in west reading

who needs

orthodontic treatment?

We treat children, teens, and adults of all ages who have misaligned teeth or an improper bite. Orthodontic treatment is most effective in children and orthodontic screening is recommended by the age of 7. 

Children’s jaws and mouth are still developing until about age 13, so early intervention can take advantage of natural growth to encourage proper alignment. Early detection of present or potential orthodontic problems can be treated with phase 1 orthodontic treatment between the ages of 6-9 or with braces once the child has all of their permanent teeth.

Crooked teeth, large gaps, and overcrowding are all issues that are commonly found in teenagers. Teenagers are good candidates for metal or ceramic braces or clear aligners like Invisalign. However, maintaining proper oral hygiene during treatment is important when wearing braces, because thorough cleaning and flossing are more difficult.

Metal braces are typically the best orthodontic treatment for adults with moderate to severe alignment issues. Invisalign can be used for more minor problems and is more discreet than metal braces. Another issue that is prevalent among adults is TMJ, which can also be improved through orthodontic treatment.

If you have misaligned teeth, TMJ, or an improper bite, orthodontic treatment is the best way to correct these problems. To find out which treatment is best for you, contact us at Molly Hottenstein Orthodontics to schedule a consultation with our Wyomissing orthodontist.

care for your smile

treatments offered

Metal Braces - Traditional braces are made of stainless steel brackets and wires that exert significant pressure onto the teeth to correct moderate to severe alignment issues. Treatment typically takes between 12-24 months and requires more persistent brushing and flossing of the teeth to prevent a buildup of plaque between the brackets. Elastics can also be used to assist with correcting a misaligned jaw.

Invisalign - Invisalign is a clear aligner system that is used as an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign is best suited for minor to moderate alignment issues, but with the addition of attachment buttons and elastics, more severe problems and bite issues may be treated with Invisalign. 

Clear aligners are transparent which makes them desirable for those who don’t want to draw attention to their misaligned teeth. The aligners are also removable which makes cleaning the teeth very easy and allows the patient to eat a restriction-free diet.

Ceramic Braces - These braces function the same way as metal braces but the design of their appearance is similar to Invisalign. The use of wires, brackets, and elastics enables the braces to treat seriously crooked teeth, misaligned bites, and large gaps in the teeth, but they are made of tooth-colored ceramic and clear elastic bands. 

The wire used in these braces can also be made white for a more transparent appearance that does not draw attention. Ceramic braces combine the best aspects of metal braces and Invisalign into one orthodontic system. 

Space Maintainers - Space maintainers hold a space open in the mouth where a child has lost a baby tooth prematurely. While baby teeth are supposed to fall out eventually, if it happens too soon due to dental trauma, decay, or gum disease, it can cause issues. 

For example, if the permanent tooth is not due to come in for a long time, then leaving a space in the mouth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and lean into this space. This would prevent the permanent tooth from having a space to erupt and it can also cause the teeth to become crooked or overcrowded.

A baby tooth’s job is to assist with speech, mastication, aesthetics, and most importantly, hold a space for the permanent tooth to come in. When this tooth is lost too early, it is unable to perform this function. 

A space maintainer is a plastic or metal appliance that is attached to the surrounding teeth to hold the space open and prevent the other teeth from moving. When the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the space maintainer will be removed.

when is the best age

to visit an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. This may seem young, but it's important to catch any potential issues early on. At this age, a child's permanent teeth are starting to come in, and an orthodontist can assess the bite and alignment to detect any problems that may require treatment.

However, it's never too late to visit an orthodontist. In fact, many adults are now seeking treatment to correct their misaligned teeth and improve their smiles.

am I a good candidate

For orthodontic treatment?

If you're dealing with crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, or crossbites, then orthodontic treatment might just be the answer you're looking for. But how do you know if you're a good candidate for treatment? Well, it all starts with a consultation with an orthodontist. During this consultation, they'll examine your teeth, take X-rays, and chat with you about your goals for treatment. They'll also make sure that orthodontic treatment is safe for you based on your overall health and any medications you're taking.

how long

Do i have to wear braces?

The length of time that you'll need to wear braces really depends on the severity of your orthodontic issues. Some people may wear braces for one to three years, while others may need them for a bit longer or shorter. But don't worry, Dr. Molly will give you a better idea of how long you can expect to wear braces during your consultation.

how long

Do i have to wear Clear Aligners?

If you're not a fan of the metal mouth look, then clear aligners like Spark might be the solution for you. These clear, removable trays gradually move your teeth into the desired position without anyone even knowing you're wearing them. Plus, treatment with clear aligners is usually quicker than with traditional braces, taking anywhere from 12 to 18 months on average.

But keep in mind, you'll need to wear those aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to see results. Dr. Molly will be able to give you more personalized information on how long you can expect to wear clear aligners during your consultation.

how often

Do i have to visit the orthodontist During treatment?

During orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to visit the orthodontist periodically for adjustments and progress checks. The frequency of these visits will depend on the type of treatment you’re undergoing, but in general, you can expect to visit Dr. Molly every 6 to 8 weeks. These visits are important to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned and to make any necessary adjustments.

can i play sports

While i wear braces or clear aligners?

Yes, you can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment, but it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces or aligners. Dr. Molly can recommend a suitable mouthguard that will fit comfortably over your braces or aligners.

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