Answers to common questions
An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.
Selecting an orthodontist in Lake Jackson who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important. Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means they’re better qualified to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
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 may be members of the American Board of Orthodontics.
Dr. McGrory from Lake Jackson Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and serves as a Diplomate for the American Board of Orthodontics.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. McGrory recommend an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most Lake Jackson children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. McGrory can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found early at Lake Jackson Orthodontics.
- A more attractive smile.
- Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years.
- Better function of the teeth.
- Possible increase in self-confidence.
- Increased ability to clean the teeth.
- Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth.
- Better long-term health of teeth and gums.
- Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions.
- Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth.
- Aids in optimizing other dental treatment.
- Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked.
- Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite).
- Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite).
- The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite).
- Crowded or overlapped teeth.
- The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up.
- Finger or thumb-sucking habits that continue after six or seven years old.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Teeth worn unevenly or excessively.
- The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together.
- Spaces between the teeth.
- Impacted or stuck teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age! Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. McGrory recommend that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician.
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. Dr. McGrory may recommend this treatment to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, and underbites, or harmful oral habits.
Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment because it involves full braces or Invisalign® when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.
Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that Dr. McGrory places on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components.
When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As this happens, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary.
Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule!
The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days.
Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.
No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. A mouthguard is an inexpensive and comfortable way to protect your smile. They even come in a variety of colors and patterns!
No! However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.
Yes, you should continue to see your primary care dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups!
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Dr. McGrory. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.
They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and teeth are no exception.
To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.
Have more questions?Contact us