Complimentary Orthodontic Evaluations
If you are new to our practice, you may not know that orthodontic treatment comprises one half of the comprehensive care that Dr. Tawadros provides our patients. Each patient’s growth and development is evaluated routinely at each hygiene visit. If you are an established family in our practice and you have any questions or concerns about your child’s facial and dental development please ask us. If you are new to our practice, please call to schedule an orthodontic evaluation.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Orthodontics recommends the first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. Early orthodontic evaluation helps detect discrepancies in a young patient’s upper and lower jaw alignment. The discrepancies can occur because one or both jaws are under or over-developed. Under-developed jaws are more common.
Jaw growth discrepancies are often accompanied by dental crowding which becomes evident at an early age. The jaw growth discrepancies do not self-correct. If the growth discrepancies are orthodontically corrected at an early age the jaws will then continue to develop normally.
The relation of the jaw to our health and comfort is an important one. Improperly aligned jaws can cause symptoms including headaches, limited mouth opening, and pain of the TMJ’s (tempromandibular joints). Correction of jaw growth discrepancies and misaligned teeth will help patients to eat, speak, brush, and play normally and in comfort, as well as improve their self esteem. If your child can benefit from early orthodontic treatment, Dr. Tawadros will recommend the most effective, most comfortable, and most patient compliant course of treatment.
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Before & After Photos
Who can benefit from orthodontic treatment?
Patients who present with improperly aligned jaws, crowded teeth, spacing between teeth, excessive overbite or overjet, missing teeth, impacted teeth (other than wisdom teeth), and teeth in dental crossbite may needorthodontic treatment to avoid expensive problems or discomfort in the future. While orthodontics helps these patients gain a healthy smile, there are many patients who may lead a long healthy life with an imperfect smile, but will benefit socially from having orthodontic treatment. Our culture values the straight, wide, bright, glossy smiles we see in the media; choosing orthodontic treatment for a child who is too self-conscious to smile may be a choice to improve your child’s self-esteem.
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Does orthodontics mean braces?
Dr. Tawadros will recommend a course of treatment that is tailored to your child’s specific dental needs. This may or may not include: retainers to align or expand the jaws, braces on one or both arches, and post-orthdodontic retainers. Retainers move bone, meaning they will aid in jaw re-alignment, and braces move teeth. Those who are familiar with our practice know Dr. Tawadros is very thorough and will spend the time needed to ensure you understand and are comfortable with your child’s treatment plan.
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What about post-treatment retainers?
The fee for orthodontics includes the post-orthodontic retainers. Following braces, most of our patients will receive an upper, clear, removable retainer, and a lower, fixed, permanent retainer.
The upper retainer is a clear tray that is custom made for your child’s newly aligned teeth. Patients wear this retainer full time for one week (except for eating and drinking), and then only at night for approximately the next two years. During this two-year period, Dr. Tawadros will recommend patients taper wearing the retainer down to three nights per week, then one night per week, and eventually your son or daughter will be able to get rid of their retainer if they so choose.
The lower permanent retainer is a small metal wire which is placed behind the lower front six teeth. This retainer is not visible from speaking distance as it is tacked onto the back of the teeth with a tooth-colored bonding material. Patients are able to brush and floss around this retainer normally. This retainer is permanent as recent studies show that all people, having completed orthodontic treatment or not, as we age will experience crowding of our lower arch. Teeth tend to shift toward the midline, so it is best to leave this retainer in as long as it is not bothering your son or daughter.
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What will happen when I get braces?
The first step in orthodontic treatment is the diagnostic records that one of our assistants will take. This includes a cephalometric radiograph (an x-ray) of the side of your head, that shows the way your jaws relate to each other, camera photos of your face and of your teeth, and diagnostic impressions which we send to a lab and have exact models of your teeth made. All of this sounds strange, but we will explain the process involved as we go, and give you as many breaks as you need.
The day you get your braces on, you should expect to be at our office for 1.5 to 2 hours. A parent is welcome to stay with you during this time, or like many of the parents do, they may choose to go do something fun. When Dr. Tawadros puts your braces on, they are tacked onto the front of your top teeth with paste. This part does not hurt, but there are some things we use that don’t taste great, but we attempt to keep that to a minimum for you. Once the brackets are on, your wire is put in place. The wire is held in place by small brightly colored elastics. We have many colors, including neutrals, and each time you come they will be replaced for you. You can choose up to two colors each time, and when it’s the month of your birthday, you may have as many as you like!
After your braces are on, there are about five minutes of instructions that you and a parent will receive: 1) how to care for your braces and teeth, 2) what foods to avoid, and 3) what you can expect in the future. You will leave our office with a bag of goodies, and a big smile. You are going to love the way you look in your braces, everyone does!
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Do braces hurt?
The answer is: braces do not have to hurt. If you have friends or family members who have stated that braces hurt, chances are they had to have separators and bands placed. They are typically the most painful part of orthodontic treatment but we do not use these items, so your experience will be different. We are able to accomplish the same result without the discomfort of separators and bands. Others may have also told you they learned to eat a large meal before an adjustment because they would be too sore to eat afterwards. We are also able to avoid this by the series of wires that we use.
Having said these things, we do not want to mislead you. You will love the way you look the day we put your braces on, but later that day your teeth are going to start to move. This is what we want to happen, but the movement will cause you to have a constant, low-grade ache. It should not be painful, but it is an irritating ache because it is constantly present for approximately four or five days. We recommend that you stay on a constant dose of Advil or Tylenol (Ibuprofen works a little better for this type of ache) during this time. This ache will never come back after the first four to five days. If we make an adjustment that has potential to cause you any discomfort, we will inform you and your parents. We are committed to keep your stay in braces as comfortable and quick as possible.
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How long will I have braces?
As the complexity of each patient’s case varies, so does the estimated length of treatment vary. On average, a comprehensive orthodontic case can be completed in 18 to 24 months. The estimate given is dependant on you, the patient, being present for regular adjustments every four to six weeks to continue your correct progression through treatment.
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