LIFE WITH BRACES

FOR KIDS

As a parent, you want the best for your child. That includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. At Ashley Orthodontics, our goal is to treat your children as if they were our own, by providing them with the best possible orthodontic care. Because children differ in physiological development and treatment needs, our goal is to provide each child with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

 

All Kids Should Get an Orthodontic Check-Up By Age 7: The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that an orthodontist see children starting at the age of 7.  By then, your child's teeth have developed enough where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.  This check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine and braces aren't necessary.

Dr. Ashley may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child's growth and development.  Monitoring growth and development earlier allows the orthodontist to guide jaw growth, correct harmful oral habits, and guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position.

In other cases, Dr. Ashley might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

What is Early Treatment?  Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, Dr. Ashley will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. 

Choosing the Optimal Time for Treatment:  While the age that kids get braces may vary, orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, and some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early. If it appears that treatment will be needed, your orthodontist can advise you as to the ideal time to begin. This gives your orthodontist the best chance to:

  • Guide jaw growth

  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

  • Correct harmful oral habits

  • Improve appearance and self-esteem in your child

  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

  • Create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

 
 

FOR ADULTS

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of braces and orthodontic treatment that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.

Orthodontic treatment and braces for adults can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options in braces may include metal braces, translucent braces or clear aligners that can be worn at night to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.

During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment and braces for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.

A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.

 

TYPES OF TREATMENT

Metal Braces

When most people hear the word "braces", they typically think of metal braces. Metal braces have been used for over 100 years to straighten teeth. The good news is metal braces are smaller, less noticeable, and more comfortable than ever before. At Ashley Orthodontics we offer traditional "twin" metal braces.  Metal braces are a great option for children and adults, plus you get to pick your own colors! The small, colored rubber bands come in a ton of different colors and you can change the look with each visit.

Clarity Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces (also known as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, esthetic braces, or even porcelain braces) are an excellent option for teens and adults. Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, and are thus able to create beautiful smiles in the same way as metal braces. Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces, but they look and work great! We now offer tooth-colored wires and ties for an unparalleled cosmetic braces experience.

Invisalign

Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires. Invisalign aligners are practically invisible and allow patients to eat and drink whatever they want. It is also easier to keep your teeth clean while wearing Invisalign and the trays can be removed for special occasions. Invisalign is not the best option for all orthodontic problems, and can only be worn by teens and adults. But, it is a great option when indicated and is fully customized to your treatment plan.

 

INVISALIGN

Invisalign treatment is a technique that straightens your teeth without braces, using a series of clear, removable aligners that are custom-modeled to fit your teeth. The virtually invisible aligners gradually reposition your teeth into a smile of which you will be proud.

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign has no metal bands or wires to trap food and plaque. Maintaining a good oral hygiene program will also reduce chances of plaque buildup, tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Invisalign is made to fit your lifestyle:

  • Clear, virtually invisible aligners

  • Removable, will not get in the way of your activities

  • Easy to remove to eat, brush, and floss

  • Graduate to a new set of aligners about every two weeks

  • Easy to monitor your progress with regular appointments

 

Effective for a wide range of smiles. The Invisalign system has been successful in giving hundreds of thousands of amazing smiles to both teens and adults. Dr. Ashley will create your individual treatment plan using Invisalign´s clear, custom-molded aligners to solve a range of issues, including: Overly crowded teeth, Widely spaced teeth, Overbites, Underbites, and Crossbites.

Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ashley to see if the Invisalign system is right for you.

INVISALIGN TEEN

Now teens don’t have to worry about embarrassing metal braces in their yearbook photos or Facebook profiles – introducing Invisalign® Teen! Invisalign® Teen is the clear way to straighten teeth without metal braces, using aligners. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. You can still eat and drink what you want. Also, you can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth, and there are no wires, metal or brackets to cause mouth abrasions.

What is Invisalign Teen?

  • A clear way to straighten your teeth without braces.

  • Series of clear, removable, custom-made aligners.

  • Uses no metal wires or brackets.

  • Custom-made for comfort.

 

How does Invisalign Teen work?

  • Wear each set of aligners for about two weeks.

  • Remove only to eat, drink, brush and floss.

  • Your teeth will move gradually each week.

  • Visit us every 8-10 weeks.

  • Total treatment time averages 6-15 months.

  • Average number of aligners is between 18 and 30.

 

What conditions does Invisalign Teen treat?
By using its advanced technology, Invisalign Teen can treat a broad range of dental and orthodontic conditions, which, in the past, were usually treated with traditional braces.

 

These conditions include:

  • Overly crowded teeth

  • Widely spaced teeth

  • Crossbite

  • Overbite

  • Underbite

 

EMERGENCY CARE

The following orthodontic emergencies and their treatments are listed in the order from least severe to most severe. Only the most severe emergencies may require immediate attention by Dr. Ashley. For major orthodontic emergencies, don't hesitate to call: (540) 885 6815 However, the majority of orthodontic emergencies are easily treated at home with a follow-up appointment at Ashley Orthodontics.

Food Caught Between Teeth

This is not an emergency, but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for the braces- wearing patient. It is easily fixed with a piece of dental floss. Try tying a small knot in the middle of the floss to help remove the food, or use an interproximal brush or toothpick to dislodge food caught between teeth and braces.

Ligatures Come Off

Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with sterile tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation. Of course, when one ligature pops off or breaks, others may follow. Be sure to examine all ligatures. Missing or broken ligatures should be brought to the attention of the patient’s parent or guardian, who should then inform Dr. Ashley. If a rubber or wire ligature is lost, notify the parent or guardian so that Dr. Ashley may advise whether the patient should be seen.

Discomfort

It’s normal for a patient to have discomfort for a day or two after braces or retainers are adjusted. But it can make eating uncomfortable. Reassure the patient that the discomfort is both normal and temporary. Encourage soft foods. Have the patient rinse the mouth with warm salt water.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency, but may be very uncomfortable for the patient. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. Instruct the patient to reapply as needed.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when the patient is eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. The patient may then eat more comfortably. Let the patient know that if the wax is accidentally ingested, it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the patient’s mouth. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. (See Irritation of Lips or Cheeks above for instructions on applying relief wax.) The patient’s parent or guardian will need to make Dr. Ashley aware of the problem. In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome and the patient will not be able to see Dr. Ashley anytime soon, you may, as a last resort, clip the wire. Reduce the possibility of the patient swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or gauze around the area. Use a pair of sharp clippers and snip off the protruding wire. Relief wax may still be necessary to provide comfort to the irritated area.

Loose Brackets, Wires, or Bands

If the braces have come loose in any way, the parent or guardian needs to be notified, and they should call Dr. Ashley to determine appropriate next steps. Brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. They are generally positioned in the center of each tooth. The bracket can be knocked off if the patient has eaten one of those hard or crunchy foods orthodontic patients are instructed to avoid, or if the mouth is struck while at play. (Encourage all patients, especially those with braces, to wear a protective mouth guard while playing sports.) If the bracket is off center, the adhesive may have failed. In this instance, it is best to immediately notify Dr. Ashley, who will determine the course of action. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out and the patient cannot immediately be taken to our office, you can do a temporary fix to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage, but take care to prevent swallowing or other injury. To put the bracket back in place, use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it is between two teeth. Rotate the bracket back to the proper position, then slide it back to the center of the tooth.

Piece of Appliance is Swallowed

This is rare, but when it does happen, it can be fairly alarming to the patient. Encourage your patient to remain calm. If the patient is coughing excessively or having difficulty breathing, the piece could have been aspirated. If you are able to see the piece, you may carefully attempt to remove it. DO NOT make the attempt if you could cause harm. If appropriate under the circumstances, examine the patient’s braces for problems that may result from the missing piece, such as looseness or irritation, and treat as specified above. If you are unable to see the piece and believe it may be have been aspirated, the parent or guardian and Dr. Ashley should be notified immediately.

Contact

Ashley Orthodontics
Staunton Orthodontic Office
211 Edgewood Rd
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: (540) 885-6815
Fax: (540) 885-9824

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