Transforming and Protecting Your Smile
Have you been dreaming of a straighter smile? Dr. Heaton at Smiles of Chandler has extensive training and education in placing orthodontic braces as a general practitioner, and has helped many patients to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Smiles of Chandler offers orthodontic treatment for our East Valley patients, including traditional metal braces, as well as Invisalign braces. Saturday orthodontic appointments are available for the convenience of our orthodontic patients. To protect your child’s smile, we also offer custom made athletic mouth guards.
Braces Provide More Than Just A Great Smile
The benefit of braces that people are most familiar with is esthetics. Orthodontic braces can take a crooked, unsightly arrangement of teeth and create an attractive smile. This helps our patients to have a higher level of confidence and self-esteem.
However, there are more important reasons braces can benefit you. Misaligned and overlapping teeth can be very difficult to maintain hygienically and as a result have a higher incidence of dental and gum disease, such as decay (cavities), gingivitis and periodontitis. Furthermore, having misaligned teeth means that the upper and lower teeth will not interact properly. This can impair chewing and speaking. This condition can also lead to a disorder of the jaw joint called TMD, which can cause popping of the joint, grinding, headaches and other issues.
Braces can help to avoid these problems, in addition to giving you a great smile.
Why should I have Dr. Heaton place my (or my child’s) braces?
Dr. Heaton has a wealth of experience in managing braces as a general practitioner, providing countless patients throughout the years with the smile they envisioned.
One of the advantages of having your braces placed, adjusted and monitored at Smiles of Chandler is the convenience of not needing separate appointments for your orthodontics and general dentistry. Dr. Heaton can keep close tabs on your braces and overall oral health simultaneously, so that nothing slips through the cracks. This absolutely eliminates the miscommunication that sometimes occurs between your specialist and general dentist about expectations and considerations for your case.
In addition, Dr. Heaton can integrate other esthetic services not performed by orthodontists into your treatment plan to achieve the exact result that you are looking for.
Why would I want braces over Invisalign®?
Invisible aligners have been used by general dentists for some time now, but they are limited in the range of orthodontic issues that they can properly and healthily correct when compared to wire and bracket braces. This is because traditional braces, in combination with other orthodontic appliances, can be used to apply forces in whichever direction necessary, whereas aligners are only suited to push the teeth. Pulling (i.e. to make the tooth “longer”), rotating to a great degree, and many other movements are not within the capabilities of the Invisalign® system. In addition, braces can be a more cost-effective option.
If you are concerned about the appearance of traditional braces, please ask about ceramic brackets and other options we can provide at Smiles of Chandler. If Invisalign® orthodontics are a good fit for you, we can provide that service as well.
Are Invisalign® braces right for me?
Invisalign® aligners are a popular alternative to metal braces. Invisalign® limits the amount of intrusion on your lifestyle. We even offer Saturday appointments. The aligners tend to get the teeth where you want them faster, resulting in a shortened orthodontic treatment span. In addition, you can still eat the things you love.
The advent of Invisalign® treatment means that adults can now undergo orthodontic treatment, typically reserved for teenagers in the past, without the embarrassment of metal brackets and wires cluttering up their smiles. We treat many adults with Invisalign®, including several who wore traditional braces as teens and have seen their teeth slip back out of alignment.
Although there are some orthodontic movements Invisalign® cannot perform, the aligners work to repair many maladies, such as overbites, underbites, and crooked or rotated teeth. They work wonders for patients with wide spaces between their teeth, even if other teeth have shifted and moved into those spaces. Adults who suffer from malocclusion have found that Invisalign® works wonders for their smiles.
Invisalign® treatment can help more than just adults, however. In fact, the makers of Invisalign® have developed a treatment program specifically for teenagers. Called Invisalign Teen®, the program offers all the benefits of the adult plan, with a few unique additions that aim to help keep your child on track with the treatment plan.
Dr. Heaton has extensive experience working with the Invisalign® system, helping patients obtain their ideal smile through planning the exact shifts the clear aligners will apply to the teeth. Invisalign® patients can expect to be wearing a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until their treatment concludes. Our Invisalign® patients love how discreet their treatment is, and how dramatic their results are. We invite you to call our office for a consultation, even on Saturday, to learn more about what orthodontic option best suit your smile’s needs.
The Benefits of Mouth Guards for Athletic Activity
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) athletic mouth guards prevent over 200,000 mouth injuries a year, yet less than 20 percent of our children wear them.
A mouth guard is an appliance that fits snugly over the teeth, cushioning them and protecting them from possible injury. Much like your child wears a helmet to protect his head, the mouth guard acts as a sort of helmet for the teeth, preventing them from chipping, breaking, or even falling out.
Mouth guards also prevent the jaws from coming completely together, limiting the risk of other types of head injury, such as concussion. Kids who wear mouth guards will have a lower likelihood of biting their lips or tongue, which can cause serious pain.
Kids who wear braces benefit greatly from mouth guards, as they protect them from having brackets or wires knocked out. Mouth guards protect adult teeth as well. Imagine how happy you will feel when that errant softball that hits your face doesn’t damage any teeth!
Mouth guards prevent injuries common in high-impact sports like hockey and football, such as:
Fractures – This refers to broken or chipped teeth, or teeth that have suffered a root fracture. If you or your child suffer this type of injury, you will need to gather any fragments of the tooth and get them, and the athlete, to the dentist immediately.
Avulsion – This refers to the entire tooth getting knocked out, including the root. With this type of injury, you need to pick up the tooth, rinse it, and get to the dentist with it as quickly as possible.
Luxation – This refers to situations where the tooth remains in the socket but in an incorrect position. You may suffer from one of two types of luxation injury. The first type, an extruded tooth, will look longer than the other teeth surrounding it. The second type, lateral displacement, refers to a tooth that has been pulled forward or pushed back in the mouth. These patients should get to the dentist as soon as possible as well.
If you or your child should suffer one of these injuries, call us right away. The doctor builds time into his daily schedule to handle emergency cases, and in most cases we can get you in the same day.
How Mouth Guards Can Help Clenching, Grinding, TMJ and Sleep Apnea
While mouth guards provide excellent dental protection for athletes, they can also save teeth in other ways. Patients who suffer from chronic grinding of the teeth, called bruxism, can wear mouth guards at night when they sleep.
The mouth guard keeps the jaws from closing completely, preventing the teeth from meeting and grinding. Other patients may suffer from a condition called sleep apnea.
This condition causes the patient’s airway to become obstructed while he sleeps, which can lead to the patient not taking a breath for up to a minute. Dr. Heaton can help patients who suffer from this very dangerous condition by creating a custom mouth guard that helps position the jaw in a way that prevents the airway obstruction.
Call Our Chandler, AZ Dental Practice Today
For more information about our custom fitted mouth guards, call our Chandler, AZ dental office. Dr. Heaton takes the safety of your teeth and jaws very seriously. If you participate in any sport or are suffering from sleep apnea, call our Chandler dental office today and ask the doctor how you could benefit from a mouth guard.