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Demystifying Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery – also called orthognathic surgery – is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS). This surgery is performed to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities, stemming from misalignment of the jaws and teeth. Orthognathic surgery is painless most of the time., and is often covered by medical insurance.

Orthognathic surgery treats jaw irregularities to improve the patient’s ability to bite, talk, breathe and speak. This procedure also improves facial appearances and corrects deformities by properly aligning the facial bones. Moving the jaw bones also moves the teeth, so braces are used in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery. This helps to ensure the teeth and jaw bones are aligning after surgery.

If you experience any of the following symptoms or conditions, this may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headaches
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
  • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
  • Facial injury
  • Birth defects
  • Receding lower jaw and chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)

Your dentist, orthodontist and OMS will decide together if you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon is responsible for determining the specific type of jaw surgery necessary, and he or she performs the surgery. It’s important to understand that your treatment will likely incorporate an orthodontic treatment of braces or Invisalign, before and after surgery, and may take a few years to be completed.

Your OMS and Dr. King know this is a commitment for you and your family. We will do everything we can to support you throughout your treatment, provide you with all of the information and resources you need, and ensure that you have a realistic expectation of the process.

Orthognathic surgery and subsequent therapy can be a relatively complicated process. We help break it down in the following stages:

Stage 1: Diagnosis and Planning

The diagnosis and planning stage lasts about a month. Exams and tests are performed by your oral surgeon, and the oral surgeon will meet with other team members to create a comprehensive plan for you. Creating this comprehensive plan includes your oral surgery team, Dr. King, and sometimes speech or language therapists. Specialists will take photos of your jaw and use programming to forecast surgery results.

Stage 2: Surgery Preparation

The time period for this stage relies on your specific needs. Some patients may need dental work to address other dental medical problems, before they’re prepared for surgery. If you have wisdom teeth, they must be removed so that they do not get in the way of the surgical cuts. Dr. King is a proponent of surgery first, before braces, if the patient qualifies. Before surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon to understand what you can expect during and after your surgery.

Stage 3: Surgery and Recovery

You’ll undergo surgery in a hospital or a qualified medical facility. You will start out with a liquid diet, and will be monitored by medical staff while you recover from anesthesia.

Stage 4: Home Recovery

Once you are home, it is highly recommended to rest as much as possible. Your surgeon will tell you the approximate recovery time that you should adhere to. While you are in recovery, the doctors will provide instructions on the pain medication and antibiotics you should take. Start with a delicate eating regimen and steadily work your way back to a normal diet. It’s imperative you attend all of your follow-up appointments as directed by your surgeon! You will need to commit to an effective oral hygiene routine to minimize the risk of infection and to propel the healing process.

Have questions about corrective jaw surgery?

If you would like to know more about jaw surgery or surgical orthodontics, please don’t hesitate to contact us at our Jupiter location. We would love to answer all of your questions!

If you recognize some of the symptoms or conditions that may indicate the need for surgical orthodontics, we encourage you to request your complimentary exam with us today. Dr. King has extensive experience detecting problematic orthodontic conditions and providing solutions that help you reach your goals. We want to help you live your greatest quality of life—and that has everything to do with your smile!

It’s Pediatric Dental Health Month!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The ADA (American Dental Association) and our Jupiter Orthodontics team are using this month as an opportunity to educate our patients, social media followers, parents and children on oral health. We want to promote good dental hygiene habits that support healthy smiles for a lifetime!

According to the CDC, 1 in every 5 children (20%) aged 5 to 11 years old have at least one untreated cavity! That’s about 5 children in every classroom who have untreated tooth decay.

We’re joining in on pediatric dental health awareness, because now is the time to prevent cavities! Here’s why:

The Importance of Oral Health with Tiny Teeth

Baby teeth may be small, but they play a critical role in preparing the mouth for a beautiful set of permanent teeth. They also impact major functions, like chewing, speaking, and sleeping quality. Baby teeth are in our mouths for about 8 to 10 years—a significant amount of time!

Good oral hygiene is as important as ever when the baby teeth are still present. Baby teeth can still develop cavities (tooth decay) and the gums can still develop gum disease! Developing strong oral hygiene habits early on can protect the gums and baby teeth, and support the permanent teeth for a lifetime.

How Jupiter Orthodontics is Celebrating

It’s an important month! We want all of our patients (children, teens and adults) to understand the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Throughout February, our team is giving away prizes to our pediatric patients who exhibit excellent dental hygiene!

When you bring your child in for his or her next appointment in February, we’ll gladly reward their commitment to oral hygiene.

How You Can Celebrate

The best way to bring awareness to pediatric dental health month is to help your child develop a strong oral hygiene routine.

  • Help your child understand why it’s important to brush and floss their teeth every night.
  • Explain the potential consequences of neglecting their dental hygiene.
  • Lead by example. Brush and floss your teeth with your child.
  • Encourage your child to love their smile and to do everything they can to protect their smile.

Still have questions about pediatric dental hygiene?

We’re here for you! Dr. King has decades of experience working with young patients and their parents to develop strong, healthy smiles. If you have any questions, or you’d like some more advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Don’t forget to bring your child into our Jupiter Orthodontics office during the month of February for an oral hygiene reward. If your child isn’t a patient yet, that’s okay! We encourage you to request his or her complimentary orthodontic exam today.

(Though many other orthodontists will suggest it is necessary to begin treatment immediately, Dr. King takes a conservative approach toward children’s orthodontics. Once the young patient visits us for the first time, Dr. King will monitor the patient every six months until they are ready to begin treatment, at no charge with no deposit necessary!)

Sugary Sweets and Braces: What to Avoid?

When you first get braces, you may wonder, “what can I eat with braces?” Fortunately, the answer is tons of delicious food—in moderation, of course. But it’s really important that you don’t overload on sweets with braces! Here’s why:

Not only are children at an increased risk of developing cavities, but they’re also the largest demographic wearing braces! That’s why it’s especially important that children develop strong oral hygiene habits.

How diligent your child is in brushing and flossing their teeth regularly with braces will help to ensure a beautiful, healthy smile during treatment and when their braces are removed.

Sugar and Braces

Although sugar intake isn’t the primary cause of cavities, yellow teeth or similarly unhealthy dental conditions, it can certainly add to the problem! Do you know why it’s so important that people brush and floss their teeth after sugary food and drinks? Well, when sugar is left in our mouths, between our teeth and along our gum line, it wreaks havoc. Kimberly A. Damages, the previous President of Minnesota Dental Association, clarifies that acid is really the main source of cavities and sugar actually triggers an overproduction of acid.

The more sugar we devour, the more acid the mouth produces. The way to keep cavities away is to regulate the amount of acid in your mouth—which means remaining cautious of the amount of sugar you intake.

Consequences of Eating (too much) Sugar With Braces

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry discusses the significance of exposure time to sugar. In other words, the longer our teeth are coated in sugar and the longer we leave them unbrushed or unflossed, the worse the damage.

Every time we eat something with high sugar content, our mouths go through a 20-minute acid assault. For example, a sip of soda puts your teeth under a 20-minute acid attack if you don’t cleanse your mouth after! The more sugar you intake, the longer the acid attack.

Eating a bunch of sugar while you have braces on can also cause discoloration! The last thing you want when your braces are removed is to be left with white spots. This happens, because sugar converts to acid and a buildup of this acid under your brackets can discolor your teeth. Acid also disintegrates the protective enamel on your teeth, which can increase your chances of tooth decay.

Don’t be scared—be conscious!

We don’t want you to be scared of sugar, we just want you to consume it consciously. After you drink soda or gorge on some desserts, wash your mouth out with water—or, even better—antibacterial mouthwash. Give your teeth a good brushing and floss if you have time! Your teeth will support your smile as long as you support them.

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we believe patient education is incredibly important! When you understand the potential consequences of eating certain foods or neglecting your oral health, you’re more likely to take the proper actions to avoid those consequences.

We’re always here to give you advice and help you work toward the best possible results. If you have any questions, please reach out to us! If you’re ready to begin your journey to an incredible smile, we encourage you to request your free orthodontic exam with Dr. King today! Visit our Jupiter office, or schedule a virtual smile assessment without leaving your home.

Starting the New Year With Good Oral Care Habits for Braces Wearers

The New Year brings a fresh start. It’s the perfect time to develop new habits—especially healthy oral hygiene habits. We’re deeming 2021 the year of perfect smiles! Committing to your oral hygiene, whether you have braces or not, will benefit you for a lifetime.

So let’s start the New Year off the right way with positive orthodontic care, oral hygiene for braces wearers and the best braces care tips.

Habit #1: Brush at least Twice Daily; Floss at least Once Daily

We know you’ve heard this one before, but we can’t stress this enough. If you don’t commit to regular brushing and flossing, you’re paving the way for some bad braces hygiene! That means yellow teeth, bad breath, plaque build-up, possible gum disease—and the list goes on.

Food easily gets stuck in between teeth and within brackets and wires. (If you wear braces, you know how difficult it is to keep a spotless smile after every meal.) A simple brush and floss can prevent food particles and bacteria from building up and leading to further oral concerns.

All throughout 2021 (and beyond), we’re brushing our teeth in the morning, brushing after as many meals as we can, brushing again at night and flossing to achieve beautiful smiles.

Habit #2: Don’t miss your orthodontic or dental appointments!

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we tell you everything you need to know about how to maintain oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment.

It’s important to remember that your orthodontic appointments don’t take the place of your regular dental appointments, and your dental appointments can’t replace your orthodontic appointments! Both routine visits are essential for creating a healthy, aligned smile.

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you’ll visit your dentist every 6 months, or as often as her or she advises. Every 8 to 10 weeks, depending on your personalized treatment plan, you’ll visit Dr. King to have your braces adjusted and your progress monitored!

During your routine ortho visits, Dr. King will examine your teeth and bite to ensure that everything is going according to plan. If we detect a problematic oral condition appearing, we want to be able to discuss it with you and reverse it as soon as possible. This could mean discussing better oral hygiene habits with you or working with your dentist. The sooner we’re able to intervene with an oral condition, the quicker we’re able to get you back on track to your new smile.

Habit #3: Keep a braces cleaner kit on-hand.

Carry a small cleaning kit with you, when you go to school or work, to support an effective braces cleaning routine on-the-go. We know you’re busy! We know you probably don’t have access to your home bathroom after every meal.

Whether you’re in middle school, college, or you have a job, carrying a braces cleaner kit around will come in super handy during your treatment. This kit doesn’t have to be hefty! All you need is a travel-sized toothbrush with toothpaste and a small container of floss. You can add a proxabrush or some dental picks too if you want.

Use your cleaner kit after each snack or meal to keep your smile free of food and bacteria. You know that moment after you had a lengthy conversation with someone and you look in the mirror to realize you had a green speck of food in your front braces bracket the whole time? It happens! With a braces care kit, you’ll be able to take care of the embarrassing specks before the awkward moment of realization.

We’re maximizing our self-confidence in 2021! Life is way more enjoyable when you smile confidently, laugh with friends, and snap some beautiful selfies. Caring for your braces properly by committing to these oral hygiene habits will empower you to love your healthy smile from the beginning of the year, to the day you get your braces off—and every day after that.

If you have any questions about the best oral hygiene habits for braces or Invisalign®, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team loves to hear from you! We’re here to guide you through your orthodontic treatment to ensure the greatest possible end results.

If an incredible smile is on your New Year’s resolution list, let’s get started today with your complimentary consultation in Jupiter, FL!

Top 5 Benefits of iTero Digital Impressions

Dr. King uses the iTero® digital scanning system to take impressions of our patients’ smiles, because we want our patients’ treatment journeys to be as comfortable and convenient as possible!

Traditional methods for taking impressions of the teeth can be uncomfortable and a bit messy. Traditional impressions required a “goopy” putty substance that patients had to bite into to leave an impression of their smile. This method often makes patients gag and leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

We started using the iTero digital impression system for a number of reasons. Here’s what we love about the iTero scanning system:

Top 5 Benefits of iTero Digital Impressions

1. iTero Digital Scanner Produces Precise, Accurate Impressions

The iTero digital scanning system produces precise, accurate, detailed impressions of the teeth. This technology produces 10 times fewer rejections than traditional impression methods! That means the system is 10 times more likely to produce an accurate result on the first try. Traditional methods sometimes require two or three tries to get an accurate impression.

2. iTero Digital Scanner Saves Time

The iTero system produces impressions in under 5 minutes! This system only takes 2 to 3 minutes to scan the teeth and bite, and develop a 3-D model of your smile. Instead of using a tray filled with a goopy putty material, the iTero scanner wand allows Dr. King to map the edges and surfaces of the teeth with minimal room for error.

3. iTero Digital Scanner is Comfortable!

The iTero Digital scanner is specially-designed to fit comfortably in the mouth.

iTero’s small handheld wand enables patients to breathe and swallow easily while the iTero digital impression scans their bite. This device won’t expose you to any radiation or leave a poor taste in your mouth!

4. iTero Digital Scanner Produces a Preview of Your New Smile!

With iTero Digital Scanner, you can preview a simulation of your new smile before you even begin treatment!

This device can be used for braces or Invisalign®. The digital software is able to predict the movement of your teeth, before you even begin treatment, to show you a preview of how your end smile results are likely to look.

5. iTero is Eco-Friendly!

The iTero digital impression system presents a sustainable way to take impressions. This system replaces the need for disposable impression trays and materials.

The digital impressions we take are stored electronically. In case of an error, we can correct it before submitting the impression to the dental laboratory. This mitigates the need for paperwork and printed records!

We use iTero, because it allows us to take 3D-digital impressions of your teeth and gums more accurately and more comfortably than other impression methods. The iTero system produces precise, accurate impressions in only a few minutes. It sits comfortably in the mouth, and it shows you a simulated preview of your projected smile results—before you even begin treatment!

If you’re ready to experience the difference with the iTero digital impression system and Dr. King’s quality of care, then it’s time to schedule your free consultation!

Visit our Jupiter office, or schedule a virtual smile assessment without leaving your home. We are on a mission to provide affordable, high-quality treatment, using the most advanced technologies available!

Braces Pain Relief

girl looking back over her shoulder, standing in front of hedge, smiling with braces, Braces Pain Relief, Jupiter orthodontics

The day you get your braces on at our Jupiter, FL orthodontics office is very exciting! We have a lot of patients ask how much braces hurt on a scale of 1-10. The truth is, the initial placement of your braces does not hurt at all! It is common to experience a dull soreness for a few days after your first braces appointment. After all, your braces are doing their job and your teeth are adjusting (quite literally) to their new position!

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you’ll visit our office every 8 to 10 weeks for Dr. King to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. He will also adjust or “tighten” your wires to keep your new smile on the right track.

After these adjustment appointments, you may experience some tenderness, but this is normal; any soreness will go away within a few days. In the meantime, while your teeth are adjusting, here are some braces pain hacks to help minimize any discomfort!

Getting Your Braces On

The process of getting your braces on (bonding brackets to your teeth and attaching your archwires) generally takes anywhere from one to two hours.

You won’t experience any pain, discomfort or soreness when we place your brackets on and attach your wires.(Your mouth will remain open while we’re placing your braces on, so it’s a good idea to use chapstick and stay hydrated prior to your appointment to avoid cracked lips!) Dr. King will apply the brackets to your teeth using special tooth-colored dental cement and a lighted wand to bond the brackets in place.

Once your brackets have been strategically placed, the archwire will be fed through each of the brackets and cut on each end. This is when we’ll ask you to run your tongue over the ends of your archwires to ensure there are no loose or poking ends.

To finish things off, you will get to pick out the color of your ligatures, which are the little rubber bands that give your braces color and hold your wires in place. This is one of the best parts of the braces experience, where you can really show off your personality!

While there is no pain in the initial placement of your braces, it is normal to experience some mild soreness a few hours after your appointment.

How to Relieve Braces Pain or Discomfort

It typically takes about 6 to 8 hours, post-application, to begin feeling the effects of your braces. What you are feeling is the archwires exerting force onto your teeth to guide them into their new alignment.

This force is gentle but persistent, so it can take some getting used to. As you get used to your braces, your teeth and jaw might ache and feel a bit tender. Minor soreness is normal, but severe or shooting pain is not normal and should be brought to Dr. King’s attention immediately.You should never feel any severe pain during braces treatment.

The initial aches and discomfort should only last about 3 to 5 days, with improvements each day. You can get a head start on any discomfort or pain from your braces by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever before you go in for your first braces appointment. This way, the pain reliever will have started working by the time you need it! While not all patients need a pain reliever, you may continue to take them for the first few days while following dosage instructions.

Be Prepared Before Leaving Your Appointment!

After getting your braces on, including future adjustments, don’t leave the office until you can check off each of these points:

  • Check your wire ends. Use your finger or tongue to make sure there aren’t any wires that might poke your cheeks or tongue. Sometimes the wire just needs trimming a little more on the end! If you find that you are experiencing a pokey wire after you’ve left the office, use some orthodontic wax and give us a call to get it taken care of.
  • Understand what is going on. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to ensure that you understand what you need to do before your next appointment. This could mean wearing your appliances correctly, using elastics, or following specific hygiene guidelines.
  • Double check your supplies. Ask us for plenty of orthodontic wax, elastic bands or other related materials that you may need before your next appointment.

Still Have Questions About Braces Pain Relief?

We want you to be excited to undergo braces treatment, and we want you to have a comfortable experience along the way! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Or if you’re ready to take the first step toward your new smile, request your complimentary consultation today!. We are excited to meet you!

Best Time of Year for Your Child to Get Braces

woman standing in school, carrying backpack, smiling

Your child can benefit from braces at any time of the year! Although, orthodontic treatments will take some mild adjustments when it comes to your child’s lifestyle and dietary habits. For this reason, children may find it easier to adjust to braces during the summer.

Getting Braces in the Summer

If your child has the option to start treatment in the summer, it’s a great idea to take advantage of this break from school.

  • The first few days after your child gets their braces, they may experience some minor discomfort. Their teeth and gums aren’t used to metal brackets and wires, so they’ll inevitably feel a bit sore as they adjust to the treatment. Summer break allows more than enough time for your child’s teeth to adjust before school starts up again.
  • Getting in the routine of visiting us for routine appointments might be easier during the summer as well. You and your child will visit us every 8 to 10 weeks to have his or her braces tightened. When children are on summer break, they don’t have to leave school to attend their appointments. It’s a great idea to get in the swing of things while your child has less responsibilities over their summer break.
  • It may take your child a few days or weeks for them to adjust their diet. With braces, your child should be cautious of hard foods, hard candies, sugary foods, and sticky foods. These types of foods can lead to broken wires, loose brackets, and poor oral hygiene. Summer break presents the opportunity for your child to create braces-friendly food habits before school begins.

What is the best age to get braces?

Any age is a great age to begin your journey toward a confident smile! Fortunately, there is no braces age limit. We offer braces for children, teens, and adults.

We do encourage you to bring your child to see Dr. King when he or she is around age 7, but this does not mean treatment will begin around age 7. This means an initial exam and early detection can prevent further dental problems from arising. If serious orthodontic conditions are left untreated, they may require surgery as issues progress.

Unlike other orthodontists who suggest your child start treatment immediately, Dr. King takes a conservative approach toward children’s orthodontics. Once your child visits us for his or her complimentary first appointment, Dr. King will monitor their condition every six months at no charge, with no deposit necessary.

We always base our treatments on the patient’s best interest, so the best age to get braces will depend entirely on your condition and goals!

When you and your child visit us for the first time, at no cost to you, Dr. King will take the time to explain everything you and your child need to know about life with braces. It is our priority to ensure that our patients are as informed and comfortable with their treatment as possible.

If you are interested in braces, Invisalign®, or early treatment for your child, you can request your free exam today! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, or visit us at our Jupiter location.