What is a Crossbite and How Do We Fix It

What is a Crossbite and How Do We Fix It

The alignment of your teeth can drastically impact your health and overall comfort. If you or your child are consistently experiencing jaw pain, frequent headaches, or biting your inner cheek while chewing or speaking, a crossbite may be to blame. But what steps do you need to take to correct it? Today, we’re answering the question — what is a crossbite? [sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”p” question-0=”What is a crossbite?” answer-0=”A misalignment of the teeth in which the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth.” image-0=”” headline-1=”p” question-1=”How do you fix a crossbite?” answer-1=”Depending on the type and severity of the crossbite, treatment could include a palatal expander alongside traditional braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign. The average length of treatment ranges from 18-24 months, with some patients requiring more or less time to properly fix their crossbite.” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”false” css_class=””]— and explaining how we fix it. Read on to learn more!

What is a Crossbite?

A crossbite refers to a misalignment of the teeth that can affect a single tooth or group of teeth. Unlike an underbite, which causes the lower teeth to extend outward further than the upper teeth, a crossbite refers to upper teeth that fit inside of the lower teeth. Several factors can cause this, including genetics, prolonged thumb sucking, delayed loss of baby teeth, and the abnormal eruption of permanent teeth.

Posterior crossbites occur in the back of the mouth while anterior crossbites take place in the front of the mouth. Fortunately, both types can be treated, and the type of crossbite you have will help determine the scope and length of orthodontic care needed to treat it.

In addition to pushing teeth out of place, a crossbite can distort the growth of the jaw bone and require orthodontic care to fix. Failing to correct a crossbite can result in damaged enamel, receding gum lines, lopsided jaw growth, and jaw pain. The sooner we can diagnose and treat a crossbite the better!

Why You May Need Braces for Your Overall Oral Health

Find Out How

How to Fix a Crossbite

Our experienced team of orthodontists at Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics have years of experience in treating crossbites in both children and adults. So, how do you fix a crossbite? We start the process with a complimentary evaluation to outline the best treatment plan for your lifestyle.

Depending on the type and severity of the crossbite, treatment could include a palatal expander alongside traditional braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign. The average length of treatment ranges from 18-24 months, with some patients requiring more or less time to properly fix their crossbite.

. . .

You deserve a healthy smile without the lifelong damage and discomfort brought on by crossbites. At Gorman & Bunch, we work hard to find the best treatment plan for each patient, and we strive to make your family’s visits to any of our offices as pleasant, informative and productive as possible.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a beautiful, healthy smile, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Eat With an Expander

How to Eat With an Expander

Your child or teen is finally ready to start their foray into the world of orthodontics. You meet with your care team at Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics and collaborate on a treatment plan, starting with a palate expander. Once your child comes home with their shiny new expander, though, you might be wondering: how do you eat with an expander?

Many children and young adults start their pediatric orthodontic treatment with palate expanders — a very common tool that applies gentle pressure on the roof of the mouth and upper jaw in order to prevent, reduce, or correct the severity of jaw and teeth problems. Since palate expanders are designed to capitalize on changes in the early development of the teeth and jaw, they work best at a young age.

That being said, it’s important to instruct your child on how to properly eat with an expander to avoid damaging their mouths or the appliance. Here are a few tips to consider:

Commit to a Healthy, Balanced Diet

The best rule of thumb for your child is to eat healthy foods everyday. Encourage lots of fruits and vegetables along with meat, healthy whole grains, and dairy. These foods will be the easiest for your child to eat with an expander and most beneficial to their growing bodies.

Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

Chewy or sticky candy like chewing gum, taffy, licorice, and caramels should be avoided. Hard and crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and ice are also not recommended with a palate expander. Instead, opt for softer snacks and try satisfying your child’s sweet tooth with fruit or softer desserts like ice cream.

What to Expect at Your First Pediatric Orthodontic Visit

Find Out Now

Be Mindful About Food Size

While healthy foods are always encouraged, even foods like apples, celery, and carrots could pose a problem to your child’s expander if not eaten properly. Cut crunchy fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces before offering them to your child.

Keep in mind that choosing the right foods to eat with an expander is important, but it’s also critical to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine. Food and other debris can easily get trapped in your child’s palate expander, so encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily in order to avoid cavities and tooth decay. Drinking plenty of fluids with meals and snacks, and swishing with water after eating will also help remove any food that may have gotten stuck.

As always, never hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist at Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics with any questions related to your or your child’s orthodontic treatment. Our mission is to create orthodontic treatments that fit the unique lifestyle and needs of your family.

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

3 Things to Look for in an Invisalign Doctor

3 Things to Look for in an Invisalign Doctor

Ready to straighten your smile and renew your confidence without all the metal and hassle of traditional braces? Invisalign could be the perfect solution. The clear, removable, custom-made aligners will shift your teeth in incremental steps to the final desired position for a healthier smile. But before jumping into treatment, it’s important to know that not all Invisalign doctors are equal. Here are three things to look for in an Invisalign doctor.

Invisalign Ranking

Selecting an Invisalign doctor with quality experience is important, especially for more complicated cases. Invisalign provides a helpful ranking system to classify providers’ experience based on the number of cases they treat in a month or year. The rankings include Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, as well as a Valued Invisalign Provider (VIP) distinction and “Plus” status, which recognizes more experience in a given ranking.

Online Reviews

Rankings are great, but there’s nothing like hearing from real patients when researching Invisalign doctors. Once you narrow your search to the top Invisalign providers with the most experience, take time to search for online reviews. Look for Invisalign providers who receive high marks for patient care. Remember: no orthodontist or Invisalign doctor can please everyone all the time, but steer clear from Invisalign providers with an overwhelming number of negative reviews.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Find Out Now

Payment Options

Orthodontic care, like Invisalign or braces, can be a big investment. But decades of a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it are worth it! The cost of Invisalign treatment will be similar among providers, so it’s worth researching payment options to find affordable options. Insurance may help cover the cost of Invisalign as well. A highly experienced Invisalign doctor may cost slightly more, but treatment quality and payment options could offset the difference in the long run.

At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we have multiple Invisalign doctors on our staff and have successfully treated more cases with Invisalign than 99% of doctors in North America — making us the top provider of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen within the state of Indiana. We’re proud of our Invisalign VIP: Diamond Plus ranking and are honored to work with hundreds of Invisalign patients throughout Central Indiana.

We believe financing should not be an obstacle to a healthy, beautiful smile with Invisalign. Our treatment coordinators will work with you to find a custom financing option that fits your unique situation. Start your journey toward the smile you’ve always wanted and schedule your free consultation today!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How To Stop Braces Cutting cheeks

How To Stop Braces From Cutting Your Cheeks

“Help! My braces are cutting my cheeks.” Sound familiar? Right after getting braces for the first time, you may experience soreness and irritation inside your mouth as your mouth adjusts to the new metal braces. The pain often originates from braces cutting cheeks—ouch!

Here are our top tips on how to prevent braces from cutting your mouth, as well as recommendations for preventing or alleviating some of the soreness and discomfort you may feel at the beginning of your orthodontic treatment.

How to Stop Braces From Cutting Your Cheeks

Orthodontic Wax

Dental wax is the most popular choice for alleviating the discomfort caused by braces cutting cheeks. Use the wax to create a barrier between the inside of your mouth and the metal braces. This application will reduce the rubbing that creates sores, and instead protect your cheeks from irritation.

It’s important to first wash your hands and brush your teeth before applying the orthodontic wax. Then, take a small piece of wax — just enough to cover one wire or bracket — and roll it into a ball. Press the ball of wax onto whichever part of your braces is causing you trouble, and rub it into place.

Lip Protectors

Unfortunately, many patients experience braces cutting lips and cheeks. Wondering how to stop braces from cutting your lip? Lip protectors for braces are a great way to shield your lips and gums from the discomfort of metal brackets. A lip protector is a flexible clear bumper that covers the front of your brackets from one end of your mouth to the other. While they are useful for people who are new to braces, they also work really well for musicians or athletes who don’t necessarily need a mouthguard, but seek additional protection from cuts and sores.

Aloe Vera Rinses

There are a few different aloe vera rinses that can help heal any irritation caused by braces. These gels can also help treat canker sores, mouth sores, and small cuts inside your mouth.

How We Put Braces On Your Teeth

See Now

Salt Water Rinses

Cleansing your mouth with warm salt water can be one of the best ways to relieve any discomfort inside your mouth you may be feeling from your braces, especially if your braces are cutting the side of your mouth or rubbing your cheeks. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to warm water and stir until completely dissolved. Then, swish the rinse inside your mouth for about 30 seconds at a time before spitting it out. Repeat this process until finished with all of the salt water, and do this as many times as you feel necessary until your mouth begins to feel better.

Avoid Acidic or Sugary Foods

Soft foods are much easier on your braces, especially when you are first getting used to them. Choose foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt and soups in the beginning and avoid coffee, spicy foods, citrus foods, nuts, seeds and anything else that may aggravate any sores in your mouth or break your brackets.

Drink Cold Water or Iced Tea

Cold beverages can help ease the discomfort from your braces cutting your mouth. Use a straw to sip on cold water, eat a popsicle, or suck on an ice cube to help with any discomfort inside your mouth.

Give it Time

So, when do braces stop cutting your mouth for good? The one thing that we guarantee to stop your braces from cutting your cheeks is time. Once your mouth gets used to the metal brackets, the soreness will go away. After a few weeks, the inside of your mouth will get tougher and any irritations should resolve.

If you have a broken bracket or loose wire causing discomfort inside your mouth, visit your orthodontist right away so they can fix it for you. For more information about how to deal with soreness and discomfort caused by metal braces and find pain relief, contact us today. We are here to help make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible.

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ways to Pay for Your Invisalign Treatment

Ways to Pay for Your Invisalign Treatment

We understand the cost of Invisalign can make some people hesitant to explore this option of achieving a healthy, straight and beautiful smile. To help, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your family and your budget.

Generally speaking, Invisalign treatment costs anywhere from $3,000-$8,000. Of course, the cost of orthodontic treatment varies from one patient to another — depending on the specific needs — and so without an initial consultation, it’s difficult to predict one price that applies to everyone. To help make Invisalign treatment accessible and affordable, we offer several options, including a monthly insurance plan, tax-free dollars with your FSA or HSA, or a monthly payment plan. Let’s run through these options.

Dental Insurance

Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment the same way they cover braces. These plans typically cover a certain percentage or dollar amount of the treatment, with a cap on the amount your insurance plan will cover orthodontics.

We recommend asking your benefits manager or calling your insurance plan’s customer service line to figure out if your plans includes orthodontic treatment. There is a chance that your health insurance plan covers Invisalign, so be sure to inquire about that as well. You can also purchase orthodontic coverage separately.

During your initial consultation, be sure to ask your orthodontist which insurance plans they will accept. Oftentimes, your orthodontist’s office can also call your plan to figure out the details of your coverage.

What to Do After Your Invisalign Treatment Ends

Find Out Now

Flexible Spending Account vs. Health Savings Account

Managed by your employer, a flexible savings account (FSA) allows you to put aside funds (typically via an automated paycheck deduction) to use for certain medical, dental and orthodontic costs. A health savings account (HSA), on the other hand, provides people with a high-deductible health insurance plan a special savings account. It works very similarly to an FAS by allowing participants to put money into an account each month. You can then use these funds to cover medical, dental and orthodontic health costs. To open an HSA account, eligible users must meet certain IRS eligibility requirements.

You do not taxes on the money you put into either an FSA or HSA. Before starting Invisalign treatment, we recommend talking with your healthcare provider to see if you are eligible to use your HSA or FSA account for Invisalign. You may need to pay your doctor and then be reimbursed; or your benefits provider may be able to pay your doctor directly.

Monthly Payment Plan

If your dental insurance does not cover Invisalign treatment and you do not have access to an FSA or HSA plan, then you can talk to us about a monthly payment plan. At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we spread out the cost of Invisalign over the course of your treatment time with a down payment before treatment begins.

Everything we do is with the goal of making your visits pleasant, informative, and productive— and we understand that your time is valuable! To confirm the cost of your orthodontic treatment, schedule your complimentary consultation to receive an examination, digital x-rays and photos and discuss payment options. We will then be able to evaluate your current situation and your goals, in order to create a customized treatment plan. We look forward to meeting you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

8 Ways to Reduce Tooth Pain After Braces Tightening

8 Ways to Reduce Tooth Pain After Braces Adjustments

Investing in braces can be an exciting decision for you or your child, especially when it results in a beautiful, healthy smile that you both will be excited to show off. However, the process can be uncomfortable at times, particularly when you have to get your wires adjusted or tightened.

At your check-in appointments, you orthodontist will need to make adjustments to the archwire — the metal band that extends across your smile and fits into the brackets. Your orthodontist may bend, adjust, tighten or replace the wire in order to continue shifting your teeth in the right direction.

Each of these adjustments moves you a step in the right direction, yet may result in some light discomfort. Fortunately, this discomfort only lasts a short while and can be easily managed at home.

Continue reading for our top tips for reducing tooth soreness after getting your braces adjusted.

Healthy and Delicious Foods You Can Eat with Braces

See All Five

  • Gargle Salt Water: You may start to feel sores develop on your cheeks or gums. In this case, swish warm salt water for 60 seconds twice a day to reduce the irritation and alleviate some of the soreness.
  • Eat Softer Foods: The first day or two after getting your braces tightened, we recommend avoiding crunchy or hard foods. Instead, choose soft foods like mashed potatoes, smoothies and soup until your teeth adjust.
  • Drink Cold Water: Drinking ice-cold water after you get your braces tightened will provide a nice numbing sensation in your mouth and decrease inflammation in your gums. It’s the easiest and fastest way to feel some relief!
  • Massage Your Gums: If your gums swell, consider massaging them with your fingers after an adjustment to relax the tissue and ease the discomfort.
  • Wear a Mouthguard: Wearing a mouthguard can be extremely effective in protecting sensitive parts of your mouth, especially after getting your braces tightened. We highly recommend wearing your mouthguard when playing sports, and you can also wear them anytime you’re experiencing soreness or discomfort.
  • Use Orthodontic Wax: Applying orthodontic wax to the metal parts of your braces can reduce irritation you may be experiencing on your inner cheeks, gums or lips.
  • Use a Heating Pad: If you are experiencing any pain around your jaw, a heating pad can work wonders to reduce inflammation. Using a warm washcloth to sooth your pain several times a day can work in the same way.
  • Be Patient: Ultimately, patience is your friend! We know it may be uncomfortable at first, but remember that this only lasts a few days! And in the end, you will have a beautiful and healthy smile that will last a lifetime!

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, we require follow-up visits every few weeks in order to stay on track with your treatment plan. These visits allow your orthodontist to monitor progress and adjust wires. If you have any questions at all about your treatment plan, or are curious about visiting an orthodontist for the first time, give us a call or schedule your free consultation here. We look forward to meeting you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Invisalign Works for Crowded Teeth

How Invisalign Works for Crowded Teeth

At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we treat many patients with crowded teeth, which indicates a lack of sufficient space for new teeth to grow in properly along the dental arch. Sometimes this occurs when teeth are especially large, but it can also be caused by narrow top or bottom jaws, genetics, thumb sucking, and more.

A form of malocclusion (or misaligned teeth), crowded teeth can develop into worse problems over time, and, if left untreated, can cause various issues, such as:

  • Difficulty brushing and flossing.
  • Buildup of plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria.
  • An increased risk of gum disease.
  • Damage or decay of your teeth.
  • Negative impact on your smile’s appearance.

How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

See the Dos and Don'ts

How We Treat Crowded Teeth

If caught early, crowded teeth can be easily treatable. We oftentimes treat overcrowding with Invisalign — a non-invasive and convenient approach to correcting issues like crowded teeth and straightening your smile.

Invisalign works through a set of clear, removable aligners— custom made specifically for your mouth. Using 3D imaging, our doctors take measurements of your mouth and creates a customized set of aligners that patients wear throughout the teeth-straightening process. Patients wear each set of aligners for one to two weeks and only remove them when eating or brushing. As the teeth get straighter throughout the treatment, patients graduate from one set of aligners to the next.

The Benefits of Invisalign for Overcrowding

  1. Physical Appearance: The clear, plastic aligners are hardly noticeable (as opposed to metal braces), making the aesthetic appeal one of the biggest reasons people choose to get Invisalign.
  2. Good Dental Hygiene: With Invisalign, patients remove the aligners when it’s time to eat, drink and brush or floss, which allows the teeth to stay extremely clean and clear of food throughout the day.
  3. Customized Approach: Each aligner is designed exactly to the patient’s orthodontic situation, meaning the Invisalign process can often be more comfortable than other forms of treatment.
  4. Removable Aligners: Because they can be removed at any time (though we prefer them in for around 22 hours per day), Invisalign has less of an effect on one’s lifestyle than metal braces. Patients can eat whatever they want, participate in all sports, and play any instruments without interference from metal brackets, wires or elastics.

The process of Invisalign works to treat overcrowded teeth by gradually pushing teeth into proper alignment, moving each tooth up to a quarter of a millimeter with each new set of aligners. As teeth shift, this creates more space in the mouth, reduces overcrowding and eventually moves teeth to their correct positions. The duration of Invisalign use varies per person, depending on the level of overcrowding. Some patients only need a few months of treatment, while others take a couple years. We work with all our patients to determine a personalized treatment plan.

Interested in learning more about how Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics can help you or your child with overcrowded teeth? Schedule a free consultation today. We look forward to meeting you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A Brief History of Orthodontics

A Brief History of Orthodontics

To celebrate October — National Orthodontic Health Month — we want to take you on a journey back to the foundation of orthodontics. While orthodontics may seem like the most modern branch of dentistry, its origins date back to the Ancient Egyptians. The human species has long desired to achieve “the perfect smile” and attempted to do so through the use of varied devices and techniques.

Mummies With Braces

Poorly aligned teeth and jaws have affected humans’ ability to speak and chew for thousands of years. We know this because archaeologists have unearthed Egyptian mummies with metal bands attached to their teeth, similar to what we do in modern times with braces. Instead of wires, they appeared to use a thin, strong cord made from sheep or goat intestines called catgut, to close gaps in teeth.

Around 700 B.C., we have proof that the ancient civilization of the Etruscans placed gold bands in the mouths of the deceased to maintain spaces and prevent collapse of teeth. We also have record that around 500 B.C., the Greek physician Hippocrates, along with philosopher Aristotle, each considered methods for improving dental conditions and straightening teeth.

Not Sure What an Orthodontic Term Means?

Find Out Now

The Invention of Braces

What we know today as “braces” dates back to the early 1700s. A French dentist by the name of Pierre Fauchard published a book in 1728 titled, The Surgeon Dentist, which contains a chapter about straightening teeth. Dr. Fauchard used pieces of thread to connect flat metal strips to patients’ teeth, and today we credit him for the invention of modern braces. He also used a device called the “bandeau” to widen the upper palate.

In 1819, dentists started using precious metals, steel, gum rubber, and vulcanite to create loops, hooks, spurs and ligatures to straighten teeth. Fast forward to the 19th century, and the turn “orthodontia” was first used by Joachim Lafoulon in 1841, meaning, “treatment for the correction of irregularly aligned teeth, usually involving braces and sometimes oral surgery.”

Present Day Orthodontics

Edward Angle, considered to be the Father of Modern Orthodontics, invented modern brackets in 1915. Dr. Angle first identified the true properties of malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) and addressed them with a set of advanced orthodontic appliances. He founded the American Association of Orthodontics and started the first independent school of orthodontics. Dr. Angle’s brackets were fixed to small bands and worn around each individual tooth. In 1928, the invention improved by creating a single bracket that could be attached directly to the tooth — what we continue to use today with metal braces.

The field of orthodontics continues to improve, with health and comfort being the two main priorities. Advances in technology over the past few decades — such as digital x-rays and imaging that provide a more detailed look inside a patient’s mouth — allow us to create a customized treatment plan. The variety of braces available today has also evolved, with two main types of braces to choose from:

  • Metal Braces: Adhered to the teeth with metal brackets, elastics and wires, braces use constant, gentle pressure to move teeth into the proper position.
  • Invisalign: Using a set of clear, removable and custom-made aligners, Invisalign shifts teeth in incremental steps to the desired final position.

If you’d like to see how far we’ve come today from the early days of orthodontics, don’t hesitate to reach out! And if you think you or your child are a good candidate for braces or Invisalign, schedule a complimentary consultation today and come talk to us about your curiosity. We look forward to meeting you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

Whether you just received your first set of Invisalign — or you’re still trying to decide between the aligners versus traditional braces — it’s important to understand the process of how to clean your Invisalign aligners. It doesn’t take long for bacteria to build-up, damaging your teeth. Here are our top tips and tricks for keeping your Invisalign aligners squeaky clean.

Take Your Aligners Out to Clean Every Morning

Bacteria can build up on your aligners overnight and cause cavities, which means it’s extremely important to clean your Invisalign aligners as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Rinse Your Aligners Every Time You Remove Them

It’s not only important to clean your aligners when you wake up in the morning, but also each time you remove them to avoid creating an inviting environment for bacteria to grow and plaque to build up. We recommend using antibacterial soap (rinse thoroughly!) and COOL water to keep your aligners nice and clean. You can brush your aligners with a toothbrush to remove any plaque build-up that may occur.

Pro Tip:If you are out at a restaurant and need to remove your aligners to eat, we recommend taking them to the bathroom and gently rinsing them out in the sink before putting them back in. Don’t forget to always put them in a case!

How Invisalign Can Fix Your Overbite

See Now

Soak Your Aligners Every Single Day

Use Invisalign cleaning kits or even denture cleaner to soak your aligners for 30 minutes every single day. This is the best way to ensure your aligners stay as clean as possible. Once they are done soaking, use a soft toothbrush to remove any extra plaque or food particles before putting them back into your mouth.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth Before Putting the Aligners Back in Your Mouth

Wearing your aligners with food stuck inside your teeth could lead to cavities and other dental issues in the future. Be sure to always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back inside your mouth, and floss at least once daily.

Put Your Aligners in Case When Not Wearing Them

When you take your aligners out to eat, drink, play sports, or whatever it may be, make sure to keep them in a protective case. Keep that case with you at all times so you never have to leave your aligners out in the open — and so you don’t accidentally throw them away!

Dos and Don’ts of How to Clean Your Invisalign Aligners

We strongly advise against using toothpaste to clean your Invisalign aligners. While toothpaste works great for your teeth, its abrasive ingredients can discolor your aligners and actually damage them. Instead, consider using these tips when cleaning your Invisalign aligners:

  1. Don’t use soaps that are colored or scented. Soaps could stain your aligners and give them an unpleasant taste when you put them back inside your mouth.
  2. Do use a retainer or denture cleaner! Soaking your aligners in these solutions can clean most of the bacteria that may build-up.
  3. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to clean your aligners. Create a solution with one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide. Then, let your aligners soak for about 30 minutes.
  4. Another great option for keeping your aligners clean is using vinegar. Once again, create a solution with one-part vinegar, one-part water. Put your aligners in the solution while you’re eating, then rinse under water and put them back inside your mouth. You may taste a slight sense of vinegar at first, but it won’t last long.

Most importantly, establish a cleaning routine with your Invisalign aligners. Getting into a daily routine of cleaning your aligners early on in your treatment process will make it easier to maintain a healthy smile in the long-run.

Keeping your teeth and aligners in pristine condition during your Invisalign treatment process will result in straight, clean teeth and a glowing smile! If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free consultation. We’d love to hear from you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Prepare Your Child for the First Orthodontist Appointment

How to Prepare Your Child for the First Orthodontist Appointment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents schedule the first orthodontist appointment for their children by the age of seven. We concur. Visiting a pediatric orthodontist does not mean your child will require braces or treatment right way (or ever). This early orthodontic evaluation simply gives us an opportunity to identify any problems and create the best plan for a healthy smile in the future.

Once you make that first orthodontist appointment for your child, it’s important to share what he or she can expect. That’s why we put together these five tips for preparing your child for that first trip to the orthodontist.

7 More Reasons Your 7-Year-Old Should See a Pediatric Orthodontist

See Now

1. Explain clearly the need for the appointment.

It’s helpful for your child to clearly understand why he or she is going to the orthodontist. Braces and Invisalign are used to treat misaligned teeth, imbalanced jaw structures, and improve the smile so your child can be healthier, happier, and more confident. Let your child know that the earlier one sees an orthodontist, the less time treatment will take.

2. Encourage your child that he or she is not alone.

Most kids have a friend, sibling, cousin or someone they know at school who has gone to the orthodontist. Make sure your child understands that this is a very common occurrence for kids their age.

3. Share what to expect at that first orthodontist appointment.

The initial appointment will consist of an oral examination, digital x-rays and photos, as well as a discussion of treatment options. The x-rays help us see what’s going on underneath the gums, the position and growth of bones and joints, and the location of any teeth still below the gum line. Then if the doctor feels it is time — and if you feel ready — we can oftentimes start treatment the same day.

4. Meet your orthodontist.

Explain to your child that an orthodontist is similar to the dentist, but has three extra years of training past dental school. They are specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat a variety of dental problems that will have a positive impact on your child’s health, appearance, development, and comfort. In short, they are the experts in straightening teeth and creating beautiful smiles.

5. Introduce the treatment options.

Before going to the orthodontist, you may want to go over the various orthodontic treatment options. While we may or may not start these treatments right away, the information can still be helpful for kids to hear. Some popular treatments include:


Without the use of wires and brackets, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, customized, removable aligners. Every one to two weeks, we design a new set of aligners to gradually move your teeth into proper placement. Along the way, patients enjoy the ability to easily remove the aligners for eating, brushing and flossing, without calling unwanted attention to their teeth.

Traditional Braces

Braces use constant, gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions over time. The two main components of your braces include: 1) brackets on your teeth and 2) a main archwire to connect them. We first affix the brackets — clear or metal — to each tooth and then thread the wire threads through the brackets to move teeth into ideal alignment.

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander appliance applies gentle pressure on the upper molars to widen the upper jaw.

Quad Helix

Like the expander, this appliance widens the arch of the mouth to make room for crowded teeth through the use of four springs. The Quad Helix can also correct posterior crossbites.

Lip Bumper

In some situations, we may place a lip bumper appliance to move the molars back and make room for the lower teeth.

At the first orthodontist appointment, we want to determine the best treatment plan for your child — either immediately or sometime down the road. Our biggest desire is to make all your visits pleasant, informative, and productive—and ultimately to give you a happier and healthier smile.

If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontic treatment for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to meeting you!

Ready to schedule a free consultation?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.