Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Resolution

The beginning of a new year is often a time to reflect on the year that was, and to set personal goals for the upcoming year. Do you have ideas on how you plan to improve your health and happiness in 2015? It's never too late to think about New Year's resolutions, and we recommend making a commitment that benefits your oral health!

It's important that New Year's resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life. For example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent gum disease during your orthodontic treatment? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities while you are wearing braces. There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath.

If your resolution is to attain a great looking smile, Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics would love to help! Please feel free to contact any of our team members to schedule your appointment. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

1st Annual SBH Winter Contest

We have decided that since the Pumpkin Contest is loved so much we are going to have our 1st annual winter contest! This year, each staff member will be building their own Snowman! Stay tuned to vote on Facebook or at your next visit. The competition is hot enough to melt a Snowman!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Retainer Cleaning

After your treatment is completed and your braces are removed, you will be fitted for a retainer to keep your teeth in their corrected positions. There are several different types of retainers, and they all have one thing in common -- they need to be kept clean. Along with brushing and flossing, wearing your retainer is an important step in maintaining your new smile. Be sure to clean your retainer and your teeth, to help to prevent any tartar build-up on both.

Here are a few helpful hints for keeping your retainer clean:
  • Always rinse your retainer in water after you have removed it, as drying saliva can cause tartar build-up.
  • Remember to clean your retainer case periodically.
  • Brush your retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste every night.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling the retainer.
  • Never use hot water to rinse or clean your retainer, as it will distort the retainer.
While most people are aware of good brushing and flossing habits, the care of removable appliances is often overlooked. Make it a priority to keep your retainer clean as a part of your daily routine. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact any of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics staff members.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tips from Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics

After getting braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order for your braces stay intact and do their job.  This helps to ensure that your teeth are in top-notch condition after completing orthodontic treatment. Our team at Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics recommends the following tips to ensure successful cleaning of your braces.

Flossing every day can help clean areas between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. We recommend using a floss threader, which is used to help navigate the floss under the wire and between your teeth. It is vital to floss every day to help decrease the chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime. If you need a reminder on how to angle the toothbrush around your braces, feel free to check out the video on our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics YouTube channel.

This phase of orthodontic treatment requires cooperation and consistency on your part. If Dr. Sondhi, Dr. Biggs and Dr. Hansen have recommended that you wear elastics, compliance with their specific instructions is crucial to completing your treatment on time. In fact, if elastics are not worn as instructed, often the desired outcome cannot be reached, and a compromise will have to be accepted.

While in treatment with braces, remember the GRISP guidelines of foods to avoid or be careful with. Granola bars that are sticky and chewy; Raw fruits and vegetables, unless sliced into small pieces; Ice, rock candy; Sticky foods, gum, caramel, taffy; Popcorn, Peanuts and Pencils. Failure to follow the GRISP guidelines could add time to your treatment plan due to broken or damaged appliances, which disrupts the movement of your teeth into their desired positions.

We hope all this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free call any of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Permanent or Removable?

When it is time to remove your braces you are sure to be very excited! Once the braces are removed it's time for retainers. It is important to know your new smile must be held in place, because the teeth naturally want to move back to their original position. The doctors will discuss and recommend the retainers that will work best for your situation.

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use. These are worn full time when the appliances are first removed. However, you will be able to enjoy some time with no appliances in your mouth. A removable retainer must be worn responsibly, as instructed, to prevent relapse. Another major benefit to a removable retainer, is the ability to remove it to clean your teeth.

Permanent retainers work well for individuals who desire less maintenance. Once the permanent retainer is placed there is no need to worry about daily retainer schedules. Because teeth tend to shift as we age, a permanent retainer is typically a better long-term solution. One draw back for some patients is the extra effort of cleaning around a permanent retainer, which can sometimes become a "food trap" and does take a little more time to keep clean.

Some offices use a combination of the two; for example a removable retainer on the top, and a permanent one for the lower teeth. The lower teeth have a higher rate of relapse, so it is important that they be held in place at all times. The most important thing to remember is that wearing your retainer as directed, is extremely important. Again, our doctors will recommend the retainers that are best for your situation. If you have any questions about retainers or the options that may be available to you, please contact anyone of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FSA and HSA deadlines are approaching!

In the next few weeks, some families will need information for their 2015 Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA). New legislation limits the amount to $2,500.00 - $2,600.00 per year. Please feel free to contact our office at (317) 846-1455, if you need assistance with planning for you or your family for 2015.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Calling on the Tooth Fairy?!?!

Parents often want to know when their child's baby teeth should be falling out. Are they delayed? Is there something wrong? Should we be doing something about it? These are just a few of the hundreds of things we worry about as parents. Here is some general information to help determine if your child is on track:

Every child develops at a different rate. Although we have general age guidelines when baby teeth should be lost and replaced by an adult tooth (eruption), there is a broad spectrum of when this will actually occur. Generally, the first baby tooth falls out around the age of 6 years old. Some children may have the majority of their adult teeth by the age of 10 and others it may be the age of 15. This is one reason the American Association of Orthodontist recommend a child be screened by an Orthodontist around the age of 7.  It is the job of a dental professional to determine if your child is delayed in their dental development, and if so, is there a reason for it. Orthodontists are specifically trained to be aware of such problems. Aside from delayed development there are other reasons baby teeth do not fall out as expected. Some reasons for delayed eruption of adult teeth include extra teeth that may get in the way, inadequate space for the adult tooth to come in, or it may be that an adult tooth is missing. Some children would benefit from interceptive treatment to help create space to guide adult teeth into the proper path to enter the mouth.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontic team members!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Have you heard of "gap bands"?

The use of elastics in dentistry is not a new development. One of the earliest applications of elastics in dentistry was to extract teeth in patients with bleeding disorders. The practitioner simply placed a rubber band around the tooth to be extracted; because of the shape of the teeth, the rubber band slowly worked its way up or down the sides of the tooth roots, and the tooth just fell out in about 4-6 weeks. This use of elastics was intentional and considered a safe and effective procedure for extractions at that time.

For more than a century, similar examples of this type of elastics use have also appeared in the orthodontic literature, but in a negative sense. Such articles show the possible consequences of using these same principles to close a space ("gap") between the teeth. If placed around tooth by a patient without the supervision of an orthodontist, severe problems could result. The rubber band slides into the soft tissue, it is difficult if not impossible to retrieve it, and it continues along the distal surface of the roots, destroying the periodontal attachment and producing inflammation. As this happens, the teeth extrude, the crowns fan out as the roots are pulled together, the teeth become increasingly mobile, and could fall out.

This situation is made more difficult because elastics usually can not be seen on radiographs. As a result, consideration of the symptoms might not result in a definitive diagnosis. In the absence of the patient's or parent's acknowledgement of the use of rubber bands, trauma is usually suspected, and palliative periodontal therapy and splinting are usually performed. Alas, if the cause of the symptoms is a submerged rubber band, the teeth will continue to loosen and most likely be lost. Subsequent repair and replacement of the missing teeth and bone can require dental procedures that are complex and expensive.

Because of this known risk, orthodontists and other dentists generally consider the uncontrolled movement of the teeth using just elastics to be below the standard of care. Having attachments on the teeth with secured wire between them is the simple remedy.

A recent search using the words "gap bands" and related terms produced millions of hits. Although the term "gap bands" is newly minted, it is clearly commonly used around the world. Judging by the available videos, it is also clear that the topic is of considerable interest to many minors and adults. Please contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics team members to discuss appropriate approaches for treatment for a GAP between the teeth.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Palatal Expander

Have you ever heard of a Palatal Expander? The palatal expansion appliance is used to widen the upper jaw. This assists in developing space for crowded teeth in the upper jaw, and also widens the upper jaw when a growth discrepancy is present between the upper and lower jaws. The palatal expander is a fixed orthodontic appliance, and is cemented to the teeth. The expansion is accomplished by turning a small key, which is a part of the appliance. The key is turned by the parents. The expander is only worn for a period of approximately 3 months to allow bone to fill in to the expanded area, following which the expander may be removed and replaced with a retainer. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontic team members!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Invisalign Care

Many people know that Invisalign is a great alternative to braces if you don't like the look and feel of traditional metal braces. What few people realize is that just like traditional braces, Invisalign requires proper care to work effectively. Good oral hygiene is highly important when you are wearing removable appliances in your mouth. It is likely that your aligners will build up plaque if not treated properly. When wearing your Invisalign aligners, ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Can I eat with my aligners on?  These aligners are removable and should be taken out when you eat.
2.) Am I allowed to drink anything other than water with my aligners on? Though it's not necessary for you to take out your aligners while you drink, think about how sticky soda is. If you take out your aligners when drinking a soda, aligners will not be exposed to the soda..
3.) Do I brush before putting the aligners on? The aligners should be kept clean on the inside and the outside. Brushing your teeth before wearing them keeps the inside clean, as well as brushing them.

These are all very simple steps to help you build good oral habits. If you have any questions please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics team members!

--Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics

Monday, August 18, 2014

Taking Care of Your Child's Smile

Did you know that as soon as a baby’s primary teeth break through the gums, they need attention and care?  Following, are some important guidelines for taking care of the teeth:

Primary (baby) teeth

·         The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends bringing your infant to the dentist soon after the first tooth erupts, and no later than the child’s first birthday.  Your dentist can check for tooth decay, discuss other conditions and habits that may affect the teeth, as well as show you how to clean your infant’s teeth properly.

·         Starting with the first tooth erupting, start brushing twice a day with a toothbrush designed for children.  For children younger than 3, only a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice is necessary.  For children 3-6 years old, use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. 

·         Toothpaste containing fluoride is important since it helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel from the outside, and can reverse the beginnings of tooth decay.  However, always encourage rinsing and spitting the toothpaste out, since swallowing it can affect the color of the developing permanent teeth that have not erupted yet.

Permanent (adult) teeth

·         The permanent teeth start coming in around the age of 6 or 7, and continue into early adulthood.  Permanent teeth should be brushed twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.  A routine of flossing between the teeth once daily with floss or an interdental cleaner is recommended.

·         Regular dental check-ups are essential for good oral health since this allows the dentist to identify and treat problems such as tooth decay.  Professional cleanings and fluoride applications to keep the teeth strong are also done during these check-ups.

We hope you find this helpful. Caring for our patients’ oral health is just another example of why Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics is “Smiles Above the Rest”.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Do I "have" to be...

We are sometimes asked if patients "have" to be referred by their dentist in order to schedule a consultation in our office. It is always helpful for us to have information from your dentist when we see you for an Orthodontic Consultation. However, if you have questions about Orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, you can certainly schedule a consultation in our office. A referral isn't absolutely necessary. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics team members.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camp, Vacation, Orthodontist... Oh My!!

Summer can be a busy time, and sometimes the start back to school comes too quickly.  It can be difficult to get everything done. We've modified our schedule to accommodate as many patients as possible for new patient consultations. We have openings available, but call soon, because time is running out!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Traditional vs. Digital


Digital Dental Radiographs (commonly referred to as “x-rays”) vs. Traditional Dental X-Rays
As you may be aware, Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics takes pride in staying up-to-date by using the most advanced technology available for the comfort, convenience and safety of our patients.  One of those technologies is digital x-rays.  We have all seen stories in the news regarding the dangers of radiation exposure with traditional x-rays, and while many patients maintain an aversion to dental x-rays due to these types of stories, many are surprised to learn that the amount of radiation present in a full set of traditional dental x-rays only accounts for about 1 percent of their annual radiation exposure.  Digital x-rays, on the other hand, release radiation levels that are 80-90 percent lower than that! 

Other advantages to digital x-rays are less waiting time, shorter appointments, and the production of a nearly instantaneous image, which provides a better understanding of treatment for both the patient and the doctor.  Digital x-rays are also environmentally friendly.  Since digital x-rays are captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-ray, which eliminates the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.  Digital x-rays can also be shared easily with other medical/dental professionals.
X-rays are necessary in orthodontic treatment for many reasons.  Although you may have just had a full set of x-rays taken at your dentist’s office, our x-rays are looking for things other than decay and the overall health of the teeth.  We are looking for tumors or other pathologies, possibly noticed for the first time.  Although this is rare, it has been known to save lives!  These x-rays are also used to diagnose orthodontic problems, such as the form and position of the teeth.  We are interested in missing, extra, impacted or misplaced teeth, as well as short, long or misshaped roots.  Problems with the jaws include bones that are too big, too small, off center, too far apart, too close together or misshapen.  As you can tell, these x-rays are essential to determining where problems exist and the best way to correct them.
Not only are digital x-rays safer for our patients than traditional x-rays, please rest assured that Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics invested in digital x-rays 10+ years ago!  Providing digital x-rays and concern for our patients is another example of why we are “Smiles Above the Rest”!
If you have any questions about any of the recommendations made for your treatment in our office, please don’t hesitate to ask the doctors or any of our staff members.




Thursday, June 19, 2014

When do baby teeth normally fall out?

Many parents worry that their children's teeth are not falling out on time. At what age should the baby teeth be lost? When should the last one fall out? Is there a predictable order?

The first baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) to erupt are usually the lower central incisors around the age of six months. The last baby teeth erupt are the upper second primary molars, which appear between 30 and 36 months of age. A child normally has 20 baby teeth by age of 3. These primary teeth then remain unchanged for about three years.

By the time a child is 6-8 years old, there is a flurry of activity in the mouth, as kids normally lose eight primary teeth within a short period of time. Between the ages of 8-10, there is a pause in the loss of teeth, which is when many parents start to question why more teeth are not falling out (or exfoliating), since they have become so accustomed to the teeth falling out routinely. The final 12 primary teeth are normally lost between the ages of 10 and 13. The following chart summarizes the standard schedule of tooth loss in children:

    • Ages: 3-6 not much happens
    • Ages :6-8 First 8 primary teeth normally exfoliate
    • Ages: 8-10 Not much happens
    • Ages: 10-13 Last 12 primary teeth exfoliate

    • Age 6: Lower and upper central  incisors exfoliate
    • Age 7: Lower and upper lateral incisors exfoliate
    • Age 10: Lower canines and upper first molars exfoliate
    • Age 11: Lower first molars exfoliate
    • Age 12: Upper and lower second molars and upper canines exfoliate
Remember this chart reflects the average schedule for tooth loss! Some kids lose teeth faster than this, while others lose them more slowly. It is not unusual to see a 10 year old with no remaining baby teeth, nor does it catch us by surprise to see a 14 year old with a few still hanging on. The age the teeth are lost is not as important as the pattern in which they are lost.

If a baby tooth does not exfoliate in the correct order, or if a tooth is lost early, causing a few months to pass before a permanent tooth erupts, a problem could occur in the positioning of the new, permanent tooth. This is exactly the reason why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit an orthodontist at the age of 7.  Your orthodontist will look for certain conditions during your child's orthodontic evaluation, and can inform you whether or not interceptive treatment is recommended. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How much sugar are you drinking?

Pop is no longer an occasional treat. It has become a daily habit for a growing number of people, especially kids, teens and young adults. A steady diet of soft drinks is the leading cause of tooth decay.

Following are a few tips on how to help reduce the possibility of decay:

  • Drink soft drinks in moderation.
  • Don't sip for extended periods of time. Ongoing sipping prolongs sugar and acid attacks on your teeth.
  • Use a straw to help keep the sugar away from your teeth.
  • After drinking, swish your mouth out with water to dilute the sugar.
  • Never drink soda or juice before bed because the liquid pools in your mouth, coating your tongue and teeth with sugar and acid.
  • Drink water instead of soft drinks. It has no sugar, acid or calories.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth.
  • Use dental floss regularly to help remove bacteria from between the teeth.
  • Get regular check-ups and cleanings to remove bacteria build-up (plaque).
Pop contains more sugar than you think. Listed below are a few common drinks and the amount of sugar they contain:

Barq's Root Beer 11 tsp        
Minute Maid Orange Juice 9 tsp
Sprite10 tsp    
Mtn Dew 12 tsp     
  SoBe Energy Citrus 12 tsp    
Minute Maid Lemonade 10 tsp  
Gatorade 5tsp
Coca-Cola Classic 10 tsp
The next time you go to take a drink, check the label; you may be surprised. If you have any further questions, please contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Welcome Dr. Hansen!

In our continuing efforts to enhance the quality of care that we provide for you, your family and your friends, it gives us great pleasure to announce that Dr. Vince Hansen will be joining our practice on May 27, 2014. Dr. Hansen is originally from Indianapolis, obtained his dental degree from Temple University, and a Master's degree in Orthodontics from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He has been practicing in Milwaukee, WI for the past 2 years, and we were fortunate in recruiting him to join our practice.

Dr. Hansen will be working with us within the existing structure of the practice, and there are no planned changes in the way the office or the practice function. Neither of us is contemplating retirement, and no change in our work schedules is planned. The three of us will continue to practice together on a full time basis.
We would certainly be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the integration of Dr. Hansen's integration into Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics, and are confident that you will enjoy getting to know him as well.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


As you are probably aware, Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics offers the convenience of text and email reminders for appointments. It has recently come to our attention that some individuals with Google Calendars have received text messages indicating that their appointment in our office has been cancelled.  Please be aware that these messages are NOT from our office.  These are created and sent by a third party that has hacked into "Google Accounts".

If you receive a text message from #483-68, please call our office to verify your appointment and delete the text.  Responding to the text can allow the hackers to dive into the personal information stored in your cell phone. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics would like to wish all the wonderful Mother's a great day! From our office to you, we appreciate all that you do, not only today, but everyday, for everyone. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where Did The Colors Go?

You may have noticed that there is a change in the way braces look these days.  That is because, with the previous technology that was available, colored elastics were placed on the brackets to hold the wires in place.  Increasingly, you will notice that the colors are not being used any more.  That is for a very good reason.  The newer technology with braces allows us to move teeth more efficiently by eliminating the colored ties.  As much fun as it was to select the colors, the fact is that those elastic ties also retained a lot of plaque, and were difficult to keep clean.  The move from colors to clear braces is good for a lot of clinical reasons, and makes the treatment time much shorter.  Considering that the braces would have to stay on longer if we still used the previous technology with elastic ties, who wants the colors anyway? If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Do I Still Need Regular Dental Cleaning Appointments?

Some patients wonder whether they should continue having routine oral hygiene visits with their general dentist, while they are seeing Dr. Sondhi and Dr. Biggs every 8-10 weeks during their orthodontic treatment. The answer is YES!  It is very important to continue your regularly scheduled dental cleanings.  While an orthodontist assists in the movement of teeth into proper alignment, a general dentist provides treatment regarding the overall health of the teeth.

Today, we would like to review a few of the important reasons for continuing with your regular dental visits, in conjunction with your visits at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics.

The best reason to visit your general dentist during orthodontic treatment is to remove any debris and/or tartar that may build up around your orthodontic appliances.  Braces and other orthodontic appliances provide additional nooks and crannies in which food particles and bacteria can hide. Eventually, this can cause plaque and tartar to form around your brackets, bands or other appliances, which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth cleaned routinely by your dental professional can help ensure that most, if not all of this build up, is removed. Even if you are undergoing treatment with clear aligners, dental check ups and cleanings are equally important.

Another good reason to visit your general dentist is to help protect your teeth from decalcification. This is a potentially serious condition, which results in white spots on the surfaces of your teeth.  Decalcification is irreversible, and if left untreated, can lead to cavities. Decalcification is preventable!  Avoiding sugary sweets and acidic foods as much as possible, practicing good oral hygiene, and visiting your general dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.

One last reason we recommend visiting your dentist while wearing braces is because developing cavities can prolong orthodontic treatment. Teeth do not move as efficiently as they should when they are in poor health.  If you are interested in completing orthodontic treatment on time, and without any delays, visiting your dentist every six months, or as recommended, can go a long way toward making that a realistic goal. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or recommend other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities. Making sure to visit your dentist will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces are removed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask any of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Invisalign Tips

Patients often ask, "Are there any tips to help movement as I am wearing my aligners"?  The answer is, that while everyone's teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things you can do to make wearing Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience.

Here are a few tips we give each patient when they initiate their Invisalign treatment:
  • Always follow the instructions that you are given by Dr. Sondhi and Dr. Biggs.
  • Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing on a regular basis. It is sometimes assumed that Invisalign will protect the teeth from bacteria, which is completely false. Bacteria can live behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, which is why it is very important to continue with regular flossing.
  • Follow the 48 hour rule. When you insert a new set of aligners, leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this time, which means this is when the aligners are most active.
  • Research studies suggest tooth movement is more predictable if aligners are worn more than 22 hours a day.
  • Wearing aligners may sometimes cause slight discomfort, and regular over-the-counter pain relievers help alleviate this type of discomfort.  
As always, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members with any questions or concerns regarding your treatment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What's a Water Pik?

Dr. Sondhi, Dr. Biggs and the entire Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team understand that flossing is a time consuming and tiresome task at times. We recommend a Water Pik for just that reason.

A Water Pik helps to flush away the food and other bacteria that gets stuck around the brackets and on your teeth. The Water Pik is able to reach areas that you are not able to reach with floss, such as behind the wires engaged in your brackets. People who suffer from gum disease also find Water Piks quite effective because of their ability to flush out bacteria from inside any deep pockets between the teeth and gum tissue.

A Water Pik is braces friendly, and is also very gentle for the gum tissue. The use of a Water Pik is less aggressive, and doesn't cause bleeding that traditional flossing can cause in some patients. But, please remember that using a Water Pik is not a substitute for flossing.  It is simply a tool designed to "help" with flossing and cleaning in difficult to reach areas.

If you have questions about the Water Pik, flossing or any other part of your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Confidence in Your Consultation

Your first visit in our office will  include a personal consultation with our doctors. You will find this visit to be extremely informative. Once you have arrived and checked in, you will be greeted by one of our Patient Coordinators. Because we request that health history forms be filled out and returned to our office prior to your initial consultation, we will have already contacted your general dentist, and obtained the necessary information regarding your history. This form can be sent to you via standard mail when the consultation is scheduled, or you may download it directly from our website for quick and convenient access.

One of the best ways to prepare for an orthodontic consultation is to understand your options. With so many choices available today, orthodontic care is a lot more versatile than in the past. You can start preparing now by seeking out and understanding the options. With a few specific things in mind, you can be totally confident and prepared for your consultation. Feel free to watch the Sondhi-Biggs Initial Consultation video on our website to learn more about our consultation process.

Once your consultation is complete, your options are not exhausted. If questions arise after the consultation, don't be afraid to ask. Our orthodontic team is always ready to help throughout the entire process.

With answers to your questions, and our orthodontic team on your side, you can be confident about any necessary orthodontic treatments. From the initial consultation to the day your braces are removed, your orthodontic treatment at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics promises to be a smooth and simple process.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

You may have noticed that we specialize in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. And while most people we talk to have heard about orthodontics, many are confused by what "dentofacial orthopedics" means. Today, our team thought we would explain the difference.

While orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of jaw growth and facial development. This growth occurs during childhood, and is the reason why children between the ages of 7 and 12 are often the best candidates for receiving dentofacial orthopedic therapy. Dr. Sondhi and Dr. Biggs will examine and monitor your child's growth to determine the right age for starting treatment. During this phase, Dr. Sondhi and Dr. Biggs will use treatments designed to correct your child's jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bones are properly aligned before evaluating for the next phase of treatment, which involves braces to straighten the teeth.

With our younger patients, we know that the jaw bones are still forming, making it easier for our team at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics to modify bone growth and tooth movement. Adults, however, are a different story; their bones are no longer growing, and their jaw bones have matured, so it requires different treatment to adjust the bite and move teeth into proper alignment. Adults may also require some jaw surgery.

Because our team at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics is skilled in both areas, we are able to diagnose misalignments in the teeth and jaws as well as the facial structure, and can develop a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.

We hope that helps! To learn more about dentofacial orthopedics, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for your child, please contact our office and schedule and initial consultation for your child. It's never too late to get a great smile, and we can't wait to help you or your child get started.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What's your bottled water missing?

As more people turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride! Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. Our friends at the American Dental Association have endorsed both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also warned that "bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health." One 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65% of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride were contained in bottled water.

If bottled water happens to be the beverage of choice for you or your family, check the label to make sure your selected brand contains fluoride.  Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfectly healthy teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it's important to brush and floss daily while avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake.

Questions about fluoride? Give any of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members a call. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Straight teeth are just one of several benefits you get from braces.....

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You'll also gain many oral health benefits.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap and create tight spaces in between. This can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, which eventually leads to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing and flossing.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, speech patterns can be affected. Braces will readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer pronunciation.

Bone Erosion

Without the support of the teeth, bone and gum tissues begin to erode. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces, or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a misaligned bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode, allowing for continued support for the teeth in their new alignment.


Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested during the chewing process. If teeth are severely misaligned, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

Our doctors and staff at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics will be happy to answer any of your questions about orthodontic treatment. Visit our YouTube channel and watch our "Introduction to Orthodontics" video to learn more.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Indirect Bonding

Many of our patients at Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics ask us about indirect bonding, a method of applying braces to the teeth in such a manner that an entire set of braces can be applied at once, usually in less than an hour. In many orthodontic offices, braces are placed on each individual tooth, one at a time. The procedure required meticulous, long, painstaking sessions for both patient and doctor, to ensure each bracket was in the correct position, especially in the back of the mouth. Indirect bonding helps provide more accurate placement of braces, and therefore makes the process more precise and efficient .

Indirect Bonding Process

Indirect bonding is a techniques in which molds of the teeth are made and most of the work for the braces is done in the lab. It is a remarkable process that depends on our ability to make particularly accurate models of your teeth. Much detail goes into the accurate measurement and alignment of the model, since your mouth is naturally unique to you.

The braces are placed on the models of the teeth, exactly in the right place, fitted into the trays made on the model, and sealed and cured.

Setting the Braces

When you come to Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics to have your molds made, your braces are made from the molds of your own teeth. All that remains is a short appointment to fit the trays onto your teeth, align them, and separate the braces from the trays.

Your own teeth will have to undergo some preparatory work in order to accept the braces. This involves preparing the surface of the teeth for the adhesive for the braces, as well as preparing the surfaces of any crowns. You will also have a short period to wait while the adhesive cures.

All the other work that would traditionally have been done in the orthodontist's chair has been done on the models, and by the time the orthodontist sees you for the appointment to place your braces, your braces are precisely aligned to your teeth, Visit our YouTube Channel on our website to view the basics of this process. Indirect Bonding is just another example of how Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics is Smiles Above the Rest.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cold Temps are Not the only Thing in the Air....

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! This raises a common question around the office: Should we replace a toothbrush when we have been sick?

Since the flu is a viral infection, antibodies are developed once you have been infected, which helps prevent you from catching the same illness twice. Even for bacterial infections or minor illnesses like the common cold, the likelihood of becoming re-infected from your toothbrush is fairly slim. Also, toothpaste frequently contains antibacterial compounds, which further decrease the chances of becoming re-infected.

The American Dental Association recommends the following tips for toothbrush care:

  • Do not share toothbrushes, especially if you are sick.
  • Allow the brush to air dry after each use.
  • Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give any one of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members a call if you have any questions!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What is your New Year's resolution?

The beginning of a new year is often a time to reflect on the year that was, and to set personal goals for the upcoming year. Do you have ideas on how you plan to improve your health and happiness in 2014? It's never too late to think about New Year's resolutions, and we recommend making a commitment that benefits your oral health!

It's important that New Year's resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life. For example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent gum disease during your orthodontic treatment? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities while you are wearing braces. There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath.

If your resolution is to attain a great looking smile, Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics would love to help! Please feel free to contact any one of our team members to schedule your appointment. Happy Holidays!