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Posts for tag: braces

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
March 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
GetAheadofBiteProblemswithInterceptiveOrthodontics

At any given time some 4 million teens and pre-teens are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances to correct a malocclusion (poor bite). While most cases are straightforward, some have difficulties that increase treatment time and cost.

But what if you could reduce some of these difficulties before they fully develop? We often can through interceptive orthodontics.

This growing concept involves early orthodontic treatment around 6 to 10 years of age with the goal of guiding the development of a child’s jaws and other mouth structures in the right direction. These early years are often the only time of life when many of these treatments will work.

For example, widening the roof of the mouth (the palate) in an abnormally narrow upper jaw takes advantage of a gap in the bone in the center of the palate that doesn’t fuse until later in adolescence. A device called a palatal expander exerts outward pressure on the back teeth to influence the jawbone to grow out. New bone fills in the gap to permanently expand the jaw.

In cases with a developing overbite (the upper front teeth extending too far over the lower teeth when closed), we can install a hinged device called a Herbst appliance to the jaws in the back of the mouth. The hinge mechanism coaxes the lower jaw to develop further forward, which may help avoid more extensive and expensive jaw surgery later.

Interceptive treatments can also be fairly simple in design like a space retainer, but still have a tremendous impact on bite development. A space maintainer is often used when a primary (“baby”) tooth is lost prematurely, which allows other teeth to drift into the empty space and crowd out the incoming permanent tooth. The wire loop device is placed within the open space to prevent drift and preserve the space for the permanent tooth.

To take advantage of these treatments, it’s best to have your child’s bite evaluated early. Professional organizations like the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend a screening by age 7. While it may reveal no abnormalities at all, it could also provide the first signs of an emerging problem. With interceptive orthodontics we may be able to correct them now or make them less of a problem for the future.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Interceptive Orthodontics.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
March 09, 2019
Category: Oral Health
BeatDentalPlaqueWhileWearingBraceswithTheseToolsandTips

Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.

But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.

The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.

Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.

There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.

Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.

It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.

If you would like more information on best hygiene practices while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
September 07, 2018
Category: Orthodontics
Tags: Clear Aligners   braces   Clear Braces  

Clear AlignersClear aligners are a great alternative to metal braces. Smooth, removable and practically invisible, these acrylic trays custom-fit over top and bottom teeth. Over the past 20 years, they've moved literally millions of teeth into perfect positions. Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., your dentist in the Shelby, NC area, offers Clear aligners to teen and adult patients who have a variety of smile problems. You could qualify, too!

How Clear aligners work

Clear aligners appliances gradually move crooked or gapped teeth into better positions. They also treat various bite problems (overbite, for example) and a common oral health problem called orthodontic relapse in which previously corrected teeth shift back into their original positions.

Clear aligners patients wear a series of snugly fitting appliances made of thin, clear, biocompatible acrylic. Normally, there are 18 to 30 pairs of aligners in treatment plans lasting 9 to 18 months. The patient wears each pair 20 to 22 hours a day and takes them out to eat, brush and floss. Aligners may be worn to drink water or other clear, non-sugary liquids.

As the treatment plan progresses, the patient sees Dr.Hendrick every six weeks at his Shelby office. The dentist delivers new aligners with each visit, and he also checks on how tooth movement is proceeding.

Qualifying for Clear aligners

Only your dentist can tell if Clear aligners are the right way to straighten your smile. During an in-office consultation, he'll examine your teeth, take photos, X-rays and a special 3-D scan. Then, he'll write a treatment plan so specific that you'll know--step-by-step--how your smile will change. This detailed information goes to a lab where your aligners are fabricated.

Living with Clear aligners

As a Clear aligners patient, you'll enjoy many benefits exclusive to this unique orthodontic system. Besides their discreet appearance, the aligners:

  • Cause none of the sore spots or friction typical of metal or ceramic braces
  • Are fully removable so you can take them out for special events such as graduations, professional presentations, weddings and more
  • Are easy to clean (just remove, brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste, rinse with clear water and replace)
  • Do not limit what you can eat and drink (just take them out for meals and snacks)

After completion of your treatment, you'll wear a special retainer, as Dr. Hendrick prescribes, to ensure your smile is stable and stays well-aligned.

Are you ready?

Your new smile is ready to emerge. Call Dr. Joseph Hendrick's office today to arrange a Clear aligners consultation.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
May 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ThinkYoureTooOldforOrthodonticsReadThis

You’ve lived most of your life with crooked teeth and an imperfect smile. You feel you should have done something about it years ago, but now you’re approaching your golden years — what would be the point?

Here’s the point: there’s a growing trend of older adults undergoing orthodontic treatment. People are discovering the life-changing benefits of straightening their teeth — even if they’re no longer teenagers.

So, what’s really holding you back?

I’m too old to have my teeth straightened. Not true — teeth can be straightened at any age, not just during childhood or adolescence. If anything would prevent orthodontic treatment it would be the state of your oral and general health, not your age. Your teeth’s supporting bone must be reasonably sound and healthy; likewise, systemic problems like bleeding disorders, leukemia and uncontrolled diabetes can make orthodontics difficult. But if you and your mouth are reasonably healthy, you can have your teeth straightened.

It’s too much to spend just to look better. Yes, orthodontic treatment can transform your smile — but it can also improve your oral health. Misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, increasing the risks for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; they also don’t work well together so chewing is more difficult. By correcting your bite, you can reduce your chances of dental disease and improve overall mouth function.

I’d look silly at my age in braces. Self-consciousness about wearing these traditional appliances is common at any age. It’s understandable — the glint of metal is the first thing people see when you smile. But there’s a good chance you may be able to wear an alternative appliance that’s barely noticeable: clear aligners. These are a series of removable, clear plastic trays that you wear in sequence to gradually move your teeth. Not only are they less noticeable than braces, you can take them out for special occasions.

Don’t let these or other excuses keep you from a more attractive smile and healthy mouth. Visit your dentist for an examination to see if orthodontics can work for you.

If you would like more information on transforming your smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
June 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   Clear Aligners   braces  

Do you want to straighten your misaligned smile? Do you worry about your personal appearance and how healthy your teeth and gums willclear aligners remain over the years? If you have said yes to any of these questions, then clear aligners from our Shelby, NC, dentist, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., may be right for you. Dr. Hendrick offers ingenious clear aligners, the modern and discreet way to overcome many orthodontic issues without the obvious appearance and oral discomforts traditional metal braces pose.

Why pursue orthodontics?

In short, a well-aligned set of teeth is simply more attractive. Patients who have gaps, tooth rotation, overbite or other smile issues usually are too self-conscious to show their teeth. So they just smile less, affecting not only their self-confidence, but also how others perceive them. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that people who smile a lot are viewed as smarter, more successful and very approachable, too. So if you cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, public perception definitely changes.

However, crooked teeth impact more than self-image. They are just harder to keep clean. Crowding, tooth rotation, under bite and more make teeth and gums less accessible to toothbrush and floss, and misaligned teeth collect bacteria, plaque and tartar more easily. Tooth decay and gum disease result. Often, too, a poor bite leads to physical problems such as TMJ (jaw joint) dysfunction, teeth clenching and grinding.

Orthodontic treatment with our Shelby dentist can eliminate many of these problems and allow people to keep a healthy and attractive smile for a lifetime.

What are clear aligners?

Custom-fabricated from thin, biocompatible acrylic, clear aligners fit tightly over top and bottom teeth. Just like conventional braces, they gradually move teeth into healthier positions and correct aesthetic problems, too.

These fully removable, clear appliances avoid many of the issues that conventional braces pose. Clear aligners:

  • Are barely noticeable
  • Are easy to clean
  • Pose none of the dietary restrictions traditional braces do
  • Must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day but may be removed to brush and floss, to eat and for special events such as professional meetings or weddings
  • Take an average of one year to achieve the desired results (other braces take two to two and half years or more)

Who qualifies for Clear Aligners?

Many teens and adults do. Dr. Hendrick does a complete oral examination, X-rays and other kinds of imaging to determine if a patient can benefit from treatment. If he or she is a candidate, the patient enjoys the convenience of simple progress checks every four to six weeks with their Shelby dentist. After treatment, most individuals wear a customized retainer to keep newly aligned smiles straight and beautiful.

Get more information

If you wish to explore clear aligners, please contact the office of Dr. Hendrick to arrange an orthodontic consultation. Call (704) 484-0077 or (704) 482-8336 today.



Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 484-0077
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