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Preparing for Orthodontic Treatment

June 1st, 2015

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!

Don’t Be a Soda Jerk!

May 15th, 2015

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!

Invisalign Teen®

May 1st, 2015

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!

One Phase, or Two?

April 15th, 2015

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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