Prepare your child’s mouth for orthodontics.

If your child or teen needs braces, they may have to start their treatment with a visit to the dentist or periodontist. Often times, orthodontists will refer patients to a dentist to be evaluated and treated for various conditions that may complicate braces. Not every patient is the perfect candidate for braces, but with the right treatments, they can be fully prepared to receive braces and enjoy optimal results for a better smile. Here are some of the top dental treatments your child may need to undergo before getting braces.

General Cleaning and Checkup

The last thing you want is to have braces installed on teeth that are already experiencing problems. That is why it is important to visit the dentist for a cleaning and an evaluation. They will be able to identify any cavities, loose fillings, or other problems that need to be addressed. This will allow patients to start their orthodontic treatment with a healthy mouth.

Frenectomy

Frenectomy is a more general term that refers to any removal of tissue that prevents a part of the body from experiencing a full range of motion. When it comes to dental procedures, a frenectomy involves removing the lip-tie, or tissue that connects the gums to the front teeth, or the tongue-tie, which is the connective tissue located under the tongue. While everyone has these tissues, for some, the tissue can be too thick, short, or tight and can cause problems that are more symptomatic in children.

If the tongue-tie is too tight or short, it can limit the tongue’s ability to move, which can make it difficult to breastfeed and learn speech. It can also cause the patient to adjust the way they hold their jaw, which can lead to further orthodontic problems. The lip-tie can cause many of the same issues while also pushing the front teeth apart and creating a gap.

When it comes to orthodontic treatments, a problem with the lip-tie or tongue-tie can cause an underbite or jaw pain. Leaving the connective tissue in place can also cause the teeth to move again even after they have been corrected using braces. A simple frenectomy can help correct jaw issues and ensure lasting results.

The procedure uses a focused and specialized laser to eliminate the tissue. It is a relatively simple treatment that offers a fast healing time and will improve overall health while also preparing the mouth for orthodontics.

Gum Graft

Gum grafts can serve both medical and aesthetic purposes. This procedure is used to treat patients with receding gums that expose the tooth’s root and can lead to bone damage. Exposing too much of the root can also cause tooth sensitivity, and many patients with receding gums don’t like the way their smile looks. 

A gum graft uses tissue from the roof of the mouth to repair your gums and encourage the growth of new tissue. Restoring the gums is often necessary for orthodontic patients because there needs to be enough room in the gums for the teeth to shift as they are moved into place. That is why orthodontists will often refer patients to a dentist for a gum graft before braces are applied. It is just another way to make sure patients start with a strong foundation.

Gingival Hyperplasia

Gingival hyperplasia is characterized by the overgrowth of gum tissue. This condition can be caused by different medications and poor oral health habits. Those who suffer from hyperplasia often experience inflammation, pain, bad breath, and plaque buildup. Excessive gum growth also reduces the amount of surface space on the teeth, which can make it difficult to apply braces.

Hyperplasia can be treated before orthodontics are installed by using lasers to carefully remove the excess gum tissue. The dentist can reshape the tissue, remove any plaque, and provide an ample amount of tooth surface for braces to adhere to. This procedure will reduce discomfort, improve the smile, and make it easier to install braces.

Gum Disease

Even small children and teens can suffer from gum disease that attacks the periodontium, which is responsible for supporting the teeth and making sure they are fully connected to the maxillary and mandibular bones. You can think of the periodontium as the foundation of a house. If a problem occurs with the foundation, then the integrity of the entire home has been compromised, and it is just a matter of time before major problems occur.

That is why we pay special attention to gum health before clearing patients to start orthodontics. Starting with a solid foundation will allow patients to enjoy optimal results and experience better oral health.

Cutting-Edge Treatments

While the idea of undergoing a gum graft may sound unpleasant, the team at Dr. Steven L. Wilson, DDS specializes in this type of treatment and will use the latest in cutting-edge laser technology to treat the issue. Powerful and precise lasers can quickly make necessary corrections, reduce pain, and shorten recovery times. The dentist can expertly shape gums for a beautiful smile that leaves your child feeling better and more confident.

If your child or teen needs help preparing their mouth for orthodontics, Dr. Wilson can help. His specialized training and experience makes him the area’s expert in periodontal treatments. Trust the team to provide expert advice, advanced treatments, and compassionate care for a superior experience that will lead to a lifetime of excellent oral health and a beautiful smile.