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AAO Guide to What to Look For in Baby Teeth

July 30th, 2018

Many parents are eager to start figuring out how their child's dental development is likely to proceed, and sure enough, there are clues even in the primary dentition (baby teeth) that can help deduce what orthodontic needs a child may have.

This week we are sharing an AAO article that discusses what you should be looking for in your child's baby teeth and why these things are important.  The article discusses spacing and crowding of the primary teeth, the importance of hygiene and proper care, the purpose of maintaining the baby teeth for space preservation, and thumb/finger and pacifier habits.

Check out the AAO article here, and look for the follow-up post on what to look for in the permanent dentition soon!

AAO Resource on How Orthodontic Treatment Works

July 23rd, 2018

Have you ever wondered how the magic of tooth movement happens?  Sure you've seen the before and after pictures, but how do they do it?

Well, in this week's edition of the American Association of Orthodontists resource, we're referring you to a fantastic page that discusses the "how" of orthodontic treatment.

This resource covers types of appliances that are used to move teeth.  (It's not just all "braces," folks!)  It also covers strategies like extracting primary or permanent teeth versus expansion.

This resource touches on so many topics that it's likely to raise even more questions than it answers, and that's what we're here for.  Please take a look at this website to begin learning, and as always, please feel free to contact our office with any additional questions you can think of.  We're here for you!!

AAO Guide: How Orthodontic Treatment Works

AAO's Guide to Your First Visit at the Orthodontist

July 16th, 2018

When I meet a new patient for the first time, one of the questions I often ask them is, "How do you feel about being here?"  Lots of kids are excited about getting braces because they've seen friends of siblings with them.  In many other cases, however, I simply receive a shy smile, and Mom or Dad explaines, "I think he/she is a little nervous!"

If your first visit makes you a little nervous, rest assured, you're not alone!!  It's normal to feel a little nervous visiting a new place or doing a new thing for the first time, and a trip to the orthodontist's office is no different. Knowing what to expect can make a world of difference both to young patients and their parents.

In our office, a new patient appointment begins with a tour of our new office so that you can see where and how you might spend your time once you're in treatment.  One of our orthodontic technicians will take some photos of your teeth and a panoramic x-ray before Dr. Liz or Dr. Bethany spends some time with you to do an exam of your teeth and bite and to discuss treatment options.

Some important things to know about our first appointment?

  1. It's painless!  Every part of this process should be comfortable and easy for our new patient.  In fact, it should actually be fun!
  2. It's cost-free!  You won't have any financial obligation after your new patient exam.  We'll let you know if treatment is needed and discuss options before you would make any commitments.
  3. We're flexible.  If your little one is worried that they might get braces on when they show up, you can reassure them that there is no need to start treatment the same day.  At the same time, if your child is ready and raring to go, we can likely find time to get the ball rolling right away.
  4. The purpose of this visit is two-fold.  1) We want to determine whether our new patient will need treatment, and 2) We want to determine whether this is the right time to start.  We'll guide you through the process from there!

Here's a link to the AAO's Guide to Your Child's First Visit with additional information that you might find useful.  And as always, feel free to contact our office with any questions you may have!

AAO Guide to Choosing an Orthodontist

July 9th, 2018

Many factors come into play when it's time to choose an orthodontist.  You're looking for someone who is not only an expert clinician capable of delivering a great result, but likely also someone who makes you feel comfortable, treats you kindly, and ideally is conveniently located so that you can make it to the appointments easily.

While it's easy to decide whether you like the office location or your doctor's personality, trying to navigate the waters when it comes to their special qualifications to treat you or your child is a little bit more confusing.

This AAO article emphasizes the importance of choosing a specialist in orthodontics and explains the additional education that specialists complete in order to become orthodontists.  In addition, it shows how you can use the American Association of Orthodontists website to find an AAO member orthodontist.  By choosing an orthodontist who is a member of this professional association, you can be sure that they are someone who is committed to participating fully in the specialty and continuing their education.

In addition to the tips in the AAO article, we also recommend using a few more strategies to select your orthodontist.  Visit their website to learn more about the doctor and to determine whether they offer the services you're seeking and/or to see if their treatment philosophy sounds like it's harmonious with your goals.  In addition, when you're considering treatment, it's a good idea to ask friends and family members about their experiences at the orthodontist.

Most importantly, when you visit the office, make sure you feel that the doctor has spent adequate time listening to your concerns and has provided you with a clear explanation of their proposed treatment and the reasons for this treatment.  When in doubt, you can seek a second opinion, usually at no cost!

Check out the AAO's article: Choose an Orthodontist and feel free to browse our website for more information!

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