Braces … Again?

A number of our patients are second-timers – adults and even older teens who had braces when they were younger and now need them again. The first question these patients ask is: Can I do this twice?

The short answer is nearly always “yes.” So long as your gums, teeth and mouth are healthy, your bones are strong and your roots are deep, there should be no problem restoring your proper alignment. Early treatment doesn’t in itself preclude later orthodontic work.

Why would a second round of braces be needed? Often, teeth shift simply as a result of aging. Just as your vision, hearing, weight and other aspects of your physical body modify as you mature, so do your mouth, jaws and teeth.

In some cases, injury or dental problems could lead to a braces re-do, but most often, teeth shift because the patient hasn’t followed instructions for using the retainer.

After braces, your teeth need time to permanently fix into their new positions in your jaw. It is the retainer, which your orthodontist will custom-make for you, that holds them in place. Some retainers are temporary but others require a lifetime commitment. As you mature, your orthodontist may periodically need to fit you with new retainers.

Proper care, beginning as soon as your braces come off, can prevent many cases of reversion. But if it’s too late for that, and you think you need braces again, they will likely be successful. After all, adults now make up as much as half the patient load in some orthodontists’ offices.

To clear up any confusion, here are some answers to questions we most often receive:

In some cases, a treatment plan anticipates two rounds of orthodontia.

Generally, orthodontists want to start braces after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, for some conditions, such as a severe crossbite that is best corrected while the jaw bone is still malleable, it is important to start braces by around age 7. Sometimes this initial work will be all that’s needed, but when it isn’t, the second round of braces is often easier and shorter – and less expensive – than it otherwise would have been.

In complicated cases, a two-stage treatment plan may be preferred.

Youngsters with severely misaligned bites or anomalous dental growth patterns may need such a laborious corrective treatment that the orthodontist will split it to give the patient a break.

Wisdom teeth can cause your teeth to shift.

One milestone to watch is the eruption of wisdom teeth, which generally appear in the late teens and even early twenties. These could crowd your other teeth and push them out of alignment. Your dentist can tell you if you should have your wisdom teeth removed.

Your own behavior can affect your bite alignment.

If you bite your nails, thrust your tongue or grind your teeth, for example, you can cause them to move. Specialists can help correct tongue thrust – essential for braces success – and your dentist can make you a guard to protect your teeth from grinding. Your doctor can recommend aids to curb nail biting.

Chemotherapy and similar medical treatments can impact the health of your mouth.

There are many different types of chemo, and everyone reacts differently to them, but chemo can cause problems with your teeth and gums that could result in movement or tooth loss. It’s important to see your dentist regularly during your treatment to make sure your mouth stays as healthy as possible.

Good hygiene is No. 1.

Take good care of your teeth! People who don’t floss and brush regularly and see their dentist at least twice a year risk losing teeth from cavities or gum disease. If you’re missing teeth, the other teeth drift into the open space, changing the alignment of your bite.

Braces may be easier the second time around.

If it’s been a while since you had braces, you will be pleased at the new products available now: Invisalign, which can barely be seen and offers lifestyle advantages; ceramic braces, which can be clear or match the teeth; lingual braces that are attached to the backs of the teeth. Even if you opt for metal, they will be smaller and more comfortable than you would have endured years ago. In many cases, the treatment time will be shortened and the cost reduced.

We can make your smile beautiful again! Call our office for a free consultation.

What Can You Expect From Our Free Orthodontic Consultation?

We always invite prospective patients to visit our office for a free consultation.

Although there’s no charge, this consultation is not a quick look into your mouth. We spend a full hour carefully evaluating your bite, mouth and jaw. When you leave, you will know exactly what course of treatment, if any, we would recommend for you. And if you choose treatment, you’ll be getting an early start.

What can you expect during this initial visit?

First, you’ll meet Dr. Jordan and the team and tour our office. We’ll want to know why you are considering braces and what you hope to achieve. We’ll also get your medical and dental history.

Then we’ll take oral and facial photos and a 3D X-ray. This low-radiation 3D X-ray gives us a detailed view of not only your bite but also your jaw joints and airway, which is important in planning your treatment.

With this information, Dr. Jordan will perform a full oral exam. At the end of the exam, he’ll go over his findings with you, let you know if you would benefit from braces and give you your options. The team will discuss with you the costs and flexible payment plans.

You can take all this information home to think about or discuss with your family. If you already know you want to go ahead with treatment, we can start that day. You may be surprised how quickly you can achieve your perfect smile.

Dr. Jordan uses a method that allows us to complete your treatment several months faster than with conventional treatment. At your first visit, he makes an impression of your mouth, then later fits your braces onto that model. By using the model, he is able to perfect the fit before actually placing the braces.

When your braces are installed, they are placed directly onto your teeth in just two pieces – top and bottom. This process can save six months or more of treatment time over traditional braces, which are attached one bracket at a time and often need several adjustments before they are exactly right. Dr. Jordan has had hours of specialized training to master this technique.

Why do we invest so much in a free exam?

We know that taking the time for a thorough evaluation at the outset ensures we can create your perfect treatment plan and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. A healthy bite and beautiful smile are important to your health and your quality of life. A bad bite, or malocclusion, can lead to eventual tooth loss and harbor plaque bacteria that can cause cavities and affect your general well-being.

If you are interested in learning if braces would benefit you, please call our office at 707-226-5555 for a free – and thorough – consultation. We offer clear braces, hidden (lingual) braces and Invisalign, so you always have a beautiful smile even while you’re undergoing treatment.