Posts made in September, 2011

Orthodontists: What’s Their Story?

Posted on Sep 29, 2011

Orthodontists in both Canada and the United States will have either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DDM (Doctor of Dental Medicine) credential after their name. The only real difference is that some schools use one set of degree letters, while others award degrees with the other designation. Dental associations consider both degrees equal. Some orthodontists also have completed a MSC or MS (Masters of Science) degree, so these letters will follow a DDM or DDS credential. Here at HGS Ortho, our Port Coquitlam and Richmond patients sometimes ask us what the difference is between a orthodontist and dentist. An orthodontist is a dentist with an extra two or three years of post graduate residency study.

During these years, corrective orthodontic procedures in the teeth, jaws and face are the focus. Whereas general dentists provide patients with many different dental services, orthodontists focus on repairing bites and straightening teeth as well as fixing jaw and facial problems. For example, an orthodontist may help reconstruct facial damage in a patient who was injured in a car accident. He or she also treats problems such as TMJ disorder in which the joint that moves the jaw isn’t functioning efficiently and/or causes pain during chewing or talking.

Of course, applying braces on teen and adult patients is a common tasks of orthodontists today. Whereas decades ago metal braces were the only option and were worn mainly by teens, today’s orthodontics involves clear aligners for teeth such as Invisalign. The nearly invisible look of Invisalign makes braces a popular tooth straightening option for many adults — including many Port Coquitlam and Richmond residents treated by Dr. Geoffrey Smith. Although many children don’t require braces until at least 10 years of age, age 7 is the recommended age for the first appointment with an orthodontist. If your child will be turning 7 or if your teen or you are interested in orthodontics such as Invisalign, give our team a call at 604.464.2527.

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Out Of Town Emergencies: How To Handle Your Braces

Posted on Sep 22, 2011

When you and your family are traveling, an emergency with your braces is the last thing you need when you are far away from your trusted orthodontist. Dr. Geoffrey Smith at HGS Ortho, BC have some tips for you in case you run into a problem with your Invisalign, traditional braces or other orthodontic treatment.

The good news is that most issues aren’t actual true orthodontic emergencies. There are ways you can avoid the hassle of finding a new orthodontist while you are away.

The following tips should help if you have any braces emergency while away from home:

A small emergency kit – Things you will want to take with you are orthodontic wax, nail clippers tweezers, and a pencil with an eraser.

Cheeks and Lips Can Become Irritated – Wax helps alleviate irritation, but if you are out of wax, sugarless gum works too. If you have sores, you can buy Orabase or Orajel from a local drug store.

A Poking Wire – Chewing sticky foods can pull out an arch wire. Something soft like a pencil eraser can maneuver the wire. You can also put wax or sugarless gum on your wire to prevent any further irritation. Clip the wire with nail clippers if the main wire breaks, ensuring that you sanitize your tool with rubbing alcohol. NEVER swallow the clipped wire once it has been removed, this can cause further damage to your body.

Band that gets loose – If a band gets loose, it won’t cause problems while you eat. However, if you cannot tolerate this, clip the main wire with nail clippers and you can remove the band. This is a temporary measure until you are able to visit the orthodontic team at HGS Ortho.

Brackets that become loosened – Loose brackets are normally caused by hard foods. A loose bracket can be removed with sanitized tweezers.

Ligature wire or elastic that gets loose – Like the loose bracket, If an elastic ligature comes off your braces, use sanitized tweezers to secure it back into position.

If an actual dental emergency does arise that needs immediate attention requiring you to see an orthodontist right away, you can contact the local dental society for a recommendation, or find an orthodontist near you via the internet or telephone directories. Most orthodontic practices in North America and around the world will be able to help with any issues you may have.

Also, if you need to contact the team at HGS Ortho we are here for you if you need any guidance, so give us a call at 604.464.2527.

Watch the video below for some helpful advice:

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Dental Tips For Back to School

Posted on Sep 15, 2011

Summer vacation is over and your kids and teens are back to school for another year of sugary snacks and lunchbox meals. They’re got a haircut, a few new outfits and enough school supplies to get them through at least first semester; but are their teeth ready? Your experts at HGS Ortho have developed a list of dental tips that will make the back to school transition easier on your kid’s teeth and gums:

  • Pack lunches and snacks that are oral health friendly. Fruit, nuts, string cheese and bottled water are all good choices. Avoid sticky foods like raisins or fruit leather, as they can cause cavities.
  • Make it worth your kids while to brush and floss. Just as we reward our children for good grades, create a reward for a no cavities dental check-up! Encourage excellent oral health habits while they are young, and they’ll repeat these habits for their entire life.
  • Time for fresh new toothbrushes for the whole family! While getting binders, paper, pencils and pens don’t forget to buy new toothbrushes for the whole family. Old, worn-out toothbrushes lose their effectiveness to remove plaque and clean the teeth. September is a great time to update!
  • Make oral health habits easy at school. Put a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss in with their lunch and encourage them to clean their teeth after lunch. Studies show that excellent oral habits at school in addition to at home care, decrease risk of cavities and tooth decay found in children.

You’d be surprised, but as the most significant health problem for children, 51 million hours of in-class study is lost every year due to tooth decay! Keeping your kids hygiene habits in check can prevent future dental bills and ensure excellent overall health for a lifetime.

For children and teens, routine hygiene visits address more than just tooth decay. We take a close look at how your kid’s pearly whites are growing. In addition, the team at HGS Ortho will monitor the effectiveness of their oral health habits, as well as apply fluoride treatment and sealants, which help to protect problems before they occur. Using an ultrasonic cleaner we polish your child’s teeth by removing built up plaque and tartar to really make their smile sparkle.

So while you are shopping and caught in the back to school rush – contact the family orthodontic team in Port Coquitlam and Richmond, BC to book your next orthodontic check-up today and prevent future dental issues down the road.

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