Braces can change your bite and smile for the better. However, understanding the benefits of orthodontic treatment can be a tricky task. Fortunately, your Portage, MI, orthodontist can help you determine if braces are the best treatment for you and your smile. Learn more about orthodontics with Dr. Thomas Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics.
What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment uses gentle pressure applied to the teeth to move them into new, corrected positions which better benefit your smile’s bite and appearance. An orthodontist, while they have the same training as a dentist initially, has continued education in orthodontics and normally specializes in this branch of dentistry.
How can braces help me?
Braces can benefit your smile in more ways than one. Straightening your teeth can make your smile look great, boosting confidence and self-esteem. It can also eliminate hard-to-reach areas where teeth overlap or crowd together, helping to decrease the chance of tooth decay. Braces also help correct the mouth’s bite, decreasing the symptoms of conditions like TMJ disorder and making chewing and eating easier or more comfortable.
What are my orthodontic options?
Orthodontic treatment may bring images of traditional metal braces to mind. However, thanks to modern dentistry and orthodontics, you now have more options than ever. Treatments like Invisalign use plastic aligner trays to move teeth rather than the traditional metal brackets and wires. Additionally, clear braces use ceramic, tooth-colored braces to move the teeth.
Orthodontic Treatment in Portage, MI
Orthodontics usually require an appointment with your dentist once every four to six weeks for adjustments and general maintenance. These important visits allow your orthodontist to ensure that your progress moves forward according to plan and that you do not have any signs of tooth decay or gum disease during treatment.
For more information on orthodontic treatment or braces, please contact Dr. Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Call (269) 327 4459 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kwong today!
How your orthodontist in Portage, MI can help your smile
Your orthodontist performs many different procedures to correct improper jaw alignment and poor tooth positioning. Growth rates of your oral structures and genetics play an important role in whether you might need the services of an orthodontist. Dr. Thomas Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI wants to share some important facts about how an orthodontist can help your smile.
Orthodontists complete at least two years of additional training after completing dental school. Your orthodontist is an expert at learning how to restore full chewing function by re-aligning your jaws and creating a cosmetically beautiful smile by moving your teeth into their correct positions.
When you visit Dr. Kwong, he will use state-of-the-art technology including precise x-rays and models to evaluate your jaw and tooth alignment. Using technology and expertise, he will create a treatment plan designed to correct your jaw and tooth alignment, giving you a beautifully straight smile.
Orthodontists like Dr. Kwong use techniques to correct these common aesthetic and functional problems:
- Correcting poor bite alignment to restore good chewing function
- Improving the appearance of your smile by closing gaps between your teeth
- Improving the ease of cleaning by moving crowded or overlapped teeth
- Preventing excessive wear by repositioning rotated teeth
Dr. Kwong offers a full range of orthodontic treatments for you to choose from including:
- Invisalign clear plastic aligners which straighten your smile invisibly, comfortably, and in less time.
- Lingual braces, using braces cemented to the back of your teeth, creating a better cosmetic look
- Conventional orthodontics, with tooth-colored or clear brackets and wires
- Conventional orthodontics, with metal brackets and wires
Your orthodontist can straighten smiles in children as young as seven, and adults of any age. You are never too old to have a straight smile!
Your orthodontist can give you a straighter, more beautiful smile than you ever thought possible. If you have an uneven, crooked smile, don’t despair! Call Dr. Thomas Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. To find out more about orthodontics and orthodontic treatment and how they can help your smile, call today!
Learn how to properly care for your braces so you won’t have to deal with broken wires or fallen-off brackets.
Once you get your braces, you finally realize why it’s so important to care for them. Even though they may look rough and tough, metal braces can still become broken or damaged. Damaged braces aren’t effective, which may lengthen your treatment. From the office of our Portage, MI orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Kwong, here are some useful tips for how to care for your braces and maintain good oral health.
If You’ve Just Gotten Braces…
It will take time for your mouth to adjust to your braces so you may feel a bit sore for the first few days. Take it easy and adopt a soft-food diets until the discomfort subsides. Cut food into easy-to-chew pieces and stick to foods that are easy to eat.
What You Can and Can’t Eat
Even once the discomfort of just getting braces goes away you will have some dietary restrictions for the length of your treatment. This is because there are certain foods that can bend wires, break brackets and even loosen the cement that attaches brackets to teeth. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy or that contain a lot of sugar. Foods to avoid are:
- Corn on the cob
- Pizza crust
- Hard breads
- Carrots, whole apples or raw vegetables (cut into smaller pieces)
- Hard pretzels
- Hard taco shells
- Hard candies
- Chewing gum
- Gummy candies
- Caramels and taffy
Avoid Bad Habits
If you are an avid pen cap chewer or you bite your nails these are all habits that you will need to be aware of and prevent if you want to protect your braces. Talk to our orthodontic dentist in Portage about ways to break these habits.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
While everyone should brush twice a day it’s important that you brush even more often when you have braces. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will be gentle enough on your braces, and brush your teeth immediately after every meal. Bring a travel toothbrush with you if you are heading to school or work to make it easier for you to brush on the go.
Make sure you are also flossing every day. Use a threader floss to help get in between teeth while wearing braces so you can remove plaque and food particles and prevent decay.
If you have questions about how to care for your braces don’t hesitate to call Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Dr. Kwong is happy to answer any and all questions regarding braces, whether you are considering getting braces or you are currently wearing them.
Not sure what to do if your Invisalign aligner tray cracks? Thomas Kwong, D.D.S., your Portage, MI, orthodontist, explains how to handle the situation.
What should I do if my Invisalign tray cracks?
Depending on the timing and severity of the crack, your orthodontist may recommend one of these options:
Continue wearing the tray
If the crack isn't severe, you may be able to continue wearing the tray without a problem. In some cases, your orthodontist may even be able to repair the crack.
Wear the next tray in the set
If the crack occurs on day 8 or later, your Portage, MI orthodontist may suggest that you begin wearing your next Invisalign aligner tray a little earlier. Should a severe crack occur soon after you begin wearing a new set of trays, you may be advised to wear the previous tray until a new tray can be created for you.
How can I avoid cracks?
Reduce your risk of a cracked Invisalign aligner tray by following these tips:
- Don't chew on your aligner tray. Although the resin used to make the Invisalign aligners is strong, the tray can still crack if you bite or chew on it.
- Vary your removal technique. Removing your aligner tray by pulling on the same place every time can stress the resin and cause cracks.
- Always take your Invisalign aligner trays out before you eat. The trays are not designed to handle the extreme pressure involved in chewing.
- Use your case every time you remove your trays. Prevent damage to your aligner trays by using the provided trays, even if you don't plan to leave your trays out for a long time. It only takes a few seconds for your dog to decide that the tray will make a good toy or for the tray to fall to the floor.
If you crack your Invisalign aligner tray, let Thomas Kwong, D.D.S., your Portage, MI, orthodontist, know by calling (269) 327-4459 during regular office hours. Protect the investment you've made in your smile by checking your aligner trays daily for signs of cracking or damage.
A minor overbite or a few slightly crooked teeth are the types of dental imperfections that can make a smile individual and unique. In fact, with cosmetic dentistry now making it possible for anyone obtain white, straight teeth, a little gap here and there can be a beautiful sign of individuality. However, when the teeth are significantly misaligned, the resulting bite problems may require orthodontics to shift the teeth back into proper alignment.
Get Straighter Teeth in Portage
On the surface, crooked teeth may appear to be a strictly cosmetic problem. But teeth that are severely out of alignment can lead to a series of dental problems, and even cause distortions to facial features in extreme cases. Dr. Thomas Kwong, an orthodontist in Portage, MI recommends scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist for an adult or child experiencing any of the following symptoms of malocclusion (bite problems):
- Frequently biting the lining of the cheeks
- Crowding (not enough room in the mouth for the teeth; new teeth that do no fully erupt)
- Teeth that cut or poke the roof of the mouth or cheek lining
- Difficulty chewing or speaking clearly
Orthodontic correction is most common in childhood, when malocclusion issues first become apparent and are easier to correct. However, it is never too late to visit an orthodontist, and adults can also benefit from tooth alignment with braces or aligner trays. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist if you or your child are suffering from any of the following bite problems:
- Abnormal eruption
- Excessive spacing
- Open bite
- Overbite/deep bite
- Crossbite - front and back of teeth
Contact an Orthodontist in Portage
Not sure if braces are right for you or your child? For more information, contact Kwong Orthodontics by calling (269) 327 4459 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kwong today.
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