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Posts for tag: braces

By Upper East Smiles
April 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

If you think that your child needs braces to correct his bite problem or crowded teeth, you can obtain an orthodontic assessment by the time he’s seven years old. You can have this evaluation done by an orthodontist, which is a dentist that has undergone extra training to specialize in straightening and aligning the teeth.

Here at Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, NY, our orthodontist can evaluate your child’s bite to determine whether he needs dental braces. In most cases, however, the most appropriate time for orthodontic treatment would depend significantly on the cause and severity of the child’s misalignment.

What to Know About Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

Traditionally, orthodontic treatment using dental braces starts when the child has shed most of his primary or baby teeth, and most of his permanent or adult teeth have come in. Generally speaking, this occurs between eight and 14 years old. In case orthodontic treatment is required at this time, your orthodontist in Upper East Side, NY, may recommend preventive or interceptive care to leverage the growth of the child and guide the desired outcomes alongside the child’s development.

Another option is to take the interceptive approach, which entails the use of other dental appliances, other than braces, at a younger age even if the child still has baby teeth. Once the child is older and has most of his adult teeth, the second treatment phase may be started using braces.

In most cases, the second treatment phase may be shorter than if the child didn’t undergo the interceptive treatment phase. It’s crucial to point out, however, that choosing which approach to take will be mainly dependent on your orthodontist and based on factors specific to your child’s case.

If Not Dental Braces, Then What?

Your orthodontist will take detailed impressions of your child’s jaw and teeth, diagnose what needs correcting, create a treatment plan, and perform the plan as required. While traditional dental braces are among the most common orthodontic treatments, your orthodontist may also recommend other options including invisible braces or clear aligners, a plate, elastics, or retainers. Essentially, the most suitable solution for your child would depend primarily on the severity and exact nature of your child’s orthodontic issues.

For More Detailed Information on Orthodontics, Give Us a Call

Schedule your consultation with one of our orthodontists here at Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, NY, by dialing (646) 864-1808.

By Upper East Smiles
March 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  

Braces can be a long, involved process, but gaining a more attractive smile and better oral health is worth it. Sometimes, though, braces can produce unintended short-term consequences.

Brace brackets and wires do the work of moving teeth to better positions. They can, however, hinder the wearer's hygiene efforts to remove plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, from tooth surfaces. Plaque buildup increases the risk of dental disease and other ill effects.

One such effect while you're wearing braces is the formation of tiny spots that look pale and chalky on otherwise smooth and polished enamel. These are white spot lesions (WSLs), where acid has remained for too long on the tooth enamel. They occur because acid-producing bacteria escape removal during brushing and flossing due to the braces hardware.

We want to try to prevent WSLs while wearing braces, and not just because they're unattractive. You're actually looking at enamel erosion, which could lead to cavity development at those weakened spots.

Although difficult for you as a braces wearer, daily brushing and flossing is crucial to WSL prevention. You'll need to take more time to be sure you're reaching all around the wires and brackets. You can improve your effectiveness with special brushes for braces and floss threaders or water irrigators. You can also help keep acid levels low by cutting back on acidic foods and beverages, especially sodas, coffee or spicy foods.

Even if you develop WSLs we can treat them effectively, especially if caught early. One way is by aiding enamel re-mineralization through saliva stimulation (the mouth's acid neutralizer) or applying fluoride to the teeth to strengthen enamel. We can also use caries infiltration, a technique that injects tooth-colored resin below the surface of the lesion. This strengthens the weakened enamel and gives the area the appearance of translucence like normal enamel.

While you're wearing braces, focus diligently on keeping your teeth clean of plaque and keep up your regular cleaning visits with us. If you notice any unusual discolorations or abnormalities, see us as soon as possible. Stopping WSLs from developing will help ensure your teeth are healthy and attractive after the braces come off.

If you would like more information on dental care with braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Upper East Smiles
March 06, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

How braces from your orthodontist in Upper East Side, New York can help your smile.

If you have an uneven, crooked smile, or if your jaws are poorly aligned and it is uncomfortable to chew, braces can help. In fact, braces can help with a lot of smile problems. Dr. Jessie Choi, orthodontist at Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, New York can help you achieve a straight, beautiful smile.

Braces can help with many smile problems. Some of the most common problems treated with braces include:

  • Correcting crowding and tooth rotation
  • Closing gaps between teeth
  • Correcting an overbite or underbite
  • Correcting a crossbite or open bite
  • Helping impacted teeth erupt normally

When you choose braces to give you a straight smile, you will enjoy a smile that is much easier to keep clean, as brushing and flossing become easier. Chances are less plaque will accumulate on your teeth if they are straight too.

Braces also correct poor jaw alignment. When your jaws and teeth come together properly, it decreases the stress on your teeth, which means less chance of tooth wear, and less chance of you needing dental restorations later on. There is also less stress on your jaws, which means less chance of jaw and facial pain, and less chance of TMJ problems.

You can review some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about braces by clicking on this link on the Upper East Smiles website:

Let's face it, a straight smile is much more attractive, and can give you the self-confidence you deserve. To find out more about braces and how they can help your smile, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Jessie Choi, an orthodontist of Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, New York at (646) 864-1808. Call today.

By Upper East Smiles
November 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral health   braces  

Breathing: You hardly notice it unless you're consciously focused on it—or something's stopping it!

So, take a few seconds and pay attention to your breathing. Then ask yourself this question—are you breathing through your nose, or through your mouth? Unless we're exerting ourselves or have a nasal obstruction, we normally breathe through the nose. This is as nature intended it: The nasal passages act as a filter to remove allergens and other fine particles.

Some people, though, tend to breathe primarily through their mouths even when they're at rest or asleep. And for children, not only do they lose out on the filtering benefit of breathing through the nose, mouth breathing could affect their dental development.

People tend to breathe through their mouths if it's become uncomfortable to breathe through their noses, often because of swollen tonsils or adenoids pressing against the nasal cavity or chronic sinus congestion. Children born with a small band of tissue called a tongue or lip tie can also have difficulty closing the lips or keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth, both of which encourage mouth breathing.

Chronic mouth breathing can also disrupt children's jaw development. The tongue normally rests against the roof of the mouth while breathing through the nose, which allows it to serve as a mold for the growing upper jaw and teeth to form around. Because the tongue can't be in this position during mouth breathing, it can disrupt normal jaw development and lead to a poor bite.

If you suspect your child chronically breathes through his or her mouth, your dentist may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to check for obstructions. In some cases, surgical procedures to remove the tonsils or adenoids may be necessary.

If there already appears to be problems brewing with the bite, your child may need orthodontic treatment. One example would be a palatal expander, a device that fits below the palate to put pressure on the upper jaw to grow outwardly if it appears to be developing too narrowly.

The main focus, though, is to treat or remove whatever may be causing this tendency to breathe through the mouth. Doing so will help improve a child's ongoing dental development.

If you would like more information on treating chronic mouth breathing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Trouble With Mouth Breathing.”

By Upper East Smiles
April 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”