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types of braces

Meet Dr. Melanie

Our orthodontist, Dr. Melanie Ross is trained to treat children and adults. Dr. Ross is an expert in Orthodontics. She works well with children and adults and is looking forward to helping you achieve your goals of having straight teeth! She graduated dental school from Nova Southeastern University with High Honors and was awarded The Alpha Omega Scholastic Achievement Award--a distinction for having amongst the highest Scholastic rankings over all four years of dental school. That was followed by being inducted to the National Dental Honor's Society--Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). Dr. Ross completed training in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the prestigious Tufts University.

We offer Invisalign, and traditional braces, for children and adults.

Why Orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment helps your child bite and chew properly, and contributes to clear speech patterns. When teeth function properly, a natural byproduct is they also tend to look nice. An attractive smile is a pleasant side effect of orthodontic treatment, and can have emotional benefits for children and adults. Self-confidence and self-esteem may improve as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips and face into proportion. Straight teeth are also less prone to decay, gum disease and injury, plus improved gum health, balanced jaw muscle kinetics, and a boost in self-confidence!

types of braces
types of braces

What Happens at the Orthodontist?

Dr. Ross or an assistant will take 1. X-rays of your mouth, 2. pictures of your teeth, and 3. a digital teeth impression. The X-rays are called panoramic image and cephalometric image, the clinical pictures are approximately eight pictures taken with a camera, and with use of the iTero scanner, it will scan images of your teeth that are instantly transferred into a 3-D model.  When scan is complete (less than a few minutes), there will be a perfect 3-D digital mold of your teeth on the computer!   

Dr. Ross will examine your teeth, pictures, x-rays and the digital impression which collectively are called the "Orthodontic Records." From that information, then a diagnosis is extrapolated to provide an individualized course of orthodontic treat for you or your little champion!

When Should I or My Child See an Orthodontist?

There's no set age for a child's first orthodontist visit — some kids go when they're 6, some kids go when they're 10, and some go while they're teens. Even adults can need orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontists say kids should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7.

If your child's teeth are crowded, protrusive, spaced too far apart, meet in an abnormal way, or do not meet at all, correction may be recommended. Braces and aligners are the “appliances” orthodontists most commonly use to guide your teeth into their proper positions. Retainers preserve and stabilize the results of your orthodontic treatment.

Benefits of Orthodontic Care

There are several benefits your children can gain from early developmental orthodontic treatment. Addressing problems sooner can prevent them from becoming worse, as well as prevent other issues from developing as they get older. Other benefits of early treatment include:

  • Reduce the likelihood of having to extract permanent teeth later

  • Help prevent teeth from shifting and becoming crooked

  • Address current issues with crooked and overcrowded teeth

  • Monitor jaw growth and guide its development

  • Reduce the likelihood of permanent teeth not growing in straight

  • Address issues with gaps in between permanent teeth

  • Help children with concerns over the appearance of their smiles

Aside from the aesthetic benefits of early developmental treatment, correcting problems can also help improve speech patterns and the ability to speak clearly and make eating different types of food easier. Furthermore, early treatment will help your children adjust easier to wearing braces once they are ready for this part of their treatment.

About Traditional braces for Kids

Traditional metal braces are still the preferred treatment option for children (and adults alike) and thanks to advancements in technology, the metal wires, and brackets are smaller and less bulky than before, while retaining their ability to deal with cases of severely misaligned teeth with the benefit of being more comfortable.

Their popularity is also in part due to their affordability and proven track record-they have been shown to improve a variety of malocclusions including overbites, underbites, crossbites among others. The system of wires and brackets works by applying controlled pressure to the teeth that cause movement while the archwires guide their movement and places slight pressure on the brackets. Adjustments are made periodically by an orthodontist and elastics (that come in a variety of colors) are changed at these appointments.

About Invisalign for Kids

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional metal braces as it does not cause much disruption to normal life. Using a 3D image of the patient’s mouth custom-made, clear aligner trays are fabricated to be worn by the patient for about 2 weeks each. Each successive tray causes gentle movement of less than a millimeter and guides the teeth into a better position. Since these trays can be easily taken in and out of the mouth for eating and oral hygiene and allow for tooth movement without a mouth full of metal, they are a hit with kids especially when they are done by the experts at Little Champions Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.

About Orthodontics for Adults

Irrespective of your age, braces can help you to get the smile that you have always wanted. By pursuing orthodontic treatment, you will not only change your smile but also improve your oral health and prevent problems such as gum disease. With current advancements in orthodontics, there are many orthodontic options available for adults including traditional metal braces and Invisalign (as explained above) as well as the following options:

  • Ceramic braces: these work in the same way as metal braces but consist of clear ceramic brackets and wires so that they virtually blend in with the teeth. Though they are more difficult to keep clean, they are perfect for those who want a more discrete option for straightening teeth.

  • Lingual braces: another discrete option for straightening teeth, these braces are placed behind the teeth (on the lingual surface) so that they are hidden from view. These are usually more costly than metal or ceramic braces.

  • Self-ligating braces: self-ligating braces have brackets that clip right onto the wire as opposed to metal and ceramic braces that use elastics to connect brackets to the wire. Brackets are smaller and can be clear so that they are usually less noticeable.               

  • Retention (retainers) after braces or Invisalign

  • Retainers are worn after treatment is complete to allow the bones of your jaw time to solidify around the new positions of your teeth. Wearing your retainer during the months immediately following treatment, and for the rest of your life, as recommended by your orthodontist, will ensure that your teeth do not return to their pre-treatment positions and undo all the hard work in creating your perfect smile.

Contact us today to ask questions, schedule an appointment or learn more.

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