Category: For Children

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 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!

DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING?

If so, it may not be a lack of interest of boredom but something important YOU as a parent can help with.

Here are some crucial facts about SCHOOL AGE SCREENING FOR SLEEP PROBLEMS IN YOUTH.

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problem causes:

  • Obstructive: Large adenoids / tonsils or tongue displaced back into an airway.
  • Environmental: Allergies or chronic sinusitis.
  • Genetic: Mismatched, narrow jaws.
  • Anatomic/structural: Misaligned jaws or airway dysplasia.

Here are important symptoms to watch for with your child:

  • Mouth breathing, loud snoring, tossing and turning, gasping and choking during sleep.
  • Attention difficulties, unpredictable behavior, mood disorders at school, even depression can be caused by a lack of restful sleep.
  • Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, diminished growth, hormonal problems, metabolic problems and narrow dental arch problems are common.

Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Insufficient sleep in the youngster’s formative years is associated with metabolic, cognitive and emotional behavioral effects. Pediatric sleep-disordered breathing is a growing area of interest and kids can fall through the diagnostic cracks when this is not recognized and managed.

25% of ADHD problems are children deprived of restful sleep and thus behavioral problems.

Sleep-disordered breathing in the first five years of life is associated with 40 – 60% greater chance of special educational needs by age 8.

PARENTAL AWARENESS

The American Association of Pediatrics “Practice Parameters” recently stated that all children should be screened for snoring because of the 70% overlap of snoring and sleep apnea. The numbers are staggering.

Sleep-disordered breathing is under diagnosed, and often clinicians take a wait and see approach. Invasive interventions are needed to correct the problem later. Your child suffers lessened quality of life, behavioral and/or learning challenges unless helped to restore normal breathing and sleep.

A simple questionnaire and selective 3-D images of a child’s airway helps identify restrictions. Facial orthopedics can help to open the airway, with teamwork by medical and dental sleep specialists for related treatments to optimize the airway and sleep quality.
Patients may benefit from a home sleep study, or see an Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctor if tonsils or adenoids need to be removed. Simple allergy medications may work for some. A common approach may be simple upper jaw orthopedic expansion to correct a narrow jaw, or lower jaw lengthening with widening of the dental arches. Within weeks / months the child typically rests better and awakens normally.

Studies show a strong association between pediatric sleep disorders and childhood obesity. Weight management, oral appliances, or positive airway pressure therapy are very effective treatments.

Bruxism (teeth grinding) occurs during restless sleep and causes primary teeth to become worn – a direct connection with sleep-disordered breathing. Also, sleep-deprived kids may have a lisp caused by inadequate tongue space and poor teeth alignment, chronic dark circles under the eyes, difficulty waking up in the morning, irritability, fidgety behavior, mouth breathing and recurrent episodes of nasal congestion.

DO THE RIGHT THING TO HELP EACH CHILD

Clinicians and parents can do harm by doing nothing. The key factors are recognizing and preventing airway problems and breathing conditions when your child is young.

Everyone feels, performs and behaves our best when well rested.

Contact Jupiter Orthodontics for simple screening and proper guidelines for your child.

Dr. Roy King, Board Certified Facial Orthopedics/Orthodontics, Jupiter Orthodontics

HOW TO ATTAIN STRAIGHT TEETH ASAP

straight teeth black man

Once you have decided to seek orthodontic treatment and the braces have been applied, your next question is probably “how soon can the braces come off?” We understand that a straight, beautiful smile is the number one goal but the second goal is achieving that smile quickly. In this post, we have listed a few suggestions to help you work with your orthodontist to achieve fantastic results as quickly as possible.

Follow the Orthodontist’s Instructions

Dr. King carefully charts out every patient’s treatment plan/timeline. At each appointment, he will give instructions on how to continue to move the teeth into perfect formation. It is important to make and keep your appointments in order for your progress to be closely monitored. Trust the expert, not following the instructions given can lead to a major setback in creating the smile of your dreams!

Eating Healthy and Safe Foods

Following a diet that is low in excessive sugar will help prevent plaque buildup in the mouth. If excessive tooth decay or gum disease occurs during orthodontic treatment, the braces may have to be removed in order to address the problem properly. Furthermore, make sure that you avoid foods that could damage the brackets or wires. Crunchy, sticky or hard foods/candy can knock wires loose or break brackets. When this happens, it is not only uncomfortable, but the braces are unable to work properly. Still, accidents happen and if you experience a loose wire or bracket, call the office and we will fix it for you.

Wear Your Rubber Bands

Wearing rubber bands helps to accomplish tooth movement and not wearing them can cause a need for additional months in braces. We understand that it is annoying to take them in and out when you eat, but being consistent with your rubber bands will keep your progress on track. A small inconvenience for a beautiful end result…

Protecting Your Braces

If you or your child plays sports, wearing a mouth guard will help prevent braces from being damaged. It can also lessen the likelihood of injury to you or your child. Another potential hazard for your braces is mindlessly chewing on pencils, pens or any other non-food item. It is important to be aware of what is put into the mouth. Believe it or not, aggressive brushing can also damage braces and the wires. Be sure to clean the teeth properly. Any member of Dr. King’s team would be happy to show you proper brushing technique, if you need a reminder.

Be Patient

Lastly, be patient with the process. A beautiful smile is not attained overnight. It takes time and precision. As treatment nears the end, it is very common for patients to want to quit or to become frustrated. Dr. King has almost 40 years of experience and has every patient’s best interest as his top priority. If at any point, you have questions or want further explanation, feel free to ask. Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the orthodontist and patient. Both parties have a role to play in order to achieve the best possible results.

SURGERY ALTERNATIVES

There is no smile that Dr. King can’t tame!

Have you been told that you or your child has a problem that will need surgery in order to correct your bite? In the recent past there have been great advances made on how to avoid surgery. Whether you have an openbite, underbite or overbite there may be a newer approach using non surgical orthodontics. The new approach consists of using bone plates, mini implants or M.E.A.W. (Multiloop edgewise archwire therapy) Orthodontic has taken a huge shift from surgery to non surgery.

The procedure itself is an extremely complicated technique for an orthodontist to utilize. For the benefit of my patients I have included the MEAW technique as one of my treatment options. There is only one other orthodontist in all of South Florida who includes this option. It is my privilege to be able to offer my patients a non-invasive alternative to surgery.

Feel free to come in and meet the team! You can make an appointment now by clicking here.

You can even fill your forms out online!

EARLY BIRD MENU FOR ORTHODONTICS!

Much like ‘The Early Bird’ & ‘Being first in line’ there are definite and distinct advantages to having an orthodontic evaluation sooner than later. If the good advice of the American Association of Orthodontics is followed children will visit an orthodontist by the time they are seven. Here are some reasons to put an early visit on the Orthodontic menu.

PARENTS MENU

  1. Serving up an early diagnosis will greatly reduce the severity of your child’s case.
  2. A good portion of prudent intervention will guide growth & development preventing serious problems later.
  3. The length of treatment will correspondingly be reduced and commensurately, the expense.
  4. Early discovery of issues allows greater opportunity for more effective treatment.

KIDS MENU

  1. START at the right time! FINISH with less appointments!
  2. You want straight teeth but don’t want braces – when you start at the right time, treatment time is shorter! Woo Hoo!
  3. DO IT RIGHT! When you do what the doctor orders your teeth respond quickly getting you to dessert faster!
  4. Wear your retainers & you won’t have to wear braces again when you are older.

DESSERT MENU

  1. All the yummy things you couldn’t have while you wore braces!

SMILE IT FORWARD PROGRAM

Police officer Mark Borsboom was caught doing a simple, good deed – tying an elderly man’s shoelace for him. As he was standing near the exit an elderly gentleman approached the police officer. The man had no feeling in his hands as a result of a health issue. He had a long way to walk to meet his son and his shoelace had come loose.

ALL GOOD DEEDS COME BACK TO YOU. He asked the office if he would mind tying his shoe for him. Officer Borsboom said, “I didn’t think anything of it – I said ‘sure’ and tied his shoelace”. Such kindness is needed throughout the world on a much larger scale.

Dr. King has created a program to encourage the same kindness. The ‘Smile it Forward’ program allows Dr. King to provide FREE treatment to underprivileged children in the community. For every ten children that start treatment in his office, Dr. King will select one child from a referral base which he receives from area dentists and sometimes teachers regarding kids
who need help and could never afford it.

While a beautiful smile is a priceless gift, for some young ones the much needed treatment is medically necessary for proper chewing and at times improper jaw alignment.

This means that a minimum of two patients per month will receive free treatment because Dr. King chooses to ‘Smile it Forward’ helping children he has never met. If you would like to know more about SMILE IT FORWARD feel free to call the office and we will be happy to explain further how it works.

Come in and join the Jupiter Orthodontics family practice for beautiful smiles and happy people!

We can’t wait to meet you!