Orthodontic, orthodontic specialist

What is a diastema?

A diastema is a gap between your teeth. Although, in general gaps between teeth do not cause major harm, they can cause some people to be shy or not smile if the gaps are near the front of the mouth. 

Diastema

What causes diastema or gaps? 

Crowding or gaps between the teeth is caused by a mismatch between the number and size of the teeth present compared to the size of the jaw bone. If the jaw bone is too big or the teeth are too small, this can result in gaps between the teeth. 

Some bad habits, such as sucking your thumb, or placing things between your teeth can also cause a diastema. 

With age, or with gum disease, the bone around the teeth can become weak and soft. This causes the teeth to become loose to come forward, which may lead to gaps between the teeth.  

However, in many cases children may have gaps between their baby teeth. The gaps usually disappear once the adult teeth come through. It can actually be a good thing if a child has gaps between their baby teeth!!! It can mean less chance of crowding when the adult teeth come through. 

I have gapped teethso what? 

The gaps themselves aren’t a problem if you are not concerned by it. However, sometimes, food can get caught in the gaps and be difficult to remove.  

I have gaps and I want to fix it!!! 

Well, you have come to the right place. We will do a complete assessment and let you know your options. Depending on the cause of the gaps, we can suggest the best treatment for you. Usually, using braces or clear aligners, we can bring the teeth together and close the gaps. If the teeth are small, the teeth can be built up with a filling or a veneer. If you are missing a tooth, we can help arrange a fake tooth to replace it and close the gap. 

Clear aligners in particular are very good at closing gaps between teeth. The clear aligners are also not as obvious as braces and therefore, may be more suitable for someone who doesn’t want others to know they are getting orthodontic treatment

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Braces and Wisdom Teeth – What You Need to Know

The teenage years are the ideal time to invest in braces and shape an attractive, healthy smile – but that’s also the time when wisdom teeth may emerge. Here’s some insight into how this affects teenage orthodontics, from a leading orthodontist in Frankston.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are actually the third set of molars, and they get their name because they are the last to emerge – growing at ages 18-20, when we’re older and wiser! The problem with these teeth is that, for most people, our mouths and jaws just don’t have the space to accommodate them. This causes them to push other teeth out of the way, impacting against them and pushing them into crooked positions. Even for children with perfect tooth alignment, the emergence of wisdom teeth can cause alignment issues if their jaw cannot properly accommodate these new teeth.

Obviously, this is a serious issue that can put all the years of wearing braces and investing in teenage orthodontics to waste!

Should You Put Off Getting Teenage Orthodontics?

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you should put off getting braces for your teenage child. In fact, teenage orthodontics can go ahead from an adolescent age and your orthodontist in Frankston will simply monitor the development of the wisdom teeth as treatment progresses.

After the braces treatment is compete, you continue to see your orthodontist for check-ups, and once the wisdom teeth are fully developed, they will recommend their removal through surgery – if needed. The surgery can even be performed while you are wearing braces. For some people, surgery is not even required, as the braces may be able to make space for these emerging teeth.

This means your child gets a healthy, beautiful smile while this important issue is expertly monitored your orthodontist in Frankston and treated effectively.

Choose a Leading Orthodontist in Frankston for Teenage Orthodontics

If you think your child may benefit from getting braces, it’s best to get a consultation with an experienced orthodontist in Frankston to discuss your options, develop a treatment plan and monitor the development of wisdom teeth. Contact us today and learn all about teenage orthodontic treatment options!

kids braces, Orthodontic, orthodontic specialist, Uncategorized

How to Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

Braces, whether they are clear or metal, are intricate devices made by orthodontic specialists that make it easy for food and bacteria to get trapped in your mouth. This makes it especially important to maintain proper oral hygiene while you are wearing braces. Here is some advice from your orthodontist in Frankston.

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Why Good Oral Hygiene Matters

Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, many of which are good bacteria that help start the process of breaking down food for absorption in the digestive tract. However, it is important to clean your mouth and teeth regularly to keep the bacteria under control. Without regular brushing and flossing, the bacteria and leftover particles of food in your mouth cause a number of serious issues, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, which can have a negative impact on your overall health and well being.

How to Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

  • Brush – It’s best to brush your teeth after every main meal and before you go to bed, so at least 3 times a day. Brush gently and thoroughly, taking your time to clean out all the little nooks and crannies. You can use an electric or manual toothbrush, and remember to replace it more frequently as the braces tend to wear down the bristles quickly.

    Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against the top of your brackets, then brush with a small, circular motion along the top of your teeth. Then brush the inside of your top teeth. Repeat on the bottom arch.

  • Toothpaste – Use a fluoride enriched toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth. Avoid whitening toothpastes as they can’t whiten the part of the tooth covered by the bracket, so your teeth can look spotty when your braces are removed.
  • Floss – There are specific types of floss that are easier to use with braces, and you can use those interdental brushes instead of floss if you find it easier. You should still floss once a day, or if you can feel food is caught between your teeth.
  • Inspect – Take a look at your braces to see if any brackets or wires are loose or wobbly. If you spot any issues, make an appointment with your orthodontist in Frankston for a repair.

While you have braces, it’s important to keep up with your visits to the dentist. You should see your dentist every 6 months in addition to your regular appointments with your orthodontist in Frankston. Remember, orthodontic specialists can quickly see if you have been maintaining your oral hygiene, as plaque builds up quickly around the brackets of your braces.

Get Answers to All Your Oral Hygiene Questions – Chat to Orthodontic Specialists Today

Looking for an orthodontist in Frankston? Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne is a friendly, welcoming clinic specialising in braces and clear aligners for kids and adults. If you have any questions about braces or other orthodontic treatments, contact us today and book an appointment.

Orthodontic, Uncategorized

Will Thumb Sucking Lead to Orthodontic Problems?

For babies and toddlers, thumb sucking is a common and natural habit that generally falls away between the ages of 2 and 4. Children reflexively put their fingers and thumbs in their mouths when they feel tired, hungry, bored or restless, and it’s considered a normal part of childhood development. If the habit is still very strong around 5-6 years old, however, it can lead to tooth and oral health issues that may require early orthodontic treatment, including kids braces. Here’s some advice from an orthodontist in Frankston.

orthodontic 01

Orthodontic problems that can be caused by thumb sucking

  • Teeth misalignment: One of the most common side effects of this habit is a misalignment of the front teeth due to pressure exerted by the thumb or finger. Most commonly, the upper teeth often start to protrude, but the bottom front teeth can be affected too. This can be corrected with kids braces.
  • Speech impediment: A child’s pronunciation and speaking abilities can be affected by teeth misalignment, and a lisp (on “s” and “z” sounds) can occur when the front teeth are in a buck-tooth position. This is a critical area of childhood development and speech therapy along with early orthodontic treatment is often required to correct the speech impediment.
  • Jaw malformation: This is a less common but still serious orthodontic issue where the shape and fit of the jaw is affected. The upper jaw may narrow, causing it to fit incorrectly into the lower jaw, or a cross-bite can occur. These issues will require early orthodontic treatment to prevent them from becoming worse as your child grows and affecting the shape of his or her face, causing discomfort when chewing and eating, and breathing through the mouth rather than nose.

How to help your child break the habit

If you are concerned that your child’s thumb sucking is becoming a bad habit (especially as their exposure to germs increases) and want to avoid getting kids braces, you can try the following advice from an orthodontist in Frankston to encourage healthier habits.

  • Positive reinforcement: Remind them gently to take their thumb out of their mouth, asking positively rather than using a punishment. You can also supply any kind of positive reinforcement your child responds to, like a hug and a high-five or a treat. You can also build up to a reward – no thumb-sucking for a whole day means ice cream!
  • Sour tastes: Thumb sucking is often almost unconsciously done, so a sharp-tasting reminder can help a child stop that reflex action. Naile-biting fluid, lemon juice or anything else that’s safe for kids’ consumption but not pleasant-tasting will work well.

Get advice today from a leading orthodontist in Frankston

If you’re worried about your child’s habit and concerned that it’s having an impact on his or her teeth, it’s best to speak to your orthodontist in Frankston. With a full assessment and information about early orthodontic treatment, kids braces and advice on building good oral health habits, you’ll get complete peace of mind.

 

Orthodontic, Uncategorized

Tips to Keep Your Teeth Straight After Orthodontic Treatment

Ask any orthodontic specialists in your area and they’ll all say the same thing – teeth have long memories. Without the right care after your metal braces or clear aligners are removed, your teeth will slowly try move back into their old position even years later – and that’s the last thing you’ll want after investing in orthodontic treatment! Here are some tips to help keep your teeth straight and your smile perfect.

bright smile

Wear Your Retainer

After having metal braces or other orthodontics in your mouth for months or even years, the last thing many patients want to hear is that they’ll need to wear a retainer – but it’s the most important thing you can do to keep your teeth straight.

After a patient’s metal braces are removed or their set of clear aligners is complete, orthodontic specialists will create a custom retainer that perfectly fits their teeth and gently holds them in their correct position. How long you’ll have to wear your retainer will be determined by your orthodontist, but it often starts with wearing it all the time (except while eating) and then progresses to you wearing it for a certain number of hours per day or overnight.

Types of Retainer

There are two types of retainer that orthodontic specialists will recommend according to your treatment plan.

  • Permanent retainer – This is a thin wire made of stainless steel that is glued to the back of your front teeth. This makes it completely invisible and it’s a very effective way of supporting your new smile. You’ll have to be careful about cleaning around the area, but it’s very comfortable once your tongue gets used to it – and you won’t have to worry about taking your retainer out, cleaning it and so forth.
  • Removable retainer – These look a lot like clear aligners, and they are worn in a very similar way. You keep them on at all times except while eating and they are fairly invisible, so they usually go unnoticed by other people and in photographs. You have to remember to put them in for the required amount of time each day and, if you aren’t wearing them enough, the retainer won’t fit properly, and it will be uncomfortable.

Have Regular Dental Check-ups

You should visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental check-up and cleaning. They’ll ensure that your retainer (if it’s a permanent one) is still firmly fixed and clean, and they can let you know if there’s any sign of shifting. If your wisdom teeth haven’t emerged yet, your dentist can track these and remove them if needed, as these can cause your teeth to shift. 

You’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into getting the smile you deserve, so it’s important to keep it in great shape and good health! If you want to find out more about what happens after your metal braces come off or you finish with your clear aligners, make an appointment with your local orthodontic specialists today.