This segment is sponsored by VirginiaFamily Dentistry.

We're back for a visit to Virginia family dentistry talkingwith Dr.

Melanie Spears about orthodontics, and really creating abeautiful smile which orthodontics is part of thatDr.

Spears, but it's not, not the whole, not the whole piece of the puzzle.

Noit's definitely not the whole piece of the puzzle.

I think you know having ahealthy smile is really how we create a beautiful smile and so for me it's allabout creating a healthy bite and also just making sure that the teeth arehealthy as well as beautiful at the same time.

Let's talk a little bit more aboutthat because for most folks they think of braces when they hear orthodonticsbut it's a little bit more – it's broader than that.

Correcting a bite is a bigpart of that.

Yes, and it's not just braces now.

Gosh we have so many optionswe have we do have clear braces but we also have Invisalign and other clearoptions that are really opening the world of orthodontics to a lot of peopleof all ages.

Making sure the teeth are straight but then also functioningproperly, because when the teeth function properly they can be healthy and we aretrying to prevent things like cracked teeth in the future, also making surethat jaws are functioning properly.

I hadn't considered that.

You have so muchpressure in your mouth when you're biting and chewing that if they weremisaligned you really could be doing some damage.

Oh, absolutely, yeah we see people that have not had orthodontic treatment and have very deep bites.

Ifsay we see them in their 30s for the first time, we see very short teethin the front from where they've just had so much pressure on their teeth for solong.

Also people you may have heard ofcracked teeth, in the back, there are people who will crack whole cusps of their teeth off and need crowns and potentially lose teeth because of poorfunction.

I mean the muscles in the jaw, especially with some people can bevery, very strong.

Well again too, thinking about having braces and obviously thepicture is broader than that.

You think about having this work done when you'reyoung and that's not the case either.

You're seeing more and more adults aswell.

I'm seeing a lot of adults.

You know, it is nice if we can get to somebody ata young age because there are things that we can prevent.

The orthodonticAssociation recommends seven years old for a screening visit.

Now we're nottreating everybody at that age, and in fact I think a lot of parents arenervous about coming in at that age, because Ithink they think we just want to put braces on everybody.

But we recommendseven years old in order to just prevent things.

Like there can be problems withteeth coming in in the wrong positions that we may not need to even treat withorthodontics.

But we may recommend a primary tooth or a baby tooth come out alittle bit early to help a tooth come in in the proper position.

So that it'sabout prevention and there are things like people can be growing in in poordirections and if we just make some small movements and corrections in thebeginning they can really normalize their growth and development.

That'simportant for a jaw function.

That's exciting to learn.

I didn't realize thatthat you have that meeting with an orthodontist above and beyond maybe your regular family dentist at a certain age and around that age of seven that youmentioned for kids.

They'll come in and in a practice like Virginia FamilyDentistry, you're all here.

It's multifaceted.

So it's a great way to haveeverything under one roof.

Oh yeah.

That's probably the thing I'mmost excited about being in this practice is just that we are all underone roof.

It's almost like the benefit of a university type setting.

Where you know, in a university we had all specialties in different areas and wewere able to collaborate but without the bureaucracy of the university setting.

Weare all here under one house and every day we're back and forth talking aboutpatients treatment and it's actually really, really neat.

And we're able togive patients a more comprehensive treatment.

And a great waytoo, to consult with each other and weigh in.

One of the thoughts that we hearoften these days are about like mail order you know alignments and that sortof thing.

There's a difference in coming into an orthodontic practice.

A bigdifference.

That's actually a really big concern for orthodontists.

Now there, Iwould say, direct-to-consumer type programs that they're marketing now.

There's a lot of careful planning that goes into where somebody's teeth shouldbe positioned and it's a biologic process tooth movement.

So whenthe teeth are moved improperly you can actually cause some irreversible damagethat could really cause some tooth loss.

Things like that, that could be areal problem.

So certainly seeking out the experts,getting started around age 7 for that initial consultation for children, butadults can come in at any time.

Oh yeah.

Adults: there's really no ideal age fororthodontic treatment.

I mean, of course when you're a little bit youngerthings move a little better.

So and there are things that would be beneficialabout coming in early to prevent more severe things.

But however, I have seventyeight year olds patients that are in treatment.

Their teeth still move andthey're happy.

Especially if they put it off their whole life.

That, you know,they're not covering their smile anymore.

You know, closed-lip pictures and thingslike that.

A lifelong beautiful smile.

Virginia Family Dentistry.

Dr.

MelanieSpears.

Thanks so much for talking with us.

Appreciate it.

Virginia Family Dentistry is located at 2601 Swiftrun Road in Chester.

If youlike some more information you can give them a call at 804-414-2550or visit them online at VAdentist.

Com.