Today’s orthodontic methods are less painful and less disruptive to your daily life than they were even a decade ago. Following your initial evaluation, we will discuss treatment plan options that best suit your needs and preferences. Options include traditional metal braces (that are fun to change out colors), clear ceramic braces, removable appliances, and Invisalign. Dr. Khouri and his team will see you every 6-8 weeks to monitor your progress.
Why are straight teeth important? Braces are not just for cosmetic purposes. Studies have shown that straight teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease and injury. Straight teeth also collect less plaque, a colorless and sticky film composed of bacteria, food and saliva. Orthodontic problems can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces and may worsen with time.
Phase I Treatment
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation by an orthodontist no later than age 7. Phase I Orthodontic Treatment is preventative, interceptive treatment, which is the foundation of a healthy, lifelong smile. Phase I treatment develops the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth, and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. Treatment at a young age can prevent many problems from occurring in the future. Phase I can guide jaw growth, correct harmful oral habits, improve appearance, and guide the eruption of permanent teeth.
An expander is used to widen the upper jaw so that the lower and upper teeth will fit together better.
A space maintainer maintains space that was created by the loss of early baby teeth.
A habit appliance is an appliance that is placed in the mouth to help prevent the oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking, or tongue thrusting. Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue.
A facemask is used in some cases where an underbite is present. A facemask, or reverse headgear, may be recommended as part of the treatment. The facemask is designed to fix the discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws by moving the upper jaw forward.
Phase II Treatment
Phase II is considered Comprehensive Orthodontic treatment. This is when most of the permanent teeth have erupted (usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen). The goal of Phase II Treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with full braces or Invisalign. Treatment usually lasts between 18-24 months, depending on compliance and the severity of the case.
A Forsus is used while a patient is currently wearing braces where more of a consistent force is needed, un-like normal rubber band wear. This appliance is made to reduce the overbite and promote the proper jaw growth in patients. Although it is not used in all cases, it is used when orthodontic elastics may not be able to correct the malocclusion.
Braces are for adults too! More and more adults are discovering the benefits in health, beauty, and self-esteem that an improved smile brings. In many instances, we are treating the parents and children at the same time. With today’s technological advances, improvements can be made to your smile at any age. Although an attractive smile is a pleasant “side effect,” orthodontic treatment also has numerous health benefits for patients of all ages.
Invisalign® is a series of clear aligners that move your teeth gently and gradually. Patients receive custom aligners from the doctor that will be switched out every two weeks. Patients are seen in the office every 6-8 weeks. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®, as each case is different.
There are two types of retainers that are available for patients to wear. Retainers are made to hold the teeth into place after the braces have been removed. The most common retainer is the Hawley retainer, made from metal and molded acrylic. These retainers are available in a multiple number of colors and designs. The other types of retainers available are Essix retainers. These are clear, invisible retainers that look similar to Invisalign aligners. At Khouri Orthodontics we encourage lifetime wear of your retainers.