Welcome to the Salins Orthodontics Blog! We hope that you enjoy our posts and maybe even learn a little bit about...well...everything! We will explore the world of orthodontics, tell fun and interesting stories and share a bit of our fun personality. Please feel free to interact, ask questions, make comments and share your insight!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Can you believe that it is already spring?!

Wouldn't you believe it, it’s already springtime! The spring months, however, bring an increase in outdoor activities and a greater chance of kids damaging their precious mouths and pearly whites. If you play sports, it's important that you take some special precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing spring sports such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse and others. Be sure, however, to avoid mouth guards that custom form to your teeth as these will resist any tooth movements we are trying to achieve during your orthodontic treatment.
In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, please schedule an appointment with our team.
Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Please give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards!

Clear braces, the esthetic choice

Today’s orthodontic patients have more choices than ever before to straighten their teeth and to correct their bite.  Choices include, but are not limited to traditional braces, clear braces, clear aligners like Invisalign, and even lingual braces (braces on the tongue side). 

Clear braces are a popular choice for many people because they function like traditional  metal braces, but they offer an esthetic solution to those who may want to minimize the appearance of braces.  Here are the most common questions that I get from my patients about clear braces: 

Do clear braces work the same as metal braces?
Clear braces, also known as ceramic brackets, have come a long way in technology and engineering since they were first developed.  Not only do they look brighter and clearer, but they are also less bulky and easier to remove once you are done with your treatment.  Treatment with clear braces takes about the same amount of time as traditional metal braces.

What do they look like?

There are many types of clear braces used by orthodontists today, varying slightly in looks, shape, and size.  At Salins Orthodontics in Union City & South San Francisco, we use Radiance Plus ceramic brackets, made in the USA by American Orthodontics.  Each clear bracket is created from one single crystal of clear sapphire and is honed and heat polished into a strong and beautiful bracket that is nearly invisible on the teeth.  Sapphire is one of the hardest materials in nature, second only to diamond!

Will clear braces work for my case?
Most patients will be able to have clear braces on their front teeth (the teeth that people can see when you talk and smile).  I usually evaluate the bite and treatment objectives of each patient to determine whether they can have clear braces on all of their teeth.  Because clear braces are made of the strong clear sapphire material, if your bite is deep (your top teeth cover too much of your bottom teeth) placing clear braces on the bottom teeth can actually damage your upper teeth. The best way to find out whether clear braces are an option for you is to speak to your orthodontic specialist.

Do they cost more than metal braces?

Clear braces do cost a little more and this additional cost is not usually covered by your orthodontic insurance.  However, the difference in price compared to metal braces could be as little as $20 per month. 

Can I still customize my color ties?

Yes, even though most patients with clear braces prefer clear or white ties (tiny elastic ties that hold the wire to your braces), you can select from a wide variety of color combinations to customize your unique smile. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Patient question: "What is malocclusion?"

This is a question we hear all the time. Malocclusion, or what we call having a “bad bite,” is the improper alignment of teeth and/or jaws. When your teeth and jaws are not properly aligned, it may impact your bite, the ability to properly care for your teeth, your gum tissue health and even your appearance. Most people will experience some degree of malocclusion, but it generally is not severe enough to require orthodontic treatment. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.
Untreated malocclusion can lead undesirable mouth problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, or chipped and cracked teeth. The most common solution for malocclusion, of course, is orthodontic treatment. The actual course of treatment, including the length of time you will require braces, will be determined by severity of your malocclusion. The goal of your treatment is to move your teeth into the proper position and correct any misalignment in the jaw.
We use the most advanced technology in the field in order to ensure that you receive the best possible results. If you have any questions about malocclusion or about starting your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call!