Wermerson Orthodontics Blog

Posts for: October, 2019

 

Interceptive Orthodontics: The Basics

 

When we picture someone with braces, we usually picture a teenager with a mouthful of colorful brackets. What we don’t typically picture is orthodontic appliances on younger children. However, interceptive orthodontics can reduce the need for tooth extraction and jaw surgery, correct certain problems as they appear, encourage better facial development, shorten the length of orthodontic treatment needed later on, and leave patients with a better overall result in the end.

 

Interceptive Orthodontics Heads Off Problems Early

Conventional wisdom argues that orthodontic treatment shouldn’t start until all the adult teeth have grown in, but some issues with bite, alignment, and facial development can show up long before those teeth do. That’s where interceptive or “Phase 1” orthodontics comes in. Dr. Chris Wermerson can help your child’s jaw bones grow properly to have more room for the adult teeth and provide the structure for a healthier bite. Correcting problems like malocclusions (bad bites) as they appear makes future orthodontic treatment much faster and easier — and, in some cases, unnecessary!

 

Causes Of Malocclusions In Children

Interceptive orthodontics seeks to correct problems with jaw growth and damage from harmful habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. Each of these habits contributes to bite problems such as a narrow upper arch, an underdeveloped lower jaw, a deep bite, and an open bite, as well as dental crowding, which in turn can make it difficult to chew and swallow effectively and speak clearly. The purpose of Phase 1 treatment is to stop those habits if they persist or repair the damage so that the adult teeth can grow in where they should.

 

Common Phase 1 Treatments

One of the most noticeable differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2 orthodontics is that Phase 1 is less focused on actual braces. Those typically come later, if they are still needed. Some of the treatments commonly used in Phase 1 include:

  • Upper jaw expansion to eliminate a crossbite
  • Expansion of one or both jaws to create more room for adult teeth
  • Early extraction of specific baby teeth to help adult teeth come in properly
  • Keeping space open for permanent teeth after premature loss of a baby tooth
  • Reduction of upper front teeth protrusion to protect from trauma

 

Is Your Child A Candidate For Interceptive Orthodontics?

Phase 1 orthodontics works better for correcting some problems than others. The best way you can find out if it can help your child get the healthy, properly aligned smile they deserve is to bring them in to Wermerson Orthodontics for a complementary orthodontic consultation around age 7 — especially if you’ve noticed any obvious bite problems or if they have one or more of those harmful oral health habits. In the meantime, keep encouraging them to do their brushing and flossing!

 

We look forward to seeing you smile!

 

Call us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Wermerson.

Dr. Chris Wermerson, DMD, MS
Wermerson Orthodontics
605-274-0555
 

Wermerson Orthodontics is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics
 

Dr. Wermerson is a Board Certified Orthodontist and member of the AAO, which has 17,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws (bad bites).  They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.  Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for membership in the AAO.  Visit the AAO online at www.mylifemysmile.org.

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions

 

 


Teeth and Braces – Friendly Halloween Treats

Halloween is a ton of fun every year, and it’s right around the corner! We love the costumes, the decorations, and the local events, but we’re a little wary of all that candy. Sugar isn’t just tasty to us; the harmful bacteria in our mouths love it. If you want to make Halloween a little healthier for your teeth (and safer for your braces), Dr. Chris Wermerson has a handy breakdown of how different types of treats and canies rank in terms of promoting good dental health.

 

Types of Halloween Candy to Avoid

Anything hard, sticky, or sour is going to be bad for your teeth. Hard candy takes a while to dissolve, which means your teeth are exposed to sugar for a long time, and it can easily break a bracket loose. Even the nuts in soft candy bars pose a risk.

Sticky candy is a problem because it adheres to the teeth and braces, pushing the sugar right up against the enamel and gum tissue. That’s like breakfast in bed for bacteria! Sour candy might not pose the same dangers to your brackets, but it contains acid as well as sugar, so it’s doubly bad for teeth.

 

Candy That’s Good for Teeth?

Not all candy is awful for oral health or dangerous for braces. Chocolate is on the good end of the oral health spectrum, and the darker, the better. Chocolate contains flavonoids and polyphenols — compounds that limit oral bacteria, fight bad breath, and slow tooth decay. Dark chocolate has more of these compounds and their benefits are less offset by sugar than in sweeter milk chocolate.

Other candies that are safe to eat with braces and not terrible for your teeth include mint patties, peanut butter cups, and nut-free chocolate bars. These are soft and not too sticky, so you can safely bite into them without risking a bracket and an extra trip to Wermerson Orthodontics.

 

Fight Back Against the Effects of Sugar

Aside from avoiding the more harmful candies in favor of chocolate, there are other ways we can combat the effects sugar has on our teeth:

  • Don’t give harmful oral bacteria an all-day buffet! If you’re planning on eating a lot of candy, it’s better to eat it all in one sitting than spreading it out across an entire day. This way, your saliva will have a chance to neutralize the acids and wash away leftover sugar.
  • Drink water after enjoying some candy. It will help rinse out the sugar sticking to your teeth.
  • Wait half an hour after eating candy, then brush your teeth! Good brushing and flossing habits are essential to protecting your teeth from the effects of sugary candy.

Another Great Resource Is Wermerson Orthodontics!

Being careful about which candy you eat and when, rinsing with water, and maintaining good daily brushing and flossing habits are all great, but don’t forget about the best resource you have: Wermerson Orthodontics! If you’d like to learn more about which treats are healthiest for your teeth and safest for your braces, all you have to do is ask!

 

Have a happy, healthy Halloween!

 

Call us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Wermerson.

Dr. Chris Wermerson, DMD, MS
Wermerson Orthodontics
605-274-0555 

Wermerson Orthodontics is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics
 

Dr. Wermerson is a Board Certified Orthodontist and member of the AAO, which has 17,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws (bad bites).  They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.  Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for membership in the AAO.  Visit the AAO online at www.mylifemysmile.org.

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions