• Preventative Care 

    Preventive orthodontia care is extremely important in maintaining a healthy mouth and beautiful teeth. Having regular preventive care is the best way to make sure your teeth last your entire lifetime. Preventive orthodontia saves money by helping you avoid having to undergo major orthodontia procedures because problems will be caught early. Preventative actions keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthier. On your own you can regularly brush and floss your teeth as well as clean your tongue to keep your smile bright and healthy between visits to the dentist.

    Scheduling regular orthodontia check ups with Antietam Orthodontics % in STANDARD is vital so that problems can be found early and tooth decay can be prevented if possible. Parents should teach their children at an early age how to take care of their teeth and get them used to visiting the dentist on a regular basis. This will allow Antietam Orthodontics to find any potential problems and take care of them early so that children and teens can develop a beautiful smile and have healthy teeth and gums as they grow into adulthood.

    Preventive Prophylaxis

    Prophylaxis consists of a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and is done by the Dentist or Hygienist on staff. This is a preventive measure to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. The procedure involves a thorough professional teeth cleaning removing tartar build up in hard to reach areas of your mouth as well as diagnosis of potential gum disease. The latest equipment is used to provide scaling, polishing and debridement when needed. Our orthodontist recommends very strongly that patients have their teeth professionally cleaned every three to six months depending on the current oral health of the patient.

    Fluoride Treatments

    Fluoride is a natural mineral existing in food and water. Fluoride treatments help in the prevention of tooth decay as well as protecting the surface enamel of the teeth. Antietam Orthodontics offers fluoride treatments as part of providing excellent orthodontia care for our patients. The fluoride treatments carried out in our orthodontia office in Hagerstown contain enough fluoride to make it effective in fighting decay and in strengthening the enamel but not too much to harm the tooth or body in any way. ( Fluoride is controversial and patients hear a lot of bad false press about it, I would avoid using words such as "a high concentration  of..")

     

    TMJ

    TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which is the jaw joint. It is located just anterior to the ear and connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. Problems with the joint, referred to as TMD or temporomandibular disorder, affect many people in the United States. TMD affects more women than men. TMD is most commonly caused by stress. Stress promotes the patient to unconsciously clench the teeth together usually at night. The pressure the clenching causes breaks down the cartilage surrounding the joint and over stimulates the facial muscles associated with opening and closing the mouth. Symptoms that this is occurring are pain followed by cracking sound when one opens his/her mouth, headaches, and receding gums.  TMD is treated with a device called a nightguard that prevents patients from putting an exorbitant amount of pressure on their TMJ. This device is worn at night when the patient sleeps.

     

    TMJ Exam

     
    • Thorough history
    • Palpate muscles of mastication (chewing muscles)
    • Palpate joint (check for clicking, popping, grating)
    • Joint Loading test
    • MRI
     

    A TMJ screening is done routinely with check-up exam. We perform the complete TMJ exam on patients who suffer from TMD symptoms.

    Treatment

    Treatment is decided upon on a case by case basis but may include one or more of the following:
     
    • Occlusal Splint
    • Occlusal equilibration (adjusting bite) after a thorough occlusal evaluation
    • Medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Surgery