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Four Locations To Serve You!
Marysville919 State Ave #104, Marysville, WA 98270phone: (360) 659-8100
Monroe14090 Fryelands Blvd SE, Suite 348, Monroe, WA 98272phone: (360) 863-8700
Lake Stevens9421 N Davies Road, Suite A, Lake Stevens, WA 98258phone: (425) 367-4149
Stanwood7104 265th Street NW. #110 Stanwood, WA 98292phone: (360) 339-8000

Orthodontics


Crooked teeth, or teeth that do not fit together properly, can have a significant impact on your child’s oral health. Alignment issues make the teeth harder to clean, increasing your child’s risk of developing cavities, uneven wear, premature tooth loss, and other oral health issues. They can also significantly impact your child’s confidence. At Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry, we can diagnose your child’s alignment issues and help them get the treatment they need, giving them a healthy, beautiful smile that will last them a lifetime.

What is Orthodontics?


Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with issues surrounding the positioning of the teeth and jaw. Any types of misalignment, or malocclusion, can significantly impact your child’s oral health, and their smile. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the correction of these issues. They have received an additional two or more years of education and training beyond the first four years of dental school.

What Issues Can Orthodontics Treat?


Orthodontics is used to correct a wide variety of different issues:
•  Overbite. An overbite is a condition in which the upper teeth stick out too far over the lower teeth. It is often referred to as buck teeth.
•  Underbite. An underbite is when the lower teeth stick out too far, sitting in front of the upper teeth. This can also be caused because the upper teeth are too far back.
•  Open bite. An open bite is when the front teeth (and sometimes the side teeth) do not fully close when the back teeth come together, creating an open space when the jaw is shut.
•  Misplaced midline. A misplaced midline is when the center of your upper front teeth and the center of your lower front teeth do not meet up.
•  Spacing. Spacing issues are when there are noticeable gaps between the teeth.
•  Crowding. Crowding is when there are too many teeth for the size of the jaw, causing the teeth to overlap one another.

Early Orthodontics


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7, regardless of whether or not it looks like your child has issues with the alignment of their teeth/jaw. This visit will allow the orthodontist to determine what, if any, orthodontic treatments may be required. Common issues early on that can point toward the need for orthodontic treatment include:
•  Early or late loss of baby teeth.
•  Trouble biting or chewing food.
•  Your child breathes through their mouth, rather than their nose.
•  Continued thumb sucking (past the age of 5).
•  Teeth that protrude outward.
•  Teeth that come in awkwardly (or do not come in at all).
•  Crowding issues around the age of 7 or 8.
•  Crossbites (when their jaw shifts as they open or close their mouth).
•  Your child has a speech impediment.

Early treatment (which often begins around the age of 8 or 9) can help to correct the growth of the jaw. This early intervention also lessens the severity of later treatment, and sometimes helps to avoid it altogether.

Treatment with Braces


Braces are a common orthodontic treatment for young teens (although they are also helpful for some older teens and adults as well). Treatment with braces can begin as early as 11 years of age. They consist of three basic components:
•  Metal brackets. The metal brackets are affixed to the fronts of their teeth using a special dental cement. They are designed to stay in place throughout the duration of their treatment.
•  Metal bands. Metal bands are attached to the very back teeth and anchor the archwires in place.
•  Archwires. The archwires are wires that span across their teeth and attach to each bracket using elastic O-rings (which are available in a wide variety of colors). These wires come in different sizes to achieve specific goals. They are responsible for the movement and stabilization of their teeth.

There are several other components that can be used, depending upon your child’s needs. These components include rubber bands, springs, and head gear.

The function of braces is to move your child’s teeth (and jaw if necessary). The archwires are what move the teeth. They place pressure on your child’s teeth, which then puts pressure on the periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold the teeth securely in place). This pressure widens the ligaments, loosening the teeth. The wires then move the teeth gradually into proper alignment. During the course of treatment, the wires are frequently adjusted to move your child’s teeth where they need to go. Once the teeth are in their proper positions, the archwires then hold the teeth securely in place while the jawbone and ligaments heal. Specific treatment times vary from child to child, depending upon their specific needs. Some children can see results in about a year, while other children may need closer to 2 years of treatment.

Taking Care of Teeth with Braces


It is important that your child maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing braces to keep their mouth healthy. However, taking care of teeth with braces does take a bit of extra work. Care includes:
•  Brushing every day. It is best to brush after every meal. It is also important to floss. A floss threader can come in handy for getting floss easily through wires.
•  Use a fluoridated toothpaste (or mouthwash) to help protect teeth from oral bacteria.
•  Avoiding hard, sticky and chewy foods (hard candies, whole apples, corn on the cob, taffy, chewing gum, bagels, etc.) which can cause brackets to come loose and wires to bend or break.
•  It is also very important that your child maintain regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. These visits are crucial, as we can clean the areas that your child might miss due to braces, helping to prevent cavities. We recommend that your child come in every six months.

Maintaining the Results of Orthodontic Treatment


After your child’s braces are removed, their treatment is not over. A retainer is used to help stabilize and maintain the results of orthodontic treatment. They help to prevent your child’s teeth from moving back out of alignment. There are a few different types of retainers, including traditional removable retainers (metal wires surround your front teeth and are attached to an acrylic arch that sits on the roof of your mouth) and fixed retainers, which are bonded to the backs of your bottom and top teeth.

If you are interested in learning more about orthodontics, and if they are right for your child, contact Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry today at 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000.



      
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Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry | www.pugetsoundpediatricdentistry.com | 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000
919 State Ave, Suite 104, Marysville, WA 98270
14090 Fryelands Blvd SE, Suite 348, Monroe, WA 98272
9421 N Davies Road, Suite A, Lake Stevens, WA 98258
7104 265th Street NW. #110, Stanwood, WA 98292
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