Don’t Let Crooked Teeth Negatively Affect Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Healthy, straight teeth can give your child improved confidence, a positive self-image and an increase in his or her self-esteem: Sadly, a lot of times, crooked teeth cause a child to feel the exact opposite. Besides causing issues with confidence; did you know that crooked teeth can even negatively affect your child’s overall health and well-being? These are all good reasons to take your child to an orthodontist for an evaluation early on.

What causes crooked teeth?

Genetics is the main reason for crooked teeth. If mom and/or dad had braces, the likelihood of their child needing braces is high. An injury to the mouth, poorly placed dental implants or fillings are some other reasons a child may need braces.

Understanding how crooked teeth affect your child’s self-esteem.

Appearance means a lot, while some people are naturally blessed with a set of almost perfectly aligned teeth; others are not so lucky. Sadly, if your child is unhappy with the way his or her teeth look, smiles and laughing-out-loud may become a rarity. Consider how being afraid to laugh-out-loud and smile affects every happy moment that your child experiences: All your child needs is an orthodontist to help create the beautiful smile that he or she deserves.

Children who have crooked teeth may be shy and reserved.

Feeling embarrassed about his or her teeth could cause your child to be hesitant about doing the things that he or she would really like to do: For example, this embarrassment and low self-esteem could keep your child from joining the Speech and Debate team, running for class president, enjoying social activities or make it difficult to stand in front of the class and read an essay. The importance of having a high self-esteem and confidence in oneself is evident because it is these characteristics that allow an individual to accomplish the things that he or she sets out to do.

First impressions last forever.

When meeting someone new, one of the first things an individual sees is the other person’s mouth. First impressions are made based on appearance, and having teeth that look bad can lead to someone making a false judgment about your child. While unfortunate, first impressions always remain in the back of the mind. So, if your child feels bad about his or her teeth, making new friends may be difficult.

Use orthodontic treatment to boost your child’s self-confidence.

There are several orthodontic treatment options available at Docbraces that are designed to help gently move your child’s teeth into more desirable positions.

The teeth-straightening and misaligned jaw treatments we offer at Docbraces include:

  • Invisalign Teen.
  • Clear Braces.
  • Damon Clear.
  • Friction-Free Braces.
  • Express Smiles.
  • Coloured Braces.
  • Various Expansion Appliances.
  • Mara.

With a little assistance from the orthodontists at Docbraces, you can give your child the self-esteem boost that he or she needs to feel confident and enjoy all the activities that he or she previously shied away from.

How crooked teeth affect your child’s health and well-being.

Crooked teeth are definitely an aesthetic issue; however, they impact more than just your child’s confidence level. Many other aspects of your child’s life are affected by crooked teeth, including his or her physical health and well-being.

Some serious health issues linked to crooked teeth:

  • Gum disease
    • Even if your child’s teeth do not cause discomfort or pain, there may still be issues. When the teeth are misaligned and positioned at awkward angles, cleaning them correctly is a challenge. Being unable to properly care for his or her teeth can lead to an increase in bacterial growth.
  • A misaligned bite
    • Although a misaligned bite may not seem like a problem, this condition can affect your child’s life in several unseen ways. Your child may have trouble chewing food properly, which can lead to headaches. Also, with misaligned teeth, the risk of breaking a tooth increases. Some people even choose not to eat very often to keep from having the pain that occurs when they do.

Gum disease, explained.

Bacteria are naturally in the mouth. Some bacteria are harmless and even necessary; however, there are also harmful bacteria. These harmful bacteria feed on the food particles and sugars that are left behind after an individual eats or drinks. As the bacteria feed, they create a sticky film on the teeth that is called plaque. Plaque is constantly being created: This plaque is harmful because it helps the bacteria stick to the teeth.

The acid the bacteria create as they eat damages the tooth enamel, which is the hard, protective coating on each tooth. As this hard coating is damaged, the risk of developing tooth decay and cavities increases. Also, the plaque builds up on the teeth and, if not removed on a regular basis (within 24 to 72 hours), it hardens into tartar. Once plaque becomes tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional. Once tartar builds up on the teeth, it helps the bacteria-filled plaque thrive, eventually leading to gum disease.

The Docbraces Difference

At Docbraces, we are committed to treating the entire family, which is why we offer family discounts, flexible appointment times, a T-Link online patient portal, a rewards hub incentive program and convenient, interest-free payment plans that do not require a credit check. Each patient is unique, which is why Docbraces’ orthodontists take the time to create each patient an individualized treatment plan.

Each of our facilities, which are in Ontario and throughout the Maritime provinces, offers orthodontic care from dental professionals who have access to, and are experienced with, the most innovative dental solutions available. All our orthodontists are devoted to providing high-quality orthodontic care to help our patients reach their aesthetic goals so when they look in the mirror and smile, they love what they see. To schedule your complimentary initial consultation, book online or contact Docbraces today at 1-866-639-7695. For individuals who prefer to contact us online, please click here.

Recognizing and Treating a Child’s Misaligned Jaw

What is a misaligned jaw (malocclusion)?

When a child has malocclusion, his or her upper and lower teeth do not come together correctly upon closing the mouth. For example, if a child’s upper teeth stick out farther than his or her lower teeth do, this is referred to as an ‘overbite.’ When the lower teeth jut out ahead of the upper, this is called an ‘underbite.’

What are the symptoms of a misaligned jaw?

The symptoms of malocclusion can vary, with some being complex. The impact these symptoms have on a child are physical, but, due to the way this condition affects so many areas of a child’s life, they are also emotional. Although problems vary from one child to the next and depend on how severe the condition is, experts have identified three issues that most children with this condition face.

These 3 issues include:

  1. Abnormal breathing — when the jaw is not aligned correctly, a child may be forced to breathe through the mouth, which can lead to other health problems.
  2. Trouble chewing — misalignment makes the jaws crash into one another as a child chews. This causes pain and discomfort while chewing.
  3. An odd facial structure — when the jaw is misaligned, the child’s facial structure is negatively affected. Many of the children with malocclusion used pacifiers for an extended period or had a habit of sucking their thumbs. Unfortunately, a misaligned jaw can make a child feel self-conscious.

Other symptoms of a misaligned jaw:

  • Trouble speaking and sleeping.
  • Discomfort, even while the jaw is at rest.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth all the way.
  • A clicking or popping of the temporomandibular joint.
  • Jaw tenderness.
  • Continuous aching in the face.
  • Pain in and/or around the ear.
  • Locking of the jaw, making it hard to open and/or close the mouth.

These issues are difficult to live with; however, technological advancements are allowing orthodontists to successfully correct misaligned jaws.

One potential complication of malocclusion is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).

TMJ is a painful, potentially lifelong condition that can affect several areas of a child’s life.

What is the temporomandibular joint?

The temporomandibular joint is located where the base of the skull and lower jaw meet. The ligaments and muscles that surround the joint work together, allowing movement.

The health of these muscles and ligaments, as well as the health and position of a child’s teeth, contributes to the proper alignment and correct functioning of the temporomandibular joint.

Symptoms of TMJ:

  • Problems opening and closing the mouth.
  • Ringing in the ear.
  • Ear pain.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Headaches.
  • Jaw fatigue.
  • An uneven jaw opening.
  • Inflammation around the temporomandibular joint.
  • A jaw that gets stuck (locks).
  • Painful clicking or popping of the temporomandibular joint.
  • Uneven jaw movements (vertical or lateral).
  • A tender temporomandibular joint that hurts when touched.

Treating TMJ.

The treatment recommended depends on how severe the TMJ is. However, potential treatments include jaw exercises, physical therapy, medications, injections into the joint and/or surgical intervention.

Outlook for a child with TMJ.

A child with mild symptoms of TMJ typically does well with anti-inflammatory medications and home care. More severe symptoms may require dental treatments, physical therapy or joint surgery.

Recognizing a misaligned jaw.

Although most parents realize the importance of taking their child for an orthodontic evaluation once they turn 7 years of age, they may not know the signs indicating that immediate orthodontic attention is necessary. By identifying issues in the early stages, a treatment plan can be prepared and implemented in the near future.

5 warning signs that your child needs to see an orthodontist, even though he or she is under the age of 7:

  1. Crowded or crooked teeth.
  2. Frequently having an open mouth.
  3. Abnormal jaw growth, malocclusion.
  4. An unusual jaw structure or bite.
  5. A prolonged thumb-sucking habit (6 years of age and older).

Treating a misaligned jaw.

Correcting bad habits (e.g., teeth grinding, chewing gum, etc.) — if your child has bruxism and grinds his or her teeth while asleep, there are mouth guards available to help prevent the grinding.

Potential treatments include:

  • Braces — many times, orthodontic braces can help with proper alignment. Braces can gradually move the teeth into their proper locations. Traditional metal braces consist of cement brackets connected to the teeth and then to one another using wire. Over the period of one to three years, the wires will be tightened.
  • Headgear braces — if the misalignment cannot be addressed with traditional braces, headgear braces may be recommended. Retraction headgear is designed to move the upper jaw backward; whereas, protraction headgear moves it forward. These braces are typically worn 12 to 14 hours a day.
  • A reverse pull face mask — this device is designed to correct an underbite. The reverse pull face mask is worn overnight. Metal braces are affixed to the upper back teeth. These are then attached to a face mask that wraps around the head, pulling the upper jaw backward.
  • An upper jaw expander — to correct an underbite, this wire framed device fits across the patient’s upper palate. Every night, a special key is used to widen the expander.
  • Surgical intervention — if the misalignment is severe, fixed plates, wires and screws may need to be used. Surgery is always the last resort and only recommended when a child’s misaligned jaw is affecting his or her everyday functions (e.g., speaking, sleeping and eating, etc.).

Helping your child care for his or her teeth during orthodontic treatment.

During treatment, helping your child care for his or her teeth is just as important as before; however, it may be a bit more challenging. As before, your child should brush twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Flossing (or using a Waterpik®, water flosser) at least once a day is his or her best chance at having a healthy, cavity-free mouth once treatment is complete.

Although jaw misalignment can be serious, an experienced orthodontist can permanently fix the problem. With the numerous treatment options available, having a jaw that aligns well can be accomplished. Talk to one of the orthodontists at DocBraces to see which treatment option for a misaligned jaw is best for your child.

Why Docbraces?

At Docbraces, we are committed to providing families with state-of-the-art facilities and innovative dental solutions using the most recent advancements available. Our patients can count on receiving high-quality orthodontic care from experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping them attain the smile they have always wanted.

We offer flexible appointment times, family discounts, a rewards hub incentive program and a T-Link online patient portal. We know that each patient is unique, which is why we provide every patient with an individualized orthodontic treatment plan designed to meet his or her dental and aesthetic goals.

We have facilities located in Ontario and throughout the Maritime provinces. Each new patient receives a free initial consultation or second opinion. To schedule your complimentary consultation, please call 1-866-639-7695. If you would prefer to contact us online, please click here.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Children

We have all heard about the effects that sleep apnea has on adults; but what about the effects of sleep apnea in children? The impact that this disorder has on children may surprise you.

Understanding Sleep Apnea in Children

Just as with adults, children who have sleep apnea wake up on-and-off due to a brief interruption of airflow through their upper airway. Each time this interruption occurs, the oxygen level in the blood may fall and/or the brain may be stimulated to wake the body to resume a normal breathing pattern. This cycle continues all night long.

Recognizing Sleep Apnea

If your child snores, has long pauses in breathing, experiences night sweats, and/or tosses and turns, sleep apnea may be the cause. Sleep apnea may also be linked to bedwetting, mouth breathing and sleepwalking.

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

Up to 25 percent of the children who are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have obstructive sleep apnea, which is contributing to their behaviour problems and learning difficulties.

Metabolic issues, hormone problems and failure to thrive can all be caused by sleep apnea. In fact, there are several recent studies showing a connection between sleep apnea and childhood obesity. Judith Owens, M.D., is the director of sleep medicine at the National Children’s Medical Center in Washington, D.C. According to Dr. Owens, one of the keys to preventing the onset of childhood obesity is an adequate amount of healthy sleep.

Sleep Apnea and ADHD

It is believed that sleep apnea causes a continuous shifting between the lighter and deeper stages of sleep, this shifting is referred to as ‘sleep fragmentation.’ Adults who have sleep apnea experience drowsiness during the day; however, a child becomes hyperactive and unruly. This disrupted sleep can also cause a child to experience anxiety, have problems interacting with others and suffer with the symptoms of depression.

The Connection Between a Slow Growth Rate and Disrupted Sleep

Since hormones are produced and secreted during the deep, slow-wave stage of the sleep cycle, it is believed that the interrupted sleep disrupts the production and secretion of hormones, including the hormone responsible for stimulating growth.

Evaluating and Treating Children with Sleep Apnea

If you think that your child may have sleep apnea, he or she needs to be evaluated by a pediatric sleep specialist. In addition, the orthodontists at DocBraces can examine your child’s mouth to see if an orthodontic problem is causing or contributing to the disorder.

Treating sleep apnea in children usually requires a multi-disciplinary approach: Treatments may include a tonsillectomy, allergy treatment, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and/or rapid maxillary expansion (RME).

Orthodontic Treatment for Sleep Apnea

RME is the treatment orthodontists use to slowly widen the forward section of the roof of the mouth. Once this area is wider, air can move more freely through the nose, and into the throat and lungs.

Since the maxilla’s growth plate fuses later in childhood, RME treatment should begin between the ages of 3 and 10.  Directly following placement of the brace and after adjustments your child may experience some mild pain. The brace is not visible outside of the mouth and will not affect the way your child eats or speaks.

What to Expect During RME Treatment

During treatment, the rapid maxillary expansion device (i.e., the butterfly brace) is used to slowly increase the width of the maxilla. The butterfly brace slides over a few of the child’s back teeth.

As time passes, adjustments are made to the brace using a special key. These adjustments gradually increase the amount of pressure being applied to the child’s teeth and hard palate.

The impact that untreated sleep apnea can have on a child makes it abundantly clear that recognizing and treating this disorder is vital. If you suspect your child may have sleep apnea, call 1-866-639-7695 or click here to schedule a free consultation with a DocBraces orthodontist today. Our experienced orthodontists have the specialized training necessary to address orthodontic issues related to sleep apnea.

The Docbraces Difference

At Docbraces, we offer family discounts, flexible hours, a T-Link online patient portal and a patient rewards hub incentive program. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the high-quality, individualized, orthodontic care they need to reach their aesthetic and dental goals.

Docbraces has state-of-the art facilities located throughout the Maritime provinces and in Ontario. New patients receive free consultations and second opinions are complimentary as well. As long as your insurance company has the system and processes in place, we are happy to bill your insurance provider directly. In addition, we offer interest-free financing plans that do not require a credit check.

An Orthodontist Can Address Issues Related to Permanent Tooth Eruption

Diagnosing and treating problems related to permanent (i.e., secondary or adult) tooth eruption early on may prevent the need for more expensive orthodontic treatments in the future.

Seek Treatment Early When Adult Teeth Do Not Erupt

By the time your child turns 7 years old, our orthodontists can usually tell if problems related to permanent tooth eruption are present.

Early treatment offers a variety of benefits:

  • If problems related to tooth eruption are treated early on, future treatment may be simplified and less expensive.
  • The eruption of teeth is linked to craniofacial growth and development: It is during this time that several intricate processes take place. For this reason, avoiding treatment could lead to abnormal development and/or growth, which may result in a lengthy treatment time that is costly.
  • If a primary (i.e., baby) tooth falls out due to an accident or gum disease, the adult tooth eruption process may be affected.
  • If just one adult tooth erupts in the wrong place, all the spacing for the remaining 31 teeth are affected.

These are a few of the reasons that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children see an orthodontist at 7, sooner if problems are present.

Some Orthodontic Problems Need to be Monitored

Children who have skeletal orthodontic problems will need to be monitored: These children will visit Docbraces every 6 to 8 months for an examination. To make sure that your child’s treatment is performed at the perfect time, this process is essential.

Tooth Eruption Problems That Docbraces’ Orthodontists Frequently Address

Early orthodontic treatment can be used to address major problems, to prevent the onset of more severe problems and to simplify future treatment.

Tooth eruption problems include:

  • Impacted Teeth/Insufficient Space — when there is not enough space in the mouth, adult teeth may not be able to erupt. These teeth may be completely blocked by another tooth or have an irregular eruption path. When impaction occurs, the gum, bone and roots become damaged.
  • Malocclusion — when the baby teeth fall out due to injury or decay, the adult teeth may start shifting as they erupt, which results in misaligned teeth.
  • An Adult Tooth is Facing the Wrong Way — if an adult tooth does not follow the direction of its corresponding baby tooth, it may erupt in a different location.
  • The Baby Tooth is Ankylosed — when a primary tooth does not loosen and fall out, it may be fused with the bone. This issue can make it difficult or impossible for the adult tooth to erupt. Left untreated, nearby adult teeth may move, which can cause bone loss.
  • Anodontia or Partial Anodontia (i.e., Hypodontia) — these terms refer to a genetic condition. If an individual has this condition, some of his or her teeth never develop. The total absence of teeth (anodontia) is rare. Hypodontia, which refers to the absence of a tooth or several teeth, is seen more frequently.  Typically, if the baby tooth is missing, so is the adult tooth; however, the presence of a baby tooth does not guarantee an adult tooth exists.

The Connection Between the Order of Tooth Eruption and Overcrowding

Preventing the development or intercepting the path of a malocclusion is a much less complicated and more economical solution than just waiting to correct the issues it causes later.

According to the case-control study Tooth Eruption Sequence and Dental Crowding, the order in which a child’s teeth erupt can help determine which children are likely to develop a malocclusion related to a tooth size arch length discrepancy (TSALD). This study concludes that routine screening can help diagnose children who are at risk of developing mild to severe overcrowding. Once these children are identified, a treatment plan can be created.

Choose an Experienced Orthodontist

An experienced orthodontist not only focuses on reaching an individual’s aesthetic goals, but also considers the physiological factors related to the patient’s jaw structure and alignment. Parents can help their children attain a beautiful smile and maintain optimum orthodontic health by choosing a Docbraces’ orthodontist to care for their teeth. At Docbraces, we know that each patient is unique, which is why we create custom-designed treatment plans. When we tailor a treatment to meet the needs of a specific patient, he or she receives the best results possible.

Docbraces: Affordable, High-Quality Orthodontic Care

Docbraces offers affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for the whole family. We strive to provide each of our patients with innovative dental treatments at the most reasonable prices available in and around the Maritimes.

The Docbraces Difference

At each of our state-of-the-art locations we offer incentive programs, interest-free payment plans that require no credit check, family discounts, online patient portals as well as free initial consultations and second opinions.

Let us help you and your child attain the smile you long for. To schedule a free consultation with one of our orthodontists, call 1-866-639-7695 today or, if you prefer, just click here to fill out our online appointment request form. We have offices located in Ottawa and London, Ontario; Moncton, New Brunswick; Summerside and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; as well as, Dartmouth, Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia.

Recognizing Bad Habits Damaging Your Child’s Teeth

We all know the importance of teaching our children how to brush and floss, but most of us don’t even think about all the other things they do that could be damaging their teeth. Recognizing and addressing the bad habits affecting your child’s teeth now can help prevent serious dental issues from developing in the future.

Bad Habits That Are Damaging Your Child’s Teeth

Thumb/Finger Sucking

Once a child’s permanent teeth have started to erupt, thumb/finger sucking can cause permanent changes to the tooth and jaw structure.  A 5-year-old child who is still sucking on his or her thumb/finger can cause the teeth to become misaligned, making it difficult to chew and/or breathe.

Eating Sticky, Sugary Foods and Drinking Soda

There is no doubt that chewy, sticky, sugary foods taste great; however, these treats can linger around your child’s teeth for hours. Instead of giving your child sticky candies randomly throughout the day, consider giving them with a meal. When your child eats a meal, saliva production increases. The increase in saliva production helps rinse away the candy.

Just like candy, sodas contain a lot of sugar. On top of the sugar, these drinks contain acid. Left on the teeth, this acid can damage the enamel. Try to switch from soda to fresh water. If your child is going to drink soda, do not let him or her sip on it all day long; instead, have your child drink the entire glass within just a few minutes. Follow it up with a rinse of fresh water to help get the acid off of his or her teeth.

Brushing and/or Flossing Incorrectly

Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth twice a day with a child-sized toothbrush: Brush once in the morning and again before bed.

Flossing teeth is just as important as brushing. If you are not sure how to teach your child to floss correctly, just ask for a demonstration the next time you visit our office.

Brushing Too Hard or Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush

Using a toothbrush that is too hard or brushing too vigorously can weaken the enamel and cause gum irritation. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a soft-bristled toothbrush be used. To keep from brushing too hard, tell your child to think massage, not scrub.

Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding Can Wreak Havoc on Your Child’s Teeth

Sometimes, children grind their teeth while they sleep or due to anxiety while they are awake. In addition, stress can cause your child to clench his or her jaw. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to jaw pain, and a wearing down of the teeth. A custom-designed mouth guard can be worn at night to protect the teeth while the child sleeps. Left untreated, the teeth may crack and chip. If you think your child may be stressed, consider making time for a trip to the park: Exercise tends to help reduce stress.

Munching on Ice

Although an ice cube seems harmless, its hard exterior and cold temperature can seriously damage the teeth. Keep your child from being tempted to chew on ice by either eliminating the use of ice or, if ice is used, providing a straw.

Using Their Teeth as a Handy Tool

Since our teeth are always there, many people consider them to be the handiest tooth they have; however, they were never meant to take on the role of scissors or bottle openers. If your children are using their teeth as tools, it is best to stop this habit now. Using the teeth to bite off a price tag, open a bag of chips or carry something through the house can lead to the fracture or complete chipping off of a weakened tooth.

Holding Objects Between Their Teeth

It is not uncommon for people who are concentrating to place pencils, pens or eyeglasses between their teeth; however, biting down on these items can cause teeth to fracture, crack or even shift.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a nervous habit that causes the jaw to remain forward for an extended period of time, which leads to jaw dysfunction. In addition, nail-biting can cause chipped teeth. Try to break this habit by keeping the hands busy and/or using a bitter-tasting nail polish.

Continuous Snacking

Snacking all day increases the risk of developing cavities. As bacteria eat the remaining food, they begin producing acid. This acid attacks the enamel of the teeth, causing it to weaken. Weakened enamel leads to tooth decay. The best way to counteract snacking is to drink a large glass of water after eating.

What Makes Docbraces Unique?

At Docbraces, we are dedicated to providing our patients with ground-breaking dental treatments at reasonable prices. We offer family discounts, interest-free payment plans and incentive programs. Our goal is to make the most innovative dental treatments affordable for everyone in and around Atlantic Canada. Docbraces offers free consultations, complimentary second opinions and T-Link online patient portals. If your child is demonstrating some bad habits, contact our office today at 1-866-639-7695 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists.

Prevent Orthodontic Problems Through Early Intervention

Genetics can play a major role in misaligned teeth; therefore, if either biological parent had, or should have had, orthodontic treatment, chances are their child will need some type of treatment as well. However, there are also several non-genetic issues that can result in the need for orthodontic treatment. For example, children who use a pacifier, drink a bottle and/or suck on their fingers or thumbs for an extended length of time can negatively affect the growth of their mouths. These habits typically lead to an overbite as well as an irregularly-shaped palate (i.e., the roof of the mouth): Orthodontic treatment is necessary to fix these irregularities. If you think that orthodontic treatment may be in your child’s future, you might be able to prevent orthodontic problems through early intervention.

Some benefits of seeking early orthodontic treatment:

  • Reduce the Likelihood that permanent (i.e., secondary) teeth will need to be extracted.
  • Prevent the development of a serious orthodontic issue.
  • Create enough space for the secondary teeth to erupt.
  • Help guide the permanent teeth into position.
  • Correct the shape and size of small, awkwardly-shaped jaws (e.g., a crossbite).
  • Reduce the likelihood that the protruding permanent teeth will sustain an injury during eruption.
  • Intercept a developing orthodontic problem before it progresses into a more serious issue.
  • Reduce the likelihood of jaw surgery to address an underbite.

Prevent Orthodontic Problems Through Early Intervention

Unless a problem is noticed sooner, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child visit an orthodontist once he or she turns 7 years old. At Docbraces we know the importance of early intervention, which is one of the reasons this initial consultation is complimentary.

Besides providing an overall pleasing appearance, teeth that work well together allow your child to bite and then chew food correctly. In addition, properly aligned teeth contribute to his or her ability to speak clearly.

During your child’s initial orthodontic checkup at Docbraces, an examination is performed to determine if there are any existing orthodontic problems as well as whether a future problem is developing. If early treatment is indicated, the goal is to improve the environment prior to the permanent teeth erupting. This early orthodontic treatment is frequently referred to as Phase 1.

Early orthodontic treatments and what they can address:

  • Early treatment may be as simple as the removal of a baby tooth so the underlying permanent tooth can erupt into its appropriate place.
  • If the upper jaw is extremely narrow, the permanent teeth may not have an adequate amount of room to erupt. When orthodontic treatment is sought early, a palate expander can be used to widen the jaw.
  • Habit appliances can be used to help children stop finger- and thumb-sucking.

Once most of the secondary teeth are in, braces may be recommended. At this point, braces will optimize the alignment between the teeth and the jaw. When braces are recommended following these early treatments, this is referred to as Phase 2.

Early Orthodontic Treatment (Phase 1) vs. Comprehensive Treatment (Phase 2)

Phase 1 treatment is performed when the top jaw is still growing and the child has a mixture of permanent and baby teeth (7 to 12 years of age).

Phase 2 treatment begins after the majority of the permanent teeth have erupted and the child’s face is actively growing (12 to 18 years of age). This second-phase of treatment is designed to ensure each tooth is in a precise location within the mouth where it balances perfectly with the tongue, lips, cheeks and other teeth. During the second-phase of treatment, a child usually wears a full set of braces (upper and lower). Once these braces are removed, retainers are worn to maintain the straight teeth and preserve his or her beautiful smile

Docbraces: Expert Orthodontists and State-of-the-Art Facilities

Our patients are important to us, which is why we offer innovative, personalized treatment plans, incentive programs, flexible office hours, T-Link online portals, family discounts, interest-free payment plans and complimentary initial consultations, including second opinions. If you have a child 7 years of age or older, who has yet to see an orthodontist for an evaluation, contact Docbraces today at 1-866-639-7695 or click here to make an appointment with one of our expert orthodontists.

At Docbraces, we are dedicated to providing patients with the highest-quality of care at our beautifully-designed, patient-oriented, state-of-the-art-facilities. Our offices are located in Moncton, Truro, London, Charlottetown, Summerside, Ottawa, Halifax, Amherst and Dartmouth.

10 Reasons Why You Should Take Your 7-Year-Old to the Orthodontist

Unless you notice that your child is experiencing an orthodontic problem sooner, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist once they reach the age of 7. By the time your child turns 7, enough permanent teeth have erupted for an orthodontist to decide if orthodontic treatment is necessary and, if so, which treatment options would provide the best results. There are numerous reasons your 7-year-old should see an orthodontist, 10 of the top reasons are listed below. At Docbraces, we know the importance of early intervention which is why we offer complimentary orthodontic screenings at all of our Maritime practices.

1. An orthodontic screening can detect current and future problems.

During the initial orthodontist visit, your child will receive an orthodontic screening to determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed sooner, rather than later. The orthodontic screening process includes an examination of your child’s jaws and teeth. In addition, the orthodontist will want to inspect his or her bite pattern. Once the screening is complete, your child’s orthodontist will discuss any issues of concern with you. If there are current issues that need to be addressed, potential treatments will be discussed; otherwise, observational visits will most likely be recommended.

Whether your little one requires two-phase treatment or just needs to be observed, early visits with an orthodontist will help guide your child down the path to maintaining a healthy, vibrant smile for life.

2. Early intervention can prevent the onset of complex orthodontic issues.

This is one of the most important reasons your 7-year-old should see an orthodontist. If an issue is discovered during your child’s orthodontic screening, treatment may be able to begin right away. During this time, the jaws and teeth can be guided easily; thus, preventing more complex orthodontic issues in the future. This type of intervention is referred to as two-phase treatment.

The two-phase treatment:

  • The first-phase addresses issues related to the jaws and the second-phase is geared toward redirecting the teeth with Invisalign or braces, followed by the use of a retainer to maintain the results.

3. An orthodontist can identify and address bad habits affecting the teeth, and mouth.

Self-soothing habits such as tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking negatively affect your child’s mouth, and teeth. Other issues that can wreak havoc on the structure of your child’s mouth and teeth include prolonged bottle, and/or dummy use, mouth breathing as well as teeth grinding. An early visit to the orthodontist can help prevent these habits from escalating. If left untreated, jaw surgery and/or future extractions may be necessary.

4. To check your child’s jaw alignment.

If your child has a misaligned jaw, numerous problems can result: By proactively seeking orthodontic treatment for your 7-year-old, this issue can be addressed while the teeth and jaws are still actively growing.

By addressing this problem early on, your child will not need to undergo the more complicated procedure that is used to correct a misaligned jaw when it is left untreated until the active growing phase is complete.

5. To improve your child’s confidence level.

This is another extremely important reason for your 7-year-old to see an orthodontist. An imbalanced jaw, crowded and crooked teeth or spaces between the teeth can negatively affect a child’s confidence level, especially during his or her formative years. Sadly, a child may avoid smiling or even stop speaking in an attempt to detract attention away from his or her mouth. Seeking treatment early-on may result in the implementation of the two-phase treatment plan, which will help your child’s confidence level as he or she notices the positive changes underway.

The two-phase treatment is used when development or function issues are present; however, it offers some cosmetic benefits as well.

6. To determine if there are missing teeth or extra teeth beneath the gumline.

At your child’s first orthodontic visit, x-rays are taken. The orthodontist uses these x-rays to determine if your child has any extra teeth or if any permanent teeth are missing. In addition, these images are used to make sure that your child’s teeth are erupting and falling out according to the Canada Dental Association’s dental development chart.

Extra teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth. While these supernumerary teeth are usually extracted, if alignment or eruption issues result, your child may be a good candidate for the two-phase treatment plan.

7. To recognize and treat issues related to permanent teeth early on.

By the time your child turns 7, he or she has most likely reached several important dental milestones. The first permanent molars have probably erupted behind the baby teeth. In addition, the primary front teeth have been replaced with permanent incisors. These incisors are substantially larger than the primary teeth that they replaced; therefore, many children have some crooked teeth due to a bit of crowding at this stage.

If the permanent incisors do not come in as expected, an extra tooth/teeth may be blocking them. Detecting and addressing this issue at an early stage is crucial; otherwise, impaction of the unerupted teeth may result.

8. Orthodontists can help guide the eruption of permanent teeth.

X-rays allow the orthodontist to see the teeth that have yet to erupt: If it seems that the unerupted teeth do not have any room or that they will erupt at abnormal angles, a treatment plan will be created to guide them into place. By guiding these teeth, the likelihood of extraction due to overcrowding decreases. Furthermore, during the second-phase of treatment, braces or Invisalign can be used to create a stable bite and healthy, beautiful smile.

9. To help determine if your child has a medical disorder called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder, which is why this may be one of the most important reasons your 7-year-old should see an orthodontist. When an individual has this disorder, breathing stops and restarts continuously while he or she is asleep. Children with sleep apnea may snore and gasp for air, wake up feeling tired, have trouble staying awake throughout the day and/or wet the bed.

Small, constricted jaws can cause sleep apnea:

  • Sometimes, sleep apnea occurs when a child has small, constricted jaws. Working with a sleep specialist and an ear, nose, and throat specialist, an orthodontist can expand the upper jaw to increase the amount of air flowing through the nasal airway; thus, improving the child’s ability to breathe properly during sleep.

10. Following your child’s complimentary visit, if necessary, a cost-effective treatment plan can be created.

Since treatment plans vary, so do costs. Once your child’s complimentary initial orthodontic visit is complete, if treatment is necessary, the orthodontist will be able to give you an idea as to what treatment will serve your child the best. By knowing what your child’s orthodontic options are, you can begin planning for his or her future dental care.

Docbraces: A Step Above the Rest

At Docbraces, we continuously strive to be a step above the rest. To accomplish this, we offer our patients T-Link online portals, state-of-the-art-facilities, innovative treatment plans, flexible hours, incentive programs, family discounts, complimentary consultations (including second opinions) and interest-free payment plans.

If your child is 7 years old, it is time for his or her orthodontic evaluation: Contact Docbraces today to schedule a complimentary orthodontic screening with an expert orthodontist at one of our Maritime practices. We have offices located in Charlottetown, Halifax, Moncton, Dartmouth, Truro, Summerside, London, Ottawa and Amherst.

Protect Your Long-term Oral Health with Invisalign

Having crooked teeth can make practicing good dental hygiene a problem; however, addressing crooked teeth with a teeth-straightening method like Invisalign can prevent tooth decay, gum disease (i.e., periodontal disease) and bad breath. Furthermore, did you know that by practicing good dental hygiene now you are reducing your chances of developing certain diseases in the future? You can protect your long-term oral health by seeking treatment for crooked teeth, brushing, flossing and having your biannual cleanings.

Protect Your Long-Term Oral Health by Seeking Treatment Early On

Due to the difficulties patients experience attempting to floss and brush in the areas of their mouths where they have crooked teeth, cavity formation in these areas is likely.

Cavity Formation

A cavity is the infection that results from the bacteria that feasts on the starches and sugar remaining on the teeth after you eat or drink. These bacteria release acids that damage the enamel of the tooth.

As time passes, the bacteria eat away at the enamel, creating cavities. Once the bacteria reach the inside of the tooth, the vessels and nerves become infected, as the immune system attempts to eradicate the bacteria, inflammation results. Once a cavity develops, protect your long-term oral health by seeking treatment right away.

The Development of Gum Disease

If treatment is not sought in the early stages of gum disease, as the disease progresses, deep pockets form, which fill with bacteria. Inflammation increases and the gums bleed more easily, providing a path for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Seeking treatment at this point could protect your long-term oral health and prevent tooth loss.

How Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

While the bacteria that are responsible for creating cavities are not airborne like a virus, the bacteria can easily spread throughout your body. Since researchers have found numerous connections between chronic conditions and oral disease, by practicing good dental hygiene you can protect your long-term oral health as well as your overall future health.

If you have crooked teeth, you may be experiencing difficulty reaching certain areas of your mouth: These areas are prone to decay. Choosing to straighten your teeth with Invisalign now can prevent future dental problems.

Maintaining a Healthy Mouth

Reducing the likelihood of decay by eliminating harmful bacteria can be accomplished through the implementation of a daily dental health regimen.

8 Tips to help prevent periodontal disease and protect your long-term oral health:

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Each session should last for 2 minutes and be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  2. If you are unable to brush, chew a sugarless gum that contains Xylitol.
  3. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles begin to fray, whichever comes first.
  4. Floss your teeth at least once a day. If you are brushing and flossing at the same time, be sure to floss first. By flossing first, you loosen any debris that is between the teeth so the toothbrush can wash it away.
  5. If you smoke, speak with your physician about trying one of the smoking cessation methods that are available.
  6. Eat a healthy diet that is full of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  7. Make a habit of rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink.
  8. If you have crooked teeth, consider making an appointment at Docbraces to learn more about the teeth-straightening options available.

The Docbraces Difference

If you have crooked teeth and would like to learn more about Invisalign, contact Docbraces and schedule your free initial consultation today. At Docbraces, we also offer complimentary second opinions; therefore, if you have previously been told that Invisalign will not solve your dental issues, as Premium Invisalign Providers, we may be able to help. Due to their experience with Invisalign, our orthodontists frequently solve dental issues that other orthodontists cannot.

At Docbraces, we do our best to keep dental care affordable. In addition, we offer family discounts, patient incentive programs, no-interest payment plans, flexible appointment times and T-Link online patient portals. Furthermore, each of our state-of-the-art facilities is designed with our patients in mind. We are dedicated to providing each patient with the high quality, individualized care that they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

An Innovative Solution: Invisalign, Where Comfort is Key

In years gone by, the only option for straightening teeth was the traditional set of metal braces; however, advancements in the world of orthodontics has led to the creation of a revolutionary new teeth-straightening solution, Invisalign.

Two Methods Offering the Same Result: Braces vs. Invisalign

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets attached to the teeth. These brackets are tied together by metal wires and rubber bands. Braces remain on the teeth until the teeth-straightening treatment is complete. Although advancements in orthodontics have improved the comfort level and appearance of braces, even with these improvements braces can still be bothersome.

Invisalign is one of the newest teeth-straightening solutions available. This innovative orthodontic device is nearly invisible, which is one of the reasons that many teenagers and adults choose this teeth-straightening option. Furthermore, instead of metal brackets and wires, this innovative treatment consists of custom-made, smooth plastic aligners.

How We Create Your Custom-Designed Aligners

A 3D image of your teeth is created using a digital impression, pictures and X-rays. This image is used to create your custom-designed aligners. These aligners will be worn over your teeth, they are removable and are much more comfortable than traditional braces could ever be.

With Invisalign, Comfort is Key

Traditional Metal Braces Can be Uncomfortable.
While traditional metal braces accomplish the task at hand since they consist of wires and brackets, braces tend to be somewhat uncomfortable. If a wire or bracket begins to rub on your inner cheek, you may experience pain and develop a mouth sore. This can be especially frustrating if you are trying to concentrate on finishing an important project or an assignment.

The Invisalign Difference

With custom-made aligners, there are no wires or brackets to poke your gums or the soft tissue of your inner cheeks.

While patients usually experience a bit of soreness when they switch out to a new set of aligners (typically every two weeks), the majority of our patients find this to be a minor inconvenience that fades rather quickly (typically within a day). This soreness results from your new aligner varying slightly from the aligner you are replacing. These variations in the aligners are designed to gradually move your teeth into a more desirable position.

Some of our patients find it beneficial to switch out their aligners prior to going to bed because this allows their mouths to adjust to the slight changes in their aligners as they sleep.

Invisalign Aligners Are Removable

With braces, food particles frequently become stuck between the brackets and wires, which makes it difficult to maintain good dental hygiene. Since these aligners are removed while eating as well as prior to brushing and flossing, patients can more effectively maintain their teeth and gums.

Treatment Time: Braces vs. Invisalign

Although treatment time varies from one patient to the next, the average length of time a patient wears traditional braces ranges from 18 months to 3 years.

Invisalign treatment works differently than braces and is much less invasive, which may initially make it difficult to determine how long a patient will need to wear aligners; however, most patients wear their aligners somewhere between 6 and 18 months. The length of time a patient wears his or her aligners depends greatly on how well the patient follows the recommended guidelines of keeping the aligners in at least 20 to 22 hours a day. At Docbraces, most of our Invisalign patients complete their treatment in approximately 12 months.

Why Choose Docbraces?

At Docbraces, we strive to provide our patients with the most innovative treatments at affordable prices. From family discounts, to incentive programs and interest-free payment plans, we are dedicated to keeping dental care costs reasonable. Docbraces also offers flexible appointment times, T-Link online patient portals, free consultations and complimentary second opinions.

If you are an adult considering orthodontic treatment, chances are you would like to know more about Invisalign. One of the Premium Invisalign Providers at your nearest Docbraces’ facility can help you decide if this treatment is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Invisalign is a Convenient Teeth-Straightening Option

We can use Invisalign to address a variety of orthodontic needs. Whether an individual’s teeth have just shifted slightly or there is a more complex dental issue that needs to be addressed, for many, this innovative method has become the teeth-straightening solution of choice.

Although there are numerous differences between traditional metal braces and Invisalign, one of the differences that many of our patients enjoy is the need for fewer appointments throughout treatment.

The Convenience of Invisalign

Length of Treatment

When it comes to traditional braces, treatment can last from 18 months to 3 years. On average, orthodontic treatment using the Invisalign method lasts from 6 to 18 months; however, the majority of our treatment plans last 12 months.

Fewer Appointments Save You Time and Money

Whereas an individual with traditional braces visits his or her dentist on a monthly basis, those who choose Invisalign typically visit their Premium Provider at Docbraces every 4 to 6 weeks (once their treatment is underway). During these appointments, the orthodontist examines the patient’s teeth. In addition, the patient receives several aligner replacement sets.

A Follow-Up Visit for Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

During a follow-up visit for braces, an orthodontist or an orthodontist assistant may change the bands that are attached to the brackets and/or replace wires. Once the patient enters the treatment area, these appointments can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

At Docbraces, we know how important your time is, which is why we do our best to adhere to each day’s appointment schedule. We strive to provide each of our patients with the high-quality care that he or she deserves in a quick and efficient manner. For this reason, a follow-up visit for a patient with Invisalign usually lasts 30 minutes or less.

Emergency Dental Visits Are More Common with Traditional Braces

The wires and brackets of traditional braces can loosen and lead to an unexpected dental visit; however, since Invisalign consists of a single plastic tray, there are no components to become loose or to break.

At Docbraces, We Focus on You

As a Top 1% Invisalign Provider in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, each of our dental professionals and orthodontists is dedicated to providing every patient with the best orthodontic experience possible.

Docbraces’ patients enjoy:

  • State-of-the-art treatment facilities – one of our goals is to provide each of our patients with the most innovative treatments available so we can expedite and streamline his or her orthodontic experience.
  • 3D scanners with the ability to provide highly accurate impressions – technological advancements have eliminated the need to create messy impressions. Instead of making moulds to create aligners, some of our treatment centers have 3D scanners. Using X-rays, digital impressions and pictures, these scanners have the ability to produce highly accurate impressions of a patient’s soft tissue structure and teeth. We use the 3D scan to create our patients’ custom-designed clear aligners.
  • Shorter appointment times – besides having fewer orthodontic visits, with no brackets or wires to contend with, patients spend much less time sitting in our dental chairs. During each patient’s appointment, one of our Premium Invisalign Providers will examine the patient’s mouth to make sure that his or her teeth are adjusting as expected.

Whether you are a teenager, a busy professional or you are just looking for a way to feel more confident about your smile, contact us today. The Premium Invisalign Providers at Docbraces may be able to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted.

Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed with the comfort of our patients in mind. We offer complimentary consultations, free second opinions, T-Line online patient portals, incentive programs, interest-free payment plans and family discounts. At Docbraces, our goal is to keep dental care affordable for all of our patients.