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myths and misconceptions about orthodontics

May 8th, 2019

While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what our practice does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we are actually very different. Orthodontists go to school for additional years to specialize in the movement of teeth!

While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you won’t make an appointment to see us. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. Actually for any sort of restorative procedure, including crowns, bridges or veneers, a dentist is the correct professional to see. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. Correcting misaligned teeth not only results in the important esthetic benefit for a beautiful smile, but as importantly allows your teeth and gums to remain healthy as your bite is properly balanced, and you can more easily care for your smile. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may grow in crooked or have gaps between teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced and more easily treat those. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.

Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require or proceed with orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what Dr. Amani Morra can do for you, we invite you to simply ask us.

It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our practice.

Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques

April 18th, 2019

You are probably aware that brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health.

But have you ever considered whether you’re brushing your teeth correctly?

Here are some tips to make your brushing routine as effective and safe as possible:

 

  • Aim to brush for two minutes (that’s 120 seconds), twice a day, with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush for increased cleaning efficacy.

 

  • Brush the outside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45° angle to the gum line. Concentrate on small areas at a time until you’ve cleaned your entire mouth.

 

  • Brush the inside surfaces of your teeth using the same motion, and chewing surfaces using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions.

 

  • Gently brush your tongue (or use a tongue scraper). This will remove bacteria and dead cells from your tongue and lead to fresher breath.

 

  • Pay particular attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach areas in the back of the mouth, around dental and orthodontic appliances, and near fillings, crowns, or any other restorative work.

 

  • Choosing a toothpaste depends on your individual needs and preferences. Many different types are available for oral health issues such as tartar, gingivitis, or sensitive teeth. But proper brushing technique is the most important tactic for removing tartar from your teeth.

 

  • We recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to wear, whichever comes first. It’s also advisable to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, since the bristles of the toothbrush can trap bacteria and allow them to proliferate.

Along with flossing, proper brushing will keep your mouth healthy and beautiful.

Please let anyone in our office know if you have questions about your brushing and/or flossing routine.

 

Common Orthodontic Misconceptions

January 15th, 2019

When you think of a person wearing braces, the first image that likely pops into your head is an awkward middle-school child with a mouth full of metal brackets and rubber bands...The vast majority of our patients don’t fit that stereotype, however.

We have patients of all ages who take advantage of a broad variety of orthodontic treatments. There are many misconceptions about orthodontics, so we’d like to put a few of them to rest.

  1. Orthodontic treatment is just for kids - Wrong!
    Although teenagers often visit our office to get braces, adults represent a growing proportion of our orthodontic patients. Whether you’re eight or 80, a no cost consultation with Dr. Morra can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected by orthodontics.
  2. Traditional metal braces are my only option - Wrong!
    Advances in orthodontic technology have come up with improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Aesthetic orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners, clear braces and more are available to you.
  3. Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth - Wrong!
    Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason for patients to seek orthodontic care. But orthodontic interventions can help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbites and jaw misalignment, we can help with many problems related to your teeth, gums, and jaws. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean, so there’s less risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Orthodontic treatment is too expensive - Wrong again!
    As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, our team works with patients to identify payment plans, insurance coverage, and affordable down payments that make it easy to get started.

Don’t let preconceived ideas about braces deter you from getting the orthodontic care you need!

How to manage the cost of braces

October 15th, 2018

So you or a family member need braces. You’ve just found out or you had an inkling all along – your bite is uncomfortable, or you don’t like to show your teeth when you smile because they just don’t look the way you would like them to. What can you do to make the cost more manageable?

First, don’t worry. Many Canadians just like you have dealt with the same concerns. Here are some things to remember when you’re facing the costs that come with a beautiful smile.

Ask your orthodontist about your payment options.

As with any new venture, it’s important to educate yourself. Many people have health insurance benefits through work that will cover a portion of the costs. You should find out the following information from your insurance carrier: Who is covered and until what age, the percentage of the coverage, and the total value of the coverage.  Many insurance carriers may allow you to increase the orthodontic option. If both parents have coverage you will be able to apply to both plans.  Just remember to contact your insurance company and have them fully explain your orthodontic coverage to you. This can substantially reduce your out of pocket costs. We can also check on your orthodontic coverage when you come in for a consultation.

Then, it’s a matter of covering the difference on your own. Every orthodontic office will have a variety of payment options that will make this easier for you or your family. All you need to do is discuss this with office and you can design a fee schedule that works for you.

Every patient and family should request an official tax receipt for any treatment fees that were not covered by insurance. Currently the CRA permit these fees to be included under medical expenses on your tax form.

Plan.

If you think you’re going to have to pay for a large chunk of your orthodontic care, planning for the cost in advance can be a lifesaver when the time comes. Just like you’d plan for your home renovation cost, plan for the scenario that you or your child needs braces. Here at Dream Orthodontics we can also work with you to make a payment schedule that works for you and your family.

Understand all the treatment options and costs presented by your orthodontist.

Every orthodontic office understands the concern families have regarding the cost of orthodontic treatment, particularly if there are multiple members of the family who need treatment. Not everyone can pay for braces overnight. With that in mind, talk to your orthodontist and see what they’re willing to do to in terms of planning for costs and managing your expectations. They want to see you end up with a healthy, happy smile, and are often willing to provide payment options to meet you where you are.

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