Back to School with iSmile Orthodontics!

While many kids are sad to see the summer end, we know many of the parents at our office are excited for the new school year to start! At iSmile Orthodontics, your local White Plains and Yonkers orthodontic practice, we understand the importance of a child’s smile. This is why the doctors and staff at our practice have decided to dedicate a blog post just for back to school oral hygiene tips and tricks!

Getting Your Kids to Brush and Floss Regularly

Parents understand the enduring struggle that can occur each time you try to get your Imagechild to brush and floss his or her teeth. At iSmile Orthodontics, we have found that one of the best ways to promote good oral hygiene is to have your child come with you to the grocery store and pick out his or her very own toothbrush! When a child is proud of his or her own toothbrush that they handpicked themselves, they are more likely to brush when they are asked to.

Try to get your child to brush before he or she goes to school, when they return home from school in the late afternoon, as well as once more before bedtime. It can be difficult to have your child brush after every meal, but by brushing their teeth 2-3 times daily, you are helping them eliminate plaque and food particles that can be built up between meals.

Flossing can be a whole challenge on its own… especially for kids. Having your child floss at least once a day is a great way to promote gum health and remove any plaque and germs that are resting in the tight spaces between their teeth and underneath their braces. Also, try having your child rinse with water or anti-bacterial mouthwash as soon as they are done. By doing so, you are helping your child prevent gum disease and common problems later on as adults.

Make a Fun, Healthy Snack!

At iSmile Orthodontics, we want your child to enjoy healthy snacks that are both fun and orthodontist approved after school! This is why we decided to provide a recipe for a cute after school snack that the kids can help with making!

Try making these fun and easy grape caterpillars after school one day with your child. All you need to assemble them are green or purple grapes, mini chocolate chips, cream cheese or white icing, and long wooden skewers for kabobs.

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The ingredients

To assemble, take anywhere from 6-12 grapes (if you want to make baby caterpillars use 6 or 7) and skewer them horizontally on your kabob. Once all of the grapes are skewered (with the help of an adult) add two dots of vanilla icing or cream cheese and two mini chocolate chips for the center of the eyes. After this, your caterpillar family should be complete! Have fun with this recipe and add your own twist with funny faces or even mustaches on the caterpillars! Your kids are sure to love this snack as well as spending time with you making them!

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The final product!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our blog. For more helpful tips and tricks to maintaining great oral hygiene during the school year please contact us at our Yonkers and White Plains orthodontist offices and we would be happy to assist you!

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Orthodontic Myths

“My family dentist said they would do my braces”
Orthodontists have an extra 2-3 years of specialized education and training in tooth and jaw function. Would you get brain surgery from a physician who operates on a brain once or twice a year? I would hope not.

“I am too old for braces.”
There is no age limit for to receive orthodontic treatment! The reality is that age doesn’t matter; health does. Tooth movement can be achieved quite successfully, no matter how old the patient may be, so long as teeth, gums, and bone are in good shape.

“Orthodontics hurts.”
Orthodontics does not require needles or drilling into teeth, so there is no need for that fear. There is, however, an initial period of adjustment to the appliance in your mouth. Also, each visit requires a specific approach to movement, so there may some pressure felt after each monthly visit. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory will help with any discomfort.

“I can’t play sports with braces.”
Of course you can! For your own safety, be sure to wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports.  Not only will a mouth guard save your teeth, but may also protect against jaw fractures. You may buy one at a local pharmacy, or ask the staff at iSmile Orthodontics for one during your next visit.

“Braces will set off a metal detector.”
Braces are made from lightweight materials, so it will not affect metal detectors.

“Braces will rust in your mouth.”
Orthodontic materials are made from surgical stainless steel, nickel, copper, cobalt and Chromium,so they cannot rust. Please notify your Orthodontist if you have an allergy to any of these metals.

“Braces cost too much money.”
Orthodontic treatment is the most conservative cosmetic procedure to align teeth for a healthy and beautiful smile for patients of all ages! It can be accomplished with minimal discomfort, in a reasonable time period with lasting results. At iSmile Orthodontics, we are in network with most Insurance companies, and work with our patients to offer interest-free financing. Our staff is knowledgeable of the dental insurance companies offering benefits for orthodontic coverage, so do not hesitate to call and ask.

“Braces increase my chance of being struck by lightning.”
Whether you have braces or not your chances of getting struck by lightning remain the same, which is 1 in 700,000 according to National Geographic.

Do not ever hesitate to contact the knowledgeable staff at iSmile Orthodontics with any question or concern you may have regarding Orthodontic treatment. Keep in mind that a consultation is always free or charge! We participate with most Dental Insurance Companies, as well as offer interest-free financing- if there is a will, there is a way.

SPEED Braces…Better? Faster? Stronger?

Many have heard of a system used in Orthodontics called “self-ligating braces” and have been told it is the latest technology, promised a much more rapid treatment time, and better oral hygiene. While it may mean less visits to the Orthodontist, finishing treatment with this system may take longer than expected. This is due to the lack of control with this type of bracket, especially when it comes to rotations. This system of self-ligating brackets is also known as SPEED System, The Damon System, and In-Ovation, works by applying light and constant pressure to the teeth allowing the wire to slide into a “door” on the bracket, holding it in place. Seems innovative, but despite popular belief, self-ligating brackets were first created in the 1930’s, re-surfaced in the 1970’s, and have recently become more popular with, what appears to be, a promise of convenience. What many people do not take into consideration once they hear about “the latest technology”, is that innovation comes with a high price tag. Also, keep in mind that many insurance companies do not cover the cost of braces with self-ligating brackets. These brackets are also more fragile than normal to the fidgety patient as well- “doors” on the bracket may break or pop open open if you are touching your brackets; whereas, with traditional braces, a broken bracket is only evident in patients who do not comply with food restrictions, or those with bad oral habits. At iSmile Orthodontics, we believe in using the best products and technology for our patients, and that means standing by what has and will always work more effectively for our patients. We are able to promise the best result possible from a tailored treatment plan made to suit each and every one of our unique patients. Call today for a free consultation to see what our White Plains or Yonkers Orthodontists may do for you! 🙂

Living with Braces

At iSmile Orthodontics of White Plains and Yonkers, we heavily stress compliance with scheduled appointments, oral hygiene, and being aware of foods you should not eat to avoid breakage. Braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that, while sturdy, are very vulnerable to breakage when the patient is not compliant with food restrictions. At times, though, there is so much focus on foods you can’t eat (i.e. sticky, chewy, crunchy, hard foods) and not enough focus on food that can be eaten comfortably with braces. Just to give you an idea of the foods you CAN eat, you are more than welcome to enjoy soft chicken, meatballs, sandwiches with soft bread, jell-o, pudding, pasta, seafood without bones, ice cream without nuts, soft fruits, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, soft rice, beans, and pancakes. If you do happen to break a bracket, make sure to call your White Plains Orthodontist or Yonkers Orthodontist to schedule a repair as soon as possible. Keep in mind too that each break may extend your treatment time for about one month or two. As far as discomfort from wearing braces goes, it will not last forever! You may take over-the-counter pain relievers, rinse with warm salt water, or consume cold foods and drinks. Always remember that the doctors and staff at iSmile Orthodontics is always here to answer any questions you may have about your braces. Never hesitate to call your White Plains Orthodontist or Yonkers Orthodontist if something is bothering you, or if you are unsure of anything! We are here for you and your smile, every step of the way. 🙂

Fight for the Bite!

It’s your first visit to our office and you just can’t wait to know when you’re ready to get braces put on. When sitting with our Orthodontist for your consultation, you may hear the word “malocclusion” and think “English please?” but this word literally means “bad bite.” With a bad bite, there is a problem in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Pressure from a bad bite can cause a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which may cause clicking and popping in the jaw, a tired feeling in the face, head and neck aches, dizziness, and even nausea. Many times this skeletal disharmony is inherited, especially when it comes to abnormal jaw growth that can cause an under bite, cross bite, or deep bite. There are also many bad habits that can cause malocclusion. For instance, thumb or finger-sucking, pacifier use beyond age 3, and prolonged use of a bottle are a few things that cause an open bite in a patient. Some other causes of malocclusion include too much or too little room in the jaw, extra/growing/impacted/abnormally shaped teeth. To correct these issues, a patient may require dental extractions and growth modification which will require a patient to use fixed or functional appliances during the day and night to move the jaw into a better position. Not only will orthodontic treatment leave you looking your best, straight teeth can improve how you bite, chew, and speak. Don’t continue suffering from the pain of your malocclusion! The Orthodontists in our White Plains and Yonkers office can devise the perfect treatment plan to fix that bad bite of yours!

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Oral Hygiene

So the wait is finally over and you now have braces. You hear the staff explain how to brush, floss and rinse, but you just brush it off because you’ve heard it all before. Who really brushes their teeth 3 times a day anyway, right? WRONG! Proper oral hygiene is as important as showering and changing your underpants. You wouldn’t go too long without doing either of those, would you? So why skip out on cleaning your mouth? All day long bacteria feed on the gas and acid produced by sugary drinks and food, especially while you’re sleeping. This is where plaque, puffy gums, and bad breath come from. The best way to make sure your orthodontic treatment runs smoothly is to make sure your oral hygiene regimen is being implemented daily.

Use a tooth brush with soft bristles at a 45 degree angle down towards the brackets to make sure the surface under the wire is being cleaned. Use a circular motion brushing at a 45 degree angle towards your gums to clean and stimulate them. 

Use a floss threader to pull the floss below to wire so that you are able to floss properly. You may want to carry around an interproximal brush, or a proxy brush, with you. This looks like a small pipe cleaner on a stick and is used to brush below the wires and in between the brackets. Great for on-the-go cleaning that can be done anywhere!

 

It is also very important to rinse with a fluoride mouth wash to strengthen teeth. This will make them more resistant to plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. You may use household items for rinsing as well. Salt water is a great remedy to soothe inflamed and aggravated gums. Another home remedy for inflammation is baking soda. Make a paste using water and rub this along the gum line.

There is no need for puffy gums and white stains to hold you back! Start practicing these habits daily to see the change for yourself! Always feel free to ask your White Plains or Yonkers Orthodontist for guidance on your next visit.