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Child sitting in a chair talking to a good orthodontist

There are many orthodontists out there, but not all are created equal, and not all have the same training or experience as others. Just like dentists, only some are award-winning orthodontists (for good reason), while others are not. A good orthodontist needs to have specific training and credentials to work on your or your child. Their office needs to have specific equipment to perform the necessary work, and a good orthodontist will provide a wide range of services for their patients. Find out what a good orthodontist looks like and how to choose a good one from one you want to avoid!

 

Choosing to Receive Braces

If you have made the choice to get braces, we commend you! Braces is an amazing way to change your life for the better. Studies show that straightening your smile is directly related to increased confidence. The better a person’s smile looks, the more they smile and the more confident they appear to others as well. Studies by Invisalign and countless others have found that a straighter, more beautiful smile makes you appear happier, healthier, wealthier, and more attractive to others. 73% of people are also more likely to find you trustworthy.

 

Now that you have chosen to embark on this new journey of getting braces, you have to decide who you should get your orthodontic care from. All too often, dental practices have started offering orthodontics via transparent aligner systems or Invisalign. Even though we offer Invisalign at our center (and it is effective), the majority of dentists are not trained to perform orthodontics. It’s similar to a spa offering botox injections instead of a medical doctor that provides botox injections. They may have some training in oral health and dentistry, but dentistry is not the same as orthodontics.

 

You always want to choose a trained orthodontist to provide you orthodontic work, and not just a dentist (or even someone without a degree) to perform any work on your mouth. If you do, you take a serious health risk that your teeth will be messed up permanently or that you will have oral health complications. Always go to a certified and trained orthodontist for your orthodontic work.

 

Example of what an orthodontic office looks like

Training to Become a Good Orthodontist

Becoming a good orthodontist takes many hard years. A good orthodontist will receive an undergraduate degree and then will go on to be accepted into dental school. A good orthodontist will receive high marks in their dental school, and will have to be accepted into an orthodontic school afterwards. Some even go beyond their 10 years of base training to do fellowships and additional study. It takes an entire decade to learn how to straighten the teeth properly, even if orthodontic care may seem simple and straightforward.

 

Orthodontists deal with the health of a person’s mouth, which can affect their overall health, their confidence, and even if they are at risk for tooth decay, gum disease and more. Working with children in orthodontics can be even trickier, as many children require specific work to make space in the jaws for incoming teeth.

 

What Is Their Experience with Children?

The majority of good orthodontists work with children on a regular basis. However, there are some that have better training than others. You always want to look for a good orthodontist that has training to work with a child on their intellectual level. Children sometimes fear dental or orthodontic office or having work done on their mouth. We strive to provide a child-friendly atmosphere to our young patients to make them comfortable during their treatment.

 

A good orthodontist is one that can help your child feel at ease and confident about the smile they are getting. When choosing an orthodontist, observe how they act with your child. If they are warm and inviting, this can help children have a positive orthodontic experience for early orthodontic treatment and when they receive braces for straightening later on.

 

Close-up of a child being fitted for a retainer

What Qualities Do We Have?

If you want a good orthodontist, give Belmar Orthodontics a try! Dr. Hardy is an award-winning orthodontist that treats patients at two different locations. He has extensive training in dentistry and orthodontics and actually runs a pediatric dentistry and orthodontics office alongside his wife. He treats pediatric patients and older at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics and he treats patients of all ages at Belmar Orthodontics. Dr. Hardy offers every option available in orthodontics to his patients. That includes traditional metal braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, as well as retainer devices, TADs, and surgical orthodontics. All of these services required countless hours of training, testing and performance to become certified.

 

As we mentioned, you want an orthodontist who has won awards and who others are talking about. Dr. Hardy is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. He is also an active member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontics. He received the Everett Shapiro Award in Orthodontics as well as the Dr. Harold Berk Endowed prize Fund for Excellence in Research. He is also a member of many dental organizations that you can find here. He is extensively trained to work not only with teens and adults, but also children—even very young ones. Dr. Hardy also works alongside his wife often, who also has extensive training and psychology experience with young children.

 

We can talk about Dr. Hardy’s qualifications all day long, but the best way to know what a good orthodontist looks like is to come into the office and see for yourself. To schedule your free consultation or to learn more, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

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Family of four smiling

Did you know that what you eat makes a major difference in how healthy your mouth is? What you eat can determine your likelihood for tooth decay and other oral health diseases. Did you know that your teeth also aren’t bones like many people think? They are made of an entirely different substance even though they are hard like bones. Find out oral health myths and facts that exist, how to care for your teeth properly, and some facts about orthodontic care!

 

Are Your Teeth Bones?

Many people think the teeth are bones, but they aren’t. They are hard like bone, but are actually harder. Teeth are the hardest substance in your body, as they are made up of about 96% mineral. Bones have a more sponge-like interior and aren’t solid mineral. However, your teeth and bones are made of similar materials such as calcium and phosphate, which is why they are both so hard.

 

Facts About Your Teeth

Infant and adult teeth are not the same:

  • Infants are not born with their teeth. Most start to get teeth between 3 and 9 months of age.
  • Children can receive their teeth up until age 3. Some will get all their teeth within a few months, whereas others get them slowly one-by-one.
  • Children only have 20 baby teeth compared to an adult’s 32.
  • As soon as a child gets a first tooth, it needs to be brushed at least twice a day. Infants also need to see the dentist within 6 months of getting their first tooth.
  • Bite and alignment problems in children are best treated around ages 7 and 8. This is the recommended time for children to visit an orthodontist. If bite and alignment problems are present, child braces can correct the problems before they become severe later on.
  • Children get their teeth in a certain order: the bottom front 2 teeth, followed by the top 2 teeth. Then, the next tooth on either side on the bottom jaw, then the next two on either side on the top jaw, etc.
  • Children lose their teeth in the order that they came into the mouth. Losing the baby teeth makes way for the adult teeth to start coming in once a child has grown larger.
  • Adults will have 32 total teeth. Most will have the 4 wisdom teeth taken out, which drops that total number down to 28.

 

mother and child brushing their teeth together

Brushing and Flossing

Many people brush their teeth but don’t see the importance of flossing. Plaque doesn’t go away unless you physically remove it with brushing and flossing. Only brushing your teeth is like only cleaning the outside of a car and never the inside. The inside parts can fill up with gunk, just like the spaces between your teeth. Flossing is especially important during your time with braces. Not flossing could land you with cavities or cratered parts of your teeth when braces come off.

 

Avoiding the Dentist or Orthodontist

“The dentist/orthodontist is scary”. Although many think the dentist is scary, it’s not actually. Some people fear going to the dentist, even though the dentist is someone who is only interested in helping you be healthier. Going to the actual dental office can evoke negative feelings if you’ve had a bad experience. This is why sedation dentistry was created. This is a form of dentistry where you can receive sedation during your procedure to help make it a more positive experience. If you think the dentist (or the orthodontist) is scary, we can help it be less scary. That’s especially because an orthodontist won’t have needles and drills at your appointment. They either put your braces on or tighten them for you. Not so scary, right?

 

Myths About Orthodontic Care

There are many myths about orthodontic care that could hurt you if you’re not careful. You want to always seek out the best care for your teeth and receive that care from a trained professional.

  • Providers who offer orthodontic treatment are orthodontists: false. Now, more than ever, there are many dentists or oral health professionals that are starting to offer orthodontic treatment. Many offer this treatment in the form of Invisalign aligners. This is a great system for straightening the teeth, but only if you have the right training. Orthodontists are specifically trained to straighten your teeth correctly. Dentists are not unless they have specifically received schooling and training in orthodontics. Check credentials before you let someone touch your teeth.
  • Braces are too expensive: false. Braces aren’t the cheapest purchase in the world, but they can benefit you more than most other things you’ll ever invest in. Many insurance plans work with patients to make braces affordable, and we do the same. We want as many people as possible to receive orthodontic care. If you think they are too expensive, give our office a call and we will work with your budget. Any person can receive great orthodontic treatment if they work closely with an orthodontist.
  • Braces are only for children: false. Studies show that at least ¼ of people that wear braces (so about 1 million+ each year) are adults. Almost half of the people wearing braces are teens. So no, braces are not just for children. Adults also have several virtually-invisible options for orthodontic care such as transparent aligners and lingual braces. These options make braces a great choice for adults.

 

Family with one child at the dental office talking to a dental hygienist

Great Oral Health

No matter the myths or facts you’ve heard about your oral health, the bottom line is that it’s important! How well you take care of your teeth will determine how good your health is and how much confidence you have in yourself. Studies show that people with straighter, more beautiful smiles are happier, healthier and more confident. You can have that confidence to no matter if you are young or old. To learn more about braces and proper oral hygiene while having them, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 223-9016!

 

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images of different colored retainers

Most patients spend 18-24 months with their orthodontic appliances. That’s about 78-104 weeks of your life with braces, and time that you don’t want to have wasted. The worst thing that can happen after getting your braces off is that your teeth go crooked once more. This can happen within the first month if you’re not careful. Luckily, dentists know this and we provide our patients with either removable retainers or permanent ones. See why retainers are so important for maintaining a straight smile for life and why you need one!

 

Finishing Up with Braces

If you have gotten to the point in your orthodontic treatment that you need a retainer, congratulations! It has taken you 18-24 months to get that beautiful, straight smile you’ve wanted. No matter if you had lingual, ceramic, or metal braces, or if you opted for Invisalign treatment, you will still need an orthodontic appliance to keep your teeth straight. This isn’t something you want to wait on either, as studies show that your teeth start shifting back to their crooked state within the first month of getting braces off.

 

When our patients end their time with braces, we immediately prep them for either a removable or a permanent retainer. There are pros and cons to each of these types of retainers, but the bottom line is, you need one! A retainer is exactly what it sounds like; it “retains” your straight smile. When you wear it (usually at night), your smile won’t shift or become crooked. We take an impression of your teeth as soon as your braces come off, which we then send to our lab. You will have a retainer custom-made to fit your newly-straightened teeth that will keep them in that position for decades to come.

 

girl about to put a retainer in her mouth

Retainers 101

You may need both a bottom retainer and a top one, or you might just need one. Some dentists only require a bottom retainer, as the bottom teeth tend to keep the top teeth in place. It all depends on the patient. As we mentioned, there are two types of retainers: removable and permanent.

  • Removable – These are the classic retainer pieces that most people think of when they think “retainer”. When we make impressions of your teeth, we go back and use those impressions to make retainer pieces for your top and bottom jaw. Once they are done, you will come into the office and try out your new retainers. Wear them every day during the night and clean them when you take them out in the morning. Only use cleaning products that are safe for mouth retainers and never use hot water when cleaning.
  • Permanent – This is also a “fixed” retainer because it is bonded to your teeth and set in place. Much like your braces (if you chose ceramic, lingual or traditional metal), we will bond metal parts to your teeth. However, these metal parts will be placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. You can choose to have a metal bar that goes across the back teeth or you can choose small metal wires that will bond each individual tooth to the one next to it. If you choose the second, you will have the bottom 6 teeth connected, with bonding cement on each of the backs of those 6 teeth. However, the metal and bonding is small, so it won’t take up very much room in your mouth. You may not even notice it! Both the bar and series of small wires work to keep your bottom teeth in place, which will keep your top in place.

 

Which One Is Right for You?

Our patients can choose if they want to have a removable or permanent retainer. One might not be right for a patient depending on age and daily habits. If you often lose things (such as car keys or your phone), then you might want to choose a permanent retainer. These stay in place 100% of the time and because of that, you can never lose them. Plus, they retain your teeth around the clock, instead of only at night (like a removable retainer). Permanent retainers also aren’t visible like removable retainers are because they are attached behind your teeth.

 

A removable retainer will have visible bars that others will be able to see in your mouth when you show your teeth. This generally isn’t a problem, as most people wear theirs at night. If you already struggle with brushing and flossing your teeth, you might opt for a removable retainer, as flossing can be more difficult with a permanent retainer. However, both options are great for all our patients. You simply have to choose which one fits you best.

 

Photo of a woman smiling with straight, white teeth

Healthy Life, Healthy Mouth

We would love every single one of our patients to have a straight smile many decades from now. If you wear your retainer like you should, or continually renew your permanent ones, you can count on keeping that straight smile. However, you also want to keep your smile healthy and free of disease throughout all those decades. After all, there is no point in striving for a straight smile if you don’t have any teeth!

 

No matter if you are 9 or 90, you have to keep up on proper oral hygiene practices if you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile. Brush and floss your teeth every single day, making sure to brush multiple times a day. Eat nutritious foods and cut down on the sugar to reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Also, clean your retainer every day so that it stays strong and durable for many years. If you need a new retainer, or are interested in a permanent retainer option, 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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dentistry and orthodontics

Dentistry and orthodontics are quite different, but they are also closely related. You need care from both a dentist and an orthodontist in order to keep your smile healthy. Dentistry and orthodontics both deal with the health of your smile. One focuses on straightening the smile and other focuses on tooth decay, gum disease and treatments to help correct oral issues. Both involve services that “fix” problems with the teeth to help make your mouth healthier, thus making you healthier. Find out the difference between dentistry and orthodontics, the similarities, and how both can help you have the best smile possible.

What Dentists Do

Dentists go to school to specialize in problems involving the teeth, nerves, gums and jaw. They can provide any or all of the following services:

  • Comprehensive exams and dental cleanings
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Sedation dentistry
  • Laser cavity detection and cavity detection using x-ray imaging
  • Tooth extractions
  • Laser tissue treatment
  • Oral hygiene training
  • Dental sealants
  • Periodontal treatments on the gums
  • Scaling and root planing for gum disease

Dentists are also trained in cosmetic dentistry and can provide services such as dental implants, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, cosmetic bonding, dental bridges and even botox treatment. Restorative dentistry involves root canals and root canal therapy, teeth-whitening services, tooth-colored fillings, and in some cases orthodontic care through Invisalign. The dentist is usually trained in orthodontics to provide this service. If a dentist finds that a patient has a problem with their bite or alignment, they will refer the patient to an orthodontist who is certified and trained to correct the issue.

What Orthodontists Do

Orthodontists must obtain several degrees to become orthodontists. They need more training than dentists do because they must be able to correct smiles as well as identify oral health issues. Orthodontists are specially trained with correcting bites, occlusion (or alignment), and in straightening the teeth. In a healthy mouth, the upper jaw rests on top of the lower jaw. The upper front teeth will rest slightly forward on top of the lower front teeth. Not all mouths are aligned correctly. Some bites that orthodontists correct include:

  • Overbite – In the upper jaw, the front teeth rest over the lower front teeth instead of above. You never want the front teeth to overlap the bottom teeth completely, as this creates pain and other problems when biting, eating, and other everyday tasks.
  • Underbite – This is the opposite of overbite. The lower front teeth rest far in front of the upper front teeth. This creates similar jaw problems as mentioned with overbite. Underbite can lead to jaw and joint pain, earaches, headaches. and more.
  • Crossbite – Crossbite involves teeth that cross in all different directions. Some of the teeth are slanted toward the tongue. Other teeth are slanted towards the cheeks. This creates uneven pressure all over the mouth when biting and chewing, which can lead to broken or fractured teeth, weakened enamel, pain, and more. Crossbite can even cause abnormal facial development and jaw problems if left untreated.
  • Openbite – Openbite refers to an opening (or gap) in the teeth between the upper and lower jaws when the mouth is closed. This gap is right at the front of the teeth and might even appear as a hole in a patient’s smile. Openbite leads to speech impediments, lisps and other problems with speaking if left untreated.

Dentistry and Orthodontics Compared

Did you know that an orthodontist has dental training? Orthodontists must obtain several degrees in order to work. They must obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree or a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree just as dentists do. Then, they must apply to an orthodontic graduate program to obtain a Masters of Science degree. Orthodontists go through all the same training as dentists and then some. This is how orthodontists can spot dental issues forming. Basically, all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists.

If you have problems with your teeth, gums, oral nerves or jaw, then go see your dentist. Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if the issue is corrected by an orthodontist or has to do with bite, alignment or straightening. When it comes to problems such as tooth decay (cavities), both dentists and orthodontists can help you in some way. Orthodontic care via braces can help straighten the teeth, thus making them easier to clean and reducing your risk for tooth decay. Dentists can also help you prevent tooth decay with comprehensive exams, biannual cleanings and treatments that stop the progression of cavities if they have formed.

Benefit From Both

Both dentistry and orthodontics involve services that “fix” problems with the teeth to help make your mouth healthier, thus making you healthier. Both professions involve doctors who are highly trained to help problems with your oral health. Patients can benefit greatly from having both a dentist and an orthodontist. Take a step towards a healthier mouth, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hardy today by calling Belmar Orthodontics at (303) 225-9016!

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orthodontic treatment

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!

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transparent aligners

Woman wearing orthodontic silicone trainer. Invisible braces

We offer many different straightening methods at Belmar Orthodontics including Invisalign transparent aligners and traditional metal braces. In the past, traditional metal brackets were the only option for teeth straightening around. With the advancement of technology, we are now able to align the teeth with transparent aligners that work just as well as metal brackets. What are the differences between aligners and metal brackets? Which option is better for you when it comes to choosing between the two? We can answer all of your questions about Invisalign aligners and traditional metal braces and help you find the right straightening method for you.

 

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces are also known as “traditional” braces? Why? They’ve been around for decades and have proven time and time again that they work. Years ago they became the go-to option for orthodontic care and have stood the test of time. There have been tweaks here and there to make metal braces more modern, but overall, not much has changed. They are still the most popular option for braces among teenagers and the most economical choice for orthodontic care.

 

Metal braces consist of metal square brackets that are attached to the center of each tooth with a special type of bonding glue. This glue is strong enough that the brackets stay bonded to your teeth, but also versatile enough that the glue can be removed once treatment has come to an end. Metal braces have a thin wire that connects and goes through each bracket on the upper and lower jaw. In total, you will have two wires. These are known as “archwires” and they create an arch in your mouth that follows the natural curve of the jaw. Over time, these archwires will move the teeth into proper place so that they make the perfect, straight arch on the upper and lower jaw.

 

What Are Invisalign Transparent Aligners?

If you’ve looked into options for orthodontic care, you may already be familiar with Invisalign. This treatment option is a series of transparent aligners that slowly mold your teeth into proper position over time. Your doctor will scan your teeth using a digital scanning system that will then create 3D images of your teeth. You will then receive custom-made aligners made from Invisalign’s SmartTrack material. This material is transparent yet strong. The clear, removable design of these aligners renders this orthodontic treatment virtually invisible to others.

 

The best part is that Invisalign works well just like traditional metal braces do for shaping your smile. Simply change out your transparent aligners ever 1-2 weeks and watch how your smile changes over time. Adults and teenagers alike love this option for orthodontic care because of their ease of use Patients can eat, drink, and clean their teeth with ease. These aligners must be worn the majority of the day, but can be removed when needed for certain activities. Invisalign transparent aligners are more costly than metal braces, but you gain the benefits of easy use and cleaning, and the ability to straighten your teeth in secret.

 

Adult Orthodontics

Orthodontic care is not only for teenagers. About 25% of all braces wearers are adults, which is a higher percentage than it’s been in the past. Why is this? In decades and years past, people only had one choice when it came to braces: traditional metal braces. Some adults and teenagers avoid receiving braces although their smile needs them. Why? Because they don’t like the look of braces or they feel they are unattractive, distracting, or childish. Studies actually show that braces are quite the luxury to have. However, modern-day orthodontics offer treatment options everyone can be comfortable with.

 

Your Options

Options for orthodontic care include both traditional metal braces and Invisalign transparent aligners, but you can also choose

  • Ceramic Braces – These are the same size and shape as metal braces. They function similarly to traditional metal brackets but they use ceramic brackets that are made to match the color of your teeth. Many patients love this cosmetic benefit of blending the braces to the teeth. Even the archwire can be made white! The ceramic has been shown to be much more resistant to staining and helps protect your smile from demineralization.
  • Lingual Braces – Lingual braces are an amazing alternative to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are a close cousin to metal braces. They actually look quite the same, except for the fact that the braces run along the inside of the teeth next to the tongue. You can achieve the same results as traditional orthodontics in a manner that is inconspicuous and undetectable. Dr. Hardy will make a custom mold of your teeth so that custom metal pieces can be made for each tooth back. These will then be attached snug to the inside of the tooth along with the brackets. An archwire will complete the braces and you can begin to experience the straightening power of lingual braces.

 

Keep Your Smile Straight

It’s never too late to correct orthodontic conditions you have. The benefits of adult orthodontics include: faster treatment time than former techniques, more discreet treatment options, correction of dental issues, increased confidence and even increased self esteem. When it comes to starting your journey to a straighter smile, we have options for you! To see if you are a great fit for ceramic braces or Incognito lingual braces, contact our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016 for your free consultation. A straighter smile is just one call away!

 

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What role does each part of braces play? The brackets, bands, wires and even our oral health guidelines all play a vital role to the health of your teeth and the success of your teeth straightening. Braces have been perfected over the years to provide you various options for teeth straightening through traditional metal braces, lingual braces, ceramic clear braces, Invisalign and more. These options weren’t available in years past, and each option has been perfected to provide you quick and efficient teeth straightening. Find out why each part of braces is important and what role each piece plays when it comes to your oral health.

 

Parts of Braces

Traditional metal braces have been around for decades. We still offer these braces because frankly, they work so well. Metal braces are also the most popular orthodontic option because they work to straighten your teeth the quickest and are the most cost-effective orthodontic option you can find. The metal we use is strong and sturdy. Metal braces are made from stainless steel, but can also be used in combination with titanium. There are three main parts of braces: the brackets, the wire, and the ligature elastics that go around the brackets:

  • Brackets – These are the small metal pieces that are bonded to each tooth center using special glue. This glue ensures that the brackets stick to your teeth. The glue is gentle enough that it can be removed once your time with braces has finished. Brackets are made of stainless steel but also can be made white (tooth colored) or clear. These brackets hold the archwire for the teeth.
  • Wire – This wire is actually known as the “archwire”. It is the metal wire that connects all of the brackets together in your mouth. You will have one archwire that is along the upper teeth and one that is along the lower teeth. This wire curves around the teeth and puts pressure on the teeth so that they come into proper alignment in the mouth. This is the main player that works to move your teeth in the right direction.
  • Ligature Elastics – These are the rubber bands that attach the archwire to the brackets on each tooth. Without these ligature elastics, the archwire would not be sturdy and couldn’t do its job.

 

Additional Parts of Braces

There are more than just these three parts of braces.

  • Headgear – This is an external appliance used in orthodontic care to help realign the face and jaw during your time with braces. There is retraction headgear and protraction headgear. Retraction headgear is an appliance used to retract the upper jaw. Protraction headgear moves the upper jaw forward and into proper alignment with the lower jaw. Headgear will consists of a single strap that fits around your neck and attaches to the front of your teeth. There is a second type of headgear that attaches to your braces, but the headgear has straps that fit over your head and neck. Not all patients will receive headgear unless it is really needed.
  • Springs – Many braces have springs to help push and pull the teeth in the right direction. These springs generally attach to the arch wires and are located between the brackets of each tooth. The purpose of the springs are to open up or close up spaces between the teeth as they shift.
  • Elastic Rubber Bands – Some patients need the additional shifting power of rubber bands to help the teeth move into place on schedule. These bands are attached to the brackets and will go from a lower tooth bracket to an upper tooth bracket. You will receive these rubber bands at your checkup and instruction for attaching your elastic bands at home until your next checkup.

 

Different Types of Braces

There are more than types of braces than just traditional metal ones. At Belmar Orthodontics we offer the following additional braces options:

  • Incognito Lingual Braces – These braces quite literally go “incognito” as they are hidden inside your mouth. You will receive the same type of treatment as traditional metal braces. However, lingual braces are a hidden treatment apparatus on the tongue-side of your teeth. The brackets and metal are attached here and straighten your teeth without anyone else knowing.
  • Invisalign – Invisalign is one of the stealthiest forms of teeth straightening. It is a series of transparent aligners customized to your teeth. You will change these aligners every 1-2 weeks until your smile is straight. They are easy to clean, easy to remove for eating and sports, and are virtually invisible in the mouth.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Instead of metal, these braces are made from strong ceramic. They appear very similar to metal braces but are colored to match the shade of your teeth so they blend into the mouth. Even the archwires can be made white.
  • Retainers – You will receive a retainer after your orthodontic braces treatment has been completed. Wearing your customized retainer is vital to maintaining a straight smile, as the teeth can quickly shift out of place. The first month is the most crucial as this is the time when your teeth will shift the most if a retainer isn’t worn.  

 

Your Free Consultation

Keeping the parts of braces clean will greatly enhance your experience, so following our guidelines will help you find success with your orthodontic care. Proper braces appliances and all their parts will ensure that your teeth shift into perfect alignment in the least amount of time. If you would like to learn more about braces or need to schedule your appointment, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!

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Adult Braces

How important are adult braces? Not only do braces enhance your appearance, but they help prevent tooth decay and oral health problems. The American Dental Association tells us that braces are used to correct bite problems and malocclusion. Correcting these problems helps prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, jaw problems and even tooth loss. Proper orthodontic care goes beyond simply improving your oral health.  Braces will give you added confidence that will boost performance in all facets of your life. Let us show you just how important braces are and why you should invest in them whether you are an adult or a child!

 

Braces for Children and Teens

About 75 percent of orthodontic patients are children and teens. Of that number, the majority opt to have traditional metal braces. Traditional metal braces are the most economic choice for orthodontic care if you are looking to improve your smile without breaking the bank. Children can receive braces as early as 7 or 8 years old depending on their needs.  The adolescent years are the most common period for receiving braces when the head and mouth are still growing (especially the jaw). When children as young as 7 or 8 receive orthodontic treatment, it is usually to correct problems with alignment or bite that can become severe in later years. This early intervention ensures that teeth come in correctly in a child’s mouth and that the bite is aligned correctly. This will help correct problems with speech, biting, chewing, talking and even physical appearance.

 

Why Orthodontic Care Is Important

Orthodontic care during the adolescent years is generally used to correct alignment by straightening the teeth. Both bite correction and proper alignment is vitally important to oral health. When the teeth are crooked, problems such as tooth decay and gum disease can easily set in. This is because food becomes trapped in the teeth when you eat and is much harder to remove when the teeth are crooked. Gums can become irritated when plaque sits on the teeth for too long. Over time, plaque-infested gums can become red, swollen and can bleed easily–especially when flossing.  Gums can even begin to recede to the point where the teeth fall out. Recession occurs more frequently with teeth that are crooked and harder to clean.  Teeth that have been straightened through orthodontic care avoid some of these challenges.

 

When bite is misaligned, the teeth can come in crooked in a child. Patients may have overbite, underbite, crossbite, openbite or malocclusion. All of these types of misaligned bites will interfere with eating and speaking as well as the physical appearance of the mouth and face. This is because many of the teeth overlap one another abnormally or one jaw protrudes more than the other. Orthodontic care through braces for children and adult braces can correct these problems. Orthodontic treatment through adolescent and adult braces can help ensure that there is enough space for all the teeth to sit comfortably in the mouth.

 

Other Reasons to Invest in Braces

Are braces something you should invest in? The answer is yes! Whether you seek adult braces or braces for children and teens, you are making a decision that has far-reaching effects. The majority of people will experience crooked teeth at some point. What you decide to do about it is up to you.  

 

Braces—even adult braces—are actually quite desirable today according to reports by the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and more. The amount of adults wearing braces rose 24% between 1989 and 2008 alone and that number has continued to rise. Why? Braces have become more affordable and more attractive. Insurance even covers part of the cost for many patients. Braces are also more comfortable than they were in the past and there are more options for patients seeking orthodontic treatment. The social benefits of braces alone draw people in as well.

 

Studies About Adult Braces

There have been many studies done about the importance of braces. Invisalign conducted one such study several years ago that recorded more than 1000 responses by pedestrians on the street. These pedestrians were asked to choose from two pictures of people placed side-by-side. Who would they trust more? Who seemed more confident? Respondents did not not beforehand that the comparison was between people with straight smiles and people with crooked smiles. From that study, it was found that those with straighter smiles were perceived as more confident, more successful, more attractive and up to 70% more trustworthy. All from a better, straighter smile!

 

Proper orthodontic care can also get you ahead when it comes to job interviews and new opportunities. Because a straighter, more beautiful smile has been shown to exude all of the characteristics above, those traits are also perceived in job interviews and during first impressions. Adult braces can help you land that job you’ve wanted and can help you get ahead professionally.

 

Your Options at Belmar Orthodontics

Traditional metal braces are just that: traditional. This is the most common option chosen by patients when selecting what type of orthodontic care they want. This choice is often popular with children and many teens and has proven through the years to provide exceptional straightening power. Adults and teenagers alike will sometimes avoid needed orthodontic treatment because they find traditional metal braces to be distracting or unattractive. Because of this, we provide you other options when it comes to straightening those pearly whites. These include:

  • Incognito Lingual Braces: Metal braces attached to the inside of the teeth that stay hidden.
  • Invisalign Transparent Aligners: Transparent aligners that are changed every few weeks to shape your teeth into proper alignment.
  • Ceramic Clear Braces: The look of traditional metal brackets made in ceramic form. Both the brackets and wires can be made white to match your natural teeth.

At Belmar Orthodontics, we do all that we can to ensure your mouth stays healthy and your smile bright. Our success is dependent on your success. This is why we offer you so many options when it comes to straightening children’s teeth or investing in adult braces. To learn more about child and adult braces, call our office today at (303) 225-9016!

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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.

 

Do-It-Yourself-Orthodontics

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!