Ottawa Blog for Braces, Invisalign and Orthodontic Treatments

Orthodontic Emergencies

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First of all, you need to know that the best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to learn how to take good care of your braces properly between your appointments with your orthodontist.  However, emergencies are emergencies and they can happen to anyone.

Common orthodontic emergencies include broken brackets (braces), poking wires, lost or broken retainers, mouth sores, and mouth injuries sustained playing sports, which often happens when you don’t wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontic appliances.

Brush and Floss Every Day

Taking care of your braces is very important if you want to avoid any orthodontic emergencies. It will help you to maintain your braces. Sometimes, some food particles get stuck and result in the development of plaque between your teeth. You can avoid this situation by brushing and flossing after every meal. This will help your braces to stay in great shape and will also help to reduce the risks of emergencies.

Playing Sports

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. Getting hit on the mouth or jaw can be a very painful experience, more so as an orthodontic patient as your teeth are already undergoing change and the impact could set back progress made with your orthodontist. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing sports such as hockey, rugby, ringuette, football and others. A mouthguard is a simple item that can save you the pain, time, and money that comes with orthodontic emergencies because of sports.

Food

It’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Orthodontics appliances may become disconnected or damaged by eating hard, sticky candy or food, or playing with your braces.  While your orthodontic treatment seems like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, sticky foods can break the brackets of your braces and hard foods can bend the wires. If a band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don’t connect any elastics to it! If the piece has come off, save it, otherwise you can cover it with orthodontic wax to prevent it from irritating the inside of your mouth.

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor, although they may still cause discomfort or irritation. Usually you can soothe the immediate cause of the discomfort with wax and call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so that we have sufficient time to get you taken care of. Waiting to call to get your appliances repaired could increase the length of your treatment!

If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact your dentist or the Ottawa dental emergency line at (613) 523-4185.


What Are The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatments?

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Orthodontic treatments are really important no matter how old you are. Also called as interceptive orthodontics they can begin as early as age 6 or 7. At such a young age the teeth are still developing. All of that could mean less treatments later if everything is well taken care of. The goals of early orthodontic treatment are: correct bite problems such as an under bite, guide the jaw growth pattern, help to make room in the mouth to make sure the permanent teeth are properly placed, … all of this can prevent or keep the risk of needing extraction due to teeth crowded.

Before permanent teeth have come in, it may be possible to help teeth to erupt (emerge through the gums) into better positions. It’s common, for example, for the dental arch to be too small to fit all of the teeth.

Here are several ways you can determine if early treatments are needed:

  • Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
  • Late loss of baby teeth (after age six or seven)
  • The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
  • The child is a mouth breather
  • Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
  • Protruding teeth, typically in the front
  • Biting or chewing difficulties
  • A speech impediment
  • The child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
  • The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb

Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb sucking habits.

Most children have lost all their baby teeth by age 13 and by the end of their teen years the jaw bones will harden and no longer continue to grow. Orthodontic procedures for adults often take more time and can involve tooth extraction and the possibility of oral surgery. As a child, receiving early orthodontic treatment can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no chance of extraction or surgery in the future.

Early orthodontic treatments at our Ottawa office are very beneficial for children. The main reason why it’s so important to start at an early age: the child’s jaw bones are still soft. Because the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces work faster than they do for adults. Treatments are also an effective preventive measure for a healthy and stable oral health.


National Orthodontic Health Month

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It’s October, a special month that brings us candies, ghosts and witches. October also is the National Orthodontic Health Month. Let’s take advantage of this month to remember how it’s important to take care of our orthodontic health and how taking care of your braces ensures you a healthy smile and healthy teeth.

Taking care of your teeth can get more difficult once you get braces. Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. This is produced by the bacteria that react with the food in your mouth to produce an acid, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth. This is why it’s important to keep your braces and your mouth clean. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and orthodontic appliances clean:
• To remove plaque, you should brush around all parts of your dental braces and all of the surfaces of your teeth. Ideally, you should brush after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth well with water.
• Using fluoridated toothpaste or adding a fluoride rinse to your routine can help prevent white spots (decalcification) and decay. It’s also important to continue your regular dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment.
• Whether manual or electric, a toothbrush with soft bristles and a compact head is best for cleaning teeth with braces. Always remember to remove elastics before brushing so hooks and wires are not disturbed.
• Avoid sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods because they can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky and chewy foods like caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits can stick to braces and be difficult to remove. Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets. Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.

Generally speaking, soft foods are best for brace wearers. Candies that melt in your mouth tend to be gentlest on braces. Orthodontic patients can enjoy chocolates (such as chocolate kisses and M&Ms), gelatin, ice cream, peanut butter cups, powdered candy and more.

In honor of ‪National Orthodontic Health Month‬‬‬, we will be buying your‪ Halloween‬‬‬ candy back from you! Come to our office on November 2nd from 7:00am to 5:00pm and we will buy your candy! For every pound, we will give you 1$ and also donate 1$ to the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. Also, for every pound you will receive 1 ballot to be entered into a draw to win a new iPad mini!

Beware of those nasty cavities that sugar can cause during the ‎Halloween‬ season. It is important to brush and floss every day! ‪‬‬


When to See an Orthodontist

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You’ve been thinking about orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone else in your family? You are probably wondering: When is the right time to see an orthodontist? It’s an excellent question, and we have the answer to it. 

First reason why you should see an orthodontist: If you have any question about the alignment of your teeth, or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is painfully obvious. If you have trouble biting, chewing or speaking, or some of your teeth are clearly protruding, crowded or misplaced, an orthodontist can surely treat the problem to help you regain a healthy smile.

Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may also be signs that an orthodontic treatment is needed. If your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, you may need an appointment with an orthodontist.

Did you know that teeth that meet abnormally can even cause a facial imbalance (asymmetry)? No worries, this is a problem that can often be corrected by orthodontic treatment.

ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN

We recommend a first orthodontic examination by the age of 7 for two very good reasons. At that age, not everyone has the same facial and teeth development so it takes an expert to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem, or if it’s just a normal developmental variation. At that time, an orthodontist can also predict whether or not there will be adequate room in the mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth.

An early exam can help to prevent serious problems. Many conditions are far easier to treat if they’re caught at an early stage. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct a serious condition.

If you notice any of the symptoms below, it may be time to visit an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of
proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips

Even if most patients may not require treatment at 7 years old, an orthodontist will normally monitor a child growth and development from that point on to ensure that he or she is on the right track. Sometimes, it is only the matter of removing a baby tooth at the right time that can make the whole difference and allow the permanent teeth to come in the proper position.

ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS

You know when your child needs an orthodontic exam. Now, how about you? Are you afraid of smiling because your smile isn’t as perfect as you want it to be? Know that orthodontic exams are not only for kids. We can help you get the smile you always dreamed of.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Plus, it’s now possible to have “Hidden” braces. Different type and brands exist and they all have their strength. From Incognito, Harmony to Forestadent 2D, there are so many options! You don’t want braces even if they are inside? There is always Invisalign as another solution. This is a series of aligners that you wear and change every 2 weeks to align your teeth.

So if you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure that there are solutions and options so no one will know that you are “secretly” improving your smile unless you tell them!

Remember that a nice smile isn’t just about the look. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and less subject to abnormal wear. A healthy smile keeps you from having trouble eating and speaking.

It is time for you to “Discover your smile!


Difference between all the dental specialist and a dentist

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Whether you have minor issues with your mouth or need a major makeover, remember that your oral health should not be taken lightly. Everything starts with your mouth. Think about it, your body needs nutritious foods, and you want to do that, you need your teeth to be able to eat healthy foods!

Dental professionals are there to help you take care of your oral health. But first of all, you need to be able to see the difference between dentist and dental specialist and to know what they can do to help you with.

Let’s start with dentists. You probably see your dentist at twice a year to make sure your teeth are in good shape. Dentists are licensed doctors by the Royal College of Dentist of Canada and they lead the dental team to monitor and improve your overall dental health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is not their only job! They manage your overall oral health with an intra-oral and extra oral clinical examination and X-rays. Dentists are also the ones who make the diagnostics and general treatment plans for your dentition. Restoring damaged teeth, assessing your overall gum health, screening for oral cancer, monitoring the eruption sequence of your child teeth, are other example of the many responsibilities a dentist has.

When something more specific needs to be assessed or if you require specialised treatments or procedures; your dentist will refer you to a dental specialist. As an example, if your teeth need realignment, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.

In Canada, there are nine nationally recognized dental specialties:

  • Dental Public Health: Dental Public Health is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and control of dental diseases and the promotion of oral health.
  • Endodontics: Endodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the dental pulp and periradicular tissues.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral and maxillofacial surgery is that branch and specialty of dentistry which is concerned with and includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disorders, diseases, injuries and defects, involving the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions and related structures.
  • Oral Medicine and Pathology: Oral Medicine and Pathology is the branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, nature and primarily non-surgical management of oral, maxillofacial and temporomandibular diseases and disorders, including dental management of patients with medical complications
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology: Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the prescription, production and interpretation of diagnostic images for the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders of the craniofacial complex.
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance and correction of the growing or mature dentofacial structures and the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any abnormalities associated with these structures.
  • Pediatric Dentistry: Pediatric Dentistry is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with providing primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health diagnosis, care and consultative expertise for infants and children through adolescence, including those of all ages with special care needs.
  • Periodontics: Periodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and aesthetics of these structures and tissues.
  • Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics is that branch and specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of the patient by the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.

Each specialist has between 2 to 5 additional years of specialised training after they became a dentist.  The oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the lead for the longest training!

So why do we need so many specialists? The mouth and the jaws are actually very complex structures. By referring to different specialists for  a specific assessment and/or treatment, it allows the general dentist to get some assistance in a specific area of his treatment plan and to make sure his patient receives the best treatment available.  The general dentist and the specialist work as a team to coordinate their treatment and to offer you the most personalised and beneficial outcome. They all have the same goal: improving your oral health!

Remember, unlike with medicine and medical specialists, no reference is required to consult a dental specialist. You can just decide to contact one on your own if you wish to have something specific assessed.

If you do need to see an orthodontist, be sure to stop by Wellington Village Orthodontics for all of your orthodontic needs! Take a look at us out online at http://bracesinottawa.com/, or call us at 613-722-8500 to make an appointment today.


Caring For Your Teeth – Things To Avoid

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You might not realize it but some of your everyday activities could be ruining your teeth. Teeth are more fragile than you’d think so it’s important to take good care of them while you still can.

Start ‘em off young

Let’s start at the beginning, do your children a favour and start them off on the right foot. Never send your child to bed with a bottle whether it be milk or juice. The sugar will sit on your child’s teeth all night and will eat away at the enamel. Also, avoid thumb sucking at all costs. It’s normal for small children to want to suck on their thumbs but once their adult teeth start coming in, help your child to break this habit as thumb sucking can cause misalignment in teeth.

Chipping away at your teeth

Next, here are some habits that can chip your teeth: chewing on ice, using your teeth to open things, grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, nail biting, and biting on pens. Even tongue and lip piercings can damage your teeth if you bite down on them hard enough.

Foods that are ruining your smile

It’s common knowledge that sugary foods can eat away at your enamel, cut down your consumption of candy, soda, sports drinks, fruit juice, and even cough drops, which are full of sugar and are often overlooked. If you do indulge in these sugary items make sure to brush your teeth after.

You may have never considered that snacking on food in general is damaging your teeth. When you snack on foods frequently rather than having larger meals your mouth is actually producing less saliva, which is leaving more food residue between your teeth, this of course is bad for them. Similarly, alcohol consumption dehydrates your mouth and if you drink frequently you’ll begin producing less saliva, which could cause tooth decay.

Sticky foods are bad for your teeth because well, they stick to your teeth. It’s not good to let anything sit on your teeth for a long period of time so wash these foods down with water.

Brush carefully

While brushing your teeth is a crucial part of your dental health, brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods can actually harm your teeth. The acid
softens your teeth making them much more sensitive when you start brushing. Also, surely everyone’s heard of not brushing too hard, while it’s important to brush away all of the plaque you don’t want to harm your enamel, try a soft toothbrush instead that’s recommended by the Canadian Dental Association.


Play It Safe – Sports and Braces

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It is important to protect the investment that you have made in your smile when actively participating in a contact sport. Taking special precautions such as wearing a mouthguard will help you avoid the complications that come with mouth injuries. The AGD estimates that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.

Getting hit on the mouth or jaw can be a very painful experience, more so as an orthodontic patient as your teeth are already undergoing change and the impact could set back progress made with your orthodontist. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing sports such as hockey, rugby, ringuette, football and others. With the obvious tooth injury, there is also the financial pain that comes with needing an orthodontic device fixed. A mouthguard is a simple item that can save you the pain, time, and money that comes with dental injuries because of sports.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Custom-made: The best choice is a customized mouthguard made personally for you by your dentist or orthodontist. A custom mouthguard offers the best protection; fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to fit your teeth.
  • Mouth-formed: These mouthguards come
    as a “boil-and-bite” product from sporting goods stores. The shell is lined with acrylic or rubber. They are first softened in water (boiled), and then placed in the mouth to adapt to the shape of the individual then allowed to set.
  • Stock: The lowest cost option is an item that can be bought “off the shelf” from a drug or sporting goods store. Pre-formed, this mouthguard does not always fit snuggly since adjustment is limited.

 

In addition to wearing all the safety gear you would typically wear such as; a helmet, protective eyewear, and a facemask orthodontic patients should be equipped with a mouthguard. In case of any accident involving the face, and teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, please schedule an appointment at our office. Have fun and be active, but please don’t forget about those pearly whites.


April is National Oral Health Month

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Spring is finally here. The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. But this month we’re not only celebrating the return of spring, we’re celebrating national oral health month.

You may not have known it, but your oral hygiene is more than just white teeth and good breath, it affects the overall health of your body. If you’re not properly maintaining your teeth it could be affecting you both physically and mentally so read on for tips for great oral health.

      • Start your children off on the right foot; oral health should begin as soon as your child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months. You can wipe their teeth with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At around 3 years old, you can let your child start brushing their teeth themselves just make sure to supervise and complete the brushing if needed.
      • Brush twice a day and floss daily. Brush your teeth when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep. This is important because your saliva dries up while you’re sleeping so your teeth are more prone to plaque. You want to remove this plaque as soon as you get up and right before sleeping.
      • Don’t forget to also brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
      • Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year.
      • Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry between uses. Don’t keep your toothbrush covered or store it in closed containers, this can cause the growth of bacteria.
      • Try to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial rinse after meals, this can help prevent decay and gum problems. Or you can chew sugar-free gum after a meal, which can also protect your teeth by increasing saliva flow, which naturally washes bacteria away.
      • Use enough but not too much fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay, which is why it’s put into drinking water and many kinds of toothpaste. However, there can be too much of a good thing, especially for children.

Development of Teeth

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First of all, you need to know that teeth begin their development in the fetus. This is why a good nutrition from the mother is very important for baby’s teeth. There are four main stages of development of the baby teeth:

Baby Teeth.gif

  • First stage : The beginning of the teeth development  starts at about six weeks of age. At this moment the basic substance of the teeth is created.
  • Second stage : After three or four months of gestation, the hard tissue that surrounds the teeth is supposed to be formed.
  • Third stage :  After the birth, the next stage starts when the teeth protrude through the gum. It happens between the ages of six and 12 months.
  • Final stage : Around the age of 6, children will start to lose their baby teeth to make place for permanent teeth. Usually the central incisors are the first teeth to be lost.

After these four stages the permanent teeth will come in. They usually start to grow during the fourth stage.

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As you can see the wisdom teeth are the last one to emerge. Sometimes for some people they don’t even exist but normally wisdom teeth need to be removed because people have jaws that are too small for 32 teeth. There is lucky people that have room for it.

You need take care of your permanent teeth. They are there to stay so the more you take care of them the less problems you will have.

If you have any questions about the development of teeth feel free to give us a call at (613) 722-8500.


Top 5 Myths About Orthodontics

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A beautiful smile can be something very important for some people. With the progress of the technology, braces have become more common than ever. With the introduction of clear, colored and behind the teeth treatments, there is no better time to visit an orthodontist. Many people have opinions about orthodontists based on false information, and we’re here to debunk those myths! Here are the top 5 myths about orthodontics.

Myth #1 – I’m too old for orthodontics
A nice smile is important no matter what your age is. It’s never too late to perfect your smile so there is no age limit for orthodontic treatment! If you have any issues with your teeth or would like a straighter looking smile, never hesitate to reach for what you want!

Myth #2 – Orthodontics treatments take too long
Our treatments average out to 1 year. The amount of time depends on your age, your problem and the treatment technique that need to be used for you. Many other factors can also influence the time of your treatment but remember that the time can often be reduced with excellent patient cooperation. In the cases where treatment requires a few years, remember that it’s a short amount of time compared to a lifetime of beautiful looking teeth.

Myth #3 – Orthodontics can be painful
There is a big difference between discomfort and pain. Orthodontics has come a long way to minimize patient discomfort and it’s normal to feel discomfort during the first days. After a few days, the discomfort is short-lived after each adjustment appointment. Another thing to look out for with braces is discomfort due to the metal aspects of the braces. This can be greatly reduced with oral wax.

Myth #4 – A general dentist can do the same things than an orthodontist
Your family dentist is really good at what he’s doing but remember that an orthodontist has 2 or 3 years minimum of specialized training beyond dental school. An Orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function of the mouth.

Our orthodontics specialist is Dr. Andrea Picard, a bilingual specialist who has been practicing in Ottawa since 2007. She is an active member of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Orthodontics, Canadian Dental Association, Ontario Association of Orthodontists, Ontario Dental Association as well as the Ottawa Dental Society.

Myth #5 – Traditional, metal braces are the only option.
Advances in orthodontic technology have rendered improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. At Wellington Village, we offer traditional metal braces, self-ligating metal braces, ceramic braces and invisible braces (Invisalign or hidden braces behind the teeth.)

Traditional-Metal-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Self-Ligating-Metal-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Clear-Ceramic-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Clear-Aligners-cropped-150x150.jpg        Hidden-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg

When you’re ready to take the next step toward orthodontic treatment, please contact us at (613) 722-8500 and get ready to discover your smile!