• What questions should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

    August 30th, 2012

    Are you thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment? Consider making your first step an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation we will address your questions, concerns, and talk about a treatment plan that would best suit your situation.

    We want you to feel prepared and in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, so keep these questions in mind when you come in for your appointment.

    • If I do need some adjustments to my teeth, what options will I have besides braces?
    (This will help you determine what approaches we use to straighten your teeth.)

    • What kind of preparation is needed to get braces? How many visits will it take?
    (It’s important to know how many appointments may be needed and what you will need to do between appointments to be ready for braces.)

    • Can I expect any pain when getting braces?
    (Ask about the ways we address pain management.)

    • What determines how long I have to wear braces?
    (The length of treatment will vary from patient to patient. During your consultation we can evaluate your teeth and jaw alignment to determine the correct course and length of treatment.)

    • How will braces affect my lifestyle? Foods I can eat? Activities I can do?
    (You may find that little needs to change in your daily routine to have a successful orthodontic outcome. We can discuss and address any changes so you can be prepared before you get your braces.)

    • Who will be involved in the orthodontic work? Whom can I expect to see during my adjustment visits?

    • What will my orthodontic work cost? What is the ”average” cost and what could be the maximum?
    (Make sure you are clear about what your insurance covers, who contacts the insurance company for pre-authorization, who files the insurance forms, and what flexibility there is to pay the remaining amount not covered.)

    Your initial orthodontic consultation may just be the first step in relieving a lot of pain and discomfort in your life. Going in with the right questions will help you to understand the entire process and prepare you to do your part for your own dental health. Be sure to bring a list of your questions!

  • What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

    August 20th, 2012

    Visibly crooked teeth are not the only reason to take your child into the orthodontist. There are some subtle things to look for as well, which may indicate the onset of more serious orthodontic issues. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to address if treated and corrected during a child’s development.

    Waiting until facial development is complete or until the permanent teeth have come in can make correction of many orthodontic issues more challenging. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic care at any age, but addressing issues early is almost always the ideal choice.

    If you’re wondering if you or your child might have need for orthodontic care, there are some things you can be on the lookout for. Here are some of the most common warning signs of orthodontic issues:

    • Difficulty when chewing or biting
    • Chronic mouth-breathing
    • Sucking the thumb, the fingers, or any other oral sucking habits that continue after the age of six
    • Overbite – when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than 5mm
    • Top front teeth that cover more than 25% of the bottom teeth while biting
    • Underbite – when the top front teeth go behind the bottom row of teeth when biting
    • Crowded, crooked, overlapped, misshapen, misplaced teeth or extra teeth of any size
    • Crossbite – when one or more teeth tilt toward the cheek or toward the tongue causing excessive stress on the jawbone
    • The center of the top and bottom teeth don’t line up
    • Uneven teeth-wearing
    • Baby teeth coming out too early for the child’s age
    • Pain in jaws
    • Clicking in the jaw joints
    • The jaw shifts off-center while chewing or biting
    • A jaw that protrudes, or recedes, too much
    • Difficulty speaking or enunciating clearly
    • Chronic biting of the inner cheek or roof of the mouth
    • Asymmetrical facial structure
    • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

    If you notice that either you or your child has one or more of these conditions, they could be signs that there is a risk of orthodontic or health problems. The sooner these problems are addressed, the wider and brighter you will be able to smile going forward!

  • Stay Cool with a Braces-Friendly Summer Treat!

    June 26th, 2012

    Summer is here! Kids and adults alike will now be spending more time outside being active and enjoying the hotter temperatures. What’s better on a hot summer day than a delicious treat that will cool you down after doing something active in the summer sun? Luckily, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have just the thing, Watermelon Sorbet! You can find the complete recipe below:

    Watermelon Sorbet

    Ingredients

    • ¾ cup water
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon lime juice
    • 2 to 3 cups watermelon, diced, no seeds or rind

    Directions

    In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and lime juice on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill this “syrup” at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, place the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and liquefy them. Add the chilled syrup to the watermelon puree and blend. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

    Happy Summer!

  • Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

    April 16th, 2012

    The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew, and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain you teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

    Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

    Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

    Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. From clear braces to removable aligners and totally invisible lingual (behind the teeth) braces, we can personalize your treatment to suit all your needs.