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Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

June 20, 2018

When it comes to orthodontics, many parents consider braces as only a cosmetic fix. This is a common misconception, especially when you are trying to decide what investments to make for your child. Dental care is crucial—even more crucial in a child’s early years. Many problems can be corrected before they ever become serious when addressed early on, which can save you and/or your child time and money down the road. Take some time to learn the benefits of early orthodontic treatment in Broomfield and see how your child can benefit.

Importance of Braces

Straight and properly aligned teeth, as well as the jaw, look great cosmetically. However, medically, it is important to have this as well. Crooked or crowded teeth, also known as malocclusion, make it difficult to properly brush and floss teeth. This can make proper dental hygiene difficult for even the most diligent of people.

When the teeth are not properly cared for, this will lead to issues such as cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is especially problematic. Why? It means bacteria, which comes from plaque build-up, has caused damage. This can lead to red, swollen and painful gums, bleeding, and even in extreme cases, movement of the teeth or tooth loss.

In addition to treating malocclusion, braces also fix a misaligned jaw. When the jaw is not aligned, it can cause a slew of issues that can get worse over time. In children, it can make speaking or eating difficult. Then also, in children and adults, a person can suffer from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This leads to pain anywhere on one’s head, even affecting the neck. It also makes it painful to talk or chew, and creates other symptoms such as tinnitus, headaches, hearing issues, and more.

Phase I and Phase II

If your dentist or orthodontist suspect or see signs that your child may have jaw issues and/or malocclusion, they can take advantage of a Phase I treatment option. Phase I orthodontics is a proactive approach that can begin when a child is as young as seven-years-old, up to 10. The orthodontics works with the child as they are growing to help everything come into place, properly. This is especially helpful if a child has an improper bite or crowding of the teeth. Phase I treatment has long-term benefits because it prevents many problems from happening, including the need for surgery, speech therapy, and more. Each situation is different, but problems can be corrected in as little as a year.

Phase II treatment is most common as it is the addition of braces to correct final alignment of teeth. It begins when most of the adult teeth have grown in, so it can be done for children as young as 11 or 12, or adults if they did not have braces as a child.

Working with a Growing Jaw

Early orthodontic treatment can work well with a growing jaw. As teeth start to come in, an orthodontist will monitor how the jaw is moving as it settles into place. If the jaw is showing signs that there will be issues, intercepting early can help positively manipulate the growth.

The jaw can be manipulated by using headgear, which will move the jaw into a specific place. A jaw expander can also be used for those with an underbite which will increase the width of the upper jaw. A reverse pull face mask can also help move the jaw in certain directions. Some of these issues occur naturally, while others happen if a child sucks their thumb or pushes on their front teeth with their tongue.

Curbing Thumb Sucking Damage

While thumb sucking can seem innocent at first for young children, it can become very problematic for their dental health if they continue the habit as they get older. When the thumb is in their mouth, especially for extended periods of time throughout the day, it will impact the roof of their mouth and the way their adult teeth grow in. Aggressive thumb sucking can even impact their primary teeth as well. In addition, thumb sucking can lead to an overbite or underbite, as well as speech impediments.

On average, it is ideal to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb when they turn four or five years old. Since each child grows differently, speak with your local orthodontist. Breaking the habit can be challenging, but you can do it! Use these nine ways to wean a child off thumb sucking to help.

Improved Speech

When a child’s teeth are not properly aligned, not only can it lead to health issues—but can lead to speech impediments too. One of the most common issues that lead to speech impediments is having an improper bite. When the teeth do not close down all the way, the gap makes it difficult for a child to say certain words. Thumb sucking can also change the shape of a child’s palette, also affecting the bite and the way they speak.

Using Phase I orthodontic treatment is great to curb some of these issues early. When you work with your orthodontist on a plan, they are able to prevent certain issues before they happen. This can save your family money down the road and help avoid certain issues and challenges that may occur when they are older.

Early orthodontic treatment is very beneficial for several children. While it can seem intimidating to them, you can learn how to ease your child’s fears about visiting an orthodontist near Superior. The team at Prentice Orthodontics are experts in the field and will do everything we can to make your child’s experience fun and comfortable. Our kid-friendly environment will help them feel relaxed as we work on their Phase I plan that will lead to improved long-term health and dental benefits. Contact Prentice Orthodontics today to schedule your child’s first visit. We can assess their situation and work on a Phase I treatment plan if one is necessary. We look forward to seeing your family in our office!

10 Common Questions About Braces from Your Orthodontist in Broomfield

June 5, 2018

Braces can play a crucial role in overall oral health. Their benefits expand much beyond cosmetic changes, allowing a person to feel confident and avoid health issues down the road. There are many common questions about having braces to help you better understand their importance. Explore the top 10 common questions about braces from your orthodontist in Broomfield.

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Dentists focus on overall oral health. They will handle your routine cleanings/preventative care and assist with issues such as filling cavities, performing root canals, installing crowns or bridges, finding solutions for certain temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders or handling tooth decay or damage. Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the teeth and jaw. This can include crooked teeth, correction of an over or under bite or other types of TMJ disorders. You can research and speak with your dentist about when to see an orthodontist in Broomfield.

How do braces work?

Braces are used to correct misaligned teeth and/or fix malocclusion, also known as a poor bite. After assessing a person’s individual situation, an orthodontist will come up with a customized plan using braces. Braces work because there is an added pressure there, tailored to a person’s situation, to help properly align the teeth and/or jaw to where they need to be. To accomplish this, when using traditional braces, an orthodontist will use brackets that are placed on the teeth that are held in place by bands. Next, the teeth with move into place using a wire. For bite issues, elastics are commonly used to help modify the position. When having braces installed, it is crucial a person understands the ins and outs of taking care of your braces. This will keep them nice and white when removed—as well as residue-free.

Do we really need to wear braces if we don’t care about cosmetic changes?

Absolutely! Braces so more than just solve cosmetic issues. When teeth are misaligned, it is more difficult to clean, leading to serious issues later in life such as tooth decay or gum disease. Why? A person may not be able to properly clean certain areas or get to them using floss. It also helps with jaw issues that also can lead to long-term issues. For others, because of their jaw or teeth alignment issues, it may be hard to speak or chew properly. By wearing braces, these problems can be corrected.

What types of braces are available?

Metal braces were a popular type of braces used for decades and are still used today. With metal braces, a patient will come in based on a schedule from their orthodontist to have the braces tightened which would have the teeth and/or jaw move into a specific place. Today, in addition to traditional braces, there are also self-litigating braces which reduce the number of times a person has to come in for tightening. These types of braces are also made of a translucent ceramic construction, which is closer to the color of one’s tooth. For those looking for an option without brackets, Invisalign® is available. Invisalign can be used for correcting many types of improper alignment of the teeth. It works through a series of clear, removable aligners that a person will change out based on a schedule from their orthodontist. They need to stay in place for at least 22 hours per day and can be removed for eating and drinking or to brush.

What are the different phases of braces?

There are two types of phases for braces: Phase I and Phase II. Phase I treatment is referred to as “interceptive treatment.” It occurs in children before all of their adult teeth are in place to help take a proactive approach to resolving issues. This is used for issues such as allowing enough room for adult teeth to grow, in or jaw issues. Phase II treatment occurs when all adult teeth have grown in.

Do braces hurt?

When getting traditional braces, the actual process of installing them is not painful. Once they are on, or when using Invisalign, the movement of the teeth and/or jaw can cause one to feel some pain or soreness. This is all temporary for great long-term gains. The teeth/jaw will be the sorest after the braces are readjusted or new Invisalign sets are put in. Eating soft foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication as prescribed by your orthodontist will help with the soreness. Wax can be placed on certain areas to help avoid sores in the mouth.

Is there anything a person can’t eat while having braces?

It is beneficial to avoid eating or drinking anything acidic while you have traditional braces. This will help reduce any pain when it comes to sores in the mouth. Avoid eating chewy or hard candy or foods, as well as anything you physically bite into.

How long does a person need to wear braces?

Each individual situation varies. On average, most people wear braces one to two years.

What are the age ranges for people who can get braces?

Anyone, of almost any age, can get braces! In some children, they can begin Phase I treatment as young as six, depending on the situation. Adults of any age can also get braces. There is no limit.

What happens once braces are removed?

The exciting day will come when it is time to remove one’s braces and see the end result. Depending on the situation, it can take about an hour to have them removed. The orthodontist will remove each of the brackets and be sure to remove the glue that held them onto the teeth. To help keep your teeth in their new position, the orthodontist will provide you with a retainer. Wear the retainer based on their required instructions, and it will hold your teeth in their new position.

For an orthodontist and team that will help you or your child every step of the way through correcting crooked teeth or malocclusion—trust the team at Prentice Orthodontics. The team, under Dr. Ricarda Prentice, is experienced with children, teens, and adults. We will help you correct issues and give you straight teeth that are comfortable and pain-free. Call us today at 303-468-7722 for your free consultation.

Top 3 Types of Braces for Teens in Broomfield

May 23, 2018

Braces for teens in Broomfield are not solely used for cosmetic purposes. By ensuring the teeth are properly aligned, this will also help to reduce health risks too. An average teen that needs braces will wear them for approximately two years, but each individual situation is different. With today’s advancements in orthodontics, there are many ways to correct issues for teens as quickly and efficiently as possible. Learn more about why teens need braces, their benefits, types available, choosing which is best, and how to finance them.

Common Reasons Teens Need Braces

There are several reasons why teenagers need braces that go far beyond cosmetic fixes. One of the top reasons is due to a misaligned bite. When a person’s top and bottom jaw are not the same size, this means they have malocclusion. There are two types of malocclusion—an overbite and underbite. The overbite is when the top jaw is larger than the lower, and an underbite is when the lower jaw is larger than the top. Malocclusion can cause the teeth to crowd, which makes it harder to properly care for the teeth, even when brushing and flossing regularly. This can lead to tooth decay or even loss. In extreme cases, it can create difficulty talking or eating.

Crowding of the teeth is also a leading cause for braces. This occurs when the teeth are so close together that there is barely any or no room in between teeth. This makes it nearly impossible to properly clean them, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Another main reason teens need braces is due to problems with their bite or chewing. In many cases, this is due to temporal mandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ. Those with TMJ disorders have several issues with their jaw and bite, including clicking noises when chewing, jaw pain, clenching of the jaw, tinnitus, and much more. Correcting some of the issues early in life will help reduce issues down the road.

Benefits of Braces

Overall, the top reasons it is important for teens to have braces is to help reduce or eliminate issues that cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. When the teeth and jaw are not properly aligned, it makes it more difficult to clean—even when keeping up a normal brushing and flossing regimen.

In addition, it is important for a person to be able to speak and chew properly. When the jaw is misaligned, this causes problems. For chewing, if food is not entirely chewed, digestive issues can arise. A misaligned jaw can also lead to headaches, back, and neck pain.

The last benefit of braces is using them for cosmetic purposes. Not only will a person feel better without the issues they once had with crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw but will feel confident in how they look.  

Types of Braces

There are three main types of braces commonly used for teens. You can work with your local orthodontist to see which of these three is best.
  • In-Ovation R: In-Ovation R braces allow the orthodontist more flexibility and options during treatment, which saves time than traditional braces. How? There is not the need to tighten the braces or use ties. Also, the brackets are slightly smaller, which most patients prefer both cosmetically and in the way they feel. Speaking of the way they feel, In-Ovation R braces provide a much more comfortable experience for the patient—which is crucial when making a commitment to wearing them for one to two years. In terms of aesthetics, they have silver brackets and wiring—just as traditional braces do. Because of these benefits, there are fewer trips to the dentist and overall greatly reduces the time needed to wear them.
  • In-Ovation C: In-Ovation C braces have almost all features of the In-Ovation R, which is ideal for flexibility and options during treatment as they are self-litigating. One of the key differences is their appearance. In-Ovation C braces are made of a translucent ceramic material that is very similar to the color of one’s enamel, creating a more natural look. In-Ovation C braces also do not use elastics or metal ties and will reduce the number of visits to the dentist—saving valuable dollars. Because of their small size and ceramic material, they are very easy on the gums and cheeks.  
  • Invisalign® Teen: For teenagers looking for a way to straighten their teeth and resolve issues without traditional brackets, Invisalign Teen is available. Invisalign is a system of clear, removable aligners. The teen will receive a set, and the orthodontist will set up a plan for the teen switch out aligners according to a plan. The teeth will gradually move each week and at certain milestones, the aligners will be changed out. Invisalign can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss—but otherwise need to stay in place at all times. Ideally, they should be in place for 22 hours each day/night. From there, the teen will visit the orthodontist less frequently as the aligners will do the work!

Tips for Choosing the Best Option

When it comes to choosing which set of braces to use, preference, budget, and options are three of the ways to choose. Both the In-Ovation R and In-Ovation C braces can be used for any issue, whether it is something as simple as straightening the teeth or as complex as managing jaw alignment issues.

Invisalign Teen is perfect for teens that play contact sports or looking for a way to escape traditional braces. They are able to fix several corrective alignment issues with the teeth but are not able to be used for extensive work such as bridgework or moving teeth vertically.

When it comes to funding braces for teens, discuss your options with your orthodontist for an exact plan. On average, In-Ovation R will be the most cost-effective solution and Invisalign Teen is top-dollar.

When it comes to braces for teenagers, review what to ask your Broomfield Orthodontist if you need services for your teen. As you become ready to take the next step, Prentice Orthodontics has a variety of options to help. We offer the In-Ovation R and C traditional bracket-style braces, as well as Invisalign Teen. Our team will go over the pros and cons of each with you, as well as pricing, to find the perfect solution. Call us today for a free consultation at 303-468-7722.  

Your Broomfield Orthodontist Explains Why Straight Teeth Contribute to Better Oral Health

May 9, 2018

Everyone wants a beautiful, straight smile. It can help ensure you make a good first impression. It can be a self-confidence booster. It can make you smile more frequently, making you feel happier—and providing the same lift for those around you. But your Brighton orthodontist wants you to know something else about a beautiful, straight smile: It can actually be better for your oral health—and consequently, your overall health.

More and more studies are showing that this is an important connection between the health of your teeth and gums and the health of your entire body. The American Dental Association has put together this handy chart about just how closely linked oral health is to systemic health.
Here are some ways having straight teeth can contribute to your good health.

Straight Teeth for Good Oral Health

You won’t be prone to headaches. When teeth are misaligned or crooked, they can place stress on the gums and jawbone. Malocclusion—or a bad bite—is another issue. All of these can mean you are more prone to suffering from headache or neck pain.

Your gums will be healthier. With straight teeth, gums will fit more securely around the teeth. This, along with good brushing and flossing habits, will help prevent against gum disease developing.

Your risk of tooth injury will be reduced. Teeth that are crowded or that stick out are much more prone to being damaged in the event of a trauma.
Your teeth will be easier to clean. It’s tougher to floss crooked or crowded teeth effectively. Often the dental floss doesn’t fit into the spaces correction, which means there is more opportunity for plaque to build up and cavities to form. This can also lead to gum disease.

Your teeth won’t wear unnecessarily. When teeth are crowded or misaligned, bottom teeth can rub up against top teeth, making chewing inefficient. Eventually, this can lead to wearing down of the tooth enamel.

You will enjoy greater self-confidence. Your happiness is a crucial component to your overall wellbeing. People who have a better-looking smile tend to show it more often. This often leads to those around smiling more. All of this can mean less overall stress and increased self-confidence.
You will be more apt to take care of a smile you love. When you take pride in your smile, you enjoy taking care of it more. People with beautiful smiles tend to brush more often and see their dentists regularly.

Your overall well-being will be improved. When your teeth and gums are healthy, this means you are not increasing your risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

You Can Have a Straight, Beautiful Smile—Regardless of Your Age

If you’re an adult who has been living with crooked teeth your entire life, you might have thought it was too late to change anything about your smile. If you are a professional, you might have thought that braces have no place in the boardroom. The good news is that even adults can improve their overall oral health with orthodontic treatment. With modern-dentistry options such as Invisalign invisible braces, orthodontics can fit into anyone’s lifestyle.

Invisalign works with a series of clear, plastic aligners that you will wear for about 22 hours each day. They gradually nudge your teeth into the desired straight position. This makes them less painful than treatment with traditional metal braces. Treatment is also quicker than traditional orthodontics. Most people wear the aligners for six to eight months only, which is much quicker than the months or even years it takes with traditional braces. It is important that you commit to wearing the aligners for a minimum number of hours each day or you might be disappointed in your results.

They are removed for eating and for cleaning your teeth, so there are no eating restrictions as there are with traditional braces. You don’t need to worry about food particles getting stuck in the brackets and wires.

The aligners are practically transparent, so even someone seated across from you will probably not notice you are wearing them.
Because they are removable, if you have a special event or if you will be photographed, you can always pop the aligners out for a few hours—then put them right back in afterward. The aligners are easy to keep clean, and you will swap them out for a new set every couple of weeks—without having to visit the orthodontist as frequently as with traditional braces.

Another advantage to Invisalign is that you can see your teeth straightening progress as it happens. This can go a long way to keeping you on track with your treatment!
If you have been on the fence about straightening your smile, just think of all the benefits you will enjoy by having straight teeth. You can protect your oral health as well as your overall wellbeing.

Find out more about whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign or other adult orthodontics. Come to your Brighton orthodontist for a consultation, and we can discuss the different options for getting you a straight, beautiful smile.

It’s never too late to get the smile you wish you had been born with. And you can improve the health of your entire body along with it.

There is no reason to live with a crooked smile—and clearly there are plenty of good reasons not to! For more information on orthodontic treatment for all ages, talk to the experts at Prentice Orthodontics. We can answer all of your questions about Invisalign and help determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment. Our highly trained and friendly staff is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. We have serve Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Thornton, and Westminster, and we are sure one of those is convenient for you. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!

There Is No Time Like the Present to Take Your Child to an Orthodontist in Broomfield

April 25, 2018

Everyone wants the best for their kids’ oral health, but it might surprise many parents to know that simply taking their children to the dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings might not be enough. There comes a time for many children when a trip to the orthodontist in Broomfield is necessary. Sometimes it’s easy to know when it’s a good idea, but for many, it’s not something most people consider. But don’t overlook this important element in taking care of your child’s health.

Here are some tips to know when it might be a good time to schedule that appointment:

Your Child Is at Least Seven Years Old

Although at age seven most kids still have plenty of baby teeth, this is a great time to bring children to the orthodontist for the first time. With today’s modern orthodontic treatments, this is a good time for an orthodontist to assess a child’s teeth. It is important to see how well the teeth are transitioning from baby teeth to adult teeth. An orthodontist can also determine whether there seems to be enough room in your child’s mouth for the adult teeth to come in properly.

This appointment also provides the orthodontist with a good opportunity to assess your child’s bite and identify any potential issues that might been to be addressed.

When you bring your child to the orthodontist early, it’s possible preventive measures might be available to help prevent them from developing problems with their adult teeth. For instance, an orthodontist might see an opportunity to correct bite and alignment issues before adult teeth even grow in. These preventive measures today can mean a big difference in the future.

It’s also important to note here that if your child loses her baby teeth early—before the age of six or seven—this might also mean a trip to the orthodontist even earlier than age seven is a good idea just to rule out any underlying problems. (Late tooth losers should also be seen.)

Your Child Has Some Concerning Bad Habits

Thumb-sucking is one of those infant and toddler habits that can wreak havoc on teeth if they aren’t nipped in the bud early on. A child who sucks his thumb can actually cause the teeth to move by the constant sucking motion. Teeth can tip backwards or forwards, depending on the positioning of the teeth. Your orthodontist can identify potential problems early on and work to get them corrected.

It’s not easy to get kids to stop sucking their thumbs, but your Broomfield orthodontist will recommend that you try to get your children to stop by the age of five. If it continues beyond that, it will likely lead to problems. Occasional thumb-suckers will likely not cause any permanent damage to their teeth, but those kids who do it constantly—during the day as well as through the night—are risking problems. (Here are some tips from WebMD to help you stop this habit in your child.)

Your Child Clearly Needs to Wear Braces

Many parents know the feeling: A perfectly even, straight smile with baby teeth turns into a crooked mass of adult teeth. Suddenly, your child has become self-conscious about smiling, and he or she might even be teased by other children. In addition, misaligned teeth are more difficult to take care of and more apt to develop problems such as cavities and gum disease. Braces can also take care of overcrowding, and overbites and underbites. All of these issues, when left untreated, can cause problems down the road, including tooth decay, difficulty chewing or speaking, headaches, and so on.
When there are clearly issues with the alignment of teeth, it’s time to bring your child in for a consultation with an orthodontist. A year or two of braces can mean a beautifully straight smile for life. There are a number of different options for braces today, including invisible braces, which are great for older kids and teens who might not want a mouth full of metal.

Incidentally, if you are adult who has been living with crooked teeth, it’s never too late for straightening your teeth. We offer a number of different options for adult orthodontics.

Your Child Is Having Other Difficulties

Although bringing your child to an orthodontist by the age of seven is a loose recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists, some kids might need to be seen even earlier. Parents should be alert for signs of problems with their kids. Children who have difficulty chewing or speaking might be suffering from type of jaw issue. If you notice your kids’ jaws making any noise while they are chewing, this can also warrant a trip to the orthodontist. Teeth grinders, too, should see an orthodontist as early as necessary.

Your Child Needs the Right Orthodontist

Although your dentist might recommend an orthodontist, it’s important to do your own research on finding the right one for your child’s needs. Ask around for recommendations from family and friends. Take a look at websites and online review. Find an orthodontist that is conveniently located so it’s easy to make regular appointments for examinations and adjustments.

When you have a list of potential candidates, make a consultation appointment with each. You want to meet the orthodontist as well as the entire team. Talk about treatment plans and ask plenty of questions. Once you have met with everyone and gotten more details, you should be able to make an informed decision for you and your child.

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment for your child, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We invite you to call Prentice Orthodontics today at 303-468-7722 to set up an appointment for a consultation. Our experienced staff can answer questions about treatment options and other orthodontic recommendations. We look forward to seeing you!