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orthodontics

Orthodontics

Pitts 21™ Braces

equipment teeth

Four Corners Orthodontics & Dental is now using the the next generation, Pitts 21™ System of Braces!

The Pitts 21 is an advanced low-friction, light force orthodontic solution that delivers healthy tooth movement with optimal control.

What does this mean for you?

Comfortable Care

With the Pitts 21™ system, the smooth rounded corners and edges of the braces are soft against your lips, creating a more comfortable experience. The low-profile design of the braces make them protrude less, reducing irritation.

Shorter Appointments

The Pitts 21™ system of braces also operates more efficiently than traditional braces resulting in shorter appointment times.

Speed

Pitts 21™ braces have been carefully designed to give orthodontists the best opportunity to move teeth as fast as possible. This typically results in less appointments and faster treatment time than traditional braces.

Hygiene

The small size and rounded edges make Pitts 21™ braces easy to clean. A quick swish with water will free most food from your braces.

Quality Results

The Pitts 21™ system allows for healthy tooth movement and complete control of the finished alignment. Once treatment is done, patients leave Four Corners Orthodontics & Dental with wide beautiful smiles and straight teeth.

Clear Pitts 21 Braces

equipment teeth

At Four Corners Orthodontics & Dental, we are pleased to offer our patients high-tech, aesthetic orthodontic treatment options. Pitts 21 clear braces are a low-friction, light force orthodontic solution that delivers healthy tooth movement with optimal control. Clear braces are popular among our adult patients, many of whom are parents of current patients. The contours of the slide and smooth rounded edges increase comfort. It’s the aesthetic, comfortable solution for a wide beautiful smile!

What does this mean for you?

Aesthetic Treatment

Pitts 21 clear braces give you all the benefits of next-generation Pitts 21 braces without being noticeable. With Pitts 21 clear, stain resistant braces, no one needs to know you are in treatment.

Comfortable Care

With the Pitts 21 system, the smooth rounded corners and edges of the braces are soft against your lips, creating a more comfortable experience. The low-profile design of the braces make them protrude less, reducing irritation.

Shorter Appointments

The Pitts 21 system of braces also operates more efficiently than traditional braces resulting in shorter appointment times.

Speed

Pitts 21 clear braces have been carefully designed to give orthodontists the best opportunity to move teeth as fast as possible. This typically results in less appointments and faster treatment time than traditional braces.

Hygiene

The small size and rounded edges make Pitts 21 braces easy to clean. A quick swish with water will free most food from your braces.

Quality Results

The Pitts 21 system allows for healthy tooth movement and complete control of the finished alignment. Once treatment is done, patients leave Four Corners Orthodontics & Dental with wide beautiful smiles and straight teeth.

Life with Braces

Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth, but a full day is necessary for the bands to completely affix. It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.

Comfort Concerns

The braces may feel a little awkward at first and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out”, but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate cheek tissues. The orthodontic office always has extra wax in case you run out so call them if you need more.

Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. It is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over the counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result take the medications before your appointment.

life with braces

Eating Right

Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive, but may become loose as a result of eating certain foods. It is also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care. Since it is best to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.

Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals. The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances.

What
not to
Eat

  • gum
  • beef jerky
  • nuts
  • hard or sticky candy
  • corn chips
  • crisp taco shells
  • whole apples
  • celery
  • caramel
  • taffy
  • popcorn
  • soft drinks
  • candy bars
glossary

Orthodontic Glossary

Parts of Your Braces

appliance – Any device used to influence the growth or position of teeth.

arch wire – A metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.

band – A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and is cemented into place.

bracket – An orthodontic attachment secured to a tooth for the purpose of attaching an arch wire. (Brackets with an attached arch wire are parts that “make” the appliance or brace.)

breakaway – A breakaway is a small plastic piece with an internal spring which is used to provide force on a facebow.

buccal tube – A small metal part that is welded on the outside of a molar band. The buccal tube contains slots to hold arch wires, lip bumpers, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.

chain – A stretchable plastic chain used to hold arch wires into brackets and to move teeth.

facebow or headgear – Facebows are wire apparatuses used to move your upper molars back in your mouth which creates room for crowded or protrusive anterior teeth. Generally, the facebow consists of two metal parts which have been attached together. The inner part is shaped like a horseshoe. This part goes in your mouth and is connected to your buccal tubes. The outer part has two curves. The curves go around your face, and connect to the breakaways or high pull headgear. To properly use the product, the inner bow needs to be inserted into your buccal tubes. An elastic neck band is placed around the back of the neck while the triangular cast offs on both sides of neck band are attached to the outer bow of the headgear. Completing the apparatus is a plastic safety strap that is placed over the neck band and onto the outer bow of the headgear.

impression – A negative copy of a structure, such as a tooth or dental arch; usually made with an elastic compound for the purpose of making an exact positive replica in plaster.

interceptive orthodontics – An extension of preventive orthodontics that may include minor local tooth movement in an otherwise normally developing dentition.

ligating module – A small plastic piece, shaped like a donut, which is used to hold the arch wires in the brackets on your teeth.

lip bumper – A device used to push the molars on your lower jaw back to create more space for other teeth. The lip bumper consists of an arch wire which is attached to a molded piece of plastic. You mount the arch wire in the buccal tubes on your lower jaw, and the plastic piece rests against your lips. When you eat or talk, you push the plastic piece back which pushes your molars back.

mouth guard – A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouth guard is especially important for orthodontic patients to prevent injuries.

neck pad – A cloth covered cushion which you wear around your neck when you put on your facebow. Generally, the breakaways are attached to the neckpad to provide force for the facebow.

orthodontics – Also known as Dentofacial Orthopedics. The area of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance and correction of the dentofacial structures including those conditions that require movement of teeth.

overbite – Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth.

palatal expander – A device used to make your upper jaw wider.

retainer – Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain teeth in corrected positions during the period of adaptation following corrective treatment.

retention – The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.

safety strap – A plastic strap which prevents a facebow from coming loose and hurting you.

separator – A plastic or metal part which the orthodontist uses to create space between your teeth for bands.

underbite – Retrusion and protrusion of the lower jaw.

wax – A clear wax used to prevent your braces from irritating your lips when your braces are first put on.

The Orthodontist's Tools

band remover – A special plier which the orthodontist uses to remove bands from your teeth.

bite stick – A device the orthodontist uses to help put on your bands. The orthodontist puts the band in place, then asks you to bite down on the bite stick to help push the band in place.

cephalometric viewer – An x-ray viewer.

cheek retractors – Small plastic pieces used to draw back your lips and cheeks so the orthodontist can more easily see your teeth and work in your mouth.

curing light – A special UV light used to help attach brackets to your teeth.

distal end cutter – A special plier used to cut off the ends of your arch wires.

explorer – A hook-like fine pointed instrument used in examining the teeth.

interproximal stripper – A device used to remove a small amount of enamel from between your teeth. The stripper is used to create extra space for crowded teeth.

mathieu plier – A special plier which locks when it closes so it holds on to small parts.

pin and ligature cutter – A special plier used to cut off arch wires, ligatures, etc.

scaler – A tool with a curved hook on one end. The orthodontist uses the scaler to remove excess cement and check for gaps.

Orthodontic Procedures

acid etch – A procedure where a weak acid is spread on the front of your teeth to ready your teeth for brackets. The acid etch helps your brackets stay in place.

banding – The process of cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

bonding – The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special safe adhesive.

cephalometric x-rays – An x-ray of the head that shows whether your teeth and bones are aligned and growing properly.

consultation – A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss the treatment plan.

debanding – The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

debonding – The removal of the brackets from your teeth.

extraoral photograph – Facial photos.

impressions – The first step in making a model of your teeth. A container filled with alginate is placed in your mouth and the alginate hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.

interceptive orthodontic treatment – Orthodontic treatment usually done when you are 6 to 10 years of age. The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to expand your palate and make other corrections, so that your later orthodontic treatment goes quicker and is less painful.

ligation – A process where an arch wire is attached to the brackets on your teeth.

ligating – An adjective used to describe components used to attach arch wires to brackets. For example a ligating module is a small plastic piece that goes over the brackets to hold in your archwires.

panoramic x-ray – An x-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give the orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws and other important information.

records appointment – One of the initial appointments with your orthodontist. The orthodontist or assistant takes pictures, x-rays and impressions to determine the best treatment plan.

tightening your braces – A process that occurs about every 3 to 6 weeks when you have braces. The orthodontist and assistant will make adjustments to the wires in your braces or changes the wires.

wax bite – A procedure to measure how well your teeth come together. You bite a sheet of wax and leave bite mark in the wax. The orthodontist looks at the bite marks to see how well your teeth are aligned. It is also used to orient the models of your teeth.

Other Dental and Orthodontic Gadgets

acrylic – A plastic used to make false teeth, retainers, and other dental products. Dental acrylic has been tested and thought to be perfectly safe.

alginate – A plaster-like compound used to take impressions.

armamentarium – A general term for the dental chairs, lights and equipment used by your orthodontist.

biomechanics – The relationship between the force you apply to living tissue, such as teeth and gums, and how the tissue moves and changes.

biteplane – A removable appliance made of acrylic used in the mouth to open a deep bite or deep overbite problem.

nickel titanium or (NiTi) – An especially strong and flexible orthodontic wire which allows for rapid tooth movement.

Other Orthodontic Terms

archform – The shape of the dental arch. For example the orthodontist could say that you have a horseshoe archform or a “v”-shaped archform.

closed bite – A malocclusion where your upper teeth cover your lower teeth when you bite down. This is also called a “deep bite.”

crossbite – A malocclusion where some of your upper teeth are inside of your lower teeth when you bite down.

crowding – Overlapping teeth caused by having too many teeth in too small of a space or arch size.

crown angulation – A tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped forward or backward to correct the angle of the crown.

crown inclination – A tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped toward the cheeks (lips) or toward the lingual (palate) of the mouth.

deep bite – Excessive overbite; closed bite.

dentition – The teeth, bone and gums.

diastema – A space between two teeth.

drift – Unwanted movement of teeth.

extrusion – Tooth movement in the direction of eruption. Natural extrusion: teeth grow until there is contact with another tooth. Mechanical extrusion: to pull the teeth so that it extends farther out of your gums.

fixed appliance – Any orthodontic component that is cemented or bonded to the teeth.

flared teeth – The upper teeth are tipped forward (labial).

full orthodontic treatment – Getting braces on all of the teeth.

inclination – The angle of the long axis of a tooth from a particular line of reference; the tilt or tip of a tooth.

interocclusal registration – A wax bite which is used to see how your teeth come together.

interproximal stripping – Reduction of the enamel of the teeth on both sides of the tooth. This procedure is performed to create space for crowded teeth.

intrusion – Movement of a tooth back into the bone.

lingual appliances – Orthodontic appliance fixed to the inside of your teeth. Lingual appliances are attached to the part of your teeth next to your tongue.

lingual arch – An orthodontic wire attached from molar to molar on the inside of your teeth. Lingual retainers are a variation of the lingual arch going from cuspids to cuspid.

malocclusion – Poor positioning of your teeth.

class I malocclusion – A malocclusion where your bite is OK (your top teeth line up with your bottom teeth) but your teeth are crooked, crowded or turned.

class II malocclusion – A malocclusion where your upper posterior teeth are forward of your lower teeth.

class III malocclusion – A malocclusion where your lower posterior teeth are forward of your upper teeth.

occlusion – The alignment of your upper and lower teeth when you bite down.

proper occlusion – A beautiful smile where all of your teeth are straight and your top teeth line up with your bottom teeth.

open bite – A malocclusion in which the teeth do not close or come together in a section of your mouth, usually in the front.

orthodontist – A specially trained dentist who has attended an advanced education program for a continual training period of 2 to 3 years.

overjet – Horizontal projection of upper teeth beyond the lower.

retruded – A term used when your front teeth are slanted lingually (toward the back of your mouth).

rotation – A movement in which the tooth turned along the long axis of the tooth.

spee – The curve of spee is the curvature of the occlusal plane of the teeth.

stop – A bend or auxiliary attachment placed on a wire to limit the arch wire from sliding or moving in the bracket slot of the bracket.

tipping – A tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped labially (lip) or lingually (tongue) to correct the angle of the crown of the tooth.

torque – The rotation of a tooth on the long axis moving the root of the tooth in a buccal, lingual or labial direction.

tracing (cephalometric) – An overlay drawing traced over a cephalometric x-ray that shows specific structures and landmarks that provide a basis for orthodontic therapy.

translation – A tooth movement in which the entire tooth moves forward or backward without tipping or rotating.

typodont – A plastic model of a typical mouth, showing the alignment of teeth. A typodont is used to teach orthodontic procedures.

Braces FAQ

  • What is Orthodontics?

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    Orthodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance and correction of the dentofacial structures. Orthodontic treatment uses braces, retainers and other appliances to correct any dentofacial abnormalities. Regular dental check-ups and orthodontic treatment are proven to be effective tools in helping establish and maintain good oral health for people of all ages. Braces can be beneficial to both children and adults. Orthodontic treatment will result in a beautiful smile that will impact your self confidence for years to come.

  • What is an orthodontist?

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    An orthodontist is a specially trained dentist who has attended an advanced education program for a continual training period of 2 to 3 years. All members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have received the appropriate training.

  • When should I visit the orthodontist?

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    It’s never too late to have a beautiful smile! Adults should visit an orthodontist to improve the appearance of their smile and their overall dental health at any time. Some orthodontic corrections need to be made as early as 3 to 5 years of age, but ordinarily children should visit an orthodontist at the time permanent teeth begin to erupt in order to detect any deficiencies in the child’s teeth formation. This is usually between 7 and 10 years of age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children visit an orthodontist no later than age 7. An early visit may not result in children’s braces; however, Dr. Herman can monitor the growth and alignment of teeth and address any orthodontic problems as they arise.

  • What can I expect on my first visit?

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    Your initial visit to the orthodontist will give you an opportunity to meet the doctor and our knowledgeable staff, who will answer any questions you may have. You will receive a complimentary clinical examination and panoramic x-ray to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. If treatment is required, Dr. Herman will go over a treatment plan as well as an estimate of the treatment duration. Your treatment coordinator will answer any questions you may have concerning insurance, and will go over our flexible payment options. In most cases our patients are given the option to start treatment the same day as the initial examination. Our patients appreciate the fact that we are able to do everything in one appointment, so there is less time away from work or school.

  • Who should wear braces?

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    Braces may be worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the attractiveness of their smile, but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth that can lead to gum disease and early tooth loss. Left untreated, crooked teeth with irregular spacing make cleaning harder and allow cavities to more easily develop. Properly aligned teeth also make it easier to chew all types of food, and eliminate the headaches and pain caused by uneven chewing. Uneven teeth may result in weak enamel, gum problems and jaw misalignment. Modern technology has resulted in numerous options of braces that will fit your specific lifestyle and will provide you more comfort during treatment.

  • What will my braces look like?

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    Braces are lighter, more comfortable and more technologically advanced today than ever before. They come in clear and a variety of colors and material choices. Ask the office staff about what options are available. Other appliances include colorful bands, elastics and retainers.

  • How will braces straighten my teeth?

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    Braces exert a gentle pressure on teeth over time to straighten them. The two main components include the braces placed on the teeth and the arch wire that connects them. The brace is a specially-shaped metal or ceramic affixed to each tooth and the arch wire is bent to reflect the bite that the patient should have after treatment. The wire threads through the braces and as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move the teeth.

  • Are braces uncomfortable?

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    There have been some fantastic advances in modern orthodontics to make treatment more comfortable and quicker for patients. There are now smaller, smoother braces and gentler wires which provide a continuous small force over a long period of time rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort after the braces are first put on. Over the counter pain relievers and a soft foods diet will help alleviate this temporary discomfort.

  • Will braces affect playing sports?

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    You should be able to play just about any sport. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard while participating in certain sports.

  • Why are retainers so important?

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    Retainers help keep your teeth aligned at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move.

  • How long will my orthodontic treatment last?

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    Treatment may last from 18 to 36 months, though this will vary depending on your individual case. Your cooperation in keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments, maintaining proper oral hygiene and taking care of your braces may allow you to finish your orthodontic treatment early.

  • When should I visit the dentist?

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    You should continue to see your dentist or the Four Corners Hygiene department every 6 months or as directed during orthodontic treatment for routine dental checkups and cleanings.