Archive for the ‘General Orthodontics’ Category

Deciding if Invisalign is Right for You

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Braces have traditionally been the way to achieve a beautiful smile, but there’s a new kind of technology available that provides an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligning trays to move your teeth into a better position, while having less impact on your lifestyle and self-confidence.

More about Invisalign:

With Invisalign treatment, you will be custom fitted with trays that fit over your teeth. They are clear, and therefore practically invisible to others. Each aligner is worn for two weeks for twenty hours or more each day. Then you visit your orthodontist to obtain a new aligning tray, and repeat the process. You continue to get new trays every couple of weeks until treatment is complete. The time period for Invisalign treatment varies from patient to patient, but typically the length of treatment is shorter than that of traditional braces.

Invisalign offers some unique benefits compared to traditional braces. Because they are removable, the aligning trays are taken out for meals. Therefore, no food gets stuck like with braces. This also means that oral hygiene is much easier with Invisalign. Your dental care routine is the same as without braces, so it’s simple to brush and floss. Another good thing is that the aligners do not break and there aren’t any wires to break either. Also, the periodic changing of trays does not trigger the amount of soreness that accompanies the tightening of braces. Finally, probably the most popular benefit is that Invisalign trays are invisible, so there is no embarrassment associated with having a mouthful of metal.

As with any type of medical care, the results and specifics of each patient’s treatment varies. Ask your orthodontist about Invisalign and if it can give you the smile that you have always wanted.

Dispelling Common Orthodontic Myths

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Starting orthodontic treatment can seem a little daunting. Understanding what is involved in having braces may help ease your mind. The following information will help you separate fact from fiction about what to expect from orthodontic therapy.

Some discussion about Orthodontic:

Myth: Getting braces will hurt.

Truth: You may experience mild soreness after the orthodontist places your braces, but this should subside after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort.

Myth: I can’t play an instrument or participate in sports if I have braces.

Truth: Although you may have to get used to how your flute or clarinet feels with braces, you can continue to play your instrument during orthodontic treatment. The same goes for sports, but you need to speak with your orthodontist about a mouth guard. This soft, plastic device covers teeth and protects against injury.

Myth: After I get my braces off, my teeth will stay straight forever.

Truth: Once you finish with the active treatment phase, you will need to wear a retainer to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will fit you for the custom appliance and provide instructions for use. Often, patients start out wearing their retainers most of the day, but many move to a night-time schedule over time.

Myth: I’m too old for braces.

Truth: You can enjoy a beautiful, straight smile at any age. In fact, roughly 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. With options such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, adult patients can preserve their mature images while achieving the sensational smiles they desire.

Kids and Invisalign

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

When it’s time to talk about braces for your child’s teeth, many kids cringe and cause a fuss. They don’t want to be teased for a mouth full of metal, deal with unsightly food getting stuck in their teeth, and spend years with an embarrassing smile. Now there’s an alternative to traditional braces called Invisalign, which eliminates many of the reasons kids reject the idea of getting braces.

Here are some of main reasons that Invisalign should be an easy sell to your kids:

Invisible

The best advantage to Invisalign is that you can’t see it on your teeth. The clear plastic trays fit securely over the teeth, and are virtually invisible. Many people don’t even notice you are wearing Invisalign, which means no mocking from other kids or reluctance to smile.

Removable

You can take the Invisalign trays in and out of your mouth as desired. You’ll be able to clean your mouth just as you would without braces, so that it’s not only an easy process but also you have less risk for tooth decay or other problems related to poor hygiene.

No diet restrictions

Kids are especially thrilled with the fact that there are no limitations placed on their diets due to braces. Traditional braces restrict foods like popcorn, candy, and gum. Invisalign treatment allows you to eat as you normally would, so there’s less complaining from your kids during the treatment process.

Effective

Before you think that all these benefits mean that you’re giving up on the quality of orthodontic work, you can rest easy. Invisalign treatment effectively corrects alignment and straightening issues, and almost always in less time than traditional braces treatment requires. With Invisalign, the parents and the child are happy both during the treatment process and at the final outcome.

What to Know Before Visiting the Orthodontist

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s a big commitment to get braces, so you want to be as educated as possible before taking this step. Here are some important things to know before going to the orthodontist for the first time.

Important points before Visiting the Orthodontist

Braces are more than just cosmetic.

Although the goal for many people in getting braces is to achieve perfectly straight teeth, that’s not the only advantage to orthodontic treatment. The appearance of your smile may be the first thing others may notice, but braces can also improve the alignment of your jaw and bite. Serious problems and pain can result from misalignment, as well as difficulties in cleaning overcrowded teeth.

Braces aren’t just for teenagers.

Often associated with adolescence, braces are no longer only popular with this younger age group. It has become a common solution for adults who want to straighten their teeth and improve their bite. Braces can improve your smile at nearly any age.

Consultations are usually free.

The first step in considering treatment is making a consultation appointment with an orthodontist. Your teeth and jaw will be examined, and any treatment options will be presented. Consultations are usually free, so visit several specialists to find the right one for you.

Treatment and costs vary.

Don’t rule out braces because you’re afraid of the cost or the length of treatment. Your specific case is unique to you, and both treatment and financial commitment vary from patient to patient.

Braces don’t hurt as much as you might think.

A common concern about braces is the amount of pain involved. You can expect some discomfort at first and after each adjustment, but the pain is typically short-lived and manageable.

Does My Child Need Braces?

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Nearly 4 million children under the age of 18 in the United States and Canada are currently wearing braces. How do you know if your child should be one of them?

Here are some guidelines to help you decide about braces:

Purpose

Braces are used to move teeth into the best position, but remember that braces are not only about appearance. They fix minor problems from slightly crooked teeth to serious issues like jaw disorders. With treatment, your orthodontist can repair overbites, underbites, and reposition teeth. Orthodontics may also correct problems like speech impediments, TMJ pain, and teeth grinding.

Age

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that kids have their first orthodontic consultation by age 7 so that your orthodontist can take preventative actions and possibly avoid the need for braces in the future. Usually, children get braces between the ages of 10 and 14 because kids in this range have some permanent teeth and are still growing. Your dentist is a great resource for telling you if your child, regardless of age, should see an orthodontist. Because 25 percent of today’s orthodontic patients are adults, any individuals with concerns should schedule an orthodontic consultation.

Warning Signs

You may observe some obvious signs that braces are in your child’s future, such as very overcrowded or crooked teeth. Some kids may have trouble chewing or closing their lips over their teeth. If children grind their teeth or have a history of thumb-sucking, orthodontic problems may arise. Early or late tooth loss is another sign that braces may be necessary as your child grows.

Recommendation

Keep in mind that a dentist’s or orthodontist’s recommendation does not mean that you have no choice about your child’s treatment plan. Make sure you understand the reasons for the suggested treatment, and ask any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion so that you are completely confident in the decision you are making about your child’s smile.

Why Can’t I Eat That with Braces?

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Once you’ve gotten your braces on, your orthodontist will probably give you a list of foods to avoid. Your goal while wearing braces should be to prevent damage to the brackets, bands, and wires, not to mention keeping your teeth healthy and clean during treatment. Try to stick to the following food guidelines while wearing your braces so that you reach the best results at the end of treatment.

Some tips about Braces

Raw vegetables

Veggies like raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are hard to bite into while wearing brackets on your teeth. Cut vegetables like these into bite-sized pieces that can be chewed easily with your back teeth. Or, cook your vegetables before eating them.

Hard fruits

The brackets on your teeth also may break by biting into hard fruits, such as apples and unripe pears. Cut hard fruits into smaller pieces to be chewed with your back teeth.

Meat

Meat causes problems for braces patients because it may be fibrous and hard to chew. Stringy meat gets stuck in your braces or between your teeth. Tough meat may loosen the bands around your molars. You can pop off a bracket by eating meat from the bone, like ribs or chicken wings. Select tender, lean cuts of meat, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and remove meat from the bone before eating it.

Hard breads

Hard crusted breads like bagels can be very hard to bite. Either break breads into small pieces or soften them by warming them before eating.

Nuts and seeds

The problem with nuts and seeds is that they can be hard and small, both problems for braces patients. You might break a band or bracket, or bend a wire that can delay your orthodontic treatment.

Candy

Avoid both hard and sticky candy. Biting or chewing hard candy can break your braces, and sticky candy like gummies or caramel can get stuck in your braces or bend wires. Also, any type of candy is sugary and should be avoided because your teeth are more susceptible to decay while in braces.

What Questions Should I Ask my Orthodontist?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

In many cases, choosing an orthodontist is not a clear-cut task. Often there are a number of doctors to choose from in your area, and there are various skill levels, office attributes, and cost variations that may impact your decision. There are also different considerations based on whether the orthodontic treatment is for yourself as an adult, or for your child. Either way, you should go prepared to your first office visit with a list of questions to ask. Each situation calls for its own specific questions, but here is a list of typical ones to get the ball rolling:

 Some Questions whose ask my orthodontist

  • What is your orthodontic experience?
  • What types of braces are available for adults? For kids?
  • Do you recommend braces or a different treatment in my case?
  • What kind of braces will work best for my situation? Why?
  • Is my child at the ideal age for treatment? What if we wait to pursue treatment?
  • Is your treatment approach in one or two phases? What are the advantages of early treatment?
  • How much discomfort should be expected? How do we treat it?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • What are the care requirements while wearing clear braces? Are there restrictions?
  • Is sports participation impacted by wearing braces?
  • How often are office visits necessary during treatment?
  • Is follow-up care needed? What about retainers, and for how long?
  • What are your fees? Are they fixed? What is covered? Are there any extra costs that might arise during treatment?
  • Do you accept insurance?

Once you have gotten answers to these types of questions, you can decide whether or not that orthodontist and the suggested treatment plan is right for you. It’s important to be confident and comfortable about all aspects of orthodontic treatment, so interview multiple orthodontists in your search for the one who best fits your needs.

Making the Most of Your Orthodontic Treatment

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Just look around and you’ll notice that braces are very common, for both the young and not-so-young. Whether you’re 12 or 40, many of us find ourselves taking the plunge into orthodontic treatment. You might as well make the most of it, and these tips may help.

Tips of Orthodontic Treatment

Accept it

You may not have a choice if your parents are making you get braces, or maybe it’s your own choice to get rid of jaw pain or headaches. Either way, focus on the fact that your teeth are going to look great in the end Orthodontic Treatment.

Shop around for the right orthodontist

It is likely that you have a number of orthodontist offices to choose from in your area, so find the one that meets your needs. Referrals from friends and family may be helpful. Many dentists have websites that highlight features of their practice or even a Facebook page where you can read real patient testimonials.

Ask questions

Educate yourself by researching on the internet and asking questions at the office. Get explanations of the work being done on you and why.

Relax

No need to panic when it’s time to get your braces. It’s not a painful process, it’s just somewhat uncomfortable. Understanding what the doctor is doing at all times may give you a feeling of control, so don’t hesitate to inquire about each step of the process of Orthodontic Treatment.

Have fun with colors

If you get elastics on your braces, pick your favorite colors! You’ll enjoy wearing them more if you’re having fun with the colors on your teeth.

Follow your orthodontist’s instructions

You can minimize your treatment time by following doctor’s orders about Orthodontic Treatment to wearing elastics, headgear, or other appliances. Also make sure you clean your braces as suggested, so that you’ll avoid tooth stains or gum problems.

Brushing with Braces

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Taking care of your teeth is important no matter what, but it’s even more crucial when you have braces. Food can get caught between braces or in the wires, increasing your risk for cavities, gum irritation, staining, and bad breath.

To keep you smile healthy while wearing braces, follow these guidelines:

  • Use a soft toothbrush, change your toothbrush at least every 3 months, and brush after every meal. The sooner you get rid of food trapped in your braces, the less your risk for tooth decay.
  • Spend time brushing every single tooth, and make sure you brush each surface. Don’t forget the chewing surfaces and back sides of each tooth.
  • Angle your toothbrush down to where the braces meet the tops of your teeth. Then angle the brush upward when you brush the bottoms of the braces and your teeth.
  • Take off any removable items like rubber bands and head gear before brushing your teeth.
  • Remember to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can brush after eating if possible, even when you’re not at home.
  • Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste to provide extra protection in preventing cavities.
  • Having braces doesn’t give you a free pass on flossing. Even thought it’s more time consuming, the need for flossing is just as great. If you have trouble using regular dental floss, try using floss threaders to make it easier.
  • Continue with your regular dentist checkups and teeth cleanings. Your dentist will be able to get to areas you may have trouble with, and remove tartar to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Am I Too Old for Braces?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Look around and you’ll see that orthodontic treatment has grown in popularity among adults. Research shows that the number of adults wearing braces is up 24 percent since 1996. With advances in technology and teeth straightening methods, adults have realized that orthodontics can improve their smile without negatively impacting their appearance or lifestyle that much during the process.

Most frequent reasons of braces that adults seek orthodontic treatment are:

  • Crowded teeth or gapped teeth, sometimes from tooth decay or gum disease that has occurred over the years
  • Misaligned bite that makes teeth fit together improperly
  • Crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw that causes pain or pressure

The bottom line is that most adults seek a healthy mouth and attractive smile. Sometimes, adults choose orthodontic treatment to help them in the workplace because they feel a nice appearance can help them achieve their goals. Adults also really appreciate the benefits of an attractive smile, and are willing to focus on their dental hygiene both during and after treatment. Also, if you’re paying for treatment yourself, you’re more likely to take it seriously.

Some adults are undergoing orthodontic treatment for the second time, having worn braces as a teenager but perhaps not following through with the maintenance such as wearing the retainer. Others never received treatment to address problems like overbites or underbites, crowded or crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, or jaw disorders. Without treatment, these issues can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, painful earaches and headaches. Speaking and eating problems can also result.

Advances in orthodontics allow treatment with less impacts on your lifestyle than in years past. Now there are more options besides traditional metal braces. Clear braces such as Invisalign are very popular, since they are removable and less noticeable. If you’re considering getting the smile you’ve always dreamed of, consult your dentist or orthodontist to learn more about how to achieve your goals.

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