The Importance of Early Treatment for Kids
Just in time for National Children’s Dental Health Month, learn how you can help your child enjoy a beautiful smile for life!
Since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’d love to discuss one of the best ways to set up your child for success when it comes to the health of their teeth: our early treatment. During this critical time when children are learning and gaining confidence, early intervention is key for addressing any dental issues and possibly preventing the need for more complex orthodontic treatment in the long run.
Find out what early orthodontic treatment entails, who’s a good candidate for it, and more below.
What Is Early Treatment for Kids?
Early orthodontic treatment consists of tackling orthodontic issues from a young age. You’re probably already familiar with the latter stage of orthodontic treatment, which is the traditional adjustment of the adult teeth using clear aligners or braces. Early treatment happens in childhood, when there is a mix of baby and permanent teeth in the mouth, using various orthodontic techniques to correct potential issues early.
How Early Can Orthodontic Treatment Begin?
Every patient is different, but we recommend that you bring your child to a board-certified orthodontist by age seven for a personalized evaluation and to formulate a custom treatment plan. Treatment will typically begin as soon as you and the orthodontist agree your child is ready and may include a space maintainer, Invisalign, an expander, braces. The process usually takes 12 months or less.
What Problems Does Early Treatment Address?
Early treatment can help to resolve common orthodontic issues like overbites, underbites, open bites, crossbites, crowding, excessive wear, or protrusion. Treating these issues at a younger age can often keep them from growing more serious, making later orthodontic treatment easier. Sometimes, early treatment can even prevent the need for future orthodontic treatment or extraction altogether.
What Happens After Early Treatment?
After receiving early orthodontic treatment, your child may receive a retainer to keep their teeth in place. After that, we can monitor the growth of their teeth and determine if further treatment is necessary in their case. If it is, rest assured that we will guide you and your child every step of the way.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
While not every child requires our early orthodontic treatment, we recommend that all children come in for a consultation at the age of 7 so that we can take a look at their teeth. Children whose teeth are clearly misaligned or who have habits like thumb-sucking can often especially benefit from early treatment.
At Adirondack Orthodontics, we look forward to setting up your child for success. Call us today to schedule a consultation for your child.
Don’t forget that the Times Union’s Best Of voting begins soon! We will be sharing more details on how to vote for your team at Adirondack Orthodontics for Best Orthodontist as voting gets underway.
Invisalign vs. Braces
How to Know Which is Right for You
Once you have decided to invest in the health and appearance of you or your child’s smile through orthodontia, next you will need to decide between Invisalign or braces. An experienced orthodontist will be able to tell you which will work best for you, but we always believe in keeping our patients fully informed so that they can choose the option that fits their lifestyle best.
How Much They Cost
While the costs of both Invisalign and braces vary, Invisalign tends to be the more expensive option. However, it’s important to factor in dental insurance coverage and available discounts before you determine which option is more affordable for you and your family.
How They Look
One of the most common reasons our patients choose Invisalign is that it’s a discreet option. Invisalign comes in a series of clear aligners, while braces involve metal brackets being placed on the teeth for the duration of the treatment. If you want a less obtrusive treatment, Invisalign may be the best option for you.
How They Feel
Moving your teeth into their proper positions, no matter the method, can be an uncomfortable experience. However, braces tend to be a little more uncomfortable because brackets are not just placed on the front of teeth but around the back molars as well. This can result in discomfort inside of your mouth.
How Convenient They Are
Braces are easy to manage because your orthodontist does all the work during your appointment. Invisalign requires you to take the aligners on and off and use them in the correct sequence. However, this also means that Invisalign makes it easy to floss and brush your teeth, and you won’t have to forget any of your favorite healthy foods. Braces require you to limit or stop eating certain foods and maneuvering a toothbrush and floss around the brackets and wires can be difficult.
How Well They Work
Fortunately, following your orthodontist’s instructions will mean that Invisalign and braces are equally effective. When it comes to the end result, you don’t need to choose one over the other.
No matter your budget, lifestyle, and preferences, Adirondack Orthodontics can help educate you on the pros and cons of each type of treatment. Ultimately, your choice should involve not just the factors listed above but the recommendations of our orthodontist after an in-person consultation. After your examination and taking any scans and X-rays, we can provide a recommendation and get you started on your journey to a healthy, beautiful smile. Schedule your free consultation today!
Foods You Can’t Eat with Braces
What to Eat & What to Avoid
While you go through the process of aligning your teeth with braces, you need to consider what you eat to avoid any potential problems. Brackets and wires can be dislodged with something sticky, while certain foods may get stuck in your braces, creating tooth decay. Whether you want to maintain your braces or keep your teeth in pristine shape, we recommend avoiding common food pitfalls.
Take a look at just some examples of foods you can’t eat with braces.
Enough force can cause your braces to break, so hard food is a no-go. Carrots and other raw veggies, hard candy, ice, hard cookies, and other hard foods should be avoided.
Probably the most well-known entry on the no-no list is sticky candy. Caramel, taffy, and gum can create major problems for your braces, not to mention getting stuck on your teeth and creating cavities.
Unfortunately, even crunchy food can disrupt your braces. Snacks like hard pretzels and popcorn should be avoided, and even then you should also stay away from nuts and many types of chips.
Certain foods are just hard to bite into with braces, especially foods that require you to bite down with your front teeth. Corn on the cob, chicken wings, bagels, beef jerky, and apples are at the top of that list. Pizza crust and large pieces of meat should also be avoided.
The list of items to avoid eating may seem daunting, but there is plenty you can eat while you have braces! Pasta, potatoes, soft breads, most fruits, and cooked (soft) veggies are all safe to enjoy. And, of course, most dairy products are easy to eat with braces and will cause no issues, so continue eating yogurt and cheese. Lastly, if you do want to eat candy, just make sure it’s not hard or sticky, and be sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth afterward.
Taking care of your teeth and braces doesn’t have to be a worry. Just plan ahead and think twice before you bite down on anything hard, sticky, or crunchy. And if you have any issues with loose or broken braces, just give us a call at Adirondack Orthodontics.
The Relationship Between Orthodontists & Dentists
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
Dentists and orthodontists both contribute to good oral health; each specialist plays a different role in maintaining a patient’s smile. Many prospective patients ask us if they need a referral for our services and if an orthodontist can take the place of a dentist. We encourage you to read on to find out the answers to these commonly asked questions.
The Relationship Between Dentists & Orthodontists
While dentists handle things like routine cleanings, tooth extractions, crowns, and fillings, orthodontists are chiefly concerned with correcting misalignments in the teeth and jaws. Both play an essential role in a person’s oral health, and one cannot replace the other.
Orthodontists rely on dentists to identify teeth and jaw issues so that their patients can seek orthodontic care when needed. Since most people see their dentists regularly, dentists are often the first to notice more complex issues like overbites and underbites, which then are handled by an orthodontist. Furthermore, once you begin your orthodontic treatment, there may be issues that arise that your orthodontist will then refer to your dentist. This reciprocal relationship ensures that patients get the best possible care from the professional best positioned to provide it.
No Referral Required
Many dentists have professional relationships with local orthodontists, and your dentist may recommend a specific orthodontist they trust above others. In the Capital Region, dentists often recommend us to their patients due to our reputation for incredible patient care. If your dentist suggests that you come to us, we would be happy to add you as a patient.
However, it’s important to note that a recommendation isn’t the same thing as a referral, and neither is required to become a patient of ours. Even if your dentist hasn’t recommended a specific orthodontist by name, the team at Adirondack Orthodontics can still serve you! All you have to do is schedule an appointment at your nearest location so that we can get to know you and your needs.
Call Us to Learn More
Turn to the orthodontist trusted by dentists throughout Albany, NY; Clifton Park, NY; East Greenbush, NY; Glens Falls, NY; and Latham, NY: Adirondack Orthodontics! We can get you started with a free consultation and tell you more about the many ways we can tailor our services to meet your needs. New patients are encouraged to visit this page to get a better idea of what to expect on their first visit. We look forward to seeing you.
The Best and Worst Halloween Candy for Braces
The Best & Worst Halloween Candy for Braces
Everyone should be able to enjoy the candy they get when trick or treating, including those with braces! Yet certain kinds of candy can jeopardize the health of your teeth and the state of your orthodontia. Taking care of your teeth is essential, especially when you’re investing in braces and the long-term beauty of your smile. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you bring home your candy haul this Halloween.
Halloween candy that tends to do the most damage to braces is anything sticky, like caramel or taffy. Hard candy like lollipops also becomes problematic, as the candy can break and bend your braces. Avoid brands like Laffy Taffy, Airheads, and Sour Patch Kids.
On the other hand, chocolate candy is one of the best sweet treats you can choose when you have braces. While taffy sticks to your teeth and has the potential to damage your braces, chocolate and candy bars like Kit Kat bars and Snickers bars won’t cover your teeth or hurt your hardware.
No matter what kind of candy you consume during Halloween, be sure to take the rights steps to care for your teeth! A toothbrush that reaches around your braces should always be in your arsenal, along with plenty of floss. Each time you consume candy, brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly with water to keep food particles from lingering on your teeth and creating cavities.
Follow these tips this Halloween – and any time you eat something sweet – and you’ll be equipped to take care of your braces. If you have any questions about how to brush, floss, or generally care for your teeth and braces, call on Adirondack Orthodontics. We would be happy to help.