Summertime Orthodontics: A Time to Set Things Straight

Summertime Orthodontics: A Time to Set Things Straight

You wouldn’t know it from the local weather but summer vacation is here for Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley young people, even if they will be back in school by the dog days of mid-August. Here at Northridge Dental Works, we’re reminding parents and younger adults that it’s the perfect time to get around to the important matter of orthodontia — but time is already running out!

Orthodontia is Not Cosmetic Dentistry (Mostly)

Many people think that straightening teeth with orthodontic treatment is strictly a matter of beautifying their smile. That’s not quite true. On the one hand, most people really do think straight teeth look better, and our goal is always to help our patients get beautiful and healthy smiles. But appearance has never been the primary reason for braces and retainers. Orthodontia can prevent a host of serious issues and it’s something to think about pretty early in a person’s life. Orthodontists generally suggest an evaluation for children around age seven.

How Does Orthodontia Prevent Dental Disasters?

Teeth that are crooked or misaligned can be difficult to keep clean, especially when children are younger and developing their brushing skills. Moreover, they may wear down in ways that could lead to tooth decay and cause difficulties with chewing and speech. Imperfect bites can also lead to various types of facial and jaw pain. Straightening teeth is an investment that will likely pay off in improved self-esteem and fewer dental issues throughout a patient’s life.

Why is Summer Vacation a Good Time to Start Orthodontia?

The answer boils down to one word: time. Obviously, interrupting schooling for dental treatment is never ideal, though kids who welcome any interruption from school may disagree!

Getting orthodontia is a fairly lengthy process even before a patient gets any braces. Especially if someone has never been to Northridge Dental Works, we will have to take a medical and dental history. After that, we will need to make digital X-rays and photos of the teeth and jaws as well as the head and neck. Finally, we will need to make molds of the patient’s teeth. While these steps can typically be done in a couple of visits, there’s still more to be done.

Next is the beginning of what oral health professionals call the active phase of orthodontics, in which braces are applied and periodically readjusted to ensure the best outcomes. Once the positioning of teeth has been corrected, the retention phase begins. This is when the braces will be removed and a retainer will be custom-made to hold the teeth in place. The timing of all of these phases will vary dramatically from person to person but starting right away will ensure that it will all be over that much sooner.

What About “Invisible” Braces?

Invisalign braces are made of clear plastic and, while not quite impossible to see, are much less conspicuous than traditional wire or plastic braces. They can be an outstanding option for older patients with reasonably minor malocclusion or those who simply refuse to deal with visible braces. Aside from being nearly invisible, patients tend to see clear aligners as more convenient as they can be removed while eating. These involve regular visits as a new pair of Invisalign braces will be needed roughly every two weeks to gradually straighten teeth.

Please note: with greater freedom comes more responsibility. It’s okay to remove Invisalign braces occasionally but, if you don’t wear them as prescribed, you won’t see the outcomes you’re hoping for.

Contact Northridge Dental Works Today!

It’s time to make hay while the sun shines and set your first appointment with our team of outstanding healthcare professionals. Our patients agree we are the best place for oral in the North San Fernando Valley area. To get in touch, just use the information below to call or email our offices. You can also reach out online by filling out the form on our contact page.