Adult / Children Treatment
Good news! Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. If your gums and bone structure are healthy, tooth alignment can be altered at any age. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is just as important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, as well as headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
Caryl Orthodontics provides several options for adult orthodontic treatment. The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, the frequency of visits and shorten treatment time. Nowadays, braces are generally less noticeable than those of the past. Brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth and wires are made from “space-age” materials that stimulate a consistent gentle pressure on the teeth, making the movement process more comfortable.
Invisalign ®, the clear way to straighten teeth using aligners, is a wonderful option for adult patients who prefer not to wear conventional orthodontic appliances. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
Due to cosmetic appeal, the clear or ceramic braces we offer are more popular among our adult patients. Other options include the traditional metal braces and stainless steel braces coated with 24-karat gold.
During your initial examination, Dr. Caryl will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset - their smile.
Because teeth are still loose from their movement with the braces, it is important to wear your retainers full time the first few months following treatment. Retainers keep the teeth in position while they tighten up, as the bone grows closer to the teeth. Teeth are more likely to shift if retainers are not worn during these first few months and should only be taken out for eating, brushing and playing sports.
After the first few months of wear, retainers can be worn only at night. By this time, your teeth will be more stable. Over time, you should gradually reduce wear from every night to three nights a week and ultimately to around one night per week to keep the teeth aligned. However, if you want your teeth to remain in alignment, it will be necessary to wear your retainers forever.
It is important to keep your retainers clean. You should clean them everyday using a toothbrush, toothpaste and cool water. Retainers can be soaked in Efferdent or some other denture cleaner once a week to help kill bacteria, which cause odors and irritate the mouth.
When you are not wearing your retainers, be sure to place them in their case. They are very fragile and can be misplaced. If your retainer is lost or broken, there will be a charge to replace it.
There are different types of retainers that can be used after orthodontic treatment. Hawley retainers are made with wires and acrylic. These retainers are to be worn 24 hours a day.
Essix molded plastic retainers are used more commonly now after braces. They are made from models of the teeth the same day that the braces are removed. They are worn every night for the first year, 3 nights per week for the second year and one night per week after that. The Essix retainers are cleaned with a toothbrush and water only. Mouthwash can then be sprayed on them to kill bacteria and keep them cleaner. They should then be stored in the case you will receive with them.
Some patients have a very narrow upper jaw that does not fit properly with a wider lower jaw. A palatal expansion can be used to correct this arch width discrepancy by widening the upper jaw. The appliance is constructed and then cemented on the teeth just like braces. Once it is cemented, it is ready to be activated. Activation occurs when a special key is placed in a hole in the middle of the expansion appliance. As the key is pushed from the front of the mouth toward the back of the mouth, the piece of metal with holes in it is rotated 90 degrees. Activation continues for approximately 2 –3 weeks. As the device is rotated, it gradually widens the upper jaw.
The schedule of turns for activations should be kept. If a turn has been forgotten, it can be made up only if a short period of time has elapsed from the scheduled turning time. If an entire day is missed, do not try to make it up, just continue on the same schedule, making a note of the two turns that were missed.
When the appliance is first placed in the mouth, it feels awkward due to its position in the roof of the mouth, thus leaving less room for the tongue. Both speech and eating will be difficult at first. As activations are done, pressure will be felt in the teeth, the roof of the mouth and sometimes even the cheeks. It should gradually dissipate. You should feel no pain during the activations.
A toothbrush should be used to clean the entire appliance. The brush will not fit during the initial stages of activation because the slit is too narrow. A pipe cleaner folded in half can help to remove food trapped down in the narrow spilt area. Small interproximal brushes can be used to clean around the expansion piece.