Seeing an orthodontist is just as important as seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Did you know that children need to see the orthodontist and not just teenagers and adults? The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. This is a critical time to detect and correct bite and alignment problems before they become severe later on in life. We can help you know what your child can expect from their first orthodontic visit to ease nerves. When a child grows to be a teenager, they will have to see the orthodontist again. This is to align the teeth once the adult teeth have grown in during early adolescence. We can help you know what to expect from a first orthodontic visit and how your treatment will be throughout the months of bite and alignment correction!
Your First Orthodontic Visit
Just as there are recommendations for seeing the dentist, there are also recommendations for seeing an orthodontist. The majority of people will benefit from having both a dentist and an orthodontist to monitor their oral health. Both specialize in the health of the teeth. However, a dentist deals primarily with your teeth, gums, nerves and jaw, and correct problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. An orthodontist focuses on correcting bite and alignment issues as well as straightening the teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit no later than age 7. This is a critical time in development for children and a time when orthodontic problems begin to manifest. Those problems can become severe later on in life if not found early on. Having an examination early helps to prevent the progression of orthodontic issues. It also helps correct those issues before the adolescent years, when the main focus is straightening the teeth. Many people only think of teenagers wearing braces, but about 1/4th of people wearing braces are adults and many more are children. Some patients even receive braces twice in their life because they received orthodontic appliances as a child and then later on as either a teenager or an adult.
In children, oral health issues are present when they are still young. A child should see the orthodontist between ages 7 and 8. Bite and alignment issues are common in many children at this age. These include problems such as underbite, crossbite, openbite, overbite and more. These problems can severely affect speech development and the ability to eat, chew, bite, speak, etc., as a child ages. Even if you don’t detect any dental issues with your child or they don’t show any signs of orthodontic complications, they should still visit an orthodontist.
An orthodontist is trained to observe the proper progress of incoming teeth while monitoring facial and jaw development. They have also been trained in dental school and can spot hidden dental issues. Many dental issues (such as cavities) can actually be caused by crooked teeth or bite and alignment problems that make it hard to brush the teeth properly. An orthodontist can guide incoming permanent teeth into their ideal position and reduce the risk of impacted teeth. Orthodontic appliances also reduce the risk for permanent tooth extractions. Seeing an orthodontist early can greatly impact your life!
What Can You Expect?
You can expect to meet a friendly staff when you come into the office. We are trained to work well with children and adults alike. Many of our patients are children and teenagers. We know their concerns, fears, and their expectations. Dr. Hardy and our staff are gentle and comforting with young patients who often have apprehensions about visiting a dental office. Our goal is to practice an open, compassionate dialogue with them so they can feel comfortable and safe. We generally start out the appointment with a tour of our office and an introduction to the staff. You will meet Dr. Hardy and he will explain everything you need to know about your orthodontic care.
A first orthodontic visit is a time to examine the teeth and see if braces are needed. Some patients will need them as children, while others will only need braces when they are teenagers. We conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. We also take photographs and x-rays of your teeth and mouth so that we know the exact size and shape of your jaws and your teeth alignment. If orthodontic treatment is needed, we will also take impression molds of your teeth. This is a simple process where we place soft molding in your mouth, let it toughen up a bit, and remove it for a picture perfect view of your mouth. If treatment is needed, we can make an orthodontic plan for you and explain all that will happen in subsequent visits.
Our New Patients
As part of our commitment to providing you with the highest quality care, we value your time and want your first orthodontic visit to go as smoothly as possible. We are always available to answer your questions and help prepare you for that first orthodontic visit whether you are a child or an adult. All new patients will receive a comprehensive exam at their first visit to see how their oral health is doing. Then, Dr. Hardy will discuss any orthodontic treatments he believes may be beneficial. To schedule your orthodontic visit or one for your child, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!
When it comes to straightening your teeth, braces are actually quite fun to wear! You don’t need to fear orthodontic treatment, even if you’re just a child. There are about 4.5 million people each year that wear braces. A large part of those are teenagers, but at least 1/4th are adults and many more are children. Most patients find that they actually like braces and all the benefits they bring to their smile. Orthodontic treatment can actually make your teeth prettier, easier to clean and can help you in so many ways throughout your life. Find out just how fun (and healthy) orthodontic treatment can be for you and why you should invest in it today!
Braces Make You More Confident
Some patients may fear orthodontic treatment (a.k.a braces) because they think they’ll look childish, or they’ll have a mouth full of metal. Others fear the unknown. Technology has come a long way in year past, allowing patients more options for straightening their teeth. You can choose to have traditional metal braces that you can dress up with color bands. However, you can also choose ceramic braces that blend in with the white of your teeth. There are also stealthy ways to straighten your pearly whites with lingual braces that are worn on the inside of the teeth. Invisalign transparent aligners also allow you to straighten your smile without anyone knowing.
In a study conducted by Invisalign, they found that receiving orthodontic treatment made teens and adults more confident. That confidence helped them to feel more successful and be more successful. In their study, people perceived people to be more attractive, trustworthy, and smarter when they straighten their teeth. Orthodontic treatment is something to be excited about instead of feared because of all the amazing benefits that treatment gives a patient.
Orthodontic Treatment Makes You Healthier
Dentistry and orthodontics are closely related although they are vastly different. Even though an orthodontist won’t correct cavities for you, he can can you prevent them in the first place. Straighter teeth are teeth that have fewer cavities than teeth that are crooked. Why? When the teeth are crooked, they are much harder to clean. The American Dental Association recommends brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing every single day. What if your teeth are so crooked that you can’t floss between them? What if you can’t reach certain areas to brush away the plaque that builds up every day?
Tooth decay is what happens when you don’t keep the teeth clean and free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, acidic substance that erodes away your tooth enamel. Every time you eat or drink, sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth to form plaque, which eats away at your teeth. If you can’t clean the teeth properly, you’ll soon have tooth decay all over. Straightening the teeth will instantly lower your risk for cavities and oral issues. Even children receive braces for bite and alignment problems while they are young to prevent the progression of problems that can become severe later on.
Children and Braces
Children younger than 10 often wear braces. Why? There is usually a problem with bite or alignment that needs to be corrected. Why don’t we correct those issues later on in life? Studies have found that the jaw continues to grow a few years into adolescence. Bite and alignment problems are common in many children. Because the jaw is still forming for so many years, it’s easier to correct bite and alignment when a child is young.
We can bring a child’s bite into correct placement with simple orthodontic treatment. When a person grows to be an adult, that orthodontic treatment is much trickier and it takes much longer to correct problems. That’s why we see children when they are young, so we can easily correct problems that could become lengthy and painful later on. With the right orthodontic treatment, correction never has to be painful!
Millions Wear Braces
Did you know that there are over 4.5 million people that wear braces each year? That’s just in the United States! The largest population that wears braces are teenagers and children. That means, that when you have braces, you have millions of other people who are also straightening their teeth alongside you. If you are a student, you will see childen and teens rocking their braces everywhere you go. However, orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids; it’s for adults as well!
It’s estimated that at least 1/4th of all people with braces are adults. Sometimes, these adults were not able to receive braces when they were younger. Other times, the teeth have just become crooked over time and an adult needs some orthodontic treatment to straighten their smile once more. Orthodontic treatment has become more affordable over time (especially with pay plans), so more and more people are getting their set of braces each year. With millions seeing their orthodontist every month, it can’t be that bad. You will actually start enjoying your orthodontic visits, especially as you see your teeth straighten out more every single month. How cool is that?
No Need to Fear Orthodontic Treatment
If braces were scary, millions wouldn’t be wearing them. Braces can make you more confident and successful no matter if you are a child or an adult. They will also give you a beautiful smile that you can watch change every single month. If you have fears about orthodontic treatment and would like to know more about braces, we can help put you at ease. Simply call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016 to learn more or to schedule your free consultation!
Why is professional orthodontic care so important? The economy has fluctuated from good times to bad times over and over in the last couple of decades. Some people try to cut corners when it comes to achieving healthy smiles by straightening their teeth themselves. Do “cutting corners” and “healthy” go hand-in-hand? Not at all! Only a professional orthodontist is trained to provide you a completely healthy and straight smile that you can’t get anywhere else. Proper orthodontic care can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and free from gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. It will also ensure that your teeth move appropriately so that your bite, alignment and function work the way they were designed to. At Belmar Orthodontics, we can provide you a smile that you will cherish the rest of your life. Find out why professional orthodontic care is worth the time, money and effort to achieve a wonderful smile.
Cutting Corners On Your Oral Health
We all know that problems will arise if proper oral hygiene habits aren’t followed. That includes brushing and flossing several times a day (after every meal if possible), seeing your dentist and orthodontist as needed, and making sure the teeth stay clean, straight and healthy in general. You would never want to save some time by cutting out brushing your teeth altogether right? How about flossing? Or maybe never seeing a dentist? There are major problems that can arise from choosing to cut corners on your oral health. Some of the main problems are gum disease and tooth decay that can literally rot your teeth out.
Gum disease affects over 64.7 MILLION American adults. That means that there are many millions of Americans not taking proper care of their teeth. What does gum disease cause? It begins with gingivitis, or a buildup of sticky bacteria-filled plaque that coats the teeth and irritates the gums. Without cleaning the teeth often enough, the gums will begin to become red, inflamed and even bleed frequently. Skipping on the hygiene will make gingivitis more severe until it becomes full-blown gum disease, also known as periodontitis. At this stage, the gums will recede and the teeth can literally fall out. Yikes! Nobody wants that right?
Tooth decay is a problem that’s not far behind gum disease. It also has its beginnings when a person chooses to skip on their oral hygiene practices and keeps doing it. That sticky plaque that coats your enamel is a mix of bacteria and sugar that is actually an acidic substance. The acid will erode your hard tooth enamel and eventually seep into the soft center of your tooth where it will accelerate tooth decay.
Gum disease and tooth decay are both serious conditions that you want to avoid at all costs. You only get one set of teeth, so the goal should always be to keep them healthy, right? Cutting corners (even simply skipping cleaning the teeth) causes major damage to your oral health. Do-it-yourself-orthodontics is a new trend that has popped up on the scene. ABC news reported on this trend and how damaging it can be to your oral health. Many people wanted to cut corners with proper orthodontic care and do their own straightening at home using crude methods with rubber bands, fishing line, paper clips and any other material you could think of.
Not surprisingly, many patients (especially adolescents) who attempted to do their own orthodontic care damaged their teeth “so extensive[ly] that teeth cannot be saved.” That comes straight from the president of the American Association of Orthodontists. Do-it-yourself methods of orthodontics are bound to lead to many more oral health problems than you could have ever imagined. So far, it has proved to be disastrous for those who attempt to cut corners. Remember, cutting corners on your health is just that…cutting corners. Nobody comes out a winner.
Proper Orthodontic Care
When you only have one set of pearly whites, why take a chance on losing them? Orthodontists must extensively train for years and attend dental school. They then take an additional 2-3 EXTRA years to study orthodontic practices and how to keep your mouth the healthiest it can be. You get what you pay for and if that’s trying to straighten your own teeth with fishing line, you can bet that you’ll have a low-quality results. With professional orthodontic care, you’re going to get a professional and effective experience. Plus, you’ll actually save yourself time, money and risk of disaster by investing in orthodontic care the proper way.
The cool thing about our orthodontic office is that we offer more than just traditional metal braces. If you want to straighten your teeth more discreetly (or not have anyone know), we have Invisalign transparent aligners, lingual braces, ceramic clear braces, retainers and more. At Belmar Orthodontics, you can be sure to get a beautiful, straight smile AND keep all of your teeth healthy and strong for years to come. Simply call our office at (303) 225-9016 for your free consultation!
Orthodontic treatment can seem so routine that parents are sometimes mystified by a child who has real fears about orthodontic treatment. Fear of pain, of the application process, of food getting in them, fear of embarrassment, and just fear of the unknown can be enough to get any child less than thrilled at the idea of visiting their orthodontist. At Belmar Orthodontics, we work with you and your child to help ease anxiety and educate them for success with treatment before, during and after! Read on to learn more about the reasons behind some of the most common fears about orthodontic treatment and methods to help combat them.
Fears About Orthodontic Treatment: #1 Fear of Pain
None of us enjoy discomfort and children can be especially honed into every sensation, or possible sensation they can imagine. Previous negative experiences with dental treatment can taint their perspectives and influence their reactions/experience. Staying sensitive to your child’s fears is important. Fears can worsen if you simply try to ignore them. Acknowledge them and help them overcome them with real tools, education and positive encouragement. Discomfort can occur when braces are adjusted, when teeth are moving, and as the mouth becomes accustomed to the apparatus in the mouth, but the process shouldn’t include excruciating pain at any time. Fears about orthodontic treatment often involve some fear of shots. Shots are not involved in the application process! Most children never even need any kind of anesthetic treatment during treatment. If your child has real fears about pain, inform a member of our Belmar Orthodontics team before so we can help dispel these fears and give your child tools to combat their fears both in the office and at home.
Fear #2: The Application Process
Many children have heard stories from other kids or used their active imaginations to concoct some pretty fantastic scenarios of things that can happen, or that they think will happen, when braces are put on. Fears about orthodontic treatment often stem from misinformation. Kids are often surprised with how smooth the actual process is! Understanding how braces are installed can help your child prepare for braces. Inform our staff if your child has real concerns over the process. We can help show them the materials we will be using, and show them how the application works to help dissolve those fears. We can help reassure your child and resolve their doubts with real information and testimonials from current patients.
The actual appointment for getting your braces typically takes about 2 hours. Your child will be walked through the entire process from beginning to end. The teeth will be carefully (and painlessly) prepped for brackets and then the orthodontist will carefully position each bracket on each tooth. Following bracket placement, the archwire will be installed and bands will be affixed to keep the wire in place. Your child will be given wax to help smooth over any pokey parts of the braces while they get used to them in their mouth. You will also be given tips for treating the initial discomfort of shifting teeth with braces and a new apparatus. You can help your child face their fears about orthodontic treatment–we will help!
Fear #3: Food Getting Trapped
When it comes to relating to your child’s fears about orthodontic treatment, it is important for adults to reel back their minds from where they are now to where they were when they were younger. Children take things much more seriously than adults do. Children really worry about having food stuck in their teeth and how that can look in front of their peers. Empower your child by giving them tools for this and for caring for their braces. Explain to them which foods may be problematic and how to eat those food more carefully. Drinking/swishing with water can help remove debris. Giving your child a portable toothbrush to use when away from home can be a great tool. A pocket mirror can help reassure your child and help them remove food that they see. Remind them that people without braces sometimes get food stuck in their teeth too! With tools and a plan, your child can eat easily and without worry with braces.
Fear #4: Embarrassment Over Apparatus
Helping your child work through worries associated with braces can help them enjoy the treatment process much more. It is not uncommon for children (and adults) to worry about how they will look with braces. Children worry about being teased or bullied over their braces or about how they may detract from their appearance. Help your child get excited about their braces by underscoring how many of their peers are also wearing braces right now. Get them excited about the fun they can have with braces by creating colorful patterns and designs with their bands. Emphasize this once-in-a-lifetime treatment time and the beautiful results that they will receive from child orthodontics. Helping your child understand both the cosmetic and real health benefits braces provide can help support a healthy treatment perspective. Help your child understand what a gift braces are. There are so many in the world that are never able to receive this important treatment. His/her smile is a gift for a lifetime!
Fear #5: The Unknown
Behind all of these fears about orthodontic treatment underlies the real concern–fear of the unknown. This fear is conquered as your child goes through the process; as he/she learns for themselves that getting braces can be an enjoyable, pain-free process that passes in a blink of an eye! Attitude determines everything. Support the development of a healthy attitude about orthodontic treatment. We will be there every step of the way to help you support these healthy relationships. Keep us in the loop so we know what you and your child need to make the process go more smoothly. Our team is familiar with the fears about orthodontic treatment children have and can offer you real tools and solutions!
Call for an Orthodontic Treatment Consultation
Life with braces brings exciting changes, and sometimes some challenging adjustments too, but the end result is a healthier, more confident child and adult! If your child has fears about orthodontic treatment, lean on us to help prepare you and your child for this excitement time and process. Belmar Orthodontics can help them obtain a healthy, functional, attractive smile AND enjoy the process. Call 303.225.9016 today to learn more about braces or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Hardy is committed to your care and will help you reach your smile goals as quickly and efficiently as possible if you need braces.
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September 28, 2023
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