November 15th, 2018
A video speaks a thousand words, so if you do not have time to read this whole blog post, click on the link to check out this video from an orthodontist who saw a patient who tried to treat himself first: https://www.facebook.com/fitsmilesorthodontics/videos/330477387718566/
As humans, we are all different and have different biological limitations when it comes to moving our teeth. Just like someone might have a different pant size, we all have different size jaw bones, teeth and sometimes even number of teeth! These DIY or Direct-To-Consumer companies prescribe generic treatment that is not custom to your mouth.
An orthodontist will take an x-ray of your teeth as part of their orthodontic records. This x-ray allows us to look at the jaw bones and parts of the teeth that you cannot see just by looking in your mouth. These DIY companies are not requiring an x-ray for treatment and thus can miss issues in your mouth that should be addressed before or during treatment.
It is important to make sure your teeth are healthy before you try to straighten them. Moving unhealthy teeth through unhealthy bone can make any problems present (cavities, bone loss, gum disease, etc.) become worse and can cause even more expensive issues in your mouth!
As orthodontists, we look at your whole mouth instead of just the front teeth. We make sure you have a proper bite in the back so you do not wear away your teeth incorrectly or leave your teeth in a position that is difficult to clean and prone to decay.
Hopefully we have given you a sense of how important it is to see a trained orthodontist when you want to straighten your teeth. Remember, a clear aligner is just a tool to move teeth –who is using the tool matters. Is there another medical procedure you would consider bypassing your doctor for? When you consider the potential to lose teeth and add more expensive treatment costs, we certainly think seeing a trained orthodontist is worth the investment!
If you would like to read what the American Association of Orthodontics has to say about this issue, you can read it here: https://www.aaoinfo.org/_/online-orthodontic-companies/
October 1st, 2018
Each October, thousands of kids have one thing on their mind: Halloween candy! For orthodontists, the Halloween season is all about helping patients avoid potentially sticky situations. Drs. Bendick and Landin offer these five timely tips to help protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic “appliances” while protecting teeth from decay.
- Say “BOO” to hard and sticky foods. Avoid caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubble gum and nut-filled candies.
- Choose “spooktacularly” soft candies. Chocolate, peanut butter cups and other melt-in-your-mouth candies are the best choices for braces and aligners.
- Dare to take extra care. Brushing and flossing are even more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing immediately after eating sugary or starchy foods.
- Set yourself up for success. Trade candies with your friends for the ones you know you can eat safely! Parents can also find free, Halloween-themed recipes such as Quirky Quesadillas for Halloween, Delightfully Devilish Deviled Eggs, Mummy Pizza Biscuits, Spooky Spider Web Bean dip and others, on the American Association of Orthodontists’ website at https://www.mylifemysmile.org/recipes.
- Commit to oral health. Commit to keeping your braces and aligner attachments in good shape. Deciding to avoid hard and sticky sweets before the Halloween season begins will make you successful!
"Coastal Fairfield is one of the best places for trick or treating in America!' says Dr. Bendick. "Dr. Landin and I wish everyone here a Happy Halloween! We know when patients get to the end of their orthodontic treatment and see their bright, beautiful smiles, they'll know the extra effort was worth it!."
November 13th, 2012
We hear this question daily at our office. The real answer is however long you want your teeth to remain straight!We consider retainers to be lifetime appliances. You should see the look of disbelief on patients faces when we say that. While it may sound discouraging, there are reasons for wearing the retainers for the long haul.
Teeth are not static. They are always moving, and they will continue to move and shift even though you've had braces. They will try to move forward, up and outwards. As we age, our teeth move toward the front of the mouth and will get more crowded over time.
So if you are a patient, and just had your teeth moved into their optimal position via braces, those teeth have a strong tendency to relapse into their original position. Teeth actualy have a "memory" of the position they were in before braces. There are ligaments that connect the teeth to the bone and these ligaments stretch as the teeth are moved to their new position.
This is where your retainers come into play! They hold the teeth into place and, over time, the memory of these ligaments will fade. However, teeth are continually moving and shifting - not always to our advantage - and it is wise, once you've attained a functional and aesthetic position and bite with braces or Invisalign , to maintain this position for as long as you can. In fact, Invisalign was first introduced as a product designed to correct adult relapse (for adults who didn't wear their retainers, or didn't wear them for long).
Even years after orthodontic treatment, patients should ideally still be wearing their retainers at night. The retainers not only hold your teeth in place, but protect your teeth from wear and tear by maintining the correct bite relationship of the top and bottom arches. They are lifelong tools for youto use to maintain your beautiful smile!