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Making Your Practice More Family Focused

Have you ever wondered why some families flock to certain practices year after year? When I first started practicing medicine, I realized that it was difficult to provide a great level of care for different age groups in the same office. If the rooms were painted like a storybook for the kids, it seemed to frustrate the adults. However, after years of trying different things, I have been able to develop a formula that works well for my business. If you have been struggling to improve your own practice, take a few minutes to browse through the articles on my website.

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Making Your Practice More Family Focused

3 Ways Your Orthodontist Might Prepare Your Teeth For Braces

by Monica Reynolds

It can be hard to think about getting braces, especially if you are an adult. However, if you are willing to endure a few years of orthodontic treatment, you can enjoy straight teeth for the rest of your life. Although you might be anxious to get started, your mouth might not be ready for brackets and wires just yet. Here are three ways your orthodontist, like one from Mar Orthodontics, might prepare your teeth for braces, so your teeth will look incredible.

1: A Labial Frenectomy

Do you have a big gap between your front teeth? Although you might assume your orthodontist will be able to simply smash your two front incisors together, you might have a gum condition keeping your teeth apart. If you have an attached labial frenulum, your upper lip might be attached to your gums smack dab in the middle of your two front teeth. If this flap of skin is thick, it can keep your teeth from moving closer together.

To remedy this problem, your orthodontist might recommend a Labial Frenectomy, a procedure where this flap is cut to free up your gums. During this minor in-office surgery, the entire area will be numbed. After the area is prepared, your dentist will either cut the flap with a scalpel and then apply a few stitches, or use a cauterizing instrument.

Although the area might be sore for a few days, recovery from a frenectomy is generally basic. You might experience minor bleeding, or require mild painkillers for a few days. After that troublesome skin flap is removed, your orthodontist will be able to gently pull your front teeth together.  

2: Tooth Extraction

If your mouth is jam-packed full of teeth, it might be tricky for an orthodontist to arrange your teeth in a nice, straight row. To clear up a little room, your orthodontist might recommend having a few teeth pulled. Here are a few reasons this might be necessary:

  • Buck Teeth: When teeth are overcrowded, they might compensate for the lack of space by jutting out of your mouth. If you have buck teeth, your dentist might need to remove a few to push those incisors back in place.   
  • Mismatched Jaw Sizes: Most people don't realize it, but your upper and lower jaws need to match up to keep your teeth straight. If your upper jaw is larger than your lower one, your lower teeth could interlock at incorrect junction points, which could dictate where your upper teeth sit. To correct the problem, your dentist might need to remove teeth from either your upper or lower jaw to change how your teeth fit together. 
  • Wisdom Teeth: If you didn't have your wisdom teeth removed when you were supposed to, they might be sitting in the back of your jaw and crowding out your teeth. To avoid overlapping incisors and tight spots between molars, your wisdom teeth might need to be pulled. 

If your dentist recommends tooth extraction before your orthodontic treatment, don't panic. After that troublesome tooth is pulled and your other teeth move into their correct places, you won't even notice you are one or two teeth short.

3: Spacers

Have you ever wondered how that braces wire will stay on your teeth? Small rubber bands attach the wire to each individual tooth, and the back of the wire ties into a metal collar placed around a molar in the back of each side of your mouth. However, those metal collars take up a little space, which your orthodontist might have to create if room isn't already there.

To make this space, your orthodontist might need to insert spacers in between your back molars a few weeks before your braces are put on. These spacers are basically little rubber doughnuts, and they are shoved between your teeth. When your braces are applied, spacers are removed and the metal collars are put in place.

Patients typically wear spacers for 1-2 weeks prior to their permanent braces application. Although these rubber bumpers are painless, they can be frustrating, as it can feel like food is stuck between your teeth. However, your teeth will move back together after your braces are on, and your dentist can slip off those collars when braces are removed.

Although it might take a little extra patience, a well-prepared mouth will help your teeth to straighten out properly, and help them to stay that way for the long haul.  

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