Colorado Orthodontics

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Why Do We Wear Elastics?

January 16th, 2018

At All About Braces, we are committed to making your orthodontic experience exceptional for all of our Denver area patients. Part of that exceptional experience means that we want you to reach your goal of transforming your teeth into that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted as quickly as possible. That’s where following your orthodontist’s instructions come into play, including proper wearing and care of your elastics.

What Are Elastics?

Elastics are the small rubber bands that attach to your braces, usually connecting with hooks to the upper and lower side teeth or front teeth. They can come in a variety of colors and are used as part of your overall braces treatment to help adjust the position of the teeth in your mouth and the position of the jaw.

What Braces Are Good At

Braces work by using several different appliances that work together to apply pressure to your teeth and jaw that, over time, moves your teeth into the correct positioning for a proper bite and a beautiful smile. The brackets are permanently affixed to your teeth and then an archwire is attached with ligatures, or tiny rubber bands. These all work to move teeth up, down, left right and even to rotate them or pull them in or out. Braces are good at moving teeth in all of these directions. However, that may not be enough.

Why We Need Elastics

If you have an open bite, where teeth are touching in back but not the front, or any other malocclusion such as a under or cross bite, your teeth may need more moving than braces alone can do. In these and some other instances, your Arvada orthodontist will prescribe elastics, or rubber bands, as part of the best orthodontic treatment. To get your teeth in proper position, we need a way to create enough force to move the entire jaw - these little rubber bands will do just that!

You may think that no little rubber band can move an entire jaw, but the truth is elastics are effective and fast when properly worn and prescribed. In only a few months, we can significantly affect your jaw movement in the correct direction.

The trick is, our patients must wear the rubber bands regularly, as directed. In some cases, we ask you wear them 24 hours, even when you eat. In other cases, you may remove them for full meals, but replace them immediately following and especially when you sleep. This will allow them to continually apply force to get that jaw moving into the correct position.

Tips for Wearing Elastics

  • Understand Position. Make sure when you are at our Thornton, Aurora or other Denver area office that you understand which teeth you need to hook your elastics to.
  • Wear them as directed. Try to wear them 24-hours a day, if instructed, even when you eat. The more time they are on, the faster.
  • Treat discomfort. When you first put on new elastics, you may feel some discomfort as your teeth begin to feel the pressure. This is normal and should go away soon. Some patients find rinsing with warm salt water a way to ease the discomfort. If soreness persists, call our office.
  • Replace Often. Elastics will get worn from use and soiled from eating. Change them after each meal and before bedtime. It may take some time to get good at changing them, but you will with practice.
  • Breaking Elastics. Your elastics may break on occasion. If one breaks, be sure to replace both of them. If you run out, please give our office a call and we will get you more quickly.

Call All About Braces With Any Questions!

We hope you can see how important that wearing your elastics, or rubber bands is to your overall orthodontic treatment, especially the bite-fixing phase, which is usually the longest and most difficult part of the whole process. Whether you find rubber bands uncomfortable or annoying, this is definitely a time when it pays to “just do it!” and you'll be on your way to a beautiful smile and healthy bite without braces! If you have any questions about wearing elastics or want to get started with braces treatment, call the location most convenient to you or complete our online appointment request form. We look forward to beginning your orthodontic treatment in Aurora today!

Can You Use FSA Money for Braces and Orthodontic Treatment?

December 10th, 2017

With the end of the year rolling around, many people are looking for last-minute ways to save on taxes. If you still have money in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you'll need to spend it before the end of the year to avoid forfeiting it, as most FSAs don't roll over year to year.

But what if you don't have any outstanding medical costs you need to cover? If that's the case for you, convenient orthodontic treatments like Invisalign are a great way to improve your overall health and well-being by straightening your smile, even if you don't have a pressing condition that requires treatment.

But is it possible to pay for braces or Invisalign using an FSA? Can FSAs pay for orthodontic treatment?

It turns out, the answer is yes: both FSAs and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can normally be used to cover orthodontic treatment.

This means that using money from an FSA to cover orthodontic treatment is a great way to improve your life while saving on taxes and to avoid losing the money in the account at the end of the year. So whether you want orthodontic treatment for you or your child, spending your FSA money on orthodontic care is a smart move that's sure to leave you smiling!

All About Braces is a leading orthodontic practice serving the greater Denver, CO area. All About Braces provides a variety of treatments including braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. If you're interested in improving your smile in the Denver area – especially if you have money left in your FSA – contact All About Braces to learn more.

Do You Still Need to See Your Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

December 1st, 2017

You’re finally getting those braces that you’ve been wanting for months, maybe even years! You’ve scheduled your monthly visits to your orthodontist for exams and braces adjustments. Do you still need to go to your regular dentist during this time? The answer is, absolutely, yes!

Why See The Regular Dentist With Braces?

When you visit your orthodontist, your doctor will not be cleaning your teeth. That’s what your regular dentist will do when you visit him or her for regular checkups. With your new braces, the food you eat will have more places to get stuck and form bacteria. You will need professional cleanings on a regular basis to make sure that any food, bacteria and plaque are removed so that your teeth and gums stay healthy. Most Denver area orthodontists recommend you see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and checkups.

Danger Of Tooth Decay With Braces

You must maintain great oral health while you have braces. It is absolutely possible that you could get cavities while you have braces, especially in and around where your brackets attach to your teeth. It’s more difficult to keep your teeth clean with braces. Poor gum health and tooth decay can interfere with your overall orthodontic treatment and oral health, potentially causing a slowdown in effective braces treatment.

Choose An Orthodontist That Will Work With Your Dentist

Make sure when you choose an orthodontist that you choose one that is willing to work with your dentist for your overall oral health. Checkups and cleanings are key and orthodontists like All About Braces in Denver will work with your dentist to make sure your dental health is excellent so that the end result of having braces is not only beautiful, straight teeth, but a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Still not sure? You’re first visit to the orthodontist is almost always free, so don’t wait, make your appointment online today!

Can You Still Play Sports With Braces?

November 1st, 2017

Today both teens and adults lead active lives and a variety of sports are a big part of that activity. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, children, high-school athletes and adults have more than 5,000,000 teeth knocked out in sporting events annually. Athletes of all ages can be confident that their braces can be protected while playing sports. Orthodontists agree that, yes, you can still play sports with braces as long as you take precautions to protect your braces and mouth with a mouthguard.  

Always Use A Mouthguard

All orthodontists recommend the use of a mouthguard when playing sports with braces. Not only should use a mouthguard with contact sports, but with any activity where you may risk falling or having something knock into your mouth. If something hits your mouth, it can break your braces off your teeth and cause injury mouth, lips, and gums hit against braces. You should wear a mouthguard for the following sports:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Rollerblading
  • Soccer
  • Karate
  • Gymnastics
  • Skiing
  • Skateboarding

Choose The Best Type of Mouthguard For Your Braces

If you are an athlete with braces, you should use a different mouthguard than athletes who do not have braces. Without braces, athletes often opt for the “boil and bite” mouthguard. With this mouthguard, you boil the plastic mouthguard form and then while it’s warm, you insert it into your mouth to form a mold around your teeth.

The difficulty is that if you are receiving braces treatment, your teeth will continue to shift as they move into their corrected position. Within a matter of days, your molded mouthguard that once fit perfectly no longer hugs your teeth and braces.

To remedy that problem, your orthodontist should have a special mouthguard designed just for athletes with braces. This mouthguard includes an additional trough that covers your braces as your teeth move into position. This type of mouthguard is usually free from your Denver area orthodontist, so just ask.

Athletes With Braces Can Play Without Fear

Don’t worry about having braces while you’re on the field or court. With a properly fitted mouthguard, your teeth and mouth will be protected from the normal contact that comes with many sports. If you are just thinking about getting braces treatment to begin working on that winning smile, give All About Braces a call. With experienced, skilled orthodontists and friendly, professional staff, they are considered some of the best orthodontists in the Denver area. Multiple locations means there is bound to be one near you. Your first visit is always free, so don’t let sports slow down your quest for that new, healthy smile.

Member - AAO Board Certified - ABO Colorado Orthodontic Foundation

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