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How effective is orthodontics in teens?

December 1st, 2021

Teen with braces from Vondran Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental health issues. Generally speaking, it is a surgery performed on teeth to improve their function and appearance. In teenagers, the most common tooth surgery performed by orthodontists is braces.

Teens with straight teeth tend to have higher self-esteem because they don't feel afraid to smile. With braces, teens can get rid of the crooked teeth that they may have been self-conscious about since it caused them to be embarrassed during class when the flash from a camera was photographing their teeth. In addition, when a teen's dental health is in proper order, braces can protect their gums and teeth during their young adult years. If they do not wear braces, their wisdom teeth may come in all at once and cause dental problems. Considering braces can prevent painful conditions like these, it is safe to say that orthodontics truly effectively produces quality results for teens.

The most common type of braces is metal brackets bonded to the front of teeth. These brackets are usually made out of metal alloys like nickel-titanium or stainless steel. Another type of braces is self-ligating braces, where instead of metallic ligatures, elastic bands are used to keep the arch-wire in place. Self-ligating braces are less invasive and can be worn by patients that grind their teeth at night or suffer from TMJ.

The effectiveness of orthodontic treatment greatly depends on the type of patient. A person with a small mouth or teeth spaced close together would have to wear attachments called brackets on their teeth for braces. Brackets are made from metal and plastic, and they attach to your two front teeth. At first glance, these brackets look like large U-shaped hooks. You can easily remove them by sliding them off your teeth.

Therefore, here is how effective is orthodontics in teens:

It Can Improve Your Health

Dental health is essential for overall health. By having a healthy mouth, you can have a healthy heart and a healthy mind. If your dental health is not in proper order, braces can help improve the structure of your teeth to achieve optimal oral health.

It Improves Confidence

Parents who want their teens to receive orthodontic treatment should go to a dentist willing to treat teens. Dentists can help your teen achieve the smile of their dreams after they have completed their dental surgery. Dental surgeries like braces require dedication, but they can ensure that you can get rid of any unwanted flaws that may be present in your teeth. Vondran Orthodontics understands that orthodontics can help improve your teen's confidence in their social life because it boosts teens’ self-esteem. If you are interested in increasing your teen's confidence, contact Vondran Orthodontics today!

It Prevents Health Problems like Gum Disease

The main reason you should consider getting braces as a teen is that orthodontic surgery can prevent pain. In addition, your doctor can teach you how to properly care for your teeth and gums after the braces have been removed.

Overall, orthodontics is a surgery that anyone can benefit from because it provides a wide range of benefits for teens and adults alike. Not to mention that braces will be an essential part of your life for at least a year or two, which means that braces should be affordable. Because of this, parents should inform their teens about the importance of wearing braces when they are old enough to understand what orthodontists offer.

Can Improve Speech

Braces can straighten your teeth, which means you will have a beautiful smile once you have completed the treatment. In addition, orthodontics is beneficial for speech because it will be easier to pronounce words correctly when your teeth are perfectly aligned. Hence, this can improve your communication skills because you will not hesitate to speak.

Lowers Risk of Tooth Decay

Braces help improve oral health because they will prevent tooth decay, which is common in teens. After you have completed your treatment, it would be difficult to get cavities because braces work by stopping the space between your teeth from getting too wide.

Improves Appearance

One advantage of braces is that they can enhance your smile, which means you will have a more pleasant appearance after the teeth straightening treatment. Also, braces can be expensive depending on where you live in the world, but it is worth it if done correctly and for the long-term benefit of your dental health!

Wearing Braces Can Be Fun!

Braces might be an awkward thing to talk about, but wearing braces is not as bad as it sounds. In addition, many adults choose to wear braces because they want straight teeth and a better smile. Whether you like spending time alone or with friends, you can always take out your invisible braces and flash your pearly whites to anyone you want.

Straighten Teeth

It is advised that you see your dentist as soon as possible if you have gaps between your teeth or teeth that are crooked. Dentists will be able to straighten your teeth for you to have beautiful, healthy-looking teeth.

Lower Risk of Cavities

Once you start seeing a dentist, they can help teach you how to care for your mouth and gums properly. They can also show you different ways to prevent cavities and how to brush your teeth correctly. Orthodontic surgery is worth it!

Why should teens get braces?

This is an excellent question because many other alternatives for improving dental health do not require any surgery. However, braces can be adjusted easily to accommodate changes in your diet, so if you want to eat more sweets than usual one day, it is easy to remove the parts of the braces that interfere with your food.

Overall, the main reason you should consider getting braces for your teen is that it can improve their dental health and prevent cavities. In addition, braces will eventually protect your teeth from decaying because they close any gaps between the teeth and provide a protective barrier.


Overall, orthodontics is an excellent alternative for improving dental health because it can prevent cavities and provides a way to straighten teeth. Not to mention that you will have a better smile after the treatment! Vondran Orthodontics is located in three locations: Little Rock AR, Sheridan, AR, and Russellville, AR; he offers many options, including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, and TMJ treatment. Therefore, if you are looking for qualified orthodontists in Little Rock, Sheridan, or Russellville area, Vondran Orthodontics is the place to visit.



How Do Braces Work to Straighten Your Teeth?

November 23rd, 2021

How do braces work?

Once a tooth-straightening method that was dominated by teen patients, today’s methods, appliances and treatments cover the age spectrum, a fact not lost on adults who are of the opinion that it’s never too late to have a smile that lights up the room. But did you know that dental appliances have been around for hundreds of years? Keep that in mind next time you play a round of dental trivia!

How far back do appliances go? So far back, archaeologists undertaking digs that harken back to the time of Hippocrates and Aristotle – in the neighborhood of 400-500 BC – have found skeletal remains with teeth intact thanks to gold wire bands that likely weren’t being worn as decorative jewelry, wrote Yolanda Smith for the Medical Life Sciences website blog (

Fast forward to 18th century France
Dentist Pierre Fauchard authored a book on dentistry that devoted an entire chapter to tooth straightening. Fauchard’s analysis was comprehensive, even by today’s standards. His recommendation, that a horseshoe-shaped band be put into the mouth to re-align crooked teeth, became an industry standard that lead to the first wire crib, the use of elastic bands and a change in nomenclature as words like orthodonture and malocclusions were adopted by practitioners of this growing specialty.

But enough about ancient history…
Like most scientific pursuits, the speed at which orthodonture methods, practices and devices were introduced was dizzying by the mid-1970s. Metal bands wrapped around individual teeth remained the mainstay of treatment plans. The wires that encircled these bands were tightened regularly, a process that was not always happily received by patients already suffering from hard candy, sticky pastry, and chewing gum withdrawal!

Landmark progress was made when self-ligating brackets, lingual styles, and ultimately the practice of keeping individual bands around teeth for years on end moved orthodonture into the present. But few innovations were greeted with as much joy as were the first invisible appliances. At last. Devices that were hardly noticeable.

How today’s dental appliances work

According to professionals (, the job of moving teeth so they are aligned and look attractive isn’t terribly complicated. A patient is fitted by an orthodontist with one of the currently popular appliances on the market, at which point pressure forces the teeth to move slowly into a new configuration.
Consistency of pressure known for triggering sore teeth and gums is at the heart of the process and the amount of time it takes for this pressure to be exerted determines the ultimate success of the dental treatment.

Beneath the noticeable exterior changes to the teeth as they move into new positions, gums are hard at work cushioning the membrane that resides beneath the gum line that plays host to the bones in your jaw and upper face. You might say that this membrane does the heavy lifting because it literally controls the rate at which teeth move into place in response to that ongoing pressure.

How many types of appliances do dental practitioners use?
Because there are so many types of teeth, bone structures, materials, and products on today’s market, not every material or product works for every person. Your orthodontist could recommend metal, wires, ceramics, bonding materials, or a combination of these materials. Here are 6 current options that you may be offered:

1. Classic/conventional appliances consist of metal brackets glued to individual teeth and held in place by wire and perhaps elastic bands. If you insist on a color rather than metal, go for it.

2. Ceramic types like Invisalign and similar brands are clear and not as noticeable, but it's incumbent upon the patient to switch out trays on schedule or progress may not be made as quickly as possible.

3. Lingual braces are installed behind teeth and do the straightening job when wires are tightened. This type of appliance hides the process, so for folks who won't benefit from ceramic products like Invisalign, this is a great solution.

4. Self-ligating appliances don’t require rubber bands. Brackets on teeth feature small metal clips that hold the tightening wire in place.

5. Facebow headgear. You’ll look weird, but if you’re eager to get the job done and your orthodontist prescribes these for nighttime wear when nobody sees you, the extra pressure put on your teeth could speed up the correction process.

6. Mini braces won’t hog your mouth and specifically address only the tooth or teeth that are out of alignment.

What else do appliances do?

Straight teeth aren’t the only objective of orthodonture say folks at Mayo Clinic’s dental facility ( They are also recommended if:
1. There is too much space between your teeth
2. Your upper teeth overlap each other (e.g.,overbite or overjet)
3. Your mouth is overcrowded, forcing large teeth to compete for room
4. Your upper teeth naturally position themselves behind bottom teeth (underbite)
5. Problems related to the jaw force unnatural alignment that leads to an uneven bite.

What else should you know about the orthodontic process?

Finding the right practice to make sure you’re on top of your journey to straight teeth is essential, too and if you’re fortunate enough to live in the Little Rock AR, Sheridan, AR or Russellville, AR areas, there’s only one practice you can rely upon to take care of your orthodontic dentistry needs, including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign and TMJ treatments: Vondran Orthodontics.

That orthodontists at Vondran use the latest, most sophisticated techniques and appliances to correct all types of issues, working to make sure the process is as painless and comfortable as possible. Whether your recommended treatment is appliances that are permanently affixed via bands and wires, or your best course of action is an appliance that pops in and out of your mouth at regular intervals, rest assured that your treatment plan will be designed just for you.

The practice you can count on for customized service
Having three locations is a standard of success that has been built upon years of service to patients and the community and patients come from all walks of life: men, women, and children of all ages. At Vondran Orthodontics you’ll be impressed by the practice's level of care, thoughtfulness and treatment plans that appeal to patients because they appreciate the availability of so many options.

One visit to the Vondran practice website tells you everything you need to know about staff and services, as well as answers to questions that feel daunting to potential patients when they consider undertaking this type of treatment plan. Offering virtual consultations, appointments, and online communication capabilities, perhaps the best reason to visit the practice website is to check out patient photos and read the testimonials of enthusiastic patients who wouldn't think of patronizing another practice (

Vondran Orthodontics is accepting new patients at all three locations and if you’re considering treatment, you can feel confident that a solution to your dental dilemma is as close as your phone. Choose the office that’s closest and make an appointment to meet staff to discuss your dental health. It could be the most rewarding phone call you’ve made in years!

Call the Little Rock office at (501) 214-1203
Reach Russellville staff at (479) 967-3421
Contact the Sheridan practice at (870) 942-2131

I’m too old for braces... 5 reasons to get braces as an adult

November 12th, 2021

Adult wearing braces

Braces are commonly associated with children who require orthodontic treatment. However, it's becoming more common for adults to receive them to improve their appearance or function. The main reason for this shift toward "older" patients is the advancement of the materials used to create them. There are no definitive studies that indicate how old is too old for them. Still, many dentists, doctors, and orthodontists agree that having them as an adult is just as safe and effective, if not better, than getting them in childhood. In this article, we will look at five reasons you should consider braces as an adult.

1) They are more comfortable

Many adults seek orthodontic treatment because they want their teeth straightened but don't want to wear unattractive ones that spoil their appearance. Fortunately, one of the most significant advancements in orthodontics has been the introduction of clear ceramic ones, which are nearly invisible when placed on the teeth. Orthodontists have also found ways to make even traditional metal brackets virtually invisible using tooth-colored ceramic brackets and invisible or transparent ties made of a more pliable material. The result is that you can straighten your teeth without worrying about how it will affect your appearance.

2) They may help you maintain good oral health

Another reason why many adults have orthodontic treatment is that their teeth are overcrowded or crooked, which leads to poor oral hygiene, increased decay, and gum disease. As the teeth become crowded, they tend to shift faster and faster over time, making it more challenging to clean them properly. In some cases, crowding can increase cavities because the upper molars no longer touch each other as they should when chewing food. This results in pockets between teeth where debris accumulates and becomes a "safe haven" for bacteria to grow and cause decay. These pockets are also more difficult for patients to clean by themselves, leading to gum disease. When teeth are straightened , they tend to remain in place longer and promote better oral hygiene because the teeth are easier to clean.

3) They align the jaw

One of the main reasons many adults want orthodontic treatment is that their jaws no longer line up correctly. This condition is called malocclusion, which means your upper and lower jaws aren't positioned harmoniously when biting together. Malocclusion can cause significant pain over time and make it difficult for you to chew properly—which could lead to poor nutrition habits related to chewing certain foods or not eating at all. This is particularly common in older adults who move into nursing homes and need to be fed. Fortunately, orthodontic treatment can realign the jaws and make them easier to chew again.

4) They align the teeth

If your upper and lower front teeth aren't touching when biting together, that's another reason why you should consider getting aligners as an adult. This condition is called a diastema, where there is a space between the upper front teeth that we refer to as an "open bite." Teeth don't always grow aligned with each other, so sometimes they shift over time and create this space between them. An open bite can lead to tooth decay because food stays trapped in this space and becomes more challenging to clean. In addition, an open edge can lead to the lower front teeth shifting out of their correct position over time because they are not being used as generally as they should be when biting together. Vondran Orthodontics treatment with braces or other appliances is often all that's needed to close this space and realign the upper and lower front teeth so you can chew more effectively again.

5) They prevent future problems

Finally, another great reason you should think about getting orthodontic treatment is to stop problems before they start. Many adults wear traditional metal ones during the middle phase of orthodontic treatment because their teeth will begin moving into their final positions shortly after that. This means you don't need to have metal ones for an extended period. A great example is getting them on the upper front teeth only if you have an open bite. We know that untreated diastemas can eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so orthodontic treatment at the right stage of development may prevent these problems from happening in the future. And because they are typically worn for a shorter amount of time, it's also likely that you'll spend less money on treatment than you would if you waited until your teeth were in the correct position before seeking orthodontic care.

Also, Braces are more effective than ever before. The materials used to create them today are aesthetically pleasing, but they also allow for greater control of the amount and direction of tooth movement. The wires used with traditional metal ones contain nickel, making them less elastic and easier to work with than modern cables. These days, orthodontists use newer wires made out of high-grade stainless steel or nickel-titanium (also called nitinol), which are much more flexible than their predecessors. In addition to providing increased flexibility, these new wire materials also add strength and durability to the braces, allowing them to hold up better under the pressure of tooth movement.

The brackets used to attach the wire to the teeth are also different than they were before—while traditional metal ones use round or rectangular frames, modern ones use smaller, more discreet brackets that blend almost seamlessly with your teeth. This is important because it prevents them from standing out when you smile and talk, which many adults worry about. The cases where larger brackets are appropriate are typically due to severe orthodontic problems that need active intervention to correct them (like they might be required for teenagers). But suppose you don't have any significant issues with your teeth. In that case, the most effective way to straighten them is usually by using smaller, more discreet brackets and wires—which means fewer visits to Vondran orthodontics in Little Rock AR throughout treatment.

In conclusion, it's essential to know that adult orthodontics is not the same as traditional ones for teenagers. Instead, they are designed specifically for adults with all kinds of issues, including crowded teeth, gaps between front teeth, and jaws that no longer line up correctly. By getting treated right away when you notice these problems cropping up in your mouth, you can prevent them from affecting the rest of your life and maintain a healthy smile at any age.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

November 5th, 2021

Arkansas Braces being examined by an orthodontist

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting your dentist at least twice a year, but when do you need to see an orthodontist?

There can be much confusion surrounding the difference between these dental professionals. After all, they both diagnose and treat a variety of oral health concerns. There are, however, some fundamental differences that will ultimately affect your need to see one or the other.

Education and Training

Both dental professionals initially receive much of the same education early in their professions. According to the ADA, they both complete four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school. After completing dental school, graduates must pass the written National Board Dental Examination and meet state requirements for clinical examinations.

Orthodontists, however, must complete an additional 2-3 years of post-graduate residency. They also have to take additional examinations in this specialization.

What Do Dentists Do?

According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), about 80 % of dentists practice general dentistry. Your general dentist will diagnose and treat oral health conditions of the teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth by:

  • Conducting dental X-ray
  • Filling dental cavities
  • Repairing cracked teeth
  • Filling and bonding the teeth
  • Treating gum disease
  • Prescribing oral health drug
  • Performing teeth whitening treatments
  • Improving the function and appearance of teeth with crowns or veneers
  • Monitoring oral health of children

As you can see, a general dentist is capable of diagnosing and treating most oral health concerns. If you require specialized treatment, your general dentist may refer you to a specialist.

What Do Orthodontists Do?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), approximately 6% of dentists specialize in orthodontics. Certified orthodontists can also diagnose and treat oral health conditions of your teeth, gums, and mouth, but they also specialize in issues of tooth and jaw alignment such as:

  • Misaligned teeth and jaws (malocclusion)
  • Tooth crowding
  • Palate expansion
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Pediatric jaw and tooth development

An orthodontic dentist will assess your oral health with X-rays and photographs and then create an individualized treatment plan that may contain options such as:

  • Traditional braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Clear aligners, such as Invisalign.
  • Palatal expanders
  • Orthodontic headgear


Imagine being sure that your ordinary dental insurance will cover your Invisalign treatment only to find that your dental insurance declined coverage. That’s not a pleasant surprise! Why didn't your dental insurance cover your orthodontic visit?

For insurance purposes, orthodontic dentists are technically considered specialists. Therefore, orthodontic care may not be covered, even if you have dental insurance.

While many dental plans include some coverage for orthodontics, they may refuse to cover the costs if your general dentist did not refer you to a specialist. Even if you have good dental coverage, you may have to pay certain out-of-pocket co-pays for orthodontic treatments.

The best way to avoid confusion or surprise bills is to clarify your coverage details with the insurance company. If you are shopping for coverage, insurance companies will be happy to go over coverage details before you decide to purchase a plan.

If you have no insurance, many orthodontic and dental offices will work with you to help you get the care that you need. Aside from insurance, many dental offices accept credit cards, cash, and in some cases, payment plans.

Which is Best?

Your dentist is more of a general practitioner, while an orthodontist is a specialist. You typically see your general dentist for life, but you might only need to receive orthodontic treatment for specific issues.

Most of your dental needs can be taken care of by your general dentist, but if you have issues such as crowding, palate expansion, and malocclusion, you might need orthodontic treatment. Furthermore, the AAO recommends that children see an orthodontist before their seventh birthday.

In some states, general dentists can also provide some orthodontic treatments, such as braces. You may see these dentists advertising some orthodontic treatments, like braces, but only certified orthodontists who have completed that required education and training can refer to themselves as such.

Key Takeaway

The most important thing to remember is that good dental health is a part of your overall physical wellbeing, so you should visit your general dentist regularly.

If you have alignment issues, it is equally important to get qualified orthodontic treatment. Whether you need traditional braces or Invisalign, Vondran Orthodontics in Little Rock AR is here to assess and treat your orthodontic concerns! Contact Vondran Orthodontics today for all of your orthodontic needs.