Posts made in April, 2012

Orthodontics 101: Open Bite Information

Posted on Apr 26, 2012

What is an open bite?
Open bites describe a misalignment of the tooth and jaw wherein the upper and lower front teeth are forced outwards. In consequence, most teeth don’t touch each other at all, not even when the mouth is closed.

What causes an open bite?
In most cases it’s the patients themselves who are (inadvertently) responsible. Thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting (pushing the tongue against the teeth when swallowing), chewing on objects (usually pencils), excessive/incorrect use of pacifiers and feeding bottles, and untreated TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) can all cause an open bite.

What are the consequences of an open bite? 
An open bite isn’t aesthetically pleasing and may cause low self-esteem in a patient. Lisping and TMD could develop or become aggravated, so it’s important to visit your orthodontic specialist to correct an open bite.

Generally braces are sufficient to correct an open bite, but in severe cases jaw surgery may be required. Your orthodontic expert will be able to determine which course of action is appropriate for your open bite.

The best treatment for an open bite is prevention, beginning as early as possible by discouraging thumb-sucking, reducing pacifier use and booking an appointment at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam.

For more information on open bites, or to book a consultation, please contact us today.

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How to Treat and Prevent Underbites

Posted on Apr 19, 2012

Your orthodontic experts at HGS Ortho aim to educate you on issues that may arise with your child’s teeth. Here’s a quick Q&A about one of the most common jaw/tooth alignment problems: underbite.

What does an underbite look like? 

The lower jaw protrudes more than the upper jaw.

How does an underbite happen? 

Poor chewing habits can cause an underbite but mostly it comes from poor jaw and tooth alignment.

Why should I be concerned about an underbite? 

Aside from aesthetic issues, an underbite places a lot of stress on the jaw, which can cause TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) and headaches, jaw pain, jaw clicking, limited jaw movements and problems with chewing.

What can I do about an underbite?

If the underbite is skeletal, surgery may be necessary. If it’s just limited to the teeth, braces could potentially correct the issue. However, prevention is the best way to treat an underbite.

Can you describe the process of fixing an underbite in detail?

If it’s too late to prevent the underbite, the patient will wear braces for a few months before and after surgery. During surgery, the lower jaw may be pulled back and the upper jaw forward if necessary, though it may be possible that only one jaw will require work. Your orthodontic expert at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam will be able to determine the best course of action for your underbite.

If the underbite has just begun, children (as young as five) can have their upper jaw widened with a jaw expander. The process will typically take several months and the patient will wear a reverse-pull face mask (to encourage the upper jaw to grow properly) and perhaps a chin cap (to discourage the lower jaw from growing) for about a year. Treatments vary, so be sure to see an orthodontic specialist.

What is the success rate of the treatment? 

The success rate is very high for both surgical and non-surgical treatment. Contact HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam to book an appointment.





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Easter Ideas: How To Keep Kids With Braces Happy

Posted on Apr 5, 2012

If you’re worried that braces will prevent your child from enjoying Easter candy, the dental health team at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam have great news for you! While we don’t recommend any sticky, sugary Easter candy for anyone with braces, here’s a wonderful list of Easter candy that’s safe to enjoy if you have braces:

Chocolate – Chocolate is a great Easter candy for the Easter Bunny to hand out. However, chocolate filled with anything like toffee or caramel should be avoided. Think hollow bunnies and M&Ms.

Baked Goods – Decorated cupcakes and brownies are a great choice if they are nut-free. Baked goods gives you the freedom to experiment with ingredients, so try recipes with reduced-sugar or use honey instead.

Non-Edible Treats – Easter doesn’t have to be just about Easter candy.  Presents make for a great Easter candy replacement and the best part is they’re cavity-free!

We at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam wish you a happy Easter!

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