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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!

 

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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!

 

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girl with crooked teeth that needs orthodontic care

Palatal expanders—usually worn by preteens—are commonly used to widen the jawbone and help treat certain orthodontic conditions. Expanders help prevent tooth extraction and can sometimes shorten the time needed for orthodontic treatment. Expanders may sound extreme, but arch expansion is one of the most common ways to eliminate crowding and crossbites in growing patients. While adapting to a palatal expander usually takes a day or two, it may take up to two weeks. Learn all about palatal expanders and how they can help your orthodontic care!

 

Infant Teeth Vs. Adult Teeth

A child’s mouth is not like an adult’s mouth. An infant will begin to get their teeth between 6-12 months. They will have the bottom two front teeth come in first, followed by the upper two front teeth and so on towards the back of the mouth. These teeth will be spaced out more than the adult teeth and there will only be 20 instead of 32 like an adult has. The spaces will allow growing room in your mouth for the permanent teeth to come in once your child is old enough to get them.

 

Between the ages of 6 and 13, your child’s baby teeth will begin to fall out in order to make way for the adult, permanent teeth. This is an exciting time, as your child is beginning to grow into a teenager, where they will have adult teeth. This childhood time of growing is the easiest time to fix bite and alignment problems.

 

palatal expander needed for a narrow arch

Child Orthodontics

We not only do orthodontic treatment for adults, but also for children. 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 helps prevent the progression of orthodontic issues that can become severe as your child ages. We mostly look for proper bite and teeth alignment, but we also make sure that there is enough room in your child’s mouth for the adult teeth to come in properly.

 

If we find that your child’s bite is not aligned, we will fit them for braces. This will bring their bite back into proper alignment, thus reducing the risk of crooked and broken teeth, speech impediments, problems eating and chewing, and problems with the adult teeth. We refer to this early orthodontic intervention as “child orthodontics”. Some patients have a small mouth with a small palate. A small palate can cause many health problems, which is why we have a service for palatal expanders.

 

What Are Palatal Expanders?

Some children’s jaw’s aren’t big enough for their incoming adult teeth. Sometimes, removing a tooth is the best option for a patient to make room for their adult teeth. However, we like to try palatal expanders first to make extra room in your mouth without removing a tooth. The palate of the mouth is the roof of the mouth above the tongue. That’s where palatal expanders are used. These are appliances that stretch parts of your mouth where bone and cartilage lie so that more room grows in your mouth. Palatal expanders are generally used if there is enough bone and gum tissue around the teeth. If not, a tooth is removed instead. There is an upper and lower jaw palatal expander, which do the following:

  • Upper Jaw Palatal Expanders – An expander in the upper jaw of the mouth seeks to stretch the bone and cartilage of your palate. Expanding this area will grow and stretch a child’s arch so there is room for all the adult teeth. Making this extra room through natural stretching will prevent crowding of the teeth as well as cross bite problems in children. Palatal expanders in the upper jaw are actual appliances we stick in your mouth to stretch this area. We attach the expanders to your back molars with metal rings. In some patients, the attachments are removable. As a child’s mouth expands, you may notice a gap starting to form between the two front teeth. This is normal and their appliance is in for several weeks or months.
  • Lower Jaw Palatal Expanders – This type of expander will simply moves the teeth if they are tipped inward instead of straight up.

 

child with crooked teeth

Additional Appliances

There are also other devices we use in certain cases when it comes to orthodontic care. Some patients will need TADs to help shift their teeth into a straighter position. These are “Temporary Anchorage Devices” that are mini titanium screws. These are sometimes referred to as “mini-implants” or “micro-implants”. They are screws that provide a fixed object that is used to push, pull, lift or intrude teeth during the straightening process.

 

If you need tads, Dr. Hardy will carefully numb your gum tissue and jaw area before placing these tiny screws in your jawbone. With our local anesthesia, this procedure is completely painless and getting accustomed to your TADs only takes 1-2 days total. These anchorage mini screws will help your orthodontic treatment be faster.

 

A Straighter Smile for You

Dr. Hardy will evaluate your teeth to determine if palatal expanders, TADs and other appliances are needed for your teeth. Palatal expanders are needed before you receive braces and TADs are used during your time with braces. Palatal expanders is one step closer to a beautiful smile for our patients. If you want to know more or are ready to get braces, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

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orthodontic rubber bands

Wearing rubber bands is a critical part of your orthodontic treatment. We ask you to wear them 24 hours a day because they are that critical to the process of straightening your teeth. Knowing why your orthodontic rubber bands are important will help you wear them more. Consider the following reasons you need to wear your bands the next time you are tempted to put them aside.

 

Types of Braces

We offer several different types of braces at our office. Patients wear orthodontic rubber bands when they have traditional metal braces and ceramic braces. When you think of braces, you probably think of metal braces. These are the ones with square brackets on the front of each tooth and a wire that goes through the brackets on top and bottom. Metal braces are the most economical choice when choosing orthodontic care.

 

A close cousin to metal braces are clear, ceramic braces. These braces look and act like metal braces, except they are white. They have a white color to them because they are made out of ceramic material, which blends into the natural whiteness of your teeth. This is why they are known as “clear braces”. Ceramic material helps decrease demineralization that can happen when patients wear braces and don’t practice good oral hygiene habits. Both types of braces (metal and ceramic) use orthodontic rubber bands at times to move the teeth in a particular direction.

 

orthodontic rubber bands

Parts of Braces

Each part of your braces is important when it comes to straightening your teeth in the best way possible in the quickest way possible. Your treatment would be lacking if you were missing any part of your braces, including orthodontic rubber bands.

  • Bands – A band is a thin ring fitted to a back molar and cemented to the molar. This is usually made of stainless steel and secures other orthodontic attachments such as hooks, brackets or tubes.
  • Brackets – A bracket can be bonded to the tooth with cement or it can be attached to a band. Brackets are usually made of stainless steel or clear ceramic material. They guide and support the archwire into its proper placement.
  • Archwire – The archwire guides the shifting of the teeth during orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic attachments (such as the brackets) hold these wires and are made from stainless steel. Some archwires are made of titanium instead of stainless steel.
  • Elastic Ties – Available in a variety of colors, elastic ties are small rubber bands that go over the brackets in order to hold the archwire in place.
  • Springs – We open or close a space between teeth using the force of a small spring. These springs go between brackets and around the archwire, and are made of stainless steel or titanium.
  • Orthodontic Rubber Bands

 

Orthodontic Rubber Bands

There are several different types of bands for braces. There are orthodontic rubber bands and there are ligatures. Ligatures are the small rubber bands that wrap around the brackets and hold the archwire in place. You will see these bands on children in a variety of colors. We switch out ligatures at every orthodontic appointment and children can mix and match the colors. They go around the brackets and protect the teeth and gums from sharp metal points and are changed when the wire is tightened or the braces are adjusted. These orthodontic rubber bands (the ligatures) are very small, as the brackets are small.

 

The other type of orthodontic rubber bands adjust your bite and jaw position. These will be slightly bigger orthodontic rubber bands. On your brackets, you have small hooks where these rubber bands attach. Often, you will loop a rubber band around a hook on a bracket on the lower jaw and hook it around another bracket on the upper jaw. Some patients will need several orthodontic rubber bands at a time and others will only need one. These rubber bands will adjust the position of the jaw quicker between visits.

 

child orthodontics

Child Orthodontics

You will commonly see orthodontic rubber bands with child orthodontics. This is orthodontics for children under the age of 10 that need braces to correct bite and alignment issues. Orthodontic rubber bands are critical for making those changes possible. Your child should first see the orthodontist around age 7 or 8. This is a time where we can check that the bite lines up properly and that the adult teeth will come in correctly. If there is a bite or alignment problem, we give your child metal or clear braces to correct that problem. Your child will use orthodontic rubber bands throughout their treatment to provide sufficient force to bring the bite into a straight position.

Although small, orthodontic rubber bands are critical for moving the teeth. With orthodontic care, the teeth shift slowly over time. If you skip wearing these bands, your time with braces will be longer and you won’t be correcting bite and alignment problems. This is why we ask our patients to wear their orthodontic rubber bands 24 hours a day. Each part of your braces is important for creating that beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted. To learn more about orthodontic rubber bands or other parts of your braces, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

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good orthodontist

The American Dental Association recommends that your child have their first orthodontic visit between ages 7 and 8 to correct bite and alignment issues. Teenagers, as well, need to visit the orthodontist to correct the alignment of their permanent teeth. How do you know what orthodontist to go to? Choosing an orthodontist is a big decision, as it will determine the health of your teeth and the quality of care you receive. Orthodontists are different than regular dentists and must go through several years more of quality training. You want to look for an orthodontist that has this training. Finding one that can work with children as well as adults is also important. Learn about orthodontists, what constitutes a good one, and what factors you must consider when choosing one!

 

Choosing a Good Orthodontist

When you choose an orthodontist, you are choosing a person that has had extensive training and years of schooling to take care of your teeth. An orthodontist must complete 4 years of undergraduate training and then be accepted to a 4-year dental school. They then continue a 2-3 year doctorate training to work with patients to correct bite and alignment. Essentially orthodontists are specially-trained dentists that specialize in bite and alignment issues and straightening the teeth. These are services that can last a patient a lifetime. You want to only choose a speciallytrained orthodontist to work on your teeth. Never attempt to straighten your teeth on your own.

 

A good orthodontist must become certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. They do this through written and clinical exams and then they must recertify often to ensure that their orthodontic training is still at the highest level it needs to be. Another aspect about choosing a good orthodontist is choosing someone that truly cares about your needs and wants you to be as successful as possible. At Belmar Orthodontics, our success is dependent on your success. We try to keep our office up-to-date with the latest state-of-the-art treatment and services to transform your smile into something beautiful in the least amount of time.

 

Your Braces Options

A good orthodontist will be skilled in several methods of straightening your teeth. We are skilled to provide you more than just traditional metal braces. We also offer the following options for orthodontic care so you can truly choose how your want your straightening treatment to be:

  • Incognito Lingual Braces – These are metal braces that are attached to the inside of each tooth. They straighten much light traditional metal brackets, but their hidden apparatus makes them especially appealing for adults and professionals.
  • Invisalign – This is a series of transparent aligners that are custom-made for each patient and are changed every 1-2 weeks. This allows a patient to straighten their teeth virtually invisibly. Plus, the aligners are removable for cleaning, eating, sports and similar activities.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – These are braces that mimic metal braces but are made of ceramic material. Even the archwire can be made white like the brackets, helping both to blend into the teeth. Ceramic helps decrease demineralization.
  • Retainers – The best way to keep your smile straight is to wear a custom-made retainer after treatment. We can customize retainer trays that you wear each night to keep those pearly whites straight. We can also provide you permanent retainer devices that are attached to the back of your front teeth.

 

Orthodontic Care for Children

Not all orthodontists work with children or know how to. However, child orthodontics is very important for the health of many children. Children should see an orthodontist between 7 and 8 years old. This is a critical time to correct bite and alignment issues that become severe later on in life. These problems cause speech impediments, problems eating, speaking, chewing and more. A good orthodontist will be one that works well with children and keeps the office environment inviting for them.

 

Do You Need a Dentist?

An orthodontist does many services to help the health of your teeth, however, they don’t do everything. They are trained just as a dentist is and they know the signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. However, their job is to do orthodontic care, not dental care. That is why they specialized in the field that they did. A good orthodontist will frequently see the signs of tooth decay or gum problems, and a good orthodontist will refer you to a trusted dentist to fix those problems. If you have a cavity or a dental emergency, a dentist is usually the person you want to see instead of an orthodontist.

 

A dentist received 4 years of training in an undergraduate program. Then, he or she went on to do 4 years of dental school. There they learned services such as the following:

  • Comprehensive Exams
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Sedation Dentistry
  • Laser Cavity Detection
  • Proper Oral Hygiene
  • Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Digital X-rays
  • Dental Sealants
  • Periodontal Treatment
  • Scaling & Root Planing
  • Sleep Apnea Therapy
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings
  • Same-Day Crowns/Dental Crowns

The majority of dentists also offer cosmetic dentistry options such as dental implants, cosmetic bonding, dental bridges, porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers. If you want to transform your smile beyond straightening your teeth and correcting bite and alignment, then you want to see a dentist instead of an orthodontist.

 

Schedule Your Consultation

Even thinking about choosing an orthodontist is a great step in the right direction, as it means you are conscious about your oral health. Orthodontic treatment is a wonderful way to correct a smile and to make it into something beautiful you can keep for life. Studies show that a straighter, more beautiful smile can make you more confident, and others will see you as such as well as more attractive, successful and trustworthy. Who wouldn’t want those things? If you would like to learn more about orthodontic treatment and schedule your free consultation, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

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orthodontic visit

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.

 

Child Orthodontics

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!

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wearing braces

Whether you are currently wearing braces or looking into getting some, knowing what your life with braces will look (and feel) like can help you prepare for success and choose the right form of treatment for your needs and lifestyle. Belmar Orthodontics can help educate you on what to expect wearing braces and what you can do now to achieve the best outcome.

 

Braces: What Are They?

Braces have been around for many centuries. Researchers have found that orthodontic appliances actually date back as early as 1000 B.C. Even then people were anxious to straighten out their smiles. Braces are appliances that exert a certain amount of force on the teeth in order to align the top and bottom sets of teeth as well as the upper and lower jaw. The goal is to have a straight smile with teeth that are set in a beautiful arch around the mouth and jaws that line up with the teeth coming together evenly.

 

Components of Braces

Braces consist of brackets, wires and bands. On the teeth, they look like metal squares on each tooth with metal wires going through those metal squares. The squares are the brackets and they are cemented to the center of each tooth with a special bonding agent. The bracket is designed so that it can support a wire (called an archwire) that will go through it. Think of all these brackets as tiny workers who are holding up a strong wire.

 

There are two archwires: one that goes along the top teeth and one that goes along the bottom teeth. These archwires help shape the arch of the teeth in the mouth so that they make a perfect arch and so the upper and lower teeth line up with one another. Traditional metal braces also have rubber bands that go around each individual bracket. These are to help the gums from catching on the metal bracket hooks and also provide a patient the ability to add a pop of color to their mouth. Bands come in all different shades and can be customized to what you like.

 

Types of Braces

There are many options when it comes to wearing braces. Your option will largely determine how your braces look and how they feel. We provide the following options to our patients:

  • Traditional Metal Braces – This is the option we explained above, and the most popular option among patients. This is also the most economical choice when it comes to price.
  • Incognito Lingual Braces – This is an option similar to traditional metal braces and are popular with professionals and adults. The brackets are bonded to the back of the teeth and provide a hidden straightening apparatus to patients. Patients will adjust to these braces much the same as traditional metal braces, only they’ll feel the brackets on the tongue-side of their teeth instead of the cheek side.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Much like metal braces, this system uses brackets to align the teeth. However, the brackets are made from ceramic and their white material blends in with the teeth. Even the wires can be made white. These will act and feel the same as metal braces, only with better blending with the teeth and greater stain-fighting power.
  • Invisalign – This is a system of progressive, custom-fit aligners that gently move the teeth into their ideal position. The clear, removable design of these aligners renders this orthodontic treatment virtually invisible to others. It will feel like you are wearing a snug retainer or covering for the teeth and needs to be worn throughout the day. This treatment method allows patients to drink, eat and clean the teeth normally and with ease.

 

What To Expect Wearing Braces

There is some discomfort and adjustment when first wearing braces. Because the brackets are bonded to the teeth and there are archwires adjusting the position of the teeth, you may be sore for a few days. It’s best to eat soft foods the first few days as your teeth adjust to their appliances. A simple over-the-counter painkiller can help with discomfort. Although many patients feel mild discomfort when first wearing braces, some patients don’t.

 

It will take a few days to get used to the brackets and wires. You will be able to feel them during the day as they sit against your cheeks. However, you will get used to them in about 1-3 days to the point where you won’t even notice your braces. They will soon become a part of you and cleaning them as well as going to orthodontic appointments will become routine. As with any new thing, there is always an adjustment period. With braces, that adjustment period is short.

 

You’re Not Alone

When it comes to wearing braces, you’re definitely not alone. There are over 4.5 million people any given year that are wearing braces. Many of those are teenagers, but a large portion are also children and adults. In fact, at least ¼ of all braces wearers (or 25%) are adults. Each year more and more teenagers and adults are receiving braces.

 

In the past, there used to be many stigmas about braces, such as them being unattractive. Studies show, however, that braces have become quite the luxury and are seen as such. The New York Times, for example, did an article about braces and just how important they are to people. Many families literally go without needs and many wants to receive orthodontic care, even if money is really tight. Braces are a luxury that many children, teens, and adults alike are eager to have. Just think: when wearing braces, you are wearing a luxury item.

 

Your Braces

Remember, braces are something to have fun with! If you have traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, you can dress up your braces with colorful bands that make you stand out. Or you can choose an option that is discreet. Overall, no matter what option you choose, wearing braces for a time will help keep your mouth healthier and your smile straighter. A better smile leads to more confidence. Who wouldn’t want that? If you’re ready to receive a great set of braces, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!

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child orthodontics

Advancements in adult and child orthodontics have triggered a rise in adults seeking treatment for oral challenges they have had for years. When deciding to pursue orthodontic treatment, understanding the differences between adult and child orthodontics can help you decide what type of treatment is right for you. Everyone should want their best smile. Feeling confident about your teeth and smile is essential for healthy self-esteem and confidence. You can achieve both of those benefits with braces.

 

Benefits of Braces

For years, braces have helped millions of people receive a more beautiful smile. About 4 million Americans on average each year are wearing braces. You may think that braces are mostly for teenagers, but you may be surprised to know that about 25% of braces wearers are actually adults. A large portion of those 4 million are also children. Braces benefit people of all ages and it’s never too late to get your own set. Why are braces so important? Straighter teeth keep the mouth in proper alignment and help even out the pressure placed on the jaw each time you talk, bite, eat and more. When the teeth are straighter, they are easier to clean, especially to floss in between the teeth. This is why people with straighter teeth have a reduced risk for oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

 

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

The biggest oral health problems are tooth decay and gum disease. These problems come from lack of good oral hygiene habits. If you skip on brushing and flossing the teeth (or not doing them enough) you may start to have problems. When food sits on the teeth, the sugars from the food you ate (or drank) mix with bacteria in the mouth. This mixture creates a sticky acidic substance called plaque. That plaque works hard to erode your tooth enamel. If it sits on the teeth long enough without being cleaned through brushing or flossing, it will seep into the center of your tooth, called the pulp. This is where that acidic plaque will start to decay your tooth. If left untreated, the problem can become severe. Tooth decay is the most wide-spread childhood disease.

 

Gum disease is similar to tooth decay, but it has to do with the gums. Plaque is not your friend in this case either. When it sits on the teeth for too long, it can irritate the gums. You may notice your gums begin to turn more red and they may become inflamed. Over time, if good oral hygiene habits are not established, the gums will begin to recede from the teeth. This can eventually cause the teeth to begin falling out. About 64.7 million American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. That’s not even including the number for children! Even though tooth decay and gum disease are so wide-spread, they can both be prevented by brushing and flossing several times a day and by establishing and keeping good oral hygiene habits.

Child Orthodontics

One area we specialize in is child orthodontics. A large portion of the people that wear braces are children. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between ages 7 and 8. Having an examination early-on helps prevent the progression of orthodontic issues that may be present. In children, we can detect certain orthodontic problems—such as underbite or crossbite—that are present. These problems can be fixed with child orthodontics and other bite and alignment problems such as overbite, openbite and malocclusion. The jaw is still forming in children, so performing child orthodontics at this age can help easily correct problems that are harder to deal with as an adult. Even if your child does not show any signs or symptoms of orthodontic complications, you can still benefit from child orthodontics. Some benefits include:

  • Monitoring the facial and jaw development
  • Observing the progress of incoming teeth
  • Guiding incoming teeth into their proper positions
  • Reducing the risk of impacted teeth
  • Decreasing the risk for permanent tooth extractions
  • Detecting hidden dental issues

 

Adult Orthodontics

Adult and child orthodontics are very similar. However, it often takes longer to correct bite and alignment problems in adults than it does children or teenagers. This is because the jaw and mouth has stopped growing by adulthood. If bite or alignment problems are severe, an adult may have to look into receiving surgery to correct the problem. Adults also have a few more options when it comes to what kind of braces they would like. Adults and teenagers have the option to choose these types of braces besides traditional metal braces:

  • Lingual Braces – These are also known as “Incognito” braces. They are a hidden braces apparatus on the tongue-side of your teeth. Worn on the inside, no one will even know you are wearing braces.
  • Invisalign Transparent Aligners – This is a series of removable transparent aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. They can be removed for activities such as eating, drinking, sports and more. Because they are transparent, they are also a secret way for adults and teenagers to discreetly straighten their teeth.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Made of ceramic material, these braces fit in with the color of your natural teeth. Ceramic material helps reduce the risk for demineralization and staining.

 

Your New Smile

Whether you are an adult or child, it’s never too late to improve your smile! For people of all ages, a straight smile boosts confidence and self esteem. For adults, that new smile of yours could help you land a job. Studies have also shown that straighter smiles make you appear more confident, successful, attractive and even more trustworthy to others. The benefits of braces are just too good to pass up! If you would like a new smile today, call our Belmar Orthodontics office at (303) 225-9016!