The Importance Of Wearing Your Orthodontic Retainer

There is nothing like looking in the mirror to see your brand new smile for the first time after completing your orthodontic treatment. Whether you’ve chosen adult braces or Invisalign, the results are the same: Your smile is perfect and beautiful. At Camelback Orthodontic Studio, we love seeing our  patients light up after we remove their braces, and we want to make that joy last a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to wear your retainer.

Your Retainer Post-Orthodontic Treatment

After your braces have come off, or you’ve completed your last set of aligners, your orthodontist will fit you for a custom retainer that you’ll be instructed to wear daily. Your retainer is necessary to keep your brand new smile beautiful for years to come. It’s important to follow these instructions precisely to keep your new smile in perfect shape.

Risks of Not Wearing Your Retainer

If you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth will start to drift back into their former positions. The soft tissues in your mouth and bones may also shift, compromising your treatment. Additionally, if you don’t wear your retainer consistently, you may need further orthodontic treatment to fix your smile. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste—keep your smile perfect by preserving it with your retainer.

Contact Your  Orthodontist

At Camelback Orthodontic Studio, we’ve created dream smiles for countless patients, also serving the northwest valley at Greenway Orthodontic Studio. We’re so happy that you’ve achieved the smile of your dreams, whether through braces or Invisalign! We know it will bring you joy for years to come by wearing your retainer. If you have further questions on retention or anything related to orthodontics, we encourage you to give us a call at 480-284-8663.

Can Orthodontic Treatment Cause White Spots On My Teeth?

The most important thing to know about white marks on teeth is that they are preventable. All you have to do to be white mark-free is to keep teeth clean and stay away from some foods and beverages. It’s that simple.

When we say simple, we mean four easy steps simple:

  1. Brush as often as recommended by your orthodontist, including after each meal or snack whether at school, work or home
  2. Floss at least once a day            
  3. Avoid or limit acidic foods and drinks (soda, flavored waters with carbonation, sweet tea, sports drinks etc.) for the duration of your treatment
  4. See your family dentist at least every four to six months for a check-up or more often if it’s recommended

Handy tools like interproximal brushes, floss threaders, floss holders, water irrigators and power toothbrushes can make cleaning teeth convenient, quick and, most of all, thorough. Fluoride toothpaste and/or rinses are advisable, too.

A White Mark Is Permanent

A white mark on a tooth – known as decalcification – is the very beginning of a cavity. Prompted by a build-up of plaque, calcium and other minerals leach out tooth enamel and leave a permanent white mark behind. It can progress to a full-blown cavity if plaque keeps collecting.

Plaque is made of bacteria, food particles and saliva. It feeds on sugars to form an acid that damages teeth. Poor brushing, frequent snacking and intake of sugary and/or acidic beverages contribute to white marks and decay.

Decalcification Can Happen to Patients Using Aligners

It happens to those who drink flavored waters, sparkling water, sports drinks or soda pop with their aligners in. What’s more, it can happen in a matter of weeks. Always take aligners out to eat or drink (except for tap water), and clean teeth thoroughly to remove all traces of food or beverages.

One more thing – decalcification can also happen if patients do not brush their aligners.  Food and bacteria left in the aligners can sit on the teeth and cause decalcification.

Decalcification Can Happen Independent of Orthodontic Treatment

Some people get white marks on their teeth without ever having orthodontic treatment. The marks are caused by too much soda pop or other acidic drinks, along with poor brushing habits.

For A Happy Ending

Patients who are conscientious about caring for their teeth and who limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks should not develop white marks.

Cleaning teeth is not hard. It just takes a commitment to putting in a little extra time, a little extra elbow grease, and using the right tools for the job.

What if my dentist hasn’t sent my child to the orthodontist?

You don’t have to wait for your dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist.

Parents are often the first to recognize that something is not quite right about their child’s teeth or their jaws. A parent may notice that the front teeth don’t come together when the back teeth are closed, or that the upper teeth are sitting inside of the lower teeth. They may assume that their dentist is aware of the anomaly, and that the dentist will make a referral to an orthodontist when the time is right. A referral might not happen if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite.

Greenway Orthodontic Studio doesn’t require a referral from a dentist to make an appointment with them.

Dentists and orthodontists may have different perspectives.

Dentists are looking at the overall health of the teeth and mouth. He/she could be looking at how well the patient brushes and flosses, or if there are cavities. While dentists look at the upper and lower teeth, they may not study how the upper and lower teeth make contact.

Orthodontists are looking at the bite, meaning the way teeth come together. This is orthodontists’ specialty. Orthodontists take the upper and lower jaws into account. Even if teeth appear to be straight, mismatched jaws can be part of a bad bite.

A healthy bite is the goal of orthodontic treatment.

A healthy bite denotes good function – biting, chewing and speaking. It also means teeth and jaws are in proportion to the rest of the face.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children get their first check-up with an AAO orthodontist no later than age 7.

Kids have a mix of baby and permanent teeth around age 7. AAO orthodontists are uniquely trained to evaluate children’s growth as well as the exchange of baby teeth for permanent teeth. Orthodontists are expertly qualified to determine whether a problem exists, or if one is developing.

Camelback Orthodontic Studio offers a complimentary orthodontic consultation

Call now to schedule your FREE orthodontic consultation at 480-284-8663 or click HERE

Does my child need to wait until they have all of their permanent teeth to see an orthodontist?

If someone tells you that your child should have all of his/her permanent teeth before visiting the orthodontist for the first time, that “someone” is incorrect . In fact, putting off a first visit to the orthodontist until all of a child’s permanent teeth are in could do more harm than good. Here’s why:

There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

A child’s mouth is a busy place. Think about a 6-year-old. Everything is growing, including the bones in the jaw and face. At around age 6, the first permanent molars appear. An exchange of teeth begins as baby teeth fall out and are replaced by larger-sized permanent teeth. And it all happens in a predictable, particular order. Unless it doesn’t.

The gums hide about two-thirds of each tooth, as well as all the bone that hold teeth in place. The gums can mask conditions that interfere with the emergence of teeth.

Parents can watch for clues. Early or late loss of baby teeth can signal a problem. So can trouble with chewing or biting, speech difficulties and mouth-breathing. If these indicators are not addressed until a child has all of his/her permanent teeth and growth is essentially complete, correcting the problem may be more difficult than it might have been had treatment occurred earlier.

Orthodontic treatment is about creating a healthy bite – the beautiful smile is a bonus.

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to make sure the bite is right – that upper and lower teeth fit together like interlocking gears. The timing of your child’s treatment is critical and is based on his/her individual needs.

Some children can wait until they have all or most of their permanent teeth. Other children’s orthodontic problems may be better treated while some baby teeth are present. These children require growth guidance of bones in the upper and lower jaws, so there’s enough room for permanent teeth. Their treatment can be timed to predictable stages of dental development and physical growth. Once teeth and jaws are in alignment, a beautiful smile is the bonus result of treatment.

Dentists and orthodontists look at the mouth differently.

Both doctors work in the mouth. But perspectives differ based on the care they provide.

Dentists assess and promote overall oral health. They look for cavities and gum disease. They advise patients on diet and home hygiene care. And they monitor patients for diseases that appear in or affect the mouth. Dentists take “bite wing” x-rays to isolate a particular section of teeth as part of their diagnosis and treatment planning process. Orthodontic evaluations may be a lower priority for dentists.

Orthodontists are laser-focused on each patient’s bite. Orthodontists use “panoramic” x-rays to visualize all of the teeth above and below the gums, and the jaws, all at once. The bite is orthodontists’ area of specialization.

If your dentist has not referred your child to an orthodontist, you need not wait for a referral. Orthodontists do not require a referral for your child to be seen.

Here’s what the experts say: remember age 7.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist no later than age 7. If a problem is detected and treatment is advised, you are giving the orthodontist the opportunity to provide your child with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

To answer the question that headlines this blog, there’s no need to wait until your child has lost all his/her baby teeth before you consult an orthodontist. It’s fine to talk to an orthodontist as soon as you suspect a problem in your child, even if your child is younger than 7.

DIY: Orthodontic Treatment

How not to fix a gap.

The December 2018 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics reports on an 8-year-old boy in Greece who had a gap between his two permanent front teeth. According to that article, his parents did not consult an orthodontist. Instead, taking matters into their own hands, they used a tiny rubber band to pull their son’s teeth together. The gap was gone after two days, but so was the rubber band. The parents assumed it broke. They were happy with the outcome and unconcerned about the rubber band.

One little rubber band caused extensive damage.

On the surface the DIY treatment seemed to be a quick, easy and inexpensive approach to close a gap. Unfortunately, the DIY treatment resulted a long-term, difficult and costly fix. One little rubber band caused extensive damage. It worked its way up the teeth and under the gums and destroyed the tissues that hold the teeth in place. The rubber band in effect pushed the two front teeth out of the gums and bone. The teeth were loose and looked longer (think Bugs Bunny). In addition, the patient experienced pain and swelling in the gum tissue around those teeth.

The youngster visited the pediatric dentistry department of the Dental School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. After his teeth were stabilized with a wire, his next stop was the school’s department of periodontology. He was diagnosed with acute, severe gum disease. X-rays showed more than 75% of the bone that held the boy’s teeth in place was lost. But why? The rest of the teeth and gums were healthy. After three weeks of no improvement, gum surgery finally revealed the culprit: the missing rubber band. The boy’s next stop for treatment was the school’s department of orthodontics.

Sadly, even with professional help, the boy’s two front teeth could not be saved.

But this story has a happy ending. Thanks to the high quality of care provided by the team of dental specialists, including orthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists, and dentists specialized in operative dentistry, the youngster sports a healthy and beautiful smile today.

How they did it.

Tooth movement came first. Orthodontists moved the lateral incisors (the teeth next to the front teeth) forward to take the places of the front teeth. The remaining upper teeth moved forward, too. Once in position, the new front teeth were built up so that they looked like front teeth. As well, the pointy canine teeth were re-shaped to look like lateral incisors. And the first premolars were modified so that they would look like the canines.

Most people would never guess what it took to give the patient good function and a natural appearance. Truly, his smile is a testament to the science and artistry of those on his care team.

One small rubber band – multiple complications.

It took three years and nine months of treatment to repair the damage caused by an elastic band that well-meaning parents had their son use to close a gap between his front teeth.

Advice from the experts – see an orthodontist.

One of the article’s co-authors, Dr. Ross Brenner, says in a video regarding the boy’s case, “Patients and parents should know use of an elastic gap band to close a space between two teeth may result in severe periodontal destruction and eventual tooth loss. Prior to any tooth movement, patients are urged to see an orthodontist to find out their best plan.” The American Association of Orthodontists wholeheartedly agrees.

Read the article and view photos for the full story.

When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – proper alignment of teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.

Schedule your complimentary Orthodontic Consultation with Camelback Orthodontic Studio Today.

6 Facts About Two-Phase Treatment Parents Should Know

Problems that will eventually need orthodontic attention can become obvious long before a child has all of their permanent teeth. Depending on the type of problem a child has, an AAO orthodontist may recommend two-phase treatment. It means that treatment is done at two different times, often to take advantage of predictable stages of dental development and physical growth. Here are six things parents should know about two-phase orthodontic treatment.

1. Two-phase orthodontic treatment is for kids, but it’s not for all kids.

Most orthodontic problems can be treated in one phase of comprehensive treatment, however there are a few exceptions.

2. Two-phase orthodontic treatment can be used to:

Help the jaws develop to ensure adequate space for all of the permanent teeth, especially the permanent canines.

  • May reduce the need to pull permanent teeth in the future.
  • Some problems that can be treated quite well in a growing child but may require corrective surgery if treatment occurs after growth ends.
  • Normalize the relationship of the upper jaw to the lower jaw, especially in the case of an underbite.
  • Intervene in a child’s prolonged sucking or abnormal swallowing.
  • Damaging pressure can move teeth in the wrong directions and/or change the shape of the bone that supports teeth.
  • Tuck in upper front teeth that stick out to reduce the risk of those teeth being broken or knocked out.

3. Moving baby teeth is not done for the sake of their appearance.

While baby teeth can move during Phase One orthodontic treatment, their movement is part of the process to ensure sufficient space for permanent teeth.

4. Phase One of a two-phase orthodontic treatment begins when a child still has some baby teeth.

If an appliance is used in Phase One care, it could be a form of braces or another fixed appliance, or could be a removable appliance. The type of appliance used depends on the needs of the individual patient.

  • Some children may need to have baby teeth removed to clear a path for the permanent teeth to come.

5. A resting period follows Phase One orthodontic treatment.

6. Phase Two of orthodontic treatment usually begins when most or all of permanent teeth are in.

The goal of Phase Two treatment is to make sure teeth are in their proper places for good function, a healthy bite and a pleasing appearance.

Give your child the best chance at a healthy, beautiful smile. Follow the American Association of Orthodontists’ (AAO) recommendation that all children have their first check-up with an AAO orthodontist no later than age 7. If an orthodontic problem is developing, the orthodontist will be able to monitor growth and development so that your child can have the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Visit Camelback Orthodontic Studio to meet with Dr. Ana Ortiz an AAO orthodontist. No referral needed! Schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation HERE.

When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a true orthodontist. Like their medical counterparts who study their specialty areas after their general medical education, orthodontists study their specialty area, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, after completing their general dental education. Only bona fide orthodontists get to be members of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Why Orthodontics?

The goal of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful smile and a good bite—meaning straight teeth that mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw and look great. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. Many people find a beautiful smile adds to self-esteem, self-confidence and leads toward career advancement. We live in a competitive world and a great smile can give you the edge.

Orthodontic treatment is often part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime. Treatment in children or teenagers who are still growing may yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is open exclusively to orthodontists – only orthodontists are admitted for membership. The only doctors who can call themselves “orthodon-tists” have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist, an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Here at Camelback Orthodontic Studio, Dr. Ana Ortiz is a registered orthodontists with AAO, so you can rest assured you will be receiving care from a credited expert. To schedule your complimentary consultation call Camelback Orthodontic Studio at 480-284-8663 or schedule online HERE

There is No Age Limit on Orthodontic Treatment

We are all living a lot longer than we used to and quality of life is important to us. That is why you shouldn’t shortchange yourself by thinking you can’t get orthodontic treatment later in life.

Unfortunately many adults believe that they are beyond the help of braces and Invisalign, is because they have been told that as adults, their teeth are fully set in their jaws and can no longer move, and that teenagers, on the other hand, still have malleable enough jaws and teeth, that they can move their teeth and have them reset to a nice, perfect straightness.

The truth is that with the right pressure, you can straighten you teeth at any age. The mechanism is exactly the same. As you put pressure on the teeth, they will slowly, but surely, start to move. Whether you have relatively straight teeth already and just want to put a few of your teeth into a more optimal position, or all of your teeth are very crooked and you need a full treatment, Invisalign or braces are still an option for you.

The one thing you will need to consider though is the overall health of your mouth. If you have missing teeth or gum disease, or teeth are really weak then you will need to take care of that before you can start orthodontic treatment.

The most common problems Invisalign and braces are used to treat include gapped teeth, an overbite which occurs when the upper teeth protrude out over the lower teeth, underbite which is when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth and an open bite where the teeth are not aligned properly for a proper bite. Other treatable issues are overcrowding of teeth and a crossbite which can happen if both the upper and lower jaws are not aligned properly.

Now Is The Time to Do Something For Yourself

In the last ten to twenty years, more and more adults are choosing to get braces. Whether it is because their parents couldn’t afford for them when they were young and now they have the money to do it for themselves or because they didn’t develop teeth spacing issues until later in life, adults are choosing to give themselves the gift of a healthy, beautiful smile.

As we get older, our need to feel good about ourselves doesn’t wane. Over the years as your oral health has deteriorated and you became self-conscious and gaps and crooked teeth, your self-confidence probably took a big hit. If you want to advance in your career and have close, intimate relationships with family, friends and significant others than you need to feel confident in your smile. If you are too embarrassed to smile, or worse yet, to even leave the house, the shame and isolation you feel can affect you mentally and emotionally. If however you were able to get that beautiful smile you have always wanted, then you will find yourself transformed and everyone around you will notice the difference.

Orthodontics improves not only the aesthetics of your smile, but also the functionality and health of your teeth. With crooked teeth, it is a lot harder to properly brush and floss your teeth and gums. Plaque and bacteria tend to buildup in those hard to reach spots. If you find yourself getting a lot of cavities and dealing with gum problems than a straighter smile can help keep your teeth and gums cleaner and healthier. This is important at any age, but as you get older with the natural wear and tear on your teeth, preserving your natural teeth becomes even more crucial. Avoid having years of extra dental work and suffering through periodontal disease by straightening your teeth now.

Poor oral health is also linked to other health issues like heart disease and stroke. That is why it is never too late to get braces.

While the pre-teen and teen years are the most ideal time to correct the alignment of your teeth because you are still growing at that time, adult braces can still be very effective. More and more people are seeing how a straighter smile can really transform their life at any age

A lot of factors go into deciding which treatment option is best for you: condition of your teeth and level of work needed, your budget, and personal preferences like shorter length of treatment, fewer dietary restrictions and how important it is to you that the braces be “invisible” to the casual observer. Your best bet is to consult with a few orthodontists and look at all the facts before making a decision. For your particular situation, the metal braces might be the most effective. That beautiful, healthy smile at the end is worth it though, right?

A Few Small Caveats…

Other things you should keep in mind if getting braces as an adult.

Because all of our bones have stopped growing by the time we are adults, there might be some structural changes that cannot be achieved with just braces. Sometimes minor oral surgery might be required as well. Your orthodontist will evaluate your particular situation and discuss the best options with you.

Your orthodontist might also recommend that you see a periodontist as well as your general dentist while wearing braces to make sure there is no bone loss occurring because of gum disease. These extra precautions are just to protect your oral health throughout your treatment.

More and more people are choosing to get braces as adults than ever before. Whether it is because their parents couldn’t afford for them when they were young and now they have the money to do it for themselves or because they didn’t develop teeth spacing issues until later in life, adults are choosing to give themselves the gift of a healthy, beautiful smile.

For more information about adult orthodontics, call Camelback Orthodontic Studio