The Straight talk
Like a straight jacket, the concept of straight teeth can be more than a bit restricting. The aesthetics of the smile is in many ways much more complicated than civil and city planning, and terms like “straight” carry a different set of meanings for the orthodontist than they do for the civil engineer or architect.
For the city planner, straight lines are all that really matter, whereas in the case of a smile, straight lines, particularly on the biting edge of teeth, are often an indication of manufactured dentures or poorly applied veneers. Instead, the lines in the smile are not about straightness, but about a balanced and harmonious relationship, both between the teeth, and accounting for the completeness of the teeth, mouth and entire face.
The Smile Zone
While what we call the smile zone is only composed of six teeth (between the canines) and it is generally only these teeth that appear between the lips when smiling. How these teeth appear, however, is dependent upon their relationship with all the other teeth that may not be visible, and the relationship between all of these teeth influence even the resting aesthetic of the entire face.
Picket fences may look good in a neighborhood, but when it comes to the smile, teeth that are too straight may also be an impediment to a winning smile. Because of this, there is no “normal” when it comes to the perfect smile, and “straightness” of teeth needs to be assessed not only on the teeth within the smile zone, but in consideration of all 32 healthy adult teeth in correct relation to one another in an harmonious aesthetic.
Problems caused by misalignment
While “straight teeth” might not be the correct name for it, having the right harmonious relationship between your teeth is about more than just a winning smile. The alignment of your teeth is an important contributing factor to dental health and hygiene. A misalignment in the relationship between teeth can cause a number of problems for people, including:
- Reduced oral hygiene: improper alignment between teeth can make cleaning them difficult, with some surfaces being restricted or covered by others, creating areas within the smile where plaque can build up, leading to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease
- Speech difficulties: a misaligned relationship between teeth can sometimes negatively influence speech and proper enunciation, and can even lead to a lisp in some cases
- Restricted or improper bite: misalignment between teeth can result in reduced or maligned contact between the teeth when the upper and lower jaw do not meet correctly. Over time, this can lead to extraneous and unnecessary wear on the teeth, in addition to making chewing more difficult and straining the jaw muscles. Those who have jaw misalignment may also experience stress of the temporomandibular joint, causing headaches, tension and tooth grinding, especially at night during sleep.
Benefits of going straight
Having crooked or misaligned teeth can often leave people feeling self conscious about their smile, which can have massive cascading effects on the rest of their life and wellbeing. When someone is not confident of their smile, they are prone to smile less. This has much more than social ramifications, as many studies have shown, the simple act of smiling increases natural dopamine production (a natural “feel good” neurotransmitter created naturally in the brain and kidneys of people – and produced by most plants and animals), and smiling leads to more smiling. Like a yawn, a smile is contagious – in a good way!
If you would like to discover what options are available for you to improve your smile, call us on 828-274-2500 or send us a message to schedule a complimentary consultation in which Dr. Roeder can present you with all possible options after a thorough individual examination.
Roeder Orthodontics proudly serves the communities in Asheville, NC and beyond. Stop by any time during office hours and see our place for yourself, and get to know the RO family.
What is Phase I Orthodontics?
Phase I Orthodontics, or Phase I Treatment has developed from what we have learned about the benefits of early treatment, particularly in the reduction and simplification of Phase II treatments.
Phase II Treatments usually begin around the ages of eleven to thirteen, after the majority of permanent teeth have erupted.
Phase I treatment is recommended for children in instances of moderate to severe malocclusions, and can offer a range of benefits including:
- Reducing or eliminating the need for jaw surgery or the extraction of permanent teeth in later Phase II treatments.
- Positively influencing jaw development, improving the position of permanent teeth and molars, and improving speech development in the process
- Improving self-esteem and reducing the severity and time commitments of Phase II treatments during teenage years.
The goal of Phase II treatment is to position the permanent teeth in alignment and further maximize both jaw function and appearance of the smile. However, the goal of Phase I orthodontics is to influence jaw development positively, and guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions, which preserve or create space for incoming teeth. Effective Phase I treatment can reduce the need for more invasive treatments later in life.
When is Phase I Orthodontics right for my child?
As every child – and every smile – is unique, at Roeder Orthodontics, in the right circumstances, we will encourage early assessment of growth and development, with an aim to prevent complex corrections later.
Phase I Treatment can be effective for a number of common developmental problems, including:
- Narrow jaws or excessive crowding
- Underbite, openbite, or excessive Overjet
- Speech problems and bad oral habits
After a thorough, free evaluation of your child’s smile, Dr. Roeder will determine if Phase I Treatment can be beneficial, or if further development is appropriate before any treatment. If Phase I treatment is not appropriate for your child, our Roeder Rookies Club offers periodic checkups to monitor growth and development, as well as regular rewards and prizes for all of our pre-orthodontic patients. As with all things concerning your child’s smile, Dr. Roeder and his team will discuss all available treatment options, costs, payment plans and scheduling options if desired. Call us on 828-274-2500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Roeder.
Traditionally, orthodontic treatment has come at what some would consider a high opportunity cost. While the monetary cost of dental treatment is typically at the forefront of considerations (particularly for parents), there is also the opportunity cost of invasive or overwhelming treatments to consider. Particularly for adults and teenagers, the opportunity cost of wearing braces or other corrective appliances for any length of time can even outweigh the desire to have any corrective work done.
It’s easy to think of orthodontics as being synonymous with unsightly wires and obvious headgear: awkward metallic smiles and clumsy impeded speech. However, with many options for clear and invisible braces available, the opportunity cost of a stellar smile has never been lower!
Roeder Orthodontics is proud to offer a range of invisible braces, including ceramic braces and clear aligners.
Clear or ceramic braces are made from composite materials that match very closely with the natural color of the teeth because they are largely translucent. Clarity Advanced Ceramic Braces function just like metal braces, though they are not as strong as traditional metal braces, and may require longer comparative treatment times, but also with a slower, more gradual application of force (which is often more comfortable, overall).
Clear braces can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Overbite or overjet protrusion
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Diastema or widely spaced teeth
Roeder Orthodontics also offers Invisalign clear aligners as an alternative to permanent braces that are custom designed and manufactured to individual orthodontic requirements. Consisting of a series of clear, removable aligners which are changed every few weeks as the teeth are gradually guided into the desired positions. Some patients prefer the aligners because they don’t require adjustments in the same capacity as traditional braces, which can mean less visits to the office.
Advancements in Technology
Using innovative technology, intraoral scanners replace goopy impressions or molds. The scans produce a computer generated 3D model of your mouth and can provide a visualization of the end result before beginning treatment. Using the desired end result, we then work backwards from that in creating a custom fabricated series of aligners which bring you closer your exquisite smile over time.
Clear aligners can be used to treat a variety of alignment issues, including spacing and alignment problems, and in many cases can be used to correct more complex issues of malocclusion including:
- and many conditions treated by traditional braces
Invisalign clear aligners offer many advantages over traditional braces, including:
- Being removable means you can eat whatever you like, when you like, which also serves to make aligners more hygienic than traditional braces
- The small form factor and custom molded shape means there are no bulky wires to irritate the mouth or interfere with speech: after a short period of adjustment, speech is not normally affected whatsoever.
- Being almost invisible makes them a very popular alternative to traditional braces
Customized for You
As with all things orthodontic, it is important to find the very best treatment for you, which begins with a free initial consultation in which Dr. Jeffery Roeder will evaluate and discuss with you all of your treatment options, expected treatment times, as well as cost and payment plans, if desired.
Call us today on 828-274-2500 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Roeder. Roeder Orthodontics is located in Asheville, NC and we serve the communities throughout Buncombe Country, including Black Mountain, Fletcher, Canton, Weaverville and beyond.
Teeth: Gaps and Spacing
Things which grow need enough space to develop and grow strong and healthy. We all have left a plant in a pot for too long, and when we go to move it into something larger find that the roots have become bound and stretched to fill the entire space to capacity. On the other hand, having too much space can also be a problem; in the case of a plant in an oversized pot; the excess space allows for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, eventually overtaking the plant you wished to see grow.
Your child’s dention is similar, in that just the right amount of space is necessary for the growth and development of healthy smiles. At Roeder Orthodontics, Dr. Roeder can offer your child a comprehensive assessment of their oral development and habits to ensure their smile develops within the Goldilocks zone wherein the teeth have just the right amount of space for a stellar smile for life.
Mind the Gap
Gaps between the teeth (called disastema) can occur between any two teeth, but are most common between the two upper front teeth (the central incisors). Gaps or spaces can develop for a number of reasons, including:
- A discrepancy between the size of the jawbones and the size of the teeth themselves, with gaps occurring when the teeth are too small for the jaw during development.
- Undersized or missing teeth can cause the adjacent teeth to spread.
- Disastema between the central incisors can also be caused by an oversized, over-developed, or tight labial frenum, which can hamper the natural closing of the space between the teeth.
- Bad oral habits can also lead to increased tooth spacing, including thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
- Children will experience temporary gaps as their baby teeth fall out, but these spaces will close as permanent teeth erupt into the spaces provided.
Importance of Correct Spacing
Our earlier analogy of a potted plant provides us with good insight of the importance of correct tooth spacing, both during developmental stages, and throughout life. A healthy developing smile requires just enough room to grow. If either the jaw or teeth are growing too quickly – or too large relative to one another – spacing is going to be affected, either through overcrowding or disastema.
Gaps between the teeth can negatively affect dental hygiene, leaving difficult to clean areas, and can result in further tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Flossing does not always prevent decay, and can possibly cause further damage to the gums and the tissue connecting the gums to the root of the teeth. Untreated plaque, tartar, and accumulated food particles can separate the teeth from the gums, loosening their sockets. Both disposable and reusable bristled interdental brushes are available, and can improve dental hygiene in cases where gaps in teeth are problematic for regular brushing and flossing. Our team at Roeder Orthodontics can find the best options for you, and also instruct you on effective cleaning techniques.
Treatment of Gaps and Spacing
Disastema can be both part of a larger set of issues requiring orthodontic treatment, and also a problem of its own, for both practical reasons and reasons of appearance. Treatment options will depend on a good number of factors, and Dr. Roeder and his team will discuss any treatment options after a thorough free initial consultation and examination. Treatment options will vary according to the development of the individual, and can include:
- Braces, which function to bring the teeth together. Often it is necessary to wear a full set of braces on both the upper and lower teeth (maxillary and mandibular) because the movement of any teeth will affect the entire mouth
- Teeth that are too small may be widened with crowns, bonding or veneers
- Spaces caused by missing teeth can be preserved with dental implants or a partial denture, or with a bridge
Call us today at 828-274-2500 to schedule a free consultation. Roeder Orthodontics proudly serves patients throughout the Asheville community and surrounding areas.
Have we always brushed our teeth?
The history of oral hygiene is long and a little gross in places. The toothbrush (roughly as we know it today) was invented in the 1500s in China, while people in Britain and Europe were still “cleaning” their teeth with rags – and sometimes sponges – dipped in a range of substances. These substances included things like salt, sulphur and other liquids, in traditions that went back to Ancient Rome.
Other Ancient cultures developed their own forms of toothpaste that are similar to what we use today; often made from powdered honey and various herbs, including a very long history of using the Meswak herb in India and the Orient. Mostly, however, it has been various combinations of chalk and soap which have served as toothpaste for many of our ancestors.
Before toothbrushes were invented (which initially used pig hair as bristles) and became very popular with the rest of the world, a simple twig was most often used as a tooth brush, with one end chewed into bristle-like stubs, which were used for a while then just chewed off when no longer fulfilling their purpose.
Modern toothbrushes, which are designed to best fit the shape of our mouths, came into production in the early 1900s first using Bakelite, and eventually different types of plastic. Proctor & Gamble was the first manufacturer of fluoridated toothpaste (in 1956), after local Colorado resident, Dr. Frederick McKay established a correlation between fluoride and a reduction in tooth decay.
Why do we brush our teeth?
Brushing our teeth properly at least twice a day is an important part of staying healthy. When we don’t brush our teeth – or don’t brush them properly – we allow for bacteria to build up, which can lead to:
- Plaque/Tartar build-up
- Tooth Decay and Sensitivity
- Gingivitis and Gum Disease
There are so many positive reasons to maintain good oral hygiene, including:
- Reducing your chances of stroke and heart disease; elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth can increase the likelihood of coronary and vascular problems as bacterial build-up travels through the bloodstream, particularly under the tongue and at the back of the mouth and tongue.
- Maintaining fresh breath; both regular brushing and chewing sugar free gum following meals prevents the build up of the bacteria responsible for bad breath, also leading to more kissable smiles!
- Increase the health of your baby; maternal gum disease has been linked with an increase in premature birth, and the bacteria in your mouth can affect the health of your baby directly through the bloodstream, even during very early development. In some cases, oral hygiene can even cause conception challenges for both males and females.
- Prevention is better than cure! Brushing twice a day will not only improve the health of your teeth and gums, but will lead to reduce dental costs in the future. Further, poor oral hygiene has been linked with an elevated risk of dementia later in life.
Think of it like scratching an itch
Brushing your teeth is the only time you get to touch your skeleton (and something not be really wrong!), and the health of your teeth and gums often serve as a good indication of more general aspect of overall health that may not be so easy to see. The state of your teeth and gums also function as a good indicator of many mineral and vitamin deficiencies or excesses.
We think nothing of spending a few extra minutes cleaning a particularly dirty pan, but it is often easy to overlook what we can’t easily see, particularly in our mouths. When brushing, it is good practice to visualize your whole mouth, and each tooth that composes your smile: imagine the surface of each tooth individually, as they all need special attention.
For so many parts of our physiology, we only really even think about it when it is not working, or when something is wrong with it: we don’t often think of the importance of our toes until we stub them, and we don’t often think of the importance of things like our knees or our teeth until they become a problem for us.
Good oral hygiene begins with good brushing techniques and habits. We wouldn’t expect a car or any other tool to serve us day-in-day-out without regular service and maintenance, and twice daily brushing is a great start to keeping everything running smooth under your own skin. So, please take the time to clean every part of your skeleton you can reach.
Come see us at Roeder Orthodontics for even more information on how to keep your smile in top condition. After your free initial consultation, we can offer help with brushing, flossing and everything else to improve your smile. You can connect with us at 282-274-2500 or find us at our office in Asheville, NC.