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By smilesbysmita on 9/19/2013 7:12 AM
  Moms and dads have busy schedules. Picking up children from school and bringing  them to the orthodontist is no small task. Sometimes the appointments are very short and seem meaningless. One of these appointments is the observation or recall visit. These appointments are usually less than 15 minutes and many wonder if they are necessary at all. Recall or observation appointments are very important.

Observation or recall visits are scheduled for orthodontic patients who are either not yet ready for braces or have had an interceptive phase of treatment and are waiting for their remaining permanent teeth to come in. I may take a progress x-ray at this appointment to help evaluate your child’s dental development. There are three things that I look for when your son or daughter is in my chair.

The first objective of this appointment is to evaluate the loss of primary teeth and the eruption of the permanent teeth. Losing primary teeth on time and in the right order can help the permanent teeth come in straighter. If I notice that a baby tooth is not falling out on time, or I identify in an x-ray that the permanent teeth are headed in the wrong direction, I usually recommend that a patient see their family dentist to get the offending baby tooth removed. Evaluating the loss of primary teeth and the eruption of permanent ones doesn’t take much time, but ignoring developing problems can add months or years to a patient’s orthodontic treatment.

By smilesbysmita on 8/29/2013 7:42 AM

The “When do I get my braces off?” question usually arises during the third or “bite phase” of treatment.  By that time the crowded, crooked teeth are gone and the patient is generally happy with how things look. The first half of treatment is more exciting than the last half. It is during the final phase however where the bite is corrected so that the results will be healthy and stable.

If you are wondering if you’re getting close to getting your braces off, compare what you see in your mouth with this list:

1. Are the teeth straight? 2. Are the spaces between the teeth closed completely? 3. Do the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth appropriately (not too deep, but no visible space between them)? 4. Are the outer cusps of the upper teeth resting on the outside of the corresponding ones in the lower? 5. Is the overbite or underbite corrected?

If it...