for your child or for you! Contact the office at JL Dental to arrange a consultation. Bring your questions because Doctors Jonathan and Laura Mears will be happy to answer them.