January 30, 2019
An Overview of Orthodontic Appliances
Orthodontic treatment corrects the alignment of your jaws and teeth and enables you to speak clearly. Helps you to chew food more effectively, and have a great smile. This is done by placing different types of gadgets. Some of these dental devices may look similar, but each appliance is used for a variety of different reasons to help the process of straightening and aligning jaws and teeth.
Orthodontic appliances are used to move teeth, change position of the jaws, or hold teeth in their finished position once your braces are removed. These appliances can be permanent or removable.
Braces work to straighten your teeth. Brackets, bands, and wires are all a part of traditional braces. Braces are cemented to the teeth, so they are not able to be easily removed.
Spacers are small rubber rings slid between your back teeth before your braces are placed. These spacers are used to make space for placement of the bands.
Retainers hold or retain teeth in their finished position after your braces are removed. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer; It has an acrylic plate that sits against the roof of your mouth and a wire across the front of your teeth, and is most durable. Essix retainers are quite popular as well, due to their cosmetic look being nearly invisible. Some retainers can even be cemented to the back of your teeth for a permanent hold.
Bite plates these are an appliance used to fix a deep bite. A deep bite consists of the upper top teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth causing bite issues. Holding arches prevent the back teeth from moving forward to crowd the front teeth. A lower lingual holding arch prevents your permanent molars from moving forward. The Nance holding arch maintains the space when you lose a baby tooth and the adult tooth did not erupt yet.
A palatal expander expands your upper jaw by separating the bones of your palate. This appliance helps your top and bottom teeth fit together better. The Quad Helix widens your jaws to make more room for crowded teeth.
Contact our office for any questions or concerns you have. We are here to help.
December 27, 2018
Wearing Braces and Planing a Vacation?
If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we want you to be prepared. We put together a list of items that will help you care for your braces while you are away!
∙ Floss or Waterpik
∙ Travel toothbrush
∙ Travel size toothpaste
∙ A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
∙ Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from poking wires
∙ A small mirror for any issues inside the mouth
Putting these items in a “kit” may be helpful.
If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems, we suggest calling the office, or going to our website which has helpful tips and tricks for problems that may occur with your braces (www.philadelphiabraces.com). You can also search for an orthodontic practice in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient to help with discomfort.
We also suggest avoiding certain foods to prevent breakage and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:
∙ Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
∙ Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into pieces and chew with back teeth)
∙ Bagels and hard rolls
∙ Corn on the cob (cut off the cob)
∙ Hard candies, cookies or pretzels, popcorn
∙ All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews
Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose or break your tray, don't worry! Just simply place in your previous tray and contact us as soon as you get home!
Follow these tips and you can have a stress-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!
November 29, 2018
What causes crooked teeth?
We know that everyone wants a perfect smile, and it’s not a secret that braces can help deliver that
beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of. But what exactly causes crooked teeth?
There are a few explanations of why some children and adults have crooked teeth:
Tongue thrusting or using the tongue the wrong way to speak or swallow
Children on a baby bottle or pacifier after the age of three
Enlarged adenoids or tonsils which causes poor breathing airways.
Also, you can inherit crooked teeth from your parents. That can determine how straight or crooked your
teeth are. Some things you can inherit are extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, gaps, and even the size
of your jaws.
Having crooked teeth may not only be a cosmetic issue but also a health issue as well. When teeth are
crooked, it can become harder to brush and clean them properly. This can cause decay, gingivitis, or
cavities. Also, crooked teeth can interfere with proper chewing, as well as put strain on teeth, jaws, and
The good news is that there are multiple ways to treat crooked teeth, and there are many benefits of a
healthy, straight smile. If you have any questions, give us a call
November 07, 2018
Is it time to get a new toothbrush?
Does your toothbrush seem like it has seen better days? It does not matter what type of toothbrush you have, when bristles become worn, bent, and frayed. It is time to get a new toothbrush. When your toothbrush looks like that. It is no longer effective and does to work properly to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every three months, and so do we! Also, if you become sick with a virus, cold, or illness, you should replace your toothbrush to avoid re-infection.
Choosing the right toothbrush
So how do you know which toothbrush is right for you? Whether it be manual or electric. Choose a toothbrush that is appropriate for your specific needs.
Size: The size of the head of your toothbrush should allow you to easily access all your teeth, especially the molars far in the back. If a toothbrush is to large for you it will be difficult to maneuver in your mouth and make it difficult to reach certain areas. A toothbrush that is too small won’t be as effective in covering all the surfaces of your teeth.
Bristle type: A soft-bristled should always be your go to. It is the best bristle for a safe, comfortable, and effective cleaning. Medium and Hard bristles can damage the enamel on your teeth and also your gums, especially if you brush hard.
Expert recommendation: Make sure your toothbrush has undergone the safety and effectiveness test. You can consult our team for recommendations on what toothbrush best meets your needs.
Technique: The first step in great oral health is finding the right toothbrush. The second is making sure you are using the correct brushing technique. Placing the toothbrush where the gum and tooth meet, brushing in small gentle circular motions for two minutes is very important in achieving the best results.
Do you have questions about choosing the right toothbrush for your unique smile? Contact our office or ask at your next appointment!
October 10, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign®
Are you thinking about starting treatment using Invisalign, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day life? Will it interfere with your speech? Will people notice you are wearing your trays? You’re not alone in your concerns! Here is a list of most frequent asked questions.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move teeth into their proper positions. The aligners are created with 3D imaging computer and are custom made to fit only you. You will wear each set of aligners for two weeks and then will be given your next set to wear. For the aligners to work properly, you must wear them 24 hours a day except when you eat, brush, floss.
Is Invisalign uncomfortable?
When wearing a new aligner you may feel discomfort for a few days. You may feel some pressure, which is normal. It is because the aligners are working hard to move your teeth in the correct position. Once your mouth is used to the aligners you will not even notice you are wearing them! Invisalign does not consist of any metal or wires. Therefore, you will not have any gum irritation.
Can other people tell that I’m using Invisalign?
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. That makes it possible for you to go through treatment working on your new smile without friends, family, or co-workers knowing!
What foods should I avoid during Invisalign treatment?
With the aligners you can eat whatever you want. This is another advantage for Invisalign. Take your aligners out before eating, brush and insert your aligners back in.
What about chewing gum?
It is recommended that before eating anything you remove your aligners. Gum and other sticky candies can get stuck to your aligners.
Can I smoke during treatment?
We definitely don’t condone smoking. It is a dangerous habit, but especially with the Invisalign trays. When you smoke with the aligners it tends to turn the trays yellow.
Will my speech be affected by the aligners?
With anything foreign to the mouth your speech may be affected slightly, but like any other orthodontic treatment after a few days your speech will return to normal.
How often must I visit the office during treatment?
For most patients visits range from every 4-6 weeks. We need to check that treatment is following as planned. You will be provided appointments to work around your schedule as best as possible.
If you have additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact our office (215) 335-2500
September 26, 2018
What is expected of me during my orthodontic treatment
We are asked this question a lot, and are ecstatic that patients are eager to manage their treatment in the best way possible so they can finish their orthodontic treatment on time and with healthy teeth and gums.
At your initial consultation, we will review a specific treatment for you and will try our hardest to give you an estimated timeline of when we expect you to be done treatment.
We know every patient is different. People have different issues to treat and some people’s teeth may move quicker than others.
Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your treatment ends in a timely manner. By following these instructions, you can avoid any delays during your treatment.
- Please show up on time. We schedule patients accordingly, so we can get done everything in a timely matter and do what we have planned for your treatment to move forward.
- When prescribed rubber bands, it is important you wear them the way you are asked. This helps us help you.
- Avoid breakage. Wear a mouth guard during sports and be careful what you’re eating.
- Brush and floss regularly. Gum disease or other dental work can delay treatment.
If you follow these simple instructions, you’ll be on your way to having the amazing, healthy smile you’ve always wanted. As for us, we will do our best to have your orthodontic treatment move along efficiently. If you have any questions about your treatment. Please give us a call or ask us during your next visit.
September 4, 2018
ARE BRACES RIGHT FOR ME?
Many people have teeth that are crooked, not aligned properly, or irregular. Luckily, modern orthodontics has advanced to the point where braces and retainers are less obvious, more comfortable, and can be worn for shorter periods of time.
How do you know if braces are right for you? Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not braces could be something you may want to consider:
As children grow, so do their teeth. More often than not, certain teeth will grow in crooked. This isn't uncommon, as the majority of children will require braces or clear aligners to straighten their teeth. Braces or clear aligners are usually worn for at least a year or more and work to help straighten teeth. Retainers are used to keep teeth straight after treatment with braces or clear aligners. Retainers are custom-made devices that work to hold teeth in place They're often worn all day, aside from meals and certain drinks, and then eventually are cut back so they're just worn at night.
Overbite or Underbite
The other main oral issue that orthodontics helps correct is uneven alignment, such as an underbite or an overbite. You might hear Dr. Slutsky refer to this as a "malocclusion," which means "bad bite." Braces can help rearrange your teeth so an overbite or underbite is less of a problem. Typically, after the braces come off for this sort of treatment, patients need to wear a retainer to keep their teeth in position.
While braces are typically associated with dental issues in children, more adults are wearing the devices as well. Part of this trend is due to significant technological advancements in orthodontics. For instance, new braces feel much better and come in a variety of styles — including clear — so they're far less obvious. Plus, the wires on braces are now made from advanced metals, which are stronger and lighter, so they get the job done much more efficiently. With so many people wearing braces these days nicknames like "metal mouth" and "brace face" are almost a thing of the past. The entire treatment can be successfully achieved by wearing clear aligners over your teeth, removing them only for meals and/or certain beverages, as well as for brushing your teeth. Aligners prevent any discomfort that may be associated with traditional braces. More insurance plans are covering orthodontic treatment making braces a much more attainable option for families on a budget.
When weighing whether or not braces or aligners are in your future, it's important to study all of your options about the categories of braces and aligners. Also, be sure to contact your insurance provider to see what is covered and what will have to be paid out of pocket. It might take a few years of treatment, but braces can give you that winning smile for the rest of your life. Call our office with any questions you might have or to schedule a free consultation.
August 20, 2018
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH BRACES
Now that you have braces on your teeth, it’s even more important than ever to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine! We will discuss a few things you should be doing now that your treatment is underway.
When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive for a few days, which is why we strongly suggest you to stick to soft foods during that initial period of treatment.
Here is a list of soft foods that don’t require much chewing, important especially when your teeth are sore:
- ice cream
- scrambled eggs
- cream of wheat
- baked or mashed potatoes
- soft-cooked pasta
- macaroni and cheese
- soft cheeses
You can eat all of the above-mentioned foods safely without having to worry about pain, bending wires, or breaking brackets. The less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will experience overall.
Home Care Routine
Remember that once you have your braces on, they can not only trap food particles, but also make it hard for you to brush or remove plaque. Therefore, we recommend that you brush and floss after every meal. We also encourage you to use a proxabrush to help with the areas that your toothbrush can’t quite reach. In addition, we also suggest the use of a prescription toothpaste nightly to aid in keeping your teeth stronger.
As your treatment progresses, we encourage you to be diligent about following the directions of what you’re allowed to eat and how to take care of your braces. If you happen to notice a bent wire or broken bracket, please call our office immediately to discuss with our staff whether you need to schedule an emergency appointment to be seen or if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment.
Dental Check-Up Appointments
Lastly, in addition to visiting us during your orthodontic treatment for regular adjustments, you should visit your dentist for checkups and teeth cleaning appointments at least every six months. This will enable your dentist to monitor the health of your teeth and gums and ensure you have a healthy smile once you complete orthodontic care.
If you have any further questions about your braces, please give us a call or ask one of us during your next visit!
July 30, 2018
THINKING OF GETTING BRACES AS AN ADULT
Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more frequently seen these days. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has climbed drastically over the years! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile at any age! A well-balanced mouth and a healthy bite prevent uneven wear to the teeth and also reduces the risk of gum disease. In addition, many adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment because appearance matters so much in our society.
Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
- Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
- Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
- A bad bite that causes the teeth to fit together incorrectly
- The patient is seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Technology has evolved to the point where adult orthodontic care may be accomplished by using different treatment methods, from braces to clear aligners. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit us for a consultation. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!
July 16, 2018
A FEW TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN GOING ON VACATION
If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we would recommend that you create a dental travel kit so that you are prepared at all times and ready to go. Our office has put together a list of items that would be handy to have with you. They include:
- Travel toothbrush
- Interdental cleaners
- Floss threaders
- Dental floss
- Mini bottle of mouth rinse
- Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
- A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth
We know that vacations are about having fun and we want you to enjoy every minute of your vacation. That is why we strongly advise against eating the following foods in order to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:
- Chewy, sticky, or gummy foods
- Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut your fruit into small pieces before eating)
- Bagels and hard rolls
- Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob instead)
- Hard candies, cookies or pretzels
- All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews
If you run into a situation while you are on vacation, try to contact our office as soon as possible to see if we can help remedy the situation or at least make you comfortable before you can be seen in the office. Please follow these suggestions and you can have a worry-free vacation!
June 19, 2018
HOW TO PREVENT TOOTH DECAY WHILE WEARING BRACES
Now that you have braces, they can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. It is extremely important that you put some extra attention into preventing tooth decay while wearing your braces. When your braces are removed, you want a bright and beautiful smile, not decayed or stained teeth. Here are a few tips to help you keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:
Learn Proper Brushing Techniques
Using a soft toothbrush, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. An everyday toothpaste is okay during the day, but be sure to brush with the prescribed fluoride toothpaste at night for best results. Using an oral rinse every day will help, too. Rinsing with mouthwash is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces, as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.
Brush after Every Meal
Since braces block food from simply leaving your teeth after eating, it’s critical that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but when you get your braces off, you will be very happy you brushed after every meal.
Eat Braces-Safe Foods
When you have braces, there are certain foods that you must avoid. For starters, sticky foods such as chewing gum, Starbursts, Skittles, caramel, or any other sticky candies can get stuck in your braces and are troublesome to remove during brushing. Avoid hard foods, too, such as nuts, hard rolls, bagels, hard candies and ice. Those goodies can bend wires or even break a bracket. And while you may love apples, pears, carrots, or corn on the cob, they are hard to bite into and can damage your braces. Crunchy treats can also harm your orthodontic appliances. It’s best to stay away from chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, and pretzels as well. So just what can you eat? We recommend soft foods that are low in enamel-busting acids, such as bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta.
Get Regular Checkups
It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed.
As long as you practice great oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth healthy while you wear braces.
May 31, 2018
HOW DO BRACES MOVE YOUR TEETH?
Tooth movement is your body’s everyday response to light pressure applied by braces throughout your course of treatment. Traditional orthodontic treatment consists of attaching braces and brackets onto the teeth. These brackets have small slots and those slots is where we insert orthodontic wires when you first get your braces on, as well as your following adjustment visits. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As treatment progresses, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Therefore, each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit.
Not long ago, orthodontists only had the option of a stainless steel wire. However, today, we have a number of high-tech different wires available in order to move your teeth faster and keep our patients more comfortable.
When you first get your braces, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but it is still strong enough to apply a continuous force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, you will notice we will increase the use of thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an optimal bite.
Each visit to our office for an adjustment, we will swap out the wires in order to keep putting the right amount of pressure on your teeth. It is very important for you to keep your appointments during your treatment. Most appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move at a steady pace. It also allows our office to check your progress and make certain we keep your treatment plan on track.
At some point in treatment, most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands during their treatment. These elastics are usually placed from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, pulling on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an ideal bite and a beautiful smile.
If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to give us a call or ask us during your next appointment!