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What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Many people don’t know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. This confusion is common because both doctors work on teeth. However, it is important to understand the difference between them. When you have a problem with your teeth, jaws, or gums, it is important that you are seeing the right professional for your needs. Learn more from Dr. Denis Britto at Britto Orthodontics.

There are some similarities between the two doctors. Both dentists and orthodontists are involved in the care of teeth and solving dental problems. Additionally, both of them are dental school graduates. However, there are some differences between the two.

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What to Expect at an Orthodontic Evaluation

Orthodontics is a great way to get the smile of your dreams! Beyond cosmetic improvements, orthodontics can help correct jaw conditions, bite dysfunctions, and crooked teeth. If you or your child are experiencing any of these issues, an orthodontist may be able to help. Additionally, oral health is very important and an orthodontist can help to keep your oral health in tip-top shape! Keep reading to learn from Dr. Denis Britto at Britto Orthodontics about what to expect at your initial visit to the orthodontist.

When you arrive at the orthodontist for the first time, the staff will check you in and then you will have the opportunity to meet the doctor. They will take some time to look at your teeth and explain to you what your best treatment options are. During this time, the orthodontist will measure the person’s bite. This will help the doctor to detect any issues that will need correction. Additionally, you will have an X-ray taken of your mouth to give the orthodontist another look at your teeth in a different way. You may even have an impression, which is when the patient will bite into a try filled with a substance called alginate. This creates a mold of the person’s mouth and can help the orthodontist to have a look at the patient’s tooth placement.

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What Goes on Below the Surface In Your Mouth

Two-thirds of what goes on in your mouth is below the surface. Most people are just concerned about having straight teeth and pearly whites, however, oral health goes far beyond that. That is why orthodontists use x-rays. Orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface of the mouth to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions. To learn more about the importance of x-rays keep reading from Dr. Denis Britto at Britto Orthodontics.

Looking below the surface is so important because some things may be hiding in your mouth that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from “erupting”, or growing into your mouth properly. An impacted tooth can even harm the roots of nearby teeth, cause crowding and other teeth to move into unhealthy positions.

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Can Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Many people wonder how pacifiers and thumb sucking can affect their child’s teeth. In short, it is a valid worry because if these actions are prolonged it can cause oral health issues. Thumb sucking or pacifier use is one of an infant’s natural reflexes, prolonged sucking can exert force on the teeth and jaws. To learn more about common orthodontic problems caused by prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, read on from Dr. Denis Britto at Britto Orthodontics.

If your child sucks a thumb, finger, pacifier, or lips, their teeth or jaw may growth may be affected. These bone changes can actually occur as early as 18 months. The most common issues include: protruding front teeth, an open bite, or a crossbite. If you continue to notice prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, it is time to consult an orthodontist.

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