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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!

Burke + Beckstrom patient smiling

There is the sense that teeth and the jaw are these grand immovable objects, that once we are adults, our teeth are largely set in place. After all, they feel solid and set in place, and it can be a little hard to comprehend how they can move and shift, short of serious trauma. However, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, your teeth and jawbone are an ever-evolving landscape. There are, in fact, a number of ways that your teeth move over time, including the obvious one, orthodontics. This article will go over some of the factors that cause teeth to move and explain them a little bit further.

 

Mesial Drift, A Natural Aging Process

 

Some teeth drifting is relatively unavoidable, but also generally minor. The most common form of this is called mesial drift, which is a natural byproduct of aging. Mesial drift presents itself as your teeth moving forward to the front of your mouth. This happens because as we chew, the sides of the teeth generate friction against each other, which wears down the teeth in that area. Naturally, the teeth seek to always be in contact with one another, so this wear down causes the teeth to shift towards one another. This is one of the most common forms of teeth moving.

 

Odd Habits Can Actually Shift Teeth

 

There are actually some odd behaviors that can impact teeth shifting, as well. Posture and how you sleep can both affect teeth shifting. Sleeping on your stomach, for instance, is actually negative for your oral health, and poor posture can actually cause your teeth to shift as well. These factors are exacerbated for those who work at a desk or a computer for long periods of time.

 

Enamel Loss Can Alter Teeth

 

We all know that enamel is the protective coating around teeth and that proper dental hygiene can protect your enamel. One of the consequences of losing enamel is that it actually alters the shape of the teeth. As the teeth change shape, they can also go out of alignment. These conditions can be worsened if you have naturally overcrowded or crooked teeth, as these factors can create a situation where it’s hard to practice good dental hygiene. This can be another good reason to pursue orthodontic treatment. Speaking of which…

 

How Braces Move Teeth (For the Better!)

 

Of course, not all teeth shifting is a bad thing. Orthodontics purposely move and shift teeth to create better alignment and alleviate a number of oral health issues. Braces work by applying consistent (but gentle) pressure to the teeth. Eventually, the jaw adjusts its shape due to the pressure and moves teeth – at least, for this one, that’s exactly what we want them to do!

 

Teeth are not immovable objects and shifting is bound to happen over time – it’s just a matter of to what degree that this happens. If your teeth are moving, and not in the way you want them to, give us a call!

Burke + Beckstrom Patient

Some people seem to believe that orthodontics treatments are purely cosmetic and only serve to generate a more beautiful smile. While a nice smile (and the positive self-esteem boost that goes along with it) is certainly a major benefit of orthodontics, looks are far from the only reason to undergo orthodontics treatments. In fact, straighter teeth have a wide range of health benefits and will greatly impact the quality of life you experience as a result. While some of these involve oral health, the impacts may be farther ranging than you expect.

 

Hygiene Routine is Easier with Straighter Teeth

 

The key to a good oral hygiene routine is the ability to clean all the nooks and crannies and space in between the teeth by brushing and flossing. When you are dealing with crooked or overlapping teeth, it can become immensely more difficult to properly clean your teeth. Without proper hygiene, you have a much higher plaque buildup, which can cause numerous problems, including bad breath and gum disease. Beyond oral health, there is also a correlation between plaque buildup and heart disease, so the health benefits are wide-ranging.

 

Your Daily Life Can Also Be Improved

 

There is also a major benefit to your quality of life by having straighter teeth. Poorly aligned teeth place added stress on the jawbone and gums that they aren’t properly prepared to handle. This additional wear and tear on these essential support structures actually can cause chronic headaches, as well as overall face or neck pain. In addition, the adjustments you make to eating food with the out-of-alignment teeth can exacerbate this strain and pain. There are substantial and noticeable benefits to your everyday life that come with having straighter teeth.

 

Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Self-Esteem

 

As mentioned before, orthodontics treatment will give you a nicer looking smile – and that is more than cosmetic. Often, with a nicer smile, you can notice a boost in confidence and self-esteem, both of which can have positive personal and health benefits. A boost in these factors will generally include a somewhat decreased stress or anxiety level. When stress levels are lowered, there are various stress-related conditions that benefit, including cardiovascular health. So, while it may not be a direct effect of the orthodontics treatment, the move to straighter teeth can have wide-ranging effects.

 

Appearances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many reasons to get orthodontics treatment. The health benefits to straighter teeth are concrete, noticeable, and absolutely worthwhile.

 

We look forward to serving you! Contact us to get your appointment scheduled and begin your journey to a more confident smile.

Here at Burke + Beckstrom Orthodontics, we want you to get the very most out of your Invisalign experience. That’s why we’ve compiled 4 helpful suggestions that will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your treatment!

 

 

1 – Wear your aligners for 22 hours a day.

 

 

Dr. Burke and Dr. Beckstrom recommend that you wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours every day. Doing so will allow the technology to effectively and successfully shift your teeth to their new home. The only reason your aligners should be out is when you eat, brush your teeth, and floss. Be sure to replace them as soon as you complete one of those activities. In case you were wondering, your aligners should also be worn while you sleep because your teeth can shift and cause your overall treatment time to take longer than expected.

 

 

2 – Keep your aligner trays clean.

 

 

Similar to traditional braces, Invisalign aligners need to be cleaned constantly. Be sure to brush your aligners both morning and night. This will allow for any leftover food to be cleaned out and will help your teeth have that nice “invisible” look you love!

 

 

3 – Always brush your teeth after meals.

 

 

Not only is it important to clean and brush your Invisalign aligners, but it is absolutely vital to clean and brush your own teeth too! Doing so will prevent any food from getting stuck in your trays which will prevent any possible tooth decay. It also helps to keep your trays fitting properly so your treatment is smooth as butter. 

 

 

4 – Use your aligner case.

 

 

This may seem like a small thing but it will save you so much time and money! Whenever you have to take your Invisalign trays out, but sure to place them in their case until you put them back in again. This will help to prevent any accidents where your trays could be lost or thrown in the trash.

 

We hope these 4 tips help you to maximize your Invisalign treatment! Do you want to start your own Invisalign treatment for yourself? Stop by our office for a free consultation and learn why Burke + Beckstrom Orthodontics is named Invisalign’s premier provider for Southern Utah. Call us today at 435-673-3334.

Burke and Beckstrom Cedar City Office

Have you heard the big news? Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics now has a location in Cedar City, Utah! 

 

Known as Festival City, Cedar City, is home to one of the five locations for Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics. Cedar City is the bridge for many communities in Southern Utah, allowing easy access to treatment from all locations. Our beautiful, state-of-the-art office is surrounded by the great outdoors and is located in the heart of Cedar City.

 

We are beyond thrilled to bring the best in orthodontic treatment to this incredible city, and we are grateful to be a part of this community. 

 

Don’t wait, schedule your next appointment at our Cedar City office today! (435) 865-9111

Learn more about Burke + Beckstrom Orthodontics here: https://burkeandbeckstromortho.com/about/

Dr. Burke working on a patient

After your braces or Invisalign treatment comes to an end, it’s now time to maintain your new smile! Although your initial treatment is over, you’ll want to follow the tips below to ensure that your smile lasts a lifetime.

Tip 1: The most important thing you can do after finishing your treatment is to wear your retainers exactly as instructed. Wearing your retainers will help your teeth stay aligned and keep your bite from shifting.

Tip 2: Keep your retainer safely in it’s case when not in your mouth. (Note, dogs LOVE to chew retainers!) If you do lose or damage your retainer, contact our office as soon as possible to have a new one made. Your retainer is the most important part of maintaining your new smile.

Tip 3: Remember that if you do have dental work done after your treatment, you may need to get a new retainer made. A retainer that fits your teeth properly will keep your teeth from shifting over time.

Tip 4: Be sure to return to our office for your periodic retainer check visits. These visits are important to follow up to treatment and help us make sure your retainers fit correctly and your new smile stays as perfect as the day you finished treatment!

Tip 5: Visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning, and remember to brush and floss those pearly whites daily! Practicing good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining a beautiful smile.
 
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your new, beautiful smile for the rest of your life!

Picture of Teenager with Braces and Expander in Mouth

The Basics

A palatal expander is an appliance used to widen the palate or jaw to make room for all of your teeth. Typically, the appliance is attached to the back molars, but in some cases, it may be removable. The expander is two metal pieces joined with a special screw in the middle. By turning the screw, you increase the tension which causes the two metal pieces to move apart to slowly widen the jaw. Patients place a key in a small hole in the expander to rotate the screw every day and this gradually spreads the palate.

Why are Expanders Needed?

Expanders are used when: a patient’s upper jaw does not fit correctly with the lower jaw (crossbite), there is crowding of teeth, or when impacted teeth are blocked by teeth that have already grown in.

What to Expect

Palatal expanders are individualized for each patient to ensure the correct amount of space is created to move forward with orthodontic treatment. Widening the expander may cause some pressure and discomfort, but it is nothing to be scared of and it should only last for a short time.

Tips and Reminders

After you first get your expander, it may take a little while to get used to it. Try starting out with softer foods that don’t require a lot of chewing and stay away from sticky candy that could damage or get stuck to the expander. As always, it is important to keep up on oral hygiene as you receive orthodontic treatment. In addition to brushing and flossing, use a water flosser or syringe to flush out any food or debris that could get caught in the expander.

Have additional questions? Contact our office at  435-673-3334 for a free consultation and to see what type of orthodontic treatment is best for you and your smile!

Bowl of Candy

Halloween is almost here, and at Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics we have some great orthodontic tips to help keep your smile in great shape!

 

Do:

 

Remember to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine.

It’s always important to brush and floss every day, but especially around Halloween to make sure you are consistently cleaning between those braces and teeth.

 

Keep Water Close By.

Drink plenty of water and rinse your mouth with water anytime you eat candy to help prevent sugar from coating your teeth.

 

Choose “Braces-Friendly” Candy.

When deciding which Halloween candy to eat, choose something soft like a Hershey’s chocolate bar or Reese’s peanut butter cup.

 

Try Something Other Than Candy for a Halloween Treat.

There are plenty of other sweet treats out there that won’t damage your braces. Satisfy your sweet tooth by having a milkshake, cookies, or a cupcake instead!

 

Don’t:

 

Don’t Snack on Candy Throughout the Day.

If you are going to treat yourself with some candy, do so around your mealtimes rather than eating pieces throughout the day. Prolonged and repeated exposure to sugar causes damage to your enamel and coats your teeth with sugar, which can result in cavities and tooth decay.

 

Don’t Eat Hard or Sticky Candy.

Candy such as taffy or jolly ranchers can result in broken brackets or wires. Steer clear of any hard and sticky candies that can damage your braces and/or stick to your teeth.

 

Don’t Risk Popcorn.

Some people hand out popcorn balls instead of candy at Halloween. While this is a fun alternative to sweets, hold off on eating popcorn until after you get your braces off.

 

We want to wish you a Happy Halloween next week and remember to take extra good care of your smile!