Digital Scans Instead of Impressions? Yes Please!

March 10th, 2020

If you've ever had dental impressions taken for your diagnostic records you know how much fun it is to have a gooey mouthful of impression material. ?

Well we have good news! We are now taking a digital scan instead of impressions for diagnostic records on all patients. Our Orthodontic Clinicians, Lisa, Diane and Reba and our Treatment Coordinator Traci have all trained and become masters with our new ITero® Digital Scanner.

What is an iTero® Digital Scanner?

“Intraoral scanners from iTero® scan the mouths of patients, capturing images to create three-dimensional dental images in minutes.”* That means instead of using impression material that sits on the teeth for up to 2 minutes and pouring the impression up to make a plaster model of your teeth, we will simply take a digital scan which will generally take less than 5 minutes and you will immediately be able to see 3-D images of your teeth, gums and bite.

Why would we need a Digital Scan?

Orthodontists must have an accurate representation of what your teeth look like before beginning treatment in order to keep it as a record and plan your orthodontic treatment. “Digital Scanners help orthodontists diagnose orthodontic problems and develop the best treatment plans.”

How does a Digital Scanner Work?

“Intraoral scanners feature a small wand,” (much smaller than cumbersome wands associated with the first scanners from 2007) which our clinicians manipulate around a patient’s mouth. In the newest version which we have now, “the wand captures thousands of frames per second which are pieced together to create a three-dimensional visualization of the patient’s mouth. Intraoral scanners also have screens which display the digital dental images as they’re captured in real time.”*

What is the Benefit to the Patient Besides no Gooey Impressions?

“Orthodontists can scan their patients with an iTero® intraoral scanner, then show them how their Invisalign® or other Orthodontic treatment will look. This technology improves the patient experience because patients can know what to expect and feel more confident in their diagnosis and treatment plan.”* Often patients had no idea what their teeth and bite actually looked like prior to seeing their scan on the screen.

The best news for you is that your scan, along with your initial consultation, is completely Free. We also have interest free in office financing available for all of our treatment options.

Give us a call today at 520-531-1496 or click 'Contact Us' and 'Appointment Request'  on our website.  We can’t wait to meet you!

Linaker Orthodontics - Where Tucson Comes To Smile

* https://www.123dentist.com/itero-intraoral-digital-scanners-everything-you-need-to-know/

Do I Have Orthodontic Insurance and How Does it Work?

April 2nd, 2019

The first question will be easy enough to find out, the second can be a bit complicated.

Orthodontic insurance is separate from medical and dental. If you have dental insurance, it’s quite possible that you have Orthodontic benefits however Orthodontic benefits are separate from your normal dental insurance with your general dentist. There are a few medical plans that have orthodontic benefits only if the braces are medically necessary.

Orthodontic benefits are paid over the course of the treatment and normally have a lifetime maximum per patient. The average time for orthodontic treatment is 24 months. In that case, your benefit would be paid over 24 months. Only 1% of insurance companies pay your orthodontic benefit in full in one payment.

Orthodontic benefits work in several ways:
The most common benefit is payable at a percentage with a lifetime maximum of a certain amount. For example: payable at 50% with a lifetime maximum of $1500 per person. This means if your treatment is $4000 they will pay $1500 total. Additionally, they will not pay their amount in full as they know most treatment plans may take anywhere from 18 to 30 months so most orthodontic plans usually pay one of 2 ways; either half of their benefit at the beginning and half one year later, or a percentage at the beginning and then monthly payments throughout the course of your treatment.

If you change employers and/or insurance companies during the course of your orthodontic treatment we need to know right away.

If you are working for the same employer and that employer changes insurance companies during your orthodontic treatment, we can submit a claim to the new insurance company. That claim will be prorated according to the date the braces were put on and the number of months required. The new insurance company will consider how many months the prior insurance company has paid and how many months are left of treatment. In this case, usually, the new insurance company will pick up the payments where the other company has left off. We say ‘usually’ because when you have the same employer, your benefits should continue even though your employer has changed insurance companies. But, in some cases, there might be a pre-existing clause in your new benefit and the new insurance company will not continue payments. If this is the case, you may personally want to try to appeal to get your full benefit from your employer.

If you change employers, your benefit from the first employer will be stopped automatically and they will not pay any more at that point. You can submit a claim to your new insurance company from your new employer and location. If your new plan allows for “Ortho Work in Progress”, the new insurance should pick up payments when you send in a claim and submit the amount of months left of treatment. Sometimes this is not covered due to a pre-existing clause in your new benefit.

Additionally, since Insurance companies do not pay their portion of your benefit in full, if you drop your Orthodontic coverage they will stop payments at that time and you will not receive the full benefit which means at that point you will be responsible for that full amount.

In a nutshell: Insurance can be complicated for orthodontic treatment due to the length of treatment and different plan types. It is important to know your benefit, lifetime maximum, how it is paid and at what percentage. We are happy to help you navigate the details of your Insurance Company but we ask that if there are any changes, or even if you are contemplating making a change, let us know right away so we may help you receive your maximum benefit.

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.

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)

Some Tips for Eating Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

November 21st, 2016

Here at Linaker Orthodontics, we’re very thankful and we love our family and food, so Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. We thought we’d share some tips for enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with braces.

As always, cut your foods up into small bites, this not only makes chewing with braces easier but is also healthier than taking larger bites. Be sure to cut the meat off of the turkey leg! It may be tempting to chomp into that great big delicious leg of dark turkey meat that your Mom or Grandma has painstakingly spent hours preparing for you family feast – but your braces may come loose if you bite too close to the bone. We know Thanksgiving only comes around once a year and sometimes you just can’t help yourself from being tempted, but please use caution! Most other traditional foods, such as sweet potatoes, dressing and green bean casserole are soft and easy to eat with or without braces. (OK, now our mouths are watering.)

Make sure to be careful with Pecan Pie and any hard candies or cookies that may catch your eye for dessert – biting into one of these delectable morsels may also bend your wires or cause a bracket to come loose. Go for something soft & delicious like a slice of pumpkin or apple pie with an extra scoop of ice cream or whip cream…yeah that is just what the doctor ordered!

Remember to brush and floss after every meal. If you’re like us that means you’ll be brushing a lot because we eat all day long.

Please know how thankful we are for each and every member of our Linaker Orthodontics Family!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Farm to Table Recipes for Orthodontic Patients and Their Familes

August 10th, 2016

Nutritious and delicious dishes to make you smile

One of the most common questions adult patients ask their orthodontist is, “What can I eat?” The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) found some answers.  The AAO asked a personal chef to cook up a few ideas that patients could bite into without harming their braces, aligners and retainers.

Taking advantage of the freshness of the season, these three delicious farm-to-table recipes are easy on orthodontic patients, loaded with nutrients and simple to prepare.

“Soft, tender foods like those in these recipes are ideal for orthodontic patients because they don’t risk breaking brackets, wires or other elements, which could prolong treatment,” according to Morris N. Poole, DDS and president of the AAO. “It’s a wonderful thing when the foods that are good for your health happen to be great for your orthodontic treatment, too.”

These recipes feature fresh, quality ingredients that can be grown at home or obtained at local farmers’ markets, such as oregano, basil and spinach, and require no more than thirty minutes to prepare.

Ready to get cooking?

Summer Corn-Tomato-Basil Orzo Salad with Shrimp

  • 1 pound of orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 to 3 ears of fresh corn, husks and silk removed, kernels cut off of cob
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan and cook the corn, salt, and pepper for 7 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring until pink.
  3. Toss the orzo, corn and shrimp, tomatoes, and fresh basil together. Taste for salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Farm Stand Frittata

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach or broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350o and spray pie dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter on the stovetop in a pan and sauté the onion over medium heat until tender.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie dish.
  4. Bake 30 minutes or until frittata is set.

Farm Stand Zucchini-Garlic Fusilli with Feta (not pictured)

  • 1-pound fusilli, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. When the oil is warm but not hot, add the sliced garlic and stir for two minutes.

3. Add the sliced zucchini, kosher salt, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and sauté until tender.

4. Add the fresh oregano and cook one minute.

5. Toss zucchini and garlic with the pasta and top each serving with the crumbled Feta cheese.

About the American Association of Orthodontists

Founded in 1900, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization.  It represents 17,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.  The AAO encourages and sponsors key research to enable its members to provide the highest quality of care to patients, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws.  Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education in orthodontics beyond dental school at an accredited orthodontic residency program.

Transforming My Smile #2 - My Invisalign Ride

January 21st, 2016

Under the heading of “This is hard To Believe” is the fact that I’ve been in Invisalign treatment with Dr. Linaker now for over 36 weeks. I’m on my 18th set of Aligners and the changes are so obvious, at least to me.
I have grown to absolutely love the feeling of having my aligners in, especially when I put in a new set and they’re snug, because I know that means progress. I’ve been wearing rubber bands with my aligners for a couple of months and that is going great. Yes, I have yawned with them in and snapped myself in the lip, but outside of that, elastic wear has gone really well also. And the best part is that Dr. Linaker can tell that my bite is lining up slowly but surely.
Snacking wasn’t deterred for long, in fact I’ve unfortunately become very good at popping my aligners out to grab some chips or cookies. Then it’s a quick rinse and I pop them back in. My hopes of perhaps losing a little weight during my treatment were swiftly dashed, mostly due to my complete lack of will power.
As for cleaning my aligners, I learned that there are several types of mouthwash that turn my aligners blue or green, so to be safe I’ve been soaking mine in clear whitening mouthwash while I brush or eat. I then just brush them lightly. When I first started in treatment, I would soak them in whatever mouthwash we had on hand at home, usually blue, then scrub them with my brush. I noticed that the aligners would get a little cloudy after about a week but when I soak them in a clear mouthwash and brush them gently they stay clear and sparkly. (And FYI for you thrifty shoppers like me, my favorite clear mouthwash is the Equate whitening rinse from Walmart.)
So I’m well over half way done with my treatment and can honestly say it’s one of my best decisions. I can’t wait to show you all the perfect finished smile that’s just a few months away.

Transforming My Smile #1

June 11th, 2015

Hi Everyone,
This is Kathy, and I’m so excited to tell you all about how my Invisalign treatment is going. I’ve been in treatment now for 4 weeks and I started my third set of aligners yesterday.

Many people who know me well are wondering why I’m doing this. They couldn’t tell that my teeth were even crooked. Well, I’ve been in the field of orthodontics for over half of my life and I could see the change in my teeth almost daily over the last several years. I also know that if I don’t stop the progress now it could only get worse and would certainly not get better if left alone. Sure I could have retainers made to simply hold my teeth where they are now, but then the teeth that are out of line would still be out of line, my bite would still be off and the things that just flat out bother me about my smile would still continue to bother me.

I considered going in to traditional braces and am still not opposed to it but I was ecstatic when I found out I was indeed a candidate for Invisalign. I wanted to try something new. Why not? And if I can use this treatment to impact even one person and encourage them to go into treatment to straighten their teeth, improve their smile and improve their self-confidence, it will be more than worth it. A true Win/Win!

So the first couple of days into treatment my teeth were definitely sore. Many people think that because they’re not getting traditional braces their teeth will not be sore. In reality, even with aligners, your teeth are still moving through bone so there is going to be discomfort from time to time. I also had a few sores from the attachments on my teeth. Clear attachments are bonded onto a few of your teeth with Invisalign treatment to help hold the aligners in place. I have additional attachments because I’ll be wearing rubber bands during the course of my treatment as well. Dr. Linaker smoothed the attachments and a few edges on my aligners and I was good to go. Today, with my third set in for 24 hours I’m sore again but it’s mild and tolerable!
Having the aligners has definitely changed my eating habits. I don’t snack as much! And that’s a great thing because I used to snack a lot! Having to take the aligners out each time and eat, put them in the case, brush after and clean the aligners is definitely a deterrent to eating too often. I originally thought I would possibly drink less coffee and just keep my aligners in and drink through a straw. That idea went out the window after just a few days. I really enjoy my 2 cups of coffee in the morning so that is the longest period of time I actually have them out. You’re supposed to wear your aligners at least 22 hours a day so I choose my time wisely but my coffee time is valuable to me. I have also started a new exercise regimen so I’m hopeful that and less snacking will help with a few other much needed changes! :)
Even though it’s been only 4 weeks, I can already feel some changes in my bite and I am absolutely delighted. I have 24 sets of aligners, so only 22 more to go and then possibly a few refinements! I’m so thrilled and I can’t wait to see and show you all the end result!

Are Braces, Crowns or Veneers Right For You?

January 19th, 2015

We all want to flash a picture-perfect set of pearly whites—and thankfully there are procedures available that can help. Here's what you need to know about braces, crowns and veneers.
By Chantel Simmons

Maybe you missed getting braces as a kid, or that gap-toothed smile that looked adorable in university isn’t sitting right with you anymore. If so, it could be time to go to the dentist for some cosmetic work.

Of course, not everyone wants or needs perfectly straight white teeth. But if you do, braces, veneers or crowns can help, says Dr. Ira Kirshen, a dentist and president of the Ontario Dental Association. “These three procedures are extremely safe and beneficial.”

What’s involved? “We determine if the teeth are too big or small [for the client’s facial proportions]; too white or not white enough; and, most importantly, if the position of the teeth is proper in relation to the lips and face,” says Dr. Sol Weiss, a Toronto dentist. Here’s what else you need to know.

What you need to know about crowns

They’re ideal if: You have a damaged, cracked or badly chipped tooth, a very large broken filling that can’t be replaced or significant wear from grinding or clenching, or if you need to replace an old crown.

What are they? Also known as “caps,” crowns protect teeth from further damage while making teeth more aesthetically pleasing. They encompass the entire unhealthy tooth (the original tooth is filed to make room for the crown), and can change its shape and position. Today’s crowns are made from a variety of materials including porcelain over a zirconia base, or solid porcelain (avoiding the old-generation problem of metal shine-through, or the black line around the tooth where it meets the gum). A crown can be made in myriad shades, says Weiss, then “fine stained” to add trans­lucencies and white spots to make it look as natural as possible.

What’s new: Some dentists now make crowns in their offices, eliminating the need for multiple appointments. Typically, though, crowns are made by an outside lab.

Time commitment: You wear a temporary crown for about a week before getting your permanent crown.

Expiry date: Most crowns will last 10 to 15 years, though they may last longer.

Cost: $900 to $2,500 per tooth, depending on individual circumstances.*

What you need to know about veneers

They’re ideal if: You want to change a tooth’s shape, size, position or colour, says Weiss. However, Calgary dentist Gordon Chee cautions, “Sometimes we have to resolve any bite problems first.”

What are they? A veneer is a thin wafer of porcelain that covers the front of a tooth. When determining how many teeth a patient will need to have coated, dentists consider how the teeth fill out your smile. “Most people need eight to 10 veneers,” says Chee.

What’s new: Some dentists now have digital impression machines that scan a patient’s teeth. This can be emailed to the dental lab, making the process faster.

Time commitment: Veneers can take 10 days to create and require removal of part of the tooth’s enamel. You’ll wear temporary veneers while your permanent ones are being prepared. Galan says he prefers to have clients wear the temporary veneers for a couple of weeks to ensure gums heal properly before applying the more permanent ones (during the process of removing enamel, gums can become irritated). A quicker option is “no-prep” veneers, which use a simple bonding solution to affix to the teeth. But they can also pop off unexpectedly, and aren’t a good option for covering discoloured teeth.

Expiry date: Ten to 15 years. Smoking and caffeine stain natural teeth more than veneers; avoid both so the colour of your teeth and veneers continue to match for several years.

Cost: $1,000 to $2,000 per tooth.*

Tip: “Ask your dental hygienist to use a gentle polishing paste during checkups,” advises Dr. Edward Lowe, a Vancouver dentist and the editor of the Canadian Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry. “A coarse polishing paste will take away the shine.”

What you need to know about braces

They’re ideal if: The teeth aren’t in the correct position—if they’re turned or rotated —or if the bite isn’t correct.

What are they? Braces are a metal device that exerts a steady pressure on the teeth to correct alignment and bite-related problems, including underbites and overbites. Most dentists don’t do braces, but work closely with an orthodontist.

What's new: As an alternative, many dentists offer  Invisalign—clear, computer-designed, removable teeth aligners that you change every two weeks until your teeth are properly aligned. However, traditional braces are better for more complicated situations.

Time commitment: Two to three years for braces and about one year for Invisalign. Afterwards, you’ll need to wear a retainer regularly to prevent your teeth from returning to their original position.

Cost: Both braces and Invisalign range from $2,500 to $9,000, including checkups.*

*Note: Prices are approximate and vary from province to province. Final cost may also vary based on the medical professional, individual needs, laboratory charges and whether provincial, private or employee benefits coverage exists for the procedure.


Early Orthodontics May Mean Less Treatment Later

August 12th, 2014

Look at yearbook or prom pictures from the 1950s or '60s and you'll see many smiles framed with heavy metal braces. It's a sight that's less common in high schools today. Why the change? Children today tend to get braces at a much earlier age. Some patients with special problems begin orthodontic treatment at age 7 or younger.

"The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening by age 7," says Thomas Cangialosi, D.D.S. "Permanent teeth generally begin to come in at age 6 or 7. It is at this point that orthodontic problems become apparent.

"Because bones are still growing, it's an ideal time to evaluate a child," Dr. Cangialosi says. "Then we can determine what orthodontic treatment, if any, may be needed either now or in the future."

Dr. Cangialosi is chairman and professor of Orthodontics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Making Braces Hip

To make braces more acceptable and fun for young people, manufacturers have made brightly colored elastics. These are the tiny rubber bands that hold the wires to the braces. Children can choose elastics with their school colors or a holiday color scheme, such as orange and black for Halloween.

Choosing the color of the elastics allows patients "to feel that they are more involved in their treatment," Dr. Cangialosi says.

Still Take Getting Used To

Braces today tend to be less uncomfortable and less visible than they used to be. But they still take some getting used to. Food can get caught around brackets and in wires, and flossing and brushing can take more time. After adjustments sometimes the teeth may be a little sore. Tooth discomfort can be controlled by taking a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Tylenol and others) or aspirin if necessary. The use of lighter and more flexible wires has greatly lessened the amount of soreness or discomfort during treatment.
As more and more children get braces, schoolyard nicknames such as "tin grin" and "metal mouth" are heard less often. Because treatment has become more socially acceptable, embarrassment may be less of a concern.

Beyond Braces

Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics. Intervention may begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age, teeth are still developing. The jaw is still growing. That means certain conditions, such as crowding, may be easier to address.

Before permanent teeth have come in, it may be possible to help teeth to erupt (emerge through the gums) into better positions. It's common, for example, for the dental arch to be too small to fit all of the teeth. A few decades ago, the solution for crowding was almost always to extract some of the permanent teeth to make space. Then fixed braces were used to position the teeth properly.

Early intervention takes advantage of the fact that a child's jaw is still growing. For example, a device called a palatal expander may be used to expand the child's upper dental arch. Once the arch is the proper size, there's a better chance that the adult teeth will emerge in better position. Sometimes teeth still may be crowded after all of them have erupted. In such cases, some permanent teeth may still have to be extracted to make room to align the teeth properly.

So-called early treatment also may be useful when the dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position. Functional appliances may fix or improve these problems. More treatment usually is needed later on, but it may be shorter and less involved.

"It is important to note that children who receive interceptive orthodontics generally still need braces or other orthodontic appliances later," Dr. Cangialosi says. "However, this early treatment may shorten and simplify future treatment in selected cases." This is commonly known as two-phase treatment.

It is important to note that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems. However, it may help in certain cases.

Two conditions that require early intervention are crossbites and protruding front teeth. A crossbite can cause the jaws to grow unevenly. Front teeth that stick out may be fractured or injured in an accident, such as a fall.

Adapted From:
©2002-2013 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive? Here Are Some Reasons

July 15th, 2014

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Mouthwash

Some people just overdo it when it comes to using their mouthwash. If you are rinsing your mouth with this solution several times per day, you risk developing sensitive teeth.

This mainly happens because the greatest majority of mouthwashes contain certain acids that make the sensitive teeth issue worse. Make sure to talk to your dentist about suggesting you a mouthwash that contains neutral fluoride.

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Acidic Foods

The consumption of too many acidic foods. When you consume plenty of fruit juices, tomatoes and other acidic foods the enamel on your teeth will start eroding. When the enamel gets thinner, more of the dentin becomes exposed and your teeth will become more sensitive.

Stay away from over-consuming these acidic foods, and also make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water after consuming these foods to avoid the attack of the acids on your teeth. Also, you can neutralize acids in your mouth by consuming a piece of cheese after meals.

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Teeth Whitening

Using teeth whitening products too often, or brushing your teeth too hard will also play an important role in dental enamel erosion. Use teeth whitening products in moderation, and purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles which is gentle with your teeth.

Also, use gentle cleaning toothpaste containing natural ingredients, and get rid of abrasive and harsh toothpastes that will only aggravate the sensitive teeth situation.

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Bruxism, Teeth Grinding

Bruxism- or grinding of the teeth also destroys the natural structure of your teeth. Over time, your teeth might become sensitive. Some people opt for dental veneers or dental crowns in order to create a shield of protection for their teeth.

Or, you should start wearing a special custom made night mouth guard during nights so that teeth grinding will stop.

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Gum Recession

If you are struggling with gum recession, chances are you also have to put up with tooth sensitivity. The roots of your teeth are nicely protected by gum tissue, but when the gums recede the root becomes exposed thus causing sensitive teeth.

Talk to your dentist if you suspect gum recession problems. Check your teeth in the mirror often and if you notice that spaces are forming between your teeth and your teeth have also become more sensitive, you may struggle with gum disease in its incipient phase.

Why You Have Sensitive Teeth: Recent Dental Work

Short term tooth sensitivity can also be caused by recent dental work. If you just got your dental crowns, implants or veneers placed, you might notice that your teeth are very sensitive. You should not worry, because this is only a temporary side effect and sensitivity will go away in a few weeks.

Teeth which are cracked, or teeth with decay may also cause dental sensitivity. However, after getting proper treatment such as dental bonding or fillings, sensitivity will go way.


What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

June 3rd, 2014

Few events are as exciting for you, your parents, and your orthodontist as the day your braces come off. Few things can ruin that celebration like discovering white spot lesions on the teeth at the end of an otherwise well-treated orthodontic case. Do braces cause white spot lesions? Can they be prevented? Can they be fixed after they appear? Sadly, these are all questions that we hear from time to time.

White spot lesions (also called decalcification or demineralization) are subsurface porosities caused by dental plaque (the same thing that causes cavities). The white, chalky marks on the teeth appear when acids created by the plaque remove minerals from the tooth surface and change the way it reflects light. The most common area for white spot lesions is between the gums and the brackets where brushing is most difficult. Many times white spots develop under swollen gum tissue making their detection difficult until after the braces are removed and swelling subsides. University studies have found that white spot lesions occur in 24% of adolescents who have never had braces (again caused by plaque left on the teeth). This number jumps to as high as 50% in teenagers with braces! Although braces DO NOT cause white spots on the teeth, they do complicate the removal of the plaque which is responsible.
Can white spot lesions be prevented? Yes. Current approaches can be grouped into three categories: 1) plaque removal, 2) hardening the enamel surface, and 3) protecting the enamel with a coating. Plaque removal is the ONLY sure way to prevent white spot lesions. In our office we begin oral hygiene coaching at the very first appointment. We give brushing instructions to the patient and parent and provide information about the foods and drinks that should be avoided during treatment. We encourage the use of fluoridated toothpaste and provide floss threaders to make flossing easier. During treatment we reward good brushers with an ongoing hygiene contest and give additional instruction to patients who are struggling. When we notice that white spots are developing, we point them out to the family. We have even removed braces early in some patients with severe problems. The bottom line is that if plaque is regularly removed from the teeth, white spot lesions cannot form.

What can be done if you have white spots on your teeth after your braces come off? The first step is just to keep your teeth clean and let your enamel be bathed in your normal oral fluids for at least six months after appliance removal. All white spots improve some with time and minor ones may disappear altogether. Bleaching has been shown to lighten the enamel surrounding white spot lesions and reopen the “pores” overlying subsurface porosities. White spots then blend in better and actually improve as the effects of the bleaching wear off. For more severe problems, your dentist may perform microabrasion (removing superficial white spots), cosmetic bonding (replacing damaged enamel), or place porcelain veneers (covering badly damaged surfaces).

In the end, white spot lesions are caused by plaque. Coating your teeth with extra fluoride or sealing your teeth with the newest products may help some, but the best solution is the daily, methodical removal of plaque with a regular toothbrush. Keep dental plaque off of your teeth and white spot lesions will never ruin your deband celebration!

10 Weeks of Summer ~ Our Summer 2014 Contest

April 14th, 2014

We are very excited about our Summer 2014 Contest!

Starting on Monday May 26th, 2014 our office will post 1 question per week on our Facebook Page for 10 weeks. So you start there!

Next, visit our website to find the answers. At the end of the 10 weeks (July 31, 2014) either submit your answer via private message on Facebook or bring in your answer sheet (available in the office) that week.

Each person to answer all 10 questions correctly will be entered into a drawing for our Summer 2014 Grand Prizes!
One boy and one girl will each win a $100 Gift Basket! (Including a $50 gift card of their choice!)

Additional Entry’s available:
~1 Additional Entry for an official online review!
~1 Additional Entry for a referral of a new patient
(not an immediate family member)

Good Luck! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at the office or ask us on Facebook.

(Contest limited to patients of our office.)

7 Quick Tips To Avoid Bad Breath

March 25th, 2014

Bad breath (halitosis) is an extremely frustrating condition that makes many people become secluded from social life.

They are simply too embarrassed to speak in public or to get near someone out of fear the other person will sense the bad breath.

Here are a few tips that will help you fight off more efficiently bad breath:

1. You should not use mouthwashes and rinses that contain alcohol. These will only dry out the mouth even more, and such a dry environment is what bacteria like to reside in.

Instead, try a mixture of half water and half hydrogen peroxide to rinse the mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is known as a very efficient enemy of the bacteria, which reside inside the mouth.

2. Freshen up your breath by adding a few drops of tea tree oil or peppermint oil on your toothbrush. These essential oils do not only help refreshing your breath, but they also have strong antibacterial properties.

3. People struggling with bad breath should always rinse their mouths thoroughly after each meal. This way, all the food particles are eliminated, and the bacteria do not get a chance to develop.

4. Many people brush only their teeth extremely rigorously. However, it is very important to brush the tongue as well (using a special tongue scraper). The tongue actually traps all kinds of bacteria that bring about the bad breath condition.

5. People struggling with bad breath, usually have a dry mouth. This is why hydration is extremely important. Drink plenty of water, and remember to swoosh it around in your mouth in order to eliminate all the food particles. Also, help saliva production by chewing on sugarless gum or a lozenge.

6. Caffeine and alcohol consumption will dry your mouth even more. If possible, give up consuming these beverages.

7. Nicotine is also a huge enemy of health in general and oral health in particular. The nicotine and tar builds up on your teeth, on the interior of your cheeks and the tongue.

Moreover, smoking will only dry the mouth even more, and saliva will not be produced in needed amounts.


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

March 13th, 2014

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!

What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

January 30th, 2014

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. One important difference is that all orthodontists like Dr. Matthew Linaker are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.
How are they similar?
The main similarity between a dentist and orthodontist is that they both focus on oral care. An orthodontist can work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. So in this respect, they are quite similar. They are both considered doctors, and deal with the teeth and gums.
How are they different?
There are more differences than similarities. An orthodontist requires additional schooling as a dental specialty; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon. Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, or fitting them for corrective braces and devices. If a patient has an overbite, a dentist will refer him or her to an orthodontist.
Dentists typically encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:
• Tooth decay
• Root canals
• Gum disease
• Crowns
• Bridges
• Veneers
• Teeth whitening
Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth, and provide services related to:
• Misaligned teeth
• Crowded teeth
• Overbite
• Underbite
What an orthodontist can help with
Orthodontists help with crooked teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Additional problems with the jaw also need to be treated by an orthodontist.
While a dentist may be trained to provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions, TMJ treatments, and fillings, trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you require.
To learn more about the difference between dentists and orthodontists, or to schedule an initial consultation at no cost with Dr. Linaker, please give us a call at our convenient Marana or Northwest Tucson/Oro Valley office.

What Role Do Elastics (Rubber Bands) Play in Orthodontics?

January 23rd, 2014

Wearing braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that's why you've come to see Dr. Linaker.  Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of Elastics

Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It's common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don'ts

DO - Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON'T - Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO - Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON'T - Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO - Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO - Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we'll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Marana or Oro Valley offices and our staff will be happy to assist you!

New Study Links Dental Problems in Children to Bullying

January 16th, 2014

Unattractive teeth in 11- to 12-year-olds may be linked to bullying, according to a new study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. The study, which was conducted among sixth-grade students in Amman, Jordan, reveals a significant percentage of children experiencing bullying as a result of dental and/or facial appearance. Teeth were the number one targeted physical feature to increase a child's chance of being bullied, followed by the child's strength and weight.

A panel of top US orthodontists concurred with the findings of the study, saying they believe the bullying among Jordanian children can easily translate to the experiences of American children. The panel of 12 orthodontists who hold positions of influence with the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) report that they have treated many young patients who were teased and even bullied because of their teeth.

According to the Jordanian study, the four most commonly reported dental-facial features targeted by bullies were spacing between the teeth, missing teeth, the shape or color of the teeth, and prominent upper anterior (front) teeth.

The purpose of the study was to:

Investigate the experience of bullying among a representative sample of school children (A final sample size of 920 students were surveyed with questionnaires distributed in class with researchers present.)
Look at the effect of bullying on school attendance and perceived academic performance
Look at the contribution of general physical and dental-facial features to bullying
Children currently in orthodontic treatment, or with diagnosed congenital anomalies, were not included in the study.

In the study, nearly half—433 students—reported being bullied. Teeth were identified as the number one problem by students surveyed, and 50% of the victims also recognized teeth as a cause of bullying. There was no significant gender difference on this point.

Gayle Glenn, DDS, MSD, president of the AAO, reports that orthodontists have long been aware of the relationship between serious dental problems and self-esteem—no matter the age of the patient. "A person's smile is very important in communication and interpersonal relations," Glenn says. "Teeth are very noticeable, so when they are unsightly or poorly aligned, this can be an easy target for teasing or bullying. Parents will often tell us that their child is being 'teased' about the appearance of his/her teeth."

Members of the AAO panel have found that early orthodontic treatment of a child being bullied can have a major beneficial psychological effect.

"I was one of those kids, and was bulled because of my overbite. I begged to get it fixed," said Michael W. Ragan, DDS, a Dallas-based orthodontist. "Probably one of the most overlooked areas of research in orthodontics today is trauma and the psychological effects on a child with severe crowding and overbites. I firmly believe that early treatment is one of the most beneficial things for a young kid's self-esteem."

Glenn said it is common to see a patient's self-esteem and self-confidence improve while in orthodontic treatment, and even more when their braces are removed after treatment is completed. Often, significant improvement in appearance can be seen during the first 3 to 6 months of orthodontic treatment.

She added that not all children with poor dentofacial appearance are candidates for "early orthodontic treatment," which is initiated while the child still has some or many of their primary or "baby" teeth. "Many times the problem is transitory and part of the normal process of tooth eruption," Glenn said. "Reassurance is often helpful in these cases. Often young children and their parents benefit from being seen by an orthodontist and knowing that orthodontic treatment can improve their condition in the months or years ahead."

The AAO recommends that children get a check-up by an orthodontist no later than age 7 to determine if and when orthodontic treatment will be needed.

Zaid Al-Bitar, BDS, MSc, head of the orthodontics and pediatric dentistry department at the University of Jordan, and one of the study's authors, created a summary video of the study, which can be found here.


Resolve to Have a Healthy Smile

December 30th, 2013

While you're busy making your list of New Year's resolutions about saving more money and going to the gym, Linaker Orthodontics suggests that you make a few for your teeth, too! Here are six resolutions we found that will help keep your smile healthy and bright for 2014.
1) Floss every day – As the saying goes, "You don't have to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep." Floss removes plaque that can't be removed by brushingAs we age, the leading cause of tooth loss is not cavities or trauma but gum (periodontal) disease. Flossing is the best prevention of periodontal disease.
2) Brush two times a day – Two is the magic number. Be sure to brush your teeth morning and night, for 2 minutes each time
3) See your dentist every 6 months -- Regular check-ups are the key to prevention. A visit to your dentist on a regular basis allows for potential problems to be prevented and new problems to be caught early.
4) Quit smoking -- Smoking causes discoloration to teeth, bad breath and, of course, cancers of the mouth and other parts of the body.
5) Cut down on sugary drinks, like soda and sports drinks -- Carbonated soft drinks have a lot of sugar and acids that can cause tooth decay. Juices and sports drinks also contain too much sugar. And diet sodas still have the acids that can erode your teeth. Best bet? Drink water! And at least rinse your mouth with water after having one of the other drinks.
6) Change your toothbrush every 3 months – Over time, the bristles on toothbrushes become frayed and worn with use, decreasing the effectiveness of removing plaque. If you’re already an orthodontic patient with braces, you may have to replace your toothbrush more often, as the brackets create additional wear and tear on the bristles.
Healthier teeth can lead to a brighter smile and more smiling puts you and the people around you in a happier mood. Smiles are very important to us, so we want to see you make sure you attain your very best smile! Linaker Orthodontics wishes all of our patients a very happy and successful New Year!

Healthy, Beautiful Smiles Can Transform Lives

December 17th, 2013

More self-esteem, a better career and improved relationships may be on the tip of your tongue. Well, close to it. If your teeth are not as nice as you’d like, having them treated by an orthodontist could make a big difference in your life—and if you didn’t have them straightened when you were young, you may be glad to know it’s not too late.
Adult orthodontic treatment contributes to significant improvements in both professional and personal lives, say respondents to a study conducted among adults who had the treatment.
Survey Findings
Seventy-five percent of adults surveyed reported improvements in career or personal relationships, which they attributed to their improved post-orthodontic treatment smile. Citing newfound self-confidence, 92 percent of survey respondents say they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults.
Seventy-one percent of respondents had such pretreatment concerns as “What will others think?” “How will I look?” “Am I too old?,” but an overwhelming majority said the concerns were gone once treatment actually began.
Respondents reported positive outcomes:
• “I was much more confident and self-assured once I could smile openly. Life is very stressful [on a subconscious level] when you’re always aware that you cannot open your mouth to smile without fear of judgment.”
• “With an attractive smile, you can face your career and personal relationships with confidence.”
• “A more brilliant smile and the straightest teeth gave me confidence to do anything.”
The Doctor’s Opinion
Says Gayle Glenn, D.D.S., M.S.D., president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO): “Adults are seeking treatment in record numbers and we encourage anyone, at any age, to consult an orthodontist to learn if he or she could benefit from treatment. It’s never too late to move healthy teeth.”
After dental school, orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only those who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for AAO membership.
Based on their education and experience, orthodontists can devise effective treatment plans that employ the full range of treatment types, from high-tech to tried-and-true, based on the needs of each individual patient.

North American Precis Syndicate

Dr Linaker is an AAO Member

3 Orthodontic Tips When You Have A Cold Or Get The Flu

November 21st, 2013

WHEN THE COLD AND FLU SEASON STRIKES your teeth and braces are probably the last things you’re thinking about as you reach for another tissue! But there ARE some things related to that cold or flu that can affect your oral health.

Since tooth decay and gum disease can be especially risky during orthodontic treatment, we want you to be conscious of these three things:

Tip 1: Avoid Dry Mouth By Staying Hydrated

Dry mouth increases cavity risk. Most colds come with a giant side order of stuffy nose. We respond by breathing through our mouths! Doing so, combined with decreased saliva production during sleep, makes our mouths more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

Tip 2: Keep The Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth

Are you sucking on cough drops all day? Most are loaded with sugar. Opt for sugar-free cough drops if possible. AND, be sure not to bite down on those super-hard drops.
Cough syrup is loaded with sugar too. If you take cough syrup, rinse your mouth out before going back to bed.
Stomach acid is hard on teeth. Sorry to bring this up, but if you’re throwing up, keep your teeth rinsed and clean.
Tip 3: No Matter How Tired…

We know it’s tough when you’re sick, but don’t skip your normal brushing/flossing routine just because you’re feeling really tired. Your oral health while you’re in braces is just too important to neglect. (By the way, did you notice the kitty in the photo above? We think she’s smelling his breath because he hasn’t brushed in days.)

#coldandflu #orthodontics #braces

"Invisible Aligners For Teeth" - Are You A Candidate?

October 21st, 2013

Everybody wants a great smile, but a lot of us need help getting there. More and more people are having success with clear orthodontic devices called aligners.

Braces use brackets connected by wires to encourage teeth to move. Aligners are a series of tight-fitting custom-made retainers that slip over the teeth. Invisalign is the largest producer of clear aligners, but it’s not the only brand. Others include Clear Correct, Inman Aligner, and Smart Moves.

Clear (or "invisible") aligners aren't for everyone. Your orthodontist or dentist will help you decide what’s best for you. Ask them if they have experience treating people with aligners. Get references or before-and-after images of their patients.

Can anyone get invisible teeth aligners?

Because the invisible aligners are custom-built for a tight fit, they are best for adults or teens. Straightening a child’s teeth is more complicated. Young people, and their mouths, are still growing and developing; the doctor must think about this when setting up treatment.

Clear orthodontic aligners are typically used for patients who have mild or moderately crowded teeth, or have minor spacing issues. Patients who have severe crowding or spacing problems -- or severe underbites, overbites, or crossbites -- may need more complex treatment.

How do they work?

Once a dentist or orthodontist decides how to correct your bite, they'll make a plan for moving your teeth. If you get the clear aligners, you’ll be fitted for several versions that make slight adjustments to move your teeth over the treatment time.

They’re made from a clear plastic or acrylic material and fit tightly over the teeth, but can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. You'll get a new aligner every few weeks to continue moving the teeth into the desired position.

How long does it take to straighten teeth using invisible aligners?

Treatment time with invisible teeth aligners is based on how much the teeth need to be moved or rotated. The more your bite is off or the more crooked your teeth, the longer it will take. Treatment usually takes between 10 and 24 months. But if you're an adult who had braces as a child, and your teeth shifted slightly over the years, you may need invisible teeth aligners for as little as 10 weeks.

Because invisible aligners are not as precise as traditional braces, some patients may require a “refinement” of their teeth using braces for a few months to make other, smaller adjustments at the end of the treatment.

Why use invisible aligners instead of braces?

Avoiding “metal mouth” isn’t the only reason to choose a clear aligner. Unlike braces, aligners can be removed, making it easier to brush and floss well; that helps maintain better overall oral health.

Is teeth straightening just about having a great smile?

Correcting crooked or misaligned teeth isn’t just about creating a picture-perfect smile. It can help protect the long-term health of your teeth.

How much do invisible aligners cost?

Treatment prices for aligners are normally set by the individual dentist or orthodontist, but can be more expensive than braces. In most cases, treatment using invisible aligners costs between $5,000 and $6,000.The average cost of orthodontic treatment in general, including treatment using traditional braces or other types of orthodontic devices, is about $5,300 for adolescents and $5,600 for adults.


Getting Your Braces Put On

October 3rd, 2013

*Note: This section focuses on the process for metal and ceramic braces*

How long does the process take?
For most types of braces, it takes about 1-2 hours.

What will the orthodontist do?
First, the orthodontist will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth. Next, he or she will apply the bonding glue to your teeth and attach the brackets. The glue may taste unpleasant, but is harmless. Finally, the orthodontist will place the archwire in the brackets and secure them with elastic bands.

Does it hurt? For how long?
Getting them on doesn't hurt, but your teeth and mouth will be sore afterwards. Expect your teeth and mouth to be sore for about a week.

Tips for dealing with the pain
Stick to soft foods for the first day or two - soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, milkshakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, etc.

If necessary, use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Use orthodontic wax to avoid mouth sores in the first few weeks of your treatment. Use as much wax as you need to feel comfortable. To apply, just squash the wax between your fingers and press it on the brackets that are bothering you.

Avoid sucking on or touching your mouth sores or teeth with your tongue or fingers. Because they're so sensitive, the more you touch them, the more they'll hurt.

Avoid acidic drinks and foods (such as citrus juices or tomato sauce), which will irritate your mouth sores.

Mouth sores can also be caused by accidentally biting the inside of your cheek while getting used to your braces. These sores should heal quickly, and the problem should go away once your mouth toughens up a bit.

Try using an over-the-counter oral anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel to temporarily numb the painful areas. Dab a small amount of the anesthetic on a cotton swab and apply it to the sores in the mouth. The gel will numb the spot and completely eliminate the pain for a limited time. This method is particularly effective when trying to fall asleep at night, and the gel will wear off by morning.

Your lips and gums may also develop sores because they aren't used to the roughness of the braces yet. A weak solution of warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt per cup of water) helps to ease the irritation. Rinse with warm salt water several times per day.

Finally, know that things will get better. Once your mouth has a little time to adjust, any pain and irritation will go away – it will all get easier from here.

How long will it take to get used to my braces?
Most patients are completely used to their braces after about a month. After six months, or even sooner, they don't even notice they're there. However, it's not unusual for teeth to occasionally start hurting for no apparent reason - this is normal, and should go away fairly quickly. If necessary, treat with over-the-counter painkillers.


The Why and When of Orthodontics

September 23rd, 2013

Why you should get orthodontic treatment

The goal of orthodontic treatment is a good bite—meaning straight teeth that mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. This can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may improve self-esteem.
Orthodontic treatment is often part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime.
Treatment in children or teenagers who are still growing may yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth.
A healthy bite is as important at age 60 as it is at age 16. Even though adults are no longer growing, they can also enjoy improvements that come from orthodontic treatment. Your age is not a consideration for orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age.
Orthodontic treatment is a smart investment in your dental, physical and emotional health.
When to see an orthodontist
If you recognize any of these signs in your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

Early or late loss of baby teeth Difficulty chewing or biting Mouth breathing Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed Speech difficulty Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth Protruding teeth Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of
proportion to the rest of the face) Grinding or clenching of teeth Inability to comfortably close lips

Orthodontics has come a long way
A variety of orthodontic “appliances” are available today, thanks to on-going research in orthodontics. Options include traditional metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth, clear aligners and other devices, as appropriate. Check with your orthodontist about the best way to achieve your treatment goals.
Comfortable and efficient, today’s orthodontic appliances also contribute to a stable, long-lasting result.

While the appliances used in orthodontic treatment have come a long way since orthodontics became dentistry’s first specialty in 1900, what endures is orthodontists’ desire to help you achieve your healthiest bite possible.

When to see an orthodontist

If you recognize any of these signs in your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of
    proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips


How To Floss Your Teeth With Braces

August 13th, 2013

Flossing With Braces: Misconception

Many children and teens (and some adults) don't know how to floss with braces. Or they think that they can't floss at all if they have braces. But that's not the case. In fact, daily flossing is especially important during the time that you wear braces because you're more likely to have food particles trapped in the braces, bands and wires, which could increase your risk of a cavity if the food contains carbohydrates (sugars).
Time Matters

Be prepared to spend three times as long on your oral care while you have braces on your teeth. Don't worry, it's worth the time-if you don't pay attention to oral hygiene while your teeth are being realigned, you increase your risk of gum disease. Plus, it can help your teeth look that much better when it's finally time to get your braces removed.
Steps To Follow When Flossing With Braces

Although flossing with braces is tricky, you can get the hang of it with practice if you follow these steps:
Use waxed floss (unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces), dental tape or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces, like the Oral-B® Orthodontic Brush
Use enough. About 18 inches of floss should suffice
Thread it carefully. Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth
Be sure not to snap the floss-simply move it up and down gently against the side of each tooth
Parents: Do the flossing for younger children who lack the coordination to thread the floss under the main wire of their braces.


Why An Orthodontist For Orthodontics?

July 15th, 2013

To have the best and healthiest smile you can have.
Get it by relying on orthodontists’ expertise, which comes from their extensive education. After graduating from dental school, orthodontists go on for another two or more years of education just in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only after this formal education can one be called an orthodontist. Only orthodontists are accepted for membership in the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Selecting a member of the AAO for orthodontic care is the public's assurance that they are selecting an orthodontist.
Orthodontists are dedicated to helping your teeth and jaws work in union so that you can speak, bite and chew comfortably and effectively. There’s a bonus. Teeth and jaws that work well tend to look good, too.
To both feel good and look good.
With care from an orthodontist, you have an expert who has been educated to understand how your teeth, your jaws and your facial muscles all work together. A healthy mouth contributes to your overall good health. Your appearance gets a boost, too.
To get the specialized treatment you deserve.
You trust your heart to a cardiologist, your skin to a dermatologist, your knees to an orthopedist. Like these specialists who study their specialty areas after their general medical education, orthodontists devote additional years of study to orthodontics after they graduate from dental school. And like their medical counterparts, orthodontists limit their practices to their specialty area. Orthodontists have in-depth experience in orthodontic care. They use their knowledge and skills to help you get the best results possible.
To get your bite right.
Your bite is a complex biologic system. Its components include up to 32 teeth, upper and lower jaws, gums and facial muscles. Your healthy bite is the orthodontist’s goal. The goal is met by making sure the separate elements are positioned for optimal performance. You enjoy the ability to bite, chew and speak well.
To solve the problem.
You may see six crooked front teeth. The orthodontist sees the cause of crooked teeth in three dimensions. Orthodontists use their education, experience and expertise to delve deep to discover the root of your orthodontic problem. Armed with a diagnosis that takes all factors into account, orthodontists can plan your solution—one that delivers a healthy, attractive smile and a lasting result.
To recommend the right treatment for you.
There are a lot of treatment options these days, from clear aligners to modern braces. They each have their uses, but only an orthodontist has the specialized knowledge to identify and plan for all the variables in your mouth. Orthodontists take your unique needs and wishes into consideration, too, when recommending the right treatment option for you. Orthodontists have knowledge of the full range of orthodontic appliance “tools.” They know what to use and when to use it because they work with these tools every day.
To address the big picture.
Sure, you want a dazzling smile. Your orthodontist wants that for you, too—and treatment results that last. You deserve the best—a good bite and a healthy, beautiful smile. Consult an AAO-member orthodontist for your life, your health, your happiness, your smile.


People With Straight Teeth Considered Happier, Healthier, Smarter

June 18th, 2013

by Dental Tribune International
SAN JOSE, Calif., USA: The alignment of teeth provokes assumptions regarding success, popularity, intelligence and general health, a recent perception study conducted by market research consultancy Kelton has found. The study was ordered by Align Technology, manufacturer of Invisalign, a proprietary method for treating malocclusion, or misaligned teeth.
From hair and skin to clothes and shoes, one's appearance is the basis for snap judgments, whether being interviewed for a job or just looking to make a good first impression.

According to the Kelton study, for Americans, teeth are a standout feature when it comes to what they notice and recall when first meeting someone. About two-thirds of Americans are more likely to remember attractive features than those they find to be unpleasant.

The online perception study contrasted images of men and women with straight and crooked teeth. The survey was completed by a representative sample of 1,047 Americans. In the study, respondents were shown images of people with varying smiles and teeth and asked to give their honest opinion about them. The respondents were unaware that they were comparing people with straight teeth to people with crooked teeth. Results of the study indicated that Americans perceive people with straight teeth as possessing more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including attributes such as being happy, surrounded by loved ones and successful professionally.

The findings of the perception study confirmed the effect that crooked teeth can have on one's social life and how they are perceived by others. Nearly one-third (29 percent) of the respondents said that his or her teeth is the first characteristic of someone's face they typically notice, and 24 percent said that this is also the facial feature that they remember the most after meeting someone.

When looking at the images, the respondents perceived those with straight teeth as 45 percent more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth when competing with someone with a similar skill set and experience. People with straight teeth were also seen as 58 percent more likely to be successful, as well as 58 percent more likely to be wealthy.

According to the study, when it comes to attracting a possible partner on a dating site, those with straight teeth are seen as 57 percent more likely to get a date based on their picture alone. Nearly two in five would consider not going on a second date with someone with misaligned teeth.

Furthermore, people with straight teeth were 21 percent more likely to be seen as happy, 47 percent more likely to be viewed as being healthy and 38 percent more likely to be perceived as smart. Nearly three in four (73 percent) Americans would be more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit or car, the study found.

A nice smile seems to be of great importance to many Americans. Close to three in five (57 percent) of the respondents stated they would rather have a nice smile than clear skin. Eighty-seven percent of the respondents would even forego something for a year in order to have a nice smile for the rest of their life, such as giving up dessert (39 percent) or vacations (37 percent).

Another Adult Celebrity Gets Braces

May 29th, 2013

Khloe Kardashian BracesSo Khloe Kardashian Got Adult Braces. Is This Really a Big Deal?

Is it weird to get braces for the first time as an adult? I ask, because it seems like people are fussing over Khloe Kardashian's decision to get braces as a 28-year-old. These days, you don't have to wear the metal braces that I had to endure in elementary school because there's Invisalign, so I just don't understand why this is a big deal. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, Khloe is part of a growing number of people over the age of 18 who are straightening their teeth. From 1994 to 2010, the percentage of adults getting braces rose 58 percent, from 680,000 to 1.1 million a year.

Khloe's smile looks pretty great to me, so I'm not sure it's necessary, but apparently a few of her teeth are crooked. Either way, I say we should all be able to make minor beauty tweaks without it becoming headline news (although when your last name is Kardashian, I guess it isn't possible to do anything under the radar).

by Amy Wicks www.glamour.com

Foods to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment

April 17th, 2013

What you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth. The foods mentioned below should be strictly avoided.
Hard Foods
Sometimes, it’s difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating these foods can be harmful because they can bend or break the wires and even displace the brackets. Avoid them especially after you have had the braces’ wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
• Pretzels
• Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
• Bagels
• Hard rolls
• Raw veggies like carrots and celery
• Corn on the cob
• Hard cookies
• Baby back ribs
• Chicken wings
• Hard pizza crust
• Beef jerky
• Tacos and tortilla chips
1. Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet, so if you want to eat apples, pears, and peaches, or other crunchy fruits, do not directly bite into them. Instead cut them into bite-size pieces before consuming.
2. If you like nuts, grind them and add them to cereals and yogurt.
3. Remove the meat from wings and ribs so you do not accidentally chew on a bone and pop your bracket!
4. If you absolutely love corn, remove the kernels from the cob and have them.
5. You can eat broccoli and other crunchy veggies provided you cut them into small pieces and steam them.
6. Do not eat hard candies and lollipops.
7. Can’t resist cookies? Dip them in milk and eat them when they soften.
8. Do not have ice cubes at all as it can damage the braces. You can suck on them, but never bite them!
Sweet, Sugary, and Sticky Foods
Sticky foods are the most dangerous, they can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sugary foods, as the name implies, are high in sugar, and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
• Caramel candies
• Honey
• Toffees
• Chocolate-covered nuts
• Raisins
• Fruit rolls
• Chewing gum
1. If at all you have candies, have the ones you can suck on, and afterwards, rinse your mouth to avoid sugar buildup on the teeth.
2. Totally avoid chewing gum and bubble gum. Gum stuck on the braces can be messy and difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets and cause them to come off.
Foods High in Acid
These highly acidic foods should be avoided at all costs. These foods can cause thinning of the enamel and discoloration of teeth. Once you remove the braces, the color difference between the teeth, where the braces were, will be quite obvious.
• Citrus fruits like lemons and limes
• Sodas and carbonated beverages (that includes diet sodas)
Additionally, never chew on things like pens, pencils, pen caps, and fingernails. Do not even try to tear or rip open anything by your teeth. This can cause extensive damage to the braces.
Foods That Can be Consumed
• Steamed and cooked vegetables
• Fruits that are cut into pieces
• Whole grains
• Pastas
• Breads
• Rice
• Unsweetened juices
• Dairy products
Make a wise choice based on the above list of foods, now that you are aware what foods are good and what should not be consumed. Your meals need not be boring. Spice things up by trying new recipes that will not prove harmful for the braces. Rinse your mouth with thoroughly after every meal. Take care of your braces and maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. Make sure that you eat a variety of healthy foods while undergoing orthodontic treatment for braces. And, it won’t be long before the braces set things straight and you regain that attractive smile!
Source: Buzzle.com

How To Become An Orthodontist

April 10th, 2013

You’ve been to your orthodontist for many appointments and you thought, wow, this would be a great job. I want to be an orthodontist.

Many people, who have had braces, get to see their orthodontist at work. They like their orthodontist and think their job is a fun job. They wonder how a person becomes an orthodontist. Here is some information about becoming an orthodontist in the United States.

Orthodontic Specialists are professionals who have studied the art and science of orthodontia. Orthodontia is the study and treatment of malocclusions due to irregular tooth positions and/or adverse jaw growth. Orthodontia comes from the Greek. “Orthos” meaning proper or straight and ”odous” meaning tooth. Many hours of study are required to obtain this occupation.

The college degrees an orthodontist will have are as follows. First, a person obtains their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from an accredited dental school. A DDS and DMD degree are considered the same. Then the dentist applies to an orthodontic graduate program to obtain a Masters of Science (MS) degree in orthodontics. Therefore, every Orthodontic Specialist is a dentist that has gone through dental school.

If you are considering orthodontics as an occupation, you have to consider some questions before starting the path of becoming an orthodontist.

Do You Want to Be a Dentist?

The first question that you have to ask yourself is, do I want to put in the time, money and effort to becoming a dentist and then a specialist? It takes a long time and many hours of study to become an orthodontist.

An average number of years to become an orthodontist is 10 to 11 years after high school graduation. That would be 4 years of undergraduate, 4 years of dental school and 2 to 3 years of an orthodontic graduate program. Yep, that’s right. It is possible that when you go to your ten year high school reunion, you may have just graduated from your orthodontic graduate program and have just started seeing your first patients in your practice.

Do you have the patience and manual dexterity needed as a dentists? Dentists work on very small areas that are hard to reach and you have to have the manual dexterity to perform the work. It is a wise idea to do crafts or play musical instruments, that use your hands to develop your manual dexterity.

Do you mind working with the public? Are you a people person? Students who are introverted have to overcome their fear and get out of their comfort zone to react with people. Dentists as a whole are outgoing and motivated to set goals and obtain them. You can’t be lazy if you are going into dentistry.

Do you want to run a small business?

Almost all dentists and orthodontists are small business entrepreneurs. We have to wear different hats all the time. Our responsibilities cover areas of patient care to the light bulb that needs to be replaced.

We take all the risks of small business ownership, whether good or bad. Our success and profit can change due to new regulations or legislation. So not only are your taking care of patient treatment, but you are doing all the things a small business owner performs from hiring to firing, payroll, taxes, continuing education, complying with government regulations, accounts payable and accounts receivables.

Dentists usually run a very profitable business model and control their costs well. Although a dental school education doesn’t completely prepare the dentist for business, dentists learn quickly or become an associate in a group practice to learn the business.

Undergraduate Education

After high school graduation, a person needs to major in an area that would be conducive to applying to dental school. Most go into Health Sciences, in the College of Science, and would major in biology or chemistry.

During this time, you need to get information from the dental school that you want to apply for acceptance. All dental schools have a brochure or booklet that outline the requirements for application to dental school. Most dental schools require certain biology and chemistry courses before application.

They also may require that you take a Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). The DAT is given at certain times of the year and you can find out more information at the American Dental Association DAT page here. If you are not happy with your DAT score, you can take it again. There are also study guides that can help you understand what the test covers and gives practice tests.

One area of the DAT that is a little different from other tests is that it measures your three dimensional reasoning and perception. Certain test questions will ask you to manipulating 3D objects in your mind and select the correct answer.

Once you have all the requirements to apply to a dental school, then do so. You may be able to get into dental school after three years of undergraduate school.

Each dental school has their set number of students that they will admit each year. A certain number of students will be in-state, foreign exchange and out of state with a ratio of 50/50 male to female mix.

If you are considered for a dental student slot, an interview with the admittance committee will be given. Good undergraduate grades and a good interview are needed for acceptance.

Dental School

Once, admitted to dental school, congratulations. You have just begun. Dental school is an intensive four years of full time study. Your lectures and patient appointments will be from 8am to 5pm. After 5pm a dental student will do their lab work, and then study for the next day’s classes. Your days as a dental student will be very long.

During the first years, your main concentration will be in the class room. As you progress through the years, you will be assigned patients that have dental problems that you correct. This would include all areas of dentistry from crowns to dentures, from periodontal disease to pediatric dentistry. Usually the dental student has to make all the appointments and perform all the lab work.

Orthodontic Graduate Program

Once you have graduated from dental school, you can apply to one of dentistry’s specialties. Some recognized specialties include oral surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, pedodontics and orthodontics. This is not a complete listing of all the specialties.

It is difficult to gain acceptance into an orthodontic graduate training program. Some dental schools will admit 40 to 50 students per year into dental school, whereas an orthodontic graduate program may only take 3 students per year. Therefore the competition is high for each open slot. Some dentists will apply numerous times and are not accepted. Being ranked in the top of your dental school class, gives you a greater chance of being accepted into an orthodontic program. So high grades are very important.

During the orthodontic program, along with your course work, you will be assigned orthodontic patients. Almost all graduate programs require a masters thesis for your degree. Again, the residency program requires long hours from 8am to 5pm and then lab work and study after 5:00.

The Orthodontic Practice

After you graduate with your Masters of Science in Orthodontics, you can apply to the state in which you want to practice for a specialty license. Once you are licensed in the state, you can hang your shingle out and start your practice of orthodontics.

An orthodontic practice is usually fast paced with many patients seen in a day. The orthodontist uses multiple chairs in an open bay area to see this number of patients quickly since small adjustments do not take a long appointment time. The practice is usually very efficient with their time and resources. Orthodontics is demanding mentally and physically.

Most orthodontists and dentists only work four days per week. They usually take off Fridays with Wednesday as their second choice. Remember, you have the choice of what type of practice you want. You can have a large staff and work a lot of hours or you can have a small staff and work as little as you want. Dentistry gives you that option.

These are some of the insights in becoming an orthodontist. Remember, hard work can pay huge dividends in the long term. You have to work and study hard to become an orthodontist.

by Dr Joseph Thompson

7 Secrets To A Healthier Smile

April 2nd, 2013

When it comes to lighting up some of Hollywood's brightest smiles as well as tending to the pearly whites of the average Joe, New York City dentist Steven Roth, DMD, does it all. With more than 25 years of cosmetic and restorative dentistry experience, he created a technique that allows patients to "test drive" cosmetic dental procedures (such as temporary veneers) before taking the plunge. We chatted with Roth from his Manhattan office, SmilesNY, and asked him to share the seven things he always tells every patient.

1. You probably aren't seeing the dentist enough.
The standard twice-a-year visit (covered by most dental plans) is only half enough. Adults should see the dentist every 90 days. I know it sounds like a lot (and believe me, I get some resistance from reluctant patients), but, after just three months, the bacteria we clean out of your mouth during a check-up -- it's all recolonized! I know it can seem expensive, especially if you have to pay for the additional visits out of pocket, but it's well worth it from a health perspective. If you think about what you might spend on regularly cutting or coloring your hair, it's really not far off from that.

2. If you're scared of the dentist because you think it's going to hurt, you're not seeing the right dentist.
Today we can manage every single aspect of discomfort with the right medications to handle the annoyance of keeping your mouth open for a long period of time, or anesthesia for more extensive, invasive procedures like root canals. You name the issue, we can address it.

3. If you wait until you feel pain, it's way too late.
Know this: Most dental issues don't cause pain at first. Cavities, before they become deep, are painless. Gum disease -- also silent. But once you're wincing in pain, that means there's probably already an infection or the pockets of your gums have become riddled with bacteria. Bottom line: Make frequent check-up appointments to nip invisible-to-you problems in the bud, and put your dentist on speed-dial should you notice any problems.

4. Nothing can replace good, old-fashioned dental floss.
Sure, you can buy sharp little instruments at the drugstore for picking at your teeth or follow every meal with a toothpick, but until you get in between the teeth, where the surfaces abut one another, you're not attacking the location where some of the worst bacteria hide. The truth is, brushing only gets about 50% of the nasty stuff off of your teeth. Floss is the only thing that can attack the other half. No matter how fantastically high-tech your brush is or how thoroughly you go over each tooth, you still need to floss.
5. Seeing the dentist may save your life.
People are slowly realizing that gum disease might be a sign of heart disease. Some studies indicate a connection but more research needs to be done. It's all about inflammation -- be it of the gums or of the arteries of the heart. Some studies show that bacteria in gum disease is also in plaques in heart arteries. Seeing the dentist can benefit not only your smile and the whiteness of your teeth, but also your overall health.

6. The mouth tells no lies.
I can tell so much about a person just peering into their mouth. I can see if they have certain habits or issues -- whether they drink a lot of soda or coffee and if they have had a drug problem in the past or present. If they are experiencing a lot of stress, they may grind or clench their teeth, leading to gum recession or telltale wear patterns. Acid erosion patterns can betray a bulimic. Bad breath can even say a lot -- be it acid reflux, a poor diet, or even diabetes. You just can't hide these things once you open your mouth.

7. Not all whites are right.
There's no one-size-fits-all shade of white. If you bring in a picture of someone whose bright smile you admire, it's entirely possible it won't suit you. It depends on your coloring and your teeth. It's a bit like hair color in that respect. Everyone has a different potential for whiteness.

By Elizabeth B. Krieger
WebMD the Magazine - Feature

April Is National Facial Protection Month

April 1st, 2013

This month we're spreading the word to remind both children and adults: as you suit up for outdoor activities this spring, don’t forget to protect your face and head. Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering with head, mouth and facial injuries resulting from sports-related accidents to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards.

National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists. Together we encourage children and adults to enjoy the pleasures of the season by using common sense and taking the necessary precautions to prevent sports injuries.


12 Things To Know Before Getting Braces

March 25th, 2013

Dental braces have changed in recent years. There are many misconceptions about types of braces and how to find a dentist to treat you. This article explains all the basic things that you should know before you commit to several years of orthodontic treatment.

1. There is no age limit for dental braces

When most people think of orthodontic braces, they think of teenagers. But an increasing amount of adults are getting braces, too. As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you could benefit from getting your teeth straightened. One of the most important things to consider is the state of your gums and jaw bones. If you have unhealthy gums, a lot of gum recession, or bone loss, braces may not be recommended because the pressure they put on your gums could cause unfavorable complications.

Why do people get braces in adulthood? Usually, their families could not afford braces when they were children. Now that they are adults, they want to improve their smile and their dental health. Some adults had braces as children or teenagers, but didn't wear their retainers, causing their teeth to become crooked again. And still others have more complicated cases, which may involve jaw surgery and braces.

Many people wonder how much dental braces will cost. The average cost of a two-year orthodontic treatment with metal braces is between $3,000 to $6,000, depending on where you live. Ceramic or special brackets may cost more. Invisalign treatment costs about the same, or more. Payment is usually made through an initial down payment, and then monthly payments.

2. Your "bite" is as important as the straightness and aesthetics of your teeth

Many people think that braces only make teeth straight. In fact, they accomplish a lot more than that. An orthodontist evaluates a lot of things when you go in for a consultation. Are your teeth straight? Do they meet properly? Does your tongue stick out of your front teeth? Does your jaw hurt or click? Do you have a lot of crowding or large gaps? Have you lost all your baby teeth? Are your teeth and gums healthy? Do you have problems breathing or speaking?

One of the most important things that orthodontists evaluate is your "bite." This is the way that your top and bottom teeth meet when you open and close your mouth. Orthodontists are just as concerned with how your mouth functions as they are with making your teeth look great. After all, what good are straight teeth if you can't chew or speak properly, or if you get TMJ headaches?

3. An Orthodontist has a lot more training than a Dentist

You may love your family dentist, and he or she may have told you that they can "do your braces" for a lot less money than an orthodontist. While this is very nice, it's also a big gamble. On the ArchWired.com message board, we have read about many people who got braces done by a regular dentist who didn't really understand how complicated their case was. These people wound up needing to go to an orthodontist for more years of braces to un-do the faulty work of the dentist.

Orthodontists are specially trained in tooth movement and jaw function; dentists are not. Yes, some dentists have taken a few course hours to learn how to do Invisalign or other types of treatment, but that is not the main thing that they do. Would you get heart surgery from a doctor who only operated on hearts once or twice a year? Of course not! Orthodontists first go to dental school and become dentists. Then they attend an Orthodontic program for several more years to learn specifically about tooth movement, jaw function, and facial aesthetics. After that, they take a special exam to become Board Certified.

Which brings me to another point: when you choose an orthodontist, make sure that he or she is Board Certified. That way, you are assured that they are totally trained, and that their work is expected to live up to certain standards.

Does this mean that a regular general dentist should never do braces? No. Some general dentists have successfully treated many patients for simple tooth movement. It's all a matter of experience. Ask your dentist how many orthodontic cases he has done in the past year. Ask how complicated your case is. Remember, braces will not only straighten your teeth, they can change the function of your bite and the mechanics of your jaw. If your treatment is complicated and is not done properly, you may wind up needing to go to an orthodontist to finish the job, which will cost you more money in the long run.

4. Consultations are usually free. Get as many as you need!

Many people get a referral to an orthodontist from their dentist, or from a friend. Most orthodontists do not charge for a consultation -- consultations are usually free! If you do not like one orthodontist, or want to get several opinions, it's OK to do so. Don't worry, you won't offend anyone! In fact, it's usually a good idea to get at least two or three opinions before going ahead with braces. This is especially true if an orthodontist has recommended that you get teeth extracted, or if your case is complicated. There are many ways to move teeth, and different orthodontists use different approaches. There is usually no "one right way." You need to evaluate what the different orthodontists tell you and decide what you are comfortable with and what you can afford.

During a consultation, an orthodontist will get to know you and take a good look at your teeth and your mouth. An experienced orthodontist will be able to tell you, with a fair amount of accuracy, what needs to be done: what types of braces you could wear, whether you need extractions, how long your treatment might be, and (ballpark) how much it might cost.

Once you have picked an orthodontist, you will need to get a mold of your mouth done, and panoramic x-rays (and sometimes also photos of your face). Using these tools, the orthodontist will be able to develop a treatment plan for you. Until he does that, he will only be taking an "educated guess" at what needs to be done to fix your smile. Once he has worked up a treatment plan, he will know exactly what needs to be done. At that point, you will come back to his office, and he will explain all the details, including the exact cost.

5. Bracket types are not as important as you think

Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign or similar "invisible braces treatments." Most adults go into an orthodontist hoping that they can get Invisalign, but only a percentage of them are actually good candidates for the plastic aligners. The reason is: some types of treatment just don't work as well with Invisalign as they would with traditional braces. And when I say "traditional braces" I don't mean all metal. There are many tooth-colored brackets on the market that are less conspicuous and work just as well as metal brackets. You need to trust your orthodontist if he tells you that he would not be able to treat you with Invisalign or other types of brackets you may have heard of. If you had your heart set on Invisalign or some other system, then ask why it won't work. It's OK to ask why, and it's better for you to fully understand the orthodontist's approach before your treatment begins.

With that said, you should also understand that these days, the companies that make orthodontic brackets and appliances spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing. Any good orthodontist will tell you the truth: it's not the brackets that make the difference, it's the technique and experience of the orthodontist who is treating you. Sure, some of the newer brackets have advantages because they are smaller, less noticeable, or don't require elastic "o-ring" ligatures. But that doesn't make them any better than other types of brackets.

Another thing to consider is this: orthodontists need special training to use some types of brackets. For example, an orthodontist must be trained by the company that makes Damon brackets before he can use them on his patients. Same for lingual ("behind the teeth") braces. If your orthodontist doesn't have the extra training in these specific products, he cannot offer them to you.

So don't get hung up on one type of bracket or one type of treatment. Trust the experience of your orthodontist. If you don't like his approach, you can always get another opinion from a different orthodontist, or find one that offers the type of brackets you had in mind.

6. Cost and treatment times vary

Braces aren't cheap. If your braces are covered, even partially, by a dental plan consider yourself lucky. The average cost of orthodontic treatment is between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on where you live and what needs to be done. Invisalign usually costs as much as traditional braces, and sometimes it costs more. Usually treatment costs more in major cities than it does in rural areas. You will not be expected to pay it all at once. Usually you pay separately for molds and panoramic x-rays. Then when treatment begins, you pay a down payment of about $1,000. The balance is usually put on a payment plan, where you pay several hundred dollars per month.

Some dental offices offer a discount for paying upfront in advance for all your treatment. While this may be tempting, it is not recommended. You never know what will happen during the course of your treatment. What if the office goes out of business? (It has happened to a few unlucky patients). Saving money is great, but protecting yourself financially is even better. While most orthodontists are ethical and run a financially sound practice, there are rare occasions where that is not the case. Being on a payment plan is always the best way to go.

How long will you be in braces? That depends on your individual case. The average treatment is two years (24 months). There are methods for moving teeth faster, but before you choose those, get all the information you can about what the treatment will entail. There is one six month method, for example, that incorporates fairly painful jaw surgery to accomplish its goals. Know what you're getting into beforehand. Two years in braces may seem like a long time, but it will go by faster than you realize, and is often safer and more reliable than the newer quick methods.

7. Read your contract!

Before you begin orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will draw up a treatment plan and have you sign a contract. Read the contract! It tells you a lot of important details, such as terms of payment, what happens if you miss payments, and whether retainers are included in your treatment cost. If something goes amiss during your treatment, your contract is a binding legal document.

Don't think, however, that your orthodontist is going to cast you aside if you miss a few payments. If you suddenly begin to have financial difficulty, talk to your orthodontist or his office manager about working out new terms with you. As long as you try to make payments in earnest, most orthodontists will continue to treat you.

8. Stay put, if possible

In a perfect world, you pick an orthodontist and stick with him for several years until your treatment is finished. After all, you have signed a contract stating that you agree to pay $x for x-number-of-years. But sometimes life throws us a curve and we need to uproot ourselves and move. There are a few things you need to know about moving once you begin orthodontic treatment.

First of all, you may be entitled to get a partial refund for your treatment if it is not totally paid off. That depends on...you guessed it...your contract.

Secondly, once you are in new city, you will need to start over with a new orthodontist. There is usually no "treatment in progress" discount for new patients. In fact, it can be more complicated for a new orthodontist to finish your treatment, because (as stated earlier), different orthodontists have different approaches. To make sure that your new orthodontist picks up where your old one left off, ask your old orthodontist to give you your records (or give him the address to forward the records). It might possibly cost you less to complete your treatment with a new orthodontist, but don't count on it. You may need to start over financially, so be prepared for it to cost you several thousand dollars more.

9. You will need to take good care of your teeth

Why bother to spend thousands of dollars and years of your time on your teeth, and then ignore your oral hygiene? When you have braces, you will need to brush your teeth several times per day, ideally after every meal. This may sound like a big pain, but you'll get used to it. In fact, you will want to brush your teeth often, because food gets stuck between your brackets, which can be really disgusting and cause bad breath and tooth decay. At the very least, you should swish your mouth with water after eating.

You can get an orthodontic toothbrush or use a regular soft toothbrush. The important thing is to clean your braces thoroughly, making sure that there is no food debris on any of the brackets. You should also floss at least once per day. It isn't always easy, but there are many "floss threader" products on the market that help. Your orthodontist can show you how to brush and floss properly. Speaking of brushing, remember that you should not use a whitening toothpaste when you have braces. It could cause you to have "two tone" teeth after the brackets are removed!

Another thing to remember is that although a device like a Waterpik is great for gum stimulation and dislodging food, it is not a substitute for flossing. Even if you use an oral irrigator like a Waterpik, you still need to floss daily.

Because you will be brushing so often, it helps to keep a dental kit with you. DentaKit.com has one that includes everything you need, including a spill-proof folding cup. You can see it here.

10. Yes, it will hurt for a while

Yes, it hurts to wear braces at first. It doesn't hurt to get them put on your teeth; the pain and pressure come a day or two later. Not only will your teeth feel sore, but the brackets will rub the insides of your gums and lips and cause mouth sores. This is not pleasant, but fortunately this stage only lasts a couple of weeks. Soon scar tissue forms inside your mouth and everything hurts less. To soothe the mouth sores, rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times per day, or use a mouth rinse like Rincinol PRN. Take Tylenol or Motrin for the pain -- narcotic painkillers are not necessary. Use a lot of dental wax or get a lip protector for braces. The initial stage of braces is not fun, but it passes soon enough. You will need to eat soft foods and chew very slowly and carefully. Believe it or not, in a few months the braces won't bother you very much at all.

11. Beware of allergies

Some people are allergic to nickel, which is found in some brackets and wires. Some people are allergic to latex, which is found in o-ring ligatures, elastics, and exam gloves. And recently, it seems that some people are allergic to something in the plastic of aligner trays and plastic retainers.

If you know that you have an allergy or sensitivity to any substance, tell your orthodontist or dentist. There are always alternative products they can use which won't cause problems for you. Even if you've never before had an allergic reaction to a substance, you can suddenly develop an allergy at any time. If you feel that your braces or retainers are causing an overabundance of mouth sores, or if you develop upper respiratory symptoms, hives, or swelling, tell your orthodontist. If you feel that your throat is swelling up or you are having an obvious allergic reaction, go to your nearest Emergency Room. If you feel that you can't breathe, call 911. Do not take these sort of reactions lightly. A severe allergic reaction can kill you in a matter of minutes.

12. You will need to wear retainers afterward

After your braces come off, your orthodontist will make a mold of your mouth and produce a set of retainers. The type of retainer you need depends on your case. Sometimes, orthodontists recommend a bonded permanent retainer to ensure that your teeth do not move at all.

Aside from a permanent bonded retainer, there are two other types that most people get.

A Hawley Retainer is made of acrylic and metal. The acrylic goes behind your teeth and up against your upper palate; the metal is in front of your teeth. This is the most reliable type of retainer. Your orthodontist can "tweak" the metal to help finish any small refinements that still need to be done to your teeth.

An Essix Retainer is clear plastic and looks like an Invisalign aligner tray. Many people want this type of retainer, but it has its disadvantages. Many orthodontists feel that because it covers the biting surface of your teeth, they do not "settle" properly after treatment. For this reason, sometimes orthodontists give a patient both types of retainers: an Essix Retainer to wear during the day when they are people-facing, and a Hawley Retainer to wear at night when they are home sleeping.

No matter what type of retainer your get, the most important thing is to wear it exactly as the orthodontist tells you. Most people need to wear their retainers 24/7 for at least 6 months, then switch to wearing it only at night when sleeping.

How long will you need to wear your retainer? Forever. That's right, forever. Your retainer ensures that your teeth will not move back into their old crooked positions. If you have been out of braces for several years, you can switch to wearing it only few nights per week. But if you stop wearing it totally, you will be asking for trouble.

Keep your retainer in a retainer case. Don't wrap it in a tissue. This is the most common way that retainers get thrown out. A new retainer costs around $250, so pay attention and take good care of it!

Remember that it is important to keep your retainers clean. Like your teeth, your retainers can get a buildup of bacteria and white plaque. You must clean your retainers every single night with a bacteria-killing product like Retainer Brite, SonicBrite, or DentaSoak. These products are not sold in local stores, but you can get them on the web at sites like DentaKit.com. You can brush your retainers with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but this will not adequately kill the bacteria. A good retainer cleaning product will ensure that your retainers stay clean and fresh smelling.



March 18th, 2013

What is Malocclusion?

Orthodontics is not just for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad or irregular bites known technically as malocclusions. Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth and/or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, can affect your speech, the appearance of the smile, and how you feel about your smile.

Malocclusions (bad bites) Should Be Treated!
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
• Crowded, overlapping teeth are more difficult to properly brush, floss, and keep clean which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
• Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental trauma, chipping, and fracture.
• Crossbites and/or underbites (reverse overlap of teeth) can result in unfavorable, asymmetric jaw/facial growth and uneven tooth wear.
• Openbites (lack of vertical overlap of front or back teeth) can result in tongue-thrusting habits, speech impediments, and excessive, uneven tooth wear.
• If left untreated, many of these conditions later may require surgery or very extensive treatment to correct.
Ultimately, orthodontics gives you more than a beautiful, straight smile — it improves your overall oral health!

Some of the common malocclusions/conditions treated with orthodontics:

OVERJET - protruding upper front teeth ("Overbite")

UNDERBITE - upper front teeth bite behind the lower (protruding lower teeth)

CROWDING - not enough space for upper and/or lower teeth

EXCESS SPACE between the upper and/or lower teeth

CROSSBITE - upper back (or front) teeth bite inside the lowers (reverse overlap of back or front teeth)

OPEN-BITE - lack of overlap between front (or back) teeth

MID-LINE MISALIGNMENT - the middle of upper and lower teeth don't line up

DEEP BITE - upper front teeth cover too much of lower front teeth

Give us a call today if you'd like to have your bite evaluated.  New patient consultations, as always,  are at no cost to you.

Edward Angle - Father of Modern Orthodontics

March 11th, 2013

Edward Hartley Angle (June 1, 1855 – August 11, 1930) was an American dentist, widely regarded as the father of modern orthodontics.
Edward Angle is frequently described as "the father of modern orthodontics." He was trained as a dentist, but made orthodontics his speciality and dedicated his life to standardizing the teaching and practice of orthodontics. He founded the Angle School in St. Louis and schools in other regions of the United States,
He was born in Herrick, Bradfour County, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery and became a dentist in 1876. Between 1887 and 1892 he worked as professor of orthodontics at the University of Minnesota. From 1892 to 1898 he was professor of orthodontics at the Northwestern University, Between 1886 and 1899 he was professor of orthodontics at the Marion Sims College of Medicine and from 1897 to 1899 at the Washington University Medical Department. It was in 1899 that he officially limited his practice to orthodontics.
Angle was concerned with the aesthetics of orthodontics as well as functionality and so he collaborated with the artist and art educatorEdmund H. Wuerpel in applying aesthetics to his field. The artist and dentist collaborated for many years and Wuerpel lectured frequently at Angle's request, in St. Louis as well as in Pasadena.
He founded the Angle School of Orthodontia in St. Louis, Missouri 1900, where he formally established orthodontics as a specialty. With Angle the specialty of orthodontics received a new impetus. He coined the term malocclusion to refer to anomalies of tooth position and classified various abnormalities of the teeth and jaws, invented appliances for their treatment and devised several surgical techniques as well. Angle standardized appliances in a series of books and pamphlets, including a text that he authored, Treatment of Malocclusion of the Teeth and Fractures of the Maxillae: Angle's System.

1 Peck, Sheldon (Nov. 2009). "A biographical portrait of Edward Hartley Angle, the first specialist in orthodontics, part 1". Angle Orthod (United States) 79 (6): 1021–7. doi:10.2319/021009-93.1. ISSN 0003-3219. PMID 19852589.
2 a b Gruenbaum, Tamar. Famous Figures in Dentistry Mouth - JASDA 2010;30(1):18
3 ADA.org: History of Dentistry in the 19th Century
4 http://www.angle.org/

Orthodontics: Creating a Well-Aligned Smile

March 5th, 2013

Years ago, orthodontic treatments were used only for pre-teens and teens having problems with their bite (malocclusion). Today, orthodontic treatments like dental braces are not only for pre-teens and teens, but for adults as well.
Close to 30 percent of all orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. Despite this growing trend towards adult orthodontics, it pays to start orthodontic treatment early for maximum effectiveness. The American Dental Association recommends that children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age seven.
The Restorative and Esthetic Nature of Orthodontics
Since malocclusion may interfere with eating and speaking, it is usually considered a restorative issue. Although, because a malocclusion may prevent the development of a beautiful, well-aligned smile or facial jaw lines, it may also be classified as an esthetic issue and categorized as cosmetic dentistry.
No matter what your age, orthodontics can protect your bite (occlusion), maximize your teeth's effectiveness in performing their functions and create a well-aligned smile. Today's orthodontics involves repositioning of the teeth and underlying roots, providing better support for the crown of the tooth. Orthodontic treatment is now associated with the benefits of greater esthetic appeal, increased comfort and reduced treatment time.
Gum Disease
75 percent of Americans have it; do you?

Orthodontic treatment can also rejuvenate your facial appearance by reshaping the jaw, neck and lips, especially when combined with maxillofacial surgical procedures. In addition, well-aligned teeth make oral hygiene easier to maintain.
Orthodontists are the dentists who focus on the practice of orthodontics. An orthodontist is typically required to complete an additional two to three years of post-dental school education before becoming a certified practitioner of orthodontics.
The Orthodontic Evaluation
If you are a candidate for orthodontics, you will likely be referred by your general dentist to an orthodontist for evaluation of your bite. During your first orthodontic visit, your orthodontist may use several methods to develop an individualized treatment plan, including:
• Oral, facial and functional evaluation (examination).
• Intraoral and facial photographs.
• Panoramic and cephalometric X-rays.
• Impressions for models of the teeth and bite.
An orthodontist reviews your dental records, performs a clinical assessment, takes X-rays of your mouth and head and makes models of the teeth by creating an accurate impression of them. The results of this evaluation are studied in order to formulate the best orthodontic treatment plan.
Typically during the second visit, your orthodontist reviews the treatment plan and estimates the number of months for the active phase of treatment. The standard treatment phase is two years. Following treatment, you may be required to wear a retainer for a period of time.
The duration of orthodontic treatment varies based on your age, the extensiveness of the procedure (some people require more work than others) and how closely you follow your treatment plan. For example, younger patients may respond more quickly to treatment than older patients because the bones supporting young teeth are more pliable than those supporting older teeth. However, adults tend to follow treatment instructions more consistently than pre-teens.

February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day

February 28th, 2013

For hundreds of years, mystical legends, stories, and traditions have been shared about the loss of baby teeth. In some cultures, children’s teeth were buried in order to hide them from witches and evil spirits who would use the tooth’s powers for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had a magical power in them that would help them fight in battle. They would even pay their children for their lost baby teeth so that they could be used to string onto battle necklaces and other jewelry.

Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who would scamper around town and steal children’s teeth in the middle of the night. This story of the mouse soon transformed into the story of the Tooth Fairy, who would leave treasures under the children’s pillows in exchange for their lost teeth.

The traditions and legend of the Tooth Fairy are still practiced today all around the world. It is considered a useful practice by many parents because it gives their children something to look forward to when they lose their teeth. And so year after year, baby teeth are placed under children’s pillows at night in hopes of waking up to a wonderful surprise from none other than the Tooth Fairy! (www.toothfairy.org)

Orthodontic Treatment Can Change Your Life

February 27th, 2013

How Orthodontic Treatment Changed Roberts Life

Did You Know Linaker Orthodontics is an Invisalign Preferred Provider

February 25th, 2013

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® uses a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to fit your teeth.

The virtually invisible aligners gradually reposition your teeth into a smile you’ll be proud of. Teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced can create unhealthy conditions, including swollen gums, redness and pocketing, all of which are signs of periodontal disease.

As Invisalign® invisibly straightens your teeth, it can also do great things for the health of your mouth.

• Remove your aligners to eat, brush and floss
• Change aligners every two weeks
• Your teeth move little by little
• Regular progress checks
• Results often in 9 to 18 months
• Most people won’t notice you are in treatment
• Won’t disrupt your lifestyle

Faith Hill Looking Beautiful with Braces Reminds Us To Wear Our Retainer

February 13th, 2013

'I forgot to wear my retainer ...' she explained.

Faith Hill

(Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY)

Let this be a lesson to all of you who visited the orthodontist as a kid.

Faith Hill, 45, was spotted on the Grammy red carpet Sunday night with a smile that showed off her braces.

They were easy to miss if you didn't get up close and personal with the country star, who was by hubby Tim McGraw's side for the night as they presented an award together.

This wasn't the debut of the dental accessory for the country star. In an interview with country radio station KNIX 102.5 in November, Hill said, "They are about four months old. I'm getting used to them.

And as for why? She wore braces as a kid and "I forgot to wear my retainer — kids, wear your retainer," she advised.

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