Dental Arts of Wyomissing Blog
In many ways, the teenage years are the best time to have orthodontic treatment. It’s a good time emotionally because your teen is likely to have friends who also wear braces; orthodontic treatment becomes a rite of passage they can go through together. It’s also advantageous in a physical sense because all 20 baby teeth have come out, and most of the 32 adult teeth (except the 4 wisdom teeth) have emerged. At the same time, especially with younger teens, jaw growth is not yet complete — allowing orthodontists to harness the growing body’s natural adaptability. We can use a variety of appliances to do that — some of which weren’t around a generation ago!
In many cases, traditional metal braces are still the best way to achieve the desired results. However, these are not the “train tracks” of old. Braces are smaller and lighter, with brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of teeth rather than to bands that encircle the entire tooth (except in the very back). Braces can be made much less noticeable by using ceramic brackets that are clear or tooth-colored; however, ceramic brackets are easier to break than metal. An even stealthier way to undergo orthodontic treatment is with clear aligners. These removable clear plastic “trays” are custom made with the help of computer software that divides the treatment process into two-week stages. After each two-week period, the tray is changed and the next stage of movement takes place until the teeth are in correct alignment. The Invisalign system has two modifications especially for teens: “eruption tabs” that hold space open for emerging molars, and “compliance indicators” that can tell parents and orthodontists if the teen is keeping the trays in for the prescribed amount of time. We’d be happy to discuss whether clear aligners would be an option for your child.
Keeping It Clean
No matter which type of appliance is used, oral hygiene becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment. Wearing braces presents special challenges in terms of keeping teeth clean; however, it’s extremely important to do an effective job every day so that gums do not become inflamed and cavities do not develop. It’s far easier to clean teeth with clear aligners, which can be removed, but the aligners themselves can build up bacteria, leading to the same types of oral health issues if they are not cleaned each day.
Making It Count
Another way in which orthodontic treatment will not vary regardless of the type of appliance chosen is the necessity of a retention phase. Everyone who has their teeth straightened (and this goes for adults and younger kids, too) must wear a retainer to hold the teeth in their new and improved alignment while new bone grows around them. Yes, braces are easier to wear than they used to be… but no one wants to wear them twice!
If you have questions about braces for your teen, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Clear Aligners for Teenagers” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Cosmetic Dentistry Offers Improvements for the Appearance of Your Smile
People choose cosmetic dentistry to repair a defect in their smile such as a malformed bite, or crooked teeth. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore your smile and bring it back to life. Your dentist in Wyomissing is available to offer cosmetic procedures to help you put your best smile forward.
Brighten Your Smile with Teeth Whitening
It’s not uncommon for years of drinking tea and coffee or bad habits like, smoking to gradually result in a discolored smile. With teeth whitening, eliminating stains and enhancing your natural white can produce dramatic results in as little as an hour. In-office teeth bleaching performed by your professional Wyomissing dentist involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and activating the whitening solution with special lighting for approximately 30 minutes.
Your dentist in Wyomissing at Berkshire Blvd Wyomissing, PA can also provide you with trays, custom designed to perfectly fit your teeth so that you can continue the bleaching process at home with a less powerful gel. By using the gel and the trays on a regular basis, you can touch up and continue the bleaching process.
Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can replace them and restore function to your mouth. Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used in order to compensate for tooth loss. The result is an enhanced smile, in addition to a more youthful appearance. The use of implants can successfully restore function to your mouth and successfully bring your smile back to life.
A Hollywood Smile with Veneers
If your teeth are cracked, stained, uneven or chipped, veneers may be the perfect option for transforming the most damaged smile. These thin, porcelain shells are custom-designed by your Wyomissing dentist to perfectly cover and match your natural smile to mask most any dental blemish, including stains and cracks. Compared to many treatment options, veneers will last a long time, up to 20 years, and correct the alignment of your smile by covering damaged or misshapen teeth.
Talk to your Wyomissing dentist at Berkshire Blvd Wyomissing, PA about cosmetic dentistry, your goals for treatment, and which options may be best for your teeth. In as little as one appointment, you’ll be smiling bigger and brighter.
Lori, dental assistant
Lori has been assisting Dr. Balthaser for nearly 7 years and has been assisting in the medical profession for nearly a decade. She received her medical assisting certificate from Antonelli's Medical and Professional school in Pottstown in 2002 and received her X-Ray certification shortly thereafter. Lori excels at making patients feel comfortable and at ease while in the dental chair. A mother of two grown boys, she has also been married for over 30 years.
Kristen is a graduate of Governor Mifflin High School and 1996 graduate of Northampton Community College where she received a degree in dental hygiene. She also received the honor of “Outstanding Clinician” upon her graduation from Northampton. With nearly 15 years of experience, Kristen has had a fabulous relationship with many of the patients of the practice for over a decade. As a mother of 2 young sons, Kristen is excellent with children’s hygiene and her friendly personality puts the patients at ease.
Jill is a registered dental hygientist in the state of Pennsylvania and is a 1981 graduate of Temple University School of Dental Hygiene. As a member of the Pennsylvania Dental Hygiene Association, the American Dental Hygiene Association, and both Berks and Schuylkill County's Dental Hygiene Associations, Jill keeps the office up to date with the newest of advances in hygiene care. Jill has enjoyed building a wonderful relationships with her patients over her nearly 30 years as a hygienist.
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