Category Archives: Orthodontics

Are braces right for me?


Braces aren’t just for kids anymore! Regardless of your age, if you’ve always wanted to smile with confidence, but knowing that your teeth were less than perfect held you back, getting braces might be the solution you’ve been looking for. A straight smile can do so much for your self-esteem, and at Raleigh Hills Orthodontics, we want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits of orthodontic treatment, there are many health benefits as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean and function more optimally when it comes to eating and speaking.

If you recognize any of these signs in your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation.

• Early or late loss of baby teeth
• Difficulty chewing or biting
• Mouth breathing
• Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
• Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
• Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude, or are recessed
• Speech difficulty
• Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
• Protruding teeth, teeth that meet in an abnormal way, or teeth that don’t meet at all
• Grinding or clenching of teeth
• Inability to comfortably close lips

We can assess your orthodontic needs during your appointment and explain all the wonderful benefits you can expect to receive during your time in braces. Our team looks forward to seeing you or your child for a consultation!

What causes crooked teeth?

There are several reasons why some people’s teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. Some people’s mouths are too small for their teeth, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift. In other cases, a person’s upper and lower jaws aren’t the same size or are malformed. Most often, crooked teeth are inherited traits just as the color of your eyes or hair. Other causes of crooked teeth are early loss of baby or adult teeth, undue pressure on the teeth and gums, misalignment of jaw after facial injury, or common oral health problems in children such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or prolonged use of a bottle or pacifier.

Having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems as well. Crooked teeth can:

• interfere with proper chewing
• make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis
• strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

There are several orthodontic procedures that can help correct crooked teeth, and we have many services that we can customize to meet your needs, including traditional braces and Invisalign®, among others. We want you to be proud to show off your smile!

What’s a palatal expander and why would I need one?


A palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. It also makes more room for teeth and helps to promote a broader, more aesthetic smile.

Palatal expansion is usually not painful, but you may feel some minor discomfort. It’ll take a little time for you to get used to your appliance, so you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first day or two.

Adjusting your appliance as directed by our office will ensure you keep on schedule with the rest of your orthodontic treatment plan. It takes about a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you’ll keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Our team at Raleigh Hills Orthodontics will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.

Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon lime juice
• 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind
Directions
In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Happy Summer!

If my child has early treatment, often called Phase One, is additional treatment necessary?


Phase One orthodontic treatment can be thought of as your child’s foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles, and occurs when your child has a mixture of primary and permanent teeth. The goal of Phase One treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and to improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. If Dr. John Delplanche and Dr. Frederick Massar have recommended early treatment, this may mean that your child has exhibited early signs of jaw problems, such as an upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow. Early treatment may also be used to avoid permanent tooth extraction later and will deliver better long term results and treatment options in the future.

Early treatment may be the foundation, but what good is a strong foundation if the building placed on it is crooked? The second phase of treatment, usually including a full set of braces, begins when all permanent teeth have erupted and is necessary in order for your child to achieve an ideal bite and perfectly straight teeth.

Improving your life with orthodontics


The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

“What should I expect during my initial consultation?”


Great question! When you first come in for your initial consultation, we will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health. This will better enable us to determine the best treatment method for you.

Your orthodontic evaluation will consist of an oral and facial examination to assess your oral health. We will have you take intraoral and facial photographs as well as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to help determine the proper orthodontic treatment method. Then, an impression of your teeth and bite will be taken to construct a model of your mouth. (This will help us when examining your diagnostic records).

At your second appointment, the Doctor will discuss your options with you. Our team feels it’s important to take the time to carefully examine your diagnostic records after your consultation so that we can more thoroughly prepare for your treatment. This additional preparation will ensure that you receive the best orthodontic care possible. At this time, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment.

If you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child, our staff asks that both you and your child attend the initial consultation. We feel it is important that both you and your child completely understand the doctor’s recommendations before we proceed with treatment.

Give us a call today and schedule a consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

What do rubber bands do?


Rubber bands, or elastics, can be an integral aspect of orthodontic care, so if Dr. John Delplanche and Dr. Frederick Massar has prescribed elastics as a part of your treatment, it’s important to follow the directions fully. Elastics help to align your bite or cause teeth to move in different directions and straighten more quickly. We will instruct you how to hook one end to an upper bracket and the other end to a lower bracket so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one bracket to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure on the bracket, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. This tension is also sufficient to correct an overbite or an under bite in the jaw.

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. With rubber bands, you won’t be able to open your mouth fully, so they will have to be removed when you eat and reapplied after meal time. Many times, rubber bands are only needed at night, so you won’t need to worry about eating with them. Also, if you try to open your mouth too wide, your rubber bands might snap – so be careful!

Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed can lengthen your treatment time and may make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. But don’t worry; your time in elastics will be well worth it when you see your beautiful, new smile.

Patient Question: How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Your smile is totally unique, so the time you’ll need to spend undergoing orthodontic treatment will also be unique. Generally, orthodontic treatment will take about two years, and this is for good reason. During this time, your teeth will slowly move into their desired positions, leaving you with a great smile with as little discomfort as possible. Rushing treatment can result in a less than perfect smile with a greater chance of tooth movement after your treatment is complete. At Raleigh Hills Orthodontics, we don’t want to waste your time with treatment that won’t retain your smile for the rest of your life.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Only Dr. John Delplanche and Dr. Frederick Massar will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But trust us—it’ll all be worth it in the end!

Has your child or teen visited Raleigh Hills Orthodontics for a consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help him or her begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

Age 7 is the magic number for an orthodontic checkup


Many parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to see Dr. John Delplanche and Dr. Frederick Massar for a consultation, only to discover treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Did you know the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven?

That’s right—seven.

Ok, so what’s so great about age seven, you ask? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for Drs. Delplanche and Massar, to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites and open bites can be detected.

Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene. So, if your child is nearing his or her seventh birthday, give us a call at Raleigh Hills Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.