The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. This allows Dr. Tim to determine if orthodontic treatment will be required and the best time for the patient to be treated. Many of the dentists in our community have been trained to identify orthodontic problems early and may refer you to our office earlier than age 7.
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.
If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Tim can guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment, after all the permanent teeth erupt.
Does early treatment benefit all children?
Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all the permanent teeth have erupted. Some skeletal orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or completed. The doctors develop a plan for treatment based on each individual child’s needs. If the doctor decides the patient is not ready for treatment, they are placed on our orthodontic supervisory program.
The Orthodontic Supervisory Program
The orthodontic supervisory program is for patients who are not ready for treatment and have been placed on recall. This program enables us to monitor the eruptive pattern of the permanent teeth. Sometimes, poor erupted patterns of permanent teeth may be eliminated with early removal of baby teeth and reduce the treatment time required for braces.
We will notify your general dentist of any recommendations made during your visit. We normally see the patients on recall every 6-8 months to observe their progress as they grow. There is no fee for this program and it helps the orthodontist determine the optimum time to begin treatment and achieve the best possible result for your child.
Benefits of Early Treatment
Braces can improve the function of the bite and teeth, improve the ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth over a lifetime.
Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet erupted when early treatment is performed, their final alignment may not have been corrected. Typically, a shortened comprehensive phase of treatment (Phase II – full braces) in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have erupted, completes the correction. However, in some circumstances, further orthodontic treatment may not be indicated.
At Empower Orthodontics in Covington, LA, we believe in creating not just straight smiles, but radiantly beautiful ones. Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, teeth whitening can be an excellent way to further enhance your smile and boost your confidence.
Over time, our teeth can become discolored due to factors such as diet, aging, certain medications, and lifestyle habits like smoking. Teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment that can significantly lighten the shade of your teeth, resulting in a brighter, more attractive smile. It’s an investment in yourself, helping you make a great first impression and feel more self-assured in your daily interactions.
Zoom In-Office Whitening
Zoom in-office teeth whitening is a fast, safe, and effective way to achieve a brighter, more confident smile. The process of Zoom in-office teeth whitening involves several simple steps that can produce dramatic results in just one visit.
First, a protective barrier is applied to your gums to shield them from the whitening agent. This ensures that the bleaching gel only comes into contact with your teeth, minimizing the risk of gum irritation.
Next, the high-concentration Zoom bleaching gel is carefully applied to the surfaces of your teeth. This gel works to break down stains and discoloration on your teeth, revealing their natural whiteness.
The Zoom in-office teeth whitening procedure is performed under the supervision of a dental professional, ensuring safety and optimal results. The use of advanced technology allows the procedure to be customized to your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that you achieve the results you desire.
One of the biggest advantages of Zoom in-office teeth whitening is that it can produce faster and more dramatic results than at-home kits. In fact, many patients see a significant improvement in the color of their teeth after just one visit, often lightening teeth by several shades.
At Empower Orthodontics, we are committed to helping you achieve a smile that you’re proud to show off. After you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment, consider teeth whitening to add that extra sparkle to your smile. Contact us today to learn more about teeth whitening and how we can help you smile brighter.
If you’re looking for a way to enhance your smile, Botox may be the answer. Botox is a popular cosmetic treatment that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face. But did you know that Botox can also be used to accentuate a newly corrected smile and overall facial balance and aesthetics?
What is Botox?
Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When injected into specific muscles, it blocks the signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing them to relax. This can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face, creating a smoother and more youthful appearance.
Botox works by blocking the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract. When these muscles are relaxed, the overlying skin appears smoother and less wrinkled. The effects of Botox typically last for several months, after which time the muscles gradually regain their ability to contract.
Using Botox to Accentuate Your Smile
As an orthodontist, Dr. Tim is one of the best-trained professionals when it comes to head and facial anatomy. This makes him uniquely qualified to use Botox to accentuate a newly corrected smile and overall facial balance and aesthetics.
For example, if you’ve recently completed orthodontic treatment and now have a beautifully aligned smile, Botox can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. This can help draw attention to your new smile, creating a more youthful and vibrant appearance.
Botox can also be used to address other issues that may be affecting the overall balance and aesthetics of your face. For example, if you have a gummy smile (i.e., too much of your gums show when you smile), Botox can be used to relax the muscles that lift your upper lip, allowing it to cover more of your gums.
If you’re interested in enhancing your smile and overall facial balance and aesthetics, Botox may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Dr. Tim is Botox-certified and has the expertise and training necessary to help you achieve the results you desire. Contact us today to learn more about this innovative treatment option and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Tim.
Occasionally, some patients will experience an injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories.
Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during your orthodontic care. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, or broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk-in basis. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until our office can see you.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or tuck it under the arch wire with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
- A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen in our office. Call or text our team during patient hours when you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance if indicated.
- A broken or poking archwire can often be bent in with a pencil eraser or cut with nail clippers. Call or text our office during patient hours if you do not feel the problem has been resolved properly.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually, an X-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of the injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office so we can assist as soon as possible.
You’ve put time, effort, and investment into achieving your beautifully aligned smile. Now, it’s crucial to maintain those results for the long term — that’s where retainers come in.
Retainers are custom-made orthodontic devices designed to hold your teeth in their new positions after braces or Invisalign treatment. They’re an essential part of your orthodontic journey, ensuring that your teeth don’t shift back to their original positions (a process known as relapse).
Whether you’re nearing the end of your treatment or have recently removed your braces, this page will provide valuable information about the types of retainers, how to care for them, and why they’re so important for preserving your perfect smile. Let us guide you through the final steps of your orthodontic journey, helping you maintain that radiant smile for years to come.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
How Removable Retainers Are Worn
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for one year following the removal of braces.
After approximately one year, the patient can wear the orthodontic retainer at night. This is to allow the wisdom teeth to develop without ruining the patient’s beautiful smile. Dr. Timothy Poyadou will see you every six to nine months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and an X-ray will be taken every one and a half years.)
Once the wisdom teeth have been decided on, wear your orthodontic retainer at least one night per week. This is because, as you get older, the muscles that surround your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd.
How to Care for Removable Retainers
Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to excessive heat, so they should be kept away from heaters, dishwashers, car dashboards, or any place where the temperatures exceed 115 degrees (Fº).
Retainers should be kept in the proper retainer case when they are not in the patient’s mouth.
Keep away from any family pets, as they like to chew on them.
Clean before and after placement in the mouth. Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Fixed Retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Poyadou prescribes. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month checkups.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching and/or grinding of teeth (muscle hyperactivity)
- Tongue thrusting, low tongue posture, or abnormal tongue posture
- Playing a musical instrument with a reed
- Lip sucking
- Pen or pencil biting
- Spacing between the teeth prior to treatment
- Severely rotated teeth
Our goal is to help your smile stay beautiful and healthy for a lifetime. Your cooperation is essential in order to achieve this goal.
At Empower Orthodontics, we realize that your retainers are critical to the continued success of your new smile. As a way to set ourselves apart from regular orthodontic offices, we want to help you be sure that there will be no setbacks to keeping your smile perfect! We guarantee that if you do your part, we’ll do ours, which is why we created our retainer program.
The length of our retainer program is 3 years to ensure that your smile retains its proper positioning. The cost of the program is $650 and covers up to 2 lost or damaged retainers a year. For more information, or to sign up for our retainer program, contact our team today!