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White Spots on Teeth (THE ANSWERS)

A bright, white smile with straight teeth is the goal when patients choose to use orthodontic braces to correct the alignment of their smile. But sometimes parts of the surface of a patient’s tooth become too white. Showing small white spots or patches, you may be experiencing what is known as white spot lesions (WSL). And your orthodontist may want you to take additional steps to prevent the spread of further white spots to the surfaces of your exposed teeth.

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Three Reasons You Haven’t Gotten Your Braces Off

orthodontistThree Reasons You Haven’t Gotten Your Braces Off

After having worn braces for awhile or a time period that feels like awhile to you, you might start to wonder when you can have the structured removed. Similarly, your kids may regularly ask about the end date of the treatment if they are the ones wearing the braces. While you must speak with your orthodontist to find out why you still have to wear the braces, you can consider some of the following reasons before the appointment date.

1. The braces were not implemented correctly.

You may have gone to a different orthodontist in the past, and this person might have improperly implemented the braces. This issue could arise in a variety of forms. For example, the braces might have been put on incorrectly the first time, meaning that additional and unexpected adjustments were needed when you went for the follow-up appointments. In fact, perhaps you need to have the braces entirely removed and a new set put on to account for the early errors. The orthodontist could have also selected the wrong type of braces for your condition, thereby leading to a longer period of treatment.

It’s also possible that the follow-up appointments were not done properly. A hasty orthodontist might rush through and fail to notice budding issues. Instead of taking care of the problems right away, they may have been left to grow into a bigger trouble for the next appointment. Staff members may have failed to ask the necessary questions to gauge how you were doing with the braces, which could also very well protract the amount of time for which you had to wear them. When improper care is the reason why you’re still wearing braces at this point, the time has come to seek a new orthodontist who can get you started on a proper care plan.

2. You need to wear the braces.

Your kids might have friends who wore braces for only a year and then were free from the devices. Also, you may think back to the first time that you wore braces as a teenager and remember having them for a much shorter duration. Keep in mind that not all plans are the same. Two very similar people could need to wear braces for two entirely different periods of time. The length of time for which you need to wear braces is going to heavily depend upon the condition that you have.

For example, your child’s friend might need minor adjustments made to the teeth to perfectly straighten them, but your child may need significant work in order to align the teeth. Someone with more severe dental issues is likely going to need to wear braces for a longer period of time than an individual with minor problems. While your kids or you might really be ready to have the braces removed, remember that this process is necessary for long-term health. Taking the braces off too early could mean that your teeth just become crooked again.

Furthermore, you should remember that different types of braces exist. Gone are the days where everyone had to wear wires and brackets in order to get the picture-perfect styles that are shown in magazines. The type of braces that you have could certainly guide how long they have to be worn for. If you are in the early stages and are just wondering about the different treatment plans for braces, you should speak to your orthodontist to get a sense of how long each option can take. Ultimately, do keep in mind that selecting the option that is best for your health is wise.

3. You’ve made some mistakes.

When it comes to your health, it can be difficult to admit that you’ve made some mistakes, especially when you want to act as a role model for your children. Still though, these errors could be the reason why you still have braces on. For example, with certain types of braces, the orthodontist will likely let you know that you can’t eat specific foods. If you do consume those foods, you could cause problems with the braces. In the event that the braces are in need of repair, you may need to wear them for a longer duration of time.

It’s also possible that your kids are fiddling with their braces. Having braces put on is not always the most comfortable experience, and despite your best efforts to warn them not to, children may play with the structures. In doing so, they could damage or break the braces, which may mean that they must have repairs done, thereby extending the period of time that they need to wear the braces for.

You could also be wondering why you have to wear braces again even though you had them in the recent or distant past. An important part of this process is following the instructions provided by the orthodontist even after you are finished wearing braces. If you forgot to wear your retainer when you had braces a couple of decades ago, you may have to go through the entire process again to get the straight teeth that you desire.


Schedule an Appointment with Tisseront Orthodontics

At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can receive a free consultation with Dr. Stephan Tisseront to learn more about your orthodontic options. Our orthodontist takes care of children, teenagers and adults at our top-of-the-line office, and he offers these treatments:

• Lingual braces – worn on the backs of teeth
• Invisalign – aligners for teenagers or adults
• Ceramic orthodontia – made with clear wires and color-matching brackets

It is also possible to reduce your orthodontic treatment time by using a small device from AcceleDent Aura that helps to accelerate the movement of your teeth into the correct positions.

Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762

Phone: (703)773-1200


Why does the orthodontist recommend removing teeth?

orthodontistWhy does the orthodontist recommend removing teeth?

Most people associate the orthodontist with a professional who aligns and straightens teeth. The idea of removing teeth during orthodontia treatment doesn’t seem to match with the specialty. However, there are numerous instances when your Reston, VA, orthodontist might suggest a removal. Take a close look at the reasons that prompt a tooth-removal procedure. It’s entirely normal and common among most orthodontia patients.

Baby Teeth Hanging On

Parents are so thrilled to see their children’s baby teeth come in. They might also dread the day that they fall out. This sign of maturity usually occurs around age five or six. Baby teeth, however, don’t always fall out on a regular schedule. There are often times when a few teeth just hold on for many months.

If you know that orthodontia treatment will be necessary for the child, pulling the remaining baby teeth is an option. This choice is beneficial in a number ways, such as:

  • Soft baby-teeth roots
  • Only a handful of teeth to remove
  • Opens up space for permanent teeth to erupt

When baby teeth remain in place, they hinder normal growth and possibly derail future, orthodontia-treatment success.

Crowding Along the Jaw

As permanent teeth work their way into place, they might be incredibly large in comparison to a child’s jaw. The child simply needs to grow into his or her teeth. As an adult, the teeth will look normal with the mature face.

Orthodontists may opt to remove teeth when the child is about to receive braces, however. Although the brackets and wires are designed to align the teeth, too many teeth on a small jawbone will look crowded. The alignment may not ever be achieved.

Doctors will pick the best teeth to remove as they ease the crowding scenario. In the end, the procedure improves the smile.

Considering Expanders

Many orthodontia professionals turn to expanders as a way to reduce the number of teeth being pulled for crowding. Children are perfect candidates for expanders. Their jaws and mouth palates are still developing.

Professionals place expander or metal appliances in the mouth. Over time, the appliance enlarges the palate and jaw so that they can accompany more teeth. Parents who opt for this treatment will be active participants with these required tasks at home, such as:

  • Turning the expander screw to a certain position each day or week
  • Helping the child with oral hygiene so that the expander can do its work

Expanders may help with spacing, but some tooth-removal processes might still be required. Every case will be unique to the person’s physiology.

The Protrusion Factor

There are many other factors that orthodontists must consider before they apply traditional appliances or opt for Invisalign. The angle that the teeth protrude from the jawline is a consideration. With teeth that stick out, the lips follow suit. The entire face has an unusual shape.

Doctors suggest teeth removal in this instance because the extra space gives the protruding teeth a place to retreat. Through orthodontia treatment, the teeth can now hang in a vertical position that’s more attractive. The lips respond in kind, which improves the patient’s overall appearance.

Tooth Impactions

Your child’s baby teeth may be falling out at a regular pace, but one or more permanent teeth aren’t dropping down. In fact, the child might have an impacted tooth. Unless the tooth can be surgically pulled down by the proper experts, most professionals will suggest removal.

The impacted tooth might be at an usual angle, causing pain and impeding other teeth from moving downward. Parents should approach this removal option as a good idea for the long term. The child will have fewer teeth along the jawline to straighten. Crowding won’t be an issue. If there’s any pain, the child will feel much more comfortable with the tooth removed.

Bite Corrections

The majority of patients have some sort of misaligned bite. These issues include:

  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Overbites

Brackets, wires and rubber bands might fit a few bite issues, but others persist. In the past, orthodontists had no choice but to recommend outright surgery. There’s a better choice today, however.

By removing strategic teeth, the professionals can create the appearance of a normal bite. There’s no need to put the patient through a surgery when extractions make a big difference. After the procedure, everyday treatments can proceed. Patients might choose Invisalign over other options in order to further improve the smile.

Wisdom Teeth Frustrations

As your child grows into a teenager, the orthodontia treatment may be nearing an end. However, the wisdom teeth tend to grow in at this age. These molars aren’t always welcome because they further crowd the teeth that may be relatively straight at this point.

Allowing the wisdom teeth to erupt in the mouth can lead to these issues, such as:

  • Straightened teeth twisting in place
  • Headaches
  • Painful chewing

Most orthodontists will suggest wisdom-teeth removal as soon as they erupt into the gums. The procedure is commonplace and requires a short recovery. Because teenagers are still young by physiological standards, they should heal with no residual side effects.


Schedule an Appointment with Tisseront Orthodontics

At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can receive a free consultation with Dr. Stephan Tisseront to learn more about your orthodontic options. Our orthodontist takes care of children, teenagers and adults at our top-of-the-line office, and he offers these treatments:

• Lingual braces – worn on the backs of teeth
• Invisalign – aligners for teenagers or adults
• Ceramic orthodontia – made with clear wires and color-matching brackets

It is also possible to reduce your orthodontic treatment time by using a small device from AcceleDent Aura that helps to accelerate the movement of your teeth into the correct positions.

Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762

Phone: (703)773-1200

What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It

happyWhat Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It

There are several conditions that can lead to pain in the jaw. Some are fairly benign while others are serious. Whatever the cause, a person with a painful jaw should be seen by an orthodontist, a medical professional who specializes in problems with the jaws and the bite. Here are some conditions that may cause jaw pain and how to treat them:

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

These are problems that affect the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. This joint is found both sides of the lower jaw. It allows the mouth to open and close in conjunction with the muscles and the nerves in the jaw and the skull. Pain can arise when something goes wrong with one or more than one of these systems. The cause can be:

Arthritis in the Jaw

The jaw is a joint, and like other joints in the body it is subject to osteoarthritis. This happens when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bone start to wear away, and the bones start to grind against each other.


This is when the patient grinds their teeth, often at night while they’re asleep. The grinding may be loud enough to wake the person next to them. Some of the symptoms are a tightness in the jaw muscles and a jaw that locks. The jaw, face and neck are also painful or sore.

Autoimmune Disorders

An autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to pain in the jaw.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders include:

A dull ache on one side of the jaw that may be in the temple, the back of the head, in front of the patient’s ear or along their jaw. It can start gradually or come on suddenly.

  • Pain when chewing
  • Popping sounds in the jaw
  • A jaw that can’t open all the way without pain
  • A jaw that locks
  • A toothache
  • A headache and aches in the shoulders and neck
  • Dizziness
  • Ears that ring or feel stopped up


Jaw pain that comes from TMJ can respond to over-the-counter pain medications in some patients. If these drugs are not strong enough, the orthodontist can prescribe stronger analgesics, usually types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Other medications include antidepressants and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants are used on a fairly short-term basis.

Sometimes treatment for a TMJ disorder might be an adjustment in the patient’s diet or teaching them jaw exercises that help their jaw to relax and stretch properly. The orthodontist may also treat the patient with ultrasound and warm and cold compresses to help with the pain. Some people benefit from psychological counseling that helps them handle stressors that make their pain worse.

The orthodontist may inject the TMJ with corticosteroids. Botox can be injected into specific muscles in the jaw to ease the pain. The Botox interrupts neurotransmitters and allows the jaw muscles to slacken.

The orthodontist can also fit a patient with occlusal appliances such as mouth guards or oral splints. Though these devices do work, no one is quite sure why.


If conservative methods don’t work, the orthodontist may recommend surgery to ease the pain of TMJ disorders. There are several of these surgeries.

Arthrocentesis. In this treatment, the orthodontist places tiny needles in the joint then irrigates the joint to wash out debris that might be causing the jaw to become inflamed.

TMJ arthroscopy. The orthodontist uses miniaturized surgical tools to repair the jaw. This cuts down on the risks of surgery such as bleeding and infection.

Modified condylotomy. This is surgery on the mandible, which is the lower jaw. It is chosen to treat both pain and locking.

Open joint surgery. This surgery, also called arthrotomy, is used to fix or even replace the joint of the jaw. It is the last resort if nothing else works. In this surgery, the orthodontic surgeon can put the disc back into place if it is out of place, or remove it. They can reshape the bone or use a graft from the muscle of the patient’s temple to place in the joint space to keep the bones from rubbing together. Some surgeons even take bone grafts from the patient’s ribs.

Other Causes of Jaw Pain

Jaw Fracture

The jaw can be fractured by a blow or a fall. The jaw is not only painful but bruised and swollen, and there may be numbness in the lower lip. If a broken jaw isn’t treated, it may heal improperly and be misaligned. A minor fracture can be eased by rest, painkillers and a soft food diet. But surgery is needed to repair a severe fracture.

Jaw Dislocation

A dislocation is when the TMJ is unseated and the mandible is out of alignment. The symptoms are the same as for a jaw fracture. The doctor gives the patient muscle relaxants to help the joint relocate and bandages the jaw.

Call Tisseront Orthodontics Today To Schedule an Appointment

At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can have an examination from our knowledgeable orthodontist. Dr. Stephen Tisseront provides orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children with these devices:

• Aligners – designed using Invisalign software
• Braces – metal, ceramic and lingual
• Retainers – to keep teeth in position after orthodontic treatment ends
• Surgical orthodontics – removal of baby or extra teeth

Our patients can have iTero archwires designed at our orthodontic office, and we also offer Acceledent Aura devices to reduce treatment time. Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762


I Don’t Have Any Dental Problem: Should I Still Visit and Orthodontist?

orthodontist visitI Don’t Have Any Dental Problem: Should I Still Visit an Orthodontist?

This is a question that is commonly asked. The answer to this question is yes. Even though you may not think that you do not have any dental problems, the problem may not be something that you can identify yourself. Often times, many people think that they have the same knowledge as an orthodontist but in reality, they don’t. Orthodontists go to school for ten to eleven years after completing high school. In this additional schooling, Orthodontists learn everything necessary about fixing teeth. Using the internet to research dental information can be extremely confusing and could lead to further damage.

Dental care is not something that should be taken lightly. Taken proper care of your teeth is very important. This proper care includes visiting dental care professionals. If teeth are not properly cared for the results can be detrimental. Everyone only gets ones set of teeth, so you better care for the ones you got.

Some common problems that occur with teeth are:

  • toothache
  • stained teeth
  • cavities
  • chipped teeth
  • impacted teeth
  • cracked teeth
  • sensitivity to cold
  • hyperdontia (too many teeth)
  • crooked teeth
  • gaps between teeth
  • gum problems
  • clenching teeth
  • grinding teeth
  • wisdom teeth problems
  • no room to floss

Some of these problems are more serious than others, but all of these problems should be addressed. This is just a list of problems that commonly occur. Not every dental problem is listed. If you feel any type of discomfort or unusual pain you should contact a dental care professional immediately. Waiting to contact a professional could allow the problem to worsen.
There are many things that you can do to prevent these problems from happening. If you are suffering from a toothache a few things that could help are rinsing your mouth with warm water, flossing to remove food caught between teeth, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If swelling, pus, or a fever is noticed a more serious problem could be forming such as an abscess. A dental professional should be contacted as soon as possible to receive antibiotics or further dental work.

If a client has stained teeth there are many correct ways to remove the stains. Some things that stain your teeth are foods, medications, tobacco, and trauma. There are multiple ways to whiten them. Your dentist could apply a whitening agent or a special light. A dentist could supply you with plastic teeth trays and you could apply the bleach gel at home. This bleach gel is offered at dentistry offices and some stores. The easiest way to whiten your teeth is to use whitening toothpaste or whitening rinses. If using a whitening toothpaste or rinse only remove surface stains are removed.

If holes are formed in your teeth this can mean you have cavities. Cavities are formed when bacteria or plaque builds up on your teeth. This bacteria destroys the outer shell of the tooth, referred to as enamel. As you get older teeth may start decaying at the gum line or around the edges, which is a problem. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride is encouraged to prevent these problems. A few more things that could reduce the chance of getting cavities are
limiting snacks, flossing daily, rinsing with mouthwash, and regular dental appointments. If you are worried about this issue you can ask your dentist if a sealant would help.

The most common dental problem is chipped teeth. Any accident can cause a tooth to chip even if the accident is not so serious. If the chip is large enough and the tooth bonding is strong a crown may be performed by using a material to replace the chipped area. If more work is needed a root canal may be performed before the veneer or crown.

If an adult tooth does not grow in properly this means that is impacted. This usually means that it is stuck against other teeth, bone, or tissues. If an impacted tooth is not bothering you than it is probably fine to be left uncared for. On the other hand, if it is bothering you it can be surgically removed by a dental professional.

When caring for a cracked tooth a crown is usually recommended to protect the crack and prevent it from worsening. If the tooth is sensitive then the problem is more difficult to deal with. In bad cases, root canals or pulling the tooth may be necessary. People with fillings are more likely to experience cracked teeth.

If you are experiencing sensitive teeth the first step to resolving the problem is finding the cause. Sensitivity could be caused by cavities, worn enamel, worn fillings, gum disease, fractured teeth, or exposed gums. Once the source is identified sensitivity can be cured by root canals, filling, gum treatment, desensitized toothpaste, or gel.

Most people have 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth. In a few rare cases, some people have extra teeth called hyperdontia. People who have this often have a cleft pallet or tumors. The extra teeth can be removed or an orthodontist can fix your bite.

Braces are for people of all ages. They don’t only make your teeth straighter, it also helps your overall dental health and relieves pain. Teeth can be straightened by braces, retainers, aligners, or Invisalign. Invisalign is an alternative to wire braces that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth.

These are a few ways to prevent problems with your teeth. If you do experience any of these problems this information also provides some examples of proper care and treatment. If you do face any of these problems you should contact a dental health care provider immediately. If you are fortunate enough to not face any of these problems you should be sure to attend appointments regularly to keep up with your dental health.

Schedule Regular Appointments At Tisseront Orthodontics

You must continue to visit our orthodontist on a routine basis to make sure that your braces are in optimal condition. Dr. Stephan Tisseront offers a variety of types of braces to his patients, including:

• Traditional metal
• Beautiful ceramic
• Lingual devices

To schedule an orthodontic evaluation for an adult, teenager or child, contact our orthodontic facility today at 703-773-1200.

Braces Before and After



Braces are more than just a smile or overbite correction; they inspire confidence – confidence to face the world with a smile on your face, knowing you look your very best. Although we wish it wasn’t so, we all know that kids can be cruel to one another and any deviance from what is considered normal or attractive invites criticism and ridicule. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid all of the drama and heartaches, but we can help our kids and give them the best smile possible.


What Can Orthodonture Do?

Many young people are embarrassed by problems with their teeth and never want to smile. Crooked or protruding teeth are not the only reason to take corrective measures, though. There are some physical problems that can arise when the teeth do not properly align, such as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) which causes pain and sometimes cause the jaws to lock, severely limiting or completely preventing the jaws from opening. Braces can realign the teeth, effectively curing TMJ.

Other conditions that can be treated by orthodontics, includes anteroposterior deviations, which includes conditions like overbite and underbite. Anteroposterior deviations describe a condition in which the teeth do not line up correctly. Another dental problem is overcrowding. Many people simply do not have enough room in their mouth to allow for proper alignment of permanent teeth. In this case, the teeth will be pushed out of alignment to allow for all the teeth to come in.

Are straight teeth important?

Despite what you might think orthodontics isn’t just for kids. Even adults can benefit from corrections in teeth alignment and straightening. Overcrowding, underbite, and overbite is not just a cosmetic issue, these conditions can lead to speech problems, problems chewing, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Although orthodontics is thought to be primarily for children and teens, in recent years many dentists and orthodontists are prescribing bite correction for adults as well. It is never too late to fix a problem or repair a smile. For some, corrective measures in childhood were financially impossible, other reasons for taking corrective measures in adulthood, include failure to wear a retainer properly after straightening in childhood resulting in the teeth moving out of alignment, and medical necessity resulting from TMJ and other conditions. Some just want to make cosmetic adjustments. It is estimated that more than a million adults are taking advantage of corrective dentistry every year.

How much does orthodontics cost?

Many people, naturally, worry that the cost will strain their budget too much. Obviously, this is a consideration. The cost for orthodontics varies by person and individual needs, but your orthodontist will work with you to create the best plan possible for your treatment. In addition, many dental plans will pay at least some of the cost, making it a very affordable option.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

You may wonder why you need to see a specialist (orthodontist) for smile correction when you already have a working relationship with your dentist. While technically your dentist can treat your teeth alignment and bite correction, they are not specially trained to perform this duty, whereas an orthodontist is specially trained to correct bite problems.

An orthodontist not only attends dental school but also has another three years of training studying the specifics of tooth movement and jaw function. At the end of their training in orthodontics, they must pass an exam to become certified. Being board certified is something you want to look for in an orthodontist.

What are the different types of brackets?

There are many types of brackets used to straighten teeth, and many more options than in the past, but, in the end, the most important component of your orthodontic treatment is the skill of your orthodontist. One type of dental appliance that is popular with adults is Invisalign trays, which straighten teeth through a series of trays that move the teeth gradually, just like traditional metal brackets, but are almost impossible to see. However, not all will be good candidates for this treatment option. Other types of brackets include the traditional metal and ceramic, and brackets that attach to the back of the teeth instead of the front. It’s not the brackets that make the difference; it is the skill and knowledge of the orthodontist.

What is Invisalign?

Many adults prefer these clear liners to the traditional metal brackets, which are less than attractive, and most adults will face a longer period of time for their teeth to be corrected than had they been corrected when they were younger. These liners are fitted exactly to your teeth and changed every few weeks as your teeth move.

These clear liners are nearly invisible to the naked eye and can be removed to brush, eat, and for special occasions when you don’t want to have to remove them during an event.

This method can treat the same types of problems treated with traditional metal brackets in some cases. The cost is similar to traditional methods, but they are far more comfortable. Some insurance plans will a portion of the cost and Flexible Spending Accounts can be used toward payment as well. They require a tiny bit more commitment than traditional brackets, in that they must be worn faithfully except those times you will need to remove them. They can’t work if they are not in your mouth.  Not all patients will be a good candidate for this type of treatment due to the complexity of their issues, but see your orthodontist and ask if this treatment is right for you.

Call Tisseront Orthodontics Today To Schedule an Appointment

At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can have an examination from our knowledgeable orthodontist. Dr. Stephen Tisseront provides orthodontic treatments for adults, teenagers, and children with these devices:

• Aligners – designed using Invisalign software
• Braces – metal, ceramic and lingual
• Retainers – to keep teeth in position after orthodontic treatment ends
• Surgical orthodontics – removal of baby or extra teeth

Our patients can have iTero archwires designed at our orthodontic office, and we also offer Acceledent Aura devices to reduce treatment time. Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.

Orthodontist in Reston, VA offering caring service for both Children and Adults.
Specializing in Aesthetic Orthodontics (Lingual braces, Invisalign and Clear braces).
11720 Plaza America Dr, Ste 110 Reston, Virginia 20190

Phone: (703) 773-1200




What is an [Orthodontist]?

orthodonticsLAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

All About Your Orthodontist: They’re Not Just the Braces Guy

While their realm of specialty lies in treating people with improperly positioned teeth, they are also trained in the treatment and control of facial growth (also known as dentofacial orthopedics) and the development/shape of the jaw. Even if you don’t need braces, an orthodontic specialist is still trained to treat a variety of maxillofacial problems. The difference in a dentist vs orthodontist is an orthodontist can treat structural issues that arise at any point in your life.


What Do They Fix Besides Crooked Teeth?

Your doctor has a wide range of tools available to help fix an array of dental issues, both structural and cosmetic. Whether they’re using braces, headgear, or plates, they can help fix a ton of stuff! Wide gaps, for example, aren’t just cosmetic; they can affect your speech, too. Your doctor can help close those gaps permanently, restoring self-confidence and preventing any permanent issues. Crooked teeth can also impede your speech or ability to eat, as well as affect the health of your gums and teeth. If your bite is off, this can create wear and tear on your teeth and cause problems with the structure and growth of your jaw. Just because you’re an adult and you’re done growing, your jaw can constantly change shape as you age, so keep that in mind if you’re hesitating about seeing a specialist.


What is a bad bite?

Known medically as malocclusion, a bad bite means the teeth are crooked and misaligned with an imperfect alignment between the top and bottom sets of the teeth. This can happen for any number of reasons, but the most common reason is usually because there was frequent thumb sucking as a child or an injury to the mouth. A bad bite doesn’t affect your physical health, but it can have a negative impact on how the face develops as it grows, not to mention creating crooked or protruding teeth. A really bad malocclusion can inhibit eating and speech, not to mention making it more difficult to keep the teeth brushed properly. Besides protruding front teeth, a bad bite commonly causes crowding of the teeth, leading to premature removal of baby teeth to make room for the others. The upper and lower teeth might become asymmetrical, and the adult teeth coming in might become impacted or malpositioned. Overbites are very common, too, which just means the upper teeth come down too far over the lower ones when the mouth is closed. Some kids end up with a reverse bite where the upper teeth fit behind the lower ones or an open bite where there’s an opening between the upper and lower teeth.

When Should You Start Orthodontic Treatments?

Orthodontic treatment typically isn’t started until the adult teeth have come in around 12 or 13 years of age. At this age, all of the adult teeth are in and fully developed. Of course, orthodontic treatment can arise at any time in your life, so don’t dismiss seeing an orthodontist even if you’re out of high school!

When you or your child goes into an orthodontic practice, they’ll do a complete work-up to gauge the current state of the teeth. If it’s a child, the doctor will predict how the teeth will develop without orthodontic intervention. No matter the age, however, they’ll take a full medical/dental history, perform an examination, take x-rays of both the teeth and jaws, and create plaster imprints and model of the teeth. All of these tools will be combined to create an intensive treatment plan.

Orthodontic Tools Used to Fix the Teeth

Fixed Appliances

Fixed oral appliances are the most common tools used in orthodontic treatment. There are more restrictions on food and drinks, as well as athletics, but they usually get the best results. Braces are used the most often, of course, and serve to fix crooked and misaligned teeth and malocclusions. Fixed space maintainers are put in when a child prematurely loses a baby tooth to keep that space open for the adult tooth. A band is affixed to one of the teeth next to space and a wire will go from the band to the other tooth. Special fixed appliances aren’t used all that often, but they may be beneficial to kids who tongue thrust or suck their thumb. They’re quite uncomfortable for the child, so they are only used if necessary.

Removable Appliances

Removable appliances treat minor problems or prevent future problems by curbing thumb sucking. They should be kept in the mouth at all times except when eating or flossing. Aligners are an option for adults who want braces without the “metal mouth” look. They’re pretty much invisible and they can be removed for brushing and eating. Headgear is unsightly but serves well to slow upper jaw growth while keeping the back teeth in their proper positions. Palatal expanders make the upper jaw’s arch wider. It’s made up of a plastic plate that’s put on the upper palate. Screws put pressure on the joints in the bone and force the bones outward. Removable retainers are also put on the roof of the mouth and used to keep the teeth from moving into their original (misaligned) positions. Splints are put into the top or lower jaw to help the jaw close properly when the patient is dealing with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) syndrome.

Now is the time

Don’t wait another minute! It is time to make that smile a vision of perfection! Contact Tisseront Orthodontics today for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Stephan Tisseront – the leading Harmony braces provider in the USA.

Tisseront Orthodontics

11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110
Reston, VA 20190-4762

Phone: (703) 773-1200

Difference Between a Dentist And an Orthodontist


Generally speaking, the patient seeking help correcting for an overbite, crowding of teeth or other such malocclusion is referred by their dentist to an orthodontist. In terms of treatment, you need the expertise of a specialist to appreciate the nuances and determine the best method to straighten your teeth while retraining the muscles of the mouth. The extra years of education, training, and experience assures each patient is treated by a doctor who has specialized knowledge to ensure that the outcome is safe and effective. This is just a thumbnail description of the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist.


Education and Experience

The practice of dentistry starts the same for general practice as it does for a specialty. Each must have at least a bachelor’s degree before applying to an accredited dental school where a four-year doctoral program must be completed. However, this is where the path splits.

At this point, the dentist may start on establishing a practice. Typically, your primary dental care provider will diagnose, treat and help you manage your routine oral healthcare. Treatment most patients are familiar with include:

  • Annual check-ups
  • Routine Cleaning
  • Teeth whitening
  • X-rays
  • Fillings
  • Gum care
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Root canal
  • Veneers
  • Dentures
  • Extractions

The dentist interested in pursuing their speciality education must serve a two- or three-year residency in orthodontics. This may only be accomplished through an ADA approved, university-affiliated program. Where a dentist must complete eight years of higher education, the specialist continues to complete 10 or 11 years before being allowed to have the designation “Orthodontist,” a distinction that may only be accorded the person who has successfully completed all the requirements to practice this specialty.

Orthodontic Appliances and Treatments

Most patients are first introduced to their specialist when they are going to be fitted for orthodontic appliances. These could be in the form of braces, wires, brackets, retainers or some of today’s innovative options for invisible teeth straightening. In addition to Invisalign and Invisalign Teen that use clear thermoplastic aligners, there are also Harmony® Braces, the customized Lingual braces that are placed behind the teeth.

Orthodontic accreditation to practice as a licensed specialist includes ongoing educational requirements throughout one’s career in order to stay up to date with the latest scientific achievements. This makes it exciting for patients who want to be on the edge of clinical developments. Technological advances continue to introduce significant devices and their new procedures to the field of orthodontics.

Orthodontics Improve Your Quality of Life

Patients who have been referred to get specialized help in keeping teeth and jaws working together for effective speaking and comfortable biting and chewing will soon become as familiar with their specialist as they likely have become with their general dentist over the years. Typically, as children reach their teenage years after the permanent teeth have come in is when the first signs of the need for teeth straightening are evaluated and any corrections are suggested. Young adults, as well as mature adults, are also finding more opportunities these days to improve their smiles by availing themselves of the specialized, non-surgical treatments provided by this specialty.

Today’s variety of orthodontic appliances offer more convenience, comfort and positive outcomes than as few as ten years ago. The duration of teeth straightening treatment can last between 6 and 15 months. Each course of treatment is unique to the individual and special care is given to ensure the patient is as comfortable with treatment as possible.

Orthodontics Improve Your Overall Health

Whether you are dealing with misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, spaces or gaps between the teeth or temporomandibular disorders(TMD), your orthodontics specialist is there to help you. Parents, especially, need to know about the dental problems their children may be facing to prevent damage that may occur to the teeth or gums if they are not corrected.

A nutritious diet for good health relies upon a healthy bite. Seemingly small issues may lead to more serious problems down the road when treatment is avoided, and more than your smile may suffer for it. When you are referred to a specialist to handle treatment that is outside the scope of your general oral health care practitioner’s expertise, you can rest assured your overall health is the primary concern. It just so happens that this treatment also means ending up with a balanced bite and a beautiful smile.

Offering a Free Consultation

For expert treatment from a personable Orthodontic specialist, visit Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., for a free consultation to improve your smile. Dr . Stephan Tisseront welcomes children, teenagers and adults. We provide an assortment of orthodontic treatments that include:

• Lingual braces from Incognito and Harmony
• Invisalign aligners designed for teenagers and adults
• Traditional metal and wire brackets
• Surgical treatments
• Retainers

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762

Phone: (703)773-1200

Difference Between a Dentist And Orthodontist

Benefits of Braces: It Goes Beyond a Beautiful Smile

bracesLAST UPDATED: JUNE 28, 2017
Braces will align your child’s teeth, and while they may not love wearing them now, they will certainly love the benefits that come from having straight teeth. There are numerous positive advantages to fixing your child’s teeth when your child is young. Those benefits are both social and health related.

While having straight teeth is often thought of as a cosmetic or social issue, having crooked teeth can have an impact on the health and future well-being of your child. Before you dismiss it as being too expensive or a cosmetic issue, think about the impact crooked teeth will have on your child’s future. A beautiful smile is not a frivolous expense when it comes to your child’s future happiness. The orthodontist can help you find an option that works for your family.


Healthy Gums

When teeth are crooked or overlapping, it can be difficult to clean them properly. There’s no space for flossing. When children have a hard time flossing, they are at risk for more cavities over their lifetime. Some damaging plaque can cause gum disease. Oral hygiene is linked to periodontal disease, which can cause an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol. Not only will fixing crooked teeth give your child a straight, beautiful smile, it will set them up for a healthier life in the future.

Better Digestion

Your teeth play a major role in how food gets digested. Proper digestion begins with the teeth, which break down food before it enters the stomach. The process of chewing grinds food, but also prepares it further with enzymes in the mouth. When the teeth are out of alignment, they can’t grind food down effectively. This makes it difficult for the stomach, which has to make up for the lack of enzymes. When the teeth are straight, it’s easier for food to be chewed. There won’t be trouble digesting large chunks of food. The orthodontist can assess your child’s teeth and provide a treatment plan to straighten his or her teeth.

Speech Improvements

Between the lips, tongue and teeth, words are formed by controlling air flow and the tongue moving against the teeth to form certain sounds. When the teeth are out of alignment, it can cause speech problems such as a lisp or whistling when the person speaks. Children who become self-conscious about their speech problems can develop a stuttering problem, and they can start mispronouncing words. While the fix might cause further impediments to speech as the teeth are aligned, in the long run, proper alignment of the teeth will fix the speech problem entirely.

Bone Erosion

When there are no teeth to support the bone, the bone itself can start to erode. This can also be true for the gaps and spaces left by misaligned teeth. With a bad bite, the teeth that meet can be placing uneven pressure on the bone because they are not aligned correctly. Disorders like Temporomandibular joint can result when a person’s bite is unbalanced. TMJ can cause earaches, headaches, jaw pain and popping when chewing. Orthodontics will eliminate the spaces between teeth and create an even bite pattern.

Self Confidence and Self Esteem

Crooked teeth can become a serious problem when the person doesn’t want to interact with others. They won’t speak with confidence, and that can have a serious impact on social interactions. If your child’s teeth are not fixed when they’re younger, they will grow up fixated on their crooked teeth, which will undermine their happiness and sense of fulfillment. While they may think that becoming “brace face” or “wire mouth” will have a negative impact on their social life in junior high or high school, as a parent, you know that crooked teeth could impact the rest of their lives including the type of job they get and person they marry.
It’s unfortunate, but the level of a person’s attractiveness has an impact on whether he or she will get a job, receive a promotion or a pay raise. Researchers at Rice University, as reported by Business Insider, conducted a study on beauty and its impact on professional success. The study was limited to how facial appearance influences a job interview. According to Juan Madera, who was a co-author of the study, interviewers were distracted by facial features and remembered less about the content of the interview. They didn’t react favorably to those candidates, and it led to a decrease in ratings for those candidates. With orthodontics, you’re setting your child on a road to financial and career success.

Crooked, misaligned teeth are a difficult problem that can be solved early in a child’s life. Without orthodontics, your child’s teeth will worsen over time. There is the potential for gum disease with all the associated risks of health problems like heart disease and high cholesterol. There’s potentially a lifetime of cavities and root canals in your child’s future. There’s the distraction and social problems associated with crooked teeth too. It can have a detrimental impact on the type of job the person gets as an adult too. Crooked teeth have an influence on the life and happiness of the child as he or she grows into adulthood.

Contact Dr. Tisseront at Tisseront Orthodontics for a consultation to find out the best way to treat your child’s crooked teeth, and learn about the type of orthodontics that can lessen the impact on your child’s social development. There are braces that can be placed behind the teeth, invisible ones and other types of orthodontics for your son or daughter.


Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces


When your braces first go on, whether you’re using traditional shiny metal brackets or Invisalign treatment, there are several foods that you should avoid. This isn’t your orthodontist advice. Instead, it’s necessary in order to keep your brackets, wires, and appliances in place, doing their job to make a better, brighter smile.


What are some Foods to Avoid?

There are several foods that are on the list that you shouldn’t eat at all while you’re wearing braces. They include:

  • Popcorn
  • Whole apples, pears, and other crunchy fruits that haven’t been cut into thin wedges
  • Uncooked carrots, including baby carrots
  • Crunchy corn chips
  • Gummy candy
  • Whole nuts
  • Hard candy and crunchy candy, including treats like peanut brittle
  • Whole, crunchy pickles
  • Hard, crunchy pizza crusts (soft crust and the rest of the pizza are fine; just avoid the crunchy crust)
  • Peanut butters
  • Extremely sticky candies like taffy
  • Corn on the cob (off the cob is fine)
  • Tough meats–beef jerky and Slim Jim type snacks, in particular
  • Ribs and chicken wings on the bone–taking the meat off the bone makes these edible again

What are some Non-Food Items to Avoid?

It’s amazing how many things you discover that you put in your mouth when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment and can’t anymore. These bad habits aren’t just hard on your teeth in general. They’re even harder on those critical brackets and wires! To help keep your orthodontics in good shape, avoid the following:

  • Chewing your nails. It can bend wires or even cause brackets to pop off.
  • Chomping on ice. You can still have ice in your drink, but you shouldn’t put in your mouth by itself. This includes “sucking” on the ice, which could still cause rough handling of your brackets.
  • Chewing on pens and pencils, which can lead to unnecessary stress on brackets and wires.
  • Chewing gum. Some orthodontists may allow the use of sugar-free gum, but in general, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

What are Foods to Eat With Caution?

Yes, your orthodontist is serious when they tell you to exercise caution when consuming certain foods! While they can be consumed safely, it’s important to follow proper consumption instructions so that you aren’t endangering the integrity of your brackets, wires, or Invisalign treatment.

  • Chewy bread like bagels should be consumed carefully. It’s better to break them up into small pieces before consuming. It’s also important to note that bread, in general, may get balled up underneath your wires, making it difficult to clean them.
  • Hard, crunchy chips and hard tacos should be consumed with caution. Typically, it’s better to break them up in pieces or consume them one at a time.
  • Candies and soda, in general, should be consumed cautiously when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. It’s hard enough to get your teeth clean when you don’t have a mouthful of appliances! Decay can sneak in when you least expect it, so avoiding or minimizing treats that are high in sugar will be best for the time being.
  • Bread with a hard, firm crust like French or Italian bread should be cut up into small pieces. Cut the crust off entirely or chew it with your back teeth to avoid causing problems with your brackets.
  • Raw vegetables need to be cut up in small pieces before consuming. For an even better option, try steaming or sauteing vegetables to create a softer texture that will be easier to chew.
  • Hard, crunchy cookies should be softened in milk or avoided for their softer counterparts for the time being.

What are Foods You Can Have with braces?

The list of foods that you can’t have while wearing braces is extensive and often frustrating! Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that you can still have. Many of them may become your new favorites. If you’re having trouble putting together a new grocery list or figuring out what to eat, try some of these:

  • Cheese
  • Soft fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe, plums, and peaches, especially cut up into small pieces.
  • Small fruits like grapes, blueberries, and strawberries, though it might be best to opt for seedless grapes for now.
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt, frozen yogurt, and ice cream
  • Bread, especially soft ones
  • Muffins, cakes, and soft cookies that don’t contain nuts
  • Eggs in any form–scrambled, hard boiled, and over easy are all approved!
  • Pasta noodles in any sauce you like, as long as it doesn’t contain nuts
  • Soups, stews, and chilis
  • Hamburgers and hot dogs
  • Any meat of your choice as long as it’s not on the bone

Adapting to a new diet because of your orthodontic work can be difficult at first. Keep in mind, however, that it’s done to help complete your treatment in a timely manner and ensure that you don’t experience discomfort as a result of bent or broken appliances. When in doubt, assume that you need to avoid hard, sticky, or potentially damaging foods and check with your orthodontist at your next appointment.

Offering a Free Consultation

For expert treatment from a personable expert, visit Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., for a free consultation concerning your malocclusions. Our orthodontist is Dr. Stephan Tisseront who is able to examine and treat adults, teenagers and children. We provide an assortment of orthodontic treatments that include:

• Lingual braces from Incognito and Harmony
• Invisalign aligners designed for teenagers and adults
• Traditional metal and wire brackets
• Surgical treatments
• Retainers

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762 Phone: (703)773-1200

Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces