May 05, 2022
What You Should Do If Retainers Are Painful
Retainers are used to retain the teeth (hold them in place) after braces or clear aligner treatment is completed. Retainers should not be painful, and they should fit over all of your teeth comfortably. Sometimes retainers can feel tight, and that may not be a problem. If your retainers feel tight, it may be because your teeth have shifted slightly. If this happens, you should come to the office for Dr. Slutsky to check the fit of the retainers. He may adjust them or recommend new ones, depending on what he sees.
If you are having problems with your retainers, such as pain, poor fit (too tight or too loose) or broken, you want to contact Dr. Slutsky as soon as possible for the doctor to examine you. Then the doctor will discuss what options are available to you.
Why Some Orthodontic Patients Need Teeth Extracted.
Imagine if you had a parking lot with 28 spots, but you had 32 cars which were in the parking lot. The cars would not fit neatly into their spots, and there would be crowding in the parking lot. In the same way, some patients may inherit large teeth from one parent and small jaws from the other parent, so the teeth do not fit properly in the mouth. In these crowded situations, it sometimes is necessary to remove teeth so that the remaining teeth can fit in the mouth in a straight position. If mild crowding exists, sometimes teeth can be “shaved down” slightly to create the needed space. However, if crowding is severe, extractions may be the only way to properly resolve the malocclusion and create the space necessary to straighten the remaining teeth.
Dr. Slutsky will refer a patient for extractions only if it is truly necessary. He will refer you either to a general dentist or an oral surgeon. Simple extractions are for teeth which are fully visible in the patient’s mouth. Surgical extractions are for teeth which are below the gum line or deep in the jaw bone (impacted). Extractions are done to create the space needed to properly align crooked teeth. They are also done if a patient is in pain, or if the teeth are impacted and not savable by the orthodontist.
March 01, 2022
FROM START TO FINISH, THE 6 STEPS OF BRACES
- At the initial consultation, an assistant will explain the office procedures, our warranty on retainers (10-year warranty, 1 free replacement per year for 10 years), the point system for prizes, and sealants which help prevent the teeth from getting white marks. Next, Dr. Slutsky will enter the room, review the medical history, examine the patient, and explain what his initial findings are. There is no fee for the initial consultation.
- Records- Records consist of a complete clinical examination, eight photos, two different x-rays and in some cases a 3D scan. We do this work up so that Dr. Slutsky can work up a treatment plan that is fit just for you to achieve the smile you are looking for. There is a fee to do records.
- Second Consultation- At this appointment, we will meet with you to go over your treatment plan and financials. This gives our patients an entire appointment to ask any questions or concerns they may have before signing a contract.
- Spacers- Patients who are going to receive braces need spacers. Spacers are tiny blue elastic rubber bands that we slip in between the molars. We leave the spacers in for 2 weeks to make just enough room for us to be able to put bands around the back teeth when it is time for you to get your braces on.
- Banding- This appointment is the day we will place your braces (brackets and bands). Brackets are bonded to teeth, while bands are rings which we fit around back teeth. We will also place your wires, and you will be able to choose the color ties you would like on your braces. The assistant will go over instructions on how to care for your braces and answer any questions which you have.
- Deband - On this day, we will remove your braces, bands, or any appliances. You will be given a removable retainer (Essix or Hawley), unless you have opted to have a permanent retainer placed.
February 01, 2022
Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones.
we encourage our patients to avoid candy whenever possible because it is often sticky, chewy, and full of sugars that can cause decay.
occasionally treating yourself to soft candy that is safe for your braces can be perfectly fine for special occasions! This Valentine’s Day try to pick out candies that are okay to eat with braces; for example, milk chocolate (with no Carmel or nuts), marshmallows, peanut butter cups, 3musketteers. You can also give or receive gifts other than candy; Flowers, stuffed animal, a card, or gift card.
If you have Invisalign and want to enjoy a holiday treat you have more flexibility, but ensure that after you eat candy that you brush thoroughly before putting trays back in. Any sugars left in your mouth can cause damage to your teeth, gums when sealed under your trays.
If you are interested in starting your journey to a new smile, you can contact us for a free consultation to schedule an appointment at our Bensalem or Philadelphia locations.
Adult Orthodontics- For a New You in 2022!
Are you making a new year’s resolution to look or feel healthier? Maybe you are insecure about your smile but think you are too old to fix it. According to recent studies from the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists), patients 18 and older are outweighing teens/kids in treatment.
There are a few different options to choose from when starting your journey to a brand-new smile. Here at Dr. Slutsky’s office, we offer standard metal braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners. At your first consultation, for which there is no charge, you will be able to discuss with the doctor any questions or concerns you may have about treatment.
A common misconception is that some patients think they are too old to straighten their teeth. Orthodontic treatment is for any age. Dr. Slutsky has actually treated several patients in their seventies and eighties! Each case is diagnosed differently. Orthodontic treatment is based on the actual oral health of the patient, not age.
For patients to get their most optimal results, Dr. Slutsky and your general dentist will work together. You may also be referred to another specialist, such as an oral surgeon or periodontist. Dr. Slutsky’s goal is to give you the smile you dream of while keeping your teeth and gums healthy. So if you are thinking of straightening your teeth, set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Slutsky.
Placing Braces On The Teeth
For most patients, starting treatment and getting braces placed is foreign to them. Not knowing what to expect may be a little intimidating.
When we start treatment for braces, the first step is spacers. We place spacers (tiny rubber bands) in between the molars for approximately 2 weeks. We then set up an appointment which takes about 2 hours to place your braces. Because of the length of this appointment, it must be done during daytime hours.
When you come in to have your braces placed, we will remove the spacers, fit and cement bands on the back molars, and prepare the front teeth to bond brackets. Once the brackets have been placed, the next step is wires. You will start out with flexible wires and, as treatment progresses, the strength of the wires increase. You will have the option to choose your color of rubber bands you would like for your braces (this is everyone’s favorite part). These rubber bands work to hold the wire to the brackets.
The orthodontic assistant will go over instructions of how to maintain and care for your braces the correct way, answering any questions the patient or parents may have. We will review brushing, what you can and cannot eat, and what discomfort to expect. We will also go over all the fun things we offer in the office, including prizes, gift cards, and our point system.
November 02, 2021
When can I stop wearing my retainers?
We are asked this question a lot. After wearing braces for years, many patients would like to not wear retainers.
Retainers keep your teeth from moving. After braces are removed, teeth want to move back to their original position, and retainers are the only things that are going to retain your teeth and stop them from shifting or moving around. Many patients who wore braces as a child come back to the office for a consult as an adult and tell us that they wish they would have worn their retainers. As we age, the teeth tend to crowd and shift. Retainers will help stop this shifting from happening. Shifting can happen in a matter of days, and it is almost impossible for us to realign the teeth without placing braces or aligners again.
There is no way for us to tell you how quickly your teeth will shift or move if you don’t wear retainers. People who had crowding, buck teeth, spacing, or an over bite before beginning orthodontic treatment are often more likely to have shifting if retainers are not worn. For these patients, we will usually recommend that the patient gets permanent retainers. These retainers are not removable and are bonded to the back of the teeth. Permanent retainers are used to try to ensure that these troubling areas do not shift. They may occasionally break and need to be repaired.
Whether your retainers are removable or bonded, we ask patients to wear them for lifetime. After 6 months of wearing removable retainers full time, we do switch our patients to only wearing while sleeping for removable retainers. Call us if you have any questions!
October 07, 2021
How Much Do Braces Cost?
The price for orthodontic treatment is not “one size fits all”. Orthodontic treatment usually varies from $4,000-$8,000. This is why at our office we offer a FREE first-time consultation. At this visit, you will meet with an assistant and Dr. Slutsky. We will address your questions and concerns, and at that time Dr. Slutsky will examine you and give you an estimate on how much treatment will cost. Factors which effect fees include length of treatment, severity of the malocclusion (crooked teeth), and whether there is a need for additional appliances, such as a palatal expander or bite plate.
How Can I Pay for Treatment?
We participate with a wide variety of insurance plans. We can check with your insurance carrier to see how much of the treatment will be covered. Most insurances do not cover 100% of treatment, and some plans have an age limit. If your dental insurance does not cover 100% of treatment, we do offer a payment plan. Our in-office payment plan consists of a down payment the day treatment begins, and a monthly payment plan throughout the rest of treatment.
September 07, 2021
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST ORTHODONTIC VISIT WITH DR. SLUTSKY
When you come to our office for your first visit, we will try to evaluate what you need and explain everything to you. First, we will ask you to fill out new patient paperwork. Next, a dental assistant will review with you how our office operates. We will explain about our prize and point system, our life time retainer guarantee on clear retainers, how the sealants work to prevent white marks on teeth, and we will tell you a little bit about Dr. Slutsky. Dr. Slutsky will then come into the room and evaluate the patient. He will discuss the medical history with you and ask what your concerns are to make sure that he addresses the issues of importance to you. If clear aligners are an option, he will explain that to you as well. When you are seen for your first visit, you should feel free to discuss what your options are and what type of treatment you are interested in. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
We often do diagnostic records at this first visit. Records consist of a clinical examination, a set of 8 digital photos, and two different types of x-rays (these x-rays are not the same as the ones your general dentist would take on a patient for cavities). There is a charge for diagnostic records. Dr. Slutsky uses these pictures and x-rays to determine the treatment plan and what needs to be done for you to achieve the best results. You will also get a copy of your pictures to keep for your own records.
After you are done with your diagnostic records, we will schedule you to return for a follow up visit. At that time, we will go over the entire treatment plan as well as financials and payment options. If you are getting braces, we can also insert spacers. Spacers are tiny rubber bands that sit between the molars for two weeks. They create small spaces so that when it’s time for you to get your braces placed, it will not be uncomfortable for you. After we place separators, the next step is to schedule you for your banding appointment (the day braces are placed). These appointments take longer and require a daytime visit.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the office.
August 13, 2021
A tongue crib is an appliance which is used for interceptive treatment. It is placed in a child’s mouth while he/she still has mixed dentition (adult and baby teeth). It is often placed at the age when a child is in elementary or middle school, but sometimes it may be needed on older children or even on adults. This appliance is used to correct bad oral habits such as thumb sucking, finger sucking, and tongue thrusting (pushing the tongue between the upper front teeth). These habits may cause damage to a child’s front teeth such as an open bite (top and bottom front teeth don’t touch), trouble swallowing, speech issues, and poor jaw alignment. It is best if these problems are taken care of at a young age while the child’s skeletal system is still growing.
How do you know if your child needs a tongue crib? If he/she sucks his thumb or other fingers, he should have a consultation with an orthodontist. Your child may have a lisp. When talking or swallowing, you may see the child press the tongue between the front teeth. There may be mouth breathing, where the child strictly breathes through the mouth and not through the nose. In addition, when your child closes the mouth with the back teeth touching, there is an open gap between the upper and lower front teeth.
We usually recommend that the child wears the tongue crib for several months. The tongue crib will help to stop the child from being able to gain suction to suck his/her thumb or fingers, and it also trains the child where to rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth instead of pushing it against their front teeth.
If you think your child may benefit from a tongue crib, give us a call today for a free consultation. Sometimes, Dr. Slutsky can just talk to the child and help him/her to break the habit without the need for any appliances. We are happy to help!
July 15, 2021
How Not to Lose Your Retainers
When we deliver retainers to our patients, there is a sticker on the retainer case. Fill this sticker out with your name and phone number. That way, if you do misplace your retainers, you can be contacted. In addition, it is a good idea to place your retainers in their case when you remove them from your mouth. If they are left on a tray or wrapped in a napkin, then they may be accidentally thrown out.
Top places retainers are lost:
- Lunchroom or restaurant. Patients tend to take their retainers out to eat and wrap them in a napkin or place them on a try. When they are done eating, they get thrown out in the trash.
- While on vacation. Retainers tend to get left behind.
- Leaving the retainers out for a pet to eat. Pets are highly attracted to the scent of retainers and will chew them up.
- Falling out of a pocket or book bag. They can be lost or stepped on by accident.
We ask patients to care for their retainers. Brush the retainers along with your teeth. Your mouth is full of bacteria, which means that your retainers are as well. You can brush your retainer with cold water and disinfecting hand soap. Do not use toothpaste on your retainers, as it can be too abrasive. We also ask that you avoid heat, since this can misshape your retainer.
We do offer lifetime replacement retainers for our Essix patients. When you are ready to get your braces off, we will take a 3D scan and print out models of the exact replica of your teeth. We will give you your models and your retainers. If for any reason you lose or break your retainers, as long as you have your 3D models and the retainers properly fit your teeth, we will make new retainers for you at no charge (up to four sets per year).
Color Ties for your Braces
Do you ever wonder what color to choose for your braces? At our office, we have a large selection of colors to choose from. You also are able to have a combinations of colors. This gives you the opportunity to match your braces to your personality and preference.
Our younger patients tend to gravitate towards the brighter vibrant colors, while adults tend to be less adventurous. Common colors used in our office are silver, navy blue, red, pink, black, glow in the dark, and turquoise. These are just some examples of the colors we have available; there are still many other colors to choose from.
Color ties are elastics that hold your wire to your brackets. Every visit that you return to the office for an adjustment you will be able to choose new colors for your braces or choose the same color you previously had. The assistant will show you all the colors available and allow you to pick any color or pattern you wish to have.
When choosing a color for your braces, it is important to consider your skin tone, the shade of your teeth, if you eat or drink things with dyes that may change the color of your ties, and your personality or preference.
Darker colors like navy blue, purple or black tend to make teeth look whiter. Clear and white sometimes will change colors depending on what you eat and drink. Some foods or drinks may stain the ties. This also may make your teeth look more yellow.
Whatever color you may choose, it is important to maintain good oral health to maintain the elastics color and the health of your teeth and gums. This means brushing and flossing after every meal.
Ten Things Which You Should Not Do While Wearing Braces
While in treatment, whether you just got your braces placed or you have had them on for many months, you probably know that there are a few things you should not do. When we place braces on your teeth, we give instructions on how to best care for your braces. It is important to follow these instructions which we give to you so that Dr. Slutsky can give you the best result possible and make your treatment more enjoyable. The following is a list of ten things which you should not do while wearing braces:
- We ask patients not to chew on ice, pen caps, or fingernails. The reason for this is because when you bite down on something hard it can easily break your brackets or bend wires. This will require an emergency visit and will set back your treatment.
- Avoid chewing gum or any other sticky foods. While in treatment we ask our patients to stay away from as much sugary or sticky food as possible. Anything that sticks to your teeth means it will stick to your bands and brackets. This will loosen your brands, also the repetitive chewing can put stress on your brackets and wires which can cause your teeth to ache.
- Flossing. Flossing is very important for your oral health. Flossing helps prevent swollen gums and other serious problems. Food and bacteria get trapped easier with braces on. Bacteria under the gums can cause irritation.
- Wearing rubber bands as instructed. If you are prescribed rubber bands in your treatment it is very important you wear them as your told. This helps speed up treatment and align your bite.
- Wearing your mouth guard. If you play sports ask the doctor or assistant for a mouth guard. We want to avoid any strikes to the face that may damage your teeth, break brackets, and can hurt your cheeks or lips.
- Using your teeth to open things. Teeth are made for chewing and eating. Using your teeth for other tasks can cause damage. This causes them to weaken, chip, and fracture.
- Missing your appointments. It is vital that you show up to your appointments as scheduled. The doctor must watch over your treatment. Missing appointments will slow down treatment. Showing up to your appointments will get treatment done on time and will give you the best results.
- Visiting your general dentist every 6 months. We ask our patients to visit their dentist every 6 months for their checkups. It is very important that your teeth and gums are healthy during your journey to getting you the smile you want.
- Removing appliances, brackets, bands, or wires on your own. Sometimes a patient will feel sore after their appointment. We ask you take Tylenol, Advil, and stick to soft foods till your teeth adapt. If something is rubbing or poking call the office and we will see you as soon as possible to make you comfortable again.
- If we gave you clear aligners, it is important that you wear them as instructed. We ask patients to wear aligners 22-23 hours a day. If you do not wear your aligners, you will not get results. Wearing your trays is what moves your teeth to align them in the correct position. If you are having difficulty wearing your aligners, please speak to Dr. Slutsky at your next visit.
March 1, 2021
Why Both Top and Bottom Teeth need to be Corrected During Orthodontic Treatment.
If you want to straighten your teeth due to spaces, crowding, or for any other reason, then the decision for orthodontic treatment is great. Many patients ask us if we can make changes to only the upper or only the lower teeth, without doing both sets of teeth. Most of the time the orthodontist is going to advise to have the work done on both arches.
Your upper and lower teeth are in a relationship and work together. This means that they have to align in the right way for you to bite properly. When moving teeth, the orthodontist is changing your bite. When we refer to bite it means the way your upper and lower jaws come together when your mouth is closed.
When aligning teeth, it is important to make sure the bite is correct. If just one arch is aligned and the other is not, this can cause dental relapse, which means your teeth will shift to the way they were before orthodontic treatment. A good bite needs to symmetrical and have both sets of teeth work together. The goal in orthodontics is for your smile to be straight and healthy for a long time.
February 5, 2021
Can thumb sucking or pacifiers cause orthodontic problems?
Thumb sucking and pacifiers can cause problems in the long run. Prolonged thumb sucking or use of a pacifier can cause protruding front teeth (buck teeth), open bite (when the upper and lower teeth do not touch), or cross bite (upper teeth that fit inside the lower teeth).
If you take your child to an orthodontist, the doctor will be able to identify any related problems caused by these oral habits. The orthodontist may recommend early treatment to break the child of the habit and try to correct any problems that may have already occurred.
Early treatment may consist of orthodontic appliances. These appliances help correct these oral habits, guide the jaw as it grows, lower the risk of protruding front teeth, and guide permanent teeth into position.
January 4, 2021
Why Do Orthodontists Use Thin and Thick Wires with Braces?
Braces consist of metal brackets and wires. The brackets (braces) are bonded to the teeth and act as “handles”. The wires connect to these brackets (“handles”) and provide the force needed to move the teeth into a straight position. As you go through treatment, you will notice that we regularly change the wires. In the beginning of treatment your wires will be thin and flimsy, but as you progress through treatment your wires will become thicker and stronger.
To get a better understanding of what wires are used for during treatment, it helps to understand the three stages of orthodontics.
The first stage of orthodontics is alignment. During this stage you will probably realize a dramatic change to the position of your teeth. This is the stage that lines up the teeth nice and neat into straight rows. This stage does not aim for perfection and you may see some spaces you did not have before. Light wires are used during this stage.
Stage two is space closure. In this stage, we will start to close gaps between teeth. During this time, you will notice that you will get a stronger (thicker) wire. This helps the teeth to stay straight and not move into a crooked position. We may reposition some brackets, or use a power chain to ensure everything is pulled tight and precise.
In the final stage we do the detailing, where we will try to perfect your smile. At this stage you will most likely have thick wires. In the end, we will try to give you a beautiful, straight smile that functions properly.
How Sports Drinks May Affect Teeth.
Sports drinks may be refreshing after working out, playing sports, or a jog. However, energy and sports drinks may cause more harm than good. These drinks often have high levels of sugar and acid which wears away tooth enamel. Damaged tooth enamel raises your risk for tooth decay and sensitivity.
Even one of these drinks a day may potentially be harmful. Water is often the best liquid to drink to rehydrate you after a workout. Yes, these drinks have vitamins and nutrients that can refuel you after sweating, but we would encourage you to minimize consumption. If you can not give up these drinks, it may be helpful to drink through a straw, rinse with water after you drink, and to brush to remove the sugar that lingers on your teeth and gums.
FOODS TO EAT WHILE WEARING BRACES
Braces are used to straighten teeth for cosmetic reasons, but they can also help prevent tooth decay and many other oral health problems. To get the best results during orthodontic treatment, it is important to properly care for your braces and teeth. This means steering away from foods that can cause decay or breakage.
The best foods to eat with braces are ones that are not high in sugar, are not sticky, and are not very hard. Here is a list of some foods you may enjoy: Eggs, yogurt, banana, oatmeal, fish, salad, toast, pancakes, mashed potatoes, pasta, most vegetables as long as they are cooked to a certain softness,
string cheese, fruit. Instead of a sugary drink, try to substitute water. After eating, we do want you to brush and floss.
We will periodically tighten your braces at your visits to adjust the alignment of the teeth. After tightening occurs, the teeth may feel sore or sensitive when chewing or biting. When this happens, it is best to stick to soft foods. Some examples may include pudding, soup, ice cream, mac and cheese, and
apple sauce. There are foods that we ask our patients to avoid while in braces. The following foods can damage the braces and cause treatment to slow down: hard candies, chewing gum, nuts, popcorn, raw hard vegetables, and ice cubes.
Oral hygiene is very important regardless of what you eat. After your braces are placed, we will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques. We want you to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the gums very clean. This consists of brushing and flossing after meals to prevent buildup and
decay. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy while in treatment is important, since this helps treatment to go as planned. Every 6 months you should visit your dentist for cleanings and oral health exams. We want you to maintain and keep your healthy smile. If you have any additional questions about orthodontic treatment, please let us know. We are here to help.
The Benefits of Clear Aligners
We know your image is important to you. The thought of having metal brackets and wires on your teeth for two years or more may be enough to change your mind about getting braces. This is why clear aligners may be a great option for improving your smile.
We have the technology in our office to give you the amazing, beautiful smile you desire. Aligners are convenient and will not interfere with your everyday life.
Clear aligners are discrete. They are effective at moving your teeth into position. You do not need to change your eating habits because your aligners can easily be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. This makes oral hygiene a breeze. Our aligners are very easy to care for.
If you have been considering going to an orthodontist for braces but are apprehensive because you do not like the look of metal braces, clear aligners may be a great option for you.
If you have any questions about our clear aligners or would like to see if you are a candidate for aligners, please give us a call to set up a free first consultation.
Sealants in Orthodontics
Did you ever see somebody who finished orthodontic treatment, had braces removed, and had white marks on the teeth? If he/she didn’t brush properly during orthodontic treatment, then white marks can appear. Sealants are a way to help prevent this from happening. We apply sealants to all teeth that we bond in our office. We place a thin coat on the surface of the teeth, then use a light to cure the sealants. They enhance bond strength and are placed prior to placement of brackets (braces). This helps prevent white marks and cavities from occurring.
Sealants protect the teeth from 80% of cavities for the first two years, and 50% for the following two years. They also can help to largely decrease or eliminate white marks from occurring on the enamel of teeth. If you are interested in whitening your teeth after orthodontic treatment, you can ask for the sealants to be removed. If you get your teeth whitened with sealants on the teeth then the whitening will not work properly.
Because kids often do not brush properly while in treatment, sealants are ideal for children with braces. Poor oral hygiene can cause cavities and white spots on the surface of teeth. Although sealants are used to protect and help prevent these two things from happening, it is still important to maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
We now have surgically Clean Air
Surgically Clean Air's purifiers use multi-stage air purifying technologies that work together to clean, purify and re-energize the indoor air. The six (6) stage filtration system captures dust particles, pollen, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), gases, mold, allergens, viruses, odors (like formaldehyde and smoke), bio-aerosols, and many other pollutants that are found in the inside air in workplaces. The negative ion generator makes indoor feel more pure, clean and energized to help combat fatigue. For an air purifier to deliver its benefits throughout the indoor space it needs to move large volumes of air through its filtration system effectively without impacting those people that are closest to it or being too loud. To find out more about our new air purifiers click the link.
We hope at this time everyone is safe and doing well. At our office we are following the CDC guidelines. When entering the office we are taking temperatures and having the patient sign a consent form. If a patients temperature is anything above 100.3 we will ask the patient to reschedule for a later time. We also are trying to keep the amount of traffic in the office to a minimum. Therefore, if you are scheduled for an appointment we ask that you come at your scheduled time and by yourself or, if the patient is underage, that one adult accompanies that child. Every person who enters the office must have a mask. Our assistants are wearing the appropriate PPE recommended by the CDC to protect the assistant and patients. If for any reason you have an appointment and do not feel well, please reschedule your appointment.
To eliminate the potential risk of spreading the Coronavirus, we ask that you do not come into the office and reschedule your appointment if:
- You have recently traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy.
- You are sick or not feeling well. If you have a respiratory illness, please call our office 2 weeks after you feel better.
We are doing everything possible to ensure a safe office.
We are cleaning the office throughout the day, including waiting room chairs, door knobs, counter tops, and any other surface which potentially could harbor a virus.
You should wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to do this is to count from “1 Mississippi” to “20 Mississippi” when you wash your hands. You also can use a hand sanitizer which contains alcohol.
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as these areas all have membranes which can be access routes for the virus into your body.
Sneeze and cough into a tissue or the inside part of your elbow.
You should not share eating utensils (such as forks and spoons), food or drink, as this could be a way of spreading disease.
For further information, visit cdc.gov.
Retainers - What You Need to Know
Why do you need retainers? Retainers are used to keep your teeth from shifting after you complete orthodontic treatment. They hold your teeth after orthodontic treatment to allow the bone around your teeth to rebuild. Your body and teeth change throughout your entire life, and so do your teeth. Retainers help keep your teeth in a straight position.
There are different 3 retainer options. (1) Hawley retainers are removable, which means you will be able to take them in and out of your mouth. These type of retainers are made from a thick plastic material. They have metal wires attached that hold the teeth in place. (2) Essix retainers are also removable. They are made from a thin clear plastic material and fit over the teeth. They are very cosmetic and have no wires. (3) The third retainer type of retainer is not removable; it is a thin wire bonded to the inside surface of the teeth. These are often the most effective way to prevent teeth from shifting.
How long will you have to wear your retainers? We ask patients to wear their retainers full time when first getting their braces removed. This means morning, noon, and night. You will wear your retainers even when sleeping. We do want you to remove your retainers when eating and brushing. After 6 months, retainers are worn just at night time while sleeping.
We want to ensure you keep a healthy smile. Keep your retainers clean, brush after eating, and if for any reason you feel your retainers are not fitting properly, call the office to schedule an appointment for the doctor to check them.
January 10, 2020
Flossing is just as important as brushing.
While in treatment, brushing alone is not enough to keep your mouth healthy and clean. Your toothbrush can not properly clean the gum tissue (gingiva) which is between your teeth. The gingiva between your teeth may be more prone to infections from bacteria than other areas of the mouth. This is why flossing regularly is so important.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day. Not only does floss help keep your gums healthy, but it also helps remove plaque from areas your tooth brush is not capable of reaching. When plaque sits on a surface it hardens into calculus or tartar and can cause infection.
Two common issues related to not flossing are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is inflamed gums, and it is usually reversible. If untreated, it can progress to periodontitis (loss of supporting bone of the teeth), which may not be reversible. Both of these issues if left untreated can lead to gum recession and losing healthy teeth.
Many people ask should they brush first and then floss? Floss first and then brush? Floss during the day or at night? In the end, it does not matter. You should just make flossing a part of your daily routine.
Flossing is necessary for anyone who has at least two teeth touching. If you experience any tenderness, or mild bleeding when flossing this may ease up within a week or two after regular flossing and brushing.
If you have any questions about how to floss or what might be best for you, feel free to ask us at your next visit.
December 04, 2019
Now that you have your braces on, you may have a few questions. While in treatment, it is extremely important to have good oral hygiene. We will discuss a few things you should do that will help your treatment to move along smoothly.
When you first get your braces, your teeth may be a little bit sore for a few days. This is why we recommend sticking to soft foods until you feel some relief.
Here is a list of some soft foods for you to try:
Ice cream, Jell-O, Yogurt, Pudding, Eggs, Cream of wheat, Oatmeal, Mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, Bananas, Pancakes, Smoothies. The less pressure on your teeth, the better your teeth will feel.
With brackets attached to your teeth, it is very easy for food to get trapped, and it may be a little tough to brush properly. This is why we ask you to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day. When oral hygiene becomes an issue, your gums tend to swell. This makes it difficult for the doctor to do the proper adjustment. It also may cause tenderness and gum recession.
We encourage you to check your braces regularly to make sure there are no broken wires or brackets. When braces are broken, treatment will not progress as anticipated. If you discover that something is loose or broken, we want you to call the office right away to schedule an emergency appointment to have it fixed.
While in orthodontic treatment, not only is it vital that you keep up with your appointments with us for your adjustments, but it is also important you visit your dentist for a cleaning every 6 months or as recommended. This will allow both Dr Slutsky and your dentist to monitor your treatment progress, as well as the health of your teeth and gums. We want you not only to have a great smile, but we also want your teeth to remain healthy.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the office.
November 08, 2019
Electric and Manual Toothbrushes
Years ago, there weren’t many choices of toothbrushes. However, today we have many different options. There are manual toothbrushes, which come in soft, medium, or hard bristles, and electric toothbrushes. Many patients ask us which works best. The answer is that either a manual or electric will get the job done! The key to get good results is to brush with the proper technique. If a patient has trouble obtaining good results with a manual toothbrush, then an electric one may make it easier to clean the mouth properly. If using a manual toothbrush, use only soft bristles, as medium and hard can be very abrasive and damage the gums.
Electric toothbrushes provide power and vibration to loosen plaque. They are also great for people with limited mobility due to arthritis or other issues. If you have a child who does not particularly like to brush, an electric toothbrush may seem like it is fun for them to use. Timers are a big help to keep track of how long a patient needs to brush each quadrant of his mouth.
Manual Toothbrushes may help a patient to have extra control while brushing. They also are good for someone who has sensitive gums or teeth. Manual toothbrushes may be easier to maneuver around the mouth since most are slimmer than electric toothbrushes. They are also easier to travel with. Many people choose to use manual toothbrushes because they are less expensive.
October 08, 2019
Braces apply light pressure to your teeth over time. This light pressure gently moves the teeth into a straight position over many months.
We attach brackets to the teeth. These brackets act as “handles” to hold the wires, which apply force to the teeth and help move them. Since each tooth has a different shape, each bracket has a different shape as well. The brackets have a small slot into which we place the orthodontic wire. These wires are held onto the brackets with small orthodontic rubber bands. The wires are used to put pressure on your teeth.
During the beginning stages of treatment, you will have flexible wires placed on the teeth. These wires are still strong enough to apply constant pressure, and it sets in motion the movement of your teeth to the desired position. Over the course of treatment, the wires will become stronger with the adjustments you get in the office.
When you come to your appointments for your adjustments, we will change your rubber bands and wires. This will allow us to keep the right amount of pressure on your teeth. This is why it is so important for you to keep your regular appointments with the office. Adjustment appointments are usually scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. They also are only about 15 to 20-minute appointments. This allows us to move the teeth at a slow and steady pace.
Some patients will be asked to wear rubber bands (elastics) during their treatment. These rubber bands help us to fix the patient’s bite. The assistant will demonstrate how to wear the rubber bands before you leave the office. These orthodontic rubber bands are usually placed on one or more upper braces to one or more lower braces. This gives your teeth the extra push they need so that we can get you the optimal bite you want.
If you have any questions about brackets, wires, or elastics, feel free to call our office. Someone will be more than happy to assist you.
September 9, 2019
Headgear - What is it? Why do I need it?
Before or while wearing braces, Dr. Slutsky may recommend that your child wears a headgear to get the best result for alignment of the teeth.
What is headgear?
Headgear is an orthodontic appliance that helps to correct an overbite. It has two parts: a metal facebow and a cloth strap. The facebow fits onto bands that are placed on the upper back teeth (molars). Once the facebow is attached to the bands, the strap fits around the back of the neck, is hooked onto the facebow, and helps to pull the molars into a straight position. Headgears are used to move the upper and lower jaws into alignment (adjust the bite). It is often used on young children who are still growing. To learn more and see a picture of a headgear, go to our website at www.philadelphiabraces.com, click on treatments, and click on headgear from the scroll down box.
Why may headgear be needed?
If your child has an overbite, sometimes wearing braces alone is not enough. Braces cannot always guide your jaws into alignment; that is why headgear is used - to give just enough force to move the jaws into a correct alignment. When given headgear, the patient should always follow the instructions given by Dr. Slutsky or the dental assistants. The best results come from wearing your headgear on a daily basis for 12 to 16 hours per day.
If you have any questions or concern about your child’s headgear, please feel free to contact the office.
August 30, 2019
What is Sure Smile? Suresmile is a sequence of customized clear, plastic aligners made to slowly move your teeth into the correct position. Unlike traditional braces, these trays are completely removable.
Flexible lifestyle: The Sure Smile system is made to fit your lifestyle. Treatment is fast but subtle.
Consultation: At your consultation we will discuss the issues you have with your teeth, and we also will see if you are a candidate for this treatment.
Records and Scan: Next, we will create diagnostic records to help treatment plan your case. Dr. Slutsky will do a complete clinical examination. We will also do pictures, x-rays, and a 3D scan of your teeth with our iTero scanner. From this scan, we will be able to move the teeth into a straight position and make your Sure Smile aligners for you to wear.
Treatment: When your aligners are ready, we will schedule an appointment to give them to you. We ask that you wear your aligners 22-23 hours per day. You will also need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack before you place your trays back in your mouth. You will wear each set of trays for approximately two weeks. Unlike traditional braces there is no need for frequent appointments. Appoi