Orthodontists are highly trained specialists that partner with your dentist to provide comprehensive oral health care. Just as a cardiologist is a specialist in the heart, an orthodontist is a specialist in tooth movement.
Orthodontists are qualified dentists, who after graduating from dental school, go on to additional full-time education in an accredited orthodontic residency program for 2 or more years. By learning about tooth movement (orthodontics) and guidance of facial development (dentofacial orthopedics), orthodontists are the trained experts in dentistry to straighten teeth and align jaws.
Orthodontists diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. Most orthodontists limit their practices to orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. Orthodontists treat a wide variety of malocclusions and regularly treat young children, teens and adults.
If you have further questions about the specialty of orthodontics, you can refer to the American Association of Orthodontics at Braces.org.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. Although full orthodontic treatment isn't usually indicated until the ages 10-12, Phase I interceptive treatment sometimes is recommended at an earlier age to significantly lessen the extent of treatment in the future. Appropriately monitoring growth and development starting at age 7 can reduce the extent of treatment as well as improve the overall end result when coordinated appropriately with treatment timing.
At Winchester Orthodontics PC we offer a wide range of treatment options that are catered to each individual patient. Some of the services that we provide are:
- Early interceptive orthodontic treatment
- Full orthodontic treatment for adolescents and adults
- Limited or partial orthodontic treatment for adolescents and adults
- Invisalign treatment
- Clear aligner therapy (Invisible Braces)
- Orthodontic preparation for restorative work, crowns, veneers, bridges, and implants
- Orthodontic evaluation, preparation, and finishing for orthognathic surgery
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ/TMD) evaluation and treatment
Since every patient is unique, we provide a personalized treatment plan for each patient in our office based upon their desires and orthodontic needs. We offer orthodontic treatment with a wide range of appliances, including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, clear aligners (invisible braces), clear retainers, hawley retainers, bonded retainers, expanders, space maintainers, night guards, sports mouth guards, and distalizing appliances.
You do not need a referral to be seen at Winchester Orthodontics PC. With or without a referral we are happy to work in conjunction with you and your dentist to achieve the results that you desire. As orthodontic specialists, many dentists from all over the region refer patients to us for orthodontic evaluation and treatment.
The first visit at Winchester Orthodontics PC is a chance for us to get to know you and what your desires are. It is also a chance for you to get to know us and what we do. The visit includes a thorough examination with digital photographs of your teeth, a complete extraoral and intraoral examination, and evaluation of any problems. Once we have a chance to thoroughly evaluate the state of your occlusion and any problems that may exist, we discuss our recommendations and what we believe are the best options for you. If needed, we will recommend further evaluation with radiographs (x-rays) and models of your teeth to develop a detailed treatment plan catered just to you and your needs.
Our ability to straighten teeth is very dependent upon the cooperation of the patient. Hard and sticky foods have the potential to break brackets, bands, wires, and appliances. Continued breakage results in increased treatment time and hinders our ability to achieve an ideal result. When undergoing orthodontic care, please avoid the following foods:
Avoid hard foods:
- Hard bread
- Pizza crust
- Corn on the cob
- Hard Candy
- Corn Chips
- Any other hard foods you eat...
Avoid sticky foods:
- Chewing gum
- Candy bars
- Tootsie Rolls
- Gummy Bears
- Any other candy or sticky food that you eat...
- Loose Bracket: If a bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place. If uncomfortable, place wax on it. Call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Loose Band: If a molar band is loose, call the office to schedule an appointment. Loose bands need to be replaced to prevent decay.
- Loose Wire: Try to place the wire back in place with tweezers. If that is not possible, clip wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If uncomfortable, place wax on it. Call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Poking Wire: Try to push the sticking wire down with a spoon or eraser. If unable to, place wax on it. Call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Lost Tie or Elastic Tie: Call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Soreness: Use warm salt water rinses and/or a pain reliever (Tylenol or Ibuprofen). Soreness is common for a period of 1-4 days after an orthodontic appointment. Call us if soreness persists longer than 4 days.
If you continue to have a problem or have a question about what to do, please call us to schedule an appointment.
When undergoing orthodontic treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene becomes extremely important. The brackets, bands, and appliances easily trap food which can cause periodontal disease (gum disease), decalcification (permanent staining), and cavities if not properly cleaned. To prevent this breakdown of the teeth and gums, it is recommend that patients brush their teeth four times per day for a minimum of 2 minutes: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime. It is also recommended to floss 1x/day.
We recommend using a soft toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste. When brushing, gently brush each individual tooth in small circular motions making sure to brush all surfaces. Dental floss is used to remove plaque and food particles in between teeth. Dental floss threaders can be used to help feed the floss underneath the wires and can be purchased at your local drug store. When flossing, gently move floss up/down each surface of the adjacent teeth.
If bleeding occurs when brushing and/or flossing, your gums may be inflamed from previously inadequate brushing and flossing. This means that you need to do a better job.
If bleeding continues or you have any questions about how to brush or floss, please don't hesitate to ask us at your next visit. It is also very important to continue seeing your general dentist or pediatric dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every 6 months throughout your orthodontic treatment.
At Winchester Orthodontics PC, we strive to provide our patients with modern techniques, appliances, and equipment. We have a Planmeca Proline digital x-ray machine for taking panoramic and cephalometric radiographs. Digital radiography has many advantages over traditional developed radiographic films; it allows us to instantaneously see radiographs without having to wait for them to develop, it requires much less radiation exposure of the patient to acquire an image, and it allows us to transfer images quickly and easily to other health care providers as needed.
At Winchester Orthodontics, we have incorporated digital scanning technology with a state-of- the-art iTero Element digital intraoral scanner. Digital scanning technology allows us to produce models of the teeth without the need for traditional impressions. Not only is this more comfortable for the patient, but the digital scans are also more accurate for making appliances.