Orthodontics Little Neck, Long Island, Queens, NY
- First visit
- Brushing and flossing
- Life with braces
- Common problems
- Early treatment
- Two-phase treatment
- Adult treatment
- Type of braces
- Emergency Info
First Orthodontist visit
We are always excited about meeting new patients during their first visit to our office. Your initial appointment will consist of a thorough examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important 30-minute visit will give us insight into your orthodontic needs. We know your time is valuable, so to expedite treatment, we may also reserve time following the exam for diagnostic records. The records include X-rays, photos and impressions for study models and are necessary for developing the appropriate treatment plan. This additional appointment will last approximately one hour.
During the initial examination for each patient, we will address the following questions that cover the basics of orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to ask questions as well.
- Is there a condition that orthodontics can address?
- Is treatment needed now or should treatment be delayed until appropriate growth, tooth eruption or other factors have occurred?
- What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Do any permanent teeth need to be removed?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will it cost?
- What are my payment options?
While we can often answer these general questions about treatment during the initial examination, we will address specific areas after careful analysis of the diagnostic records. We feel it is important to analyze each patient's specific needs, because in-depth planning leads to superior results and higher patient satisfaction.
We will then schedule a consultation visit to discuss treatment options, time frames and financial arrangements. We insist that our patients leave the office with a clear understanding of their specific needs, what the treatment will consist of and how long it will take. Also, we will answer any additional questions.
Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your first visit:
- Any panoramic X-ray taken within the past six months.
- If you have orthodontic insurance, bring your insurance card. By providing this information at the first visit, we will be able to give you an estimate of your costs
- X-ray taken within the past six months.
Brushing & flossing with Braces
Oral Hygiene, Brushing, and Flossing with Braces
- The objective of orthodontic treatment is straightening of the teeth and correcting the bite. If the health of the teeth is ignored along the way, the treatment result can be significantly compromised. Therefore, effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during braces. Regular visits to the general dentist for examination and cleaning are also essential.
- The results of inadequate oral hygiene include decalcification (white spots/marks), gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and periodontal disease (inflammation leading to bone loss).
- A common misconception is that the braces themselves cause marks on the teeth. The reality is that the plaque left around the braces causes decalcification, otherwise decalcification would occur in everyone that had braces. Fortunately, decalcification is preventable by thorough brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to the general dentist/hygienist.
- In order to counter the process leading to decalcification, consistent and effective brushing techniques are required. An illustration of a technique that can be used to effectively clean around the braces is shown below. Notice that only a couple of teeth at a time are brushed. This helps concentrate on specific areas around the braces and along the gum line. The angle of the brush is important in order to properly clean all sides of the teeth and under the wire.
Using floss between the teeth is also very important during braces. The space between the teeth is unreachable by a brush, so regular flossing will help to prevent plaque buildup in these areas. With braces, the wires will prevent the usual technique for flossing. Therefore, the floss can first be thread underneath the wire by hand or with a flossing aid (i.e. a floss threader). Then the floss can pass in between the teeth up to the gum line as usual.
Following are additional brushing instructions to keep in mind. First, frequent visits with a general dentist for examination and cleaning are critical to prevention. Most people see their dentist every 6 months. Some patients may need more frequent visits. Talk to the orthodontist and dentist about their recommendations.
Second, it is important that the teeth are brushed after every meal. Food can collect very easily around the braces and therefore needs to be removed on a regular basis.
Third, avoid trying to brush all the teeth at once. It helps to limit brushing to a couple of teeth at a time. This way, areas on certain teeth will not be missed.
Fourth, effective brushing requires time. Avoid rushing and make sure any areas that may have been missed are checked and re-brushed. A good technique would be to use a timer (some electric toothbrushes have timers built in).
Lastly, brush from the top, bottom, and middle towards and between the braces and wire. Also remember to brush towards the gums gently, since overaggressive brushing can damage the gum tissue.
Life with Braces.
Life with Braces
Congratulations, you have braces! Now what happens? It's important to know how to protect and take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Don't worry, before long you will be able to once again eat all of the foods you enjoy! Until then, you may need to make a few changes to your diet.
Foods to avoid:
- Chewy foods - bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods - caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrot
Soreness from braces and appliances
When you get your braces on your teeth and mouth may feel tender or sore. This is normal and will not last forever! To relieve the pain try dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth (do not swallow the salt water)
If the pain is more severe you can also try taking aspirin or a similar pain reliever. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. Dr. Yun can give you some was that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some was, please ask!
If you notice that your teeth are feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces or appliance must loosen your teeth first in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have moved to the right spot, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens please call our office at 718-428-2663 as soon as possible so that Dr. Yun can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
As a temporary fix, if a wire has become loose use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or checks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged appliances can make your treatment time longer, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct position if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer or other appliance prescribed by Dr. Yun.
If you have any questions about how to properly take care of your appliance please ask Dr. Yun at your next appointment!
Playing Sports with Braces
Good news for athletes - you can still play sports even with orthodontic braces and appliances! If you do play sports it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance.
In case of a sports emergency be sure to check your mouth and your appliance immediately. If you notice any loose teeth, or that your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
Common Orthodontic problems
Class II problems represent abnormal bite relationships in which the upper jaw and its teeth are located in front of the lower jaw. Class II patients usually exhibit a convex facial profile with a recessed chin. In most cases, this relationship is due to inherited characteristics.
Class III problems are also primarily genetic in origin. In this instance, the lower jaw and teeth are positioned in the front of the upper jaw structures. Facially, the appearance may give the impression that the lower jaw is excessively large, but in many cases the lack of upper jaw development is at fault.
Crowding and Spacing
Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Although many factors contribute to dental crowding, this problem usually stems from a discrepancy between space available in each jaw and the size of the teeth.
Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony.
Deep Incisor Overbite
Excessive vertical overlapping of incisor teeth is generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of the upper or lower incisors or both.
A lack of vertical overlap of the incisor teeth can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or local factors (i.e., digit sucking habits and posturing of the tongue between the front teeth) or excessive vertical growth of one or both jaws. Early assessment and intervention with these disorders is critical to overall success.
Posterior crossbites usually result from a constricted upper jaw or abnormally wide lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accommodated position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
Problems with altered function of the TMJ (Jaw Joint) and associated muscles are usually the result of multiple factors. These factors may include facial injuries, stress, malocclusion, and parafuntional habits such as clenching and grinding. Symptoms can include headache, pain around the ear area, limited jaw movement or noticeable clicking or popping.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic Treatment for Children and Teens
While there is no exact age for children and teens to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends beginning treatment around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of a baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems.
- For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
- Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontis:
- Early/late loss of baby teeth
- If you child has a hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
Two-phase Orthodontic treatment
What is two-phase treatment?
Two-phase treatment is a specialized orthodontic process that combines teeth straightening with facial and jaw changes. There are advantages to a two-phase treatment! With a two-phase treatment, Dr. Yun has the ability to correct the growth of your child's upper and lower jaws giving the adult teeth enough room to come in straight, preventing any permanent tooth extractions later on.
Two-phase treatment creates a healthy, functional, aesthetic smile for your child that will remain stable throughout their life.
Your child may need two-phase orthodontics if:
- Their baby teeth are crowded or crooked
- They have problems biting down, usually caused by an overbite or an under bite
- The jaw is not properly aligned
- The first phase of treatment is for:
- Prevention - to prevent current problems from getting worse
- Interception - to intercept and correct current problems
- Modification - to modify the growth and structure of the jaw
Resting period - the resting period occurs between phase-one and phase-two, giving your child's remaining permanent teeth time to come in. During the resting period, Dr. Yun will be able to observe the placement of your child's permanent teeth in order to create a plan for phase-two.
The second phase of treatment is for:
Movement - one the permanent teeth come in, phase two treatment begins in order to move them to the right position. During this phase your child may be required to wear braces for anywhere from nine months to 24 months.
Retention - After the completion of phase-two, your child may be required to wear a retainer in order to retain their new smile!
Adult Orthodontic Treatment
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 treatments that are designed for different age groups - including adults. A new smile can begin today.
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life 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 may include metal braces, translucent braces or transparent 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 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.
Type of Braces
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.
The Invisalign® System is a series of clear overlay templates -- called aligners -- that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign® system.
- Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating... and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive.... with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Emergency Orthodontic Info
While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, we want you to know that we are available whenever you need us. If you have a broken appliance or are experiencing an abnormal amount of pain, please call us as soon as possible at 718-428-2663
What is an orthodontic emergency?
Orthodontic emergencies can include:
- Poking wires
- Loose bracket or band
- Loose wire
- Loose appliance
- Headgear fitting incorrectly
- General soreness of the teeth and mouth