Many of our patients seek orthodontic treatment in response to a few common problems. These problems are the root cause of the majority of teeth and jaw alignment issues. The Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics offer orthodontic solutions to the residents of Kendall, Hialeah, Miami Springs, and the surrounding areas of North Carolina.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is one of the most common oral conditions, better known as gum disease. It is caused by poor oral hygiene that often results in swollen, receding, or tender gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause tooth loss and other serious health problems. Although gingivitis may not directly affect the alignment of the teeth, it is still a common concern of those looking to achieve good oral health. Fortunately, gingivitis can be easily fixed with proper oral hygiene. We frequently help patients overcome gingivitis by teaching proper oral hygiene habits, and assess the severity of gingivitis on a case-by-case basis.
How Are Jaw and Teeth Misalignments Caused?
Jaw and teeth misalignments can occur for a number of reasons, and most often result from the natural development of the teeth. However, there are some factors that can contribute to a higher chance of severe alignment issues. The biggest problem we see is that children do not visit the orthodontist until they require extensive treatment. Frequently, severe misalignment can be easily treated when it is addressed early. Habits like thumb sucking can worsen these issues, but early and regular check ups with the orthodontist are the best way to prevent severe jaw and teeth misalignments.
How Does Thumb Sucking Affect the Teeth?
A thumb-sucking habit can cause misalignment in the teeth from a very young age. It can cause more severe issues the longer that the habit is allowed, even affecting the adult teeth in some cases. The habit can cause problems with tooth eruption and jaw growth, which can have many negative effects on the alignment of the teeth. Thumb sucking is known to cause an “open bite,” which means that the front teeth don’t touch when biting together. A thumb sucking habit is common and normal for children, but if it persists past the age of three, children will be at risk for developing severe misalignment issues.
How Are Common Problems Treated?
We may incorporate a variety of orthodontic techniques to correct these problems. The treatment for common misalignment issues will depend on the patient’s unique needs, as we develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Below are some examples of common problems that we have successfully treated at the Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics.
Crowding of the Teeth
Teeth crowding is one of the most common issues we see. The patient above began a braces treatment at 11 years old. After 26 months, he loves his new smile.
The open bite is caused by thumb sucking as a child. The patient above had a thumb sucking habit and did not begin treatment until age 13. Using a combination of braces and a special appliance called crib, we were able to retrain the tongue and straighten the teeth for a perfect smile.
The deep overbite seen above could have been easily treated if it was addressed early. This patient, however, began treatment at age 25—long after the problem had developed. Treatment required braces and jaw surgery to correct the overbite.
Missing Lateral Incisors
The patient above was missing her lateral incisors. In order to correct this, she wore braces for 20 months, moving the teeth into the correct position. Then, we replaced the missing teeth with Maryland bonded bridges. These are false, natural-looking teeth that are secured to the adjacent teeth.
Underbites, like the one above, can cause jaw discomfort and wear on the teeth. This 32-year-old patient was able to find relief after 30 months of treatment. As a result, chewing is much easier and more comfortable, and she is proud of her beautiful smile.
Spacing of Teeth
Teeth spacing is another common issue that motivates patients to seek orthodontic care. With the use of braces, we were able to create the results above in just 24 months. To ensure lasting results, we use glued-in retainers that help keep the spaces closed.
Severe overjet like the one above may require two phases of treatment. In this cases, the first phase helped to correct jaw growth and improve jaw alignment. The second phase focused on the teeth, aligning them for an even bite. Treatment began at age 10, and by 13, this patient had achieved the beautiful smile you see above.
Although braces are perhaps the most common orthodontic treatment, they are not always needed to improve alignment. The patient above was seen early at age seven, so we were able to improve tooth alignment without braces. We simply reduced the width of the baby teeth to allow the rest of the teeth to grow in properly. In just nine months, the teeth aligned on their own.
The patient above was brought to the orthodontist at age eight, due to his parents’ concern for the health of the erupting teeth. Luckily, we were able to treat these concerns early, before they developed into a more severe condition. Using an expander and partial braces, we were able to correct the placement and alignment of the teeth to approve dental function. In just 12 months, the phase one treatment was complete, eliminating the major orthodontic concerns to ensure a healthy smile for the future.
If you or your child are experiencing any of the common issues above, contact us today to make an appointment and begin treatment. The Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics offer effective orthodontic solutions to residents of Kendall, Hialeah, Miami Springs, and the neighboring areas of Florida.