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Tips for Success with Early Orthodontics

Posted on: January 30, 2018

child with braces

You need to help your child learn how to properly take of their teeth through brushing and flossing. However, having clean teeth isn’t everything. Early orthodontics is needed for some children who have bite and alignment problems that could lead to problems later on in life. Early orthodontics seeks to correct bites to avoid problems with speech, biting, chewing, and more. If done correctly, early orthodontics can set a child on the path to a healthy mouth free of tooth decay and gum disease. Read on for our tips for success with early orthodontics and for protecting the health of small mouths!


Caring for the Baby Teeth

Your child’s teeth are delicate. Help keep them healthy and strong with the following tips:

  1. Rinse with water before brushing. Teach your child to rinse with water after eating. This will loosen food that may be caught in the braces. Follow rinsing with a thorough brushing. Teach your child how to properly brush their teeth and monitor them after they are able to use a toothbrush on their own. You will have to brush your child’s teeth until around age 3, or until they have the dexterity to brush and floss alone. Make sure they brush long enough, correctly, and several times a day. Brush an infant’s teeth with an infant toothbrush and increase the toothbrush size as they age. Children will need about a pea-size amount of toothpaste and infants will only need toothpaste equal to the size of a grain of rice.
  2. Floss once a day. Ensure your child is flossing each day or each night. Flossing helps loosen food debris and plaque at and under the gum line that can harden into tartar. Flossing also helps remove food debris from the small, hard-to-reach areas of the teeth that might be difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing takes time to learn, so practice this skill frequently with your child.
  3. Use a fluoride rinse. Parents should always be the one to administer a fluoride rinse. Rinse with fluoride after brushing and before bed to help keep teeth strong and healthy. This treatment will help prevent tooth decay in your little one.
  4. Schedule dental visits every 6 months. After your child starts getting teeth, they should visit the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every 6 months. This will help keep your child’s mouth healthy during treatment.


child orthodontics

Early Orthodontics

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. Having an examination early-on will prevent the progression of orthodontic issues that can become severe later on in life. Not having your child’s bite checked can lead to problems with their teeth coming in correctly or staying upright. Teeth may form gaps between one another, making speech impediments common and making it more difficult to bite and chew food. Crooked teeth coupled with a misaligned bite also leads to chipped, broken or cracked teeth, as well as a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.


With early orthodontics, you are making an investment in your child’s future that will set them up for success the rest of their life. Early orthodontics is different than simply receiving braces as an adult or teenager. We adhere braces to your child’s teeth and then during their treatment we can:

  • 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


child orthodontics

Caring for Braces

At each appointment, we will adjust the wires so that a child’s bite will eventually line up correctly. These braces need to be cared for just as much as an adult’s or teenager’s braces. Cleaning the teeth with braces is much trickier, especially for young children, so their success is dependent upon how much parents help them care for their braces.


We suggest the following for having success with your child’s braces:

  • Brush after every meal. If food doesn’t have time to sit on the teeth long, then you can prevent stained teeth and reduce the risk for bacteria buildup. This keeps your child healthier.
  • Use threadable floss or a floss threader. Don’t let your child skip on their flossing or they could wind up with tooth decay when those braces come off.
  • Use a proxabrush or waterpik. A proxabrush is a “Christmas tree brush” that you place between two brackets and below the archwire. Brushing back and forth can give the teeth a better clean. For hard-to-reach places in the mouth, children can also use a waterpik. This is a device that shoots water to dislodge stuck food. Children get a better clean when these two tools are used.
  • Avoid hard or sticky foods. These types of foods lead to tooth decay or broken brackets. Avoid hard or chewy candies, chips, ice, apples, popcorn, nuts, corn on the cob, caramel and more.


Does Your Child Need Early Orthodontics?

If you haven’t gone to visit an orthodontist, schedule an appointment today! You can also ask your dentist if they see problems forming with your child’s bite and alignment. However, only an orthodontist can perform child orthodontics. Investing your time in correcting your child’s bite can set them up for success for the rest of their life. To schedule your child’s appointment for early orthodontics, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!


orthodontic care

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

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

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!

Orthodontics Through the Ages

Posted on: May 5, 2017



How long has orthodontics been around? Have people always been self-conscious about their teeth? Did people straighten their teeth in centuries past? In our modern world, we reap all the benefits of fantastic orthodontic treatments that seem so simple and effective. It wasn’t always that way though. You might not be surprised that people have always had a desire for straight teeth. What you might not know though is that orthodontia goes back many centuries. Some methods and experiments in the past were downright painful when it came to orthodontics. Nowadays, we don’t have to use crude methods for straightening and there’s no guessing game when it comes to perfecting your pearly whites. At Belmar Orthodontics, we practice modern, effective and simple methods of orthodontia to give you an amazing smile that will last forever. Learn more about orthodontia through the ages and the revolutionary technology we have available at our disposal today.


Orthodontia through the Ages

  • The Romans, Ancient Greeks and Etruscans practiced unique methods of orthodontia. Mummies have even been found from Ancient Egypt with crude metal instruments wrapped around their teeth (presumably to keep the teeth straight in the afterlife).
  • Writers and philosophers also had their own ideas and theories for teeth straightening as far back as 400 B.C. Celsus was one of these writers and believed that newly-emerged teeth could be moved into proper place by pushing them.
  • Hippocrates was an Ancient Greek physician that wrote about tooth irregularities in 400 B.C.
  • Much of the early orthodontic experiments and advancements came out of France. France was in fact, the leading country in dentistry and orthodontics centuries ago, which is no surprise as many philosophers had written about orthodontia and dentistry in this area of Europe for centuries.
  • Joachim Lefoulon came up with the word “orthodontosie” in 1841, which translates to “orthodontia”, or the word we use today for orthodontics. Since that time, the term has stuck and is what we still refer to as the term for straightening the teeth.
  • Pierre Fauchard is considered the “Father of Dentistry”. He worked in orthodontic care in his time period, as orthodontia was not separate from dentistry then. He actually used forceps to forcibly move the teeth into proper alignment, then tied the moved teeth to their neighbors until the teeth could heal into place. Talk about painful!
  • The actual art of orthodontics took shape around the 18th century. The United States didn’t see orthodontic advancement until after 1830. During that time, many people performed their own orthodontic and dental treatments or had their local barber do the job.
  • J.S. Gunnell was the first to invent headgear in 1822. This headgear fastened to the jaw and worked on the outside of the mouth to move the teeth on the inside of the mouth.
  • Edward Hartley Angle is known as the “Father of Orthodontics”. Having a knowledge of dentistry, he saw that orthodontia was similar, but separate to dentistry. He created the first effective orthodontic appliances in 1880 that would straighten the teeth over time.
  • Charles Tween became the first certified orthodontist in the U.S. once dentistry and orthodontia emerged as two separate dental fields.
  • As early as 1970, metal wires and brackets were still being developed. Stainless steel was used for wires and brackets, making teeth-straightening methods much easier to control.
  • In fact, NASA played a part in creating the wires that are used in braces today. Braces wires are made of nickel titanium, an alloy originally developed by NASA for the space program.
  • Dr. Hardy created his Belmar Orthodontics practice in the Lakewood, CO area, becoming an award-winning Lakewood orthodontist. He is an active member of many organizations such as the American Association of Orthodontics and the recipient of many awards.

Another fun fact about orthodontics is that ALL orthodontists are dentists. Orthodontists go to dental school, where they then move on to study an additional 2-3 years in order to perform orthodontic treatment. Only around 6% of dentists are orthodontists though. Your orthodontist (such as Dr. Hardy at Belmar Orthodontics) could technically do your dental work. Dentistry and orthodontics are separate divisions of oral health, but both are vitally important to achieving proper oral health. Nowadays we have many orthodontic care options when it comes to taking care of and straightening your teeth. Thank goodness we don’t forcibly move your teeth with forceps, right?


Giving You Options

There are so many amazing facts about the history of orthodontia! We encourage you to learn more about it’s history as well as make a plan for your own orthodontic care. We can help you with that plan by offering hidden Incognito lingual braces attached to the inside of your teeth, traditional metal braces, and Invisalign clear removable aligners. Let us help you get the beautiful straight smile you want! Call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016 for your free consultation!

What is Keeping You from a Straight Smile?

Posted on: February 17, 2017

Orthodontics - Overcoming Barriers to Treatment

Everyone deserves a smile they are proud of and eager to share–orthodontics can get you there! What is keeping you from your straight smile? Whatever obstacles you feel are between you and a beautiful, healthy, functional smile, let our Belmar Orthodontics team show you how you can overcome them! Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for growing mouths, but for adults too! Learn how we can help you get the smile you have always wanted, or had but have lost over time.


A Case for Orthodontics

While some may think that orthodontics is simply for improving the esthetical beauty of their smile, the truth is that orthodontics is necessary for optimal health. Orthodontics helps to prevent and treat oral irregularities to straighten teeth, correct irregular bites, close gaps between teeth to aid with gum health, and to bring jaws into proper alignment. Crooked teeth put your overall health at risk. Crooked teeth are also harder to keep clean, run the risk of severe tooth decay–and ultimate tooth loss–and put you at great risk for periodontal disease. Periodontal health contributes to your overall systemic health. Periodontal disease puts you at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and adverse pregnancy complications.


Worried You Can’t Afford Orthodontics?

Our Belmar Orthodontics staff understands the financial worries patients have about committing to orthodontic treatment. But, small orthodontic issues can become bigger, more expensive problems down the road if they aren’t addressed.  At Belmar Orthodontics, we do not want these expenses to compromise your ability to obtain good oral health or a beautiful smile.  We accept cash, check, and credit card payments, but we also offer customized-payment plans for qualified applicants as well.  Our practice also accepts most dental insurances. Please contact our office to learn more about our payment plans and how orthodontic treatment can work with your budget. We work with you to establish a treatment plan/payment plan that works for your budget.  Smart planning and budgeting can offset some orthodontic costs and make the expenses easier to handle. During your consultation, we can help talk you through your options for care. Get the information you need to start financial planning and to get the treatment you need, when you need it!


Self-Conscious About Wearing Braces?

If you are delaying orthodontic treatment because you feel self-conscious about the idea of wearing an orthodontic apparatus, you are not alone. The good news is, technology has make leaps and bounds from where it was even a decade ago and now you have discreet options to choose from that can actually render your braces almost indetectable!  The amount of adults who want to invest in their oral health is on the rise and adults now make up over 50 percent of orthodontic patients. One of the main reasons for this increase is the advancement in the design of braces that make them less noticeable. Belmar Orthodontics offers a variety of treatment options – including traditional braces, ceramic clear braces, Incognito Lingual Braces and Invisalign® – and prioritizes patient education so the patients themselves can make the final decisions regarding their orthodontic care.


Experience and Technology You Can Trust

Look no further! Belmar Orthodontics offers you state-of-the-art technology with expert care and services. Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics , Dr. Hardy is an award-winning Lakewood orthodontist and an active member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.  Dr. Hardy works with an expert team of dental professionals at Belmar Orthodontics to create a comfortable and personalized experience for each of his patients. Dr. Hardy believes that your smile plays an essential role in your overall health, function, and self-esteem. They have experience with a variety of bracket systems for improving your smile that are recommended based on your goals and specific needs.


Call for an Orthodontics Consultation

At Belmar Orthodontics Lakewood, we want you to feel confident in your smile. We want you to want to share it with others.  We are dedicated to helping you achieve a smile that you are confident in sharing–not only for the beauty of it, but from the excellent health behind it.   Dr. Hardy and our team of dental professionals at Belmar Orthodontics Lakewood are dedicated to giving you both cosmetic and functional results with a treatment process that you are comfortable with. We do this through open communication, patient education and cooperative treatment planning.  At Belmar Orthodontics in Lakewood, you can trust that you are getting the quality of care you deserve in a warm, relaxed atmosphere you will enjoy visiting. If you are interested in how we can help improve your smile, please contact our office today. We are happy to answer your questions, and we can help you schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hardy  to discuss your unique orthodontic needs and goals.


Orthodontics - style


Orthodontics today allows teens to use their braces to make bold fashion statements. Who could predict that braces of the 21st century could be dressed up with color bands and brackets giving patients control over their “look” in ways like never before imagined. Learn how orthodontic treatment can be fun, fashionable and full of choices for your teen who wants a say…in everything!


Looking Good Helps You Feel Good

Make no doubt about it, when you feel good about the way you look, it boosts how you feel about yourself.  Belmar Orthodontics wants you to feel good about your appearance during your orthodontic treatment AND after. We offer our customers several different options for orthodontic appliances so you can choose the method that you like the most.  Regardless of which method you choose, you can exercise your power of choice throughout the process to find ways to express yourself. Being an active participant in the process will help you enjoy it more!


Make a Statement that is All You!

Regardless of whether you have chosen to have clear ceramic braces or traditional metal braces you can make a statement with your smile by adding colored elastic bands.  Colored elastic bands make braces fun! Every 4-6 weeks you will have your elastic bands switched out so you can put together different color combinations throughout your treatment process.  Your treatment providers at Belmar Orthodontics will let you consult a color wheel of elastic band choices. Choose one, or several different colors. You can customize your smile to match a sports team, your school colors, or holiday colors. If you have ceramic clear braces, you can opt for clear bands if you feel like having an absence of color for a while. Whatever your mood may be, you have choices with orthodontic elastic bands.


Which Color Bands Will Bring Out the Whiteness of Your Teeth?

One of the questions we get frequently in our office is how can I make my teeth look whiter? The type of color bands you choose for your brackets can make a difference.  How color appears on your teeth and how it corresponds with your facial appearance has to do with your skin tone. If you have a lighter skin tone, opt for more neutral, mellow colors like: light blue, or light pink.  You can also reach out to bronze, dark purple or dark blue to get the beaming results you want. Darker colors tend to make your teeth appear whiter, but watch out for some dark colors–like black–sometimes they can pull out the grays of your enamel and metal brackets and make your smile look darker. If your skin tone is darker, you can make your smile appear whiter by incorporating elastic bands that are violet, pink, orange, turquoise, dark blue or gold.  


Why Choose Belmar Orthodontics?

As an active member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Hardy and our entire team of dental professionals are dedicated to creating a relaxed, personalized experience for our Belmar Orthodontics patients. We invite all our patients–both young and old–to actively participate in their care by asking lots of questions and expressing any concerns that might arise might during treatment.  Educated patients know what they want, know what it takes to get it, and know better how to retain it when they are done. We offer many flexible treatment options to help you have the experience you want during and after your time with us.


Schedule a Braces Consultation to Learn More

If you are considering braces, but aren’t sure what bracket system is for you, schedule a free consultation so we can discuss the pros and cons of the different systems and your goals. Call today to learn all the things you can do with braces to make your treatment unique, fun and effective. You can make an appointment by contacting our office at 303.225.9016.  We are excited to meet you and help you reach your smile goals!