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    Many parents of young children at Spokane, Cheney Orthodontics Dentistry share the common concern of timing in getting their children in to be seen for an orthodontic assessment. Often, they are surprised to learn that the best time to deal with potential orthodontic issues is sooner rather than later.

    Some of these parents are under the impression that their child must be an adolescent with severe alignment issues to be considered for orthodontic treatment. Today I’d like to clear up some of the misconceptions about early orthodontic treatment.

    “It’s best to wait until my child has all their permanent teeth”

    Any dentist trained in early orthodontics will tell you the opposite is true. We know that the optimum time for your child to be seen in order to address the possible need for early orthodontics (also known as preventative or phase one orthodontic treatment) is between 5 and 12 years of age are. The younger the child is, the sooner we can start monitoring the growth of their jaw and any potential alignment issues. It also allows us to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child.

    “If there are alignment issues my child will still need braces”
    Not necessarily - by monitoring the development of the child’s teeth at an early age it is often possible to use orthodontic appliances and other methods to help promote proper tooth alignment, potentially eliminating the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later. A child may still require braces, but the treatment time is normally shortened because of early orthodontic treatment.

    “When will I know if my child is a candidate for early orthodontics?”

    A dentist specializing in early orthodontics, like our Spokane, Cheney Orthodontics Dental team is the most qualified to determine if your child needs orthodontic treatment. Generally speaking, however, your child may be a candidate if you notice any of the following:

    Crowded or misaligned teeth
    Overbite or underbite
    Thumb-sucking habit
    Cleft palate

    If you have questions or concerns about early orthodontic treatment for your child, do not hesitate to contact our office to address these issues during a free consultation.

    Patients who visit the Spokane Clear Braces dentist often have concerns about their need for orthodontic work and the impact that traditional metal braces will have on their smile.  It can be very discouraging, especially for adults, to consider the prospect of wearing unattractive metal braces for long periods of time. Invisalign® offers an almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth fast without any metal.

    What kind of bite problems can Invisalign® correct?
    Invisalign® can correct the same dental alignment issues as traditional metal braces. However, Invisalign® trays are almost invisible to the naked eye, and can be removed as needed.

    Some of the problems that can be corrected with Invisalign are:

    Overcrowding – Overcrowding occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth, causing tooth decay and increasing the likelihood of gum disease.
    Large gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
    Crossbite – This is a common dental problem that occurs when one or multiple upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, leading to bone erosion and gum disease.
    Overbite – Another common problem, overbite occurs when the upper teeth project further than the lower teeth, creating the potential for jaw pain and TMJ.
    Underbite – The opposite of the overbite with lower teeth projecting further than the upper teeth.  Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.

    What does Invisalign® treatment involve?
    Our Spokane, Cheney Invisalign dentist begins developing a treatment plan by taking three-dimensional digital images of the entire jaw.  These images allow the dentist to move specific teeth on the screen and view the jaw from different angles. This technology actually allows you to see how Invisalign® trays will change your appearance. Once planning is complete, a customized set of aligners is created.

    What are some considerations when wearing Invisalign® trays?
    Invisalign trays should be worn constantly, except when eating and drinking.  Removing the trays is important because food or drink can become trapped between the tray and the teeth, causing tooth decay.

    New trays are usually introduced every two weeks and progress between appointments can be seen with the naked eye.  There is no doubt that Invisalign® aligning trays have revolutionized orthodontics.  Invisalign® is renowned for being both comfortable and effective.

    A beautiful, healthy smile can make a great first impression, but if you have crooked or uneven teeth, you may be less than confident about your smile. If you’ve been putting off having this corrected because you don't want to endure the process and time involved in wearing traditional braces, you are not alone. But there are options to correct alignment issues and give you back your beautiful smile. Today, let's take a look at some of the advantages of using the Invisalign™ system.

    What makes Invisalign aligners preferable to traditional braces?
    • Easy Treatment Plan: Your Invisalign™ treatment starts when we take the X-rays used to create a 3-d digital image of your mouth.  Next, you’ll be given a series of custom-made aligners that you will take home and change about every two weeks. You will see the difference in your smile every time you change aligners! You will be scheduled for checkups every six weeks or so at our Spokane Cosmetic Dentist office so we can monitor your progress.
    • Convenient: Simply wear your aligners throughout the day, removing them to eat. This allows you to eat foods you love without the worry of particles getting stuck in wires and brackets.
    • Easily removable: You will continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. Your Invisalign™ aligners can simply be brushed and rinsed in lukewarm water.
    • Adaptable to your active lifestyle: Since Invisalign™ aligners are nearly invisible; most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. You don’t have to worry about the discomfort of metal braces and wires that can poke and irritate your mouth, and if you’re involved in contact sports, Invisalign™ aligners are easily removed, enabling you to wear a protective mouth guard if necessary.

    How long does the entire process take?

    It’s difficult to say exactly how long you will need to wear your Invisalign™ aligners since everyone is unique. Contact the Spokane Cosmetic Dentists for a free consultation to evaluate your individual situation. Generally speaking though, Invisalign™ treatment usually takes about a year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of traditional braces, with less discomfort and the added advantage of seeing the improvement every time you change aligners!