Cold and flu season is upon us, are you prepared?

  • Cold and flu season is upon us, are you prepared?

    September 28th, 2012

    It’s that time of year to start thinking about protecting yourself and your family from the flu. Here are some simple steps you can take to help yourself avoid colds and the flu this season.

    • Wash your hands before and after brushing
    • Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
    • Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
    • Replace toothbrush after every cold or flu or every 3-4 months when bristles appear worn

    To promote a healthy and clean environment, our team gives a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces.

    For the protection of other patients and our staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others. We hope this helps and give us a call if you have any questions!

    Stay healthy this beautiful autumn!

  • Treat yourself to a new smile, no matter what your age!

    September 21st, 2012

    Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best!

    Can Braces Work for Adults?

    People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it’s never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

    How Do I Get Started?

    If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

    What Are the Benefits?

    Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

    If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, give our team a call, so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

  • Foods That are Safe for Braces

    September 14th, 2012

    Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

    The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

    A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

    Post-Tightening Foods

    As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our office will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

    • pudding
    • mashed potatoes
    • soup
    • ice cream
    • cottage cheese
    • peas
    • pancakes
    • pasta

    Foods to Avoid

    According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

    • hard candies
    • gum
    • nuts
    • popcorn
    • certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

    Considerations

    Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

  • When Are Two Phases of Treatment Necessary?

    September 07th, 2012

    Usually patients in orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – they are pre-teens, teens and adults. But in some cases we have to start treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth come in. We call this “two-phase treatment.”

    When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat.

    Examples include:
    • An upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly
    • A mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in
    • A severe malocclusion, or bad bite, which means the jaw doesn’t fit together correctly

    In these cases we will start early and do one round of treatment – phase one – while the patient still has their baby teeth. Phase one usually does not involve braces, but can include a different type of appliance that helps the jaw grow into place properly. We’ll follow up with phase two usually a few years later, when permanent teeth are in place. Generally phase two involves braces.

    In order to catch early problems, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontists). However, if your dentist or pediatrician sees any sign that early treatment might be necessary, he or she may recommend your child visit our office even sooner.