Richmond VA Dentist | Key Tips on Safely Removing Your Child’s Baby Teeth

One of the near-infinite range of small, peculiar challenges young parents face is their child’s baby teeth. When should they come out? Do you need to remove them? And if so, is there a safe, painless way to do so? Let’s take a look at baby teeth and the long, occasionally unpredictable process children go through in losing them.
Richmond VA Dentist | Key Tips on Safely Removing Your Child's Baby Teeth
Baby Teeth
By the time a child is around three years old, he or she usually has a full set of primary teeth. These are also known as baby teeth or milk teeth. Children hold on to these primary teeth for several years before they start to lose them, at around age six. The process of losing baby teeth and gaining a full set of 32 adult pearly white can take years. In fact, some kids don’t have all their permanent teeth until the age of 13. The long timeline for losing primary teeth and gaining permanent ones can sometimes be confusing or even frustrating for parents.

Should You Remove Your Child’s Baby Teeth?
The short answer to whether or not parents should actively participate in removing their child’s primary teeth is no. Baby teeth are meant to fall out by themselves. The roots gradually disintegrate, loosening their hold on the gums. In due time, they should drop off completely. Under most circumstances, there’s no need for a parent to hasten this process. Further, primary teeth are important to the formation of the jawline and also assist permanent teeth coming in properly. Messing with primary teeth unnecessarily could have unintended consequences.

Consult a Dentist if Complications Arise
Most baby teeth should adhere to the natural process of falling out on their own. Primary teeth that don’t seem to be loosening, are causing your child recurring pain, or appear to be triggering an infection are all causes for concern. If for any reason you suspect there’s an issue with one of your children’s baby teeth, it’s best to reach out to our dental practice. We know exactly how to safely address whatever’s going on with your child’s teeth and can help get them enjoying being a kid again. Schedule an appointment with our office today.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | The Positive Impact a Straighter Smile Can Have on Your Life

While it may seem like a strange idea, a healthy smile can truly have a monumental impact on our lives. Beyond the obvious health benefits of straighter teeth, investing in your smile can make a difference in how you live day to day. Below are just a few of the ways that a properly aligned smile can have a positive impact on our emotions, our relationships, and our lives.

The Positive Impact a Straighter Smile Can Have on Your Life
Confidence
Confidence plays a key role in just about everything we do. It’s on display when we’re at our jobs, socializing with friends, dating, and pursuing our biggest goals in life. In many ways, our level of confidence controls how much we can achieve­.

Having a straight smile improves our appearance—and how we feel about the reflection we see in the mirror every day—significantly enough that it provides a permanent confidence boost.

How Others See You
Having a straighter smile doesn’t just affect how you see yourself. A great deal of research speaks to just how influential teeth are in how other people evaluate your appearance.

According to one study, individuals with straight teeth are 45 percent more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth. Another found that people with straight teeth are nearly 60 percent more likely to be seen as successful than those with crooked or misaligned sets.

Desire to Smile
There’s no denying it: if you’re self-conscious about your teeth, you’re going to be far less willing to smile in public. This apprehensiveness, in turn, affects your overall mood and limits how much you can enjoy yourself in social settings.

On the other hand, people that love to flash their straight teeth are going to smile more often. It’s a drastic conclusion, but it’s possible that having straighter teeth will positively impact your happiness simply by virtue of making you want to smile more.

Our practice knows that the power of a smile is not to be underestimated. Though it’s just a single facial feature, your smile has a staggering level of influence on your life. Make sure that influence is positive and schedule your next appointment with our office today.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Malocclusions, or irregularities in the way teeth are positioned in the mouth, are fairly common, and many cases do not require dental intervention. But for those that do, orthodontists have a strong repertoire of appliances to draw from. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common, and their benefits.

 Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Braces

Braces are easily the most well-known and recognizable orthodontic appliance. They’re usually made from stainless steel, titanium, and rubber, and they apply gentle pressure to teeth over time. This pressure gradually nudges the upper and lower sets of teeth into greater alignment. Over the course of anywhere between one to three years, patients will have straighter, better-aligned teeth that are more aesthetically pleasing and less likely to create complications later in life.

 

Retainers

Orthodontists rely on retainers to keep teeth straight and in place after braces have been removed. They’re a kind of post-treatment that helps cement the gains made by braces and ensure that teeth don’t shift back into misalignment.

 

Headgear

Headgear is generally reserved for the most serious cases of malocclusions. If someone has either an underbite or an overbite that an orthodontist feels will not be adequately addressed by braces, he or she may consider headgear.

 

Headgear can manipulate jaws in a more holistic way than braces by pulling a person’s upper or lower sets of teeth back with elastic bands and coils to achieve greater alignment. Adolescents with severe malocclusions like overjet, underbite, and crossbite may be candidates for headgear.

 

Aligners

As an alternative to traditional braces, aligners are a safe, effective, and discreet option for straightening misaligned teeth. Removable aligners are worn over the teeth and can be removed to allow you to eat, brush, and floss normally during your orthodontic treatment. Made of clear plastic, this appliance is nearly invisible and can be more comfortable than traditional braces.

 

This is by no means a conclusive list, and to determine the correct solution for your own orthodontic needs it is always important to converse with your doctor. To do so, schedule an appointment with our office today and achieve a healthier smile. 

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Conventional Braces or Clear Aligners?

Deciding to straighten your teeth is likely a good idea. Not only will it improve the appearance of your smile, but it also helps your teeth and jaw function properly. If you’ve decided that you want orthodontic treatment, the next step is to decide which kind will work best for you. Here we’ll look at some of the benefits of conventional braces and clear aligners in order to get you started on making the right decision.

 Richmond VA Orthodontist | Conventional Braces or Clear Aligners?

Conventional Braces:

Is the original still the best option? There are a lot of great things about traditional braces, but not among them is a slim profile. Braces are often clunky and draw attention to themselves. However, as technologies become better, braces have become much more discreet than in the past.

 

Braces apply a steady pressure to your teeth through a system of brackets and wires. You’ll have to schedule appointments with your doctor to get the wires tightened as the treatment starts to work your teeth into place. The good news is, braces get the job done quickly and efficiently as long as you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

 

Clear Aligners:

Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are removable. They may not be as effective on extreme cases of misalignment, but they work well on mild to moderate cases. Similar to conventional braces, you’ll have to schedule regular appointments with your doctor to ensure everything is progressing smoothly.

 

In general, clear aligners provide great results. However, your success is directly dependent upon you. The aligners are designed to be removed, but you should still be wearing them as often as possible. If you decide to not wear your aligners as often as you should, the process will be either extended, or your results will suffer. Remove the aligners only when you are eating or brushing your teeth.

 

If you want to learn more about which of these solutions is right for you, contact our office today. Our doctor will be happy to schedule an appointment with you where you’ll come up with a dental solution that fits your goals and your lifestyle together. We look forward to hearing from you.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | 3 Tips on Retainer Care

So, you’re finally done with braces. Great job! It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve achieved. To make sure that smile lasts, it’s important to wear your retainer. Taking care of your retainer is just as important as taking care of your teeth themselves. With that in mind, here are three of our best tips for retainer care.

To make sure that smile lasts, it’s important to wear your retainer. Taking care of your retainer is just as important as taking care of your teeth themselves. With that in mind, here are three of our best tips for retainer care.

 

 

1.) Just In Case
There are really only two places that your retainer should ever be: in your mouth, or in its case. Easily damaged, it’s important to store your retainer in a proper case to help it last. When in the case, you can help prevent your retainer from being damaged, thrown away, or eaten by a curious pet. Batman stores his tools in his utility belt when he’s not using them, you should store your oral health tools just as securely.

2.) Keep It Clean
If not taken care of properly, retainers can become pretty gross pretty quickly. You should always remove your retainer when you eat. Eating with your retainer in means you’re exposing your retainer to the potential for bacteria or plaque build up, or even physical damage caused by food and drinks. Make sure you remove it from your mouth and clean your retainer properly according to your orthodontist’s instructions.

3.) Avoid Harsh Heat and Chemicals
If left in a hot car, or near some other heat source, your retainer can easily become deformed, rendering it useless. Also avoid using products like bleach or alcohol based mouthwash to clean your retainer. It may seem like a great way to keep your retainer clean, but these products can actually damage the plastic.

It’s up to you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. In addition to taking excellent care of your retainer, keep up with your regular hygiene routine and professional cleanings and exams. Schedule your next appointment with our office today to make sure your smile stays bright.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

It’s natural that your braces may seem annoying, or even painful at times. While they definitely take some getting used to, you should know just how far braces have come since teeth straightening technology began in Ancient Egypt. That’s right, Egyptian mummies have been found with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Instead of wire or elastic, the Egyptians used a natural cord made out of animal intestines called catgut to tighten the metal. But that’s far from the strangest technique humans have used to straighten their teeth.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

The Ancient Greeks and Romans were also concerned with creating straighter smiles. A Roman writer called Pliny the Elder, who is responsible for the famous line “home is where the heart is,” recommended pushing on teeth with your fingers and filing them down regularly.

In the 18th century, a French man named Pierre Fauchard, often referred to as the Father of Dentistry, began experimenting. Using a giant pair of metal tweezers called forceps, he would realign teeth by hand and tie them together so they would stay in place while healing- all without any modern anesthesia. Thankfully times have changed.

Braces are advancing faster than ever as the use of plastics and 3D printers begins to develop. Technology such as plastic aligners, lingual braces and retainers help straighten teeth with ease, not to mention much less painfully.

While braces may not be your favorite accessory, we want to ensure that you have as comfortable a process as possible. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment.

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Your dentist can provide the best services in town and have all the latest technology, but none of it will mean anything if your child is filled with fear every time they hear the word dentist. It’s important to us that all our patients, no matter their age, feel comfortable and confident while visiting us. However, when it comes to you children, we can’t do it alone. Your children are very perceptive of how you are feeling and will look to you for cues on how to feel about us. Here are some of our recommendations for you to help us make your child feel safe while at the dentist.

 Richmond VA Orthodontist | Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Easy Peesy

The best advice we can offer parents is to not make a big deal out of your child’s dental appointments. If your child sees or hears any anxiety in you they will feel the same way about things. Try treating the dentist as something as normal as going to the grocery store. Often, children are much more receptive and resilient than we sometimes realize. One way to ensure that the dentist becomes normalized is to start your child off early. Schedule an appointment for your child as soon as they get their first tooth. If the child has consistently good experiences early on, the future anxiety simply won’t be there.

 

Meet and Greet

Consider scheduling a short 5 minute appointment for your dentist and your child to establish a relationship. If your child can see the dentist as a friend first, they will be more likely to trust them to work on their mouth. Help foster this trust by discussing the dentist one on one with your child as a fun yet calm environment. The worst thing you can do is to use the dentist as a punishment. For instance, threatening your children with “If you don’t brush your teeth you’ll have to go to the dentist” make them associate the dentist with fear, punishment and pain.

 

Better Seen Than Heard

When you accompany your child to the dentist, your involvement may change depending upon the level of anxiety you both are feeling.Our experienced team as found that a great option is to assure your child that you’ll be close by the entire time. Depending on the situation, you may consider not being in the room as your child’s teeth are being cleaned. If you have any fear or anxiety about the situation, your child will pick up on it and it would be better for you not to be there. Additionally, your presence can distract both the doctor and your child. For some children however, your presence may be extremely helpful. Ultimately, you know your child’s needs best.

 

It is well known by all dentists that the outcome of treatments in directly dependent upon the compliance of the patient. Help make sure your child’s trips to the dentist are as beneficial and painless as possible. Make sure to call our office if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.   

Richmond VA Orthodontist | Do you Think You are Too Old  For Orthodontics? Think Again.

Most of us associate braces with early teen years, along with highschool algebra and acne. If you’ve been wondering what “could have been,” wonder no longer. Adult orthodontic treatment is an option for most adults, and don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of company.

 Richmond VA Orthodontist | Do you Think You are Too Old  For Orthodontics? Think Again.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists over 1 million adults are wearing braces in the United States. Popularity of adult braces has grown by over 40 percent since 1989 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Our physical appearance has become increasingly important to us as social media thrives and our life span increases. Orthodontics  can also help people who are struggling with headaches because of their misaligned teeth. In short, having braces as an adult is nothing to be embarrassed  about and can help you become healthier and more confident.

 

Adults getting braces today will find that there are significantly more options than there were when they were children. Our team will work with you to ensure that you choose the option that works best for your lifestyle and smile. If the appearance of traditional braces is a concern, there are alternatives.

 

Aligners 

Common brands of aligners include,  Invisalign and ClearCorrect. . Aligners are clear trays that are worn for 20-22 hours per day, and only removed for eating and cleaning. They don’t add extra hassle to your oral hygiene routine. While certainly less visible than traditional braces, aligners aren’t completely invisible. They also require a certain level of discipline to ensure that they are in for every possible moment. If you go with this option, you’ll also be in charge of adhering to a schedule of changing your liners every two weeks. Without diligence, this option may take longer to complete than traditional braces. 

 

Lingual Braces

You may also consider lingual braces. Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces are cemented to the back side of the tooth making them virtually unseen by anyone but your dentist. While they work just as quickly as traditional braces, they are custom made and typically cost more than any other option available to you.

 

Regardless of the type of orthodontic care  you choose, we will work with you to help you achieve a beautiful smile. . For more information or to schedule an appointment call our office today.

Orthodontist 23228 | Invisalign® and You  

Orthodontist 23228Invisalign® is a prime example of the improvements in modern orthodontic technology. With their discreet clear design and custom treatment process, Invisalign® aligners are a safe, effective solution for teens and adults to improve the health and appearance of their smiles. 

The Obvious 

With their discreet form and clear material, Invisalign® allows you to straighten your smile without drawing attention to your teethNo one else needs to know you’re in treatment with Invisalign®. 

Quick Results 

The Invisalign® process averages 1 to 2 years to complete treatmentwhile two to three are common with traditional metal braces. This means less time in treatment and more time enjoying your new smile. 

Less Restrictive Diet 

Invisalign® aligners are removed for meals, allowing greater flexibility in your diet. You can continue to enjoy many of your favorite foods that may not be compatible with braces, without risking damage to your orthodontics. 

Removable 

Since you can remove Invisalign® aligners during dental hygiene, you can ensure proper care for your teeth during treatment. Floss with ease and reach every part of your teeth while brushing 

Comfort 

Invisalign®’s custom aligners are fabricated specifically for your teethThey fit comfortably in your mouth and do not have the risk of gum and cheek irritation that can occur with traditional braces. 

Straighter teeth can be achieved comfortably and discreetly with Invisalign®Contact us for a consultation to see if Invisalign® clear aligners are the right solution for your orthodontic needs. 

 

Orthodontist in Richmond | Mail-Order Aligners: The High Cost of Cheap Care 

Orthodontist in RichmondYour smile is important. The state of your oral health can affect your opportunities, your confidence, and your overall health. Correcting crooked or misaligned teeth can play a vital part in creating a more optimal level of health and a more beautiful smile. One recent trend has been enticing patients with promises of equal quality care with lower costs and no in-office visits. Unfortunately, many people are discovering too late that these promises are indeed too good to be true. 

 

What is this trend? 

The recent trend wreaking havoc for so many is remote orthodontic care, generally in the form of mail-order aligners. Private companies are advertising online to provide the same kind of clear aligners used by orthodontists’ offices and purport to be able to give the same level of care at a lower cost without office visits by working remotely. 

 

What is the problem? 

Problems with this remote care option can occur at many points in the process. In an orthodontist’s office, your aligners are fabricated based on a complete digital scan of your mouth. This ensures the aligners are a precise fit for your mouth and teeth and that each new aligner in the series is custom-created to guide your teeth into position.  

 Mail-order aligners are fabricated based on a mold you take of your teeth without the benefit of a professional to ensure the correct placement and fit. Molds are generally less accurate than digital scans, meaning the aligner may not be an accurate fit for your teeth. 

 During professional orthodontic care, such as our doctor provides, you will have a series of visits to our office, where our team will evaluate your progress and monitor for any early-warning signs of complications. If you are not following recommended guidelines, you can lengthen or undermine your treatment, so these appointments are a critical part of ensuring optimal outcomes. 

 During remote orthodontic treatment, your care is overseen by a doctor you never meet in person. While you will generally be able to email if you have questions or concerns, the burden is on you to know whether there is a problem that may need to be addressed. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that something is wrong, it may be too late to avoid complex and costly treatment to fix the issue. 

 When you make the decision to straighten your teeth, don’t be swayed by false promises and cheap alternatives. Schedule a consultation with our doctor and be confident about your investment in your smile.