Posts made in September, 2014

Braces for Children: What Are the Basics?

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

At what age should your child get braces? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist at age 7 as a good way of predicting whether or not braces will be required in the future. Although children are rarely fitted with braces until an average of about 10-14 years old, by age 7 their back teeth (molars) are established. From these molars, HGS Ortho in Port Coquitlam and Richmond can predict many potential bite problems. The types of braces for children that may eventually be recommended by an orthodontist will depend on the type of bite issue each individual child may have. Some children with bite problems may end up having only upper or lower braces, while others may require both.

Children’s metal braces are always bonded to clean, dry teeth. Bonding primer is placed on the teeth before the wire brackets are attached with composite cement. Next, the orthodontists at HGS Ortho will attach the teeth straightening wires by placing a section of wire into the slot on each bracket. A metal or elastic tie holds the wire in the slot in these traditional braces for children. Newer types of braces don’t require the ties. Invisalign, which is a type of clear plastic and nearly invisible braces, is a popular choice today — especially for teens and adults who don’t want the obvious look of metal wires on their teeth.

A good thing to keep in mind when children first get braces is that it may take kids time to get used to them. Keep on the look out for places where wires on braces for children may have come loose as sores may develop in the mouth due to wire irritating the inner cheeks. Often, simple solutions such as adding a pea-sized ball of wax or cotton over the protruding wire, can solve the problem. To learn more about children and braces or to book a first check up appointment for your 7-year-old, contact the team at HGS Ortho in Richmond or Port Coquitlam soon.

Children should have their first screening by an orthodontist at age 7. This is the best age to predict if future braces will be needed to correct any bite problems. 

Read More

Eating with Braces: Foods to Avoid

Posted on Sep 18, 2014

Eating with braces can be tricky. At HGS Ortho, we want to ensure our patients get the information they need when it comes to eating with braces.

The first thing that people with braces should know is that taking care of your braces is especially important. Be sure to take proper care of your braces because if any section of your braces come apart, this could affect the orthodontic treatment. Your teeth may move in the wrong direction and you’ll have to have a long appointment to get all the necessary fixes.

Protect your braces by keeping an eye on the sort of food you’re eating. Here’s a great list of foods that you should avoid if you have braces for a happy orthodontic treatment:

  • Hard fruits and vegetable such as apples and carrots
  • Any kind of nut or snack containing nuts
  • Corn of any kind: on the cob, popcorn, etc.
  • Bagels, pretzels, and pizza
  • Foods that are likely to stick to your braces such as candy, chewing gum and jerky

As well, don’t chew on pencils or fingernails and be sure to brush and floss regularly to avoid cavities and gum disease. Please contact HGS Ortho in Richmond or Port Coquitlam if you have any questions!

Read More

Orthodontists: What’s Their Story?

Posted on Sep 11, 2014

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 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 HGS Ortho. 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 or contact us online.

Read More

Orthodontic Emergencies: Be Prepared

Posted on Sep 4, 2014

Orthodontic emergencies with your braces are generally uncommon. However, if they happen, our team of oral health care professionals at HGS Ortho in Richmond and Port Coquitlam can help you deal with any problems regarding your braces. Contact us as soon as possible and book an appointment.

Until your appointment, you can temporarily fix the problem yourself. Here’s what you can do if:

  • Your Wire Is Poking You– Push the wire down with something soft like a pencil eraser or place wax on it to minimize your discomfort.
  • Your Bracket or Band Gets Loose – If your bracket or band is still clinging onto the wire, keep it in its place, and place wax on it. If the wire falls out completely, keep it in a tissue and bring it to your appointment.
  • A Wire Gets Loose – Using tweezers, secure your wire back into place. If you use wax but it doesn’t help, cut the wire with nail clippers. If you’re still uncomfortable, put wax on it.
  • An Appliance Gets Loose – If your appliance pokes you, cover it with wax.
  • You have Fussy Headgear – Read instructions about your headgear carefully. The face-bow can get bent, and if this happens, call our Richmond or Port Coquitlam offices.
  • You have a Sore Mouth – Braces can cause pain when they’re first put on for a few days. A warm salt water rinse should alleviate your pain but if it doesn’t, a painkiller might help.

Remember these are only temporary solutions to your orthodontic problems. Please contact HGS Ortho as soon as possible to book an appointment by phone or online.

Read More