February 27th, 2015
At R. Scott Smith Orthodontics, Dr. Scott Smith and our staff have found that patients who like their smiles have better self-esteem. People who don’t like their smiles are often skittish about talking to other people. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, when women are asked about what they’d most like to change about themselves, many point to their smile. Despite wanting to change their smiles, quite a few of the people who are unhappy about that part of themselves won’t consider getting braces.
Most Americans Don’t Have Straight Teeth
The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that 4.5 million Americans wear braces or other orthodontic equipment to straighten their teeth and to get a healthier mouth. One in five of those braces wearers are women. The organization’s statistics also show that about 75 percent of the population doesn’t have straight teeth, and those people would benefit from getting braces.
While the main benefit of braces is straight teeth, and to improve the look of your smile, there are other benefits that make braces even more useful, including:
- Straighter teeth help people chew better.
- Straighter teeth give people a proper bite.
- People speak better when they have straighter teeth.
- When people have straight teeth, they have better overall gum and mouth health. A healthier mouth means flossing and brushing are easier, and that means your entire mouth stays healthy.
- A healthy mouth is also linked to a healthy body.
When you feel proud of those pearly whites, you feel better about your smile, and that contributes to a better self-image and improved self-esteem. Ultimately, that can lead to greater career success and a more fulfilling social life.
February 20th, 2015
When you get your braces, Dr. Scott Smith and our staff will also give you a list of foods you should not eat and things you should not do. Pay particular attention to these items to keep your teeth and braces safe.
Charms belong on bracelets. While you can decorate your braces with colored bands, hanging a charm off them is a bad idea. If you bite down on the charm, you could damage your braces or your teeth. You could also swallow your jewelry.
Never use your teeth as a bottle opener. This is just as important when you are wearing braces. While braces straighten your teeth, your teeth are moving in the process. That makes them weaker, and the metal in the braces does not make them invincible. Invest in a bottle opener; you can buy one for a few dollars, which is much less expensive than having to replace your braces.
Contrary to what you might think, your braces are not designed to work as a radio. There are tales of people who have picked up radio signals from dental fillings or braces. While this is remotely possible, attaching an antenna to your mouth is just not a good idea. You will get better quality music from a radio.
On the other hand, you can still kiss someone while wearing braces. In fact, even if both of you wear braces, the chances of your getting locked together are almost negligible. However, to avoid cutting your partner’s lips, kiss with caution.
If you have any questions about taking care of your braces, please ask Dr. Scott Smith and our staff. We want you to get the best results from your treatment without needless delays.
February 13th, 2015
Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine’s Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.
Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.
Simple and Creative Valentine’s Day Ideas
- Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine’s Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine’s Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
- Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine’s Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
- “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine’s Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner’s favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.
Although Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn’t have to be a special day only for couples. If you’re single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you’re worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine’s Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the orthodontic office of Dr. Scott Smith.
February 6th, 2015
Many developing orthodontic problems can be intercepted and corrected if diagnosed and treated at an early age. Dr. Scott Smith and our team at R. Scott Smith Orthodontics recommend children have their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven, or younger if the front four permanent teeth have replaced the baby teeth. Early treatment, also known as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment, provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later.
If your child is showing these signs, it may be time to think about early orthodontic treatment:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five or six, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 12 to 13)
- Difficulty chewing and/or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking his or her thumb
- Speech impediment
- Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
- Crowded front teeth
- Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
Early intervention will greatly reduce the severity of your child’s case, and therefore reduce the length of treatment time and cost for a second phase of treatment when all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted. An evaluation at our Springfield, MA office will determine if your child’s dental and skeletal growth is proceeding properly or if interceptive treatment is needed. Many times, a more severe problem can be corrected using sophisticated removable appliances instead of traditional orthodontic treatment.
To schedule a consultation for your child to visit with Dr. Scott Smith, please give us a call! We will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child’s smile.