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Conservative Treatment Aligned With Each Patient’s Goals

braces

Close-up view of a child's braces

Did you know that about 1/4th of all people with braces are children? Millions of Americans receive orthodontic treatment for bite and alignment correction and for straightening the teeth. However, adults require treatment differently and for longer than a child would need, and child orthodontics have different goals for patients than adult orthodontics do. Both of these areas of orthodontics differ, but are also very similar in techniques used to create a beautiful smile.

 

Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is one of the easiest ways to help improve your health. Braces can help correct major oral health problems and can help avoid dental emergencies in the future. In children and adults, braces straighten the teeth so that they are aligned properly for speech, eating, biting and more. Straighter teeth are easier to clean and easier to manage, which leads to better health. Teeth must come in at specific places in the mouth for both children and adults. Child orthodontics focuses on that proper bite and tooth placement, and adult orthodontics seeks to improve the look of a smile.

 

Child Orthodontics

Did you know that children often wear braces, only to get them again as adolescents? Child orthodontics is a popular orthodontic option for at least 1/4th of braces wearers. Dentistry has been around enough centuries to know that the teeth, bite, alignment and growth happen in a specific way. Teeth must come in at the right spot and must be aligned in a specific manner in the jaw. As a child begins to get their baby teeth, some may be crooked. Depending on oral health conditions, and problems such as thumb-sucking, the shape of the teeth and bite can change.

 

Some children will have teeth that protrude outward, inward, or teeth that are in various directions. This leaves them open to the risk of broken or fractured teeth, tooth decay and problems with speech and development. Child orthodontics is the first phase of getting braces early. It focuses on getting the jaws lined up correctly and the teeth resting on each other in the right way. Once that happens, the baby teeth can fall out and the adult teeth can smoothly come into place. Child orthodontics will correct the major issues a child’s mouth has when they are around 7 or 8 years old. Starting at 11 and later, braces will seek to make the teeth look more attractive.

 

Young girl patient having her teeth and braces examined by an orthodontist

Adult Orthodontics

Most people think that teens make up the majority of patients with braces. However, adult orthodontics is very popular as well, with about 1/4th of all orthodontic patients being adults. There are more adults wearing orthodontic appliances than you realize, especially because of the “invisible options” they have that children don’t have.

 

Adults have a harder time with straightening their teeth than children do. By adulthood, the mouth and jaws have stopped growing, making them less moldable than a child’s jaws. The treatment that would have been easy for a child may take twice as long for an adult, or may require surgical orthodontics to achieve a straight smile, or proper bite and alignment. However, adults get the benefits of Invisalign treatment and lingual braces, which most children can’t have.

 

Invisalign is an “invisible” straightening option for adults and teens that uses a strong, clear aligner to straighten the teeth. Digital scanning creates customized aligners that a patient changes out ever 1-2 weeks, which slowly shift the teeth into their proper place. This invisible option allows adults and teens to brush, floss, eat and play sports without brackets and wires in the way. Lingual braces is another “invisible” straightening option. It has metal brackets and wires, except they’re placed on the back of the teeth. Only an adult can use these, as the baby teeth are not large enough for lingual braces to fit. Both adult orthodontics and child orthodontics correct bite, alignment and tooth issues, but the options available to the two age groups differ slightly.

 

Young boy with braces and headgear to correct bite and alignment problems

Why Choose Either Option?

When considering orthodontic treatment, there are various aspects you have to think about that include cost, health changes, aesthetic appeal and more. Many people think that braces are very expensive, when they are actually quite affordable. Your family may even save more money over time because of the oral health problems that are avoided by proper orthodontic treatment. A major reason so many people have orthodontic treatment is that they want to improve their smiles. Not only does a straight smile look beautiful, but it helps patients feel more confident. Studies show that child orthodontics helps children feel more confident in school and they do better academically.

 

Braces can correct speech problems caused by bite and alignment issues. They can straighten the teeth, making them easier to clean, and thus reducing problems with tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. People socially perceive patients in a more positive way if their smiles are straighter and healthier. No matter if you choose orthodontic treatment for aesthetic appeal or for health reasons, the benefits are worth the time, effort and money you put into your treatment.

 

Conservative Treatment

Dr. Hardy practices a conservative approach to orthodontic treatment. While it is important for children to have an early orthodontic assessment to look for serious dental concerns (around age 7), the majority of children will not require orthodontic treatment before age 11. Your child might need child orthodontics or they may only need orthodontic treatment as a teen. Some people are naturally born with straight teeth that don’t pose them a problem, or their teeth start to shift later on in life. Whether your child needs child orthodontics or you need adult orthodontics, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016 for your free consultation!

 

What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?

Posted on: June 5, 2018

Young boy with interceptive orthodontics (braces) that is smiling at the camera

Millions of people each year receive interceptive orthodontics to correct bite and alignment issues. You may know these braces by the name of “child orthodontics” or “Phase 1” orthodontics. You might even know some children who have braces. Many children need orthodontic help to ensure that their bite lines up correctly for a healthy mouth. There are also other reasons a child might need interceptive orthodontics, such as receiving them to help make room in the mouth for the adult teeth to come in. Find out what interceptive orthodontics entail and if your child needs them!

 

Choosing to Get Braces

Many teens wear braces each year to straighten their teeth once the permanent, adult teeth have come in. Most permanent teeth have come into the mouth by age 12 or 13. However, braces aren’t only for teens who are wanting a straighter smile. In fact, about 1/4th of all people with braces are children and about the same amount are adults. Many more people than you would think wear braces, especially when “invisible” options like Invisalign and lingual braces exist.

 

When you choose to get braces, you are making a smart decision for yourself and for your oral health. Many people think that braces are only meant to help the teeth become straighter. Although that is one of the main reasons, there are many benefits of braces. These appliances are used to help fix crooked teeth, but also bites and mouth alignments that aren’t in proper position. There are orthodontic appliances when a patient only needs a few months to change a dental problem and there are even surgical options for orthodontics. But, why so many options when it comes to orthodontics?

 

Young patient receiving an orthodontic appliance to help fix bite and alignment problems

Benefits of Braces

We love to allow our patients the freedom to correct their smiles how they want, when they want. You are never too old to get braces. Children get them all the time to fix bite problems, only to get them again later on for straightening. Adults wear them, especially if they are wanting to advance their careers. Studies show that an employer is much more likely to take a potential employee if they have a straighter smile.

 

Orthodontic treatment is also proven to make people more confident in their smiles and in themselves. When patients get straighter teeth and fix dental issues, they smile more, talk more and exude more confidence. This can change someone’s entire life, especially a child’s.

 

What Are Interceptive Orthodontics?

Interceptive orthodontics is another name for “child orthodontics”. If you are surprised that children get braces, don’t be! The American Association of Orthodontics actually recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. This is when many of the baby teeth are falling out, and a perfect time to see how permanent, adult teeth are coming in. An orthodontist can use the first orthodontic appointment to check your child for bite and alignment problems before they become severe as a child ages into a teen and then an adult.

 

When certain orthodontic problems like crossbite or underbite, are left untreated, these conditions can become more severe, complicating issues. Interceptive orthodontics aims to check children while they are young for problems that will become severe in the future. They “intercept” a patient before that point, and fix the problem much easier than if a child’s mouth had grown more. Interceptive orthodontics checks children at an early age to:

  • Observe the progress of incoming teeth
  • Monitor facial and jaw development
  • Guide incoming teeth into their ideal position
  • Detect hidden dental issues
  • Reduce the risk of impacted teeth
  • Decrease the risk for permanent tooth extractions

 

Close-up view of a young patient's mouth that has braces

Considering Interceptive Orthodontics?

Do you want to give your child the best chance possible to have a healthy mouth? Make sure you involve an orthodontist in their early-childhood development! Interceptive orthodontics is not needed for every child, but for the ones who need it, it can change their life. If a child has enough crooked teeth, it can create uneven pressure on those teeth when they bite and chew. This can lead to broken, fractured, chipped and cracked teeth. The teeth are also much harder to clean when they are crooked, leading to tooth decay and gum problems in young children.

 

If a child’s bite is not even or their alignment is off, it can also lead to broken teeth. When the baby teeth aren’t aligned correctly, the adult teeth won’t come in right. Children can have uneven bites form from thumb-sucking and similar habits that curve the teeth outward. This can create problems biting, chewing, talking, and more. Speech impediments can form and become worse over time if the problem isn’t corrected. No parent wants speech problems, tooth decay or dental injuries to happen to their child, and they never have to. Call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016 for your child’s comprehensive orthodontic exam and see if they need interceptive orthodontics today!

Cavity Treatment During Braces

Posted on: May 8, 2018

Girl with braces having a dental exam

Did you know that an orthodontist and a dentist are not the same? Only a dentist can help with cavities, gum disease and more, while only an orthodontist can straighten your teeth in a certain way. A patient’s time with braces is a time when cavities happen very quickly, because the teeth are harder to clean. To prevent cavities during your time with braces, it is vital that you continue to see a dentist. If you do happen to get a cavity, find out what that cavity treatment will look like!

 

Proper Oral Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends that every patient brush their teeth at least twice a day to avoid tooth decay. Brushing after every meal is even better for avoiding plaque buildup that leads to decay. Every patient should also floss their teeth at least once a day. Using fluoride toothpaste is best, because fluoride helps coat the teeth in a protective layer that prevents decay and keeps tooth enamel stronger. Patients can also benefit from mouthwash, as it can kill bacteria that would otherwise create plaque.

 

However, these recommendations are for people that don’t have braces. Every single person—children, teens and adults—should follow these recommendations. Infants should not use fluoride or mouthwash, but their child toothpastes generally have safe amounts of fluoride in them. If you are a patient that is receiving orthodontic care via braces, you have to go the extra mile with your oral hygiene. That means more frequent brushing, more flossing and watching what you eat.

 

Close-up view of braces that are being brushed with a toothbrush

Taking Care of Braces

Braces can be tricky to clean. However, their design provides the best and quickest way for you to straighten your teeth, which is why traditional metal braces have been around for so many decades. Metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces all have a brackets-and-wires design.

 

However, with braces, you must be meticulous with cleaning them or you will have food and plaque get stuck places. If you don’t unstick those substances, they will quickly erode your tooth enamel and cause decay around your appliances. This can happen on every tooth as well.

Follow these tips for cleaning your braces:

  • Brush after every single meal. This reduces staining and bacteria buildup. Use a regular soft-bristled brush and brush down from the top, then up from the bottom. Brush in all different directions to dislodge food.
  • Use a threadable floss or a floss threader. Both will require that you thread the floss through each space between your teeth. You will have to go under the wire to do this, and it will take slightly longer than normal flossing. This is one of the most important oral hygiene recommendations to follow!
  • Use helpful tools. A proxabrush is a small braces brush that can help unstick foods. It looks like a tiny Christmas Tree brush. A waterpik is also helpful. This is a tool that helps blast away food particles with a stream of water.

 

Tooth Decay with Braces

Many children and teens skip flossing or brushing here and there. Every time you skip on an oral hygiene habit, it increases your risk for tooth decay—or cavities—with braces. Your time with braces is one where you have to be super careful about your oral health. Most people picture their beautiful smile after getting their braces off, but they don’t think about cavities and tooth erosion. You can end up with tooth decay and parts of your teeth that have eroded due to your oral hygiene habits with braces.

 

Nobody wants to spend 18-24 months perfecting their teeth only to be disappointed in their smile. That’s why oral hygiene is so important. Tooth decay happens rapidly, and it can happen where the brackets are bonded to your teeth and in-between your teeth because it is harder to floss. Normally, you would simply visit the dentist and have your cavity removed and filled. However, cavity treatment is a bit different with braces.

 

Young boy with braces getting a cavity treatment at a dental office

 

Cavity Treatment with Braces

Cavity treatment is slightly harder if you have braces, but not impossible. Generally, decay happens between teeth cracks and around brackets and wires. If you have tooth decay that is in a tricky spot, we can remove your wire so that a dentist can provide you with a proper cavity treatment. You will have to have your appointments scheduled close together (dentist and orthodontist) so that you can get your cavity filled and your wire replaced.

 

In severe cases of tooth decay, we may have to remove a bracket from the tooth if it interferes with the dental work that needs to be done. We only do this in certain cases, and we replace the missing part as soon as possible so your teeth don’t move. Cavity treatment—with taking out the tooth decay and filling it—is the same with braces as it is without, only you have to work around orthodontic appliances if you have braces. Always let us know if you have tooth sensitivity, sharp (and even mild) pain when chewing and if you have sensitivity to hot or cold foods. This signals that there may be a more severe cavity.

 

Prevent Cavity Treatment

The goal of every patient—old and young—is to avoid tooth decay altogether. If you do, you’ll never have to worry about cavity treatment with braces. If your decay is small and in a tricky spot, you may have to wait until your braces are off to receive your cavity treatment. That might make your cavity grow larger, which is something you don’t want. Always see the dentist to check your mouth for tooth decay before you receive orthodontic treatment. This can avoid many problems in the future.

 

If you are prone to getting cavities or you have weak enamel, consider receiving Invisalign treatment instead of getting brackets and wires. This will help you avoid problems with cavities and needing to get cavity treatment. If you have tooth pain or want to learn more about cavity treatment with braces, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

Your Braces from Start to Finish

Posted on: February 26, 2018

girl who has braces

There are many things to think about when deciding to receive your braces. What type of braces should you choose? What age should you receive those braces? Then, after deciding what method of teeth straightening you want, you then have to learn how to properly care for your teeth. You will also have to get used to sometimes having sore teeth after your appointments and fitting in seeing the dentist. We can help you to know about your braces appliance from choosing a braces type, cleaning them, and avoiding tooth decay while you get a straighter smile.

 

Choosing Your Braces Style

Receiving braces is an exciting time for many people. It is the start of a better smile and a better you. But before you can get that straighter, more beautiful smile, you have to choose what style of braces you want. We offer:

  • Traditional Metal Braces – These are the classic metal bracket and wire option that is most commonly chosen by patients. Patients who chose this option come in to have their wires tightened at each appointment.
  • Ceramic Braces – These braces are a close cousin to metal braces. They have the same bracket and wire design of metal braces, except that they are made out of ceramic material. This helps decrease demineralization during your orthodontic treatment. Ceramic material is also naturally white, helping these braces to blend in with your teeth more than metal would.
  • Lingual Braces – These are metal braces that are placed on the back of your teeth. Instead of just a square bracket, the metal must be custom-made to the shape of the back of your teeth. This is a discrete option that adults and teens love.
  • Invisalign Treatment – This is the most invisible option available to our patients. Invisalign is a series of transparent aligners that you wear at night and throughout the day. You can remove them for eating, playing sports, cleaning your teeth and more.

 

close up of braces

 

Getting Your Braces Put On

After you’ve chosen the style of braces you want, you need to have them fitted to your mouth. 3 out of the 4 options available to you will be bonded to your actual teeth. At our office, we make sure your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried before we bond brackets to them. With metal braces, we will use a cement bonding glue to adhere a metal bracket to the center of each of your teeth. Your back molars might receive a band that goes all the way around the tooth.

 

Once the metal bracket is cemented to the center of each tooth, we will pass a small metal archwire through each bracket both on top and on bottom. In the end, you will end up with a wire across the teeth on your upper jaw and across the teeth on your lower jaw. The glue we use may taste a bit unpleasant, but it is otherwise harmless. The entire process of getting your brackets and wires placed on your teeth will be between 1 and 2 hours.

 

The Process for Other Options

Depending on what option you have chosen, your braces process might be a bit different. Ceramic braces are applied the same way that metal braces would be, as they too consist of brackets and wires. However, if you choose to get lingual braces, we can’t simply place brackets on the backs of your teeth. Once Dr. Hardy has determined that you are an ideal candidate for lingual braces, he will take impressions of your teeth. He then sends them to a lab so that your brackets and wires can be custom made. The braces will then be bonded behind your teeth at a separate appointment.

 

For Invisalign treatment, we design a series of transparent aligners that you will switch out each week. We can take digital impressions of your mouth that we will use to design your aligners. We use a digital scanning system that sends images to a state-of-the-art printing machine. Then, each week you will have new aligners that you will simply replace. It’s that easy!

 

girl getting her braces adjusted

Your Orthodontic Experience

Most patients will have braces for 18-24 months. Some people don’t like braces, but the majority of people do. You can choose the style of your braces and if you want them to be hidden or noticeable. You can also dress up your braces with colorful bands if you so desire. Braces require more care than what you are used to. You must take more time with brushing and flossing, even using tools such as a waterpik, proxabrush and floss threaders to fully remove food from your braces. You must clean your teeth thoroughly to avoid tooth decay during your time with braces. We can show you how to do all of this at our office.

 

Each patient will come in every 4-6 weeks for orthodontic checkups. This is where we will examine your braces and how your teeth are moving. You will experience initial soreness and discomfort after you first get your braces. You might have this discomfort every time your braces get tightened as well. A simple over-the-counter pain reliever should help you as well as eating soft foods. Having braces changes life a little bit when it comes to cleaning your teeth (which takes longer), but the benefits far outweigh everything else. At the end of your treatment, you will have an amazing, beautiful smile that is sure to wow everyone around you. If you want to know more about your braces options, or want to get started on your journey today, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

The Best Ages for Having Braces

Posted on: February 1, 2018

woman with braces

If you have a desire to get braces, we commend you for choosing to have a better smile! Studies show that a better, straighter smile can increase your confidence, success and professional life. However, there are some key ages that having braces are the best for patients. If you have bite and alignment issues, it’s best to receive child orthodontics. For straightening, the teenage years are the best for wearing having braces. However, braces can benefit patients at any age and may even be needed more than once in life. Find out what orthodontic treatment can do for you at any age!

 

Child Orthodontics

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. Having and examination early as a child will detect bite and alignment issues that can become severe later on in life. This early visit is something that you definitely want your child to receive, as bite and alignment issues can lead to problems with speech. If the baby teeth are misaligned, then the adult, permanent teeth will come in misaligned as well. This will eventually lead to cracked, chipped or broken teeth when chewing and biting, as different teeth will take on different amounts of pressure.

 

There are several different types of bite problems children can have. One is crossbite, where one or more teeth are turned either in towards the tongue or out towards the cheek. Overbite is when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth too much. Underbite is when the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth. In a healthy smile, the upper front teeth will rest on top of (and just a tiny bit forward) of the lower front teeth. If your child does have a bite or alignment problem, it’s easiest to fix while they are young, as the jaw is still growing and forming. Between 7 and 8 years old is the best time for having braces as a child to correct this problem.

 

girl with braces

Adult Orthodontics

Having braces as a teenager can vary depending on when all the permanent teeth come in. Once the permanent teeth have come in (somewhere around age 12), a child should be seen for a consultation. This is great time to straighten the teeth as the jaw is still growing. However, later in the teenage years and afterwards, the jaw will stop growing and straightening the teeth becomes harder. That is why the teenage years are the best to straighten a child’s teeth. Not only will having braces straighten crooked teeth, but they can also help your child have more confidence because they will produce a beautiful, straight smile after treatment. Straighter teeth are proven to boost confidence in children, teens and adults alike.

 

Adults benefit from receiving braces at any age. Even though the jaw has stopped forming, it’s never too late to get braces (except if you are in later years and losing your teeth). About 25% of people who have braces are adults. Getting a straighter teeth can boost your confidence and social life. Studies show that employers also hire someone with straight teeth over someone with crooked teeth. Other studies show that people find you more attractive, trustworthy, and datable if you have straight teeth.

 

Braces Options

Your options for braces will vary slightly depending on your age. In the past, traditional metal braces were your only option for straightening your teeth. This option is the one that has metal brackets attached to the center part of your teeth with a metal wire that goes through them on top and bottom. Metal braces aren’t your only option for treatment. For children, metal and ceramic braces are the best choices and the most economical. Ceramic braces mimic metal braces and have brackets and wires. However, instead of metal, these appliances are made from ceramic material, which matches the natural whiteness of your teeth. This is why they are sometimes known as “clear braces”.

 

For a more discreet look, lingual braces are also an option for adults. These are metal braces worn on the back of the teeth and custom-fitted to each tooth. However, the most discreet option for having braces is Invisalign. This is a series of transparent aligners that we custom-make for your mouth. You switch out the aligners every week and watch as your smile transforms. The best part about this option is that you can remove the aligners for eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, sports and more.

 

young man with braces

A Beautiful Smile at Any Age

No matter what option you choose, we know you will love the smile you’ll receive by having braces. Braces are not solely for children or teenagers, but also for adults. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 57; braces are great for patients at any age! Having braces will significantly reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease as well as broken, cracked or chipped teeth. They can get you ahead in life by helping you feel and appear more confident and successful. To answer the question about the best ages for braces, we say the best time is now! To learn more about what to expect with braces, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

Know Your Orthodontic Options

Posted on: December 13, 2017

braces options

Orthodontic options for the world at large are diverse and exciting. Patients can choose from retainers to clear aligners to invisible, metal, ceramic and micro braces. Each orthodontic option has their advantages and disadvantages. Orthodontists have the specialized knowledge to council you on all your orthodontic options. Their recommendations are based on variables like your age, possible jaw imbalances, differences in the size of your teeth, your personal preferences and more. Orthodontists are trained to know what to use and when to use it, and will work with you to make the best decision.

How Orthodontics Can Benefit You

Many people know that it’s important to have a dentist. However, it’s also very important that you have an orthodontist as well. You can brush and floss your teeth several times a day, but still remain at risk for tooth decay. Teeth that are crooked are teeth that can trap food particles much easier than straight teeth. They are also harder to clean, meaning that that food can stay trapped and lead to tooth decay. If you invest in one of our many orthodontic options, we can straighten your teeth and reduce your risk for decay.

 

Straightening your teeth can also lead to higher self-esteem and confidence, as has been proven in many studies. Even children benefit from more confidence around peers and friends when they have straight teeth. At Belmar Orthodontics, we see children starting at age 7 and up through adulthood. We provide our patients many orthodontic options so that they can choose how they want to straighten their teeth and how they want to look while doing so. Our orthodontic options include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign treatment.

 

beautiful smile

Traditional Metal Braces

When you think of braces, you probably think of traditional metal braces. These are our most popular orthodontic options available to patients, and the option chosen most often. These braces consist of a metal bracket that is attached to the center of each tooth that holds a metal archwire in place. Metal braces have proven themselves as one of the best ways to straighten your teeth, and are the most economic options our patients have. It is also the option used to correct bite and alignment problems, especially in children.

 

They are the same size and shape as metal braces and work the same way. However, ceramic braces are made out of ceramic material. Ceramic material is naturally white and will blend in with the color of your teeth. This makes them very hard to notice as compared to traditional metal braces. Another benefit of ceramic braces is that the ceramic material decreases your chances of demineralization, which can happen to some patients who wear metal braces.

 

Patients of all ages can wear metal braces. Kids love our ceramic clear braces and the ability to dress them up with colorful, bright bands of their choosing. Adults love them because they stay more hidden than traditional metal braces do. However, if you are looking for the sturdiness of brackets but don’t want them to be noticeable, consider investing your time in lingual braces.

 

Lingual Braces

You may know these braces by the names “nano braces” or “micro braces”. These are simply other names to describe these “incognito” braces. They are metal braces just like you would find traditionally worn by millions. However, the metal is permanently attached to the back of the teeth with dental cement along with the archwire. These braces are invisible when you smile, allowing you to share your beautiful smile with confidence during your treatment. They work similarly to Invisalign transparent aligners. However, you won’t have aligners that you are always removing.

 

Lingual braces are not right for every patient. Patients who have a deep vertical overbite won’t be able to fit these braces behind their teeth. Adults who have normal-sized teeth are the best candidates. It’s that teeth size that makes it one of our orthodontic options not available to children.

 

orthodontic treatment

Invisalign

Many adults and teenagers are self-conscious about their appearance, especially when it comes to their smiles. Many view braces as something that children receive, not adults. However, you may be surprised to find that about 25% of people wearing braces are adults and only about 25% of braces wearers are actually children. That means that the majority of braces wearers are teens and adults. We know that adults need to look professional and exude confidence so that they can excel socially, professionally and emotionally. Luckily, we live in a day and age where you can straighten your teeth without others ever knowing.

 

One of the most inconspicuous ways you can straighten your teeth is through Invisalign treatment. This is a series of transparent aligners custom-made for you. You will switch out these aligners for new ones every 1-2 weeks so that your teeth slowly move into place. Invisalign treatment is the best out of all your orthodontic options that allows you the most freedom with your oral health. You can remove the aligners for eating, drinking, playing sports and for cleaning your teeth as you normally do. This option is not always available for children, but is available for teenagers and adults who are less likely to lose them.

 

Know Your Orthodontic Options

Orthodontics is a major investment in your oral health and in your life. Having a straighter smile can give you confidence and self esteem you didn’t previously have. Studies show that a better smile can help land you a job easier than those who have crooked teeth. As one of the most-noticed physical features you have, you want to invest your time in straightening your teeth. To find out more about our orthodontic options, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016 and straighten your teeth today!

 

How Braces Design Has Evolved

Posted on: October 31, 2017

braces design

Did you know that orthodontic care dates back many centuries? The Ancient Egyptians, Romans and more all had methods for straightening the teeth. Some methods worked, while others were just downright painful. In modern times, braces design in orthodontia has been perfected. Each part of the braces is important and plays a role in straightening the teeth. Find out how braces came to be and why they are designed a specific way to get your teeth straight in as little time as possible!

 

Ancient Orthodontics

Braces design and orthodontic work itself has been around for many centuries; it’s not just something that we enjoy today! In fact, researchers have found that the Ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and the Romans were all some of the cultures that practiced orthodontia. However, their methods were vastly different than the methods used today. For example, in all of these cultures, braces design was different than the brackets and wires we know and love. The ancient Egyptians, however, did use metal bands around their teeth. These metal bands were found on mummified bodies, showing that even in death people valued the aesthetics of a straighter smile.

 

Ancient philosophers and physicians had to guess at how best to straighten the teeth. Some physicians forcefully pulled the teeth with crude tools until they were straight. In some of these cases, the resulting loose tooth had to be strapped to an adjacent tooth in order to heal into place. Methods such as these were just downright painful!

 

Evolving Braces Design

In later centuries, more and more philosophers and physicians experimented with better braces design. Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries began using wax molds to make impressions of the teeth. Some also found plaster to be useful in making models of the teeth. Models allowed physicians to view the teeth in their crooked state and then plan how they wanted the teeth to eventually look. Pierre Fauchard is considered the “Father of Dentistry”. He created strips of metal that had spaced holes that fit around the teeth. This is a baseline design of the brackets and wires braces design that is used today to fix tooth alignment.

 

Even though Fauchard made some worthy orthodontic advancements, Edward Hartley Angle is actually the one considered to be the “Father of Modern Orthodontics.” He made a very effective braces design and also identified malocclusion (or misalignment) and how to correct it properly. Eventually in the 1970s, orthodontists were sticking to the braces design of attaching brackets to the teeth and fitting an archwire around both the upper and lower jaws.

 

Modern Orthodontics

In eras past, braces design was done according to the needs of adults. Children did not commonly receive orthodontic care, whereas in modern times they do. Early orthodontic care for children is needed to correct bite and alignment issues that can become severe later in adolescence and especially in adulthood. Once a child has this early orthodontic care, they will later receive braces once more to straighten the permanent teeth as they come in. Many people, therefore, have braces twice in their life if they choose to have orthodontic care. In modern times, around 4.5 million people each year wear braces.

 

Traditional metal braces are the most popular option available to patients, and are the most effective at straightening the teeth. However, technology also allows patients to choose lingual braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign transparent aligners. Lingual braces are metal and are attached to the inside of the teeth (tongue-side). Clear, ceramic braces are made from ceramic material and mimic the same design as traditional metal braces. However, they help decrease demineralization and their white material blends into the color white of the teeth. Invisalign is a system of transparent aligners that a patient can switch out every 1-2 weeks. The most aesthetically pleasing option, it also allows patients to remove the aligners for normal brushing, eating, cleaning, and more.

 

Parts of Braces

In order to take care of your braces well, it’s important to know about all the different parts and why they are important. We will use traditional metal braces as an example. The individual elements that work to correct your teeth are referred to as the “appliance.” The main parts of your metal braces will include:

  • Bands – Patients will have a thin ring fitted to their back molars when receiving braces. This ring is typically made of stainless steel and is used to secure other orthodontic attachments, such as hooks, brackets, or tubes.
  • Brackets – A bracket can either be bonded to the tooth using a tooth-colored cement or it can be attached to a band. They are usually made of stainless steel or clear ceramic depending on the type of braces design you choose. They guide and support the archwire into the appropriate placement.
  • Archwire – This is held by brackets or other orthodontic attachments. The archwire is designed to guide the shifting of the teeth during treatment. These wires are traditionally made from stainless steel, but can also be made of titanium.
  • Elastics (rubber bands) – These rubber bands help create a force to move the teeth in a particular direction. These are especially helpful for pulling down or pushing very crooked teeth into place. The elastics are often attached to a molar band and upper ball hook.
  • Elastic Ties – Elastic ties are small rubber bands that go over the brackets. These hold the archwire in place. They are available in a variety of colors that patients can switch out every time they come in for a check-up.
  • Springs – Using the force of a small spring, a space can be opened or closed between the teeth. These springs go between brackets and around the archwire. They are usually made out of stainless steel or titanium.

 

Get Fitted for Your Braces

Braces are an amazing way to straighten your smile. Braces design has been perfected to get your teeth straight in no time. To get fitted for your set of braces, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016.

 

Before, After and During Braces

Posted on: October 5, 2017

 

better smile

What do you need to know before, after and during braces? How do you prepare for orthodontic care? The American Dental Association says that patients can greatly benefit from both dental and orthodontic care if they want a better smile. Seeing a dentist often as a child can help you prepare for braces in the future. Seeing a dentist and orthodontist early on can also help prevent serious oral health issues. When preparing for braces, you will receive an oral exam, x-rays, and have molds of your teeth made. You may even need dental work done as well. We can help you know what you need to do before braces, during, and after braces to achieve a better smile!

 

Preparing for Braces

Seeing your dentist is the best way to prepare for braces. The ADA recommends that patients visit their dentist at least biannually (meaning twice a year). Patients who have gum disease or are prone to tooth decay (cavities) may need to visit their dentist more often than that to prevent problems. A dentist can detect abnormal bites or alignment in children. This early detection can help children to see an orthodontist early-on for care before bite and alignment problems become severe. Most patients see an orthodontist around the early adolescent years to straighten the teeth. This is because most alignment problems are apparent after the permanent teeth have come into the mouth.

 

Studies show that most patients who receive braces are between 8 and 14 years old. You will visit your dentist and then often see an orthodontist after. That orthodontist will do a full exam of your teeth including your jaws and mouth and how your bite and alignment are. X-rays help to determine the position of the teeth in the jaw and help an orthodontist plan how your teeth must move to come into correct alignment during your treatment. Much like a dental office, you will have molds (also called “impressions”) made for your teeth. A plaster model of your teeth will be made that the orthodontist can made a plan from. In preparing for braces, you should plan on between 18-24 months of wearing braces to receive a straight smile. However, know that braces can be fun and are an investment in your future.

 

Caring for Your Braces

Your braces will be a new experience for you. At first, you may have a tender mouth, as your teeth will have to get used to the new brackets that are on them. Brackets are the squares attached to each tooth. There will be an archwire that runs through each bracket and helps mold your jaw arch correctly. You may also have elastic rubber bands and steel bands in the back of your teeth that are attached to the tooth. You must take extra time each day to care for your braces properly. If you brushed for 2 minutes before braces, you will have to extend that time now. Each bracket can get food stuck in it with any given meal, so it’s important that you brush each tooth and especially brush the bracket at different angles to dislodge food that has become stuck.

 

Flossing is extra important as well, because it is usually a step that is skipped if patients are short on time. Flossing requires setting aside around 10 minutes of your time to do it right. Use a floss threader to thread the floss under your wire, then floss between your teeth like normal. You will have to thread the floss for each individual tooth, but the time is worth it as it helps to decrease your risk for tooth decay between the teeth. Some patients may need to use a proxy brush or toothpicks to dislodge foods from the brackets. A mouthrinse with fluoride can help keep the teeth healthy as well.

 

After Your Orthodontic Care

You’ve spent 18-24 months to get a better smile. Now what? It is highly important to wear your retainer every single day after your braces come off. Your teeth have been moved into place very recently and can even start changing back into their crooked paths in the first month after braces if the retainer is not worn. Wear your retainer according to what the orthodontist suggests. If you follow their recommendations for taking care of your smile, you can look forward to many decades of a better smile with beautiful teeth.

 

A smile is not complete once it is straight. You still must brush and floss the teeth every single day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can destroy your smile. However, both of these are avoidable if you follow basic oral hygiene.

 

A Better Smile Today

If you care for your braces well, then you can expect to have a beautiful smile after your treatment is over. A better smile can bring you added confidence and success, which is what we want for every patient. If you are preparing for braces, follow our recommendations. You can even learn more about preparation, what to do with braces in special circumstances, and ask questions you may have after your care is over. Simply call our Belmar Orthodontics office at (303) 225-9016 to know more!

 

Receiving Dental Care with Braces

Posted on: September 30, 2017
dental care

Dentist hands working on young teen patient with dental braces.

Should you receive dental care with braces or is seeing the orthodontist sufficient? Continue regular checkups with your dentist even if you are frequently seeing your orthodontist. Braces make you more prone to problems such as plaque buildup and tartar. Depending on the kind of braces you choose, your teeth may require additional steps to stay clean with braces than without. For some, the enamel can also weaken with braces. However, there are ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean while you have braces. Modern-day orthodontics offers treatment options everyone can be comfortable with and will still allow patients to receive proper dental care at the same time. We can answer frequently asked questions for receiving dental care with braces and help you with tips for taking care of your braces so your smile stays healthy.

 

Dentists and Orthodontists

Did you know that orthodontists attend dental school just like dentists do? Dentists and orthodontists are similar in their schooling up to a point. However, although both professions deal with the health of your teeth, they both do separate services. Dentists perform services such as:

  • Comprehensive exams and diagnostic x-rays
  • Dental cleanings
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Laser tissue treatment
  • Periodontal treatment/Scaling and root planing
  • Dental sealants
  • Cavity fillings/Tooth colored fillings
  • Sedation dentistry
  • Porcelain veneers and crowns
  • Cosmetic bonding
  • Dental bridges and dental implants
  • Root canal therapy
  • Teeth whitening

An orthodontist performs other services different than a dentist, although they are skilled in dental practices. Orthodontists receive 4 years of undergraduate education, where they then attend dental school for 4 years. After dental school, they attend a postdoctoral program to learn orthodontia. A dentist fixes problems with your teeth in general, while an orthodontist fixes problems with teeth alignment as well as your bite and jaw alignment. Basically, every orthodontist is a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. Patients benefit from having both a dentist and an orthodontist to maintain a healthy mouth.

 

Caring for Your Teeth

Taking care of your teeth is a bit different with braces than it was without them. During your orthodontic treatment, it is particularly important to maintain good oral health through proper oral hygiene. Brackets and wires in your mouth make it much easier for food particles to get stuck. When those food particles are not removed, it leads to other dental issues like tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. Your teeth may also demineralize or erode in the areas where your brackets were attacked to the teeth. Areas on the enamel surface lose minerals in this case, which is what causes white squares to form on the teeth. If you drink beverages that stain the teeth easily, you might be left with uneven stains once the brackets have been removed.

 

With braces, you should still follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation to brush the teeth at least twice a day. We recommend that you brush the teeth much more than that, as food particles can get stuck in the brackets at every single meal. Make sure to avoid hard foods like hard candies, chips, apples, nuts, popcorn and more with your brackets. Also avoid sticky foods such as gum, caramel, taffy, tootsie rolls, and gummies as these foods are much harder to get out of all the small areas of your braces. A lot of caring for your braces is watching what you eat and then cleaning the teeth often after you do eat.

 

Cleaning with Braces

Flossing is one of the daily tasks that will be more difficult with braces because there is an archwire that blocks the floss from going in and out of the spaces between the teeth with ease. The solution for this is to use threadable floss or a floss threader. With a floss threader, you use regular floss and thread it through the eye of the threader much like you would with a sewing needle and thread. You then floss the threader between each tooth individually. Floss that comes threadable will be harder at one end and will be able to be threaded between the teeth without having to have a separate threader.

 

After brushing with a toothbrush, you can also use a proxabrush, which looks like a small Christmas tree brush. You place this proxabrush between two brackets, below the archwire, and you brush up and down. This will get food that is hard-stuck in your brackets. Brushing after every meal will reduce how much food gets into your bracket and stays there.

 

Dental Care with Braces

Even though you are seeing an orthodontist frequently, you must continue to visit your dentist throughout your care! An orthodontist will get your teeth straight, but you receive dental cleanings, comprehensive exams, and cavity care from a dentist, not an orthodontist. Both professions deal with the teeth, but they both deal differently with the teeth. Only a dentist can find cavities and fill them for you. A dentist can provide all the services we listed above, which are all very important to keep the teeth healthy. Receiving frequent dental exams and cleanings are some of the best dental services you can receive while wearing braces, because keeping the teeth clean and free of cavities will help your smile be that much more beautiful in the end.

 

Schedule a Dental Visit

Your tooth enamel can suffer permanent damage if you don’t take extra care with your teeth with braces. That’s why it’s even more important to receive dental care while you have braces. Be vigilant with your oral hygiene every single day. Don’t skip days! You are spending months of your life to receive a straighter smile. You want that smile to also be a beautiful one at the end of your treatment. In the end, it is very important to receive dental care during braces and to take care of them yourself every day at home. If you have questions about caring for your braces, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016.

Do You Need Braces?

Posted on: August 30, 2017

need braces

How do you know if you need braces? When you look in the mirror at your smile, do you like what you see? Are your teeth straight or crooked? Is your bite comfortable? Do any of your teeth collide when you bite, swallow or chew? Sometimes it is easy to spot signs that you may need braces, and at other times the signs might not be readily apparent. At Belmar Orthodontics, we work with you and your general dentist to determine the best course for your oral health needs and to determine if you need braces.

 

Deciding If You Need Braces

Braces is an investment: an investment in your money and an investment in your time. It’s always important to look at factors that determine whether you need braces or not, as you will have braces for about 18 months or so of your life. However, if you do make the choice to receive braces, you can be sure that you are making an incredible investment for your future and for your health. What are factors to consider when deciding if you need braces? Some factors include the status of your smile, your age, health reasons and bite and alignment problems.

 

Examining Your Smile

Do you love the smile you have? Is it a straight smile or is it crooked? Many patients seek orthodontic care because their smile is crooked or could use some improvement. Orthodontic care makes a huge difference when it comes to straightening your smile quickly and doing it correctly. Only an orthodontist has received the education needed to straighten your smile the best way possible. An orthodontist spends about 10-11 years in training and schooling to do orthodontics. That generally includes 4 years of undergraduate work, 4 years of dental school and an additional 2-3 years training in orthodontics. These professionals truly know what they are doing when they make a plan for your teeth.

 

If your smile is crooked, you are a great candidate for receiving braces, no matter if you are a child, teenager or an adult. Straightening your smile is one of the best ways to boost your confidence. In a study conducted by Invisalign, it was found almost 30% of people noticed a person’s smile during a first impression. Those with a straighter smile had a better chance at landing a job than someone with a crooked smile. They were also considered to have a better personality, be more attractive and were 58% more likely to be successful. Investing in a straighter smile can really help you go places in life!

 

Braces for Most Ages

You are never too old to receive braces. Children, teenagers and adults are all sporting various forms of braces all over the world. In fact, in just the United States alone, there are about 4.5 million braces wearers each year. About 1/4th of those are adults and a large portion are children as well. The braces you wear depend on your age. For children, most braces are for correcting bite and alignment problems. For adults and teenagers, the main goal is to straighten those pearly whites.

 

Your Options

Braces have come a long way in recent years. No longer are traditional metal braces your only option for receiving orthodontic care. You can choose:

  • Traditional Metal Braces – These are the tried and true method for straightening the teeth. They are also the most economical choice and the top choice for teenagers. Dress these brackets up with colorful bands at every orthodontic appointment!
  • Incognito Lingual Braces – Want the strength of metal braces without having a visible mouth full of metal? Lingual braces are custom-made metal braces for the inside of your teeth (the tongue-side). This hidden apparatus allows you to straighten your teeth in secret, making it a popular choice among adults.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Ceramic braces are made from ceramic material and naturally are white just like the teeth. Even the archwires can be made white to blend into the teeth better. For braces that feel like metal braces but hide themselves a bit more, ceramic braces may be for you!
  • Invisalign Transparent Aligners – This is an options that adults love! Many adults find metal braces to be childish or unattractive. However, Invisalign treatment has proven to be effective in straightening the teeth. This series of transparent aligners gently pushes the teeth into their proper place in about the same time as metal braces. The aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, sports and easy cleaning.

 

Bite & Alignment Issues

All of our orthodontic options are great for aligning your teeth. Children may need braces if bite and alignment problems are present, and this is actually the reason many children do have braces. During the childhood years, the mouth is still growing and the jaw is still forming. You never want to just let bite and alignment problems go unchecked, as they can create problems such as difficulty chewing, speaking, and talking as well as make the face grow differently and make the teeth harder to clean.

 

Children with bite misalignments need braces between ages 7-9 to correct problems before they become severe in adolescence and adulthood. This will save a lot of time, pain and procedures later on in life.

 

Getting Your Braces

There are many reasons that you may need braces. Straightening the teeth makes them easier to clean and can reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment can improve your appearance, boost your confidence and correct problems with your bite that can become severe later on in life. If you need braces, don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment! Call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016.