What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that involves the study of biologic tooth movement and proper jaw function. As subset of orthodontics involves what we call “Dentofacial Orthopedics,” which focuses on growth modification of the face and jawbones.
What should I look for when choosing an orthodontist?
It’s important that your orthodontist has the right resources to take care of you. Board-certified orthodontists have to pass a rigorous set of written and clinical examinations, as well as a comprehensive review of his or her credentials. Becoming board certified signifies the orthodontist's pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics. Ultimately, your orthodontist becomes your teammate in achieving a beautiful smile. It’s important that your orthodontist and their team are people you want as your teammates and feel comfortable and confident working with.
Why is visiting an orthodontist important?
Orthodontists have devoted their careers to the art and science of tooth movement. Orthodontists pursue additional training after dental school in their field, known as a residency. It is important for your orthodontist to look at the whole picture of your treatment, which involves a thorough assessment of your face, jawbones, and teeth using X-rays, models, and an in-person assessment to ensure your treatment occurs safely and effectively.
What’s involved in my first visit?
Your initial consultation will give you the opportunity to meet our team, learn more about orthodontics, receive a complete initial exam, and find out which treatment options will best meet your needs. During your initial consultation, we will:
- Review your dental and medical history forms
- Provide a complete oral exam, with X-rays, to determine whether treatment is necessary
- Help you create a customized treatment plan
- Discuss all financial information, insurance options, and payment plans
Our team will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and we will provide all of the information that you need to determine which treatment is right for you. Please contact our office to schedule your initial consultation.
What orthodontic issues do you treat?
Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarth are thoroughly equipped to handle any orthodontic problems you might have, but one of the best and easiest ways to address orthodontic issues is by tackling them earlier rather than later! The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children age seven and up see the orthodontist for routine visits which allows Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarth to address any issues with growth or crowding while there is still plenty of growth to do.
What treatments do you provide?
McReynolds Orthodontics offers a variety of treatment modalities custom suited to you or your child, including braces, aligners, and a variety of growth modification appliances. We apply our methods to every one of our patients and continue to stay at the forefront of the orthodontic field. And as always, you will become a part of the McReynolds Orthodontics family! When you graduate from our office, you will have a beautiful, confident smile and plenty of reasons to use it!
Why should I choose McReynolds Orthodontics?
Both Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarths are specialists in the field of orthodontics, meaning they received extra training and certifications after they completed dental school. Their certifications include completion of the Aligner Intensive Fellowship as well as Invisalign’s Advanced Practice Initiative. Dr. Gopffarth also received the Fred F. Schudy Award for Excellence in Orthodontics from the Texas Orthodontic Study Club.
Treatment at McReynolds Orthodontics is always driven by high quality, evidence-based methods. This is important as we live in an age of trends, which may come and go. Some may look like a shiny new toy, but can be misleading and ineffective. You can always trust Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarth to look to treatment options that have been proven to aid them in creating the most beautiful smile for you or your child. And as always, you will become a part of the McReynolds Orthodontics family.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early Orthodontic Treatment for Children
What is the difference between early orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment, and why might my child need early treatment? How will early treatment benefit my child in the long run?
These are just a few of the questions surrounding the topic of early orthodontic treatment for children. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. At this point the orthodontist will evaluate whether your child will need orthodontic treatment.
Early treatment (also known as Phase One) typically begins around age eight or nine (Phase Two will begin around age 11 or older). The goal of early treatment is to correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems, such as underbite. Early treatment also helps to make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of extractions in the future.
How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all permanent teeth around age 13)
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Your child continues sucking his or her thumb after age five
- Speech impediments
- Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
- Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
- Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (crossbites)
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
What causes orthodontic problems, and how will early treatment benefit my child?
Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits.
Most children lose all their baby teeth by age 13, and by the end of their teen years, the jaw bones will harden and stop growing. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving early orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.
If your child is between the ages of seven and eight and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.
For All Ages
Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Orthodontics for Teens
What are the most common braces/appliances used for teens?
Treatment at McReynolds Orthodontics is always driven by high quality, evidence-based methods. We offer a variety of treatment modalities custom suited to your teen, including metal braces, ceramic braces, aligners, and a variety of growth modification appliances.
How do you encourage compliance with home care and appliances?
Ultimately, your orthodontist becomes your teammate in achieving a beautiful smile. We want to cheer you on to ensure that your smile is exactly what you want to see when you get your braces off. We do everything we can, but you have to do your part too! One way we love to celebrate good home care is with our Happy Hygiene contest every month. When you have your dentist and hygienist approve your good brushing and home care, you can all be entered for a prize from our office!
What tips do you give teeth patients for successful treatment?
- Be patient. All teeth move at their own pace and time, and Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarth know that the best way to move teeth is with light, continuous force. We want to get you out of braces as fast as is comfortable for you, promise.
- Be compliant. The best thing you can do to have an amazing outcome is to take care of your teeth and follow your orthodontic instructions, whether that’s sticking to your diet or wearing your elastics or aligners.
- Be communicative. Let us know your questions and concerns. We are here to help you all throughout your treatment journey!
What do you do to make orthodontic treatment a positive experience for teens?
From the moment you walk into our office you will notice the joy in the building. From our fun-loving team to our contests, games, and ice cream, you’ll be excited to come see us. We even celebrate every milestone in your journey, including the starts, the finishes, and the birthdays in between.
Orthodontics for Adults
What are the differences between ortho for adults vs. children?
As children are growing and teeth are developing, orthodontic tooth movement and the adaptation of the jaws and teeth is fairly straightforward. As adults, our face and jaws are done growing and our teeth are no longer developing, so orthodontic tooth movement usually requires a bit more effort to get going; however, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Some factors to consider in adults that we don’t consider as much in children involve bite changes that have become second nature due to years of use, uneven wear patterns of the teeth, and clenching or grinding problems.
What are the benefits of getting ortho treatment as an adult?
In this world of virtual meetings and work from home life, it seems that, now more than ever, adults are taking action to create their own beautiful smiles, and we want to be there to help! Orthodontic treatment as an adult can improve your bite function, resolve uneven wearing of your teeth, and obviously, improve the appearance of your smile!
Why should adults choose your office to receive treatment?
Treatment at McReynolds Orthodontics is always driven by high quality, evidence-based methods. We offer a variety of treatment modalities custom suited to you, whether it be braces or aligners. We apply our methods to every one of our patients, and continue to stay at the forefront of the orthodontic field. When you graduate from our office, you will have a beautiful, confident smile and plenty of reasons to use it!
What are the most common treatments you offer for adults?
- Metal Braces, Ceramic Braces, or Invisalign
iTero is a company that specializes in digital intraoral scanning, a method of capturing the shape and position of the teeth as well as the bite relationship. McReynolds Orthodontics is proud to offer the comfort and ease of digital impressions at our Keller orthodontic office.
The iTero scanner takes several hundred photos of your teeth as our assistants navigate the camera around your mouth and stitches them into a three-dimensional model. This digital model can then be sent to various digital treatment planning systems or laboratories directly.
iTero Digital Impressions vs Conventional Impressions
- It’s fast. You can see your teeth on the screen immediately after scanning with the iTero.
- It’s comfortable. The iTero camera doesn’t take up your whole mouth at a time and doesn’t cause gagging.
- It’s accurate. Digital impressions have minimal opportunity for error and their accuracy is measured in micrometers!
Color My Braces
To start painting your braces, click on a color, then on the tooth you want to paint. Or, click on a color, then click on one of the buttons below to assign that color to specific teeth. Check with your orthodontist to see which fun colors are available for your teeth!
Topical fluoride in direct contact with teeth can help harden the enamel layer of your teeth, making it more resistant to cavities and decay. This very important during orthodontic treatment, and can be found in toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Dr. McReynolds or Dr. Gopffarth may give you a fluoride mouth rinse when you undergo treatment at our Keller orthodontic office. In contrast, systemic fluoride can be found in water sources and can help developing teeth become stronger. This systemic fluoride is particularly important for our kiddos!
Topical fluoride in direct contact with teeth can help harden the enamel layer of your teeth making it more resistant to cavities and decay. But remember, it only works on the spots it reaches, so proper brushing technique is very important.
It is important to make sure the toothpaste you are using has fluoride in it especially during orthodontic treatment. You can check by looking at the active ingredients on the back of your toothpaste. Another helpful trick is to look for the ADA seal of acceptance. These toothpastes have been studied and researched to ensure that they are safe and effective.
Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. If you need surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
When might surgical orthodontics be needed?
Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Your orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period. Since orthognathic surgery is a major procedure, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite. After surgery, you will have to wear braces, and most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major treatment, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. If you're concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.
What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?
For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as severe, recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, also known as TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
If you notice that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let your doctor know at your next appointment. Your doctor can help determine if you have TMD and create a customized treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.
Not all jaw pain is associated with TMD.
If you feel that you might have TMD, it is always important to see your dentist and receive an exam. However, not all jaw pain is associated with TMD, and if you do not have TMD there are many different preventive steps you can take to maintain a healthy, strong smile.
- Relax your face — "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid all gum chewing
- Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Many people get TMD without ever having braces. Symptoms usually wax and wane regardless of whether braces are worn. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and are concerned that you're a candidate for TMD treatment, please contact our office for a consultation.
Wisdom Teeth Treatment
Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. The first molars typically erupt around six years old, the second molars typically around 12 to 13 years old, and the third molars anywhere from 18 to 25 years old. They may have gotten their name due to the age they erupt, but they are usually anything but “wise.” They are highly unpredictable in their eruption, and have a higher likelihood to become stuck or impacted in the bone, causing issues to the gums, bone, nerves, or adjacent teeth.
At McReynolds Orthodontics, our team will monitor the development of your wisdom teeth through the use of a panoramic X-ray taken at the end of treatment. This allows us to see the direction of tooth development, as well as the proximity to the nerve and adjacent teeth. These factors allow Dr. McReynolds and Dr.Gopffarth to determine if wisdom tooth removal is necessary and the ideal timing for it.
What happens during a wisdom tooth extraction?
If Drs. McReynolds and Gopffarth determine that removing your wisdom teeth is necessary, they will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to perform the extraction. The procedure is typically done in office without a need for any hospital visits. Wisdom tooth extractions typically take less than an hour, depending on each individual case. Once the extractions are complete, you will have about a 24- to 48-hour recovery period, depending on your age and the complexity of the surgery. Post-op care continues for a couple of weeks as you ensure that your extraction sites can heal completely.
It is important to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions regarding pre- and post-op care. This typically includes treating swelling with consistent ice packs, and avoiding straws and hard, crunchy foods while the extraction sites are healing.