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Dimassa and Wenger
Dimassa and Wenger

How to you tell if your child has orthodontic problems

Lets face it,  most orthodontic problems are not life threatening. However, there are some early warning signs that can show that your child might need to see an orthodontist earlier than their friends.

Here are the top 5 reasons you may want to bring your child to see us before the problem becomes worse:

1. A  thumb, finger or tongue habit

Many children use their thumb as a pacifier, but by the time they go to kindergarten that habit should be long gone.

If left untreated, thumbs, fingers and tongues can cause teeth to be pushed out and the jaws to grow in the wrong direction. Additionally, speech problems and eating difficulties are common in children with these persistent habits.

2. An underbite

Having an underbite is not just a cosmetic issue, its a very serious health issue which can lead to extensive surgical procedures if not treated until later in life.

3. A severe overbite

Many children have an overbite and this is not a bad thing, as in some cases the jaw grows at different rates. However when the problem become extreme, because of thumb sucking or genetic issues, children need to See Dr DiMassa or Dr Wenger. The biggest problem in children with severely protruding teeth is the extreme wear on their back teeth and, jaw problems.

4. Teeth Too Big Mouth Too Small

We see this all of the time, even in adults. In the past many orthodontists just removed 2 or 4 adult healthy teeth to make room for the others. Most of the time, this is a problem known as crowding (i.e. the jaw is too small and narrow). Early intervention with expansion-type appliances can make room without the need for extractions.

5. Snoring, roaring and grinding

If you child sounds like on of the seven dwarfs at night, its time to see Dimass and Wenger. here are several things that can cause snoring and grinding and with early intervention we can treat them all.

If you child has any of these issues, please call and ask about Phase One orthodontics at Dimassa and Wenger

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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Preventing Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

We know how hard it is to wear braces and even harder to keep them clean. It is however, essential to properly brush and floss your teeth during and after treatment. Here are some step-by-step guidelines for keeping your smile white during and even after treatment.

  • Use the Right Toothbrush
    A regular ol’ toothbrush just wont work as well when you’re wearing braces. You’ll want to try a few different brushes to see which works best for you. First use an interdental toothbrush which clean behind your braces. This has bristles that are shaped like a Christmas tree and can remove food in the braces. Second try a WaterPik. They make special appliances just for braces.
  • Brush every tooth after Every Meal
    When you brush, take time with each tooth. You should spend  at least 10 seconds on each one and pay attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely you are to get  cavities.
  • Remove the moving pieces. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these before you brush or floss.
  • Don’t Forget the Mouth Rinse
    Even if you spend 10 seconds on each tooth and have properly brushed and flossed, there are probably some food particles still stuck in your braces. In many cases, a fluoride mouth rinse removes the last bits of food after meals.
  • Find your favorite floss Some people like regular floss and find it easy to use, while others find that a floss threader helps get into those tight places.
  • Share your love with your dentist
    Visit your dentist regularly while you are wearing braces. Our office recommends a thorough cleaning every three to six months.

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Stars who had braces

Many celebrities are born with a million dollar look, but most arent born with a million dollar smile. Hundreds of famous people have had to “get their grill on” as teens and some even as adults.

Here are some of the famous faces who have rocked the metal brackets.

Angelina Jolie had braces when she was growing up.
Emma Watson wore invisalign during her early films and wore a retainer.
Beyonce wore braces in 2011 to support all of her young fans.
Tyra Banks wore braces to perfect her smile.
Katherine Heigl wore invisalign to straighten her smile before her wedding.
Dakota Fanning sported headgear during an appearance on The Tonight Show.
Gwyneth Paltrow wore braces in high school.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford rocked metal braces as an adult.

The reality is, weather you wear invisalign or clear brackets or metal ones, your beauty shines through!

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Why Choose an Orthodontist

Choosing a doctor to straighten the smile of your child or yourself is an important decision. There are some major decisions between orthodontists, dentists, periodontists and other dental specialists. The question we get most at our office is “what’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?” The answer is actually pretty simple, it basically has to do with education, training, and experience.
Your dentist goes to school to be able to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy. They make sure that you and your child maintain proper oral health.

An Orthodontist is a highly trained specialist that has 2-3 years of specialty education after dental school in an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists apply to highly competitive orthodontic residency programs after they finish dental school. They specialize just in orthodontics and do not treat things like cavities or perform implant procedures like periodontists.

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New Year, New You!

One of the most common things to do when we start a new year, is to make a New Year’s resolution, or twenty!  We’ve gathered a list of the most common New Year’s resolutions for teens and young adults.  So, take a look and see if there is something on the list you can work on in 2015!

  • Get healthy. This doesn’t have to mean losing weight.  It can also mean playing more sports, make healthier eating choices or just resolving to get off the couch a little more.  Make one small change at a time – like riding your bike or walking to school or ordering a salad instead of a burger – and hopefully you’ll have an easier time keeping your resolution!
  • Be Happy.  This might mean different things to different people.  Find ways to boost your self esteem or just spend more time doing things that you’re passionate about instead of things that might make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Be a better person.  Being a good person, by donating your time or old stuff to those in need, or just by throwing some random acts of kindness into your daily routine – feels so good that it can be addictive.  So get the do-gooder party started and get out and do something!
  • Show more love to your family.  Like it or not, your family is made up of the most important people in your life.  This year, take a couple deep breaths and resolve to be a little nicer to them.
  • Be a better friend.  The more love you give to your friends, the more love they’ll give back to you.  So, basically, if you stick to this resolution you’ve got nothing to lose.  Find a couple of ways to help out a friend this month.  Not only will you be making someone feel good, you’ll also be building up some good karma for when you may need help!
  • Do better in school.  You don’t need to suddenly turn yourself into a straight-A student – but if you bump up your school performance by just a little bit this year, you’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll make your parents proud, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a brighter future.  So, it’s a good idea all around!
  • Be a role model.  Being a good role model is easier than it sounds. All you have to do is make smart decisions – and then make sure that other people are listening in on it.  You can handle that, right?
  • Learn something new.  There’s nothing more fun than the feeling of finally “getting something”…and your school curriculum often leaves something to be desired.  How about putting some of that holiday money towards learning a new hobby?  It’ll be way more fun than algebra, and you might just learn a skill that you’ll love for the rest of your life.
  • Make some money.  Hey, you can always find time to work on your karma, but in the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to pad your wallet a little bit – right?!  Step one is getting a job, or just finding a better one.

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Deck your mouth with colorful braces!

Braces are the rage in middle and high school so why not show them off with holiday colors! There are several fun options to make your braces more unique and personally customized.   When Dr DiMassa changes your wire or adjusts your braces, you will have the option of choosing one color or multiple colors at a time.

If a holiday you love is coming up, you might decide to get orange braces for the month to match your outfits.  For Christmas, try red, white & green.  You can also choose pastel colors for the spring months or bright cheerful colors for the summer.  One option that is really popular at Braces By DiMassa is showing school spirit by choosing your school colors for your braces.

If colored braces aren’t your thing, don’t worry!  We also offer clear ceramic braces or Invisalign, which work as clear, removable trays that straighten your teeth without giving you that “embarrassing” metallic smile.

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Braces Vs Invisalign

Many people who are looking for a more perfect smile, ask what the difference is between Invisalign and braces, as well as other types of braces. And the answer is there are lots of differences and some similarities, whats best for you is really something that needs to be determined by your doctor. When orthodontists think about how to best straighten your teeth they look at a few factors such as previous dental issues, patient requirements such as the ability to play a wind instrument etc, and the patients wishes.

Invisalign vs. Braces Differences

The main differences between Invisalign vs. braces are the easy to see things like braces are applied to the teeth and cannot be removed during treatment. Invisalign are aligners that can be taken in and out daily for certain activities, such as eating.

Invisalign Pros and Cons

Invisalign was developed to give consumers an opportunity to have a straight smile without traditional metal braces. As the name indicates, they are nearly invisible.  This makes Invisalign more popular with adult orthodontic patients. In addition,  Invisalign is removable allowing you to take it off when you eat or play an instrument.

Invisalign Disadvantages

In the past there were many doctors who complained that the disadvantage of invisalign was that they had less control over the movement of your teeth, but now that has all changed with the improvement of the product. The biggest disadvantage is having a doctor who is not experienced enough to know how to use invisalign properly. Thats why Dr DiMassa takes hours of continuing education to make sure he is on top of every new benefit that invisalign offers.

Braces Pros and Cons

The main advantage of braces is the effectiveness of treatment. Traditional braces give orthodontists the most control over the treatment process. This allows for shorter treatment times in some cases. Traditional braces are also typically less expensive than Invisalign.

Braces Disadvantages

One of the biggest braces disadvantages is the noticeable appearance, pain while wearing, inability to clean teeth as well as one would like and inability to play some sports or wind instruments.

If you are interested in finding out which is best for you, give us a call and Dr DiMassa will be happy to discuss your options.

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What is a palatal expander?

If Dr DiMassa recommended a palatal expander your child, you might be wondering what it is and how it will help.  A palatal expander is a small appliance fitted into the roof of your mouth to create a wider space in the upper jaw.  It is often used when there is a problem with overcrowding of the teeth or when the upper jaw and lower molars don’t fit together correctly.  While it is most commonly used in children, some teens and adults may also need a palatal expander.

Reasons to get a palatal expander

There are several reasons one might need to get a palatal expander:

  • Not enough room for permanent teeth currently erupting.
  • Not enough space for permanent teeth still developing which might need extraction in the future.
  • A back crossbite with a narrow upper arch.
  • A front crossbite with a narrow upper arch.

How long will you need the palatal expander? 

Most patients have the palatal expander for four to seven months, although this is based on the individual and the amount of correction needed.  Several months are needed to allow the bone to form and move to the desired width.  It is not removable and must remain in the mouth for the entire treatment.

Do palatal expanders prevent you from needing braces?  

The palatal expander doesn’t necessarily remove the need for braces, but in some cases it can help shorten the time or eliminate them all together.  Some people only need braces because of a crossbite or overcrowding of the teeth, which a palatal expander can help correct during childhood, when teeth are just beginning to erupt.  However, others may eventually need braces if, once their permanent teeth come in, they have grown in crookedly or with additional spaces between.

If you think you or your child could benefit from a palatal expander, or want to learn more about other orthodontic treatment options, please feel free to contact our office and we’ll be happy to help you!

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Is Fluoride Important?

Protecting your teeth throughout your life is the goal of Dr DiMassa and our team at Braces by DiMassa. We know there are many ways to protect your smile besides orthodontic care and some of the best ways are to make sure that you brush and floss regularly, at least twice a day, follow all the rules that Dr DiMassa gives you regarding caring for your teeth and protect and care for any appliances that Dr DiMassa gives you.

But did you know that Fluoride is another way to keep your teeth healthy during your orthodontic care?

Fluoride, the mineral that helps you prevent cavities and tooth decay, can also help keep your teeth strong. You can get Fluoride into your system in two ways: topical (gel or paste) or  systemic (medication or water). Depending on your oral health or the recommendation of Dr. DiMassa, you may be asked to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. We may also prescribe a fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse for at-home treatment to keep your teeth happy in between visits.

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Do I have to wear my Rubber Bands?

At some point in your orthodontic treatment you will probably be asked to wear rubber bands. Most of the patients at Braces by DiMassa will need to wear rubber bands to correct their bite. Generally this shows up when your teeth don’t fit together properly or to close or open spaces.

Rubber bands are a critical part of your treatment, and wearing them as Dr DiMassa and our team recommend will help move your teeth into the desired position. In some cases you  may be asked  to wear your rubber bands full time, meaning that they should only be taken out when you brush and floss your teeth. In other cases, you may only need to wear them part-time, such as during the day or when you sleep.

If you still have any questions about orthodontic rubber bands, we invite you to give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment appointment. Remember, wearing rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. DiMassa is an important step to finishing your treatment on time and with the best result possible.

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