Common Orthodontic Issues

Orthodontic issues are more than just cosmetic concerns they can also impact your oral health and overall well-being. At Mint Orthodontics, we specialize in diagnosing and treating a range of orthodontic conditions to help you achieve a healthier, straighter smile.

While we can treat any type of orthodontic need, these are the most common types of smiles that benefit from orthodontics:

  1. Crowded Teeth — This condition occurs when there is not enough space for all the teeth to fit normally. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Overbite — An overbite is when the upper front teeth overlap significantly with the lower front teeth. This can lead to excessive wear on the lower teeth and can cause discomfort while chewing.
  3. Underbite — An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are too far back. It can cause difficulty in biting and chewing and may lead to uneven wear of the teeth.
  4. Crossbite — A crossbite happens when the upper and lower jaws don’t align properly, causing one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to worn-down teeth, gum disease, and bone loss.
  5. Gap Teeth — Also known as diastema, this refers to spaces or gaps between two or more teeth. While often a cosmetic concern, gap teeth can also cause issues with speech and oral hygiene.
  6. Openbite — An open bite is characterized by the upper and lower front teeth not overlapping when the mouth is closed. This can result in difficulty biting and chewing, speech impediments, and jaw problems.
  7. Baby & Permanent Teeth — Also known as mixed dentition, this is a phase in children’s dental development where they have a mix of baby and permanent teeth. It’s an important stage to monitor, as early intervention can prevent more serious orthodontic issues in the future.
  8. A Generally Straighter Smile — Even if your teeth are generally straight, you might still desire minor cosmetic adjustments for a perfect smile. We offer treatments for subtle enhancements, such as closing small gaps or aligning slightly crooked teeth.

At Mint Orthodontics, we understand that each patient’s orthodontic needs are unique. Our team, led by Dr. Sudit, is committed to providing personalized, comprehensive care to address these common orthodontic issues and more. Whether you’re seeking treatment for a specific condition or simply looking to enhance your already beautiful smile, we’re here to guide you on your journey to optimal oral health.

Accelerated treatment

Time is not a surplus most of us have. We like things done well but we also like things done fast. Enter accelerated orthodontics with AcceleDent. Whether you get braces or Invisalign clear aligners, AcceleDent enables us to potentially cut your treatment time in half.

AcceleDent is a small handheld device that initiates bone remodeling using gentle vibrations on the teeth. It’s quite easy to use. You just bite down on a mouthpiece that is placed in the mouth for 20 minutes per day. With this type of accelerated orthodontics, you are most likely looking at months — not years — to get the gorgeous, confident smile you want.

AcceleDent is FDA-cleared and uses a technology called SoftPulse Technology™, which generates gentle micro pulses that safely accelerate the movement of your teeth as guided by your orthodontic appliances. These micropulses can also help make your orthodontic experience more comfortable.

Osteogenic Orthodontics

Osteogenic orthodontics is another great option for accelerated orthodontics. It uses braces that are placed using a periodontal procedure. This procedure allows teeth to move into place up to 4x faster than normal. As long as permanent teeth are present, osteogenic orthodontics can be used.

This option is ideal for adult patients because more bone is produced around the teeth. Since many adults do not have the bone tissue needed for conventional orthodontics due to dental problems, this course of treatment allows for more stability and an increase in bone mass for better improvement in facial appearance and aesthetics. In most cases, osteogenic orthodontics takes anywhere from 4 to 10 months.

Night-Time Only Treatment

We understand that orthodontic treatment needs to fit into your lifestyle, not disrupt it. That’s why at Mint Orthodontics, we offer night-time-only treatment options designed to work with your schedule, and not against it.

Night-time treatment is an innovative approach to orthodontics that involves wearing your aligners only at night while you sleep. This is a great option for those who may not want to wear aligners during the day due to aesthetic concerns or lifestyle preferences.

The treatment uses specially designed aligners that apply a gentle, yet effective amount of force to gradually shift your teeth into their desired position. You’ll need to wear your aligners for a recommended 10 hours each night, allowing you to go about your daily routine without any interruptions.

While this method can extend the overall treatment time compared to full-time aligner wear, it offers unparalleled convenience. It’s perfect for adults and teens who want a more discreet treatment option.

At Mint Orthodontics, your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities. Our team will provide all the guidance you need to ensure your night-time treatment is effective and comfortable. We’re committed to helping you achieve your dream smile in a way that suits your unique lifestyle, so if you’re interested in learning more about our night-time-only treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us! At your initial consultation, we can evaluate your smile and determine if a night-time-only treatment plan is a good option for you.

Two-Phase Treatment

At Mint Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive orthodontic care to patients of all ages, especially children with developing smiles. One of the specialized approaches we use for our younger patients is called the two-phase treatment.

Two-phase treatment is an orthodontic method specifically designed to maximize the opportunity to achieve healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing results that will remain stable throughout your child’s life.

Phase 1

The first phase, also known as the early interceptive treatment, typically starts when your child is between the ages of six and ten, and still has most of their primary teeth. This phase aims to correct significant developmental problems that could lead to more severe orthodontic issues in the future if left untreated.

During Phase 1, we focus on the jaw’s growth and development, ensuring it can accommodate all permanent teeth and function properly. Specific conditions such as crossbites, severe overcrowding, or harmful oral habits like thumb sucking are addressed during this phase.

Your child may receive partial braces or specialized appliances like space maintainers, expansion devices, or growth appliances in Phase 1. By intervening at this early stage, we can guide the jaw’s growth, improve particular teeth positions, and create a better environment for the natural eruption of the permanent teeth.

Resting Period

The resting period occurs after the completion of Phase 1. During this time, no active orthodontic appliances are worn. This allows the remaining permanent teeth to emerge naturally without any hindrance.

This period is crucial as it lets nature take its course. We will remove any Phase 1 appliances and monitor the eruption process closely. Routine observation appointments will be scheduled during this period to keep track of the progress and ensure the teeth are erupting correctly.

Phase 2

Phase 2 typically begins when most of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually around the age of twelve. The goal of Phase 2 is to ensure each tooth is located in the right position for optimal function, aesthetics, and harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth.

This phase usually involves the application of full upper and lower braces. The braces used in Phase 2 are designed to finalize the alignment and perfect the bite. After the active period of Phase 2, your child will transition into wearing retainers to maintain the beautiful new smile we’ve achieved.

Through this two-phase process, we can ensure a holistic approach to your child’s orthodontic care, taking into account their unique needs at every stage of growth. This approach often prevents future issues, eliminates the need for more invasive treatments later on, and achieves results that would not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

At Mint Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing individualized, effective orthodontic treatment to our patients. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends a child’s first orthodontic visit around age seven. If it’s time for your child’s checkup, or you’ve noticed signs that orthodontic treatment may be needed, we’re here to help!

TMJ Treatment

At Mint Orthodontics, we understand that oral health extends beyond just beautiful smiles. That’s why we offer specialized treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD), a group of conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) — the hinge connecting your jaw to your skull. Among the most common, irritating, and difficult-to-diagnose problems with head and neck pain are temporal mandibular joint problems, more commonly known as TMJ problems.

The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for movements like chewing, speaking, and yawning. The joint is located near the ear where the top of the lower jaw (mandible) meets the upper jaw at the base of the skull is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Like all other joints in the body, the TMJ is subject to inflammation and other chronic joint problems. When this joint is misaligned or stressed, it can lead to TMD, causing symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and a clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw.

Jaw pain may be caused by destructive bite habits like clenching or grinding or lots and lots of gum chewing. We bet Violet Beauregarde suffered from TMJ (if you know, you know). These actions cause pressure on the joint that can lead to inflammation and general breakdown of the joint itself.

Can braces or Invisalign fix TMJ Problems?

Many times, yes. However, what makes TMJ problems difficult to diagnose and treat properly is the fact that the symptoms vary widely in both location and severity.

Symptoms can range from a slight clicking in the jaw with no pain to severe head and neck pain that is not relieved by medication. Once diagnosed properly, however, treatments include everything from simple placement of a nightguard, which prevents pressure on the joint, to surgical intervention in more severe cases.

If you think you’re having TMJ clicking or TMJ pain, contact us. Dr. Sudit is a TMJ Orthodontist who has first-hand experience in diagnosing this widely variable and very common issue.

Surgical Orthodontics

Does “orthodontic surgery” give you horrible visions of drinking a cheeseburger through a straw? Now that we’ve implanted that thought into your head, try to brush it aside and make room for modern-day orthodontic surgery. While not necessary for most people, today’s surgical orthodontics is carefully planned and is a collaborative approach from your orthodontist and an oral surgeon.

When is Orthodontic Surgery Needed?

Surgical orthodontics is used to correct severe facial and bone problems in some patients. The type of condition that may require surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, generally stems from a problem with the upper jaw.

Some examples of when orthodontic surgery may be a benefit:

  • Severe overbite correction
  • Severe underbite correction
  • TMJ pain
  • Abnormalities of the jaw bone
  • Other complex cases involving the face, skull, jaw, and mouth

Those with improper bites or aesthetic concerns may benefit the most from surgical orthodontics. But there is still a possibility that we can treat these issues non-surgically. And, if you’ve been wondering if braces can change your jawline or change your face, the answer is that braces alone cannot change the overall shape of your face.

Dr. Sudit can tell you if orthognathic surgery is something worth considering as a treatment option and will work with you to find the right course of treatment.

Retainers

At Mint Orthodontics, we’re committed to ensuring that your journey toward a beautiful, healthy smile doesn’t end when the braces come off or you finish your last set of aligners. That’s where retainers come in, and to make this stage easier, we offer Retain to ensure your smile stays straight, forever.

Retainers are custom-made appliances designed to hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after orthodontic treatment is complete. They play a crucial role in maintaining the results achieved during your treatment, making them an essential part of your orthodontic journey. With Retain, you get fresh, clean retainers delivered right to your door, so you can be sure there is never a lapse in treatment.

Your teeth are not set rigidly in your jawbone — they’re held in place by a network of fibers known as periodontal ligaments and are always moving. When your teeth are moved during orthodontic treatment, these ligaments are stretched and need time to adjust to the new positions of your teeth.

Retainers help ensure that your teeth don’t drift back to their original positions while these ligaments adjust. They provide stability and allow your jawbone to reform around your teeth’s new positions. Initially, you’ll need to wear your retainer full-time, only removing it for meals and oral hygiene. As your mouth adjusts, you’ll gradually switch to wearing the retainer only at night.

At Mint Orthodontics, we understand that retainers are a long-term commitment, but they’re one worth making. With consistent wear as prescribed, your retainer will ensure that your new, confident smile lasts a lifetime. If you have any concerns or questions about your retainer, we’re always here to help.

Need a new retainer?

We understand that maintaining your beautiful, newly straightened smile is just as important as achieving it, and lost or damaged retainers shouldn’t stand in the way of that. That’s why we’re thrilled to offer our patients the Retain program, a special service designed to ensure your orthodontic results last a lifetime. With Retain, you choose your custom subscription plan and your retainers are delivered right to your door!

Features of this program include:

  • Sustained Results — The Retain program helps you maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment. Teeth naturally tend to shift over time, which can undo the work of braces or aligners. With Retain, you can effortlessly keep your teeth in their new, proper positions.
  • Convenient Deliveries — With the Retain program, you don’t have to worry about scheduling appointments to get new retainers. The program delivers fresh, clean aligners right to your doorstep, ensuring you always have a new set when you need it.
  • Parental Peace Of Mind — For those with children or teens who’ve undergone orthodontic treatment, the Retain program offers an extra layer of assurance. Parents can manage their child’s retainer usage from their phone, helping to ensure that retainers are being worn as advised, even when they’re not around.
  • Flexible Plans — The Retain program offers various subscription plans to choose from, allowing you to select the one that best fits your needs and budget.

With the Retain program, maintaining your perfect smile has never been easier or more convenient. Interested in joining? Ask our team about this program at your next visit!

Mouthguards

Whether you spent months or years wearing braces or managed to avoid the orthodontics chair with perfectly aligned dental genetics, your teeth still need protecting. And we’re not just talking about using your retainers, daily flossing, and making your 6-month dental check-ups a major priority.

While Mint Orthodontics recommends athletes wear mouthguards, the National Federation of State High School Associations only mandates mouthguards for football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling (only for wrestlers wearing braces).

The old adage holds true. Wearing a mouthguard is a proactive measure that can spare you from painful injuries, emergency dental visits, and lengthy orthodontic repairs.

Whether you’re on the basketball court, the soccer field, or the wrestling mat, wearing a mouthguard should be as essential as wearing the right gear. It’s a small investment that reaps enormous rewards, from preventing injuries to preserving your dental and orthodontic health. Regardless of whether you have braces or not, make sure to choose a properly fitting mouthguard that suits your needs and provides the protection you deserve. Your oral health and sports performance are worth safeguarding – one game at a time.

Mint Orthodontics’ mouthguards are developed specifically to benefit everyone, regardless of wearing braces. Our mouthguards leverage cutting-edge technology and materials, resulting in mouthguards that are durable and highly effective in absorbing and dissipating impact forces– plus you can pick a design that best suits your style and personality.

If you’re in need of added protection from taking hits from linebackers, flying pucks, elbows, or yourself (teeth grinders, we’re talking to you), selecting a high-quality mouthguard is always a safe bet.

The best Defense is a Good Offense

Accidental collisions and impacts are inherent risks in many high-contact sports. Wearing a mouthguard offers a protective shield for your teeth, significantly reducing the likelihood of chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth, which can have long-lasting consequences for your oral health and appearance. This is vital for athletes of all ages and particularly important for those with braces, as the brackets and wires can amplify the impact on your teeth — especially if you aren’t interested in experiencing emergency trips to the ortho!

Studies suggest that well-fitted mouthguards can help reduce the risk of concussions by absorbing some of the impact forces. In fact, a Canadian study suggests that youth ice hockey players who wear mouthguards may have significantly lower odds of concussion. The study found that the use of mouthguards lowered the odds of concussion by 64%.

Sleep Apnea

Wearing a mouthguard can be an effective treatment option for a specific type of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep, leading to repeated pauses in breathing and disrupted sleep patterns. A mouthguard used to treat sleep apnea is called a mandibular advancement device (MAD) or a mandibular repositioning device (MRD).

Here’s how a mandibular advancement device works to prevent sleep apnea:

  • Jaw Repositioning — The mandibular advancement device is designed to reposition the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward. By doing so, it helps to enlarge the airway and prevent its collapse during sleep. This forward movement helps to keep the airway open, allowing for better airflow and reducing the likelihood of apnea episodes.
  • Increased Muscle Tone — The slight repositioning of the jaw also leads to increased muscle tone in the throat area. This added muscle tension helps to keep the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.
  • Improved Airflow — By keeping the airway open and preventing obstructions, the mandibular advancement device facilitates smoother and uninterrupted airflow. This helps individuals with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea experience improved breathing and reduced sleep disruptions.
  • Reduction in Symptoms — Individuals who use a mandibular advancement device often report a decrease in common sleep apnea symptoms, such as loud snoring, gasping for breath during sleep, and daytime fatigue.
  • Comfort & Compliance — Mandibular advancement devices are generally more comfortable than other treatment options like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. This increased comfort can lead to higher compliance rates, as individuals are more likely to use the device consistently.

It’s important to note that while mandibular advancement devices can be effective for some individuals with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, they might not be suitable for everyone. The severity of sleep apnea, individual anatomy, and other factors play a role in determining the most appropriate treatment approach. Consulting with a sleep specialist or dentist who specializes in sleep apnea is crucial to determine if a mandibular advancement device is the right option for a specific individual.

As with any medical treatment, it’s essential to undergo proper evaluation and follow the recommendations of healthcare professionals to ensure the most effective and safe treatment for sleep apnea.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you wake up with a sore or stiff jaw after a night’s sleep? If so, a mouthguard might be something to consider. Mouth guards provide protection from teeth grinding in a number of ways.

  • Cushioning Effect — Mouthguards absorb and distribute the forces generated during teeth grinding. This minimizes the wear and tear on the teeth’s surfaces, preventing damage such as enamel erosion and fractures.
  • Protection Of Dental Work — For those with dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or veneers, teeth grinding can pose a major risk to these restorations. A mouthguard acts as a protective barrier, preventing potential damage to dental work.
  • Preventing Tooth Sensitivity — Grinding can wear down the enamel on teeth, leading to increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli. A mouthguard acts as a buffer, protecting the enamel and reducing sensitivity.