oral hygiene

“When should my child visit for an orthodontic consultation?”

April 16, 2012

Great question! Braces were originally considered to be best appropriate for teens. But these days, kids as old as seven are beginning their orthodontic treatment. Because preadolescent kids are typically not self-conscious, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists suggest it could be a good idea to start early.

Experts, however, say it depends on the treatment required. Some children who get braces at an early age end up in a second phase of treatment, and end up having braces well into their teenage years despite starting young.

Most orthodontic treatment begins between ages nine and 14, and the folks at AAO estimate most orthodontic treatment lasts from one to three years, with two years being the average. It’s important, however, that children be screened no later than age seven for us to assess what the best age for treatment is.

We hope this helps! Please give us a call if you have any questions about your child’s treatment! See you soon!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, from Dr. Cserna

April 2, 2012

Visiting your dentist during your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Cserna will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy while you have braces, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Your dentist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next adjustment appointment. Take care of your teeth!

You and rubber bands, from Dr. Cserna

March 19, 2012

Rubber bands, or elastics, can be an integral aspect of orthodontic care, so if Dr. Annette Cserna has prescribed elastics as a part of your treatment, it’s important to follow the directions fully. Elastics help to align your bite or cause teeth to move in different directions and straighten more quickly. Dr. Cserna will instruct you how to hook one end to an upper bracket and the other end to a lower bracket so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one bracket to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure on the bracket, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. This tension is also sufficient to correct an overbite or an under bite in the jaw.

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. With rubber bands, you won’t be able to open your mouth fully, so they will have to be removed when you eat and reapplied after meal time. Many times, rubber bands are only needed at night, so you won’t need to worry about eating with them. Also, if you try to open your mouth too wide, your rubber bands might snap – so be careful!

Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed can lengthen your treatment time and may make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. But don’t worry; your time in elastics will be well worth it when you see your beautiful, new smile.

Ask Dr. Cserna: “What causes crooked teeth?”

March 14, 2012

There are several reasons why some people’s teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. Some people’s mouths are too small for their teeth, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift. In other cases, a person’s upper and lower jaws aren’t the same size or are malformed. Most often, crooked teeth are inherited traits just as the color of your eyes or hair. Other causes of crooked teeth are early loss of baby or adult teeth, undue pressure on the teeth and gums, misalignment of jaw after facial injury, or common oral health problems in children such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or prolonged use of a bottle or pacifier.

Having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems as well. Crooked teeth can:

• interfere with proper chewing
• make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis
• strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

There are several orthodontic procedures that can help correct crooked teeth, and at Dr. Cserna’s orthodontic offices we have many services that we can customize to meet your needs, including traditional braces and Invisalign®, among others. We want you to be proud to show off your smile!