The Blog of Kennell Orthodontics

REDUCE Back to School ANXIETY with a few helpful TIPS!

August 24th, 2015

It is the season of Back-to-School, with all the excitement and anxieties that come with it. This can also be true for children, and parents of children undergoing orthodontic treatment.

One way to put both parents and children at ease when it comes to orthodontics at school is to discuss a “Plan of Action”. If you and your child understand the plan ahead of time, it will help ensure a successful (orthodontic!) school year!

Here are some recommendations for your Orthodontic “Back-to-School Action Plan”

  • Bring a toothbrush to school – It’s always best to brush your teeth after you eat lunch. A quick brushing doesn’t take long and will help keep your teeth and braces free of food, which helps to avoid cavities and/or permanent staining on your teeth, as well as bad breath!
  • Drink Water – Bring a water bottle to school and drink throughout the day. This helps to keep your mouth clean by rinsing away large food particles stuck in your braces after eating. Keep a toothbrush in your locker in a toothbrush case along with some toothpaste, and you will never have to remember to bring it to school.
  • Packing your lunch and snacks – When packing lunches and snacks, avoid foods that are hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy to prevent bending wires or breaking braces. If you like hard fruits and vegetables, such as apples and carrots, cut them into smaller pieces before you leave for school. Biting into hard fruits and veggies can damage your braces, which can cause discomfort and could lengthen your time in braces.
  • Retainers – Bring your retainer case with you to school. Make sure to always place the retainer in the case whenever it is out of your mouth, and make sure your retainer case is labeled or has a unique marking or pattern on it, to avoid accidentally mixing it up with your friend’s. Many patients who need retainers replaced have forgotten to bring their case to school and left their retainers on a lunch tray or in their lunch bag where it’s likely to disappear in the garbage. Replacement retainers can be quite costly and it’s no fun to look in the trash to look for your lost retainer! Ewwwwwww…
  • Rubber bands – Don’t forget to change your rubber bands and bring a supply with you to keep in your desk, backpack or locker! A great idea is to have an orthodontic baggie in your locker that has everything you need to take care of your orthodontic appliances, and to make sure your mouth stays clean and comfortable while you’re at school.
  • Do you play a Sport? – Protecting your braces during sports not only protects your teeth from accidents but also protects your braces!!
  • Lastly, Don’t forget to SMILE! – Show off your beautiful smile to your friends and teachers!

Anyone, at any age, can benefit from treatment with Dr. Kennell!

August 20th, 2015

Did you know one in every five orthodontic patients is an adult? We’re living longer and technology is improving, making orthodontic treatment an appealing and safe option for patients of all ages. As the trend toward treatment later in life grows, we’re seeing braces on parents as well as children – and even adult celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Nicholas Cage have shown off their braces. It’s never too late to look and feel your best with Dr. Kennell!

Can Braces Work for Adults?

People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment with Dr. Kennell. The physical process for moving teeth is the same, young or old, which means it’s never too late to address issues such as an overbite or underbite, crooked or crowded teeth, or jaw disorders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, we’ll make a consultation appointment with you. During this meeting we will perform a general assessment of your oral health, discuss options for treatment, and answer any questions you may have. We will also discuss matters of cost and insurance. The next step is an orthodontic records appointment in which we take x-rays, photos, and an impression of your teeth. This information drives your unique treatment plan.

What Are the Benefits?

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your dental health. Technologically advanced new treatments make it easier to identify the option that best fits your lifestyle. Modern techniques and materials have made braces and aligners more effective, comfortable and unobtrusive than ever.

If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, give Kennell Orthodontics a call, so we may set up a consultation to determine what type of treatment best meets your needs.

Never to late to learn the A, B, C's of Orthodontics!

August 17th, 2015

With the 2015-16 school season just around the corner, you may want to consider some ABC’s of Orthodontics.  A-Age, B-Braces varieties, and C-Cost.

AGE: For younger children, usually, it is best to wait until all of the permanent teeth have arrived but in some cases, a complimentary evaluation by age 7 can provide ideas which could prevent problems in the future that may become much more challenging to resolve. It is not required to have an orthodontic referral from your dentist to obtain an orthodontic evaluation.

BRACES: There are an ever increasing array of new and improved orthodontic techniques that are far superior than the classic braces that we adults all new as kids. Orthodontics has become a fast changing specialty with many new techniques and products.  Specialists in Orthodontics have far more education and training in this specialty and should be able to educate you as to the best choices available to meet your needs.

With many cosmetic choices available there is no reason that at any age, adults should not consider orthodontics for themselves or for their children.  Roughly half of all new start orthodontic patients today are adults and a fair percentage are older.

COST: Another important thing to consider is cost of the work needed.  Although fees for treatment can vary greatly depending upon the treatment necessary, Orthodontic practices typically offer convenient payment plans without interest. Health savings accounts are another way to provide a pre-tax source of funding for treatment.  In addition, there are several lenders that provide funding for orthodontics and are able to schedule convenient repayment plans.  Orthodontic practices should have an insurance specialist in their office to assist you with any of these.  They should be able to look into your insurance for you and assist in filing the proper paperwork to receive your benefit.

A beautiful and straight smile is one of those things in life that can improve overall health and help to provide better self-confidence, motivation, and acceptance.

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

August 13th, 2015

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.