July 27th, 2018
ONCE YOUR BRACES are off, a tooth positioner is an excellent finishing device which you may want to add to your orthodontic treatment.
What Is A Tooth Positioner?
A tooth positioner can be used as a removable retainer under special circumstances. It has the advantages of being able to relate the upper teeth to the lower teeth in the ideal bite position, something that two separate retainers cannot do. A positioner also has the ability to close small spaces between the back teeth left by orthodontic bands. These spaces usually close up over a few months after braces are removed, but a tooth positioner can speed up this process.
How Do Tooth Positioners Work?
Tooth positioners are usually worn 4 hours per day when awake and during sleep. Actively biting into your tooth positioner when you wear it will help the tooth positioner work at moving your teeth. The force of your jaw will help move your teeth to their final position.
A tooth positioner may be used to improve your bite, but they do not make good long term retainers. Positioners do not retain front teeth straightness long term as well as standard removable Hawley retainers. Tooth positioners are also bulking and take away your ability to speak. They are flexible and soft, similar to a mouth guard. If worn over a long period of time, the positioner will tend to tear and wear out. So once your positioner work is done, it’s good to receive and wear your final retainers.
Who Should Use A Tooth Positioner?
Overbite tends to increase with the wear of a tooth positioner. Tooth positioner use is desirable with mild open bites. A tooth positioner may be beneficial at the end of Invisalign treatment where upper and lower teeth have been slightly separated by aligner wear and a slight open bite may exist at the end of treatment.
Tooth positioners are usually not included in standard orthodontic treatment but may be beneficial to further perfect your bite after the braces come off. Like mouthguards, tooth positioners come in a variety of colors. There are even flavored tooth positioners.
A short amount of time in a tooth positioner can make a big difference in your bite. Ask your orthodontist if a tooth positioner may be right for you. If your orthodontist recommends a tooth positioner, go for it. It will be well worth the short time and extra effort for a beautiful and more perfect bite.
Bring Us Your Tooth Positioner Questions!
If you have questions about tooth positioners, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Call us at 925-757-9000 or visit us at www.clubbraces.com.
Your smile is our inspiration.
June 7th, 2016
OPEN BITES can be seen in children as early as four years old. When an open bite is first seen with the baby teeth, parents often ask "How early can I close my child's open bite?"
Open bites can be either:
- A normal transition from baby to permanent teeth
- Due to an oral habit or thumbsucking
- Due to a skeletal growth problem
Age 7 Is The Perfect Time To Correct An Open Bite
When an open bite is present with baby teeth, orthodontists usually want to wait until age 7 to correct the open bite.
Correcting an open bite at age 7 usually includes a habit appliance which is cemented to the permanent 6 year molars and braces. This treatment is called Phase I orthodontic treatment and usually takes 18 to 24 months. After Phase I treatment, there is usually a second Phase II orthodontic treatment when all permanent teeth erupt at age 12.
Open bite affects less than four percent of children. Should the open bite persist into teenage years and the opening involve more than just the front teeth, there could be a more complex vertical skeletal growth problem.
We Can Help Your Child's Open Bite!
If you are seeing an open bite in your child, please call us at Gorczyca Orthodontics (925) 757-9000 in Antioch, California for a complimentary consultation. Visit us at www.clubbraces.com. To find an orthodontist near you, visit www.mylifemysmile.org.
Age 7 is the ideal time to start closing an open bite. Close your child's open bite at age 7 before it becomes more complex.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
May 6th, 2016
WHEN IT COMES TO OPEN BITE, which came first, the tongue thrust or the open bite?
An Open Bite Can Make Swallowing More Difficult
With an anterior open bite, it is more difficult to seal off the front of the mouth during swallowing. There is "lip incompetence", the lips often do not come together easily, and the tongue must compensate by coming forward to make swallowing possible.
To illustrate this point, try this simple exercise:
- Place your two fingers between your upper and lower front teeth
- Try to swallow
Viola! You have a tongue thrust!
"A tongue thrust swallow therefore is more likely to be the result of displaced incisors, not the cause."
- Dr. William R. Profitt
The tongue pressure during swallowing simply has too short a duration to have an impact on tooth position. Pressure by the tongue on the teeth during a typical swallow lasts for 1 second. An individual swallows 800 times per day and fewer times during sleep. One thousand seconds of pressure equals only a few minutes and is not nearly enough time or pressure to affect tooth position equilibrium.
Orthodontic Treatment Can Help Tongue Thrust
The good news is, orthodontic treatment for open bite can make your tongue thrust go away. If you are an adult, orthodontic treatment of your open bite often requires tooth extraction, tissue anchorage devices (TADS), or orthognathic surgery.
This case was treated by Board Certified orthodontist, Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, Find us at www.clubbbraces.com or call us at (925) 757-9000 if you have questions about tongue thrust and open bite.
Open bite came first and then tongue thrust. Eliminate your open bite today and make your tongue thrust a thing of the past.