All Posts tagged Braces

Preparing for Orthodontic Treatment

Preparing for Orthodontic Treatment

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy! The days are longer, and everyone is vacationing to melt away stress. It’s the best time of year to relax and get happy, no matter what age you are, and it’s important to start from the inside. You’ve been eating less salt and getting in your daily cardio, which are excellent ways to relieve stress and get healthy. But don’t forget to get happy! Are you smiling without a care in the world and laughing with all your might? Are you living your healthiest life? If crooked teeth or gaps between them are problems that give you anxiety, it’s time to consider orthodontic treatment. And it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience; we will help you every step of the way!

Basic Exams

The first step to a confident smile is the examination. We will conduct an oral exam and take X-rays at our office, which is necessary to identify potential problems and ensure that we are able to create the best course of orthodontic treatment for you. Everyone is different, and we will thoroughly prepare for each individual case.

Sometimes, X-rays and exams reveal that tooth extraction is necessary before beginning orthodontic treatment and being fitted for braces. Our job is not only to prepare ourselves, but also to prepare you for what to expect. There will never be surprises, and your orthodontic treatment is a joint venture!

Bite by Bite

Once your exam and X-rays are complete, our orthodontist and team will determine your jaw alignment. If adjustments are deemed necessary to the jaw, we will incorporate that into your course of orthodontic treatment as well.

Allowing our orthodontist to examine bite indentation is key, and must be taken into consideration to achieve your goal of a brighter smile.

Extracting Teeth

If tooth extraction is necessary, the final step of preparing for orthodontic treatment is tooth removal. Only our orthodontist can determine if this is mandatory before moving forward with your course of treatment.

Don’t let an imperfect smile stand in your way of living the healthiest and most confident life. Please call our office today to schedule your complimentary consultation because summer is the time for SMILES!

 

 

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Don’t Be a Soda Jerk!

Don’t Be a Soda Jerk!

As school ends and summer begins, it can be easy to lose discipline with our diets. And when you’re wearing braces, you already know to avoid crunchy and chewy foods, but it’s also important to be mindful about beverages. Whether you say soda or pop, it’s all sugary carbonation. And while we may enjoy this treat, it’s not the best for your teeth! “Why,” you ask? It’s pretty simple. We all know that humans need food. And guess what? So do bacteria. And what sustains it? The sugar that you eat throughout the day. Yep, that’s right. And it stays in your mouth until you brush it away. The bacteria turn the sugar into acid, which then eats away at your tooth enamel. Hello, cavities. If you’re wearing braces, this can cause some problems.

ACID. Enamel’s Enemy.

Not only does sugar decay tooth enamel, but acid does, too. So you’re not even safe with diet soda! And since soda acid has a cumulative effect on enamel, drinking that pop over a period of time exacerbates the issue.

But I Need Caffeine!

Scientists agree at this point that caffeine hinders calcium absorption. And since calcium is the foundation of healthy bones and teeth, this is more than a problem. Want the breakdown? Two 12-ounce caffeinated soft drinks can lead to a loss of 5mg of calcium. WHAT? Yep. And if you’re drinking super-sized sodas, you’re most likely drinking fewer calcium-rich beverages.

What Do I Do?

Keep your chin up. You can take measures to cut down on this tooth tragedy:

  • Curb that bad habit. Try to avoid introducing your kids to soda if possible. Bad habits (and good ones!) start early. If your children are used to milk and water, they won’t expect that super sweet and fizzy libation. And they may even grow to find them distasteful.
  • Keep Soda as a Treat. Soda really shouldn’t be a mainstay. Have it every once in a while as a treat. Equate it to candy!
  • Opt for healthier drinks. Kids want something FUN! Go for fruit and vegetable-infused water or herbal tea. They come in fun flavors, and they are excellent choices for enjoyable options with all the health benefits.

If you have any questions regarding your diet while wearing braces, or proper care of your braces, please give our office a call today! We can help you be healthy, and get you that SMILE to last a lifetime!

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Invisalign Teen®

Invisalign Teen®

If you ask anyone if they would like straighter teeth, most would say, “Yes, please!” Everyone wants the confidence that a bright smile brings, but we understand that some may have reservations about getting braces. Most teens don’t want to be different, have to watch what they eat, or worry about how they look. Never fear! There are now more orthodontic treatment options available than ever, and now is a great time to consider Invisalign Teen.

People Don’t Notice What’s Invisible.

Invisalign Teen clear aligners are virtually invisible. Gone are the days of smiling with a mouth full of metal if that is a concern. Most likely, the only people who will know are your friends and family, or whomever you choose to tell.

Maintain Your Food Freedom.

Since the aligners are removable, so you may eat as you normally would. You don’t necessarily have to avoid crunchy or chewy foods because you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck between your braces or a bracket coming loose or popping off. You can have food freedom with Invisalign Teen! Unlike with traditional braces, you may still enjoy:

  • Popcorn
  • Trail mix with crunchy nuts and dried fruit
  • Chicken wings and ribs
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables

With Invisalign Teen, Oral Hygiene is a Snap.

When wearing braces, the patient must pay extra attention to efficient oral hygiene. As exciting as achieving your ideal smile is, unfortunately there is a possibility of tooth decay during orthodontic treatment. The Invisalign Teen clear aligners are removable, so you have access to every nook and cranny! You may brush and floss as normal by simply removing the trays from your mouth.

Achieving your ideal smile will boost your confidence for many years to come, and there is no reason to miss out on that with new orthodontic technology. Invisalign Teen will allow you to continue living as normally as if you were undergoing no orthodontic treatment at all. Please give our office a call today to make an appointment to discuss your new smile. With Invisalign Teen, the possibilities are endless!

 

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One Phase, or Two?

One Phase, or Two?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is just that; two phases of treatment that are separate and distinct. If your child has bite or jaw problems, two-phase treatment allows that to be addressed in order to reduce dental issues they may later experience.

Our orthodontist will sometimes recommend two-phase treatment to improve how well the second phase of orthodontic treatment works, and to essentially help make room for permanent teeth. Two-phase orthodontic treatment overall helps to position teeth and the jaw for a more attractive profile. As always, we recommend bringing your child in at the age of approximately seven so that we can determine if early treatment would be necessary.

Phase-One

Phase-One orthodontic treatment is also known as early treatment. Your child will have their first orthodontic exam, and, if deemed necessary, Phase-one treatment will begin shortly thereafter. The primary goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to ensure enough room for permanent teeth, which will reduce the risk of overcrowding, which inevitably leads to crooked teeth. Phase-One treats bite growth and the jaw, including issues such as crossbite or underbite. And it’s important to have the conversation with our orthodontist about Phase-One treatment reducing the need for extractions later.

Phase-Two

Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is what most of us are familiar with. Phase-Two occurs when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. Not only does this phase correct spaces and ameliorate misaligned teeth, but it also corrects overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two typically begins around the age of 11 or 12. This phase of orthodontic treatment usually lasts an average of two to three years, but, as always, each case is different, depending on the individual. Some children may need braces for up to four years, while others have fewer issues and may need to wear them only a year or so.

Signs of Needing Two-Phase Orthodontic Treatment

Any of the following signs may indicate your child is a good candidate for Two-Phase treatment:

  • Losing baby teeth early (before age 5)
  • Biting or chewing problems
  • Thumb-sucking after age 5
  • If the teeth don’t come together properly when opening, or any evidence of crossbite
  • If teeth become crowded at age 7 or 8
  • Protruding upper or lower teeth

Again, not all children will need Two-Phase orthodontic treatment. Schedule a complimentary consultation with our orthodontist to discuss if your child is showing any of the above signs. We will create an orthodontic treatment plan that will make your smile its very brightest!

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April is National Facial Protection Month!

April is National Facial Protection Month!

Our orthodontist and team advocate for proper facial protection, especially when participating in any sports activities. This protection is essential, particularly during orthodontic treatment. We want you to achieve your ideal smile in the most efficient manner possible, and an injury to your mouth can certainly be an obstacle.

Full Facial Guards

Full facial guards offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. These are often used in football, which makes a lot of sense! But even if your face is protected from outside impact, you still may be vulnerable to damage to your braces and cuts to your mouth from internal impact. So additional mouth protection may be a good idea to consider.

Mouthguards

Also called boil-and-bites, this type of mouth protection can be purchased at various retail stores. These guards are boiled in water to soften the material. The guard is placed in your mouth while still warm, and the impression is formed by biting down gently. Although these guards form to the shape of your mouth, they do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit.  Custom mouthguards are much better because you are ensured a comfortable fit and better protection. They are also built in layers for durability. The American Dental Association endorses custom mouthguards for orthodontic patients because they are designed to provide the appropriate protection for your mouth and your braces.

We suggest mouthguards to protect your mouth and your braces, no matter which sport you participate in. Even slower-paced sports come with the possibilities of injuries. According to the academy for Sports Dentistry, a properly fitted mouthguard should never interfere with any sports activity. We are pleased to bring awareness during National Facial Protection Month, and we want the dialogue to continue all year long!

Please give our office a call today with any inquiries regarding facial protection. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and there is no reason you cannot enjoy your favorite activities. If you do suffer an injury to your mouth or braces during your orthodontic treatment, please contact us immediately. The sooner we are able to ameliorate your situation, the quicker you get back in the game!

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How to Keep Your New Invisalign® Smile!

How to Keep Your New Invisalign® Smile!

You’ve worked really hard to achieve your ideal smile! You followed doctor’s orders, worn your Invisalign clear aligners as instructed, cared for your teeth, and now you have a megawatt smile. Congratulations on this achievement! However, to keep your smile in tip-top shape, keep these things in mind when continuing your new and improved oral care routine.

Retainers

When your orthodontist determines that you have completed your Invisalign treatment, you aren’t done. Many patients will require a retainer after Invisalign treatment, and this is the time your orthodontist will determine that. They will take new impressions of your teeth, and have new retainers made. In the grand scheme, you’ve spent a small window of time in those clear aligners, and you’re over the most intense part. Everyone’s situation is unique, so follow your doctor’s guidelines and use your retainer as directed. During this time, you should still avoid hard or crunchy foods as your teeth adjust.

It’s important to know why wearing your retainers is necessary. If you’re a teen, your bones are still “soft,” and that goes for the upper and lower jaws. Retainers will prevent the natural tendency for teeth to migrate back to their original positions. If you don’t wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist, you will see this happen within weeks of completing your Invisalign treatment. Remember, the same physiological properties that allow your teeth to move during orthodontic treatment are always at work. You don’t want to undo all that hard work!

Brushing and Flossing

As you already know, brushing and flossing must be part of your daily oral care. And by this time, you’re a pro! Flossing prevents plague from building up and becoming tartar or calculus. This can eventually cause gingivitis and gum disease, so stay on course. Your gums may be sensitive for up to two weeks after your orthodontic treatment is completed. A warm salt-water rinse will help.

Your teeth sensitivity will last only a short time. Keep in mind that they have been protected by your Invisalign aligner trays, and are now fully exposed. Ask our orthodontist about using a toothpaste specifically for tooth sensitivity during this time. Also, if your teeth are stained in any way, ask about whitening treatments to consider.

Regular Dental Checkups

With your new smile, you will be more motivated than ever to keep it healthy! You still need to see your dentist regularly. Cleanings and X-rays will ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy so you can keep that bright smile for life. When cavities happen, and they do happen, they can be taken care of quickly.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please give our office a call today!

 

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Braces-Friendly Breakfasts!

Braces-Friendly Breakfasts!

Kids can be picky, and this quirk often occurs at mealtime. How many times has your child tried to feed their greens to the dog waiting anxiously under the table? If that ever-elusive “recommended daily allowance” of fruits and vegetables is a chore, our orthodontist and team understand that. Add braces to that equation, and it could become even more of a headache. But never fear! Our orthodontist has some healthy suggestions so your child won’t miss out on the most important meal of the day.

Scrambled Eggs are a perfect option because they are soft and easy to eat. We love suggesting eggs for breakfast (or anytime!) because not only are they braces-friendly, but they are also incredibly nutritious. They boost HDL (the “good” cholesterol), reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, benefit eye health and brain function, and the list goes on. So start scrambling!

The reason breakfast is the most important meal is because we want to jump-start our metabolism and get the energy flowing. So all fingers point to the stellar smoothie! It’s a great source of fruit, and no chewing means braces-friendly! Keep freezer bags of bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, or anything you like. You can even add spinach, which offers an extra serving of veggies. Smoothies are fun to make, and they are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants!

Crunchy cereals are pretty much out of the question when wearing braces. Biting down the wrong way can snap wires or dislodge brackets. An orthodontic emergency is NOT a good way to start the day! And considering how sugary most cereals are, this is a great time to explore healthier options in general. We suggest substituting oatmeal, and who doesn’t love a hot breakfast? Avoid the flavored kinds (packed with sugar), and add your favorite fruits, sprinkle with cinnamon, or a drizzle of honey or milk. The fiber in oatmeal will keep you fuller longer, and studies have shown it lowers cholesterol, may reduce cancer risk, and is a heart-healthy food! This diverse breakfast treat has many health benefits.

Yogurt is another excellent choice for breakfast. Many varieties contain special strains of probiotics to help regulate digestion and strengthen your immune system. Did you also know that studies have shown that yogurt may be beneficial at keeping colds at bay, and lessen symptoms for allergy sufferers? According to a study at the University of Vienna, the healthy bacteria in yogurt sends signals to immune-boosting T cells in your body to power up. How’s that for a super food? And much like oatmeal, we do suggest going for the plain yogurt, and adding delicious soft kiwi or honey to jazz it up!

Consider options like these, and wake up SMILING. For more braces-friendly recipes and tips, please give our office a call today!

 

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Does Orthodontia Affect Overall Body Health?

Does Orthodontia Affect Overall Body Health?

Over the last several years, research has shown that there is a correlation between orthodontic treatment and whole body health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, scientists have discovered that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease or suffer blood sugar irregularity than people without gum disease. While researchers continue to find relationships between oral health and whole body health, it has not yet been determined if gum disease is the sole cause of these conditions. However, it is safe to say that good oral health isn’t just about having a healthy smile, but it has an impact on one’s overall health.

Make Healthy Gums a Priority!

The connection between oral health and whole body health is too obvious to ignore. Although we do not yet have definitive proof, researchers do not think it is only a coincidence when gum disease and other health problems occur simultaneously.

4 possible connections between your mouth and body:

  • Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater occurrence of clogged arteries.
  • According to the American Society of Microbiology, certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
  • Loose teeth may often be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that decreases bone density.
  • Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.

Orthodontics and gum disease

So by now you’re probably asking what orthodontic treatment has to do with gum disease. Braces do so much more than give you a beautiful smile. Simply put, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss can more efficiently eliminate tiny particles between your teeth.

Despite certainty in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining whole body health. And that’s a chance our team believes is worth taking. For more information about this topic, please give us a call at our office, or ask our orthodontist during your next visit!

 

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Let the Journey Begin!

Let the Journey Begin!

Most of our patients are excited to get braces because they know that a beautiful smile awaits. But we certainly understand the anticipation that comes with waiting to get them off. Depending on your individual circumstances, treatment may take up to two years or more, and we know that time can seem infinite. Having a system in place for counting down the days (or minutes!) will help you keep your eye on the prize. Just know the day WILL come, and we’re with you every step of the way.

Countdown with a Wall Calendar

We’ve all had those projects where we cross out each day before something is due. You can use your appointments as mini timelines to help push through to the final due date. Have an eye for design? Create a calendar that’s an original work of art to keep it fun. And don’t forget your options of going digital. Upload photos or designs you see online for each month. Keep it interesting, so you keep SMILING!

Reward Yourself

It’s true. Wearing braces and getting the most out of your treatment requires some discipline. Giving yourself regular rewards each month will help to keep you motivated. Brainstorm with your parents ways to reward yourself! Everyone loves an excuse to shop, and we think this is a great one!

Make a Paper Link Chain

We love when our patients get creative, and here’s another opportunity. Using strips of paper to make a chain, add a new link each week during treatment. Write a reason why you want straighter teeth on each link, or quotes from your favorite author, favorite song lyrics, or write whatever inspires you day to day. You can even think of it as a journal, which you’ll treasure once treatment is a distant memory!

Nutty Buddy

A project is always better if you have a buddy. Find a friend who is getting braces around the same time as you (trust us, that won’t be difficult), and as time passes, share your experiences. Make a pact to celebrate milestones, and take some time to celebrate with news of your improved smile. It will make the journey a lot more fun!

Dance ‘til You Deband

Get a large art pad of white paper. You can find various page quantities, so choose the quantity of how many days you want the countdown to be. Flip to the last page and write a huge “0.” Then on the next-to-last page, write a huge “1.” Repeat this until you get to the first page, which will help you keep track of the last days of your treatment. Decorate however you’d like! Get out your glue gun and go nuts. Use your favorite colors and design away. Now you’ll have a fun reminder of how the number of days is dwindling.

The bottom line is that we want to help make your course of orthodontic treatment FUN! And that may require our patients to have patience. Call our office today to discuss how we may help you begin your journey in achieving your ideal SMILE!

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What is Hyperdontia?

What is Hyperdontia?

Sometimes children are born with supernumerary, or additional, teeth, which is an oral condition called “hyperdontia.” Extreme cases are very rare, and the majority of cases are limited to only a single tooth. The standard number of primary teeth is 20, and the standard number of permanent teeth is 32. The first set of teeth to erupt in a person’s mouth are the primary teeth. Typically these appear by the age of 3, and are shed by the age of 12. Permanent teeth are usually erupted by the age of 21, and take the place of those primary teeth. If a person develops more than 20 primary teeth, or more than 32 permanent teeth, the condition is known as hyperdontia.

Supernumerary teeth are often classified by shape and by position. The shapes include the following:

  • Supplemental, where the tooth has a normal shape for the teeth in that series
  • Tuberculate, or “barrel shaped”
  • Conical, or “peg shaped”

There is evidence of hereditary factors leading to hyperdontia, although the exact cause is unclear. Often, there are conditions that may accompany hyperdontia, such as cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Gardner syndrome, or cleft lip and palate. Hyperdontia is rare in people with no other associated diseases or syndromes, and it affects approximately one and four percent of the United States population.

Depending on the individual case of hyperdontia, there are several options when it comes to dealing with the condition. According to the potential problem supernumerary teeth and their type may pose, treatments plans your doctors suggests may vary. Orthodontic treatment often will help, and extraction may also be necessary. Children should typically receive a dental evaluation by the age of 7. This not only ensures a thorough hygiene evaluation, but will also uncover any potential complications due to hyperdontia.

If you think you or your child may be suffering from hyperdontia, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. We will help you determine if orthodontic treatment is the right course of treatment for you!

 

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