Orthodontics

HEALTHY TEETH CAN BE MOVED AT ANY AGE

August 26th, 2019

Millions of people in the United States are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment.  One in four patients is an adult.

Orthodontic treatment moves teeth in the same way for a 75-year old as it does for a 13-year old.  Dr. Patricia Bendick and Dr. Melissa Landin want you to know that healthy teeth can be moved at any age!

“No one is ‘too old’ for orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Landin.  “If an adult is self-conscious about their smile, orthodontic treatment can provide them with the same benefits younger patients enjoy – teeth that function well, and that look nice, too.”

If treatment is recommended, there are a number of options available today that make it much less noticeable than it was in the past.

“Thanks to today’s technology, many of today’s appliances are nearly invisible,” notes Dr. Bendick. These appliances include clear aligner trays (i.e. Invisalign) and clear ceramic braces, but even brackets used in more traditional stainless steel braces are small and sleek.

It’s important for anyone interested in orthodontic treatment to discuss it with an orthodontist – someone who first graduated from dental school, and then completed an additional two to three years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program.  Orthodontists limit their work to orthodontic care – they are dentistry’s experts in moving teeth and aligning jaws. Orthodontists have access to the full range of orthodontic appliances, and can work with patients to help them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile using the most appropriate method.

Orthodontic treatment not only gives patients straight teeth but aligns the bite so that teeth meet properly.  A good bite makes it easier to chew and speak.  It can also enhance your appearance and contribute to your overall health because a good bite makes it possible to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods.  Straighter teeth are also easier to brush and floss making you less prone to cavities.

In addition to the oral health benefits, patients appreciate the improvement in the look of their teeth and their smile brought about by orthodontic treatment.  We often notice the improvement in our patient’s self-esteem as they go through orthodontic treatment.  Our patients smile more brightly with each visit!

DRS. BENDICK AND LANDIN JOIN THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ORTHODONTISTS IN RECOMMENDING THE FIRST CHECK-UP WITH AN ORTHODONTIST BE NO LATER THAN AGE 7

June 24th, 2019

Although many people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescence, orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or with the teeth much earlier, while the primary or “baby” teeth are present.

Parents may incorrectly think they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth. However, Dr. Bendick, Dr. Landin and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend that every child get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7.

“I can't emphasize enough how important it is that parents understand the value of an orthodontic check- up,” says Dr. Bendick. “By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate the ‘bite’ – the manner in which top and bottom teeth and jaws meet and work, and how that relationship affects a child’s ability to bite, chew and speak effectively.  Orthodontists can determine if your child will benefit from treatment.”

“A visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind, too,” notes Dr. Landin. “Our recommendation may simply be ‘let's wait and see’ while the face, jaws and teeth continue to grow.”

Some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for an examination include:

  • early or late loss of baby teeth
  • difficulty in chewing or biting
  • mouth breathing
  • thumb sucking
  • crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • jaws that shift or make sounds
  • speech difficulties
  • biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • teeth that meet abnormally, or do not meet at all
  • facial imbalance
  • jaws that are too far forward or back
  • grinding or clenching of the teeth

“Most importantly, if you as a parent notice anything that concerns you about your child’s teeth – even prior to age 7 – please make an appointment so we can see if it is something that needs to be addressed,” says Dr. Bendick.  “It is always best to be checked!”

“The summer is the perfect time to come into our office for a complimentary examination,” says Dr. Landin.  “If your child is ready to start orthodontic treatment, there is no need for your child to be taken out of school to accommodate the longer appointment that may be necessary to place the appliance.”  In addition, the summer is an optimal time for your child to adjust to having the orthodontic appliances in his or her mouth without taking away focus from school.

With today’s technology, you and your child will have the option to select from the visible, traditional metal braces or the barely visible, clear aligners such as Invisalign Teen.  Dr. Bendick states, “With teens, we always talk with parents to learn if their child is ready to handle the responsibility that comes with Invisalign and the need to remove and re-insert the trays on their own each day.  It is okay to choose traditional braces!”  Many patients love the color options that come with the elastic ties necessary to hold the wire in place with traditional braces.  There are a wide variety of colors to choose from and colors can be changed at every visit.

For more information, visit Fairfield Orthodontic Associates’ website, www.fairfieldorthodonticassociates.com. You can call 203-256-9500 or email ffldortho@gmail.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.  Find Fairfield Orthodontic Associates on Facebook and/or Instagram at @fairfieldorthodonticassociates.

When you visit our practice you will see why we love what we do.  We strive to give you an experience and a result that you will want to share with your friends. Call or email us today for an appointment that will start you on your way to your very best smile!

Wondering why it’s necessary to see a trained orthodontist over these Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or Direct-To-Consumer companies to straighten your teeth?

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/

Timely Tips for a Spooktacular Smile This Halloween

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.
  1. Say “BOO” to hard and sticky foods.  Avoid caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubble gum and nut-filled candies.
  2. Choose “spooktacularly” soft candies.  Chocolate, peanut butter cups and other melt-in-your-mouth candies are the best choices for braces and aligners.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!."

How long do I have to wear my retainers?

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!

Back to Top