Your best smile is one that's healthy, functional, and attractive. It boosts your self-confidence and helps you express who you are. If you suffer with a gapped, crowded, or crooked smile and wish to look and perform at your very best, consider braces from your orthodontist in Harper Woods, MI, Dr. Kishawn Kole-James. At Superior Orthodontics, Dr. Kole-James treats adult patients with extra-special care, understanding their need for discreet appliances and comfortable services which fit their busy lifestyles.
It's not too late
Yes, the optimal and most convenient time to straighten a smile is adolescence-ages 11 to 14 to be exact, states the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). At this age, the jaw bone is still growing, and dental alignment is more fluid and pliable.
All that being said, adult orthodontic treatment still works extremely well, and millions of adults who currently wear braces or clear aligners can attest to that. The AAO reports that a full 20 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.
What are your choices?
Modern dentistry offers a wide range of options for mild, moderate and even severe orthodontic problems in adults. Dr. Kole-James is an expert in many of them--ranging from traditional metal and ceramic braces, to less obvious clear and lingual (tongue-side) braces, and innovative clear aligners such as Invisalign.
When you come to Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods for a smile analysis with orthodontist, Dr. Kole-James, and his friendly team, you'll receive a complete oral examination and bite analysis. Sophisticated digital X-rays reveal root and bone structure, and your smile goals give your orthodontist many important details to consider as he plans out your treatment.
Adult orthodontic problems
Dr. Kole-James sees a wide variety of smile alignment issues among his adult patients. They include:
- Orthodontic relapse
- Tooth rotation
- Protruding front teeth
As long as teeth and gums are healthy, no problem is too difficult. However, Dr. Kole-James does emphasize the importance of careful brushing and flossing at home, a nutritious diet and semi-annual check-ups and hygienic cleanings.
Available orthodontic appliances
During your one-on-one consultation, you'll find out what kind of braces are best for your particular case. Invisalign clear aligners are a popular choice for many mild to moderate smile issues because of their discreet appearance, ease of care and shorter treatment times. Whatever kind of braces you need, rest assured that the team at Superior Orthodontics will guide you through the process carefully, with the result being a beautiful, straight, and healthy smile.
Find out more
To arrange a consultation, call Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI, at (248) 313-4899.
Following your orthodontist’s instructions is key to having a successful orthodontic treatment period. One important directive you should follow is to wear your retainer device every day after your braces are removed. Find out why retainers are so important when you have your teeth aligned by orthodontist Dr. Kishawn Kole-James at Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI.
What Is a Retainer?
A retainer is an oral device that is worn after an orthodontic treatment is complete. Its purpose is to maintain and retain the new position of the teeth. This stage of the treatment, called retention, is essential after spending months or years wearing braces. You must wear your retainer all day for up to a year after your braces are taken off, then while sleeping every night after that. There are three different types of retainers:
- The traditional Hawley retainer, which is made of pink acrylic based attached to a metal framework that supports your teeth.
- The clear plastic retainer (which is similar to Invisalign clear braces).
- The fixed bonded retainer (a non-removable retainer, usually affixed to the back side of the lower front teeth).
Why Are Retainers Important?
Retainers serve a number of purposes after orthodontic treatment. For one, they keep your teeth in the same desired position. Even after wearing braces for a year or more, the teeth could quickly shift back out of alignment. Retainers also provide protection for your teeth. They can reduce the occurrence of enamel erosion due to bruxism (tooth grinding). Wearing a clear plastic retainer while drinking certain beverages could also reduce the chance of discoloration.
How Your Retainer Is Made
If you have an Invisalign treatment, the last tray that you’re prescribed by your Harper Woods orthodontist will be your retainer. For a standard braces treatment, your orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth after the brackets are removed so that a plastic retainer or Hawley-style retainer can be created.
Retain and Maintain Your New Smile
After spending so much time wearing braces, it’s very important to listen to your orthodontist's orders and wear your retainer religiously. It will pay off in the long-run. Call 248-313-4899 today to discuss orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kishawn Kole-James at Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI.
There’s a lot to like about replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant. This state-of-the-art restoration is by far the most durable and life-like option available. And unlike other replacement options implants stimulate bone growth, a major concern after tooth loss.
For that reason we encourage getting an implant as soon as possible — for adults, that is. We don’t recommend implants for younger patients because even a teenager’s jaws haven’t yet reached full maturity. Because it attaches to the jaw differently, an implant can’t move with the growing jaw as real teeth do. It would eventually look as if it were sinking into the jaw below the gum line or being left behind as the rest of the jaw grows.
It’s best, then, to postpone placing an implant until the jaw fully matures, usually in a patient’s early twenties. In the meantime, there are some things we can do to prepare for a future implant while also restoring the tooth with a temporary replacement.
As previously mentioned, our biggest concern is bone health. Like other living tissue, bone has a growth cycle of older cells dissolving and newer ones forming in their place. The teeth transmit the pressure produced when we chew to the bone to stimulate this growth. With the absence of a tooth, the adjacent bone no longer receives this stimulation — the growth cycle slows and may eventually lead to bone loss.
We can help this situation by placing a bone graft in the missing tooth socket at the time of extraction. The graft serves as a scaffold that’s eventually taken over and replaced by new bone growth. We can also try to control how fast the graft is replaced by using grafting material that’s slowly removed and lasts longer — often a preferable situation if an implant is years away.
As for appearance, we can create a custom partial denture or even a type of bridge that bonds a prosthetic tooth to neighboring teeth without significantly altering them. If the patient undergoes orthodontic treatment it’s also possible to add prosthetic teeth to an orthodontic appliance.
Eventually, we’ll be able to provide the permanent solution of a dental implant. With careful planning and measures to preserve bone health, there’s a good chance the outcome will be worth the wait.
If you would like more information on treatments for lost teeth in children and teenagers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”
Adults make up approximately 25% of the four million people in the United States with dental braces, according to Humana. Braces are a very common dental treatment, and even a right of passage in childhood and early adolescence. Although anyone with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at any age, many adults and older teenagers are hesitant to the idea of wearing metallic wire braces for up to two years.
But there is another alternative for older patients looking for a discreet and less invasive method for straightening their teeth. Harper Woods, MI orthodontist Dr. Kishawn Kole-James recommends Invisalign clear aligner trays for adult patients and older teenagers.
Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign in Harper Woods, MI
In addition to being an effective and cosmetically attractive option for straightening teeth in adulthood, Invisalign braces offer several other benefits. Because the trays can be removed for up to two hours a day, Invisalign users can keep up with a regular oral hygiene routine, and continue to enjoy their favorite foods.
Invisalign trays are custom designed for each patient out of soft clear plastic, minimizing friction and irritation on the gums, cheeks and tongue. They can also provide a layer of protection against dental wear and tear from a clenching or teeth grinding habit.
Invisalign works on the same principle as metal braces, gradually shifting the teeth into better alignment. Most adults with significant malocclusions (bite and alignment problems) are typically good candidates for Invisalign. Each tray is worn for approximately two weeks and orthodontic treatment with Invisalign can be shorter than with traditional braces in some cases.
There has never been a better time to invest in a healthy, beautiful smile. For more information on the benefits of Invisalign clear aligner trays and whether they are the right option for you, contact Superior Orthodontics in Harper Woods, MI today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kole-James.
Daily personal care is essential for optimal oral health. Brushing and flossing in particular keep bacteria and acid, the main causes of dental disease, at manageable levels. But to gain the most benefit from your personal care, you need to perform these tasks effectively with the proper techniques and equipment.
For most people brushing begins with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste that helps strengthen enamel. You should hold the brush at a slight angle and brush with a gentle motion to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay — if you’re too aggressive by brushing too hard or too long, you could damage the gums. You should brush no more than twice a day for two minutes, and at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating to allow saliva time to neutralize any remaining acid and help restore minerals to enamel.
Although some people find flossing difficult to perform, it remains an important component of daily care. Flossing once a day removes plaque from between teeth where a brush can’t reach. If you need help with your technique using string floss, we’ll be glad to provide instruction at your next visit. If you have bridges, braces or other dental restorations or appliances that make string flossing difficult, you might consider other options like floss threaders or a water flosser.
There are also dietary and lifestyle choices you can make to enhance your daily care: limit sugary or acidic foods to mealtime and avoid between meal snacks to reduce bacteria and acid in the mouth; drink water to keep your mouth moist, which will inhibit plaque buildup; and stop tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and chewing habits like clenching or biting on hard objects. Above all, be sure to visit us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, or when you notice abnormalities like bleeding gums, pain or sores.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can be done, but it requires a daily care commitment. Performing these hygiene habits in an effective manner will help preserve your teeth for a lifetime.
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