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Braces Care!

August 2nd, 2019

When you’re at home, it’s easy to care for your braces and teeth: You have the luxury of time and the proper tools at your disposal. However, if you’re like most of our patients, you spend the majority of your day away from home at school or at work. Then you may find that proper braces care can be a hassle.

Keeping your teeth clean while you have braces is one of the most important facets of your treatment, because you don't want anything to cause any delay of your treatment progress. Brushing and flossing are super important.

To help make your orthodontic experience as convenient as possible, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips about caring for your braces while you’re at school or work.

Come Prepared

Put together a “to-go” kit that contains all the oral healthcare items you’ll need throughout the day. Pack a toothbrush, floss, wax, retainer case (if needed), a mirror, a small cup for rinsing, a small bottle of water (if water might not be readily available), and some brace relief.

Use Your Time Wisely

Take advantage of breaks and the lunch hour to give your braces and teeth a once over. Make sure you don’t have any food debris caught in your braces, and take the time to brush and floss. If you’ve just had your braces adjusted, you may feel some soreness. This is where the wax you packed will come in handy.

Eat the Right Food

You can prevent any possible mishaps or breakages with your braces by steering clear of foods that are sticky, chewy, and crunchy. Gum, candy, popcorn, hard chips, apples that aren’t cut into bite-sized pieces, nuts, beef jerky, and ice fall into this category.

Choose a Removable Option

If you know before you begin orthodontic treatment that your schedule will be hectic, think about trying a removable option. Clear aligners are just as effective as braces for most teeth-straightening needs, and they can be removed while you’re eating, brushing, and flossing.

 

If you follow these tips and stay on your oral health routine at home, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment but also keeping it as hassle-free as possible.

Attachments

July 2nd, 2019

Aligner Attachments

See the source image

Well, of course you’re attached to your aligners! Clear aligners are a wonderful, inconspicuous option for orthodontic treatment. But we’re talking about 3D attachments—those tiny tooth-colored pieces that are placed on your teeth to make your treatment even more effective.

What are attachments?
Attachments are small ridges made of orthodontic material that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored, so they blend in well with your enamel, and come in various shapes and sizes depending on their function. Your aligners will fit snugly and smoothly over them.

Why use attachments?
With the assistance of attachments, aligners can also treat more orthodontic conditions. Attachments act like little handles, and matching shapes in your aligner can click into place around them. This allows your aligners to provide gentle directed pressure, making more complex directional tooth movement possible.
Today’s aligners can help turn a rotated tooth, realign a tooth that hasn’t erupted correctly, address a bite problem, and move a tooth with an unusual size, shape, or angle, among other uses. Just as the shape of your aligners is specifically fabricated, the placement of the attachments is carefully planned as well. Computer modeling allows us to give you an attachment that has been customized for a perfect fit to each individual tooth, and perfectly placed to move the tooth where it needs to be.
Each attachment is temporarily bonded to the tooth, and removed after treatment. They can generally be placed even on restored teeth (teeth with fillings and crowns). How many attachments will you need? The number of attachments can vary widely, again always tailored to your individual needs.

Taking Care of Your Attachments
While your aligners will change frequently, your attachments probably will not. So it’s a good idea to make sure you treat them well! Attachments are made to be stain resistant, but if you are a regular coffee or tea drinker, you might notice some discoloration, especially on the enamel surrounding the attachment. Talk to us about the best way to keep your attachments their cleanest and most invisible.
And, remember to brush around them carefully. Food can stick around them after eating, so you want to be sure to brush thoroughly after every meal.
If one falls off, give us a call! One way to help keep your attachments secure is to remove your aligners gently. We’ll show you how.

If you are just now exploring your orthodontic options, and are interested in clear aligners, talk to us. We can let you know just what your orthodontic needs are, all of your options for treating them, and if aligners can work for you!

Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques!

May 3rd, 2019

  You are probably aware that brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health. But have you ever considered whether you’re brushing your teeth correctly? Here are some tips to make your brushing routine as effective and safe as possible:

Aim to brush for two minutes (that’s 120 seconds), twice a day, with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush for increased cleaning efficacy.

Brush the outside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45° angle to the gum line. Concentrate on small areas at a time until you’ve cleaned your entire mouth.

Brush the inside surfaces of your teeth using the same motion, and chewing surfaces using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions.

Gently brush your tongue (or use a tongue scraper). This will remove bacteria and dead cells from your tongue and lead to fresher breath.

Pay particular attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach areas in the back of the mouth, around dental and orthodontic appliances, and near fillings, crowns, or any other restorative work.

Choosing a toothpaste depends on your individual needs and preferences. Many different types are available for oral health issues such as tartar, gingivitis, or sensitive teeth. But proper brushing technique is the most important tactic for removing tartar from your teeth.

We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to wear, whichever comes first. It’s also advisable to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, since the bristles of the toothbrush can trap bacteria and allow them to proliferate.

Along with flossing, proper brushing will keep your mouth healthy and beautiful. Please let anyone in our office know if you have questions about your brushing and/or flossing routine.

Floss! It's just as important as brushing!

January 11th, 2018

Just brushing your teeth isn't enough to keep your mouth clean and prevent disease. The tissue between your teeth

where your toothbrush can't reach is more prone to infection. That is why flossing regularly is just as essential to your

overall oral health care as brushing. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests flossing at least once a day to

promote total oral health.

Why should you floss?

Flossing removes plaque from the areas of your teeth that your toothbrush just can't reach. If you don't remove this

plaque, it can harden into calculus or tartar which can cause infection or disease. Two common issues associated with

not flossing include gingivitis (gum infection) and periodontitis (gum disease), both of which can lead to the loss of

a once-healthy tooth.

When should you floss?

In the end, it does not matter if you floss during the day or the night, as long as you floss regularly. The best way to make

sure that you're flossing on a regular basis is to make it a part of your daily routine. If you feel too tired at night, try flossing

in the mornings. If your mornings feel too rushed, make flossing a regular part of your nightly ritual.

Here are some helpful flossing tips from the ADA:

  • Flossing is necessary for children who have at least two teeth that touch. If your child is not yet able to floss
  • effectively by themselves, help them floss and make it a regular part of their teeth-brushing routine.
  • Try different flossing methods and find one that works best for you. Those who have difficulty flossing may like
  • using a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, or even just a different type of floss.
  • If you experience pain when you first start flossing, this pain should ease within a week or two of regular flossing
  • and brushing. If you still experience discomfort after you have been flossing regularly, consult your dentist.

No matter when you floss or what type of floss you use, make sure that you floss on a regular basis. If you find it difficult

or you are not sure if you're flossing effectively, consult a member of our team. Though flossing may add just one more

step to your daily routine, it's just as important to achieving a healthy smile as brushing.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

December 5th, 2017

We hear this question all the time. Tooth movement is your body's natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a period of time. Traditional orthodontic treatment works when we attach braces and brackets onto your teeth; these brackets have small slots, and that is where we insert orthodontic wires when you first get your braces on, as well as your subsequent adjustment visits. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As time passes during your treatment, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it's supposed to fit.

Not long ago, orthodontists had a single option stainless steel wires and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires to move your teeth faster and more comfortably.

When you first get your braces, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, you will notice we will use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.

Each time you visit our office for an adjustment, we will check to make sure everything looks good, change elastics, and let you know what your next visit will be which is why it's so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most appointments are scheduled six to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move at a steady pace and allow us to assess progress and ensure we keep your treatment plan on track.

As for rubber bands and elastics? Many of our patients will need to wear elastics or "rubber bands" at some point during their treatment. These elastics are typically placed from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, pulling on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal coordinated bite and a beautiful smile.

If you have any questions about wires, brackets, or elastics, or have any general questions about your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call or ask us during your next visit!

Got My Braces - Now What?

November 6th, 2017

Got my braces. Now what?

Got my braces. Now what?

Now that you're wearing braces, it is just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before your orthodontic treatment began.

How do I keep my teeth clean?

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why we recommend that you try your best to brush and floss after every meal. Rinsing after every meal is also important to help remove food particles. We also encourage you to use a proxabrush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn't reach.

When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to 3 or 5 days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. We also encourage you to have ice water, ice cream, or soft foods that are cold to help alleviate discomfort. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will experience.

You may also be thinking, "Okay, so what can I eat?" We would encourage you to avoid eating sticky, hard, crunchy or chewy snacks that can stick to your teeth or damage the braces.

It's important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office to schedule an appointment for repair.

How do I maintain my oral health during treatment?

Lastly, in addition to visiting our office during your orthodontic treatment for regular adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional check-ups and teeth cleaning appointments every six months, or as recommended by your doctor.

Questions? Please let us know by giving us a call or during your next appointment!

October 13th, 2017

Getting your teeth straightened is a major decision, but the rewards can last a lifetime. You may have less tooth decay

and wear and tear, and feel much better about your smile when your teeth are straight. Getting rid of the overbite,

underbite, or uneven gaps and spaces can make a big difference in your daily life.

Deciding to get your teeth straightened is just the first in a series of decisions you will need to make. You also need to select

a system for straightening your teeth, and that's where our orthodontic expertise can help. Traditional metal braces may

come to mind first, but we offer several alternatives, like clear braces and clear aligners. Here are some of the factors to

consider when choosing which treatment is right for you:

Appearance

The brackets and wires of traditional metal braces are visible. Everyone knows you have them. Clear braces are similar to

metal ones, but they are made of hard plastic that is clear. People may have a hard time noticing you are wearing clear braces

until they are close to you. Clear aligner trays are even less noticeable. Most people may not ever know you are wearing

them at all!

The Logistics: Effectiveness, Treatment Time, and Appointments

Traditional metal braces and clear braces are equally effective, especially when it comes to advanced bite correction.

Treatment length depends on your smile needs. Clear aligners are more often used for general tooth-alignment problems.

Treatment with aligners also depends on your unique case.

You will also need to see your orthodontist about every six to eight weeks during the duration of your treatment with

traditional metal braces and clear braces. This can be to adjust the wires, change ties, repositioning of brackets and make sure

treatment is going well. Treatment with clear aligners only require you to go to the orthodontist every six to eight weeks to

check your progress and get new sets of trays.

Nutrition and Oral Hygiene

The same food restrictions apply to clear and metal braces. You cannot eat sticky or chewy foods, as they can pull a wire or

make a bracket pop off a tooth. Stringy foods can also get stuck in between wires and brackets. That limits things like apples,

carrots, candy, popcorn, and meat. With clear aligners, you can eat anything you want, since you can remove the trays to eat.

Similarly, cleaning your teeth is more difficult with braces. You have to concentrate on the "danger zone" and allow more time

to brush and floss with braces. You can brush and floss normally with aligners because you remove them for your oral

hygiene routine.

The best way to learn about your orthodontic treatment options is to visit our office for an initial consultation. We will be able to

recommend a treatment plan that works with your smile and your lifestyle.

Going on Vacation? Remember these simple tips!

July 7th, 2017

Vacation time? Remember these simple tips!

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we would suggest that you be prepared. We put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town. They include:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Brace Relief
  • Travel toothbrush
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Putting these items together in a "braces/oral hygiene kit" may be wise. You may even buy pre-made braces kits.

If you happen to be on vacation and experience any issues with your braces, please contact our office for assistance.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies, cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose your tray, don't worry! If a bracket/wire becomes loose or broken, don't worry!  Simply contact us as soon as you can for assistance and to also schedule a repair visit!

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 22nd, 2017

April is National Facial Protection Month

Take Five: Sports Safety Tips for National Facial Protection Month

Calling all MVPs, team captains, full roster players, practice squads, coaches, teachers and parents/caregivers. Five of the nation’s top dental associations want to remind everyone to play it safe during recreational and organized sports to help prevent serious, painful facial injuries that can take the fun out of the game. Take five, and take in these five simple safety tips.

  1. Mouth Guards are a Must. Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.
  2. Helmets are always Helpful.  Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.  IMG_3392
  3. Have 20/20 Vision with Protective Eyewear.  Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
  4. Face Shields Save Skin…and more.  Hockey pucks, footballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
  5. Cheer and Shout Out Your Support for Mandatory Protective Gear.  Athletes who participate in football, hockey and boxing are required to wear mouth guards. If mouth guards have been proven to significantly decrease the risk of oral injuries, why is it not mandatory in every sport for kids to wear them?

Whether your child is playing a contact sport or just monkeying around on the monkey bars, accidents happen. A recently published study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a database of injuries treated at hospital emergency departments, for the period 2001-2008. Researchers found the five most common causes of childhood injuries were, in order of frequency, basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds and soccer. 1

An estimated 12 million people ages of 5 and 22 years suffer a sport-related injury annually, which leads to 20 million lost days of school2 and approximately $33 billion in healthcare costs.3 Yet, some of these injuries could be prevented with protective gear. “A properly fitted mouth guard is an essential piece of any athlete's protective equipment,” says Dr. Paul Nativi, DMD, FASD, and past president of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. “Talk with your dentist about what kinds of activities your family enjoys and ask about ways to make sure their teeth and face stay protected.”

Every April, National Facial Protection Month strives to raise public awareness and remind parents/caregivers, coaches and athletes to play it safe while playing sports. The Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), and the American Dental Association (ADA) are collaborating to promote the 2015 April is National Facial Protection Month observance to help people learn more about how simple it can be to take five and make a play for better safety that protects not only your mouth and face, but also your peace of mind.

References:
1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141013152656.htm. 2. National Athletic Trainers’ Association. (unpublished media review). 3. Ferguson RW. Safe Kids Worldwide Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data, 2013.

Toothbrushes

February 2nd, 2017

 

Electric or Manual Toothbrush: What’s the Difference?

You live in the golden age of toothbrushes. Until a few decades ago, people used twigs or brushes made from animal hair to clean their teeth: not very soft and none too effective. Now you have a choice of manual brushes with soft, medium, or hard bristles. Or you might choose to go with an electric toothbrush instead. Have you ever wondered whether manual or electric brushes provide better cleaning? Actually, they both do the job. The key is to brush and floss every day, regardless of the kind of brush you prefer. At our office, we like to say the best brush is the one you’ll use. So if you prefer manual, go for it. If you prefer electric, turn it on. Both types have their advantages but both types will get the job done as far as removing plaque, if used properly.

Electric Toothbrushes

  • Provide power rotation that helps loosen plaque
  • Are great for people with limited dexterity due to arthritis or other physical limitations
  • Are popular with kids who think the electric brushes are more fun to use
  • Can come with variable speeds to help reduce pressure on sensitive teeth and gums
  • Uses timers to ensure you brush evenly across the four quadrants of your mouth and for the optimal two minutes each session

Manual Toothbrushes

  • Can help brushers feel they have more control over the brushing process
  • Allow brushers to respond to twinges and reduce the pressure applied to sensitive teeth and gums
  • Are more convenient for packing when traveling
  • Are cheaper and easier to replace than the electric versions
  • In many ways, the golden age is just beginning. There are already phone apps available to remind you to brush and floss. New apps can play two minutes worth of music while you brush, help you compare the brightness of your smile, or remind you to brush and floss throughout the day. Maybe someday, there will be an app that examines your teeth after brushing to identify spots you might have missed.

Retainer Wear

January 5th, 2017

Keep Your Smile Straight with Retainers

Retainers will help to protect all the time and money you’ve invested in your newly aligned teeth by keeping them in place and beautiful for many years to come.

We offer two types of retainers: removable and fixed. Both are effective at keeping newly straightened teeth in place, and both have advantages and disadvantages that depend on your lifestyle.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: You will generally put in a removable retainer at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer.

Another advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease. This is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer.

However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten or misplaced. If that happens, you won’t be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are the best choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your fixed retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a fixed retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can’t forget to put it in; it’s already there!

One drawback to fixed retainers is flossing. If you find it more difficult to floss with a fixed retainer, we can show you some tips and tricks the next time you’re in our office.

 

Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques

December 1st, 2016

Fitting Braces into Your Life

September 12th, 2016

Fitting Braces into Your Life
When you’re wearing braces, there are a few things you’ll have to adjust to get the optimal results in the shortest amount of time. If you have any questions about the “do’s and don’ts” of living with braces, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment.

Eating

When you have braces, there are a few types of foods that can damage your brackets and bend your wires, leading you to more appointments and longer treatment times. By simply avoiding sticky, chewy, crunchy, and hard foods, as well as foods like corn on the cob, your orthodontic experience will be smoother and will help prevent unnecessary emergency visits.

Cleaning

Maintaining a clean mouth takes focused attention, more so when you are undergoing Fitting Braces into Your Lifeorthodontic care. You’ll never believe the amount of food that can get lodged between your braces when you eat. Plaque buildup as a result of poor brushing and flossing habits can cause bad breath, or worse, tooth decay! It is so important to brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day. It may seem like a hassle, but it will all be worth it in the end!

Sports

Protecting your smile if you play sports is essential when you have braces, and mouthguards are an ideal solution to protecting your teeth and gums from injury. Some mouthguards work better than others when you’re wearing braces, so check with our team first. We can advise you on the right mouthguard if you plan on participating in any kind of contact sport.

Following these tips throughout your treatment will help ensure you get the results you want from your treatment in a timely manner. If you have any questions, please give our office a call. We are here to help!

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Going on Vacation? Remember these simple tips!

June 2nd, 2016

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we would suggest that you be prepared. We put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town. They include:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Travel toothbrushvacation
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Putting these items together in a “braces/oral hygiene kit” may be wise. You may even buy pre-made braces kits. Please ask us for more information.

If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies, cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose your tray, don’t worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

May 3rd, 2016

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to a set of conditions that involve trouble with your jaw and face muscles. It results from a problem in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects the temporal bones in your skull, in front of each ear, to your jaw. The joint enables you to talk, yawn, and chew by allowing your jaw to move.

The most common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, and pain when biting
  • Jaws that are stuck open or shut without you being able to unlock them
  • Grating or popping sounds when you chew, or close or open your mouth

In the absence of dental caries or gum disease, symptoms such as migraines, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may also indicate TMD.

Risk Factors for TMD

  • TMD is more prevalent in women than men.
  • The condition is most common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years.
  • If you have arthritis in the jaw area, movement becomes more difficult and puts a strain on the temporomandibular joint.
  • Excessive tooth grinding increases stress on the joint.
  • General stress can lead you to clench your teeth and strain facial muscles.

Very often, TMD can be treated with a splint or nightguard. Splints and nightguards are custom-made mouthpieces that fit over your upper and lower teeth, to prevent them from coming together and reduce the effects of clenching or grinding the teeth.

Regardless of the reason for your TMD, a simple visit to our office will help you understand all your treatment options and get you started on a life free of jaw pain.

Helping Kids Want to Smile

April 7th, 2016

Ask any child with less-than-perfect teeth about teasing and nicknames and you'll no doubt hear a sad story. We hear them every day – Goofy, Bugs Bunny, Fang. Some fun. There is real substance to such a child's social pain.

One study on childhood harassment found that misaligned or protruding teeth were the single most common target of name-calling among children. Further, children with orthodontic problems are more subject to bullying than their luckier peers.

We've all experienced the hostility of childhood epithets – it's part of growing up. But for some of us, the bad memories don't "go away." Early and persistent humiliation can become an adult's psychological baggage.

Part of our task as orthodontists is a social one. We know how a child with a problem bite feels. And we know that it's a preventable situation. We have the means to correct every "bad bite" out there – and with it, the social brutality so devastating to young self-esteem.

We want every child in our community to have the advantages of a normal, healthy countenance. Orthodontic evaluation is the first step. Call us for a consultation. The payback for your child lasts a lifetime.

How Long does Orthodontic Treatment Take?

March 14th, 2016

How long does orthodontic treatment take?
 

Your smile is totally unique, so the time you’ll need to spend undergoing orthodontic treatment will also be unique. Generally, orthodontic treatment will take about two years, and this is for good reason. During this time, your teeth will slowly move into their desired positions, leaving you with a great smile with as little discomfort as possible. Rushing treatment can result in a less than perfect smile with a greater chance of tooth movement after your treatment is complete. After all, we don’t want to waste your time with treatment that won’t retain your smile for the rest of your life.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Based on a thorough examination and complete clinical records we will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But—it’ll all be worth it in the end! Orthodontic care is not only about beautiful smiles, it dramatically improves your overall oral and gum health.

Has your child or teen visited our office for an orthodontic consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help him or her begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

Am I Too Old for Braces?

Digital Advancements in Orthodontic Technology

February 1st, 2016

Digital Advancements in Orthodontic Technology

The digital age is here, but what does that really mean for orthodontics? If you are straightening your teeth, you still need to wear metal or clear braces or plastic aligner trays, and visit the orthodontist regularly to check your progress and make adjustments. The digital age has not passed dentistry by, though. From start to finish, orthodontists use digital technology to improve care and make your office visits faster and more comfortable. Following are some digital advancements in orthodontic technology and what they can mean for you.

 

Digital Impressions

When you use Invisalign® plastic trays to straighten your teeth, you need to get a new set of trays every two weeks. That requires your orthodontist to know the exact shape of your teeth and bite to be able to custom-make your new aligners. While taking an impression to make a mold is one approach, digital impressions using a 3D scanner are an alternative. Digital impressions are faster, more accurate, and far more comfortable, since it doesn’t use “goopy” impression material.

 

Cone Beam CT

CT scanning is a great improvement over traditional X-rays because of better picture quality. The image lets orthodontists get a more accurate idea of the status of your mouth and what needs to be done to straighten your teeth. The 3D image lets orthodontists see your mouth from all angles, not just from a single angle as with regular X-rays.

Digital Advancements outside the Orthodontic Office

Some of the advancements come outside the clinical aspect of our office in the form of convenience. If you have read our website for information, made online appointments, or emailed our staff with questions, you have taken advantage of these digital opportunities. Also, digital advancements in record keeping allow us to use less paper, helping the environment along the way. - See more at: http://www.sesamecommunications.com/ppnarticles/digital-advancements-in-orthodontic-technology/#sthash.S4HPxh1B.dpuf

Invisalign, as easy as 1,2,3

January 14th, 2016

Looking to improve your smile, but eager to keep your treatment to yourself? Consider Invisalign, the invisible way to straighten teeth. The clear, custom aligners are removable, which makes for easy eating, brushing and flossing, and no disruption of your lifestyle. More significantly, you do not face the challenges of having brackets to contend with for the treatment period. More than 1.7 million people have chosen Invisalign in their quest for a healthy, appealing, and more confident smile.

The process is simple:

1. We’ll Create a Custom Treatment Plan for You

First we’ll take impressions of your teeth. Based on their current position and their ideal end position, we’ll create a treatment plan that maps out the movement of your teeth with a series of Invisalign aligners.

2. Your Unique Set of Aligners Are Created

Using precision-computer mapping and design, a series of clear, removable aligners are custom-molded to fit your treatment plan. We’ll provide you with your aligners and precise instructions on how long each aligner is to be worn.

3. Wear Your Aligners to Guide Your Teeth into Place

Wear each set of aligners night and day for the prescribed time period, removing them only to eat, brush and floss. We’ll set regular check-ups to monitor your progress. While treatment duration varies, adult treatment typically takes a year, while for younger patients treatment is comparable to that of traditional braces.

Before you know it, you’ll see a straighter, healthier, and more confident smile in the mirror. To learn more about this exciting treatment at our practice, visit our website or give us a call and come in for a consultation!

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2015 TYathlon

October 1st, 2015

"Dozens of Mahopac residents participated in the third annual “TYathlon” and 5K, which raised nearly $48,000 for pediatric cancer research. Former Mahopac residents Cindy and Lou Campbell (shown above) founded the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation in 2013 in memory of their son, Ty, who passed away in October 2012 at the age of 5 after battling a rhabdoid tumor, a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer. The triathlon featured: a quarter-mile swim at Sandy Beach, a 10.5 mile bike ride around Lake Mahopac, and a 3-mile run on East/North Lake Boulevard." - Mahopac News

September 19, 2015 was a successful, amazing day!  Dr. Rooney, Jen Morris, volunteers, family and friends truly enjoyed in helping to raise money for such a great cause.  A day like this is always rewarding!  We're looking forward to next year!

 

Electronic or Manual Toothbrush: What's the Difference?

September 1st, 2015

You live in the golden age of toothbrushes. Until a few decades ago, people used twigs or brushes made from animal hair to clean their teeth: not very soft and none too effective. Now you have a choice of manual brushes with soft, medium, or hard bristles. Or you might choose to go with an electric toothbrush instead.
Have you ever wondered whether manual or electric brushes provide better cleaning? Actually, they both do the job. The key is to brush and floss every day, regardless of the kind of brush you prefer. At our office, we like to say the best brush is the one you’ll use. So if you prefer manual, go for it. If you prefer electric, turn it on. Both types have their advantages but both types will get the job done as far as removing plaque, if used properly.

Electric Toothbrushes

  • Provide power rotation that helps loosen plaque
  • Are great for people with limited dexterity due to arthritis or other physical limitations
  • Are popular with kids who think the electric brushes are more fun to use
  • Can come with variable speeds to help reduce pressure on sensitive teeth and gums
  • Uses timers to ensure you brush evenly across the four quadrants of your mouth and for the optimal two minutes each session

Manual Toothbrushes

    • Can help brushers feel they have more control over the brushing process
    • Allow brushers to respond to twinges and reduce the pressure applied to sensitive teeth and gums
    • Are more convenient for packing when traveling
    • Are cheaper and easier to replace than the electric versions

 

In many ways, the golden age is just beginning. There are already phone apps available to remind you to brush and floss. New apps can play two minutes worth of music while you brush, help you compare the brightness of your smile, or remind you to brush and floss throughout the day. Maybe someday, there will be an app that examines your teeth after brushing to identify spots you might have missed

 

Orthodontic Misconceptions

August 1st, 2015

When you think of a person wearing braces, the first image that likely pops into your head is an awkward middle-school child with a mouth full of metal brackets and rubber bands. The vast majority of our patients don’t fit that stereotype, however.

We have patients of all ages who take advantage of a broad variety of orthodontic treatments. There are many misconceptions about orthodontics, so we’d like to put a few of them to rest.orthodontic-misconceptions (1)

  1. Orthodontic treatment is just for kids
    Although teenagers often visit our office to get braces, adults represent a growing proportion of our orthodontic patients. Whether you’re eight or 80, a consultation with our orthodontists can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected by orthodontics.
  2. Traditional metal braces are my only option
    Advances in orthodontic technology have come up with improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Aesthetic orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners, clear braces, and even lingual (behind the teeth) braces are available to you.
  3. Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth
    Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason for patients to seek orthodontic care. But orthodontic interventions can help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbites and jaw misalignment, we can help with many problems related to your teeth, gums, and jaws. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean, so there’s less risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Orthodontic treatment is too expensive
    As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, our team works with patients to identify payment plans, insurance coverage, and third-party financing that reduce the financial burden. Don’t let preconceived ideas about braces deter you from getting the orthodontic care you need!

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign

July 1st, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign

Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people even know you’re in treatment? You’re not alone in your concerns! Here are some of the most common questions we hear about Invisalign.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move teeth into their proper positions. The aligners are created with 3D computer imaging technology and custom-made for your smile. You will wear each set of aligners for two weeks before they’re replaced by the next in the series. To be effective, the aligners must be worn at all times except when you eat, brush, and floss.

Is Invisalign uncomfortable?

Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and a sign that Invisalign is working to move your teeth to their new, straightened positions. Once your mouth has acclimated to the new aligners, you probably won’t even notice you’re wearing them! Invisalign doesn’t use metal brackets or wires like traditional braces, so you don’t need to worry about gum irritation.

Can other people tell that I’m using Invisalign?

One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without friends, family, or your coworkers knowing!

What foods should I avoid during Invisalign treatment?

Another great advantage of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, so you can eat whatever you want during the entire course of treatment. Simply take your aligners out before each meal, brush when you’re finished eating, then replace your aligners.

What about chewing gum?

We recommend you remove your aligners for all meals and snacks, because gum and other chewy substances can stick to them.

Can I smoke during treatment?

Smoking is a dangerous habit that has serious health repercussions. We discourage smoking at all times, but especially when you’re using Invisalign, because the aligners may become discolored.

Will my speech be affected by the aligners?

As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.

How often must I visit the office during treatment?

For most patients, visits to our office every four to six weeks are frequent enough for us to make sure your treatment is progressing properly. We will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.
If you have additional questions about treatment with Invisalign, contact our office!

 

Flossing: Just as Important as Brushing

May 1st, 2015

Just brushing your teeth isn't enough to keep your mouth clean and prevent disease. The tissue between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach is more prone to infection. That is why flossing regularly is just as essential to your overall oral health care as brushing. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests flossing at least once a day to promote total oral healtflossing-just-as-important-as-brushingh.

Why should you floss?

Flossing removes plaque from the areas of your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t reach. If you don’t remove this plaque, it can harden into calculus or tartar which can cause infection or disease. Two common issues associated with not flossing include gingivitis (gum infection) and periodontitis (gum disease), both of which can lead to the loss of a once-healthy tooth.

When should you floss?

In the end, it does not matter if you floss during the day or the night, as long as you floss regularly. The best way to make sure that you’re flossing on a regular basis is to make it a part of your daily routine. If you feel too tired at night, try flossing in the mornings. If your mornings feel too rushed, make flossing a regular part of your nightly ritual.

Here are some helpful flossing tips from the ADA:

  • Flossing is necessary for children who have at least two teeth that touch. If your child is not yet able to floss effectively by themselves, help them floss and make it a regular part of their teeth-brushing routine.
  • Try different flossing methods and find one that works best for you. Those who have difficulty flossing may like using a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, or even just a different type of floss.
  • If you experience pain when you first start flossing, this pain should ease within a week or two of regular flossing and brushing. If you still experience discomfort after you have been flossing regularly, consult your dentist.

No matter when you floss or what type of floss you use, make sure that you floss on a regular basis. If you find it difficult or you are not sure if you’re flossing effectively, consult a member of our team. Though flossing may add just one more step to your daily routine, it’s just as important to achieving a healthy smile as brushing.

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Caring for Your Smile During Orthodontic Treatment

April 1st, 2015

Straightening your teeth can have a world of benefits. It can give you more confidence in your smile, make it easier to keep your teeth clean, and improve the alignment of your front and back teeth so that chewing is easier. However, since orthodontic treatment often takes over a year, it is important to know how to care for your smile during that time.

Maintain Good Dental Hygiene

Maintaining your oral hygiene regimen is even more important now

that you have braces. Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. To make flossing in between your wires and brackets easier, ask us about a floss threader. Use a mouthwash daily to kill germs.

caring-for-your-smile-during-orthodontic-treatment

Eat a Mouth-Healthy Diet

Limit sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks, to avoid having sugar on your teeth and increasing your risk of tooth decay. You’ll also need to avoid certain foods because they are too gummy, hard, or likely to get stuck in or damage your braces.

Orthodontic treatment or not, eating sticky, sugary foods is never healthy because they increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Instead, opt for nutritious choices such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins.

Orthodontic treatment will give you a better smile and the benefits that come with it. Make sure you take full advantage of your treatment by keeping your mouth clean so that your smile is white and healthy when your braces come off!

 

Are you a tooth grinder?

March 1st, 2015

tooth grindingYour dentist is the perfect healthcare professional to look to when you are experiencing tooth grinding and the many symptoms that go along with that. We are here to help. After all, we know that teeth grinding can be a nuisance that causes headaches and sleep problems. It also can cause lasting problems for your teeth and gums, including chipped teeth, worn enamel, chronic pain, or even TMJ, a painful jaw disorder.

Our team utilizes TruDenta systems, which have been designed to relieve headaches, migraines, jaw pain or facial pain. Through proven state–of–the–art technologies in the fields of advanced dentistry and medicine, you can finally get headache and migraine relief in a way that will:

  • Reduce your pain levels and the number of days in pain
  • Provide headache relief without dependence on drug related solutions
  • Give you control of your healing process
  • Possibly even give you your life back… you know the one before all this pain took you down the path of “trying to cope”

The first step of recovering from teeth grinding is noticing the problem. Symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Sensitivity in the teeth
  • Tightness or pain in the jaw
  • Dull headaches, earaches or facial pain
  • Chipped, worn down or loose teeth

If you have been experiencing pain, our team can help determine the cause of the problem. TruDenta dentists are uniquely equipped with state-of-the-art technology to quickly examine and diagnose force-related symptoms.

It’s time to talk with our office about how we can help you with TruDenta. A simple painless screening test can determine if TruDenta is right for you. To learn more, please give us a call today. Grinding your teeth can negatively impact your smile and chewing function. It can be related to sore painful muscles, headaches, and sleep problems. Please ask us about TruDenta today.

 

A Guide to Preventing Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

February 1st, 2015

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. It is essential that you put some extra attention into preventing tooth decay while wearing your braces. When your braces are finally removed, you want a beautiful, white smile, not decayed or stained teeth. Here are a few tips to help you keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:prevent-decay-while-braces

Learn Proper Brushing Techniques

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste for best results. Using an oral rinse every day will help, too. Rinsing with mouthwash is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces, as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.

Brush after Every Meal

Since braces block food from naturally escaping your teeth after eating, it’s important that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but when you get your braces off, you will be very glad you brushed after every meal.

Eat Braces-Safe Foods

When you have braces, there are certain foods that you must avoid. For starters, sticky foods such as caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and are difficult to remove during brushing. Avoid hard foods, too, such as nuts and candy. Those goodies can bend wires or even break a bracket. And while you may love apples, carrots, or corn on the cob, they’re too firm or hard to bite into and can damage your braces. Crunchy treats can also harm your orthodontic appliances. It’s best to stay away from chips and popcorn, which can damage your braces. So just what can you eat? We recommend soft foods that are low in enamel-busting acids, such as bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta.

Get Regular Checkups

It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist, as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.

As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth healthy while you wear braces.

 

An Overview of Orthodontic Treatment

January 1st, 2015

Orthodontic treatment corrects the alignment of your teeth and jaws so that you can speak clearly, chew food effectively, and look attractive when you smile. This is done by putting sophisticated gadgets in your mouth. While many of these dental devices look similar, our orthodontist uses a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to straighten your teeth and repair jaw problems.

Orthodontic appliances are devices that move your teeth, change the position of your jaw, or hold your teeth in their finished positions after the orthodontist removes your braces. These devices may be attached to your teeth or removable.jan blog

Braces straighten your teeth. Brackets, bands, and wires characterize traditional braces. Braces are attached to the teeth, so they are not easily removable.
Spacers are small plastic rings fitted between your back teeth before your braces are placed. These spacers create space between your teeth to optimize the alignment your braces provide.

Retainers hold teeth in their finished position after your braces come off. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer; it features an acrylic plate that rests against the roof of your mouth and a wire crossing in front of your teeth. Essex retainers are quite popular as well, as they are durable and nearly invisible. Some retainers can even be affixed to the lingual, or tongue side, of your teeth.

Bite plates correct a deep bite, where the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth to cause bite problems.
Holding arches prevent the back teeth from moving forward to crowd the front teeth. A lower lingual holding arch prevents your permanent molars from migrating forward. The Nance holding arch maintains space between teeth after you lose baby teeth and before the permanent teeth come in.

palatal expander widens your upper jaw by separating the bones of your palate. This appliance helps your top and bottom teeth fit together better. The Quad Helix widens your jaws to create more room for crowded teeth.

Contact our office today to learn more about the orthodontic appliances we use to straighten smiles, and to schedule an appointment for yourself.

Foods That are Safe for Braces

December 1st, 2014

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, servings of lean proteins such as meats or fish, and a glass of water rather than sugar laden sodas or juice drinks. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to floss and brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, we will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:ortho-teenbraces-eating

  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peas
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta

Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Considerations

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration. It is also advisable to follow the professional hygiene appointment regiment proposed during your treatment planning, so that your oral health is maintained and we have a bright, healthy smile once we complete the orthodontic treatment and deband.

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? Our team is always ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment plan prescribed for you.

The Cause of Crooked Teeth

November 1st, 2014

The Cause of Crooked Teeth

When patients come to our office for their first orthodontic assessment, we’re often asked, “How did my teeth get crooked to begin with?” Teeth erupt crookedly for a number of reasons, ranging from genetics to mouth deformities and serious oral diseases.

When extra teeth or abnormally large teeth create a malocclusion (crookedness or misplacement), the culprit is usually genetic in nature. Other inherited traits involve jaws that are too small to accommodate a full set of teeth, and misaligned jaws that did not form properly in vitro.
Can crooked teeth be prevented?

In most cases, underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth are genetic and can’t be avoided. Orthodontic treatment with braces will be necessary to correct the condition once your child is old enough to wear them. However, certain early childhood behaviors that may also contribute to the development of crooked teeth can be avoided. These include:

  • Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
  • Losing baby teeth to decay before permanent teeth have naturally pushed them out of their sockets.
  • Allowing pacifier use to continue after front teeth have erupted

Permanent teeth below baby teeth are directly affected by the health of the baby teeth. If baby teeth are prematurely lost due to decay or trauma, permanent teeth will shift when they start moving upward.

Baby teeth are like anchors for permanent teeth; they help guide them when they erupt through the gums. In addition, taking excellent care of baby teeth is vital to having healthy permanent teeth free of discoloration or decay.

Harmful oral bacteria can spread into the gums and reach down to permanent teeth that are still buried in the gums. Once attached to a tooth’s enamel, bacteria will begin eroding the tooth even before it has a chance to take its first bite!

When to Start Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked Teeth

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests, as do we, that parents take their child to an orthodontist around age seven to rule out potential issues with permanent teeth eruption. If problems are discovered, it is not unusual to begin orthodontic treatment at that age.
In fact, specific conditions such as crowding and gaps between teeth are easier to correct at an early age. Early treatment also benefits from the growth process of the jaw, which helps move teeth to normal positions.

If you have questions about your child’s teeth, simply schedule an appointment! We’re here to make sure your child grows up with a beautiful, straight, and most importantly, healthy smile.

 

Checklist for Your Life With Braces

October 1st, 2014

When you have braces, you’ll need to take extra care of your teeth, as well as your new appliances. Here’s a list of things that will make your orthodontic experience more convenient, more comfortable, and more efficient.

  1. A good orthodontist-recommended toothbrush. Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, be sure to choose one with soft bristles. Brush in a gentle, circular motion to massage and clean your teeth and gums, and remove any food particles stuck between your wires and brackets.
  2. Non-whitening toothpaste. If you use whitening toothpaste, your teeth may not whiten evenly, because the tooth surface bonded to the brackets will not be exposed to the whitening agent. Save your teeth-whitening treatment for when your braces are removed, and all teeth can be whitened evenly and at the same time.
  3. A water flosser. Flossing between each bracket and wire is essential to keep your teeth healthy and your appliances intact, but it’s not easy. Try using a water flosser, such as Waterpik® or Sonicare®, which uses a stream of pressurized water to remove plaque and debris.
  4. Orthodontic floss and floss threaders. If a water flosser isn’t feasible, buy floss specifically made to be used with braces. Similar to traditional floss, orthodontic floss is threaded between your teeth to remove plaque and food particles. However, orthodontic floss has a sturdy tip which makes it easier to thread under your wires.
  5. Mouthwash. Cavities and gum disease can delay the outcome of your orthodontic treatment and damage your smile. An antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwash kills plaque bacteria that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Mouthwash with fluoride also helps strengthen enamel and protects against tooth decay.
  6. Pain relievers. When your braces are placed, and after each adjustment, you may experience soreness and discomfort. While this is perfectly normal and temporary, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen), as directed to ease your discomfort.
  7. Soft foods. There are some foods you’ll have to avoid when you have braces. These include foods that are chewy (for example, licorice), crunchy (popcorn), sticky (caramel), and hard (nuts). To prevent damage to your braces, stick to soft foods like cheese, pudding, pancakes, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, applesauce, and bananas.
  8. Wax. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Questions about what you’ll need during your orthodontic treatment? Just contact our office and ask! We’re here to make sure your time in braces is as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

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Orthodontic Treatment for All Ages

September 22nd, 2014

The goal of orthodontic treatment, which may include the use of braces, retainers, or aligners, is to straighten your teeth, and if necessary, correct your bite. While patients typically begin treatment during their pre-teen or teenage years, many adults are also seeking the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is valuable at any age, because it addresses several important issues:

  • Crowded teeth spaced too close together
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Upper and lower teeth that do not meet

AestheticsOrthodontic Treatment for All Ages

You are more likely to be proud of your smile when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced. Pride in your appearance can give you greater self-esteem, and may encourage you to try new things. This can be particularly important for adolescents. First impressions are best made with a straight, beautiful smile, and the confidence that goes with it.

Health

Brushing and flossing your teeth are the two basic components of an effective oral healthcare routine. But did you realize that caring for your mouth is easier when your teeth are straight? The American Dental Association states the following conditions are less likely to occur if your teeth are straight and evenly spaced:

  • Dental caries (cavities)
  • Gum disease or gingivitis
  • Loss of teeth
  • Impaired speech
  • Worn tooth enamel

Orthodontic Treatment Improves Nutrition

Poorly aligned teeth can reduce your ability to chew properly. They can also make certain foods more difficult to eat. Many of the foods that become more challenging to eat are healthy, like corn or apples. Avoiding them can cause you to limit your diet to softer, less nutritious foods such as ice cream and canned soup.

Straighter teeth give you the ability to chew crunchy foods, such as apples and carrots; stringy foods, such as asparagus and chicken; and chewy foods, such as raisins. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a cornerstone of good oral and overall health.

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, just give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to review all your options for a lifetime of straight, healthy smiles.

 

Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

August 1st, 2014

The human heart truly appreciates it when we eat healthy foods, don’t smoke, and exercise regularly. But there’s something else that can improve your heart’s longevity and you may not know about it: keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease have been found in the heart region of subjects who suffer artery inflammation, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Studies suggest that oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through diseased, bleeding gums and abscesses, in extreme situations, can reach from the gums into veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart.

Here are some things we recommend you adopt to make your heart love you for the rest of your life:

  1. Follow good oral hygiene and have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
  2. Avoid eating foods that contain saturated fat (fatty meats, processed meats, pastries, butter).
  3. Craving a crunchy snack? Grab a handful of tree nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the “good” kind of fat) as well as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
  4. Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nourishes your heart with a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can reduce cholesterol and help prevent atherosclerosis.improve-your-health
  5. Think “fish” the next time you shop for groceries — especially sardines, salmon, fresh tuna, and mackerel. These fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and may help prevent blood clots from forming.
  6. Opt for whole grains over processed white breads and cereals.
  7. Put that remote control (or computer mouse) down right now and get moving! Walk, swim, ride a bike, plant flowers; your heart likes to pump so give it a reason to!
  8. Refresh your brain and improve your heart health with at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  9. De-stress your life as much as possible. Relax, stay optimistic, and don’t sweat the petty stuff!
  10. Watch your weight and get regular health examinations, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.

Questions about your oral health and how it relates to your heart? Feel free to ask us at your next appointment!

 

Adapting Your Diet After an Orthodontic Adjustment

July 1st, 2014

Adapting Your Diet After an Orthodontic Adjustment:

If you have just gotten braces or had them tightened, it may take a few days for your teeth to adjust. During this time, you’ll want to take extra precautions to prevent unnecessary pain and potential damage to your teeth, gums, and appliances. Don’t worry: Any discomfort you experience will soon disappear. And it’ll all be worth it in the end. Your new, beautiful smile will be yours for a lifetime!adapting-your-diet-after-adjustment

Change What You Eat:

Eating inappropriate foods can cause unnecessary pain. Here are some easy ways you can adapt your diet and eating habits after an adjustment. Cut your food into small pieces. Any food that requires chewing can be cut up into bite-sized pieces. This includes sandwiches, pizza, meat, and bread. Eat softer foods. In the first couple of days, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups. Mashed potatoes and applesauce are good options as well. It’s easy to cook fruits and vegetables to make them softer: just steam them in the microwave! Be gentle with your teeth. Braces give your teeth a workout, so to ease soreness, be gentle with your teeth. Avoid chewy foods that can further irritate already-sore teeth and gums.

Dealing with Discomfort:

Even if you alter your diet and take extra precautions, your mouth may still be sore or irritated. Here are some ways to reduce any lingering discomfort. Eat slowly and carefully. If it hurts to chew something, stop! If chewing is needed, try to use your back teeth as much as possible. Put pain on ice. Try sucking on some small pieces of ice. Don’t chew on the ice; this will make your discomfort worse. You can also use an ice pack or put frozen peas in a bag and apply pressure to the sore areas. Use wax. Put wax on any metal part that irritates your mouth. If you need some, please let us know! Do a salt rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes. Just don’t swallow the salt water. Following these simple tips will get you back to smiling in no time! If you have any questions about your treatment, or how to eat with braces, please give us a call at 845-621-1222, or ask us during your next appointment!

 

Wednesday May 7th is Invisalign Day in Our Office!

May 5th, 2014

Wednesday May 7th is Invisalign Day in our office!  Thanks to Invisalign, patients will be given a $625 courtesy towards Invisalign treatment if they schedule an initial Invisalign exam with Dr. Rooney for May 7th.  Invisalign impressions must be taken before May 30th 2014.  Tell your family and friends about this special event.  To schedule an appointment or for more information, call our office at (845)-621-1222.

See you then!invisaligninvisalign 2

invisalign

invisalign 2

 
invisalign

Going on Vacation? Remember these simple tips!

April 2nd, 2014

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we would suggest that you be prepared. We put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town. They include:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Travel toothbrushvacation
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Putting these items together in a "braces/oral hygiene kit" may be wise. You may even buy pre-made braces kits. Please ask us for more information.

If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies, cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose your tray, don't worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!

"What is expected of me during my orthodontic treatment?"

March 19th, 2014

We hear this question a lot, and are thrilled that patients are eager to manage their treatment in the best manner possible so they may complete their orthodontic treatment on schedule.

During your initial consultation, we will map out a specific treatment for you and will try our hardest to give you a timeline of when we expect you to wrap up treatment.

Having said that, we know every patient is different. People have different biological responses to orthodontic treatment and some people's teeth may move faster than others.

Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your treatment wraps up in a timely manner. By following these suggestions, you can avoid any setbacks during your treatment.

  • Make sure to keep your adjustment appointments. Postponing or cancelling will delay treatment!
  • Be sure to show up on time to your appointments. This will give us time to complete everything we planned to accomplish during your adjustment visit.
  • When prescribed, make sure you are diligent about wearing rubber bands or other appliances.
  • Avoid damage to your braces and teeth by wearing a mouth guard during sports activities.
  • Make sure to brush and floss regularly! Gum disease or other dental work can delay orthodontic treatment.

If you remember to follow these guidelines, you'll be on your way to having the dazzling, healthy smile you've always wanted. As for us, we will do our part to move your orthodontic treatment along efficiently. If you have any questions about your treatment time, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!what-is-expected

“How much calcium does my child really need?”

February 7th, 2014

how-much-calciumEveryone remembers their parents reminding them to drink milk on a daily basis to build strong bones in order to grow tall and strong. Getting enough dairy is critical for kids whose teeth are still growing. A child who consumes the recommended daily serving of dairy will develop healthy, strong teeth for the rest of his or her life.

Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium to help your child build bone tissue and maintain optimal dental health. Milk contains vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins. Magnesium works to promote calcium deposits in your child’s enamel, while phosphorus forms a small but important barrier against acidic foods that are known to cause caries, or cavities.

Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry warn that kids don’t receive enough calcium, stating only one in five children meets the minimum standards for calcium consumption. That is, two and a half cups of dairy per day. Children who are nine years old need almost twice as much calcium as younger kids and about the same amount as adult men and women. In addition to milk, eating yogurt or cheese is a great way your child can increase his or her dairy consumption.

Everyone remembers their parents reminding them to drink milk on a daily basis to build strong bones in order to grow tall and strong. Getting enough dairy is critical for kids whose teeth are still growing. A child who consumes the recommended daily serving of dairy will develop healthy, strong teeth for the rest of his or her life.

Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium to help your child build bone tissue and maintain optimal dental health. Milk contains vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins. Magnesium works to promote calcium deposits in your child’s enamel, while phosphorus forms a small but important barrier against acidic foods that are known to cause caries, or cavities.

Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry warn that kids don’t receive enough calcium, stating only one in five children meets the minimum standards for calcium consumption. That is, two and a half cups of dairy per day. Children who are nine years old need almost twice as much calcium as younger kids and about the same amount as adult men and women. In addition to milk, eating yogurt or cheese is a great way your child can increase his or her dairy consumption.

If your child is lactose intolerant or is allergic to milk, there are many products which contain the same amount of calcium that your child would receive from drinking a glass of milk. These include:

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified breads and cereals
  • Plant-based problem foods such as beans, broccoli or spinach
  • Tofu

If your child does not get enough dairy–rich products, they run the risk of improper tooth development and other dental health problems. We strongly encourage you to monitor your child’s dairy consumption to ensure he or she grows healthy bones and teeth to last a lifetime.

If you have any questions about the role calcium plays in your child’s diet, please give us a call or ask us during your child’s next appointment!

If your child is lactose intolerant or is allergic to milk, there are many products which contain the same amount of calcium that your child would receive from drinking a glass of milk. These include:

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified breads and cereals
  • Plant-based problem foods such as beans, broccoli or spinach
  • Tofu

If your child does not get enough dairy–rich products, they run the risk of improper tooth development and other dental health problems. We strongly encourage you to monitor your child’s dairy consumption to ensure he or she grows healthy bones and teeth to last a lifetime.

If you have any questions about the role calcium plays in your child’s diet, please give us a call or ask us during your child’s next appointment!

Tracy Paulet Interview

January 17th, 2014

Tracy Paulet Interview:

1.    What were the initial thoughts that made you consider undergoing orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery?

My dentist and I had spoken many times about the constant breaking of composites because of my “under-bite”. One comment “Uggh, that bite” as he started to work on me during one appointment prompted me to ask about my possible options. “It’s expensive” he said. Never in my wildest dreams did I consider this treatment as solving so many issues.

2.     After discussing treatment with Dr. Rooney and the other doctors on your orthodontic and surgery team, what were your biggest surprises that a combination of orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery could accomplish for you? 

My biggest surprise was the facts found that led to the curing of my extreme case of Sleep Apnea. This surprise find help answer several health issues. Not only re-aligning my jaw and straightening my teeth but my entire health had taken a turn for the extreme good!

3.     What was your pre-surgical experience with braces?

My treatment was almost 2 years of bi weekly adjustments before I was ready for surgery. I knew coming into this process that it was going to be a long term treatment. I put my faith and confidence into Dr. Rooney and his team and I never looked back even on the hardest days.

4.     What was your surgical experience and initial post-surgical experience (eight weeks after surgery)?

My surgery was long at 5 hours but there was a lot of work (correcting my under bite – moving both jaws) I was released from the hospital after 2 days. My recovery went well as I did not experience much bleeding afterwards and my swelling was normal. Thankfully all of my follow up visits went accordingly.

 5.     After removing your braces. How is your life different than before you started treatment?

My mouth is no longer “crooked” and I do not bite the insides of my cheeks. I find myself smiling even more (if that is possible) and my confidence level (if you can believe this) is even higher. I can’t believe what an incredible journey these three years have been. I waited for the day my braces came off to see and feel what it would be like…..and it is more than I expected. Totally life changing!

 Dr. Sean M. Rooney Orthodontics's photo.Dr. Sean M. Rooney Orthodontics's photo.

 

Age 50

Height 5’ 11”

Weight 245 lbs on my 1/28/2013 surgery date

Weight 215 lbs on 1/12/2014, my interview date

How do braces move teeth, anyway?

December 18th, 2013

We hear this question all the time. Tooth movement is your body’s natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a period of time, on an average of two years. Traditional orthodontic treatment works when we attach braces and brackets onto your teeth; these brackets have small slots, and that is where we insert orthodontic wires when you first get your braces on, as well as your subsequent adjustment visits. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As time passes during your treatment, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit.

Not long ago, orthodontists had a single option—stainless steel wires–and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires at our disposal to move your teeth faster and more comfortably.

When you first get your braces, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, you will notice we will use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.

Each time you visit our office for an adjustment, we will swap out the wires in order to keep putting the right amount of pressure on your teeth, which is why it’s so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most adjustment appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move at a steady pace and allow us to assess progress and ensure we keep your treatment plan on track.

As for rubber bands and elastics? Most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatment. These elastics are typically placed from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, pulling on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal bite and a beautiful smile.

If you have any questions about wires, brackets, or elastics, or have any general questions about your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!

Avoiding delays during your orthodontic treatment

October 18th, 2013

Our patients hate the thought of delaying their treatment time and often ask us what they can do in-between their adjustment visits to avoid having a setback. Today, we thought we would provide some tips on how you can stay on track in regards to your treatment plan time.

The first thing we want you to do is keep your adjustment appointments. Each of your visits while you are undergoing treatment is carefully planned to move your teeth a specific way in a certain time frame. It is critical to note that missing an appointment can add weeks, if not months, to your overall treatment time.

Next, we want you to let us know right away if your experience any problems with your braces or appliances. A missing wire, rubber band, or broken bracket can delay treatment time, so we ask that you please give us a call right away to report any issues rather than waiting until your next visit. We are committed to get you into the practice to address and resolve any issues as soon as feasible.

Make sure you wear your rubber bands as prescribed. Most, if not all, of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatment. Like missing your adjustment appointments, not wearing the bands or elastics, or not wearing them enough, can slow down the treatment process and cost you valuable treatment time. Rubber bands play a key role in aligning your bite and are essential for the bite-fixing phase of your treatment.

Finally, we want you to maintain good oral hygiene, just as you did before your treatment began. In addition to flossing regularly, we encourage you to brush your teeth several times a day. Not brushing will allow sugar to wear away the cement on the braces, rendering them inadequate in moving your teeth, as well as elevate your risk of developing cavities or tooth decay, which will inevitably delay valuable treatment time. The goal is to end up with a beautiful and healthy smile, and home care is essential to achieving this on schedule.

If you have any questions about any of these tips, or if you have any general questions about your treatment, please give us a call or ask us

What causes crooked teeth?

July 16th, 2013

We know everyone wants a naturally-aligned and beautiful smile and it’s no secret that orthodontic treatment can help deliver the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. But, what, exactly, is the cause of crooked teeth?

There are several reasons why some children’s teeth grow in crooked or overlapping. Some of the common reasons for crooked teeth include:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue thrusting or improper use of the tongue during speaking and swallowing
  • Early loss of baby teeth, which causes teeth to drift and shift
  • Prolonged use of a baby bottle or the use of a pacifier after the age of three
  • Poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils

There are also hereditary factors we get from our parents that determine how straight or crooked our teeth are. These include extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spaces between teeth or even jaws that are too small to accommodate their erupting teeth.

It is important to recognize that having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems down the road as well. Crooked teeth can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing, a problem you face at every meal that impacts your nutrition
  • Make keeping your teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the chance of developing cavities, tooth decay and gingivitis
  • Strain the teeth, jaws and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

In certain instances crooked or uneven teeth can cause difficulties with speech patterns, bone erosion, as well as help in digestion.

The good news is that multiple treatment modalities are available to correct crooked teeth and gain the many benefits of a straight, healthy smile. If you have questions about your treatment at our office, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!

Copyright © 2013 Sesame Communications

Are Braces Right for Me?

February 27th, 2013

According to Preferred Consumer, it's estimated that 50 percent of people have teeth that are crooked, not aligned properly, or irregular. Fortunately, modern orthodontics has advanced to the point where corrective devices, such as braces and retainers, are less obvious, more comfortable, and can be worn for shorter periods of time.

So, with that being said, how do you know if braces are right for you? Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not braces could be in your future:

Crooked Teeth
As children grow, so do their teeth. And more often than not, certain teeth will grow in crooked. This isn't uncommon, as the majority of children will require some sort of teeth correction, whether that’s braces or retainers. Retainers are custom-made devices that either work to hold teeth in place or correct tooth alignment. They're often worn all day, aside from meals, at the start of the treatment period and then eventually are rolled back so they're just worn at night. Braces on the other hand are worn for at least a year and work to help straighten or position teeth.

Overbite or Underbite
The other main oral issue that orthodontics helps correct is uneven alignment, such as an underbite or an overbite. You might hear us refer to this as a "malocclusion," which means "bad bite." Braces can help rearrange your alignment so an overbite or underbite is less of a problem. Typically after the braces come off for this sort of treatment, patients need to wear a retainer to finish the treatment.

While braces are typically associated with dental issues in children, more adults are wearing the devices as well. According to USA Today, about one in every five braces wearers are adults; a sign that it's never too late to correct any oral issues. Part of this trend is due to significant technological advancements in orthodontics. For instance, new braces feel much better and come in a variety of styles — including clear — so they're far less obvious. Plus, the wires on braces are now made from advanced metals, which are stronger and lighter, so they get the job done much more efficiently. With so many people wearing braces these days (according to the Pennsylvania Dental Association, about four million people in the US wear braces at any given time and many more have worn them at some time in their lives), nicknames like "metal mouth" and "brace face" are almost a thing of the past. Technology has also advanced to the point some orthodontic treatment will not require braces at all. The entire treatment can be successfully achieved by wearing clear aligners over your teeth, removing them for meals. This prevents any discomfort that may be associated with traditional braces. What's more, insurance plans are increasingly covering orthodontic treatment, making braces a much more feasible option for families on a budget.

When weighing whether or not braces or aligners are in your future, it's important to study all of your options about the categories of braces and other treatments. Also be sure to contact your insurance provider to see what is covered and what will have to be paid out of pocket. It might take a few years of treatment, but braces can give you that winning smile for the rest of your life. Call our office with any questions you might have!

Misconceptions About Orthodontics

January 18th, 2013

While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what our practice does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we are actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see us. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. Actually for any sort of restorative procedure, including crowns, bridges or veneers, a dentist is the correct professional to see. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. Correcting misaligned teeth not only results in the important esthetic benefit for a beautiful smile, but as importantly allows your teeth and gums to remain healthy as your bite is properly balances, and you can more easily care for your smile. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may grow in crooked or have gaps between teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced and more easily treat those. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.

Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what your orthodontist can do for you, we invite you to simply ask us. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our practice.

Copyright © 2013 Sesame Communications

Got my braces. Now what?

November 2nd, 2012

Got my braces. Now what?

Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before your orthodontic treatment began.

How do I keep my teeth clean?

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why we recommend that you brush and floss after every meal. We also encourage you to use a proxabrush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. We also recommend the use of fluoride rinse. When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to 3 or 5 days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will experience.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?” We would encourage you to avoid eating sticky, hard, crunchy or chewy snacks that can stick to your teeth or damage the braces.

It’s critical to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office immediately to schedule an appointment for repair.

How do I maintain my oral health during treatment?

Lastly, in addition to visiting our office during your orthodontic treatment for regular adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional check-ups and teeth cleaning appointments every six months, or as recommended by your doctor.

Questions? Please let us know below by giving us a call or during your next adjustment!

What Should I ask During My Consulation?

October 2nd, 2012

What should I ask during my consultation?

If you have been thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment, your first step is a visit to our office for an orthodontic consultation. During the initial consultation we will address your questions, concerns, and talk about a treatment plan that would best suit your case.

Because we want you to feel prepared and in charge of your orthodontic treatment decisions, consider the following questions when you visit for your initial consultation.

If I do need some adjustments to my teeth, what options will I have besides braces?
What kind of preparation is needed to get braces? How many visits will it take?
How many visits will the treatment plan take?
Can I expect any pain when getting braces?
What are the factors that determine how long I have to wear braces?
How will braces affect my lifestyle? Foods I can eat? Activities I can participate in?
Who will be involved in the orthodontic work? Whom can I expect to see during my adjustment visits?
What is the correct expectation in terms of outcome?
How much will my orthodontic work cost? What is the “average” cost?
Your initial orthodontic consultation may just be the first step in relieving concerns about the appearance of your smile, or discomfort you are experiencing. Going in with the right questions will help you to understand the entire process, the state of the art treatment options available to you, and prepare you to do your part for your own dental health, ultimately leaving you with a great smile!

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

September 4th, 2012

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Your smile is totally unique, so the time you’ll need to spend undergoing orthodontic treatment will also be unique. Generally, orthodontic treatment will take about two years, and this is for good reason. During this time, your teeth will slowly move into their desired positions, leaving you with a great smile with as little discomfort as possible. Rushing treatment can result in a less than perfect smile with a greater chance of tooth movement after your treatment is complete. After all, we don’t want to waste your time with treatment that won’t retain your smile for the rest of your life.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Based on a thorough examination and complete clinical records we will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But—it’ll all be worth it in the end! Orthodontic care is not only about beautiful smiles, it dramatically improves your overall oral and gum health.

Has your child or teen visited our office for an orthodontic consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help him or her begin the journey to a gorgeous smile!

Mouthguards and You!

August 1st, 2012

A lot of our patients play sports, and now is a great time to remind all of you to take care of both your mouth and appliances while participating in sports – especially contact sports such as soccer, football and basketball.

One of the most important pieces of sports equipment you can wear on the field is a mouth guard. A well-fitted mouth guard allows you to breathe and speak more clearly, in addition to protecting your mouth and appliances. Only by using a mouth guard can athletes avoid serious mouth and jaw injuries. The next time you’re in for an adjustment appointment, we encourage you to let us know if you’re playing or planning to play any sports. We can produce a mouth guard customized to your mouth that will work best for you.

Here are another five quick tips for keeping yourself safe during sports activities:

Wear a helmet
Stretch before and after a game or practice
Wear protective eyewear
Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
Be observant, even as a spectator

We hope this helps! You can always contact us if you have any questions!

Check out an article about how drinking coffee and tea everyday affects your teeth!

July 3rd, 2012

What’s the deal with coffee and tea?

We know a lot of people enjoy a hot-brewed coffee or tea during their day. But what many don’t know is that both coffee and tea are especially tough on your teeth—especially during orthodontic treatment—because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, and can stain your pearly whites.

So, if you can’t give up that morning cup o’joe, what can you do? We suggest rinsing with a glass of water after every cup. If you enjoy iced coffee or tea, drink your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth. Even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, we encourage you to swish some water at the end of each meal. Water, after all, helps neutralize acids left in your mouth after eating and also reduces cavity-causing bacteria.

We hope this helps! Let us know if you have any questions!

Catch Dr. Rooney on the radio!

August 4th, 2011

Dr. Rooney is going to be a guest on the “Hey, Coach Tony” show on ESPN 1510 radio this weekend at 9 a.m. You can also listen live via this link. Patients and parents are encouraged to call in with their questions to (855) HEY-COACH or (855)-439-2622.

The “Hey, Coach Tony” show is hosted by coach Tony Fiorino, and is a weekly call-in show for parents and coaches of youth athletes. Tony spent eight years as Director of the Center for Sports Parenting, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating parents, coaches and officials on the subtleties of the youth sports environment. He also wrote the book, “Kids in Sports: A Tactical Guide for Parents and Coaches. “

On this week’s program, Dr. Rooney will be interviewed about mouthguards, facial protection, and the importance of staying hydrated during athletic activities.

Did you know that dental injuries are the most common types of orofacial injuries in sports? How about the fact that orofacial injuries account for 34% of all sports injuries? It’s estimated that the use of a mouthguard prevents over 200,000 injuries per year in the US: and that’s just in football alone. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, more than FIVE MILLION teeth are knocked out in sporting events each year.

So what should one look for in a mouth guard? Tune in and find out!

Hydration during sports is also crucial. When you exercise, your muscles generate a lot of heat, as much as 20 times its normal temperature. Your body uses water and sweat to reduce its core temperature. As sweat evaporates, it cools the skin. Proper hydration is necessary to keep this process going. When an athlete becomes dehydrated, blood volume decreases, making the heart work harder and decreasing overall performance.

Do you have questions about mouth guards, sports, or hydration? Call in and ask!

July 30th, 2011

Dr. Rooney has officially signed up for The Ironman U.S. Championship Triathlon, which takes place in New York City and New Jersey on August 11, 2012. This grueling race covers 140.6 miles: a 2.4 mile swim in the Hudson, a 112 mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway, and a 26.2 mile run across the George Washington Bridge and ending in Riverside Park in Manhattan.

The Ironman began in Hawaii as a way to settle the debate over who were the best athletes: swimmers, runners, or bicyclists. Of the 15 people who started the first Iron Man Triathlon on February 18, 1978, only twelve finished. The victor was Gordon Haller, a U.S. Navyman, with a time of 11 hours, 46 minutes, 59 seconds. The following year, over 50 people competed, and the race has steadily grown since then.

Today, the race is so large, one can only compete by placing in a qualifying event, such as the U.S. Championship which Dr. Rooney is competing in.

Dr. Rooney understands that a healthy lifestyle goes a long way towards a healthy life and a healthy smile.
Even if triathlons aren’t your thing, regular exercise is key to maintaining good health. A study in the Journal of Dentistry found people who exercise regularly have stronger teeth and a reduced risk for developing periodontitis. Even among former smokers, regular exercise reduced their periodontitis risk by 74%.

Regular exercise is also known to lower blood pressure, and decrease risk for cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and even diabetes.
One reason why triathlon training is so great, is that it works every area of the body. Athletes who train for just one sport are more prone to injuries by overworking specific muscle areas. Because triathletes cross-train, different muscle groups are strained and strengthened, increasing fitness overall.

Many triathletes say the challenge of a bike ride after a swim, followed by a long run makes them mentally strong. Doing something you thought you couldn’t makes you feel like you can do anything! Completing an Ironman is such an achievement that just finishing the race earns you the title of Ironman, and the majority of competitors’ only goal is to finish. Here's a clip from the 2009 race, which shows just how difficult the Ironman is.

Whatever your exercise method of choice, just keep moving and flashing that smile!

Happy Independence Day!

July 1st, 2011

Patriotic RetainerIn honor of the July 4th holiday, we’re going to celebrate freedom, and shine a spotlight on those who now have freedom from braces!

If you’ve ever been to our office, you’re familiar with our bulletin board and the TVs in our waiting room, where some of our favorite before and after photos are displayed. So many great smiles have come from our office! Of course, just because your braces are off doesn’t mean orthodontic care is complete. We recommend long term retainer wear because teeth have a tendency to shift throughout life.

Of course, as a patient, it is up to you to keep your smile in place. In addition to proper dental hygiene, wearing a retainer is essential to maintaining the location of your teeth. Just as it takes a long time to move your teeth into the correct position, it takes a long time for the periodontal ligaments and bone to “remember” where your teeth belong and keep them there.

While teeth will naturally shift throughout your life, they tend to shift the most in the first two years following treatment. That’s why we recommend wearing your retainer full time for at least the first twelve months after treatment, but the longer the better. Full time means day and night, removing it only to eat and brush your teeth. We then recommend the retainer only at night for the next year, and then at least a few nights per week long term. It’s not as bad as it sounds- it doesn’t take long for nighttime wear to become a habit!

Keeping your retainer clean is very important. We recommend brushing the retainer and your teeth before putting the retainer in. You can use your regular toothpaste and toothbrush.

Keeping your retainer safe is also very important. Whenever you take your retainer out of your mouth, you should immediately put it into its case. Many patients need to order new retainers because they wrap the retainer in a napkin and accidentally throw it away. Dogs also love to chew on retainers, another great reason to keep your retainer in its case when it’s not being worn. If you do lose or damage your retainer, call our office right away. We’ll take an impression and order a new retainer for you, which typically arrives in a few weeks.

June is National Smile Month!

June 16th, 2011

A healthy smile is about more than looking great. Great dental health is key to overall health. Poor dental hygiene can lead not only to cavities, but has also has been linked to strokes, heart disease, complications in diabetics, and much more.

Did you know three out of five children ages 12-19 have tooth decay? And that American school children lost more than 51 million school hours each year to dental-related illnesses, and adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year?

Help maintain your beautiful smile by :

*Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

* Replace your toothbrush at least four times per year.

* Visit your dentist regularly! Every six months or whenever the dentist recommends is best.

*Floss regularly. Ask one of our Orthodontic Assistants if you need a demonstration on flossing while in braces.

* Use mouthwash! Follow brushing and flossing by gargling with mouthwash. Mouthwash helps to wash away food and plaque which brushing and flossing removed from your teeth.

* Choose healthy and nutritious foods for healthy teeth and gums!

*Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks and candy, especially when wearing braces and expanders!

Happy Memorial Day from Dr. Rooney's Office

May 26th, 2011

Do you know the history behind Memorial Day? Memorial Day began after the end of the Civil War as a way to remember the many people killed on both sides, and to start healing the deep rift between the North and the South. In the years following the war, people in various communities around the country were known to place flowers, wreaths and flags on the graves of the war dead. That’s why the holiday was originally known as Decoration Day.

Although Decoration Day has been practiced since 1868, it wasn’t officially recognized as a federal holiday until 1967, when Congress renamed it Memorial Day and declared the last Monday in May a federal holiday. The original date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a major battle.

Now, as a way to honor all military personnel killed in service to their country, on Memorial Day, all flags are raised completely and then slowly lowered to half staff until noon. At noon, the flag is raised to full staff, to symbolize a nation raising up the memory of their war heroes. Many Veterans wear red poppy flowers as a symbol of Memorial Day, and many Veterans’ Organizations sell the flowers as fundraisers.

Each Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers place flags in front of each of the more than 260,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, and then patrol around the clock to make sure each flag remains standing throughout the weekend.

Dr. Rooney, his family and staff wish to thank all our Veterans and their families for their service to our country!

Sleep Apnea: Risks and Treatment Options

January 4th, 2011

Sleep disorders are fairly common, with around 50 to 70 million Americans being affected by some type chronic sleep disorder, and some of these progressing to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can cause loss of sleep among many other health problems.

Those under the age of 4 (large tonsils) and those between the ages of 55 to 59 are the most susceptible to sleep apnea. Snoring is one of the most easily identified symptoms, and as it worsens it can lead to full airway blockage while you sleep, which can severely disrupt your sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem that if left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. It can also take a toll on your overall energy level, as sleep apnea causes an ongoing state of fatigue.

There are several different approaches to sleep apnea treatment, including:

Surgery to the jaws or airway tissue to open the airway. This is typically only used in the most severe cases.
Continuous airway pressure therapy which involves a mask and machine (CPAP machine) to keep your throat muscles and tissue open while sleeping
Oral appliance therapy, a less intrusive method involving a customized oral device that positions your jaw in a favorable position to keep your airway open while you sleep.

If you suspect that you may suffer from a sleep disorder or sleep apnea, give Dr. Sean M. Rooney Orthodontics a call and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist.

-- Dr. Rooney and Team

This Year, Make a New Year’s Resolution to Smile About!

December 28th, 2010

Let’s face it- when was the last time you managed to keep a New Year’s resolution? Dr. Rooney’s office believes the key to sticking to a goal is picking one that is both reasonable and attainable. If you haven’t yet picked a New Year’s resolution, consider setting one that will improve your oral health!

For example, resolve to brush twice and floss once a day. Good oral hygiene only takes a few minutes a day, and can make a big difference in your oral health and overall health too! For more oral health-themed resolutions for you and your family, check out this article.

We would love to see what you come up with, share with us by commenting on this post or on our Facebook page. Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, we wish you the very best for 2011!

-Happy New Year, from your friends at the office of Dr. Sean M. Rooney

Thanks to Invisalign, you can give the gift of a "clearly" amazing smile this holiday!

December 22nd, 2010


Hey parents! Focusing on your kids' teeth and oral health so much that you're neglecting your own? If you've been thinking wistfully about having your own set of perfect teeth, our staff at Dr. Sean M. Rooney Orthodontics can help! We are specially trained to offer an adult-friendly option for straightening teeth called Invisalign.

This course of treatment consists of a set of clear aligners that are molded to fit your teeth using a proprietary technology. You wear them all day and night, except for meals, brushing, and flossing – when you can easily slip them out to make eating and cleaning a snap!

Because they're clear, your teeth will be steadily straightening – and no one will know it but you!

Please give us a call to set up a consultation, so we can discuss the specifics of your treatment.

Carmel, Chocolate, and Candy Canes..Oh MY! Keep your BRACES Sparklin’ Clean this Holiday Season.

December 14th, 2010

Everyone here at Dr. Sean M. Rooney Orthodontics understands that with holiday goodies everywhere you look, keeping your braces clean is exceptionally difficult this time of year. But keep in mind, making sure you properly clean your teeth is even more important when you have braces. Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these tips:

One tooth at a time.
When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

Also, check out the Life With Braces page on our website for more useful information. We hope this helps!

- Dr. Rooney and Team

Invisalign and your oral health, from Dr. Rooney

December 8th, 2010

When considering treatment options, patients often ask Dr. Rooney and our staff how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Well, there are more reasons to smile about Invisalign at Rooney Orthodontics than you may know. Invisalign is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, and besides straightening your teeth, can improve your oral health. Here’s how:

Healthy gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque and even gum disease.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, give us a call to learn more. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page!

Ask Dr. Rooney: “I’m 35 – am I too old for braces?”

November 30th, 2010

At the office of Dr. Rooney, nobody is “too old” for braces! In fact, we read a fascinating statistic recently: adults getting braces has actually jumped 24 percent since 1996! Of course, braces help make your teeth stay strong, healthy and become perfectly-aligned. Orthodontic treatment with Dr. Rooney can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation at our office. Please give us a call at (845) 621-1222 to set one up and have a wonderful rest of the week!

In-office video games!

November 16th, 2010

We want to hear what your favorite video games are so we can add them to our waiting room! Let us know what your favorite Playstation 2, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii games are by either posting it on our Facebook page or by coming into the office and adding it to our list at the front desk! Once we get enough answers we will go out and purchase some new games for you to enjoy!

- Dr. Rooney and team

Dr. Rooney & team want to know: How was your Halloween?

November 1st, 2010

November is here, and—believe it or not—we’re almost in full holiday mode! But before we forget about the spooky month that just wrapped up, we’d like to know how you celebrated Halloween! What did you wear? Did you have fun?

If you have any photos or videos that you would like to share with us, please send them our way or feel free to post them on our Facebook page! We hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!

Before you go: Have you been in for a dental checkup lately? It’s important that you see your dentist as well as visiting Dr. Rooney during your orthodontic treatment. If you have questions about your treatment or just want some general information, give us a call or stop by for a visit! Happy Monday!

Dr. Rooney in the classroom this Thursday!

October 25th, 2010


This upcoming Thursday - October 28th, don't be surprised if you see Dr. Rooney walking around your school and peeking into your classroom!

On Thursday, Dr. Rooney, Jen and Denise are going to visit Austin Road Elementary School to talk about National Orthodontic Health Month. Dr. Rooney and staff will talk to the kids about having good oral hygiene, and about getting braces. He will also discuss oral health problems to watch out for at an early age.

Be sure to write down your questions for us, and Dr. Rooney will be happy to answer! See you on Thursday!!

Dr. Rooney in the Ironman Syracuse 70.3

October 11th, 2010

Dr. Rooney just completed the Ironman Syracuse 70.3 - the race consisted of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. We had a raffle in the office for the patients to take a guess of how long it would take Dr. Rooney to complete it. One of our patients, Carissa was lucky enough to guess it right on the dot! She guessed 5 hours and 36 minutes and won a $50 visa gift card and a T-shirt! Great job, Carissa!

American Association of Orthodontists World Federation of Orthodontists American Dental Association American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Academy of Sports Dentistry Invisalign Invisalign ClearCorrect