- What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
- Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
- What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
- Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
- Why should malocclusions be treated?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for un-erupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Cross-bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Open-bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
- Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
Dr. Tran has been treating children in the Bay Area for the past 20 years and believes in early evaluation to better plan for the best timing for treatment.
Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. These may include limited metal braces, translucent-clear braces or transparent aligners to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.
During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment options for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.
Type of Braces
Thanks to today’s technology, patients now have more options when it comes to wearing braces. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces are becoming increasingly popular along with removable appliances that can be used for mild cases of misaligned teeth.
Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive. Metal braces are still the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. These brackets will require elastic ties (with choice of colors).
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. These braces will not stain or discolor. With the same performance as metal braces, many patients are now choosing the clear option. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile.
Clarity™ braces feature a comfortable design with a translucent appearance. They are made from a hard ceramic material.
Gold braces are stainless steel braces coated with 24-karat gold and are popular with patients of all ages.
ClearCorrect is a clear aligner used to straighten teeth as an alternative to traditional braces. Similar to other clear aligner brands available to orthodontists certified to offer them to their patients. ClearCorrect straightens teeth using a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners that gradually move teeth a little bit at a time, eventually correcting the teeth and smile to elicit a new, revitalized look.
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we will demonstrate the overall functional and aesthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery. Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times, recovery periods and the overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as titanium plates and miniature screws provide stability, strength and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology, procedures and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the surgery.
Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you and refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Tran at MV Kids Dentists & Braces have teamed with several excellent surgeons in the bay area.
Financial and Insurance
It is our mission to provide you with affordable, high-quality treatment that fits your budget! We offer a variety of payment options to meet your needs. Our office accepts payments by cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. If you have any questions about financing or payment, ask us! We will thoroughly explain your choices and work hard to accommodate your needs.
If your insurance covers orthodontic treatment, you will receive the benefit of reduced personal costs. Many insurance policies have a lifetime orthodontic benefit that is distinct from regular dental insurance. Insurance policies vary, so we will review your insurance to determine the appropriate course of action. Once treatment has started, we will file your claims.
To help us with your insurance filing, please complete the insurance questions on our questionnaire.
Please remember that orthodontic insurance is a benefit for you or your child. If, during the course of treatment, your benefits change, the financially responsible party is accountable for all charges.
Now that you have your braces in place, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout the length of your treatment as it was before.
Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease.
During the retention phase, it is important to brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth as they can accumulate food particles and plaque.
Once a day, you should soak your appliance in a glass of room-temperature tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet, such as Polident or Efferdent. This will help prevent plaque build-up and oral infections and will keep your appliance tasting better. Do not use hot water as it can distort the appliance.
Your teeth may be a little sore for the first week in braces, so we recommend sticking to a soft food diet until the discomfort subsides. While in braces, you can still eat just about anything although there are a few exceptions.
You should avoid hard foods, such as ice and pizza crust, as well as sticky foods, including licorice and caramels. These foods can damage wires and brackets. It is also important to minimize foods high in sugar content, like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks to once a day.