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FAQ's                                                    
 
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. As a Specialist in Orthodontics, you can rest assured knowing that Dr. Prater provides the highest in quality orthodontics for children and adults alike. Her personal service, in a warm, relaxed, and comfortable environment is unsurpassed. She is committed to creating an opportunity and an expectation of improvement in dental health and appearance for each patient she serves.
Aren't braces just for kids?
Braces are not just for kids! Even if you've never had orthodontic treatment, we can still make your smile brighter. At any one time, approximately 4 million people in the United States are wearing braces. About 25 percent of these orthodontic patients are adults.
At what age should children be screened?
Many parents assume they should wait until a child has all permanent teeth in place before seeing an orthodontist. In many cases treatment would be much easier if developing problems were detected earlier. The American Association of Orthodontists also agrees that your child should see an orthodontist no later than age seven. Early evaluation is often the key to more efficient treatment, because it allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time to begin treatment.
What is the importance of early orthodontic evaluation?
An early evaluation for your child, which is recommended by The American Association of Orthodontists, allows your orthodontist to determine the best time to begin treatment for your child. However, recognizing an orthodontic 
problem at an early age does not always result in early orthodontic treatment.
After this initial evaluation, your orthodontist may simply want to monitor your child's mouth as the jaws develop and the permanent teeth erupt. As a result, the actual treatment may avoid the extraction of permanent teeth, take less time, and be less expensive.
What causes crooked teeth?
There are many possible causes of crooked teeth, since misaligned teeth and jaws can be inherited in much the same way that we inherit our eye color. However, other factors, including finger sucking, excessive cavities, gum disease, facial trauma and premature tooth loss can also contribute to a bad bite.
What are some of the reasons people need braces?
People need braces for many different reasons. Babies who use a pacifier too long, or children who suck their thumb after the age of two, may develop orthodontic problems that require braces. In addition, a bad bite can also be inherited from parents with dentofacial irregularities.
Can I play sports with braces?
You can still participate in most sports while wearing braces. However, sports like kickboxing, karate, or any other contact sporting activities, in which your child might be hit in the mouth will require the use of an orthodontic 
mouth-guard to protect your child?s teeth and lips from injury.
Is it true orthodontics can contribute to mental as well as physical health?
First impressions often are based on the appearance of a person's face, mouth, and teeth. A person with facial deformity or crooked teeth often is judged negatively not only on appearance but also on many other characteristics such as intelligence and personality. Independent research studies have shown that children and adults who 
believe their teeth or jaws are unattractive may suffer from lack of self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, the psychological impact of crooked teeth has been found to hamper a person's social or vocational growth. Although dental health concerns are frequently the primary impetus for orthodontic treatment, it is not unusual for treatment to be initiated for the patient's emotional well-being. In many cases, orthodontics provides both physical and psychological benefits.
 
What can happen if orthodontic problems go untreated? 
Untreated orthodontic problems might contribute to tooth decay, diseased gums, bone destruction, temporomandibular joint problems, and loss of teeth. (More adults over the age of 30 lose their teeth because of periodontal problems than because of decay.) Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping and other forms of dental injury. Sometimes, the increased cost of dental care resulting from an untreated malocclusion (bad bite) may far exceed the cost of orthodontic care. In addition, if left untreated, malocclusion may have a negative effect on the psychological well-being of the patient. Naturally, one feels better when one looks better, and a pleasing appearance is a vital asset to one's self-confidence and self-esteem. A person's self-consciousness often disappears as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips, and face into their proper positions.
Do orthodontics treat temporomandibular disorders (TMD)? 
Disorders of the temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower jaw to the skull, may be one of the reasons millions of people suffer from chronic headache, earache, and facial pain. No other joints are subject to such precise functioning as those involved in the meeting and biting of teeth. Symptoms frequently associated with this problem include popping, clicking, or grinding noises of the jaw joints when eating or opening the mouth; soreness and limitation of opening the mouth; headaches; stiffness of the neck and shoulders; and ringing of the ears. The bizarre and seemingly unrelated combination of symptoms, however, makes diagnosis difficult for both medical and dental practitioners because many other diseases can cause similar symptoms.
 
What are the most commonly treated orthodontic problems? 
Crowding: Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding. 
Overjet or protruding upper teeth: Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw. Thumb and finger sucking habits can also cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. 
Deep overbite: A deep overbite or deep bite occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. When the lower front teeth bite into the palate or gum tissue behind the upper front teeth, significant bone damage and discomfort can occur. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth. 
Open bite: An open bite results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower 
front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear. 
Spacing: If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those 
with excessive space is poor appearance.
Crossbite: The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.
Underbite or lower jaw protrusion: About 3 to 5 percent of the population has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.
How can good oral health improve nutrition?
Following a program of good oral care can greatly contribute to your overall nutrition and general well-being. You will be able to chew more easily, digest food better, and enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods. By practicing daily oral hygiene at home, eating nutritious meals, and making regular dental visits, you will help ensure that your mouth stays healthy. A bright, healthy smile will make you feel and look good!
How does a good diet improve dental health?
Not only is your diet important to your general health, it is also important to your dental health. If you do not eat a balanced diet, you are more likely to get tooth decay and gum disease. Developing teeth can also be affected. Children who have a poor diet are more likely to have dental problems.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. As a Specialist in Orthodontics, you can rest assured knowing that Dr. Prater provides the highest in quality orthodontics for children and adults alike. Her personal service, in a warm, relaxed, and comfortable environment is unsurpassed. She is committed to creating an opportunity and an expectation of improvement in dental health and appearance for each patient she serves.

 

Aren't braces just for kids?

Braces are not just for kids! Even if you've never had orthodontic treatment, we can still make your smile brighter. At any one time, approximately 4 million people in the United States are wearing braces. About 25 percent of these orthodontic patients are adults.

At what age should children be screened?

Many parents assume they should wait until a child has all permanent teeth in place before seeing an orthodontist. In many cases treatment would be much easier if developing problems were detected earlier. The American Association of Orthodontists also agrees that your child should see an orthodontist no later than age seven. Early evaluation is often the key to more efficient treatment, because it allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time to begin treatment.

What is the importance of early orthodontic evaluation?

An early evaluation for your child, which is recommended by The American Association of Orthodontists, allows your orthodontist to determine the best time to begin treatment for your child. However, recognizing an orthodontic 

problem at an early age does not always result in early orthodontic treatment.

After this initial evaluation, your orthodontist may simply want to monitor your child's mouth as the jaws develop and the permanent teeth erupt. As a result, the actual treatment may avoid the extraction of permanent teeth, take less time, and be less expensive.

What causes crooked teeth?

There are many possible causes of crooked teeth, since misaligned teeth and jaws can be inherited in much the same way that we inherit our eye color. However, other factors, including finger sucking, excessive cavities, gum disease, facial trauma and premature tooth loss can also contribute to a bad bite.

What are some of the reasons people need braces?

People need braces for many different reasons. Babies who use a pacifier too long, or children who suck their thumb after the age of two, may develop orthodontic problems that require braces. In addition, a bad bite can also be inherited from parents with dentofacial irregularities.

Can I play sports with braces?

You can still participate in most sports while wearing braces. However, sports like kickboxing, karate, or any other contact sporting activities, in which your child might be hit in the mouth will require the use of an orthodontic 

mouth-guard to protect your child?s teeth and lips from injury.

Is it true orthodontics can contribute to mental as well as physical health?

First impressions often are based on the appearance of a person's face, mouth, and teeth. A person with facial deformity or crooked teeth often is judged negatively not only on appearance but also on many other characteristics such as intelligence and personality. Independent research studies have shown that children and adults who 

believe their teeth or jaws are unattractive may suffer from lack of self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, the psychological impact of crooked teeth has been found to hamper a person's social or vocational growth. Although dental health concerns are frequently the primary impetus for orthodontic treatment, it is not unusual for treatment to be initiated for the patient's emotional well-being. In many cases, orthodontics provides both physical and psychological benefits.

 

What can happen if orthodontic problems go untreated? 

Untreated orthodontic problems might contribute to tooth decay, diseased gums, bone destruction, temporomandibular joint problems, and loss of teeth. (More adults over the age of 30 lose their teeth because of periodontal problems than because of decay.) Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping and other forms of dental injury. Sometimes, the increased cost of dental care resulting from an untreated malocclusion (bad bite) may far exceed the cost of orthodontic care. In addition, if left untreated, malocclusion may have a negative effect on the psychological well-being of the patient. Naturally, one feels better when one looks better, and a pleasing appearance is a vital asset to one's self-confidence and self-esteem. A person's self-consciousness often disappears as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips, and face into their proper positions.

Do orthodontics treat temporomandibular disorders (TMD)? 

Disorders of the temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower jaw to the skull, may be one of the reasons millions of people suffer from chronic headache, earache, and facial pain. No other joints are subject to such precise functioning as those involved in the meeting and biting of teeth. Symptoms frequently associated with this problem include popping, clicking, or grinding noises of the jaw joints when eating or opening the mouth; soreness and limitation of opening the mouth; headaches; stiffness of the neck and shoulders; and ringing of the ears. The bizarre and seemingly unrelated combination of symptoms, however, makes diagnosis difficult for both medical and dental practitioners because many other diseases can cause similar symptoms.

 

What are the most commonly treated orthodontic problems? 

Crowding: Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding. 

Overjet or protruding upper teeth: Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw. Thumb and finger sucking habits can also cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. 

Deep overbite: A deep overbite or deep bite occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. When the lower front teeth bite into the palate or gum tissue behind the upper front teeth, significant bone damage and discomfort can occur. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth. 

Open bite: An open bite results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower 

front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear. 

Spacing: If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those 

with excessive space is poor appearance.

Crossbite: The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.

Underbite or lower jaw protrusion: About 3 to 5 percent of the population has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.

How can good oral health improve nutrition?

Following a program of good oral care can greatly contribute to your overall nutrition and general well-being. You will be able to chew more easily, digest food better, and enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods. By practicing daily oral hygiene at home, eating nutritious meals, and making regular dental visits, you will help ensure that your mouth stays healthy. A bright, healthy smile will make you feel and look good!

How does a good diet improve dental health?

Not only is your diet important to your general health, it is also important to your dental health. If you do not eat a balanced diet, you are more likely to get tooth decay and gum disease. Developing teeth can also be affected. Children who have a poor diet are more likely to have dental problems.

 

 

 
 
 
Chula Vista Orthodontist. Dr. Shahrzad Prater is a specialist in orthodontics who specializes in braces for all ages, clear Braces and retainers to the following locations: Chula Vista, Eastlake, Bonita, Otay Mesa, Imperial Beach, Paradise Valley, National City, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, La Mesa, Mission Valley, San Diego, El Cajon, Santee, and Lakeside, CA.