September 30th, 2014
It’s no easy feat to have one of the best smiles in Hollywood. The reality TV starlet Kristin Cavallari attributes her gorgeous smile to routine oral hygiene, the removal of two impacted wisdom teeth, and having undergone orthodontic treatment. Kristin’s treatment began in sixth grade when she was fitted with a device Dr. David Henderson and our team call a palatal expander, which is used to guide upper jaw growth in our younger patients.
What is a palatal expander?
A palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on your upper molars, and is used to make the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. In addition, palatal expanders work to create more room for teeth, as well as promote a broader, more appealing smile.
Do palatal expanders hurt?
Palatal expanders are usually not painful, however you may experience difficulty speaking and swallowing for the first few days. Adjusting your palatal expander as instructed by Dr. David Henderson will ensure there are no delays in regards to your treatment plan.
Typically, it takes a few weeks to achieve the desired amount of expansion, after which you will keep wearing your expander for about six months, giving time for the new bone to form and stabilize. Dr. David Henderson and our team at Henderson Orthodontics will give you detailed instructions about how to adjust your appliance and can answer any questions you may have about your palatal expander.
If you have any questions about your palatal expander or your treatment plan with Dr. David Henderson, please give us a call at our Bloomington, IN office!
September 23rd, 2014
If you’re brushing your teeth twice a day during your orthodontic treatment, Dr. David Henderson and our team think that’s wonderful! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every six months, or as recommended, in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing. (And visiting Henderson Orthodontics for regular adjustments, of course.)
Dental checkups are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of tooth decay, as well as catch and treat oral health problems early. During an oral exam, your dentist can also check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing.
If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next adjustment visit and we will provide a few great references in the Bloomington, IN area!
September 16th, 2014
Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during their child’s toddler years. And many assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to visit Dr. David Henderson for an initial orthodontic consultation.
The ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven. At that age, your child will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth for Dr. David Henderson and our team at Henderson Orthodontics to make a determination about whether any problems are present. Typically the first molars have come in by the time your child turns seven, giving us an opportunity to check for malocclusion, also known as “bad bite.” Also, by the time your child reaches the age of seven, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.
When Dr. David Henderson and our team perform an evaluation on your child at an early age, you get one of two positive outcomes. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, it’s still helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Earlier treatment can also cost less to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment.
Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene.
If your child is approaching age seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination at Henderson Orthodontics.
September 9th, 2014
Dr. David Henderson and our team hear this question a lot. Some of the common reasons for crooked teeth include:
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue thrusting or improper use of the tongue during speaking and swallowing
- Premature loss of baby teeth, which causes teeth to drift and shift
- Poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils
There are also hereditary factors we get from our parents, like:
- Extra teeth
- Large teeth
- Missing teeth
- Wide spaces between teeth
- Small jaws
Dr. David Henderson and our team know that having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems as well. Crooked teeth can:
- Interfere with proper chewing
- Make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis
- Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth
There are several treatment options we offer at Henderson Orthodontics that can help correct crooked teeth. Please give us a call at our convenient Bloomington, IN office to learn more or to schedule an initial consultation.