What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

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How Does a Dentist and an Orthodontist Differ?

Both dentists and orthodontists are specialized doctors who work to improve the oral health of their patients, though they achieve these results through different methods. While dentistry is a broad medical term dealing with the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw, and can include treatment of tooth decay as well as tooth extraction, orthodontics is a speciality area of dentistry that focuses specifically on the treatment of irregularities of the teeth, such as correcting bites, occlusion, and alignment of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontics includes the use of braces, which are used to ensure proper alignment of adult teeth. One impactful difference to note is that while all orthodontists like Dr. Childers of Childers Orthodontics are dentists, not all dentists are licensed in orthodontics. Therefore, not all dentists can perform the same services as an orthodontist.

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wearing retainers

The Importance of Wearing Retainers after Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is an incredibly vital part of feeling and looking your best. Because most people see your smile the first time that they look at you, it is important that you work with an orthodontist to have orthodontic work done at your own convenience. Whether you are the one having the work done or you are taking your child in for braces, the aftercare of orthodontic work is often just as important as going for the work itself. If you avoid the aftercare, you will find that your teeth begin to shift and you need more orthodontic work and braces to correct the situation.

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What Kind of Training do Pediatric Orthodontists do?

When it comes to the care of your child, it is essential to find a professional who can confidently handle any and all obstacles. After all, we want the best for our children. Finding a professional for their teeth is no exception. Going to the dentist can be a scary process for young children. Many kids suffer from tooth problems such straightness and replacement but who do you take them to? Some would say the dentist, but that is incorrect. When it comes to these matters, your child should see what is called a pediatric orthodontist. In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences between the two, what kind of training they require, and how to be a good pediatric orthodontist.

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Effects of Vaping on Teeth

Vaping has become the latest trend, allowing many people to enjoy a rush of nicotine or other legal drugs without the tar and pervasive smell of smoking. However, many people who enjoy vaping do not realize that it also can have potent physical effects. Although the smoke coming from a vape pen appears whiter and cleaner than heavy, tarry cigarette smoke, it can have part a particularly profound impact on the health of your teeth and gums.

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What Is the Difference between Traditional Expanders and Clear Aligners?

In the past few decades, orthodontists have made a lot of progress in their field. New technology like clear aligners provides alternatives for those who do not want typical braces. If you are trying to decide which is better traditional expander or clear aligner, you need to know the difference between the two options. Both traditional expanders and clear aligners can help to create a straighter smile and a more functional bite, but they are not the same type of orthodontic equipment. Here are answers to all the questions you probably have about the difference between aligners and traditional braces. Read more


Early Orthodontic Treatment Saves (Time, Money, and Effort)

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Young Children Have Soft Facial and Alveolar Bones

In the past, parents waited until their children were teenagers to have an examination to determine if orthodontic treatment was required. However, experts now advise having your daughter’s teeth examined as soon as she begins to grow her permanent teeth. Most children begin to grow permanent molars when they are approximately 7 years old. Within a few more years, a child will have more permanent teeth inside her mouth. At this age, a child has soft facial and alveolar bones, making it easier to repair any malocclusions that are beginning to develop. Early orthodontic treatment saves time because it repairs your child’s teeth quickly, and it will also reduce the price of straightening your child’s teeth.


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What Happens Immediately after Removal of Braces?

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Braces are specifically designed to straighten teeth. Misaligned teeth (malocclusions) or overcrowding of teeth vastly impacts our appearance, affects how we eat and how we talk. Ill-fitting teeth can create tooth decay problems, like gum disease, cavities, empty spaces (interdental), and the loss of teeth.

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Having an Overbite, What Treatment Can Be Recommended?

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What is an overbite? This type of orthodontic issue is one of the most common in the world. Many people struggle with an overbite. This misalignment can be aesthetically unattractive, even changing the appearance of one’s facial bone structure. In addition, an overbite can cause a great deal of serious dental issues if left untreated. Regardless of your age, there are several ways that overbites can be treated by an experienced orthodontist.

What Is an Overbite?

Also called a malocclusion, an overbite is diagnosed when upper teeth extend further than lower teeth by more than 30%. Many people mistake this for simple crooked teeth when in fact the jaw is not lining up correctly. In many cases, this condition is hereditary.

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What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD’s)?

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What are Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)?

The presence of crooked teeth is a big nuisance and can greatly affect your confidence in social situations. Previously, such teeth were fixed using high-pull headgear, elastics, bite blocks, and functional appliances. Serious cases of crooked teeth had to be fixed through surgery.

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Can [Orthodontic Expanders] Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?

Orthodontic ExpandersCan Orthodontic Expanders Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?

Visit an Orthodontic Office To Learn How To Avoid Extractions Of Your Teeth

When you have crooked or poorly spaced teeth, it is essential to visit an orthodontist for treatment. The most common time to seek orthodontic treatment is during childhood or adolescence because your bones are softer, making it easier to repair major problems. Having teeth that are packed in the lower part of your mouth is an issue that requires repair to prevent overlapping teeth as you age. It is also difficult to remove food particles from teeth that are too close together. If your teeth continue to shift in the lower jaw, then it can cause pain along with damage to the dental enamel.

When Is Extracting Your Teeth Appropriate?

Fortunately, it is possible to fix this orthodontic issue without extracting your permanent teeth. If your primary teeth are the problem, then when you have a tooth bud underneath the gums, removing one or more primary teeth is acceptable. Occasionally, an individual will have supernumerary teeth that aren’t normal, so you may need to have these extracted. However, if you want to avoid having normal permanent teeth removed from your mouth, then you should learn if changing the size of your lower jaw with an orthodontic expander is possible.

Undergo a Complete Examination With Medical Images

Most orthodontic expanders are used in the upper part of the mouth to expand the palate, but it is also possible to expand the lower jaw. To determine if an orthodontic expander is suitable for a patient, she will need a thorough examination with medical images to analyze her facial structure. The goal of an expander on the bottom portion of the mouth is to shift the teeth to make more space for permanent teeth. If a patient has teeth that are in the wrong positions, then the orthodontic expander will move the teeth into an upright position. In order to have the best results from this orthodontic appliance, a patient must have a healthy mouth that has enough bone to support the roots of the teeth.

How Do Patients Cope With Lower Jaw Expansion?

A lower jaw orthodontic expander is similar to the types used for the upper jaw, and your orthodontist will create a removable device with built-in expansion screws. In addition to having a lower jaw orthodontic expander, a patient may also need to wear braces or Invisalign aligners. When a patient has a lower jaw expander on her teeth, it will apply significant pressure on her teeth and bones. This can lead to headaches or pain in the ears and nose. The patient will also salivate more because there is an unusual item in the mouth, but eventually, this problem stops. During the adjustment period of wearing a lower jaw expander, it is essential for a patient to consume soft but nutritious foods.

You Must Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing a Lower Jaw Expander

A lower jaw orthodontic expander can collect a lot of food debris, so you must brush your teeth carefully to prevent halitosis, gingivitis or cavities. It is also important to floss the teeth to remove additional debris, but you may need to use specialized devices for this process. Using an oral irrigator that emits pressurized water can also remove food debris to prevent a layer of plaque on the teeth. You may only need to wear a lower jaw orthodontic expander for a few weeks, but most patients need to wear the devices for four to six months.

What Is The Herbst Appliance?

The Herbst appliance is the most common type of lower jaw orthodontic expander, and it is attached to a patient’s molars that are located toward the back of the mouth. This orthodontic appliance can correct a bad bite by helping the lower jaw develop into a forward position, but it also can repair the spaces between tightly packed teeth. A patient might have a fixed or removable lower jaw orthodontic expander.

Why Is Lower Jaw Expansion a Better Orthodontic Process?

While extracting teeth is a fast process, when permanent teeth are removed from the mouth it can have ramifications in the future. Having a lower jaw orthodontic expander applied to the teeth can require visiting an orthodontic office several times, and you must have the patience to endure problems such as discomfort or excess salivation. However, if you want to keep your permanent teeth, then using a lower jaw orthodontic expander is the best solution.

Schedule Your First Appointment At Childers Orthodontics Today

At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, we offer a variety of orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children. Dr. Kyle Childers is an orthodontist who provides expert treatments for malocclusions of the teeth. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about:

• Retainers – to keep teeth in place after treatment
• Aligners – Invisalign devices for adults and teenagers
• Braces – traditional or Damon system devices
• Expanders – for the lower or upper jaw

We make it easy to undergo orthodontic treatment by having several locations, including:

• Herrin – 618-997-1800
• Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
• Benton – 618-438-2815

We use the iTero scanner device to create the best fitting Invisalign aligners for your mouth, and our orthodontic team uses SureSmile archwires for braces. If you have a lower jaw that is too small for your permanent teeth, then make sure to contact us for an evaluation to learn more about lower jaw expansion. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.

Childers Orthodontics

201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815

Can Orthodontic Expanders Be Used On the Lower Teeth To Avoid Extractions?