Orthodontic care is often a crucial step toward achieving a beautiful and healthy smile. The primary goal of orthodontics is to improve oral function, speech, protect teeth from trauma, enhance appearance, and preserve overall oral health.
Orthodontic treatment focuses on correcting misalignment or improper positioning of teeth in the upper and lower jaws, known as malocclusion. Ignoring malocclusions can make maintaining good oral hygiene challenging and may lead to tooth trauma, jaw pain, and speech difficulties.
If you have misaligned teeth, experience jaw-related pain or discomfort, struggle with effective teeth cleaning, or face speech-related problems, seeking orthodontic care is highly recommended. At Lowcountry Orthodontics, our experienced orthodontist, Dr. Fulcher, in Summerville, can provide valuable insights and personalized guidance tailored to address your specific needs.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it is recommended that children have their initial orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. This age is considered ideal for assessing the relationship of the upper and lower jaw, evaluating the size and position of their adult teeth, and creating a treatment plan if needed to address any current or potential oral health issues.
Even if your dentist has not specifically suggested early orthodontic care, it is still beneficial to have your child evaluated by an orthodontist. Not all children will require early orthodontic intervention, but an early evaluation can help Dr. Fulcher or another orthodontist determine the most suitable treatment approach for your child’s needs should orthodontic care be beneficial now or in the future. Don’t hesitate to schedule a free evaluation with Dr. Fulcher to assess your child’s optimal oral health.
Recognizing orthodontic concerns early on can be crucial! In some cases, seeking orthodontic care during a child’s rapid-growth stage can help prevent or minimize the need for extensive orthodontic work once their adult teeth have come through. We refer to this as “Phase 1” treatment.
Early correction of common issues like narrow dental arches, crowded baby teeth, insufficient space for adult teeth, and misalignment between the upper and lower jaws (such as underbites or overbites) can potentially eliminate the need for extracting healthy adult teeth in the future. It also promotes facial symmetry and reduces the risk of dental trauma resulting from bite problems.
While your elementary school-aged child may seem to have a perfect smile, it is essential to have them evaluated by an experienced orthodontist, such as Dr. Fulcher, so they can assess your child’s unique skeletal and dental development to determine whether they would benefit from Phase 1 orthodontic treatment.
Beyond achieving a beautiful smile, by addressing orthodontic concerns at an early stage, you can potentially avoid more complex and costly treatments down the line, ultimately saving time and money. Trust our expertise and schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Fulcher to further explore the benefits of early orthodontic treatment.
Braces and Invisalign aren’t limited to kids and teenagers! Seeking orthodontic care as an adult is incredibly common and a fantastic form of self-care. Every year, millions of adults undergo treatment for various reasons, including spacing issues, crowding, tooth wear caused by bite or grinding, jaw problems, and more.
The braces used today are significantly smaller and more comfortable compared to those used in the past. We also offer the option of Invisalign clear aligners to address your orthodontic health and aesthetic concerns effectively.
Whether you’ve never had braces before or you’ve experienced teeth shifting after previous treatment, Dr. Fulcher and the Lowcountry Orthodontics team are here to help you achieve the beautiful, healthy, and functional smile you deserve, regardless of your age. So, don’t let age deter you from pursuing the orthodontic care you need for a confident smile and optimal oral health!
When undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign, a few adjustments to your daily routine are necessary to maintain the health and happiness of your teeth and gums. Here are some important care guidelines to follow:
Dietary Awareness: It’s crucial to avoid certain foods, especially those that are chewy, crunchy, sticky, or hard. These can damage your braces or Invisalign attachments and slow down your treatment progress. Additionally, limiting sugary foods is recommended. Remember to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal! You will be provided with a list of foods to avoid during your treatment.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar around your brackets. Proper hygiene techniques will be demonstrated to ensure effective cleaning and keep your appliances and mouth healthy.
Invisalign Care: If you are undergoing treatment with Invisalign, remember to remove your trays when eating and brush your teeth before reinserting them, if possible. To achieve optimal results, it’s essential to wear your Invisalign trays for a minimum of 22 hours per day. Don’t forget to carry your case with you to avoid accidentally discarding them when outside your house!
Manage Discomfort: Some soreness and mouth irritation is normal during orthodontic treatment. If you experience discomfort, you can alleviate it by using wax, over-the-counter pain relievers, or rinsing with warm salt water. However, if you encounter swelling, bleeding, or pain beyond normal soreness, please reach out to our office, and our staff will be there to assist you.
By following these care instructions, you can ensure a smooth and successful orthodontic journey. If you have any concerns or questions regarding orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for guidance and support.
After completing your active orthodontic treatment, you will receive a set of retainers to preserve your beautiful new smile! Retainers are essential for keeping your teeth aligned in their new positions, whether you had braces removed or completed your Invisalign treatment. It’s important to wear your retainers for the rest of your life, or for as long as you want to maintain the alignment of your teeth. Rest assured, retainers are comfortable to wear and easy to incorporate into your daily oral hygiene routine.
On the day your braces are removed or your Invisalign treatment is finished, Dr. Fulcher and our staff will provide detailed instructions on how to wear and care for your retainers. With proper care, your retainers can last for years. To maintain your retainer’s longevity, remember to keep it clean, remove it when eating or drinking, and store it in its case when not in use. Additionally, take precautions to protect your retainers from curious pets and extreme heat or pressure.
In the event that you lose or break a retainer or undergo dental work, it’s crucial to replace your retainers promptly. Delaying replacement increases the risk of teeth shifting out of position and becoming misaligned again. Neglecting proper retainer wear can even necessitate further orthodontic treatment with braces to correct the shifting.
If you have any questions about retainer wear, maintenance, or replacement, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’re here to assist you.