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, You can call 203-256-9500 or email 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!

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
  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!

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