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All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

December 5th, 2021

My child lost teeth a long time ago and no adult teeth have come in. Why is that?  That is a question that I often get from parents.

Here are 5 things that could be going on:

  1. If the jaws are too small, sometimes one or more teeth cannot come into the mouth simply because there’s not enough room.
  2. Another reason could be that a tooth is trying to erupt, but it gets off course. It’s simply not erupting in the place it’s supposed to. As a result, it often can get stuck. This is common with upper canine teeth.
  3. Very often, the jaws simply do not grow enough to accommodate all 32 teeth to erupt in the mouth. Therefore, some teeth can become impacted, or stuck under the gum. This is very common with wisdom teeth.
  4. Sometimes people have extra teeth! In dental terms, we call them supernumerary teeth. These teeth usually never develop into a full tooth, but even with partial development, they get in the way of other teeth breaking through.
  5. Finally, one of the most common reasons that a tooth cannot erupt in the mouth is that it is simply missing! We sometimes do not have enough genetic material to have every one of our teeth develop. In a case like this, often the baby tooth stays in place much longer than normal, because it has no adult tooth to push it out.

The mystery of these 5 reasons is always solved with a panoramic x-ray, so hopefully next Christmas you won’t need to wish for your two front teeth!

Braces, Braces, Hear all about it....

October 22nd, 2021

October is National Orthodontic Health Month.
What a great time for us to talk about the benefits of orthodontic treatment for all ages!

Let’s start with our youngest patients. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child be screened by an orthodontist by age 7. The reason for this is that typically six-year molars and incisors have erupted. Jaw width and length have been established by this age. If there are significant jaw discrepancies or bite problems, sometimes early intervention is required to help guide the remaining permanent teeth to erupt properly.

Although it’s very appropriate to see a child at age 7, most children in our practice do not require any kind of treatment that young. If evaluated at a young age, we continue to evaluate every 6 to 12 months, monitoring growth and tooth eruption, to determine ideal treatment timing. Most kids are treated in their adolescent years (ages 11-14) once most or all of their permanent teeth have erupted. This orthodontic treatment often coincides with puberty. Typically, children at this age are treated with braces.

Most importantly, let’s not forget about our adults. Over 1/3 of our patients are adults. Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have some esthetic concerns, or maybe they have a bite issue that their dentist is worried about. Many of our adult patients are treated with clear aligners, as opposed to the more traditional metal braces.

With any of our patients, we make sure to give you a personalized discussion regarding the best treatment option for you that will give you the smile you deserve!

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