When a person’s teeth or jaw structure do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to straighten teeth and promote ideal function. These problems, often referred to as malocclusions or “bad bites,” can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to teeth and jaw joints if left untreated.
In an underbite situation, the lower jaw extends out causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth or they could merely be a cosmetic issue.
Protrusion (upper front teeth)
This occurs when the appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by upper front teeth protrusion. It is characterized by the upper teeth extended too far forward or lower teeth not positioned far enough forward.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times tooth removal may be avoided.
In a crossbite scenario, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
In an overbite situation, the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth often times causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
Proper chewing is impacted by an open bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Open bites may be caused by habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
Dental midlines that do not match are evident when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.
Dr. Bailey always strives to provide safe and comfortable care for all patients. Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but if one were to happen, we are available to help you. Please call our office immediately if you or your child is experiencing severe tooth pain that you are unable to take care of yourself.
In most cases, many problems you might experience can be handled at home with proper care. If you are able to alleviate pain at home it is still important that you notify our office in the occurrence of a broken appliance, so that we may schedule an appointment to fix the appliance without disrupting your treatment plan. Some of the most common problems that you may encounter could be:
After you get your braces on, you might feel some general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. You can relieve this pain by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. If the tenderness is severe, you can take aspirin or whatever you would normally take for a headache or similar pain.
Irritation can also occur on the lips, tongue and cheeks for one to two weeks as they get used to the surface of the braces. You can apply wax to the braces to lessen the irritation and pain.
Sometimes, you might experience a poking wire. If you have a wire that is poking into your lip or cheek, use a pencil eraser to push the poking wire down. Or, you can place wax on the wire to alleviate discomfort.
If you have a loose bracket and it is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the bracket falls off of the wire entirely, you should wrap the bracket with a tissue and keep it safe. Bring it to our office during your next visit.
Separators are used in the early treatment stages to make space for the fitting of bands around the teeth. These small plastic devices may become loose and fall out as space becomes larger between the teeth. It is rare that a separator will need to be replaced, but if you do lose one, call our office to let us know and we will arrange to have you visit if necessary.
Following the instructions that we give you in the office is the best way to avoid breakage, loosening of your braces, and unwanted discomfort at home. However, we know that breakage can and does occur from time to time. If this happens, follow the tips we have given you above. Call our office if you are experiencing severe pain or if there is a problem that cannot be fixed by any of the at-home solutions we have offered.
Why is orthodontics important?
Orthodontic treatment is about shaping beautiful smiles, while improving and maintaining good dental health. The fit of teeth (occlusion) is a very important factor in the longevity of the natural dentition. Orthodontics can boost a person’s self-esteem as teeth, jaws and lips properly align.
When should my child first see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that every child get an orthodontic screening by age 7. By taking advantage of the growth years, Dr. Bailey can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth, and possibly influence their development to create the best bite and smile. Your child may not need orthodontic treatment at the time of this first examination, however, you will have the peace of mind that comes with a professional evaluation.
Is it ever too late for a person to get braces?
Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. An attractive, healthy smile is a quality that will personally and professionally benefit any individual at any age. Many of our adult patients wear clear ceramic braces or Invisalign, and often experience our most dramatic transformations.
How long has the office been serving the community of Coppell?
Our office has made a full time commitment to the Coppell community since 1987, when he and his wife moved to Coppell and established an orthodontic practice. Dr. Stich participates as a business partner to all of the middle schools in Coppell ISD, as well as Barbara Bush Middle School in Valley Ranch. Dr. Stich has demonstrated a long-term commitment to this community by offering a bicycle safety program to all elementary schools, sponsoring many school and community programs, as well as supporting area charities. Coppell is a community that Dr. Stich and Dr. Bailey work in, live in and care about making an even better place.
Does Dr. Bailey have any satellite offices?
No. Dr. Bailey and his staff are committed exclusively to the Coppell community. Excellent customer service, convenience for our patients, and availability for emergencies is difficult without a full time commitment to one location.
What is the charge for the first visit?
Children that visit our office receive necessary radiographs, a thorough exam, discussion of orthodontic concerns, and a treatment plan presentation by Dr. Bailey at no charge to determine the child’s specific and individual needs. Patients and their parents will become very well-informed. Dr. Bailey provides these same patient examination services for adults.
How long will I have to wear braces?
In general, active treatment time with orthodontic appliances ranges from 12 to 30 months. The actual time depends upon the difficulty of the original problem, the development of the patient’s jaws and teeth, and the cooperation of the patient. The better the patient is about wearing and taking care of his or her appliances, braces or retainer, the sooner teeth will improve.
Why do I need a retainer?
Retainer wear is simple, but crucial. A retainer holds the patient’s teeth in their new position. Our retention treatment is an important aspect of our treatment philosophy s Dr. Bailey wants to see beautiful smiles on his patients for a lifetime. We routinely take the extra time to deliver a permanent retainer on our patient’s lower teeth and an upper removable retainer to be worn every night while sleeping. Excellence in retention is as important as excellence during braces, and should not be overlooked when choosing an orthodontic care provider. Click here for more information regarding retainers.
Is this going to hurt?
It is common to experience some discomfort during the first few days after appliances are fitted. A few comfort tips are:
- Take pain reliever, such as Advil or Tylenol
- Eat softer foods than normal
- Rinse with warm, salted water
A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.
A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.
An orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth (either by bonding or banding) for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Brackets can be fabricated from metal, ceramic or plastic.
Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.
Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.
The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.
Elastics (rubber bands)
Used to move teeth in prescribed directions; commonly connected to a molar band and upper ball hook. Found in numerous colors for better appearance.
The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.
Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.
Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems and more.
The process of acquiring representations of structures in either two or three dimensions.
Of or pertaining to the tongue. A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.
Orthodontic appliances fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth.
Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.
A dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.
Surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, usually accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.
Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.
A permanent image, performed digitally in our office, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.
Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.
The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.
Straight Wire Appliance
A variation of the edgewise appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends. Brackets and molar tubes have specific orientation in three planes of space.
Caring for Your Teeth with Braces
Good oral hygiene is key to a healthy smile, but it’s even more important once you have braces. With the addition of brackets, wires and bands on your teeth, there is even more to care for with the added challenge of cleaning in and around all of the hard to reach spots. Using the correct brushing and flossing regimen is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Bailey wants you to practice the best oral hygiene techniques, so read more below.
When brushing your teeth, be certain to brush between the brackets and gums as there are many places food can get stuck in an appliance. Use a soft brush, fluoride toothpaste, and follow these steps:
- Step 1: Beginning with the outside of the teeth, brush at a straight angle using circular, vibrating motions.
- Step 2: Still using a circular motion, angle the brush down to clean the upper row of teeth between the gums and braces, and angle it up to clean the lower row of teeth between the gums and braces.
- Step 3: To finish the rest of the outside of the teeth, use the same technique, but angle up for the upper row of teeth and down for the lower row of teeth.
- Step 4: Clean the chewing surface by carefully brushing both the upper and lower rows with a back and forth motion.
- Step 5: To finish, angle the brush downwards to brush the inside of the lower teeth and upward to brush the inside of the upper teeth.
Remember to floss at least once a day. In order to get between the archwire and the teeth, use a floss threader.
- Step 1: Pull the floss through the threader.
- Step 2: Push the threader between the archwire and teeth, pulling the floss through.
- Step 3: Slide the floss between your teeth, and using up and down motion, clean both teeth all the way under the gums.
- Step 4: Pull the floss out, and repeat the same steps with a new section of floss for the next tooth.
After brushing and flossing, always rinse your mouth with water or antiseptic dental rinse. A mouth rinse helps remove debris, cleanses minor wounds, and enables natural healing.
An interdental toothbrush, also known as a proxabrush, is a very useful tool to help keep your mouth clean and healthy when you have braces. You can use the small brush to clean in the hard to reach areas such as under the archwire or around the brackets. Be careful when using the interdental toothbrush so to not damage your braces.
Just like your teeth, retainers can accumulate food particles and plaque, so it’s important that you brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. To help prevent build-up and oral infections, soak your retainer in a glass of room temperature water with a denture-cleaning tablet at least once a day. Do not use hot water, which can warp your retainer.
Foods to Avoid
When you first get your braces on or after you have them tightened, your teeth can be a little sore, so we recommend a soft food diet during these times. But you can eat most all other foods with the following guidelines:
- Cut chewy foods into smaller, bite-size pieces
- Eat sliced vegetables and fruit
- Avoid sticky foods: Bubble gum, jelly beans and sticky fruit snacks
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods: Hard candy and peanut brittle
- Limit sugary foods: Sweets and soft drinks that can cause tooth decay under the appliances
Parts of Braces
Bands are a ring of metal that fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band. Bands are sealed into position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.
The brackets hold the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.
The main wires, or archwires, are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. This pressure comes from the archwire which guides the direction of movement.
An elastic is the tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.
Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).
The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.
When to see an Orthodontist
Dr. Bailey offers orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages at our Coppell, TX office. Our experienced and friendly team works to make each visit to our office enjoyable. We want you to focus on your orthodontic treatment with confidence, therefore we do our best to alleviate any concerns you may have. We work with you to determine the amount of the treatment fee which your insurance plan will cover, and offer payment plans to help you cover the rest. With over 30 years of experience treating kids, teenagers, and adults, you can be certain that you are in good hands regardless of your age!
If we are able to see patients earlier we may be able to prevent more serious complications and surgeries later. In accordance with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. With early evaluation and diagnosis, Dr. Bailey will work to influence your child’s developing jaw and teeth so we can achieve optimal orthodontic results. Early treatment provides a range of benefits, and can often prevent surgery or other serious complications. Some common problems that our orthodontists can treat early and correct include:
We understand an initial visit to the orthodontist may be scary for some children. We consider it our priority to make your child feel at ease with their first visit to our office. We want to make certain our young patients look forward to their future visits to the orthodontist!
Teenagers are often more open to orthodontic treatment because many of their peers are also receiving similar treatment. Some teenagers prefer to customize their braces with fun band colors while other patients prefer clear braces or Invisalign Teen. Depending on the treatment diagnosed by Dr. Bailey, we can work with the patient to figure out orthodontic treatment that works best for them! Some of our treatments include:
- Invisalign Teen
- Clear Braces
- Traditional Braces
- Color Braces
- Bite Correctors: Herbst or Fursus Appliances
It is never too late to receive orthodontic treatment; healthy teeth are movable at any age. In fact, there are more options than ever before to address our adult patients’ orthodontic needs. Often older patients come to us looking to improve their smile for personal or professional reasons. Therefore, many prefer orthodontic treatments that are aesthetically pleasing, such as clear ceramic braces or Invisalign. Dr. Bailey will work with you to determine an orthodontic treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and the results you dream to achieve.