February Is Children’s Dental Health Month

THE CDC REPORTS THAT 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes: Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  2. Set reminders to brush twice a day: Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  3. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful: Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  4. Be persistent: Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  5. Set their first dental appointment before age 1: Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

(NOTE TO OUR CLIENTS: Please customize your blog post by answering some questions here. What experience does your practice have with younger patients? Do you have anything to add to the tips for helping children have healthy smiles? Are you doing anything special in your practice in honor of Children’s Dental Health Month?)

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

Why Do Teeth Move Even After Braces?

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT the most exciting day for someone with braces is the day they get them off! The final result of a beautiful, straight smile is what makes orthodontic treatment worth it. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping those teeth straight!

Guess What… Teeth Can Move!

Of course it comes to no surprise to an orthodontic patient that teeth can shift over time–that’s exactly what happened during their treatment! Teeth are dynamic and always moving as pressure and force is applied to them, even after you’ve had braces.

Teeth may shift in response to things such as teeth grinding and clenching, numerous dental restorations, tongue thrusting and certain lifestyle habits such as smoking or nail biting. Teeth also move naturally as we grow older and our facial structures change.

Keeping Your Smile Straight Is A Lifelong Commitment

So, what can you do to make sure that your new smile lasts a lifetime? Wear your retainer! It really is that simple. After you’ve finished orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will tell you how often you need to wear your retainer and for how long. Over time, most patients will only need to wear their retainer at night.

It’s especially important to wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist immediately after you get your braces off. Your teeth have a sort of “memory” of the way they were aligned before you got your braces on and are more prone to revert back to their original positions right after orthodontic treatment has finished.

When it comes down to it, every orthodontic patient needs to ask themselves, “How long do I want my teeth to be straight?” Whatever the answer is, that’s how long you’ll need to wear your retainer.

(INSERT VIDEO HERE)

Keep Smiling

We love creating beautiful, healthy smiles that our patients can be proud of. There’s nothing better than seeing our patients’ faces light up when they see their straight, new smiles. So keep wearing your retainer and keep up the good work. And most importantly… keep smiling!

We love our patients! Thank you for trusting us with your orthodontic treatment.

 

Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Do Braces Work?

 

 

CREATING A BEAUTIFUL, STRAIGHT SMILE through orthodontic treatment is a pretty amazing process! With braces, we can feel and see our teeth move over the course of treatment, but how does it happen?

Our Braces Contain A Few Key Components

To understand the science of braces, we first need to understand the components that make them up. First, there are the brackets, usually made of metal or ceramic. The bracket is the part of the braces attached to each tooth and is held in place by a bonding material that keeps the brackets firmly attached to your teeth over the course of treatment.

One of the most important pieces is the archwire. This thin piece of metal is placed over the brackets and puts pressure on the teeth, giving them the direction they need to become aligned and straight.

The ligature elastic (or “o-ring”) is a small, colored elastic that holds the bracket onto the archwire. These elastics are changed at each adjustment visit. Some types of brackets do not need elastic ligatures, however, and are actually self-ligating.

How Do Braces Straighten Our Teeth?

Anyone who has had braces knows that the process involves a bit of pressure. The component that exerts that gentle pressure on your teeth is the archwire. The light but constant force that is applied causes the teeth to move, slowly but surely, into their proper positions. But how, exactly?

The scientific word for what is actually happening to your teeth is called bone remodeling. Under the gumline, your teeth are surrounded by the periodontal membrane, sometimes called the periodontal ligament or PDL. When the archwire puts pressure on your teeth, the periodontal membrane stretches on one side and is compressed on the other. This loosens the tooth.

In response to this pressure and movement, the body sends cells called osteoclasts to break down the jaw bone. The body then sends in bone building cells, called osteoblasts, to rebuild the jaw bone into a new shape that lets the periodontal membrane hold teeth in the new position.

A Smile That You Can Be Proud Of

Having a perfectly aligned smile can affect the way you speak and chew, as well as your self-confidence. We care about you and know that a healthy, beautiful smile can make a big difference in your life. Our team provides specialized orthodontic treatment tailored to each of our patients, so that you can have a smile to be proud of!

Thank you for reading our blog and being a valued patient a

New Technology Can Reduce Orthodontic Treatment Time

WHAT DOES NASA HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR BRACES? Probably more than you think! The braces of ages past are gone. Modern treatment includes everything from advanced digital imaging to metal alloys created for space travel. These amazing technological advances mean that your treatment is more comfortable, less conspicuous, and more efficient.

Smile Design Through Advanced Imaging

All orthodontic treatment starts with a plan of action for your ideal smile. New scanning technology lets us fully envision that plan before ever putting a bracket on a tooth!

Comprehensive orthodontic scanning gives us a detailed look at the skull’s structure, and underlying problems in the mouth and jaw. Using this information, we’re able to create a complete picture of your bite, and plan the movement of teeth. Better imaging means better planning, and more efficient treatment for YOU.

Gradual, Steady Movement Through NASA Technology

Years ago, archwires on braces were made from stainless steel. This inflexible metal created a dramatic push right after tightening (effective, but sometimes uncomfortable), but didn’t continue corrective pressure after a few days. Now, we use nickel titanium wires. This memory-wire produces very gentle, gradual, and continued pressure as it strives to regain its set shape.

What does this mean for you? It means braces are much more comfortable, and yet they move your teeth more between tightening appointments, which makes your treatment time faster!

Watch NiTi Wires In Action

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzJDlN2o36M)

What Does the Future Hold for Orthodontics?

The possibilities are endless! It may be very soon that you come in for a checkup and get your retainer 3D printed within the hour. Perhaps computerized, self-adjusting brackets will allow us to monitor your treatment remotely! Whatever happens, you can be sure we’ll be there to see if it can better help us give you the smile of your dreams.

We treasure the trust you place in our practice. Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Dinner Ideas For The Days Your Braces Are Tightened

ON BRACES-TIGHTENING DAY, you might want to eat something soft and easy when you get home. There are plenty of options for meals that are not only easy to eat, but delicious as well! The key to braces-friendly cooking is to replace hard, crunchy foods or ingredients with softer substitutes.

7 Tips For Easy Chewing

Foods that don’t require much chewing make mealtime easier. We’ve done the thinking for you and yes… There are more options than just Jell-O! These tips should be handy when planning your menu on tightening day:
Macaroni and cheese is easy to eat with braces, since pasta is soft and the cheese won’t stick to braces. There’s a reason mac ’n cheese is such an infamous comfort food!
Soft foods like burritos and lasagna are a better choice than crunchy foods like tacos or pizza–unless you can make a homemade soft crust pizza!
Prepare meals with cooked vegetables instead of raw vegetables. A soft vegetable stir-fry is a healthy and soft dinner choice for tightening day.
Although meat is a great source of protein, it can be tricky to eat with braces. Softened beef in sloppy joes is a good option. Avoid working around a bone, or chewing tough meat.
Mashed potatoes or polenta are great sides for any dish on tightening day.
Smoothies, applesauce, yogurt, and hummus are great snack options.
For a sweet treat, consider soft cookies, ice cream, cake, or a mousse.

What’s Your Favorite Post-Tightening Meal?

Sensitivity after a tightening should go away after a day or two, but choosing the right foods can help you feel comfortable sooner. There are lots of great ideas and recipes for tender teeth. Do you have your own favorite food to eat after tightening? Share with us below! We love hearing from you.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend. We appreciate you!

Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports

 

YOU CAN STILL PLAY THE SPORTS YOU LOVE while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment! But safety first, right? Wear your mouthguard!

Mouthguards Are SO Important

You may already have a mouthguard. Many contact sports require you to wear one. But once your braces are placed, that mouthguard may not fit properly. An ill-fitting mouthguard is not only uncomfortable, it’s also less effective at protecting you from impact, injury, and damage.

Protect Your Teeth, AND Your Braces

Even if you’re someone who doesn’t usually bother with a mouthguard, you’ll want to reconsider while wearing braces. Even a minor hit to the mouth can cause a lot of pain.

Plus, any delay in repairing damage to your brackets and how they fit could mean extra appointments and extended time wearing your braces. So, if you ever get hit while you’re playing sports, let us know right away!

Wearing Mouthguards As Teeth Are Shifting

Because your teeth are moving, it seems like a fitted mouthguard won’t fit very long. Talk to us about a solution! We’ll help you find a mouthguard designed to work with braces. There are also lip protectors to guard the soft tissue of your mouth from cuts and damage while you’re playing sports.

Minimize Sports Drinks Too

If you’re sipping Gatorade or other sports drinks through practice time and games, just stop! They’re really not good for your teeth. Your best option is water. If you have an occasional sports drink, rinse your mouth with water after you finish drinking it.

Be Safe Out There!

Braces don’t need to limit you! Talk to us about the activities and projects that you’re involved in and we’ll make sure you have all the resources you need.

Let us know if you ever have any questions. Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Social Media Helps Us All Smile

IT MIGHT NOT SEEM SO AT FIRST, but a dental practice is all about relationships—relationships between our team members and our relationships with YOU, our valued patients and friends. When we stop to think about the things we do each day, these things make it all worth it.

We Love Seeing Your Smile!

We love social media because it allows us to continue to nurture these important relationships long after you’ve gone back home after visiting our practice. We enjoy hearing about your concerns, your plans, your vacations, your victories… And we get to see your smiles often! We love that!

Seeing Smiles Everywhere

We also like social media because it’s fun. For example, here’s a post that we found online of everyday objects that look like they’re smiling!

Smiles Are Visible From 300 Feet Away

We can’t help it. Humans are hardwired to see faces everywhere. It just goes to show the importance of our smiles! Did you know that people can perceive a smile from 300 feet away? That makes it the most recognizable human expression.

Smiles are a foundational part of how we interact with each other. Whether it’s for family photos, travel selfies, a job interview, or a date, our smiles are such an important part of how we show ourselves to the world.

Keep your smile bright and healthy by giving it the care it deserves. Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about your dental health.

Share Your Smile!

Like we said, we love to see YOUR smiles. Follow us on Facebook, and post a pic of yourself on our page. Knowing that you’re proud of your smile is one of the things that makes our jobs so satisfying.

Thanks for being part of our practice family!