Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gold Medal Smiles!

With the Olympics just wrapping up Gold Medals are on everyone’s minds! As I watched with my family the dedication and hard work the athletes put into each of those medals it made me think of my patients and what it takes to get a Gold Medal Smile.  Although patients may not need to spend hours in the gym, pool, or weight room to achieve a Gold Medal Smile, it does take a commitment from patients and their families to reach treatment goals.  There are many hurdles an orthodontist will face when treating a case. Great patient compliance is extremely important to create an award winning smile.

There are two areas where an orthodontist depends on the patient to stay on top of their game.1) Oral hygiene - Braces are food traps and if teeth are not kept clean optimal results will not occur. 2) Elastic wear- This vital step in the process is absolutely necessary. When elastics are worn incorrectly or not at all, treatment slows down or does not progress. When the orthodontist and the patient work together a beautiful smile (Gold Medal Smile) is created.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Everyone Love A Smile

Everyone loves a smile, and at Aleman and Sternstein Orthodontics we love making miles of smiles. We have been creating beautiful smiles for over 40 years. A smile is the universal greeting that will make your face light up while releasing endorphin's that can make you feel better! 

One of the greatest joys for the orthodontist is the day the braces come off. When the brackets are removed and the patient sees for the first time the transformation that has taken place over the course of treatment- that is priceless. For some patients it has been a life changing experience in regards to self-esteem and functionality.  Helping to make others feel good about themselves is truly what it is all about!

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has published some interesting facts about Smiling. Did you know that 57% of people say a smile from a stranger makes them want to smile back, and 41% say a smile from a stranger elevates their mood?  Smiling can add up to 7 years to your life.

When you are getting ready each morning don’t forget to put on your smile because it is the prettiest thing you can wear. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards; what are they, are they important, and who really should wear them?  Mouth guards are made of plastic material used by athletes to prevent injuries.   The use of a mouth guard can prevent a tooth from being chipped, broken or knocked out completely.  When participating in a contact sport or physical activity where there could be a risk to your teeth or jaw the use of a mouth guard is recommended. Studies have shown that an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer injuries when a mouth guard is not worn.  

There are many types of mouth guards available to athletes. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a guard is to remember the importance of a properly fitted, comfortable, and resilient guard with sufficient cushion in the most critical areas. A “Stock” Mouth guard will generally cost anywhere from $3 to $20 and can be found at the local sporting goods store.   These guards can be used directly from the package without making any alterations.  However, the athlete will continually have to bite down on the mouthpiece to hold it in place, therefore limiting the ability to carry on a conversation while wearing the mouth piece.  Athletes will also find them bulky in size and will sometimes cut them down which will reduce the effectiveness.

Another type of mouth guard available for purchase is the boil and bite, and is comparable in cost as the “stock” mouth guard.  The Boil and Bite are available in three sizes S/M/L.  Boiling the mouth guard allows the plastic to mold to the athletes’ teeth; however they typically will not cover all of the teeth which may reduce the effectiveness.

The final mouth guard available is custom made. This type is fitted specifically for the athlete by an orthodontist or dentist. They provide the best comfort and stability, and are made of the best material. This type also interfere the least with speech and breathing  They are more expensive but remember that you have just purchased the most important piece of equipment no matter what sport you are playing. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Orthodontic Consultation

The orthodontic consultation is typically the patients’ third visit to the practice. This appointment will take place after the patient has been seen for an Initial Exam and Diagnostic Records.  The consultation will allow the doctor to present to the patient and his/her family their individualized treatment plan. Our Treatment Coordinator along with Dr. Aleman will go over all of the orthodontic records and discuss facial growth. Our objective is to treat all cases non-extraction of permanent teeth. Many additional important matters are discussed at the orthodontic consultation such as treatment time, patient cooperation, orthodontic appliances, orthodontic emergencies and financial obligations. The Treatment Coordinator will go on to share that in most cases the brackets will be put on gradually. Patients will be given more detailed instructions chair-side regarding brushing, rubber band wear and the food list.  It is also stressed at this appointment to both the parent and the patient the importance of excellent tooth brushing and the continual need of routine visits to their general dentist.   The consultation appointment is a good time to express any concerns and address questions that the patient or parent may have regarding the treatment. A beautiful, healthy smile that will last a life time is the ultimate goal of Aleman and Sternstein Orthodontics.

Friday, March 4, 2016

ORTHO BY 7, PHASES 1 & 2…….So Many Questions???

Why is it recommended to see an Orthodontist by age 7?  It’s simple, some orthodontic conditions are easier to correct earlier. The early correction can help prevent or alleviate more serious problems later. If it is determined that a patient would benefit from early orthodontic care, often treatment will be done in two Phases. An early limited treatment known as Phase 1 is initiated in order to position the teeth where they should be for that stage in the patient’s dental development.   Later when the child is older a Phase 2 will begin at the appropriate time depending on the patient’s growth and dental needs.

Phase 1 What is it? What are the benefits? What does it entail?

Phase 1 treatment may require a limited amount of braces and/or appliances that are actively moving the teeth. This can be the foundation for a more stable and ideal facial result prior to a full (Phase 2) orthodontic treatment. The benefits a patient may receive from Phase 1 treatment may include but are not limited to:

1. Taking advantage of growth
2. Minimizing the need to extract permanent teeth
3. Avoid or reduce the need for facial surgery
4. Correct harmful habits
5. Decrease the risk to tooth trauma
6. Improve psychological factors
7. Increase compliance
8. Maximize the benefits of orthodontics

Phase 2 What is it? What are the benefits? What does it entail?

Phase 2 treatment will typically include braces on all the teeth and/or appliances. This phase will ensure that each tooth has a precise location in the mouth to provide the optimal oral health environment and esthetic result.

1. Move the permanent teeth into their final/permanent positions
2. Improve teeth function
3. Improve the facial appearance
4. Improve self-esteem

Other Phase 1, Phase 2 facts: 

The Phase 1 treatment time is typically 12-18 months.  Phase 2 treatment is entirely separate from the Phase 1 treatment. There will generally be an interim period between the two phases of treatment. During this time, the patient’s growth and development along with the permanent teeth as they erupt will be closely monitored. By working early with your orthodontist you can accomplish excellent results that can have drastic effects that make a difference later in life.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some Of The Top Reasons to See an Orthodontist

A Smile You Are Proud Of – Most people will agree if you are happy with your smile, you typically have more self-confidence which provides a better emotional and psychological outlook.

Correct Facial Structures – some malocclusion's can have an adverse effect on facial structures, orthodontics and proper alignment of teeth can help to reduce this.

Eating – Everyone likes to eat and for some that can be a bit of a challenge if the teeth are not aligned correctly. Seeing an orthodontist can help patients get the teeth in the proper locations to allow for a more enjoyable eating experience.

Gum disease – when teeth are crowded it can make cleaning difficult which can cause tooth decay or worse gum disease. This can lead to permanent damage and tooth loss.  An orthodontist will align the teeth so that cleaning will be much easier and help teeth last a lifetime.

Early loss of baby teeth – losing certain baby teeth early can cause issues for patients later that is one of the reasons why the American Association of Orthodontics recommends patients should see an Orthodontist by the age of 7.

Crowding – If teeth are crowded out of the dental arch cleaning can be more difficult, and there will likely  not be enough gum tissue to support the tooth which could also create issues.  It is good to see the Orthodontist to see assess the situation and see what it would entail to create an ideal bite.

Protruding teeth – are often at risk of trauma or damage, therefore it is good to visit the Orthodontist to see the best solution to correct this type of bite.

Crossbite – When the upper arch is smaller than the lower arch this could cause a functional issue and put pressure on the jaw joints. Seeing the Orthodontist while the patient is still growing is optimal as it could be simple solution while the patient is young.

Oral habits – like finger and thumb habits can lead to many orthodontic issues if not treated early.  These habits are easily corrected by appliances made by the orthodontist call today and ask about our reminders.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crooked Teeth?

This time of year seeing the Jack-O-Lanterns and their funny smiles makes me think of teeth (imagine that!), and the many stories that have circulated throughout time as to why humans have crooked teeth.  A few of these stories have included cultural mixing, thumb-sucking, and even food consumption.  In the dental world crooked teeth are called malocclusion's, and can be caused by many factors.  Some of those factors are 1) genetics- if one or both parents has or have had crowded or missing teeth it is likely their child(ren) will as well. 2) Poor oral hygiene – not brushing your teeth well can lead to early tooth loss; which can cause teeth to move or not come in the proper locations. 3) Small dental arches- which do not allow enough room for all the teeth to fit properly. And, 4) finger/ thumb habits- these can misguide teeth by putting unnecessary pressure on them.

 With the orthodontic treatment advancements today, each factor mentioned above can be corrected. The American Association of Orthodontist today estimate around 80% of teenagers are in orthodontic treatment.  If you are interested in being a part of that 80% and would like more information give the office a call to schedule an appointment.