The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

There’s no denying that families today are busier than ever before. Having to juggle work, school, extracurriculars, and the occasional special event means that most moms have to wear multiple hats, from cook and chauffeur to nurse and referee – plus everything in between! However, there’s one hat you shouldn’t have to wear just because you’re a mother – that of an orthodontist. While your instincts and attention to detail come in handy for crafting the perfect family calendar, your child’s oral health requires expert advice and guidance. That’s where Team Demas Orthodontics comes in!

After graduating from dental school, an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Demas goes through years of additional training in order to become a highly-trained specialist in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development. This extra training and experience make orthodontists your child’s best bet for a lasting smile that looks and feels great.Even though you’re unlikely to be an expert when it comes to orthodontics, we still want you to feel confident in your choice to seek orthodontic treatment for your child. We know it’s a big investment in their oral health and their smile, so let’s take a look at some of the most important things you should know about orthodontics before you take the first step!(Do you have a child age 7 or above who would benefit from an orthodontic evaluation? Click here to schedule a free exam!)

Orthodontics is about more than a straight smile

Many people believe that orthodontics is about straightening smiles and not much else. This is a common misconception, but in reality, orthodontic treatment addresses much more! Because straight teeth aren’t the only indicator of a healthy smile, orthodontics focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists like Dr. Demas know to go beyond the surface of a smile to examine not only a patient’s teeth, but the movement and growth of their jaw as well. They’re also able to observe the teeth as they develop. This allows them to check for any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed until they begin causing problems.

Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Orthodontics is most often associated with teens, so it can come as a surprise to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic exam by about age 7. Even though their mouths are still developing, and they generally have a mix of baby and permanent teeth to deal with, it turns out that’s actually the point! Seeing children around this age means we can pick up on potential problems before they become a big deal. This can lessen or eliminate any negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

We treat many young patients here at Team Demas Orthodontics, and have seen firsthand the positive difference preventive care makes. Starting treatment at the right time can make a positive difference in a child’s oral health, and even though children won’t require any active treatment, an early exam lets us check for a number of issues to determine if and when orthodontic treatment is indicated.

Pick an orthodontic office your whole family is comfortable with

Depending on the type of treatment, most patients will need to be seen every 6-8 weeks or so throughout the orthodontic process. Since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time there with your child, it’s important to find an office you feel comfortable with! Our beautiful Southington office is bright, relaxing, and state-of-the-art, so you can be sure you’re getting the most efficient treatment possible along with the best results.

For your convenience, we offer morning, afternoon, and Saturday appointments to accommodate your busy schedule. We’re also conveniently located so you can get back to work, school, or home as soon as possible after your child’s appointment. Our whole team is committed to creating a warm, welcoming environment and a positive, stress-free experience from your first appointment with us to your last!

Team Demas assistant talking to a patient's mom

Multiple treatment options are available

Modern orthodontics have come a long way in recent years. At Team Demas Orthodontics, we combine innovative technology with cutting-edge techniques to help patients of all ages achieve a straighter, healthier smile. We offer the following treatments from our Southington office.

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces are typically composed of stainless steel brackets, wires, and bands that work together to gently guide the teeth into the desired positions over time. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than previous versions. They can also be personalized by choosing elastics in a wide variety of fun color combinations.

Traditional metal braces tend to be the most widely used orthodontic treatment, and with good reason! They are a reliable, effective, and economical option for straightening smiles and improving oral health. Metal braces are especially useful for cases that are more severe or complicated.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are also referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, and they work the same way that metal braces do. While they utilize the same components as traditional braces, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of your teeth. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics and ties, ceramic braces can offer patients an incredibly inconspicuous treatment option!

While ceramic braces are tough like metal braces, they are more prone to chipping and cracking. For this reason, we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear, customized aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. The aligners are composed of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin designed to fit snugly over the patient’s teeth, which helps to avoid much of the friction and abrasions that braces can cause. As the teeth begin to shift, the aligners will be changed out approximately every 1-2 weeks to keep up with this movement.

Unlike braces, which are a fixed appliance and cannot be removed, Invisalign relies almost entirely on patient compliance to work properly. Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment, in order to get results. The Invisalign system tends to work best for mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it may not always be a suitable choice for patients who have more severe or complicated cases.

Treatment times will vary from patient to patient

When it comes to treatment times, there is no “one size fits all” answer. This is because every patient has their own unique smile, and will respond to treatment in their own way. The length of time your child will require treatment will vary based on their own specific case, with factors such as the severity of the problem, the health of their teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how compliant they are playing a part. We can tell you, however, that on average, braces tend to be worn for about 12 to 24 months, while Invisalign treatment averages about 12 to 18 months.

Team Demas front desk administrator talking to a patient and his mom

Give your child the gift of a healthy smile with Team Demas Orthodontics

As a mom, we know that you want nothing but the best for your child, and that includes a beautiful, healthy smile that will last them a lifetime! If you’re in Southington or the surrounding communities and want to explore more about orthodontics for your child, get in touch today to schedule a FREE exam! We’d love to meet you both, and are excited to get your child started on the road to improved oral health and a smile they’ll want to share with the world.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Are you new to the world of orthodontic treatment? Or have you been wearing braces for a while and consider yourself something of an expert? At Team Demas Orthodontics, it’s important to us that all of our patients, from brand new to most experienced, feel confident in their knowledge of the treatment process. It’s equally important to us that you are informed about some of the issues that can occur when undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, they do occur from time to time. It’s helpful for our braces patients to know how to proceed in the event of any of the following orthodontic emergencies:

  • serious injury or trauma to the face, neck, mouth, teeth, or gums
  • swelling, infection, or bleeding of the gums or mouth
  • severe pain or discomfort in your teeth, mouth, face, or neck

If you experience any of these symptoms while in braces, we encourage you to seek from a qualified provider help as soon as possible. If you’re a current patient, we recommend you start with our Southington office, or even your general dentist. However, please don’t hesitate to visit an urgent care clinic or emergency room if you feel that’s your best option. While some patients are concerned that their orthodontic process will be interrupted or delayed by emergency treatment, we can always pick up where we left off, or adjust your treatment plan once the emergency has passed.

Not sure about what constitutes an actual emergency? It’s not unusual to question what type of situation would require an immediate ER visit versus when it would be advisable to “wait and see” how things go. One good example of this would be a fractured tooth. This would require immediate diagnosis and treatment. The same is true for any severe pain or swelling around your teeth, jaw, or mouth, as this can be a sign of infection or disease.

Thankfully, serious emergencies tend to be few and far between! While having a plan in place for an emergency is always recommended, a number of more minor issues can be remedied from the comfort of your own home. Though they may not always be able to eliminate all the pain, discomfort, or irritation you’re experiencing, home remedies can be very effective at lessening or relieving your symptoms until we can see you in our office.

Team Demas itero scanner

Treating non-emergency issues

To help you know what to look for and how to treat some of the most common minor “emergencies” or sources of discomfort, we’ve compiled a list of them below, as well as tips on how to handle them from home. Keep reading to learn more!

Mouth sores

While orthodontic treatment itself doesn’t cause mouth sores, some patients do seem to be more susceptible to them while they’re in braces. If you find yourself struggling with painful ulcers on your cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums while you’re wearing braces, you can get some relief by swabbing a small amount of topical anesthetic directly to the sore. This can be reapplied as often as needed, just be sure to follow the instructions included with the packaging.

Loose or broken brackets, bands, or wires

If any part of your braces comes loose or breaks during treatment, please contact our office as soon as possible so we can determine what your next steps should be. In the meantime, there are a few guidelines you can follow to keep your braces and your mouth safe.

If a band or bracket is broken but still attached to the wire, try to leave it alone until you can be seen. Don’t connect any elastics to it. Components that are causing irritation can be covered with a small amount of orthodontic wax, but remember to remove it when you’re brushing your teeth, then reapply it as needed. If any piece of your braces has completely broken off, we ask that you place it in a secure bag and bring it with you to your appointment.

Misplaced archwire, bracket, or tie

As your treatment progresses and your teeth begin to move, the archwire connecting them may also shift. This can result in it poking out a bit near the back of your mouth, irritating your cheeks or gums. You can use the eraser end of the pencil or a clean cotton swab to gently move it back into the correct spot.

If your wires or ties move, they can often be gently manipulated back into place using a pair of clean tweezers or the eraser end of a pencil. For wires or brackets that have shifted and are irritating the inside of your mouth, try a pinch of orthodontic wax over the parts that are poking out to help relieve the immediate discomfort. Don’t forget to contact us as soon as you can so Dr. Demas can determine what’s actually going on and correct it.

Tooth pain or loosening

Although your teeth loosening slightly can be a little scary, it’s common during orthodontic treatment, and is actually exactly what we want them to do! However, this movement can sometimes cause mild tenderness. This may be especially noticeable right after your braces are put on, or following an adjustment appointment. Salt water rinses are a great home remedy that is tried-and-true for relieving soreness. Simply mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of your jaw can offer some pain relief as well.

Patient at front desk

Team Demas is here to help!

In the event of a true orthodontic emergency, you should seek treatment from an experienced and qualified orthodontist like Dr. Demas as soon as possible. But we know that even minor emergency situations can be upsetting to patients! That’s why our whole team is dedicated to creating an orthodontic experience that is safe, stress-free, and rewarding for you. Because we build beautiful smiles for patients of all ages daily, we know that the process doesn’t have to be painful. If you’re experiencing any discomfort with your braces, or are concerned about any other aspect of your orthodontic treatment, get in touch with our Southington office today. We’ll work hard to get to the bottom of whatever the problem and put a smile back on your face as soon as possible!

Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces? When you first get braces, it can feel like you have very limited options in terms of what you can eat. Dr. Demas, a leading orthodontist in Southington, will help you understand the limitations of braces and how you can best care for them by putting thought into the foods you or your child eats.

Continue reading “Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?”

Can You Still Maintain a Healthy Diet While Using Invisalign?

foodLAST UPDATED: APRIL 24, 2018

There are many reasons why Invisalign has risen rapidly in popularity over the last 15 years. The technology of clear aligner treatment allows you to go about your day without worrying about your appearance: no more metal standing between the world and your smile! Invisalign has been popularized by celebrities like Zac Efron, Eva Longoria, and Tom Cruise; no wonder Invisalign is now one of the most popular orthodontic treatments in Southington.

Of course, the Invisalign system requires discipline, good habits, and some minor lifestyle changes. For best results, Invisalign requires that the user keeps the aligners in place between 20-22 hours per day. As such, that leaves between 2-4 hours each day for eating, drinking, and maintaining proper oral hygiene through brushing and flossing.

The most common concern I hear from potential Invisalign patients is this:

FAQ

How can I maintain a healthy diet if I’m only allowed 2-4 hours per day to eat? Am I going to starve?!?

Here’s the good news: You can maintain a healthy diet while using Invisalign. When I encounter patients concerned about whether they will have to dramatically change their eating habits, I encourage them to keep a diet journal for at least a week. You’ll find that the actual time you spend eating, drinking, and cleaning your teeth adds up to around two hours. (Of course, this depends on your snacking habits. But won’t cutting down on lengthy snacking sessions improve your diet?)

Here is the schedule that I recommend for Invisalign patients:

  • Morning brushing and flossing: 5 minutes
  • Breakfast: 20 minutes
  • Snack: 10 minutes
  • Lunch: 30 minutes
  • Snack: 10 minutes
  • Dinner: 50 minutes
  • Night brushing and flossing: 5 minutes

Add that all up and you’ll come to 130 minutes, or just over two hours. Keep in mind that those times don’t take into account meal preparation, but there’s no need to take out your aligners when you’re putting together your sandwich for lunch, is there? Every patient is different with varying dietary needs, but I recommend giving this schedule a time and seeing if you can comfortably finish your meals within this framework.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean with Invisalign

As always, it’s very important to maintain good oral hygiene when using Invisalign. In a perfect world, patients would brush and floss thoroughly each time after eating. I recognize that my patients often have busy schedules or don’t have access to running water at school or work. At the bare minimum, you should brush and floss thoroughly twice each day: once in the morning and once before bed. However, to keep up your oral hygiene throughout the day and prevent trapped food particles, I recommend rinsing with warm water or mouthwash after eating and before putting in your aligners.

 

 

 

 

 

Invisalign is a significant investment in your orthodontic health, physical appearance, and general well-being. If you’re going through the work of keeping your aligners in for over 20 hours each day, why risk the possibility of other issues with poor oral hygiene?

Tried-and-True Patient Advice for a Healthy Invisalign Diet

This is a collection of advice from my patients who have used Invisalign and experienced the lifestyle changes demanded by clear aligner treatment. These four tips should be a great help to anyone considering Invisalign:

  • Don’t Panic: You can do it! Keep in mind that many, before you, have gone through the Invisalign process and survived the dietary and lifestyle changes. There may be days where you have your aligners out for over 20 hours, and while it’s not ideal, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t beat yourself up about bad days, and stay positive. Rely on your friends and family for encouragement and you’ll see how easy it is after a few days to stick to your new diet requirements.
  • Set a Schedule: Before Invisalign, many patients snacked throughout the day and ate less during meals. Unfortunately, this isn’t a possibility with Invisalign. We are creatures of habit, and it can be difficult to break our eating patterns when changing to a new diet. Many of my successful patients recommend sticking to a daily schedule for meals and snacks. After a few days, your body will get used to this schedule and start to expect breakfast at 8:30, lunch at noon, and a snack at 3:00. Settling into a routine will help reduce cravings and hunger pangs throughout the day.
  • Plan Your Meals: Since you’ll be fitting a day’s worth of calories and nutritional needs into three meals and two snacks, you’ll need to strategize to cover your bases. Go into each day knowing when you’ll get your protein, where you’ll find your Vitamin C, and how many calories you’re taking in with each meal. Budgeting calories and nutrients are the best way to prevent hunger and malnourishment.
  • Don’t Overcompensate: A typical reaction to the Invisalign 20-hour requirement is to shovel in as much food as possible during your allotted eating time. As tempting as it may be, this habit will only leave you feeling sick. Here is where your discipline comes into play: once you’ve planned out your daily meals and snacks, stick to the plan! If you’ve planned out your calories, you know that you’re eating enough throughout the day to feel full and healthy. Resist the temptation to overeat and your body will thank you!

Think You Can Handle It?

If you think you can master the “Invisalign Diet” and maintain healthy eating and cleaning habits while using clear aligners, contact us today. Team Demas Orthodontics is the top team for Southington Invisalign, and we recommend clear aligner treatment for its comfort, flexibility, and effectiveness. Contact us by phone or through our online location form; we’ll be happy to answer any patient question!

 

Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

Bending Wires: A Procedure that should be Accurately Done

Robots and orthodontics

SureSmile: Can Robots Bend Wire Better Than Orthodontists?

It seems as though we can find robots in just about every facet of manufacturing technology as well as in the medical world today. Many robots now are responsible not only for packaging and manufacturing much of the goods that we use daily but also for performing complex surgeries for which human hands are simply too bulky and too imprecise to complete. Computer-aided design, as well as computer-aided manufacturing in dentistry, has existed for more than a decade. Perhaps one of the best examples of this technology in an orthodontic setting is Suresmile.

FAQ

What is Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing?

Computer-aided designs and manufacturing can work to increase efficiency as well as make precise adjustments that a human could never complete by estimations and experience alone. In orthodontics, pressure needs to be applied to teeth inside someone’s mouth so that they can be moved and ingested into their proper position. Whether these forces are applied by traditional braces, orthodontic appliances or a product like Invisalign the processes and results are all very similar. In order to shorten the length of a treatment and make treatment more comfortable for patients technology can be a large aid when it comes to producing these appliances for orthodontics. Regardless of an orthodontic experience or training, the use of a computer-aided system in designing orthodontic appliances can work to improve the traditional orthodontics which does not use computers or robotic help to design and manufacture orthodontic appliances.

How does it work?

With traditional orthodontics, an orthodontist will be responsible for completing any of the adjustments to an orthodontic appliance as well as bending it to the desired shape in the original manufacturing process. With robotics, this process is a little bit different. The orthodontist will first have to look through appropriate records through a detailed examination as well as collecting detailed information like x-rays, your medical history and some information about you and your health. Each of these variables will help an orthodontist to prescribe better treatment options for your individual case. Any number of variables can work against each other and complicate your diagnosis but with the use of computer models, the process of diagnosing your condition and organizing your treatment can be simplified.

 

What will the robot tell you?

When a diagnosis is finalized using computer models a treatment plan can be fully prescribed to give you the ideal outcome you are interested in. Complex computer models and software can interpret all of the variables to provide extremely detailed simulations of your overall progress. After your progress has been measured the orthodontist can then send off this data to a Suresmile manufacturer who will have robotic arms bend wire for the final stages of your braces to deliver precision adjustments far exceeding what an orthodontist could deliver. Using these complex 3-D models is far more accurate and can work to cut treatment time by up to 40% versus the adjustments made by the hands of an experienced orthodontist. The short answer to this question is that wires which are bent by robots can deliver a far greater level of precision which will help you to shorten your treatment time and achieve better results.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you’re ready to find out about your situation and set up your treatment plan, you can make the first move by calling Team Demas Orthodontics. A staff member will set a date when you will come in and have a full examination by an orthodontic expert. If you would like to learn more information about Suresmile please contact Team Demas orthodontics.

Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

Can You Still Get Braces If You Have Fillings?

 

In a perfect world, everyone would have a perfect smile. Everyone would have perfect oral hygiene habits, so they wouldn’t have any cavities. Their teeth would already be straight, so there would be no need for orthodontic intervention. Unfortunately, this is not the current state of reality. Most people don’t have perfect smiles. Most people don’t have shiny, white teeth. Many people do end up needing some sort of orthodontic intervention.

Luckily, trained professionals are ready and willing to provide whatever services the public needs. Nevertheless, a lot of people are under the impression that their dental problems are so unique that they can’t receive care from an orthodontist. This is simply not true. One of the most common assumptions is that braces and fillings don’t mix. Take a look at questions people have and what the experts say.

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Is it Possible for a Patient to Change Orthodontists?

change orthodontists

Is it Possible for a Patient to Change Orthodontists?

Sometimes, the relationship between a patient and an orthodontist is unsuccessful. The patient may feel as if the orthodontist is not acting in his or her best interest. The patient may have experienced an unexpected painful treatment or an attitude that was unprofessional. Perhaps, the person feels as if a different orthodontist may offer affordable braces, whereas the current orthodontist does not. In such cases, a person may want to change the orthodontist from which he or she has been receiving care. This individual may want to know if changing an orthodontist is allowable. The short answer to the question is “yes.”

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All you Want to Know About Temporary Anchorage Devices

TAD

LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 29, 2017

What are Temporary Anchoring Devices (TADs)?

A temporary anchoring device (TAD) is actually a tiny screw that one of Dr. Don Demas’ team, at his Connecticut office in Southington, will position in your mouth. Its role is to act as an anchor for the movement of specific teeth. Titanium alloy is used to make a TAD. He sometimes uses these TADs as a substitute for external appliances, such as headgear, and this allows him to treat bite problems that in earlier days were virtually impossible to do without surgery. The advent of TADs also means that in some cases treatment is better and faster.

FAQ

What is Positioning of the TAD

As with most minor surgical procedures, the environment has to be kept completely sterile. A solution of chlorhexidine is usually applied to the area before the TAD is put into place. Anaesthetic is then used which is only a third of that normally used for a filling. The TAD is removed from its sterile container and put into a driver, like a screwdriver, and then Dr. Demas will screw it in, using gentle pressure right through the gum and into the bone.

The positioning of the screw only takes around 20 seconds. With the additional 5 minutes for the local anesthetic spraying procedure and 2 minutes to put the spring in place, the majority of single TAD implantations can take place within a single orthodontic adjustment appointment.

A few patients may experience a mild sensitivity in the area for a day or two after the procedure but this is easily resolved with a mild anti-inflammatory drug.

Once the TAD is in place it will be necessary to keep it scrupulously clean by brushing it gently with an antibacterial solution. This will ensure there are no unnecessary complications with the TAD and it will be made much easier.

When will the TAD be removed?

Like virtually all orthodontic devices, the TAD is temporary and is normally removed once it has done its job of assisting with tooth movement. A numbing gel is applied and within a few seconds, the TAD has been gently removed.

What Are The benefits of TADs 

The use of TADS typically helps to lower treatment times, eliminates the necessity to wear elastic appliances or rubber bands and in certain situations can even make some oral surgery unnecessary. It also allows orthodontists to treat more complex cases which before the introduction of TADs might have been impossible. It is a remarkably small device but plays a very important role in tooth movement procedures.

Contact Team Demas Orthodontics

For strong teeth in Southington, contact Team Demas Orthodontics for an appointment with one of these orthodontists:

  • Donald C. Demas
  • Mark Clauss

With an examination through medical images of your face and mouth, our orthodontists can determine the best type of braces or aligners for your needs. Most noteworthy is the types of orthodontic treatments available at Team Demas Orthodontics include:

  • Invisible braces / Invisalign
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Metal braces

 Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

 

Braces and Root Resorption

braces and roots

Braces work by forming little cramps that surround each tooth, which is sometimes called “Charlie’s Horses”. The enzymes that go into action together with orthodontic forces cause the old bone to disintegrate where the pressure is present and new bone to be formed where there is a void. These changes are quite normal and provide the basis for tooth movement through orthodontic procedures.  There is no doubt found that the movement of teeth results at least in minor alterations to the length and shape of the teeth’s roots in all patient undergoing braces treatment. Most of these changes, however, cannot be detected with the naked eye.

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Three Reasons Your Orthodontic Braces Are Still On

LAST UPDATED: JUNE 28, 2017

Braces aren’t just for teenagers anymore since millions of teens and adults have braces on their teeth every single day. Braces and orthodontic work can help align your teeth and make your smile more appealing. The specific amount of time a person needs to wear braces is obviously going to differ from one individual to the next. Some people are able to wear braces for only six months while others are in them for two or even three years. Knowing why you’re wearing braces and why they may still be on will help you put the effort and energy into your orthodontic treatment to get the most out of it.

FAQ

What are the Benefits of Braces?

Whether you’ve been fitted for traditional metal braces or are wearing Invisalign, having braces is a wonderful option for people who want to improve the look of their smile. Your smile is normally going to be the first thing a person notices about you, so it’s pretty obvious that you’ll want to put a bit of time and attention into your teeth if you feel they could use it.

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