Monday, March 29, 2010

The importance of retainers, from Orchin Orthodontics

OK, you've completed your orthodontic work and you’ve revealed your new smile. You are proud and excited and then Dr. Orchin presents you with a retainer to wear.

What is the deal?

Every orthodontic treatment plan at Orchin Orthodontics includes a retention phase. Dr. Orchin’s years of experience has taught him that retention is one of the most important phases of orthodontic treatment. Orchin Orthodontics has learned that wearing your retainer(s) as directed is the most important factor in maintaining your orthodontic result. Dr. Orchin recommends that all of our patients keep their retainer (forever) and wear it once a week even after they are released from our care. If a removable retainer breaks or needs adjustments, simply give us a call at 202-684-9227.

Most of Dr. Orchin’s patients have a fixed lower lingual retainer (also called a permanent retainer) to maintain the lower teeth. Many patients ask us why we do not remove it. Here is the answer; it is the best insurance plan you can buy. Teeth remain mobile and do tend to drift forward as we age and the lower lingual is a great tool for preventing that. It is important to brush and floss as directed as well as maintain regular hygiene visits with the general dentist. The patient’s general dentist will monitor the lower lingual and advise if it needs to be removed or replaced.

As always, we welcome our patients back anytime to have their retainer(s) adjusted or require a visit for any reason. The best reason to return to Orchin Orthodontics? Simply to say “hello” and share your beautiful smile with us or bring a friend or family member here for treatment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ask Dr. Orchin: Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

Over the years I have heard many responses from adults when they find out that their orthodontic treatment plan includes braces. I have heard everything from “Wearing braces will make me look too young to be taken seriously in my career” to “There is no way I will wear braces.” More often than not adults are especially disappointed when they hear that we can not correct their alignment with Invisalign treatment. While Invisalign is a phenomenal product that we often use, it does have limitations and is not indicated for certain treatment plans.

Here is what I have discovered after over the last 9 years:
the only regret I ever hear after orthodontic treatment is complete is “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” When we give the treatment plan which includes the length of time in braces, patients' initial response is “that long”? All our patients feel that way and what they have found is, the time goes by quickly and is a small price to pay for a beautiful smile that will last.

The best news is that we now offer SureSmile, which means that we can move teeth more efficiently in less time. In fact, most patients are able to subtract 1/3 of their treatment time when they are SureSmile patients. That means the average time in treatment for adults is only 10-14 months. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely spend a year in braces so that I could enjoy all of the benefits of a beautiful smile. A smile is the universal sign of happiness and confidence. It is something that most of us give willingly but many are too shy to share a smile due to crooked teeth.

As an orthodontic professional, I simply can not see any reason not to improve your smile if you are self-conscious about it. Yes, there are other reasons to have orthodontics, which include improving a malocclusion (bad bite) and having periodontal issues that are corrected by having the teeth in a more favorable position. These reasons should not be overlooked and are in fact, the most common reasons for an adult to be referred to us for orthodontic treatment. If you already have an underlying condition that would improve with orthodontics, there is no excuse not to give yourself the gift of improved health. A beautiful smile is just an additional bonus.

Ever wonder why we all love our jobs at Orchin Orthodontics? That is an easy answer: we help people smile every day. How many people can say that their job is to make people smile? What a wonderful job we all have. Let us give you a smile today. Call today for your consultation appointment and be sure to ask us about SureSmile.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Orchin Orthodontics present: Frequently asked questions

Patients in orthodontic treatment ask questions. They want to know specifics, they want to know logistics and they want to make sure they've made the right decision. With Orchin Orthodontics, they can be rest assured they have. Here are a sample of most frequent questions that patients ask our dedicated staff. If you have a question, but don't see it on the list below, please give our office a call and one of our staff members will be happy to answer any question you may have!

Q: Do braces hurt to put on?
A: No, it does not hurt to put braces on. The sealant we brush on the teeth to help hold the bracket on smells bad for a few seconds. The appointment for full braces is an easy visit that lasts about 90 minutes and the patient leaves with brackets and wires.

Q: Do braces hurt?

A: No, You may have some soreness by dinner time. Many patients report that their teeth feel loose or achy. We recommend you keep your food soft for the first couple of days. For example, if you want red meat, have hamburger instead of steak. Take Tylenol, Advil or whatever you take for pain. It may a few days to adjust to braces. Some patients find it helpful to repeat these steps after having their wires changed. Every patient is unique and you will figure out what works best for you.

Q: How often do I have to come in for adjustments?
A: The time will vary, but it’s usually every 6-8 weeks. You will be informed of the date you are due for your next visit before you leave the office. In order to secure the time you prefer, we strongly encourage you to stop at the front desk to schedule that appointment before leaving the office. Remember that most of the patients in the office with you are due to return for another visit about the same you are.

Q: Do you have colored braces?
A: No, We utilize SPEED Braces which are about 1/3 the size of traditional braces. SPEED Braces do not need external colored elastics to hold the wires in because they are very high tech and have integrated clips that secure the wires.

Q: Can I get colors?

A: No, SPEED Braces only come in silver metal. On occasion we use a “chain” and the chain comes in many color choices – we will let you choose your favorite color.

Q: Will my teeth be stained after the braces come off?
A: Not if you follow our brushing and flossing techniques and maintain regular dental cleanings with your general dentist. If we notice that your hygiene needs improvement, we will revisit the brushing and flossing techniques with you and may recommend you see your dentist every 3 or 4 months for a professional cleaning while in active orthodontic treatment. Please remember we are trying to help you, not criticize you. It is our intention to give you the best result possible. We do everything we can to minimize the time our patients wear braces which also helps avoid staining of the teeth.

Q: Will the braces affect my speech?
A: No, braces do not usually interfere with articulation.

Q: How long will my braces be on?
A: Every treatment plan is different, so the length time varies. Dr. Orchin will let you know how long you can expect to be in braces before you start treatment.

Q: What do I do if something breaks?

A: If you are uncomfortable, call the office. If we are closed, there will be a number on our voicemail to reach the doctor. If you are comfortable, please wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Q: If I play sports, do I need a new mouth guard or can I wear the one I already have?
A: If you wear a mouth guard, we will provide one for you (at no additional charge). It is important that you do not use one of the fitted “boil at home” mouth guards while you are in orthodontic treatment. We are moving your teeth which means that any fitted mouth guard will work against us and slow down or halt your orthodontic progress.

Q: Will the braces irritate my mouth?
A: Yes, sometimes your mouth will get irritated from the brackets until it becomes callused. SPEED Braces have rounded edges to help minimize the discomfort but there is still and adjustment period. If your mouth becomes sensitive, we provide wax for you apply which helps with the irritation. We will automatically give you wax the day we place the brackets. You may pick up extra wax if needed at your next appointment or any drug store (near the dental floss).

Monday, March 8, 2010

When is a general or pediatric dentist just not enough?

Can a general or pediatric dentist perform orthodontic treatment? The legal answer is "yes." More and more general and pediatric dentists are taking on orthodontics as a way to increase their business and client base.

But... should you allow a general or pediatric dentist to treat you or your family with orthodontics? While we realize this is a personal decision, we feel it is very important that the practitioner you choose is certified by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Being a member of the AAO ensures that the professional you have selected to perform treatment has completed four years of dental school and a minimum of two years in an accredited residency program. AAO orthodontists are better qualified and have more extensive training in the movement of teeth than any of their peers.

Orthodontists should be the only professional performing Dentofacial Orthopedics. What is Dentofacial Orthopedics? Dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. The most common appliances utilized by Orchin Orthodontics to accomplish this movement are Maxillary Expanders, Reverse Pull Headgears and Twin Blocks. Dentofacial Orthopedics requires the care, skill and judgment that both Dr. Andrew M. Orchin and Dr. Jeremy D. Orchin are known for.

The patient must be closely monitored during treatment, requiring Dr. Orchin to take measurements and stop the movement as soon as the desired results are achieved. Orchin Orthodontics continues to monitor the patient’s growth and development until the patient is ready to be evaluated for further orthodontics if necessary. Often we can negate the need for further orthodontics utilizing Dentofacial Orthopedics. It is important to remember that a well-trained orthodontist knows when to treat as well as when treatment is not indicated or is not essential (more of an aesthetic issue).

If you've been thinking about orthodontic treatment, please give us a call!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ask Orchin Orthodontics: What are SPEED Braces?

SPEED Braces are a miniaturized metal bracket. The reduced size minimizes lip and cheek irritation and is more aesthetic and hygienic than traditional braces. In addition, SPEED Braces are efficient because their springs apply a light continuous force (stored energy) that means less discomfort and pain throughout orthodontic treatment. With patient cooperation, SPEED Braces also reduce time in treatment for patients.

Hygiene: SPEED eliminates the two most common food traps: "tie-wings" and "ligature ties." Additionally, the clean lines of the SPEED design have resulted in a smooth rounded silhouette that is easy for all patients to keep clean.

Aesthetics: SPEED Braces are 1/3 the size of traditional metal braces

Comfort: SPEED improves patient comfort in two ways:
SPEED's smooth rounded design minimizes soft tissue irritation
SPEED permits the use of extremely light forces by eliminating the high frictional resistance caused by ligature ties

The result... more comfortable treatment for patients!

SPEED's Self-Ligating design eliminates the need for tie-wings. This permits significant appliance miniaturization. With all of the benefits to SPEED Braces, it seems an obvious choice for Orchin Orthodontics to use them. Why doesn’t every orthodontist use SPEED Braces?

SPEED Braces require additional training for the orthodontist since they are not routinely used during orthodontic residency. Bracket placement on the tooth is different for SPEED Braces than it is for traditional braces. In addition, since SPEED Braces use stored energy, lighter wires are utilized. All of these factors contribute to a fairly steep learning curve for both the orthodontist and orthodontic assistants. Rest assured that Dr. Orchin and his team have mastered SPEED Braces. In fact, Orchin Orthodontics has been using SPEED Braces for about 20 years.

If you have any questions about SPEED Braces, or about your treatment with Dr. Orchin, please give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!