Empty Dentist Chair

Believe it or not, there is a consistent belief that if you are seeing an orthodontist for treatment, such as braces, it shouldn’t be necessary to see a dentist as well. After all, both are doctors that are working on your teeth, so why should you see both? However, while orthodontists and dentists work in the same area of the body, they are entirely different specialties. If anything, having braces means that it is even more important to maintain all elements of your oral health routine, including dental visits.

 

What Is the Role of a Dentist?

 

A good analogy for the role of a dentist in your life is that of your primary care provider in your life. You see your PCP for a regular checkup. Many issues they can treat on their own and you don’t see anyone else and can go about your life. Sometimes, you’ll need to see a specialist, like an ear-nose-throat doctor or any number of specialties. Just because you start seeing a specialist, it doesn’t mean that you should stop seeing your primary care provider. If anything, keeping your regular doctor apprised of any medical issues or treatments from your specialist is a prudent tactic. This is exactly how the relationship between you, your dentist, and your orthodontist should be during treatment.

 

Why Is Seeing Your Dentist So Important?

 

Braces do a lot of good for you during the treatment period, fixing alignment problems and alleviating a host of potential oral health issues. However, like any treatment in medicine, there are side effects. One of the side effects of braces is that it can make your teeth more susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up. While this can be addressed by the rest of your normal oral health routine, getting professional dental cleanings is the only way to remove this buildup from your teeth. You should pay more attention and perhaps even schedule more frequent dental cleanings during your orthodontic treatment just to stay on top of these issues. As a result, many orthodontists recommend that you see a dentist for cleanings more frequently during braces – as much as two to four times per year during the treatment.

 

Maintaining your dental health during an orthodontist treatment is vital. This means continuing diligence with your at-home care routine, including teeth brushing and flossing. In addition, that may mean extra visits with your dentist. Your dentist and orthodontist can help you chart out a treatment plan that ensures you are at your maximum oral health throughout your orthodontics treatment.

 

Contact us today to learn more and gain the smile you want!

Crooked Teeth

If there is one thing those of us in the orthodontics world are known for, it’s braces and the fact that they are used to treat cases of crooked teeth (among other things) in our patients. However, one of the more commonly asked questions we get is, why do some people get crooked teeth, to begin with? After all, if you take a look around, most people don’t have the picture-perfect smile we all imagine without some orthodontics help. There are a variety of factors that can cause people to have some kind of crooked teeth.

 

Sometimes You Are Just Born with Them

 

It can be hard to escape your genetics sometimes, and crooked teeth can certainly be one of those genetic factors you can’t avoid. In fact, it is the most common cause of crooked teeth, meaning that there is little to nothing most people can do to prevent crooked teeth. These genes can manifest in a number of ways. For instance, crowded teeth can be caused by smaller mouths, certainly a genetic trait that can cause misaligned jaws or crooked teeth.

 

There Are Some Bad Habits That Cause Crooked Teeth

 

While most people have absolutely no control over their teeth, there are some bad habits that can actually cause this problem. Perhaps the most common is prolonged thumb sucking. While this can be cute in infants for a while, at some point, it actually causes enough of a ripple effect down the line to lead to the development of crooked teeth, which is why some parents struggle to break this habit before it’s too late. The other behavioral traits that can cause this are often subconscious, and they include mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, or reverse swallowing. All of these can contribute to crooked teeth.

 

Baby Teeth Actually Do Matter

 

There is often a joke about whether or not taking care of your baby teeth really matters because you are just going to lose them anyway. However, the health of your baby teeth is directly linked to the health of your adult teeth. If you lose baby teeth prematurely due to decay, it causes the timing of your adult teeth to be off, which can greatly contribute to crooked teeth. In addition, the harmful bacteria that caused the baby tooth to decay can already impact the enamel of the adult tooth before it has even fully emerged.

 

Of course, the good news is that crooked teeth are eminently treatable in the hands of practiced and skilled orthodontists. We can perform treatments at all ages, although the sooner we start, the lower the costs and shorter the treatment times tend to be. However, many people, even the ones with picture-perfect smiles now, had to deal with crooked teeth. We’ll be happy to help you overcome this condition with our professional orthodontics treatments. Contact us now to learn more.

For those who are looking to improve their smile, there are a couple of big names that many patients ask about: Invisalign and Smile Direct Club. Both of these solutions advertise significant results and an affordable cost with not a lot of hassle. Many customers become curious about the efficacy of these products and what the differences are between them

 

How Does Smile Direct Club Work?

 

If you’ve seen any of Smile Direct Club’s many television commercials, the premise is pretty enticing. Get orthodontic treatments at home without having to visit an orthodontist. This works with an initial visit to one of their Smile Shops for scanning to get a 3D image of your current bite and smile. In the likely event that a Smile Shop is not near you, the company will send you an impression kit to allow you to provide the initial information from your home. With this data, a treatment plan is set up, which lasts for an average of about six months. The retainers are then sent to you directly based on this plan.

 

How Does Invisalign Work?

 

The mechanism of Invisalign is actually very similar to that of Smile Direct Club. The goal is to provide clear aligners that will move your teeth into a preferred alignment without the relative inconvenience of braces. However, instead of an at-home impression kit or a visit to one of the retail locations, the Invisalign treatment plan is overseen by your trusted orthodontist. Instead of a follow-up plan of new aligners being mailed to you, an Invisalign treatment involves professional oversight to ensure that everything is moving at the speed intended. While the process is similar, there are a few big differences.

 

What Are the Big Differences Between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club?

 

Smile Direct Club advertises itself as one of the most convenient ways to get orthodontics treatments. However, that convenience only comes if you happen to be near a Smile Shop (as they call them) in your vicinity. Otherwise, the company will have to send you an at-home impression kit, which can cause problems and a mess. In addition, the lack of an orthodontist overseeing the treatment directly can mean it’s a faceless person managing your treatment instead of someone that you know and trust.

 

While the mechanisms are similar between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club, there can be small details that make a big difference. Let us help you through your journey! Contact us now and let us help you gain the smile of your dreams!

healthy smile

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has changed life for a while, in more ways than we can count. While we will certainly get through this and come out stronger on the other side (we always have, after all), there are a lot of things that we need to adjust to. On the advice of the CDC, the American Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthodontics, our offices are temporarily closed. However, that doesn’t mean that your smile simply has to fall by the wayside during this time. There are still ways to keep your smile as healthy as possible in the face of this current situation.

 

Don’t Fall Back On Hygiene

 

In the face of stress, often self-care is one of the things that can fall by the wayside. However, in order to protect your smile, it is imperative to continue your regular hygiene routine. That means flossing daily, brushing multiple times per day and avoiding high amounts of foods that are problematic for your teeth. This is true for everyone, but especially if you are in the middle of an orthodontic treatment, like braces, do your best to stick to your food list. This way we can stay on track for the treatment to be completed.

 

Make Minor Fixes At Home

 

Orthodontics hardware naturally requires some maintenance over time. While our offices are closed, minor fixes can be made or alleviated at home using orthodontic wax. For minor issues like a broken brace or wire, this solution should suffice. If your supply of wax is running low, you should be able to purchase some online, and some pharmacies will carry it in-store as well. For minor issues, we will be ready to fix them as soon as we are able to reopen our office and provide service.

 

Follow All Instructions

 

Depending on what stage of the orthodontics process you are in, you probably have instructions from your orthodontist, whether it be regarding elastics, a retainer, or an expander. Be sure to follow the instructions provided at your last appointment. In the case of elastics, continue to use as instructed as the risk of overcorrection is minor. If you run out of elastics, please don’t substitute with any other elastics! These are not designed for orthodontics use, and their differing force may cause more problems than not. Following the guidelines as close as you are able will ensure that your smile stays on track to look and feel amazing when the pandemic has passed.

 

These tips will help keep your smile in tip-top shape while the pandemic is occurring and should keep you able to handle any minor issues. If pain, discomfort, or bleeding becomes more than minor, please seek out medical attention to ensure that you receive any needed care. We look forward to treating you again as soon as our offices are open!

 

Old Couple Smiling

Teeth. There’s up 32 of them in the average smile. And yes… you probably do take them for granted.

 

For many of us, the idea of keeping our teeth straight and perfect tends to be something we experience primarily in our youth when alignment needs the most encouragement. It’s not that we ignore dental hygiene altogether once we reach a certain age. It’s just that we consider a perfectly straight smile to be practically impossible.

 

But it is possible, whether you’re 12, 27 or even in your late fifties. Now more than ever, trends and innovations in dental care have become accessible, cost effective and virtually painless. In fact, one out of every four orthodontic patients in the U.S. is an adult. And if you’re concerned about how orthodontic procedures can affect you as an adult, here are some things to consider.

 

What Are The Hygienic Results I Can Expect From Orthodontic Procedures?

 

  • Healthier teeth and gums that are easier to clean without resorting to expensive whitening surgeries and solutions.
  • A healthier jaw, with less worry about degenerative diseases or conditions like TMJ and even constant headaches.
  • Less risk of a host of sleeping problems from snoring to teeth grinding… and even sleep apnea.
  • A boost in your confidence, trust and self esteem!

 

Are Braces Right For Me?

 

If you have an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth or even a malady as severe as a jaw disorder, you may wonder whether or not braces are right for you. The answer is a resounding yes!

 

No matter what your age is, the process of straightening your smile with braces is exactly the same. You’re moving your teeth in line to become more even and aligned, even if you’ve already had dental implants. And the result can be a smile that’s as vital, fresh and pleasant as you are.

 

What About Other Alignment Methods?

 

You don’t necessarily have to rely on seemingly long term solutions like braces to help get a perfect smile. Custom molded alignment trays are becoming increasingly popular with millions of Americans, with the added benefit that they can slip on and off without being noticed. The shift in your smile may be just as gradual; but if you’re concerned about the appearance of traditional metal braces, ceramic and even high quality plastic aligners like Invisalign® are an attractive and convenient alternative with all of the efficacy of braces and none of the self consciousness.

 

 

Ready to change the way you think about orthodontics? Smile forward with confidence and give us a call today at 435-673-3334!