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.
New Year, New You!
Get the Smile You Want in 2021
Think back to the beginning of 2020 and everything that was on your list of resolutions. It doesn’t require much reflection to realize that what you accomplished may look very different from what you had planned.
For many people, 2020 forced us to think about what’s essential. As you take a moment to appreciate all you did to get through the year, remember to focus on what’s truly important: the physical health and emotional well-being of you and your loved ones.
Start Fresh in 2021
As you make your New Year’s resolutions this time around, pledge to put your health at the top of the list. At Adirondack Orthodontics, we know that the appearance and condition of your teeth directly affect your overall health and self-confidence. We can get 2021 off to a great start by putting together a plan to help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted.
January is the perfect time to start, either with braces or Invisalign. This is the time of year when your available insurance benefits are at their highest. Similarly, your FSA/HSA account is full, meaning you can decide exactly how you want to spend it and make the most of your money.
Our caring, compassionate, and professional team is here to assist you in understanding the services you’ll need to correct an underbite, overbite, missing teeth, overcrowded teeth, and more. After a complimentary examination and assessment, we’ll even help you plan out the payments so they stay within your budget.
Love Your Smile, Love Your Experience
No matter what type of orthodontic treatment is right for you, Adirondack Orthodontics provides the Capital Region’s top-rated services, and we’re ready to begin when you are. Use our handy treatment planner to get started or contact us to speak with someone in person. We look forward to giving you the best experience possible and ensuring you have something to smile about in 2021!
The Health Benefits of Braces
For most people, the decision to wear braces is related to aesthetics. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful smile with straight teeth that can be shown off proudly?
It’s important to know that braces also provide a host of additional benefits – including improved health – both in the short term and for years to come.
Improved Daily Care
Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to brush and floss, and effective dental hygiene habits decrease the risk of tooth decay, bone erosion, cavities, periodontal disease, and other issues. Nothing is better for your oral health than proper daily care, and braces are a great way to make that care easier than ever.
Speaking With Ease
Extremely misaligned and gapped teeth can make it difficult to speak clearly. Once your teeth are straightened, the associated speech difficulties will be lessened dramatically or removed altogether.
You’ve probably heard that each bite of food should be chewed 10, 15, or 20 times before swallowing to make it easier for your body to digest. So, if uneven teeth are causing difficulties with chewing, it may also impact your digestion. As braces straighten your teeth, you’ll be able to chew food properly so your body can break it down efficiently.
In addition to the physical benefits, braces have also been shown to increase confidence. If you’ve had crooked teeth, you may have tried to hide your smile in photos and in front of friends. A straight, beautiful smile can give your self-esteem a boost.
There’s no question that braces offer far-reaching advantages. If you have problems speaking, chewing, brushing or flossing, or if you’re embarrassed by your smile, call us at Adirondack Orthodontics and schedule your complimentary consultation today. We’d love to help you enjoy the functional, attractive smile you’ve always wanted!
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.