Our Blog

No Dentist Referral Needed

January 24th, 2018

Recently, we received a phone call from a parent who had been referred to us by their General Dentist. During the conversation we asked if there was anyone else in the family who would like to be seen. This mom seemed confused and told us that she has other children but their Dentist has not referred them yet. It occurred to us that there are still many people who are under the misconception that you must have a Dentist referral to visit an Orthodontic Specialist.

This simply is not the case.

If you think you or your child needs braces, you may be surprised to learn most – maybe all – dental insurance plans do not require a referral. You can make an appointment with an orthodontist any time to discuss your orthodontic needs and set up a treatment plan.

Furthermore, if your dentist does make a referral, you do not need to choose that orthodontist. You’re free to see anyone you feel can do the best job for you. This is also the case if you do not carry orthodontic insurance, clearly you can see whomever you choose. (And have no fear, we have affordable zero interest financial plans for any treatment plan.)

At Linaker Orthodontics, we love our referrals. Having the trust of numerous Dentists in our communities who refer to our office is an honor and we in turn refer to these Dentists of whom we have the utmost respect. Many times we have new patients come to us who do not have a local dentist and we’re always pleased to provide them with the name of one our trusted colleagues.

As referrals go, our favorite types are word of mouth recommendations. Patients and parents who are beyond excited and in love with their smiles after treatment in our office, and tell others about us, mean the world to us.

With or without a dental referral, you should bring your child for an orthodontic consultation by age 7, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends. Examining young children before all the permanent teeth have erupted may enable an orthodontist to correct problems that would be more difficult and costly to address later. Few children will actually require braces at this age but if your child shows certain bite or alignment problems, early intervention may be able to prevent or reduce the need for braces or more invasive procedures in the future. If there are no issues, this knowledge gives parents invaluable peace of mind and we will continue to watch the jaw and dentition develop as their child grows, usually with quick observation appointments every 6 months to a year.

Additionally, more and more adults are discovering that as they gracefully mature, their once straight teeth are shifting, or perhaps, they simply weren’t able to have orthodontic care when they were younger for one reason or another and their bite is worsening. The numbers of adults coming to our office for orthodontic consultations is increasing every month and our number of Invisalign cases is growing comparatively. Adult orthodontics is becoming more and more popular and affordable.

In any case, we would love to see you or child, with or without a referral. Consultations at any age are free in our office. Come in and see if together we can help you to achieve your most beautiful smile.

Orthodontic and Dental Health Resolutions for 2018

January 9th, 2018


2018 is upon us and with a new year usually comes a plethora of articles and posts regarding healthy resolutions. Why should we be any different? Resolutions are a good idea no matter how long they last. Here are some ideas for orthodontic and dental health resolutions that you might want to include in your list for 2018 from us at Linaker Orthodontics.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #1: Excellent oral hygiene every day

Good Oral Hygiene is important whether you wear braces, Invisalign, retainers or nothing at all, but because braces create places where food remnants and bacteria can get trapped, you will need to pay special attention if you are in treatment. Leaving remnants of food and bacteria in your mouth, can cause gingivitis, calcium buildup, and cavities. In more extreme cases, failing to clean your teeth well with braces can lead to demineralization of your teeth.
At Linaker Orthodontics we recommend the Oral B precision toothbrush to get the best results. Your proxy interdental brush and floss threaders are also effective if you are wearing braces. If you need a refresher on how to keep your teeth clean with braces just ask us, we’re happy to go over the best techniques with you again.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #2: Schedule and keep your regular dental appointments

While you are undergoing treatment with us, you need to make sure that your dentist and hygienist see you for your twice yearly hygiene visits too. Occasionally you may need to have an extra cleaning, depending on your oral hygiene circumstances Some dentists require you to have your wires removed for these appointments. No problem. Schedule an appointment immediately before and after your dentist visit, with our office, and we will remove and replace them in no time. This takes some coordination however, so be sure to contact us well in advance.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #3: Wearing your retainers every day in 2018

Retainers are vital to making sure your smile lasts a lifetime, and you’ll need to wear them every day to make sure they’re effective. Remember, it’s not just while you’re sleeping but 10-12 hours every day. If you’ve recently had your braces removed, are getting them off in 2018 or finishing with Invisalign, resolve to wear your retainers exactly as instructed.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #4: Less sugar and more water

If there’s one simple thing you can do to improve the health of your teeth, it’s cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks. Sugar interacts with bacteria in the mouth to form acids that eat away at tooth enamel, which can cause decay. Cutting back on sugar will not only benefit your teeth, but your overall health in general.
Did you know that the role of saliva is to keep your mouth clean, and that drinking water helps encourage saliva production? Water will also help flush pieces of food from your braces. And of course in our Southern Arizona climate, even in the winter, hydration is vital. Drinking more water is a win win.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #5: Keep all of your appointments at our office

We love seeing you and keeping your appointments will help keep your treatment with braces or Invisalign on track. Your smile will thank you!

Your Linaker Ortho Family wishes you a happy and a healthy New Year!

Do I Need To Visit My Dentist While In Orthodontic Treatment?

September 27th, 2017

So, you just got your braces on, and you’re wondering why you should continue visiting your general dentist since you’re seeing Dr. Linaker every other month. Patients always ask us if they should continue to see their dentist while in orthodontic treatment. In short, the answer is yes.
Today, we thought we would share a few reasons why it’s crucial to keep up with your regular visits with your dentist in addition to coming in for your regular adjustments at Linaker Orthodontics.
One of the best reasons to visit your dentist while you undergo orthodontic treatment is to remove plaque and tartar. Having braces provides additional nooks and crannies in which food particles and bacteria can hide. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can help ensure most, if not all, plaque and tartar is removed. Even if you are undergoing clear aligner treatment, dental checkups and cleanings are equally as important.
The next reason to visit a dentist is to help protect your teeth from decalcification, or the loss of calcium in your teeth. A potentially serious condition in which white spots on your tooth surfaces, decalcification is irreversible and if left untreated, can lead to cavities. Decalcification is preventable; patients who cut down on sugary sweets and acidic foods, practice good oral hygiene, and visit their dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.
The final reason we recommend visiting your dentist while you have braces is this: cavities can prolong your treatment. If you are interested in completing your orthodontic treatment on time and without any delays, visiting your dentist every six months or as recommended can go a long way toward making that a realistic goal. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.
Making sure to visit your dentist will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces come off. If you do not have a general dentist and would like a recommendation on finding one in the Tucson, Oro Valley or Marana area, please give us a call or let us know at your next adjustment appointment!

To all of our Easter Bunnies: A Few Tips for Braces Friendly Easter Treats

April 10th, 2017

Easter is always a special time of year. It’s a holiday that all ages enjoy together. One thing that is symbolic with Easter is the eye-appealing baskets that are usually chock-full of sweets, treats, and goodies galore. But for the person who has braces, there are some treats that should be left out of the Easter basket. Some of the treats you put into the baskets can lead to discomfort, or even a trip to the orthodontist. The good news is that steering clear of those treats is not difficult, and your child will still end up with a really great Easter basket!

Tasty Treats
There are some treats that are off limits when it comes to wearing braces, and you will want to avoid those for sure. When you put the treats into the Easter basket just think for a moment if they are foods that are particularly hard or sticky. This means you will want to bypass the jelly beans, which may be a tradition in the baskets, but can cause problems with braces. Sticky or chewy foods can be especially difficult for people who have braces. When it comes to choosing what will go in the basket, here are a few safe options to consider:

Most kids are going to want some chocolate in their Easter basket. Heck, most adults want some, too! Be sure to avoid any chocolates that are hard or may be filled with things like chewy caramel. Opt for those chocolates that are soft and will melt in the mouth. There are usually small balls of chocolate available every Easter. Other options include Hershey kisses and peanut butter cups. Another tip to keep in mind about selecting chocolate is that dark chocolate is a healthier option. Dark chocolate, which comes in many varieties, contains riboflavin and antioxidants that provide health benefits for the teeth and gums.

Most kids love fruit, so putting some in their Easter basket should be a great treat. Think about those fruits that are soft and will make an ideal addition to the basket, such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries. All of these are soft, easy to eat when you have braces, and they are healthy. In addition to containing vitamins, strawberries are also an astringent and act as a natural tooth whitener.

While marshmallows can be a little sticky, they are also soft and shouldn’t be a problem because they dissolve in water. Putting a few of the traditional marshmallow Peeps in the Easter basket is fine for your kids, but it would be wise to have them brush their teeth after eating them.

Hard-boiled eggs
Because this traditional Easter food is so soft, it should not pose a problem for those with braces. Decorated hardboiled eggs will make a nice addition to any basket.

Pop a few iced sugar cookies into that basket and your kids will love you even more. Whether you make them at home yourself or you buy some from the store, this will be a tasty treat that won’t be a pain. Brownies No kids can resist brownies. You can find some in stores or bakeries that are decorated for Easter, or you can make them yourself. If you make them yourself consider getting creative with making them healthier. There are plenty of recipes online for turning ordinary brownies into ones made with black beans. While they may sound odd, they have become popular and the kids seem to like them, too.

Other foods
There are a lot of foods that you can add to your child’s Easter basket, keeping their age in mind of course. Think of things like bottled smoothies, pudding cups, and grapes. There are snack packs of crackers, chips, and graham crackers. You can even find a few varieties of soft cereal bars, such as those by Kashi, Udi’s, or Nutri-Grain that are perfectly braces-safe.

Of course you can always opt for non-food items in your Easter baskets as well, which often go over even better that food treats.

Happy Easter and Happy Basket Stuffing from our Family to Yours!

(Adapted from Dustin S Burleson, DDS)