ortho-5/14/19 – gtg

 

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Early Orthodontic Treatment – Doesn’t Guarantee A Perfect Smile in Teen Years

At our orthodontic practice, we ran across an excellent article published in the Wall Street Journal “The 8-Year-Old With a Perfect Smile” that discusses the pros and cons of early orthodontic treatment. Sometimes parents are disappointed that their kids still require additional orthodontic treatment when permanent teeth erupt in their teens.
While that’s true in some cases, what many parents don’t realize is that for the most common orthodontic problems, early treatment is often not indicated and offers no guarantees against a second round of treatment in the early teenage years. Orthodontists are sometimes pressured to treat early—from both parents and kids for aesthetic reasons, rather than waiting till all the permanent teeth erupt to reduce overall time in braces and minimize expense.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all kids be evaluated at the age of 7 to determine if they would benefit from early orthodontic treatment. We offer a complimentary new patient exam to determine if early treatment is indicated. If not, at no fee, we will continue to periodically monitor your child’s teeth and jaw development while developing a personal relationship with your child and our team to enhance the orthodontic experience when the time is right.
If you have a child seven years or older that has not been evaluated by an orthodontist, feel free to contact our office. You do not need a referral from your general dentist to schedule a complimentary evaluation. We look to working together with you and your family, creating smiles that last a lifetime.

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Orthodontics is for Adults, too!

We have a lot of fun in our orthodontic office – with kids AND with adults! More and more adults are considering improving their smile and bite with orthodontics – which can include braces or more subtle approaches such as Invisalign and other active appliances. We recently found this article from WebMD.com that talks about orthodontics for adults – we think it is quite accurate and has a lot of information for adults to consider.

We always recommend that an adult is “cleared” with their general dentist prior to starting orthodontic treatment – sometimes there are periodontal or gum concerns as well as restorative needs to consider. We recommend seeing him BEFORE you get a lot of crown, bridge or other restorations, since often these are best done when orthodontic treatment is completed. He will work closely with your general dentist and periodontist to ensure that the timing is ideal for your orthodontic, restorative and periodontal needs. In addition, we feel we have a very special team and approach that sets us apart and provides an extra special measure of “care” and treatment. If in doubt, CHECK IT OUT!

Exam appointments are complimentary (free) and you will learn a lot about your oral health when you take the time for yourself and make an appointment. We even take a complimentary digital (low radiation) panographic Xray (and send it to your general dentist) as well as photos to enable the most comprehensive results possible during this appointment. You do not need a referral from your dentist or anybody else – if YOU want an exam, you just call and we’ll schedule it! Your first appointment can be the start of a new path toward a new smile! We look forward to meeting you and helping you create the smile of your dreams!

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We have long suspected that people who smile a lot are happier, with better relationships, better “people” skills and they seem to feel better about themselves as well. Researchers determined in a study that those people with big smiles actually live longer as well! They looked at photos of 230 pro baseball players, analyzed and categorized their “smile intensity” and compared them with data related to longevity and determined that those who “smiled bigger” also lived longer (about 7 years longer)! We can’t help but smile as we work with great patients and create fabulous smiles every day. We like to think that, by helping our patients be more comfortable smiling more broadly and more often, we are also helping them live longer and happier lives. And 7 more years is definitely something to smile about!

Give us a call if you would like our team to help you improve your smile – we’re here for you!

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Flossing Aids for Braces

Our team knows how important it is to brush after eating and to floss daily; with braces, things get a little bit more complicated! If you have braces, you have probably tried flossing using the little floss threaders, and pushing the end under the wire, pulling the floss through and flossing THE tooth – each one individually. This is cumbersome and many patients just give up after a few attempts. Well, we are happy to tell you that there a couple of new products out that will make flossing a breeze, and we want to tell you all about them!

The first flossing aid is called Platypus flossers www.platypusco.com. Similar to a regular pre-strung floss threader, it differs in that it has one very small “finger” that goes under the wire of the braces, and another regular, thicker one that goes behind the teeth. You can go here to see a description of how to use it: http://www.platypusco.com/how_to.html. We like this product because it is pre-loaded with floss and easy to use. Since it is pre-loaded, you have to use a new one each time. However, there is another product that might be even easier and more versatile . . .
Enter FlossFish, the newest flossing aid invention! http://www.flossfish.com/ Flossfish looks like a plastic needle threader, which is the end that you thread a piece of floss through. Then you hold the threaded floss and use the tip as an extra “finger” – guiding it under the bracket quickly and flossing each tooth as you move along. We like the design of this one because it can be used over and over again, since you load it with your own floss, its smaller and seems easy to use.

Our team wants to find out from YOU, those who wear braces and are our patients, which aid you prefer. We have samples of BOTH TYPES of flossing aids in our office; stop by and pick up a sample of each to try them out. Then, give us your opinion about which one is better for your situation. Be sure and give us your name and phone # so we can confirm you as a patient.

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How much does an orthodontic exam cost?
How much do braces cost?
Will my health insurance cover the cost of braces?
Can I go directly to an orthodontist, or does the dentist have to refer me?
How do I know if I really need braces?
Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?
How do I choose an orthodontist?
Am I too old for braces?
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
What are “lingual” braces?
What are clear braces? Are they more expensive?
Will I need to have any permanent teeth removed when I get braces?
Do I need to have surgery on my jaw bones?
What is TMJ?
Is it harder to clean your teeth if you are wearing braces?
Will I be able to floss my teeth after the braces are put on?
Does it hurt when you put the braces on or take them off?
Aren’t people with braces teased a lot?
What is a retainer?
What are impressions?
Why are so many young children in braces today?
Can I wear colors on my braces?
What is the proper age for a first visit?

How much does an orthodontic exam cost?
There is a charge for diagnostic records (dental molds, head and jaw x-rays and photographs) if they are necessary to determine your treatment needs. With this information, we can formulate an exact treatment plan and give you an exact fee.

How much do braces cost?
Our fees are based upon treatment time and the severity of the case. Because there is such a range, we cannot quote a fee without first examining a patient. We do try to provide payment options that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate most financial situations.

Will my health insurance cover the cost of braces?
Some dental insurance plans will assist with a portion of the fee. If you would like to call our office with your insurance information we will be happy to call your company and let you know what your policy covers.

Can I go directly to an orthodontist, or does the dentist have to refer me?
If you think you have an orthodontic problem, you may contact us directly. We do require that patients have a current dental cleaning before beginning orthodontic treatment.

How do I know if I really need braces?
Patients generally require orthodontic treatment for three different reasons. 1) They do not like the way their smile looks. 2) Their bite is incorrect and is putting extra pressure on the gums, teeth, and joints. 3) Their dentist needs to perform some restorative work and needs the teeth to be moved orthodontically beforehand.

Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontists have two years of highly specialized training above and beyond that of a general dentist in correcting jaw and bite irregularities. An orthodontic specialist does only orthodontics. Other types of dentists can legally offer braces to their patients but lack the intensive training and specialized experience of an orthodontist. Just as we seek the opinions of medical specialists, such as cardiologists and dermatologists, for specific medical problems, it is important to choose the proper dental specialists for bite corrections.

How do I choose an orthodontist?
There are many factors you should consider when deciding on an orthodontic specialist. Since you will be visiting their office at regular intervals throughout treatment for an extended period of time, make sure that you choose an office where you feel comfortable. You should know what is involved with each aspect of your treatment before you start and should feel comfortable asking questions. We truly care about each and every patient and will make every effort to ensure their comfort throughout treatment.

Am I too old for braces?
Teeth can be moved at any age. The oldest patients we have treated thus far were in their seventies.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of treatment varies from 3 months to 3 years depending on complexity. Before you start treatment, we will let you know the length of time your treatment should take.

What are “lingual” braces?
Lingual braces are braces placed on the inside of the teeth so they are not visible. We feel that lingual braces are not as effective as conventional braces and they are very hard on the tongue. For these reasons, we do not offer them. We do offer clear brackets, which are almost “invisible.”

What are clear braces? Are they more expensive?
The clear braces we use are of the highest quality porcelain material. They are just as effective as metal braces, but less visible. The clear braces are more fragile than the metal ones, but not so fragile that they break easily. There is an additional charge for porcelain braces and occasionally treatment with them does take longer.

Will I need to have any permanent teeth removed when I get braces?
We definitely prefer to treat patients without removing any permanent teeth if at all possible. However, if the teeth are excessively crowded and are protruding, removing teeth is an option. Typically, if extractions are needed, most orthodontists choose to extract two upper back teeth (bicuspids) and two lower back teeth (bicuspids) to relieve crowding and enhance the profile.

Do I need to have surgery on my jaw bones?
Surgery is necessary only when we find a very severe bite problem in a patient who is no longer growing. If either jaw is too large, too small, or too narrow, surgery is indicated.

What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the name of the jaw joint associated with chewing. We use splints and braces to relieve problems associated with the jaw joints.

Is it harder to clean your teeth if you are wearing braces?
Yes. It is normally more difficult to take care of your teeth because the braces are harder to clean around. We are committed to helping you take care of your teeth and will show you exactly how to clean around your braces at the appointment when we bond your braces. With proper technique, cleaning takes only a few minutes several times each day.

Will I be able to floss my teeth after the braces are put on?
Yes, our clinical technicians will you teach you how to floss your teeth properly with braces.

Does it hurt when you put the braces on or take them off?
It does not hurt to have the braces placed. We use a method called indirect bonding that maximizes patient comfort and minimizes chair time for the procedure. We use a special instrument to gently remove the braces and most patients report minimal discomfort with removal.

Aren’t people with braces teased a lot?
In this day and age, more and more people than ever before are wearing braces. Our patients include many adults with professional careers and children of all ages. They are generally very well accepted and we don’t feel that there is the stigma associated with them as there once was. In many classrooms today, as many children have braces as do not.

What is a retainer?
A retainer is a removable appliance that is fitted to your teeth to hold them in their new, corrected position after your braces are removed. We use retainers that, depending on the patient’s preference, are highly colorful with different designs or are made of clear plastic that are virtually invisible. Typically, retainers are worn full-time for several months and then are worn just at bedtime for as long as the patient wants his or her teeth to remain as perfect as they were when their braces were removed.

What are impressions?
Impressions of the teeth are taken to enable us to make a mold of the teeth, either for diagnosis or to construct an orthodontic appliance. Impressions are taken by filling a well- fitted metal tray with a pink substance called alginate that looks like frosting. The tray is then placed in the mouth for about a minute until the alginate starts to set. When the tray is removed, you can see dents or “impressions” of all your teeth. Later, in our lab we fill this tray with a special substance to make an exact model of your teeth.

Why are so many young children in braces today?
Our office generally initiates early, sometimes called interceptive, treatment in children who do not yet have all of their permanent teeth when doing so will enable us to utilize their growth to achieve a better long-term result. Not all children need interceptive treatment. Some common goals of early treatment include creating enough space for all of the permanent teeth to erupt, and correcting an imbalance in growth between the upper and lower jaws. Children who have had early treatment generally will need to wear braces again when all of their permanent teeth are in. This second phase of treatment with full braces is generally shorter and far easier than treatment would have been if the patient had not had the benefit of early intervention. More importantly, we are able to achieve the best end result for these children.

Can I wear colors on my braces?
The colors you see on braces are elastic ties used to attach the brackets to the archwire. They are usually changed at each visit. We offer a kaleidoscope of colors and allow our patients to select as many different colors as they would like. We have gray or clear ties for those desiring a more discreet look.

What is the proper age for a first visit?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic screening by the age of seven. Even if treatment is not indicated at that age, this appointment will serve as a baseline from which we can monitor future growth and development.

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Braces are a metallic foreign body applying constant pressure on your teeth. This results in pressure symptoms other than those that result from rubbing against wires and brackets. You may have problems in biting and chewing during the first few days. When you get used to it, you won’t feel it anymore.

Long Term Use of Braces:
Hygiene must be maintained at all cost. You do not want the use of braces being compounded with dental cavities and gum infections. You should regularly rinse your mouth with warm saline. There is a problem resulting from rubbing. Dental wax and braces kit come to the rescue. You can buy five wax strips for less than two dollars.

Basic Survival of Braces:
Your desire for a beautiful smile has lead you to get braces applied to your teeth. As far as braces are concerned, their price is paid in the form of money you spend, the discomfort you bear and the extra time you need to spend in cleaning your teeth. Teeth with braces need more time for their care and cleaning than normal teeth and that’s why they need a braces kit.

Braces Kits make things easy!
For the extra care that is needed for teeth with braces, many braces kits are being marketed containing all the accessories needed to clean the teeth and maintain them in the perfect condition. Braces kits are handy to store and carry all the accessories needed for the care of teeth with braces. Braces kits are perfect to fit with even the busiest routines. You can carry braces kits along when you are traveling and you do not need much space to accommodate your accessories.

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True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:
Poking Wire
Using a pencil eraser push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band
If a band or bracket comes off the tooth, save it and bring it to your next appointment. If your bracket is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if necessary to reduce irritation. If it isn’t causing discomfort, you do not need to remove it, just keep the area clean by swishing with water after meals.

Loose Wire
Using a tweezer try to place your wire back into place. If you do this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it and call our office.

Loose Appliance
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided. If the face bow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less if it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Call our office during regular business hours if:

An appliance breaks
A piece of the appliance is loose
An appliance gets lost
Call your Orthodontist Right Away

Call day or night if:

A broken appliance prevents the mouth from opening or closing.
Pain from an appliance is still felt even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
A serious face or mouth injury occurs anywhere near an appliance or it causes the appliance to break.

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