Spring has (almost) sprung!

Dr. Jones has a very green thumb.  For the past several years he has grown vegetables from seed and given them to patients, parents, friends, and neighbors.

Below are images of the production phase:

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So, don’t be surprised if you visit the office during the next few weeks and see cups of little, developing plants on a table by the door.

Please take some plants and enjoy!

 

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New DVO location in Corona de Tucson!

Previously, Desert Vista Orthodontics was entirely in Cochise County.  We still have our primary office in Sierra Vista.  However, we are now seeing  patients in Corona de Tucson.  We will see patients at the Corona Dental office, which is 7 miles south of the I-10, near the intersection of Sahuarita and Houghton Roads.

To improve access to care in Tucson we are making braces more affordable.  Our current fees:   $3500 if we finance your treatment interest free.  If you pay in full when braces are placed the fee is $3000.   Click here to see map.

 
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Please schedule your free consultation today!  520-732-8631.

Find Desert Vista Orthodontics on Facebook here and our web site here.

When to straighten? Now or later?

There’s no perfect time for braces.  However, generally speaking, younger is better & much more convenient than older.

A few reasons are:  Kids tend to be more resilient than adults.  Adults’ lives are more chaotic and busy.  Kids also have fewer fillings, crowns, implants, periodontal issues, etc.

So, if you’re wondering if Johnny is ready for braces, please stop by for a consult.  If Johnny has all his permanent teeth (most 12 year olds do) then it may be the easiest time for him to do braces.

Or if you’re an adult yourself there’s no better day than today.  For some of you adults you may need to muster the courage to put braces back on or use clear aligners.  But once you’re ready and get started you’ll realize braces (or aligners) as an adult is easier than ever.  Straightening teeth has been proven to be one of life’s best investments!

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Good Oral Hygiene: brushing & flossing teeth during braces…

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Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces.

You need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth everyday and to your diet. Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean.

Areas on the enamel surface may begin to lose minerals (the early stage of tooth decay), leaving unsightly white spots. You may also develop inflamed, bleeding gums (gingivitis). Gingivitis and the early stages of tooth decay can be reversed by taking extra care with your cleaning and diet. If left untreated, they can lead to bigger problems that will require treatment and have life-long effects. While you are having orthodontic treatment, you need to continue to have regular check-ups with your family dental professional to ensure little problems don’t become big ones.

This patient below has significant decalcification or white spots on the upper teeth:

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This patient below has not only white spots, but also several cavities that must be filled by the dentist ASAP.

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So, keep those teeth clean while we straighten and align your bite.  You don’t want straight teeth that have been harmed by poor oral care.  We don’t see outcomes like this (images above) often, but they do occur (unfortunately!) from time to time.

Retainers. Why? And wear ’em for how long?

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Teeth shift unpredictably throughout life.  They always have.   After teeth erupt into the mouth you’ll notice that through the years and decades these teeth will not stay in the same spots.   If your teeth do, you’re very fortunate.  Tooth position stability — even after braces — is the exception, not the rule.  We wish teeth would stay straight: the way we placed them after braces or the way Mother Nature put them if you naturally have straight teeth.

Teeth shift before braces.  If you get braces at 55, for example, you’ll recognize that your teeth were not in the same positions in your 40s as they were in your 20s.  Braces allow teeth to shift into ideal positions.  And teeth — if retainers aren’t worn or are lost — shift out of ideal positions after braces.

So, that’s why we advise you wear your retainer the rest of your life.  Usually, the day we take the braces off we instruct you wear retainers 24/7 for a few weeks to months.  After that, only wearing at night should be sufficient to maintain/retain your nice smile.

Many retainer types are used, depending on your original condition.  A fixed or glued wire is used in some cases.  In other cases, we use a variety of removable retainers.
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Teeth don’t shift into bad positions after skipping your retainer for a single day.  However, it often won’t take too long and your teeth can shift in ways you and mom won’t like (see image below).  So, please wear your retainer.  And call immediately if a dog eats it, a train runs over it, etc.

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Will you extract 4 of Billy’s teeth?

Extracting teeth for braces isn’t nearly as common as 30 years ago.  But, in certain cases, we still need to remove teeth.

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The two main reasons to remove teeth are:  1) severe crowding, as in image above, and 2) very full profile (can’t close lips well).  Every orthodontist is different, and each provider practices with at least a slightly unique philosophy — even relating to extractions.  However, most orthodontists still remove teeth when they feel space must be created.

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Before brackets were glued on teeth — an innovation adopted by most in the 1980s — orthodontists used to place bands on all the teeth (see image above with a real “metal mouth”).

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These days, if any bands are used at all, bands are placed only around the very back teeth or molars (see image above with metal ring or band around back molar and regular braces on other teeth more in front).  Placing bands took up lots of space, requiring orthodontists to remove teeth to create room for bands.  This, along with a higher awareness of preserving (popular) full profiles, has driving down extraction rates.

So, yes, we still remove teeth.  But not at the rate of orthodontists from the more-distant past.  We will happily review other aspects of this question at a free consultation.

When should Billy visit the orthodontist?

The short answer is it depends.   When to bring your child to our office depends on a lot. Here are a few things the decision depends on: 1) What does your child think?  Is he/she embarrassed or teased at school, for example?  2) Do you, the parent(s), feel the condition is serious?   3) How many permanent teeth are in?  4)  How old is the child?  I could list several other factors.

Early treatment — often referred to as phase I — isn’t recommended for every child.  However, depending on the child’s situation, early or interceptive treatment can be very helpful, even if all baby teeth haven’t fallen out yet.

Usually, it’s best to bring your child to the orthodontist for treatment when all the permanent teeth are in (around 12 years of age).  However, if Johnny sucks his thumb, is teased at school, or has a few more-serious tooth/orthodontic issues it may be advantageous to do a short phase of treatment early (before 12).

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That is, whenever Johnny has at least a few permanent teeth in (usually around 7) it may be a good time to do a short phase of braces (usually 6-12 months long).  But, as indicated earlier, we usually only do early treatment (usually braces, and expander, and sometimes both) on kids when there is something fairly alarming:  buck teeth, sucks thumb, teased at school, etc (see image above).  For phase I we create a clear treatment plan and achieve our goals in under one year.  Please keep in mind that your child may still need additional treatment when all permanent teeth have erupted (around 12).

To determine if this type of early treatment is beneficial for your child, we will need to take records (pictures and x-rays).  So, please call to schedule a (free) orthodontic consultation:  520-732-8631.