Welcome to Make a Smile Orthodontics!
At Make a Smile Orthodontics, your child’s smile is in great hands! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff work with both children and parents to ensure GREAT orthodontic service. We are dedicated to the correction of youth and adolescent dental irregularities through the use of our personalized, friendly service and state of the art orthodontic facility and treatment plans. We offer both interceptive and preventative orthodontics, tailoring treatments to suit your individual growing child’s needs.
Many adults never received orthodontic treatment as a child. Others have seen their previously straight teeth relapse over time. Whatever the reason, orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. One out of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over the age of 21. The advancements of orthodontic treatment has given orthodontists new techniques and appliances that allow for a quicker, more comfortable treatment plan for adolescents and adults. Adults are excited about the clear aligners and clear brackets. These alternatives give patients the opportunity to choose which orthodontic option will fit their lifestyle best.
Kids and Parents
The Parent’s and Children Together program is unique to Make a Smile Orthodontics. This program allows parents to become directly involved by undergoing their own orthodontic procedures right beside their child, becoming their treatment partner.
What to Expect at a Consultation
The first consultation will be used to determine the best course of treatment using a clinical examination; this may include x-rays. We encourage you to take this time to get to know our highly trained orthodontist by asking questions and letting them know any of your concerns, which will also help them come up with the best treatment plan.
Meet Our Team
Dr. Sudha Dusanapudi, known affectionately in the office as Dr. Su, received her Doctorate of Dental Science degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dental Medicine. After graduating, Dr. Su continued her dental education by receiving her specialty certification in Orthodontics from the Harvard School of Medicine Orthodontics program in 2000. Dr. Su is Board Eligible with the American Board of Orthodontics and is a member of the Harvard Society for Advancement of Orthodontics.
Dr. Su is passionate about her work in orthodontics and providing the best possible treatment and experience for each individual patient. Make A Smile is proud that Dr. Su is our orthodontist. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us at our Arden orthodontics office. The Arden office also offers oral surgery and general dental services.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontists are highly-trained dentists who have been certified to diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. Only 6% of dentists have continued through the orthodontic graduate program from an accredited American Dental Association school.
Orthodontics fix problems like crooked, crowded teeth or facial and oral deformities of the mouth that could have a direct effect on you or your child’s health. Orthodontics can greatly enhance a person’s self-esteem by giving them an attractive, confident smile.
- Malaligned front or back teeth
- Off centered bite
- Crooked front teeth or protruding teeth
- Excessive gapping of front teeth
- Finger or thumb sucking after the age of 5
- Speech difficulty
- Mouth breathing
- Biting on the cheek or roof of mouth
- Difficulty biting or chewing
Why See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should get their first orthodontic evaluation no later than the age of 7. The advantage of early treatment is that child growth, which is rapid, can be monitored and utilized to optimize the child’s care and treatment plan. Guiding growth and development can prevent serious problems later on in life and can avoid more costly, invasive measures.
The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. After endodontic therapy the patient will no longer feel any pain in that tooth because the nerve tissue has been removed and the infection has been eradicated.
Early phase treatment versus traditional orthodontic treatment is sometimes a hard choice to make as a parent. Your dentist at Make a Smile can help determine whether an early or traditional approach is best for you and your child. Early detection and treatment of an orthodontic problem can help influence your child’s jaw and mouth growth. Phase 2 orthodontics is often used to straighten teeth; however a second phase of braces is sometimes not needed and treatment time is greatly reduced when a child’s jaw is allowed to develop to its full potential with the use of early, Phase 1 treatment.
Our dentists are trained to detect early signs of orthodontic problems. Early phase intervention may need to be initiated as early as 4 years old, although most children begin between the ages of 7 and 9, and the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children be evaluated no later than 7 years of age or at the first sign of problems.
Taking advantage of early Phase 1 treatment means your child’s growth can be monitored and utilized to optimize care. Guiding growth and development can prevent serious problems later on in life, such as creating room for crowded teeth to reduce the need for tooth removal.
Phase 2 treatment is more common and consists of straightforward orthodontics for adolescents and adults with erupted permanent teeth. Traditional orthodontics can be initiated any time after age 12. With the use of braces and other appliances, the permanent teeth are adjusted to a straighter position in the mouth, reducing discomfort and health problems associated with misaligned teeth, as well as creating a lasting cosmetic effect.
Types of Braces
Braces have advanced leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, offering patients with a more tailored approach to orthodontics. Please discuss with your orthodontist which treatment is best for your child.
Traditional braces are the most commonly used for children. They are designed with a small bracket that is adhered to the front of the tooth. These brackets can be made of metal, ceramic (clear/white) and gold. The ligatures (or bands) attached to the brackets help to guide the teeth to the proper position.
Retainers are a very important part of your treatment plan. A retainer is often used after you have had braces, aligners or other orthodontic appliances as a way to maintain the progress of the treatment plan. It is important that the patient continue to maintain their retention regimen to optimize a timely recovery.
There are three basic things you should know about retainers:
- Wear them as directed – A retainer can only work if you wear it. Remember, wearing your retainer is going to keep your smile beautiful.
- Keep it clean – whether it is removal or fixed, keeping your retainer clean is key to a healthy smile. Also, it is important that you continue your regular 6 mouth check up and cleaning.
- Handle them with care – you will need to take out your retainer from time to time, when you eat or if you are only supposed to wear it part of the day. It if very easy to damage or lose your retainer, so remember – if it’s not in your mouth… it’s in the case.
Invisalign is rapidly growing in popularity. The first design was created by Align and consists of a clear plastic brace with changeable trays or “aligners” that are customized for the patient. This treatment is not recommended for young children, however is regularly used for teenagers and adults with mild orthodontic problems.
Here are a few things to know about appliances:
- Separators are small elastic rings that are placed in-between teeth. The separator is used to push the molars apart using slight pressure. The separator is usually used for 1-2 weeks and is said to feel like a piece of meat stuck in your teeth.
- Elastics, or rubber bands, create pressure that will help to improve the fit of your teeth. Elastics may need to be changed throughout the day as the elasticity wears.
- Herbst Appliance is used to promote a correct relationship between the upper and the lower jaw, when the lower jaw is too far back relative to the upper jaw.
- Headgear uses the skull as an anchor in moving teeth and dental bones. Typically headgear is worn for only a limited time during the day and throughout night time, as determined by your orthodontist.
- Palatal Expander applies gentle pressure to the teeth or palate to help widen the upper jaw. An expander can be removable in design or glued temporarily in place.
- Holding Appliances are used in children to maintain space while waiting for permanent teeth to come in.
- Thumb/Tongue Cribs is used as a reminder device to help stop patients from harmful thumb/finger sucking or excessive tongue pressure habits. These habits are known to cause a distortion of dental arches and palate and an undesireable movement of teeth.
Life with Braces
Braces are like little magnets to food, so it’s important to keep your teeth and appliances clean and be careful what you put in your mouth.
Foods to Avoid
- Popcorn and chips
- Sticky foods, especially gum
- Hard foods and candy
- Large foods need to be chopped into small pieces and chewed slowly with the back teeth.
- Tough meats
- Hard breads and raw vegetables
It’s very important to wear a mouth guard when participating in sports that may result in any kind of contact with your mouth. Wearing a mouth guard not only protects your appliances, but your mouth, lips and check as well. If your appliances become damaged or your teeth loosen, please call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
We suggest avoiding sports that have continual direct contact with the face, such as boxing.
Wearing braces shouldn’t interfere with playing a musical instrument, however there will need to be a period of adjustment. If you play a wind or brass instrument, talk to your orthodontist about how to make your adjustment period more comfortable.
Brushing and Dental Hygiene
Continuing regular teeth cleaning is even more important while wearing braces. Food particles will continually get caught in your teeth and appliances that can cause increased oral health problems if not cleaned, brushed and flossed, regularly.
If you are new to braces, you might run across some issues that may seem like orthodontic emergencies. Just remember, there are very few real emergencies when it comes to orthodontics and most problems can be easily fixed at home.
- Sore Teeth – At the beginning of your treatment or after adjustments to the appliances you may experience sore or sensitive teeth. This is pretty normal and an over-the-counter pain reliever can be taken for relief. Also, you may help reduce soreness by rinsing your mouth with warm water, eating softer foods, or applying a heating pad to the irritated area. If pain persists after 2 days, please call our office.
- Wire Irritation – In most cases you can gently place a small ball of wax around the wire to reduce irritation until you can schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. If the problem persists, carefully use nail clippers to trim the wire.
- Poking Elastic Hook – Placing a small ball of wax or eraser piece over the hook may help with irritation to the lips or cheeks.
- Loose Bracket – Sometimes a bracket may become loose. Please call our office at your earliest convenience so that we can re-fit the bracket.
- Lost Separator – It’s common for some patients to loose separators during their treatment. Please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Take the first step toward getting the radiant smile you deserve with Invisalign® clear aligners.
Retainers are a very important part of your treatment plan. A retainer is often used after you have had braces, aligners or other ortho appliances as a way to maintain the progress of the treatment plan.