The Blog of Kennell Orthodontics

Kennell Orthodontics Announces 2013 Referral-of-the-Year Winner!

April 9th, 2014

Dr. Kennell and staff are pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Refer-a-Friend contest – Cassie Smith!  Kennell Orthodontics realizes the greatest compliment received is when one of their patients refers a friend, family member or colleague to its practice.  In an effort to show appreciation to patients for these referrals, Dr. Kennell developed the 2013 Refer-a-Friend campaign.  This campaign, which focused on new patient treatment plans from qualified referrals, awarded refer-a-friend participants with a Visa Cash Card and an entry into the weekend getaway grand prize drawing.

Cassie Smith, chosen as the grand prize winner, was recently awarded an exciting summer weekend getaway to the Anchorage Inn in York, Maine.  Dr. Kennell and his staff presented Mrs. Smith with a canvas tote full of goodies, including embroidered beach towels and summer-time essentials, along with her itinerary for this fun-filled, family getaway.

Dr. Kennell thanked Cassie for being a valued patient family and for recommending Kennell Orthodontics to her family and friends.  “We are more than honored to have you as one of our Lakes Region fans”, Dr. Kennell stated as he wished Mrs. Smith a wonderful weekend at the beach.

You could be the next Refer-A-Friend 2014 patient referral program winner! Check out this link and find out how you could be the next winner and what the grand prize is!!!

10 Frequently Asked Questions!

April 3rd, 2014

Check out these 10 Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any questions, that are not answered below just ask us!

1. What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

2. What is an orthodontist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Only dentists who have successfully completed an advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.

3. At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?

Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics, because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if treated early. An orthodontic evaluation at any age is advisable if a parent, family dentist or the patient's physician has noted a problem.

4. Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions that cause not only tooth decay but also eventual gum disease and tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints, which can result in chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck.

5. How long will orthodontic treatment take?

In general, active treatment time with orthodontic appliances (braces) ranges from one to three years. Mild problems usually require less time, and some individuals respond faster to treatment than others. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take only a few months.

6. What are orthodontic study records?

Diagnostic records are made to document the patient's orthodontic problem and to help determine the best course of treatment. Complete diagnostic records typically include a medical/dental history; plaster study models of the teeth, photos of the patient's face and teeth, and appropriate radiographic films. This information is used to plan the best course of treatment, help explain the problem, and propose treatment to the patient and/or parents.

7. How have new "high tech" wires changed orthodontics?

In recent years, many advances in orthodontic materials have taken place. Braces are smaller and more efficient. The wires now being used are no longer just stainless steel. Some of the new wires are heat-activated. These new kinds of wires cause the teeth to continue to move during certain phases of treatment, which may reduce the number of appointments needed to make adjustments to the wires.

8. How do braces feel?

Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed.

9. Do teeth with braces need special care?

Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard and sticky foods. They must not chew on pens, pencils or fingernails because chewing on hard things can damage the braces. Damaged braces will almost always cause treatment to take longer, and will require extra trips to the orthodontist's office.

Keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.

The orthodontist and staff will teach patients how to best care for their teeth, gums and braces during treatment. The orthodontist will tell patients (and/or their parents) how often to brush, how often to floss, and, if necessary, suggest other cleaning aids that might help the patient maintain good dental health.

10. How important is patient cooperation during orthodontic treatment?

Successful orthodontic treatment is a "two-way street" that requires a consistent, cooperative effort by both the orthodontist and patient. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must carefully clean his or her teeth, wear rubber bands or appliances as prescribed by the orthodontist, and keep appointments as scheduled. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time and may undesirably affect the outcome of treatment.

Kennell Orthodontics has the latest EDGE of technology with just the touch of a button!

March 27th, 2014

There is a lot of excitement at Kennell Orthodontics! If you haven’t visited our office recently, we now have a cool new way to sign-in when you arrive for your next visit! Just touch the finger scanner at the reception desk and it will recognize you and sign you right in! Of course, we would have to introduce your finger to our computer, so if you have not used the Finger Scanner before, let us know and we’ll get you registered.  If you would rather just type in your name, that’s fine too, just use the touchscreen.

BUT don’t worry Mom and Dad, our finger scanner is very safe!  This is how it works: DigitalPersona software never stores fingerprint images. DigitalPersona software creates a fingerprint template, which is a highly compressed and digitally encoded mathematical representation of fingerprint features. This template is created when a user registers a finger and is stored in an encrypted file. When the patient later touches the fingerprint reader to authenticate, a new template is created and compared to the 'registered' template. If there is a match, the authentication is successful.  It is a one-way conversion that cannot be reversed. This means that fingerprint templates cannot be used to recreate the fingerprint image.

The finger scan is not the only new technology we have in our office. Our new software, Ortho2 EDGE, provides the latest in orthodontics software technology designed to provide us with the most effective practice management tools to increase efficiency, provide smoother workflow so you receive only the very best care and service.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

March 20th, 2014

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets.

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque, which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, and popcorn can also bend or break your braces. On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to 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 paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing 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.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
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 from decaying while you wear braces.