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What can I do to help myself during orthodontic treatment?

September 22nd, 2016

Patient compliance is a big component of successful orthodontic treatment. Without the patients’ cooperation, we are often unable to achieve the results we would like to. To help ensure you receive the best result and finish your orthodontic treatment in a timely manner, do each of the following:

  • *Follow any instructions given during the course of each visit (i.e. wearing rubber bands, wearing appliances, etc.)
  • *Keep up with your appointments
  • *Properly brush and floss your teeth
  • *Maintain regular dental cleanings and check-ups with your dentist
  • *(For braces patients) Avoid eating hard, crunchy, sticky foods so that your brackets do not break
  • *Make sure to wear your retainers as instructed after treatment has finished to maintain your beautiful results

What’s the difference between an Essix (clear) retainer and Invisalign trays/aligners?

September 8th, 2016

We often get asked what the difference is between clear (Essix) retainers and Invisalign trays/aligners. The simple is answer is, Invisalign is essentially an alternative to braces that actually moves your teeth using clear trays called aligners. On the other hand, a retainer (regardless of the type) is a device that keeps your teeth in the same position once orthodontic treatment (including Invisalign) has been completed. Sometimes, the retainers are made of a similar clear material in the form of a tray as well  and these are called Essix retainers. However, the difference is that these clear retainers are simply holding (or retaining) your teeth, whereas an Invisalign aligner is actually moving your teeth.

What is Phase I Treatment?

July 6th, 2016

The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontics recommend that children be seen for their first orthodontic consultation by the age of 7.  While some parents may think this is too young to start taking their child to the orthodontist, this is the ideal age to detect subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth.  Most patients do not require treatment at this age and will instead need what’s known as Comprehensive Treatment when all/most of their adult teeth are in (around age of 11-12). However, some patients benefit greatly from early treatment called Phase I treatment. The goal of Phase I, also known as Early Intervention, is to pro-actively prevent future problems from developing.  Phase I treatment will produce a better setting for the adult teeth to erupt into.  While most kids who receive Phase I treatment will still need braces in the future (known as Phase II), the amount of work required may be significantly reduced.

Phase I treatment has many benefits for the right patient.  It’s good to keep in mind that there are certain orthodontic problems that are significantly easier to correct before age 10. If these problems are not treated in time, later treatment is often more extensive (i.e. requiring extractions or teeth, surgery, etc.) and may take longer to complete.  Getting a bigger picture of what your child might need in the future treatment-wise, time-wise, and financially is a good idea so that your family can plan accordingly.

Since consultations are complimentary at our office, there is no need to be hesitant about the age at which you bring your child to see Dr. Hussaini.  Parents with younger children who have concerns about the development of their children’s teeth and/or jaws are always welcome at our office!

Why Isn’t My Retainer Fitting Properly?

May 11th, 2016

When a patient’s retainers are no longer fitting properly, there are usually two main reasons for this:

1) Not being worn as prescribed. While the prescribed length of time your retainers should be worn will vary after initially getting your braces removed, it is important to follow the instructions given by your orthodontist. If you stopped wearing your retainers for more than a few days, your teeth will move more than likely. This will result in your retainers either fitting too tight or no longer fitting at all. If this happens, it is important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible!

2) Shape of retainer becomes distorted. This particularly may happen with an Essix retainer (or a clear retainer) because the material is plastic-based that is heat-sensitive. Hot temperatures may make the retainers lose their shape. Therefore, make sure to ONLY use lukewarm water when cleaning your retainers. Also be sure to keep them away from environments that may expose them to extremely temperatures. Do not attempt to clean retainers in a dishwasher! If a retainer does change its shape and stops fitting, it must be adjusted or replaced by your orthodontist.

In either case, if your retainers are no longer fitting, make sure to call your orthodontist ASAP to have them examined before your teeth start shifting and the beautiful results we obtained with your braces/Invisalign are lost.

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