Braces – How Early is Too Early?

There have been more than a few times when I suggest braces to a parent of a young child and they seem surprised. How early is too early to get braces? This is a great question to ask and one that many parents should get the answer to. Honestly, a child can get braces as early as 6 years old if they have crowding of the teeth. It’s important to start a child on a two phase orthodontic treatment to help ensure that their jaw and teeth align correctly as they age. Here’s a quote from an older blog post of mine:

It’s best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.

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“It’s never too late to have ortho,” says Brenda Stenftenagel, DDS, MSD.

“Dr. Brenda” is right — more and more adults are being fitted for braces these days.

In fact, her office has had patients as young as 2 and as old as 84.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a 37-percent growth in adult patients occurred between 1994 and 2004. And the numbers are rising.

“It’s very rare that I hear a patient say it’s a negative (to get braces),” Stenftenagel said. “It’s such a positive thing in their life.”

Source Here

This excerpt is from a fantastic article about adults and braces. More and more adults are getting braces these days, and I have to think that technological improvements in treatment (like Damon Brackets and Invisalign) are the primary source.

What do you think? Why are more and more adults choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment?

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How to improve bad breath

So, this might be a weird topic for a post, but I figure that it’s definitely a topic that people wonder about, but never want to ask. As such, here are some tips for improving bad breath:

• Eat at regular intervals. Dieting or missing meals can decrease saliva and cause bad breath.

• Chew sugar-free gum, suck on sugar-free mints, or drink water, especially if your mouth is dry.

• Try using breath sticks, which contain the ingredients found in a mouthwash and dissolve in your mouth.

• Remove dentures, removable bridges, partial plates, or orthodontic appliances and clean them once each day or as directed by your dentist. Pieces of food and germs can collect on these appliances and cause bad breath.

• Use a mouthwash for temporary relief of bad breath. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

• Have regular dental checkups.

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Last Week Invisalign, This Week the Damon System

So last week I showed you a great patient testimonial about Invisalign and her reactions to the treatment within her first 10 minutes of wearing the aligners. This week, I thought I’d take a minute to show you another great option: Damon System Brackets. Damon brackets are a great alternative to traditional metal braces. As a Damon orthodontist in Los Angeles, I work hard to educate my patients about the pros and cons of both Damon and Invisalign. As usual, I think it’s also good for you to hear this from more than just me. Here is a video I found of patient testimonials. What do you think?

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Things to Know About Invisalign

I came across this video online and realized that it’s just what people considering Invisalign need to see. There are many things online promoting Invisalign (including myself and this blog), but people rarely get the see a clear cut, unbiased, point of view from someone who actually has chosen to straighten their teeth with Invisalign. As an orthodontist in LA, I get quite a lot of requests for Invisalign. I always let my patients know about the stages of Invislign as well as how one might first react to it. But, to hear it from someone else, checkout this video of a patient who has been wearing her aligners for 10 minutes:

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Proper oral health for all ages

As science continues to evolve and answer questions about why things are the way they are, we are gaining abundant knowledge on how oral health affects overall health. Though younger generations are getting educated even earlier about the importance of keeping your teeth clean, there is a different generation that has been left untapped… at least until recently. Enter the National Museum of Dentistry – an organization who’s goal is to educate everyone on the importance of maintaining that healthy smile.

In an article I read entitled: Museum event focuses on oral health needs, news for older adults, I got to read first hand about how a company called OralLongevity is working to educate the elderly about the importance of oral health. Take some time to read the article and then let me know what you think.

Participants received a guided tour of the museum tracing the history of dentistry from the ancient Egyptians to current scientific breakthroughs in bioengineering; a peek into the museum’s vault; a lecture on the mouth/body connection; a rundown of new oral care products designed to meet the needs of older adults; and a panel discussion with experts in dentistry, medicine and science about how advances are changing the face or oral health care.

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Retainers – To Wear or Not to Wear

One of the most important things that I stress to my orthodontic patients is that they need to wear their retainer after treatment. I know that this is something that many patients wish weren’t true. In fact, I also know that many patients do what they can to convince themselves that they are different and their teeth are different, so they will be fine without the retainer. That is why, when I saw someone post this distressed request for advice on an orthodontic forum, I realized that maybe stressing this need just one more time would be important:

Hi, about 3 years ago i had braces put in and i was very pleased with the results after the 2 year period, so pleased in fact that i refused to wear my retainer, i was so stupid thinking that it would be ok and now my teeth are going back to how they was. Its becoming embarrasing to even smile.

I have found my retainer and put it in, its extremely painful at the moment but i am willing to do this if it means my teeth will be straight again, but my question is… i have gone at least a year without my retainer so will wearing it now still give me a chance or isit too late? and how long will i need to wear it for so they are permanently straight?

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to give your orthodontist a call. I know that at my LA orthodontic office, I’m happy to help patients out and get a new retainer ready for them.

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Students and Braces – Getting Braces in LA

The other day, a patient of mine smiled brightly as she walked away from my office with her new colored rubber bands on her braces. It’s amazing how teens today get to view braces as a fun experience because of all the changes and advances in orthodontic technology! Today, braces are more comfortable, convenient, and even pretty. What’s even better is Invisalign – Invisalign clear aligners allow patients to straighten their teeth without the look and feel of braces. You can even remove your invisible aligners to eat. So, when you’re ready to get braces, don’t assume that things are the same as they were even a few years ago. The world of orthodontics has evolved and this article I came across, is proof of it: It’s not wins, but braces helping athletes smile

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Learn About Invisalign in LA With This Video

I just came across this video and had to share it. Is there a question you have about getting Invisalign in the Los Angeles area? Contact my office today and we can setup an appointment!

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Dog Braces… Really? This LA Orthodontist Opinion

You may have heard something about it in the news lately, or maybe you’ve always wondered why it hasn’t happened yet… or maybe, just maybe, something this weird never crossed your mind… but it’s true, there are now animal orthodontists! As an orthodontist in the Los Angeles area, I very much understand the need for a beautiful smile. That’s why I became an orthodontist, to make people smile both inside and out. Helping someone achieve perfect teeth is a joy for me and I’m grateful to be a part of such an exciting field. Would I put braces on a dog? That’s an interesting question. Apparently, dog braces are all the rage these days. With the choice of having a dog get its teeth pulled vs. a less painful solution like braces, I would say that braces seem much more humane. Still, I’d love to see a picture of a dog in braces and see that proud owner walking around with them. Aesthetically, I think braces on a dog would be hysterical. As one of the leading pet orthodontists says:

“We really don’t do it for any kind of aesthetic reason, like we do in people,” said Huff, the animal dentist at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. “Marley has a lower canine tooth that’s growing into the roof of his mouth.”

When it does become something for aesthetics, I’m sure they’ll choose Invisalign! What do you think?

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