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.