Orthodontic Appliances San Ramon CA

Do you want your child to avoid needing major orthodontic care in the future? 

At our San Ramon, CA orthodontist’s office, Dr. McElroy happily welcomes patients of all ages for orthodontic evaluations. To help his younger patients avoid the need for invasive and costly orthodontic care in the future, Dr. McElroy may recommend the use of orthodontic appliances. While most people only associate orthodontia with braces and clear aligners, our office also offers a comprehensive list of orthodontic appliances.

Orthodontic appliances allow us to reposition the teeth and the jaw during development for a healthier, functional, and more stable bite in the future. Often, orthodontic appliances are utilized as a part of two-phase treatment as part of the early intervention in young patients or to augment the use of braces in teen and adult patients.

orthodontic appliance in san ramon, california

Orthodontic Appliances in San Ramon, CA

It’s important to note that many orthodontic concerns will only need to be addressed when all of their baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones are in place. However, there are some conditions that are much easier to treat if they’re caught at an early age when a child’s dental structures are still developing. Some issues that may require early orthodontic treatment and intervention include:

  • Severe crossbite
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Severe underbite
  • Protruding teeth
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Mouth breathing

These issues can be remedied utilizing orthodontic appliances like:

  • Palate expanders – Used to make space for permanent tooth development and address upper jaw alignment issues
  • Functional appliances – Used to address thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting as well as enabling normal jaw and tooth development
  • Sagittal appliances – Used to expand the arch and allow for normal tooth development while preventing overcrowding

Dr. McElroy will inform you about which orthodontic appliance will best serve your child’s developmental needs. Rest assured that you will leave your consultation with a better idea of what to expect down the road in terms of your child’s orthodontic needs.

Why are thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing bad?

As your child’s dental structures grow, early bad habits can affect their development. Thumb-sucking is one of the most common issues we see in our younger patients. If allowed to continue, thumb-sucking can lead to the development of an open bite which is caused by the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw, which causes the teeth to move apart and the jaws to change shape.

Tongue thrusting, or the constant force of the tongue pushing forward against the teeth, can have similar effects. Mouth breathing can cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, which can lead to serious orthodontic problems. If you notice your child developing any of these habits, we encourage you to consult with Dr. McElroy as soon as possible so that he can help you help your child stop these habits.

Orthodontic Appliances FAQs

What should be avoided when wearing an orthodontic appliance?

Patients should avoid soft drinks, coffee, hard or chewy candy, toffee, caramel and other sticky and hard foods while wearing an orthodontic appliance. If you play contact sports and wear an orthodontic appliance, you should wear a mouthguard while playing AND practicing.

How long does treatment with fixed orthodontic appliances last?

On average, treatment with orthodontic appliances lasts up to 2 years. This varies on the treatment each patient chooses, and the severity of their misalignment. Invisalign is the quickest option for correcting crooked teeth in mild to moderate cases.

How do you care for orthodontic appliances?

Care of orthodontic appliances is very important. Patients should remove, clean, and rinse their appliances at least once a day. After every meal, it is recommended that you brush your teeth and your appliance before putting it back in. Patients should refrain from drinking anything other than water while wearing their appliances.

Schedule An Orthodontic Appointment

The earlier you get started on your child’s dental health journey, the better. Our office is kid-friendly, and our entire team looks forward to working with your child and helping them understand the importance of a healthy and beautiful smile. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. McElroy today. We look forward to seeing you soon.