November 13th, 2019
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children should start at around age seven. Dr. Barry can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs early on to see if orthodontic treatment is recommended for your son or daughter.
Below, we answer common questions parents may have about the benefits of early childhood orthodontics.
What does early orthodontic treatment mean?
Early orthodontic treatment usually begins when a child is eight or nine years old. Typically known as Phase One, the goal here is to correct bite problems such as an underbite, as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. This phase also helps make room in the mouth for teeth to grow properly, with the aim of preventing teeth crowding and extractions later on.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
The characteristics and behavior below can help determine whether your little one needs early treatment.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Late loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- The child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- The jaw shifts when the child opens or closes the mouth
- The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
Jaw bones do not harden until children reach their late teens. Because children’s bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces are easier and often faster than they would be for adults.
Early treatment at our Tallahassee office can enable your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, and surgery in adulthood. Talk with Dr. Barry today to see if your child should receive early orthodontic treatment.
November 6th, 2019
You may have a talent for home repairs. You may be able to rebuild your computer. You may even be able to put together a whole room of furniture armed only with flat-box kits and an Allen wrench. But, please—don’t try do-it-yourself orthodontics!
Now that generic clear aligners are available, you might consider giving them a try to save some money. But is straightening your own teeth really a good idea? Before you are tempted, let’s look more closely at the products and the dental science involved.
- Invisalign clear aligners are used by orthodontists and dentists with experience in custom treatment for your smile. A 3D image of your teeth will be captured by the iTero Element® scanner. Using special software, your doctor can map out each projected shift in your teeth, and even show you a projection of your finished smile!
- Your Invisalign aligners will be tailored to fit your teeth precisely using the 3D scan and 3D printing. They are made from SmartTrack® material, a product specifically engineered for a perfect, comfortable fit. Invisalign aligners are even trimmed to fit your individual gumline to prevent irritation.
- When your first sets of Invisalign aligners arrive at our Tallahassee office, Dr. Barry will check for fit, answer any questions you might have about use and care, and let you know what to look for and what to expect. Your progress will be monitored with visits every six to eight weeks. (And for parents of teens, Invisalign aligners can offer blue “compliance indicators” to let you know they are being worn the 20-22 hours a day necessary for the best and fastest results.)
- You might be required to make a putty mold of your own upper and lower teeth, which is not the easiest thing to do well, and to take selfies of your teeth.
- The aligners will be sent to you in the mail. They are generally made of hard plastic with generic gumlines. There will be no one to tell you if the aligners fit properly.
- They are sometimes less expensive because there is no in-person medical supervision. A dental professional working for the company will look at the model created from molds you submit, and recommend a series of aligners to correct the problems he detects by looking at the model and your selfies. This supervisor will not be able to assess the overall dental health of each patient to make sure teeth and gums are healthy and ready to start treatment, and will not be able to tell if the teeth are moving properly or improperly once the aligners are in use.
Finally, while generic aligners may potentially have some success in minor tooth straightening, they are not created to deal with complex bite issues or malocclusions. In fact, using generic aligners with no supervision can cause more serious dental problems than a patient started with.
Sure, sometimes a do-it-yourself project turns out well. But your teeth and bones are too important for home improvement. When it comes to creating a beautiful, even smile and balanced, comfortable bite while making sure of your dental health, it’s always best to trust a professional like Dr. Barry to provide you with gentle, tested, and successful care!
October 30th, 2019
Halloween is a time to enjoy delicious candies you might avoid the rest of the year. Youngsters who get to dress up and ask for sweet treats out trick-or-treating cherish this holiday.
If you have braces on, Dr. Barry would like you still to have fun and celebrate Halloween this year!
It’s easy to get carried away on Halloween by eating too much candy at once. Most parents try to prevent the all-too-common sugar high their kids experience on Halloween night. While there are certain candies that should be avoided, not all candy will cause problems for kids with braces. After trick-or-treating, you could trade unsafe candies with siblings and/or friends so they don’t miss out on the sugar buzz.
Dr. Barry and our team have come up with a list of teeth-friendly treats that should keep you from worrying about breaking your braces. We also came up with a list of candies to avoid, so as to save you a trip to our Tallahassee office. Remember to be extra careful when you indulge this Halloween!
- Solid chocolate: Milk, white, or dark
- Nougat-filled candy bars: Three Musketeers
- Powdery candy: Sweet Tarts, Pixie Stix
- Mint-flavored candy
- Malted milk balls
- Soft cookies
- Peanut butter crackers
Avoid These Treats
- Sticky candy: Starbursts, toffee, Tootsie Rolls
- Hard candy: Suckers, Jolly Ranchers
- Fruit chews
- Caramel apples
When in doubt, ask Dr. Barry if a particular candy is safe to eat when you have braces. We hope you enjoy your Halloween sweets, and look forward to seeing you at your next appointment! Happy Halloween!
October 23rd, 2019
You and your braces will become good friends over the coming months or years, so it’s important to get your relationship off to a good start. Consider the following recommendations to prevent rocky times ahead:
- Floss, floss, floss. Yes, it’s a pain to floss around your braces, but it's the best way to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. Ask Dr. Barry and our staff for floss threaders to make the chore easier. Just a few minutes per day will ensure that you don’t face significant dental health issues when the braces come off.
- Avoid sticky or hard foods. It’s tough to forgo toffee, caramel, gum, and other favorite sticky treats, but your braces will thank you. Sticky or hard foods can break a bracket or wire, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Chew with your back teeth. If you’re used to taking large bites with your front teeth, it might be time to switch your eating habits. Taking a large bite of food with your front teeth can leave your braces vulnerable to damage. Instead, cut large foods into pieces and use your back teeth to chew. This is especially important with corn on the cob, which should always be cut from the cob.
- Wear rubber bands and headgear. Rubber bands, headgear, and other orthodontic appliances may seem annoying, but failing to comply with wearing them can increase the length of your treatment by months. Wear them now to avoid problems in the future.