Category: Community

Why to go to an orthodontist instead of an at-home clear aligners company?

young woman, smiling, white straight teeth, Invisalign, Jupiter Orthodontics

As at-home clear aligners increase in popularity, it’s natural to wonder whether in-person orthodontic care or at-home orthodontic care is the better decision for you or your child.

You may believe “at-home” has a comfortable ring to it, but when it comes to you or your child’s precious smile, do you really want to leave room for error?

Take this quick quiz to understand why in-person orthodontic treatment is the right decision for you!

1. Initial Exam
You decided on Invisalign® clear aligners as your treatment. Now, let’s begin. For your initial exam, do you choose Option A or Option B?

Option A: At-home clear aligners

You took the questionable route and chose at-home orthodontics. For your initial exam, you receive an impression kit in the mail. You bite into the impression mold of thick “goop”, your hands shake and you aren’t quite sure if you’re doing it correctly. You send your molds back through the mail and await the arrival of your clear aligners.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You played it smart and scheduled your free exam with us. You meet Dr. King, who asks you what your goals are with treatment. Dr. King then completes a thorough exam of your teeth and bite. He takes x-rays of your condition and shows you diagnostic photos of previous success stories. Dr. King discusses your treatment options with you and suggests the most efficient and effective treatment to fit your lifestyle. He thoroughly explains your chosen treatment and proceeds to take impressions of your teeth and bite, using the iTero Digital Impression system. Your dental molds show immediate results, without the use of “goopy” impression materials. Dr. King crafts a treatment plan, personalized to your current condition and your unique orthodontic goals. He explains every aspect of your custom treatment plan and answers every question you have. Now, with an extensive understanding of what’s to come, you await the arrival of your clear aligners.

2. Your initial exam is complete!

Now it’s time to receive your aligners and begin treatment. If you chose:

Option A: At-home clear aligners

You receive your clear aligners in the mail. You place a set in your mouth, and they feel slightly off-kilter. You can feel that your bottom teeth are dramatically compressed in the bottom aligner, and your top aligner is fitting loosely. You place them in and begin treatment, but you have a few questions, so you resort to searching Google for answers. You continue referring to Google with questions throughout your treatment. Four months have passed, and you snap a picture of your teeth to compare with a picture of your teeth from the beginning of treatment. You don’t notice a difference, but you assume it’ll take a little longer to see results. So you continue treatment and await the results.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You receive your clear aligners from Dr. King. You place a set in your mouth, and they fit snuggly with just enough pressure exerted on your teeth. Dr. King gives you detailed instructions with your clear aligners, and you ask questions to ease every concern. You leave our office with your new orthodontic treatment and a comfortable, comprehensive understanding of your treatment plan. You visit our office regularly, every couple of months, so Dr. King can monitor your progress and order your next few sets of aligners. You visit Dr. King or call the office as often as you’d like with any questions or concerns. (You’re sure to address the hard hitting questions, like “Can I drink wine with Invisalign”?) Four months into your treatment, you compare a picture of your ‘before’ teeth with a picture of your current progress, and you notice a dramatic difference! You’re ecstatic with your current smile, and you can’t wait for the final results.

3. Your treatment is over!

How do you like your new smile?

Option A: At-home clear aligners

Your smile looks different than it did at the beginning of your treatment. You realize you were misinformed on the amount of hours to wear your aligners each day, so your treatment progressed at a slow pace. Your bottom teeth are crowding each other. Your top teeth don’t fall into perfect alignment with your bottom teeth, and it feels awkward to chew food. You realize that you must’ve taken inaccurate molds of your teeth at the beginning of your treatment. (Remember your shaky hands?) Looking at your results in the mirror, you decide that your at-home orthodontic venture was not worth the money or time. You call Jupiter Orthodontics to schedule your free orthodontic exam, and your treatment period starts back at square one.

Option B: Clear aligners from the orthodontist

You love your new teeth! Your smile reveals perfectly aligned teeth on the top and bottom rows. Your previous condition has vanished, and your top and bottom teeth align comfortably with a healthy bite. Your new smile exceeds your expectations, and you can’t wait to maintain it during the retention phase. You walk out of Jupiter Orthodontics with a confident smile that you can’t stop sharing. Your in-person orthodontic treatment was a success.

The risks in at-home orthodontic care should not be ignored!

In this scenario, at-home orthodontic care resulted in an ineffective treatment that required in-person orthodontic care in the end to reverse damage. (At-home orthodontic care can lead to even greater damage than this scenario!) When you choose in-person orthodontic care with an orthodontist, you’re choosing a path that will save you a considerable amount of time and money.

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we want you to experience a confident smile without damaging your teeth or gums. If you’re seeking an orthodontist in Jupiter, we would love to meet you! Please feel free to reach out to us or schedule your free exam with Dr. King today.  Jupiter Orthodontics is proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities.

WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT MY BITE?

young girl in orthodontist chair, waiting for exam, Jupiter Orthodontics

Many people find themselves saying, “I just want straight teeth. I don’t care if I have an improper bite.” Their motivating desire is to have straighter teeth, not to improve their bite.

While straightening teeth is extremely important, your bite alignment is equally as important!

People who have adapted to an improper bite over time have no reference for a healthy bite. They may think their bite is normal, yet they’re unknowingly experiencing the harmful effects of an improper bite.

Improve Your Quality of Life

Straight teeth are an important component to a healthy bite, as teeth must be excellently aligned for an excellent bite condition. You can’t achieve the bite you need without excellent tooth alignment!

With a proper bite, you will notice:

  • A more proportionate facial balance and attractiveness with balanced jaw positions and lip position
  • An expanded airway, which makes breathing, eating and sleeping significantly easier
  • Healthy teeth and gums protected from damage and diseases

Understanding Bite Relationships

Dental occlusion, which is a person’s bite, refers to the relationship and alignment of the lower and upper teeth when the mouth is closed. Occlusion basically describes how the teeth fit together.

A malocclusion is an incorrect bite relationship or an irregular alignment of teeth giving the characteristic of spacing or crowding. At least 70% of the population has a malocclusion! Although most people experience an improper bite, it’s not “normal”, and it disables you from living your best quality of life.

Malocclusions can contribute to three types of problems:

  • Esthetic/Psychological: Evidence shows that a malocclusion and unhealthy alignment are associated with a negative social status, while a healthy occlusion and alignment are associated with a positive social status.
    • Employment: An esthetically attractive person has a better chance of being perceived as qualified by employers.
    • Self-Esteem: Your dental and orthodontic structures directly affect your appearance. The more attractive your teeth and bite are, the higher your social status is perceived, which causes you to have a greater self-esteem.
  • Functional: Living with a malocclusion increases your potential for developing problems during your daily functions, namely chewing, swallowing and speaking. With an improper bite, you’ll likely experience pain and discomfort around the temporomandibular joints, or the two joints that connect the jaw to the skull. A malocclusion can also damage the periodontal tissues and the teeth over time by deterioration.
  • Injury/Pathology: Protruding upper teeth are at a greater risk of being injured from a trauma. In fact, “the risk of trauma to the upper incisors is as high as ⅓ in children with untreated incisor protrusion” (1). Poor alignment and crowded teeth also complicate hygiene and increase the risk of developing cavities and gum disease.

The Bottom Line

A malocclusion, or improper bite or tooth relationships, can significantly affect your quality of life without you even realizing it. A healthy bite will help you breathe easier, speak easier, sleep easier, focus easier and encourage a positive self-esteem.

Investing in orthodontic treatment to achieve a better bite and a more pleasing smile will pay off for a lifetime, in more ways than one!

If you’re ready to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. King, request your appointment here!

If you have any questions regarding bites or how you can achieve your healthiest smile yet, don’t hesitate to contact us or ask us a question.

Sources:
1. Proffit WR, Fields HW, Sarver DM. Contemporary orthodontics. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:751.

IS IT IMPORTANT TO WEAR MY RETAINER AFTER ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?

Two hands holding retainers, one hawley retainer, one mouthguard, invisalign aligner, smiling white teeth straight

Imagine a patient who’s just broken her arm. We’ll call her Suzie. Suzie will be rushed to the emergency room to mend her broken arm. Depending on her condition, the doctors will most likely perform surgery, realign the arm bones and send Suzie home with a cast to enforce the proper structure of her arm for the next few months or so.

Now imagine she removes her cast after one day of wear. The arm bones don’t know the proper way to heal; they have no structure or alignment for growth support. The arm will most likely resume its broken position, reverting to an unhealthy alignment with improper growth. Essentially, Suzie just underwent surgery for no reason, and she’ll have to endure treatment all over again.

Now, apply this to your orthodontic treatment.

You just went through a full 18-month treatment of traditional metal braces or Invisalign® clear aligners. The day your braces are removed, Dr. King gives you your retainer (or in Suzie’s case, her cast) to wear diligently for the next year. If you choose not to wear your retainer, your teeth will revert to their previous position prior to your braces treatment. To avoid regression in your treatment, your teeth need subsequent enforcement and structure once your braces are removed.

Soft tissues need reinforcement 

Your braces have been removed, and your teeth and gums are standing freely on their own. They’ve become accustomed to constant surrounding pressure enforcing their structure and supporting them in their position. Once the crutch is removed, your teeth and gums will need to stabilize without the help of braces. With no enforcement, teeth have a natural tendency to revert to their natural position. (Their natural position is the reason you initially needed braces, so you obviously don’t want them back in that same position!) Your teeth and gums are tender after your braces are removed; they’re easily influenced by pressure. Wearing your retainer as prescribed will keep your teeth and gums in the proper position, supporting them through the day and night. The retainer will literally retain your perfect smile.

Teeth shift out of place

Your retainer is designed to correct overcrowding or spacing in your teeth. If your teeth are prone to spacing, your retainer’s design will ensure your teeth are held tightly together. Eventually, after a period of retention, your teeth will stabilize in a compact formation. If your mouth is relatively small and your teeth are prone to overcrowding and overlapping each other, your retainer will be designed to leave space where it’s necessary. This position will also stabilize once your retainer is worn sufficiently.

Similarly, your retainer’s design will leave room for wisdom teeth to grow with a healthy amount of space. Wisdom teeth typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. As many people have braces before or during this period, the emergence of wisdom teeth must be considered during an orthodontic treatment and after. Your retainer will ensure enough space for wisdom teeth to grow in properly. Failure to wear your retainer will cause crowded teeth and gapped teeth to reappear.

How long should I wear my retainer?

Depending on the type of retainer you choose, you will be prescribed an amount of time to keep your retainer in place. We offer different types of retainers, including removable retainers and permanent retainers. Removable retainers will be worn full-time, day and night, for 2 weeks following removal of your braces. After 2 weeks of full-time wear, Dr. King will give you the green light to wear your retainer only at night. Eventually, you will be able to wear your retainer at night a few days a week, and you will continue to wear it like this for as long as you want to keep your teeth in excellent condition. (We recommend forever!)

If you have a permanent retainer, this will stay in place supporting your bottom teeth for the foreseeable future. Some patients choose to have these removed after years, while most get used to their permanent retainer very quickly and choose not to have it removed. As long as your permanent retainer remains in, your bottom teeth will have constant structural enforcement keeping them straight and properly aligned.

If you’re ready to take the next step and want to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. King, you can do so here!
If you have any questions about retainers, braces or Invisalign®, Jupiter Orthodontics has you covered. Feel free to contact us here!

We are proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities.

HOW TO EAT AND DRINK WITH CLEAR ALIGNERS / INVISALIGN

Invisalign

Invisalign Clear Aligners have become an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment option because patients can remove them when necessary and they are very discreet.  Sounds simple, right?? It is, but we still get questions on proper protocol when eating and drinking with clear aligners.  Here are a few tips that we share with our patients:

  • Always remove your custom made aligners before eating/drinking.  

There are several reasons why this is important.

    • Aside from water, drinking fluids such as coffee, tea, cola or wine can stain the invisible aligners over time.  Stained aligners will make your teeth look discolored and the advantage of having clear orthodontics will dissipate over time.
    • Eating while wearing your aligners can cause them to break or become distorted. It takes time to order new aligners and waiting for a replacement tray to be delivered will delay treatment and become more costly.
    • When you eat food, your body uses the saliva in your mouth to help wash away sugars and food particles left behind. If you eat with your aligners on, food can become trapped over time, leading to decay.
    • Avoid drinking hot beverages when wearing your aligners, as they can warp the material and hinder treatment. We recommend only drinking cool/room temperature clear water while wearing your aligners.
  • Keep an oral hygiene kit on hand.
    • Ask us for a retainer case to keep your trays in when you remove them to eat or drink.  Placing them on a napkin or paper towel is very precarious, as we have had several patients accidentally throw away their aligners.
    • Keep some floss and a toothbrush handy at all times.  It is always best to floss and brush before putting your aligners back into place.  If you do not have these items, be sure to at least rinse your mouth with some mouthwash or warm water.
  • Keep your aligners clean.
    • Be sure to gently brush your aligners with a gentle mouthwash like Crest Pro Health.  Listerine and toothpaste are too abrasive to use on the aligners and can cause them to become damaged over time.

Clear braces are a fun way to straighten misaligned teeth because no one will know you have them except for you, especially when you take proper care of your invisible braces while you eat.

As always, the Jupiter Orthodontist team is here to answer any of your questions and to help you any way that we can to ensure that your Invisalign works perfectly according to your treatment plan.  Please feel free to call our office and any member of our team will be happy to assist you. Jupiter orthodontics is proud to serve the Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hobe Sound, FL communities.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD’S TEETH WHILE PLAYING SPORTS

children sports soccer

September 14th, 2018

A new school year has begun, and with that, sports season is just around the corner. As the buzz of club try- outs, evaluations, selecting teams and practice/games schedules begins, it is important to not forget about safety!

Proper Equipment

When participating in sports, safety equipment should be at the top of the list when it comes to an athlete’s uniform. Helmets are typically required when playing sports such as football, baseball, softball, etc. But are mouth guards a part of the standard equipment? The American Association of Orthodontist found that 84% of children playing an organized sport do not wear a mouth guard because they are not required to do so. This is very concerning because athletes who do not wear a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. If your child is playing in any of the following sports, it is recommended by the American Dental Association that they wear a mouth guard: football, basketball, lacrosse, gymnastics, martial arts, roller hockey, skateboarding, soccer, volleyball and even surfing! We will take it a step further and say that players involved in baseball and softball should wear a mouth guard, as well. Any time there is a chance for contact to the face by the ground, another player or a ball, a mouth guard should be worn.

Injuries

While wearing a mouth guard is not a sure proof way of preventing all dental injuries, it certainly helps reduce the potential severity of the injury. Approximately, 50% of sports injuries are directly to the mouth and many require professional treatment to minimize long term complications.

  • Tooth fracture/Tooth loss

One of the most common dental injuries that occurs in sports. When a tooth cracks or is knocked out due to impact with the ground or a hard ball, it is imperative to seek medical treatment in order to try and preserve the tooth. Wearing a mouth guard will significantly lower the chances of cracking a tooth or having one knocked out completely. Treating these injuries can be very costly for the parent and uncomfortable for the child.

  • Splitting of the Lip/Tongue

This occurs quite frequently when a player does not wear a mouth guard. They take a stumble, make hard contact with another player or have a ball hit them directly in the mouth, causing one or more of their teeth to puncture their tongue or lip. Again, a mouth guard can significantly reduce the risk of this injury.

Types of Mouth Guards

  • Ready Made/Boil and Bite

These are the most common mouth guards because they are the least expensive. While they do not offer the same protection as a mouth guard that is made by a dentist or orthodontist, it is still better than wearing nothing.

  • Custom Made Mouth Guards

These mouth guards are more expensive than the OTC mouth guards, but they offer the best protection. They are customized by a doctor or professional technician to ensure a proper fit and are the best option for players with braces or dental implants.

Proper Handling of the Mouth Guard

It is crucial to explain to your child the proper positioning of the mouth guard. We understand it is very common for players to complain that a mouth guard is uncomfortable or bulky and not want to wear it. To ensure the effectiveness of the mouth guard, the player needs to leave the mouth guard in place while in action and not chew on it. The mouth guard cannot do its job if is being treated like a piece of gum.

Once the game or practice is over, the mouth guard should be washed with a non alcohol mouth wash or brushed with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Gently dry the mouth guard and store in a dry case. Never leave the mouth guard loose in a gym bag or store damp, as it can collect loads of bacteria and germs.

Ultimately, it is impossible to guarantee an injury free sports season but there are steps that can be taken to lessen the chances. It is our sincere hope that parents and coaches will do everything in their power to provide proper safety equipment for all sporting participants. Please let us know if we can help in any way!

We wish everyone a safe and fun sports season! Remember, protect those teeth!

MEAW METHOD – NON SURGICAL ALTERNATIVE

young woman smile dentist orthodontist

July 17th, 2017

I FIRST LEARNED the MEAW method in its earliest stages from Dr. Kim.

Having an insatiable appetite for cutting edge orthodontic knowledge this method was inspirational since I was determined to offer patients a non surgical option.
Early in the 1970s, Dr. Kim developed the Multi-Loop Edgewise Archwire (MEAW) appliance in his Weston, Mass, practice. This appliance allowed him to treat open bites and other severe malocclusions with excellent clinical results.

The Multi-loop Edgewise Archwire (MEAW) technique is a very intricate, complex and non-surgical method for treating patients that would normally require surgical realignment of the jaws. This technique utilizes braces, custom-formed loop archwires, and elastics to guide the teeth into the correct positions.
In all of South Florida very few orthodontist are trained in the MEAW technique and is offering it as a treatment option to their patients. I am proud to have become proficient with the intricacies of custom-fitted loop archwires since 2005 and provide this cutting-edge technology to my patients with a comfortable, non-invasive alternative to painful jaw surgery.

A QUICK FIX FOR MAXILLARY DIASTEMA RELAPSE – AKA: THE GAP BETWEEN THE FRONT TEETH

woman gapped front teeth

April 3rd, 2017

Every once in a while there is a request in Dr. King’s office for a little post treatment help after non-compliance. It happens, a retainer gets lost, a permanent retainer gets broken, things happen and Dr. King understands that. Dr. King has developed a very successful procedure used when the space between the front teeth slowly returns and is not welcome.

Neal Kravitz, Editor for the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics requested Dr. King to contribute an article which describes a simple and esthetic solution he created for consolidating anterior spaces with light force and minimal effort. The technique evolved from a method of minor space closure in which a 1/8”, 2 oz elastic was placed around the central incisors and below the contact point in the gingival one-third of the tooth. This procedure is more comfortable, esthetic and predictable, requiring no special patient cooperation.

The included photos are of a 20 year old who lost his retainer a year previously. First, the anterior teeth to be bonded are isolated and etched and a bonding agent is applies. Next, a clear elastic thread* is cut to a length of 6” and positioned on the middle third of the crowns. A small teardrop of composite** is added over the thread on each tooth surface and cured one at a time. Maintaining tension as the elastic thread is lightly stretched across the teeth. This patient was bonded canine to canine and the space was closed in 10 days.

A space of 1mm or less can close in 24 hours if the thread is bonded fro lateral incisor to lateral incisor. If the patient has an overjet, space will rarely open distal to the lateral incisors. To avoid rotation of the upper lateral incisors, the patient should be scheduled to return to the office in 24 – 48 hours, since the teeth are being moved by uncontrolled tipping with no moment of a couple. If the lateral incisors begin to rotate, either excessive tension has been placed on the thread of the force has been exerted for too long.

If the patient is unable to return within two days, or if the rotation of the lateral incisors is a concern, the elastic thread can be bonded from canine to canine as shown here. Space closure will then take seven to ten days, but there is less risk of rotation due to the added anchorage of the canines. A bonded retainer should be placed once space closure is complete.

WONDERING IF YOU NEED TO SEE YOUR DENTIST?

December 20th, 2016

So, you just got your braces on and you’re wondering if you need to visit your general dentist since you’re seeing Dr. King every other month. Patients often ask if they need to see their dentist while in orthodontic treatment. The answer is an emphatic yes.

There are a few crucial reasons why you should keep up with your regular dental visits while coming in for your orthodontic adjustments at Jupiter Orthodontics.

There are a few crucial reasons why you should keep up with your regular dental visits while coming in for your regular adjustments at Jupiter Orthodontics.

  • There is no room for tarter and plaque in your mouth while you undergo orthodontic treatment so it is important to visit your dentist regularly.
  • Having braces provides additional nooks and crannies where food particles and bacteria can hide. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can help ensure most, if not all, plaque and tartar is removed. Even if you are undergoing clear aligner treatment, dental checkups and cleanings are equally as important.
  • The next reason to visit a dentist is to help protect your teeth from decalcification, or the loss of calcium in your teeth. A potentially serious condition in which white spots on your tooth surfaces, decalcification is irreversible and if left untreated, can lead to cavities. Decalcification is preventable; patients who cut down on sugary sweets and acidic foods, practice good oral hygiene, and visit their dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.
  • The final reason we recommend visiting your dentist while you have braces is this: cavities can prolong your treatment. If you are interested in completing your orthodontic treatment on time and without delay (and we know you are) you should visit your dentist every six months which will go a long way toward making that a realistic goal. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.

Dr. King encourages you to visit your dentist which will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces come off. Straight teeth are beautiful but healthy teeth are an absolute necessity.