Early Orthodontic Signs Every Parent Should Know About

Early Orthodontic Signs Every Austin Texas Parent Should Know About

When you’re a parent, you would like to think that it’s possible to just look at your child’s smile and be able to tell if there are any problems with their bite. Sometimes this is possible if your child’s orthodontic problem is obvious. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and many times you will need a trained specialist to find and fix any problems. This is one of the many reasons it is so important for children to receive exams from an orthodontist.

There are many possible problems that can happen at an early age and here are just a few:

  • Tongue thrusting
  • Clenching and grinding of the teeth
  • Crossbites
  • Improperly aligned jaw
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth, in some cases teeth that have been completely blocked out
  • Difficulties biting or chewing
  • Sucking of the thumb
  • Loss of baby teeth early or late
  • Improper meeting of the upper and lower teeth
  • Impacted teeth
  • Severe crowding causing damage to the stripping of the gum tissue

The earlier these problems are caught, the better the treatment can be. If these problems are allowed to continue, the procedures to repair them can become much more complex, time-consuming, and costly. Early detection is just as important in orthodontics as it is with any health issue. The recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontics is that all children be evaluated by the age of 7 and no later. In fact, Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ recommends that you bring your child to see an orthodontist if there are any issues such as snoring that could indicate a problem with the airway as early as the age of 5. Sometimes, something as simple snoring can be an indicator of a bigger problem involving your child’s breathing. When you bring your child to an orthodontist early, you can address and fix these problems sooner.  Fortunately, most children don’t even need early treatment until they are at least 9. A lot of things can go wrong with a smile even when a child is young, but even if there isn’t a problem, a visit for an evaluation at our office can provide you with peace of mind.

It is extremely important to find these problems as early as possible while they can be corrected with the most ease and not lead to further complications down the line. Early intervention methods usually involve devices like a jaw expander which are fairly simple. When orthodontic intervention is required early, there is a very good chance that your child will not need braces at this time. In fact, Dr. RJ usually only recommends “limited” braces under the rare circumstance that your child will see considerable benefits from it as opposed to other methods.

You do not need a referral from your dentist to be seen at RJ Orthodontics for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation! Contact our Steiner Ranch Orthodontic office to schedule a visit and to be proactive with your child’s orthodontic health. In the case that your child does not require interceptive treatment at an early age, Dr. RJ will monitor your child’s development as part of our supervisory program and figure out the optimal treatment program if a problem arises.

Please feel free to call our office or email us! We can help straighten out your orthodontic concerns!

Why an Orthodontist Is Better for Straightening Teeth Than a Dentist

Why an Austin Orthodontist is Better for Teeth Straightening than Dentists

Most people don’t have naturally straight teeth, so they look for help from an orthodontist or dentist. Straightening out your teeth can be a long, expensive process, and it’s not a decision to take lightly. You should choose your professionals carefully, and in most, if not all cases, it’s better to see an orthodontist than a dentist for straightening your teeth.

Orthodontists have more training.

Not all dentists are orthodontists, but all orthodontists are dentists. Orthodontists go through dental school before their orthodontic residency program, so they have the same training as dentists and more. The residency program usually takes two or three years to complete and gives them experience working on a variety of orthodontic cases.

Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth.

Dentists provide many valuable services, but orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth. Braces or other teeth straightening services can cost thousands of dollars, so you should choose someone who specializes in that field.

Orthodontists are highly trained on issues with jaw alignment as well. For your teeth to straighten properly and stay in place, your jaw has to have the correct alignment. An orthodontist can determine if your jaw can support straightened teeth and will suggest the best treatment option based on the current state of your jaw and teeth.

Orthodontists are familiar with the newest technology.

Orthodontists are teeth-straightening specialists, so they stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques. Every year, there are new strategies and inventions that make orthodontic work easier. You should see an Orthodontic specialist who will know the best treatment options for your specific case.

Orthodontists usually offer a wider variety of orthodontic services than dentists. For example, some dentists only offer Invisalign, which isn’t the right treatment for everyone. Your orthodontist will also be able to develop a treatment plan to keep your teeth straightened after your braces are removed. Keeping your teeth aligned is just as important as the initial treatment, and orthodontists know the best ways to accomplish that.

If you are interested in learning how Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson can help you achieve a new smile, give us a call to schedule an appointment. Initial consultation are always complimentary!

Caring for your braces while on vacation

Orthodontic tips from your Austin Orthodontist

Braces are beneficial for straightening the teeth, but if you’re going on a vacation, there are a few tips that you need to remember so that you enjoy time with your family while keeping the braces secure. Before leaving on your vacation, Austin orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson can recommend a few supplies to take with you to help keep the brackets clean and to prevent any damage to the brackets or wires. When you pack your bag to take on your vacation, there are some items that you don’t want to leave at home:

  • Floss for getting between brackets and underneath wires
  • Toothbrush to ensure that the teeth stay clean
  • Mouthwash to remove debris from the mouth after brushing
  • Wax that can be put on wires to prevent them from poking the mouth

You can get a small plastic travel bag for toiletries to use as an oral hygiene kit. Some stores sell kits for people who have braces.

If you can’t contact your orthodontist office while you’re on vacation, you could search online for an office in the area you’re visiting. Many orthodontists will provide some kind of answer or relief to any questions that you have.

There are a few foods that you should avoid while on vacation as there are a few more temptations while away from home:

  • Anything sticky
  • Whole fruits
  • Corn still on the cob
  • Foods that are hard, like cookies or nuts

If you have an aligner and happen to lose the tray, you can wear the tray you had in before or the next one until you can get back to the office. Have a fun vacation, but take care of your teeth and braces at the same time.

Orthodontic Tips for the 4th of July

Austin Orthodontist wishing everyone a happy 4th of July

The 4th of July holiday weekend is upon us and Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson wants you to have a great time while keeping your braces in tip top shape. This holiday is a time where friends and families get together for fun, food and festivities. If you are wearing braces, you must take some precautions in knowing which types of food to eat, and what you might want to avoid. If you’re wearing Invisalign, no need to worry, you can remove your retainers and enjoy whatever type of food you wish (just make sure to properly brush your teeth and clean your aligners before putting them back on).  OK, back to the foods.  Here are some recommendations for patients wearing braces:

Avoid hard chips, pretzels, nuts or popcorn. Instead, choose pasta, soft breads and cooked rice.

Avoid sticky candy such as licorice, Starburst or caramels. If you desire something sweet, you can have a bite of chocolate, or soft cake.  Just try to avoid anything that’s hard and sticky.

Avoid tough meats like beef jerky. These hard meats tend to make your brackets and wires loosen.  Instead, opt for ground meats, hamburgers, hotdogs and soft cooked chicken.

Be careful with hard breads, pizza crust or bagels. Sometimes biting into these will cause your brackets to come off. Feel free to enjoy soft breads, tortillas, biscuits and muffins.

If you like fruits, make sure to cut them up into small pieces. Biting into a hard apple can have unexpected consequences. Soft fruits like bananas, peaches are perfect choices.

Don’t chew on ice or hard objects or bite your nails. Chewing on these hard surfaces is a guaranteed way to damage your braces.

Indulge in your favorite smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream, frozen yogurt. Just make sure to brush your teeth so you can remove any sugar from your teeth.

What to do if you get food stuck in your braces?

Even if you follow the recommendations given, it’s inevitable that you may get some food stuck in your braces. For this reason, make it a habit to head to the bathroom after every meal to clean your teeth. Start by swishing water around your mouth and spitting it out. Repeat several times. Next, use a small toothpick to remove food particles from around your braces. Finally, carry a small toothbrush and thoroughly brush your teeth.  This 3-step approach will keep your braces free from lingering foods and your teeth cavity-free!

Happy 4th of July Austin!

Dr. RJ Jackson

Misconceptions About Orthodontists

Orthodontic Treatment Room at Austin Orthodontist

Most people are aware of the fact that dentists take care of teeth. However, many people do not understand know what an Orthodontist does. That is why there are a lot of misconceptions about orthodontists.

Misconception #1-Orthodontists are the Same as Dentists

Both orthodontists and dentists are committed to helping you keep your mouth healthy for the rest of your life. However, they have different jobs. A dentist is the person you will see if you have a cavity, toothache or gum disease. You will also see your dentist for dental checkups.

You will be referred to an orthodontist if there are problems with the alignment of your teeth. An Austin orthodontist will likely recommend braces or Invisalign for teeth straightening. Taking a young child to the orthodontist can prevent alignment problems from getting worse.

Misconception #2 Orthodontists Only Treat Children

You will likely see a lot of young kids if you go to an orthodontic clinic. However, these are not the only patients that orthodontists treat. They also treat college students and adults. There are several things that can cause crooked teeth, which is why people of all ages seek orthodontic care.

Misconception # 3 Orthodontics is not Worth the Money

Orthodontics is not cheap. However, it is worth the money. NO one has ever regretted spending money on orthodontic care. A beautiful, healthy smile is what you will get after you have completed orthodontic treatment. You will be able to have a smile that you are proud of –  something that money cannot buy.

If you want to know more about orthodontics and how you can benefit from orthodontic care, then please get in touch with us. It is best to get these questions answered directly Dr. RJ Jackson, a board-certified Austin Orthodontist. There are many Internet resources that can help you, but it does not replace the information you can get from an experienced orthodontist.

6 Common Questions For Your Austin Orthodontist

Austin Orthodontist www.rjorthodontics.com photos at work 3

If your Austin orthodontist has told you that you are going to need braces, you are sure to have questions. You’re probably wondering if you are going to have traditional metal braces and brackets or if you will be able to go with Invisalign clear aligners. The length of treatment is another concern that must be on your mind. What kind of braces you will have and how long your course of treatment will be, is based on your teeth and what they need to create a smile transformation. However, some general questions apply to everyone and can help you to prepare yourself for the road ahead to a beautiful set of pearly whites.

What Kind of Food Can You Have with Braces?

When you get your braces, regardless of what kind, your teeth are going to be tender. You are applying pressure to your teeth that will gently shift them into the proper position. It will take time for your mouth to adjust. Go with foods that are soft until your teeth no longer ache. You can also take pain relievers that are available over the counter. Once you are used to your braces, you can have practically anything. The only things you should avoid are extremely chewy or hard foods. Gum, popcorn, taffy, and nuts are not recommended. You may also find it easier to cut certain foods into small pieces, such as apples, carrots, and corn on the cob.

Will Your Speech Change with Braces?

You do not need to worry about your speech when you get braces. When your braces are first put on and your mouth is sore, you may speak a little differently. The same may be true if you have a palatal expander. Otherwise, your speech will be the same as always. In some cases, you may speak more clearly once your teeth have properly adjusted.

Will Braces Get in the Way of Sports?

Braces are not going to change your lifestyle. You can still be as active as you have always been. If you play any kind of contact sports, you can cover your braces with a mouth guard. You can choose a generic mouth guard that is available in the store or online. You can also ask your Austin orthodontist for a mouth guard that is tailored to fit your mouth.

Can You Keep Playing Your Favorite Instrument with Braces?

Your mouth is going to feel strange when you first get braces. It might be painful. However, your gums and the tissue inside your mouth will heal. As they do, you will be able to get used to playing your musical instrument once again.

How Should You Brush Your Teeth?

You should plan on brushing after every meal with braces to make sure that nothing is stuck in your teeth. You should take your time and be sure to be thorough. Flossing should continue as well. You can ask your orthodontist about brushes and other cleaning tools that are beneficial for braces to make sure your teeth stay healthy.

Should You Be in Pain?

Most patients worry that braces will be painful. It’s only in the beginning that braces make your teeth sore and when you have adjustments to your braces. Otherwise, you will get used to it. Every step along the way will be worth it when you see the final results.

Teen Orthodontics for Lifelong Health

Austin Orthodontist www.rjorthodontics.com photos at work 4

Wearing braces during the teen years is practically a rite of passage. When most Austinites begin to consider braces for their children, the first thing they think about is fixing the appearance of their child’s teeth. While aesthetics are certainly important in life, did you know that there are life long health benefits to having a beautiful smile?

Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

Everyone knows that good oral hygiene is important for the life-long care of your teeth. But did you know that good brushing and flossing habits can reduce the risk of heart disease later in life? Properly aligned teeth make it easier to reach areas in your mouth to ensure great brushing and flossing technique. This, in turn, helps ensure great oral hygiene throughout life.

Good digestive health begins with the breakdown of food in the mouth. A properly aligned bite can help you chew food properly which helps with the digestion and processing of foods. This increases nutrient absorption, which will have a life long effect on your child’s health.

Alleviating Pain

Over time, a misaligned bite can produce jaw pain and neck pain due to chewing foods improperly. Correcting your child’s bite can help avoid painful jaw adjustments in the future and can also reduce the need for medications to alleviate these types pain.

Mental Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

The aesthetic benefits of a properly aligned jaw and teeth are a great benefit to your child’s self esteem. Many teens feels embarrassed about their smile. This can lead to isolation from friends and social activities, which can lower self esteem. Being able to smile at those around them will give your child confidence, which has a positive effect on their mental health.

Starting Early

Beginning orthodontic treatment early on is very important. Early treatment can mean an easier process and access to more options.

Many teens worry about how braces will look. An early start can mean more discreet options. In many cases, no one is aware that they are even undergoing treatment.

Starting treatment early can help avoid expensive and complicated surgeries. Less surgeries can mean shorter treatment times and certainly less discomfort for your child.

There are many options available for orthodontic treatment that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. RJ Orthodontics in Austin, Texas will be able to tell you whether treatment is needed and what choices are available to give your teen a healthy, beautiful smile.

Orthodontic treatment is an investment in the future of your child’s health. Call to schedule a consultation today and get started on the road to a healthy smile.

Five ways to care for your braces during Orthodontic treatment

Happy girl wearing braces in Austin Texas

Once your braces are in, it is very important to know the steps to take in order to ensure that they do their optimal job in moving your teeth to their correct positions.  Here at RJ Orthodontics in Austin, we provide you with 5 simple steps to care for your braces while undergoing treatment.

1. Flossing

Make sure to floss up to twice daily as this will help clean the areas between the teeth, especially those that brushing may miss. You might also want to use a floss threader which could help you floss around your braces and brackets.  Flossing after meals is recommended, so try to floss after lunch and dinner.

2. Brushing

Brushing your teeth while wearing braces is not much different than brushing without braces. You should use a soft bristle toothbrush or power toothbrush and brush for a full two minutes. However, you might consider replacing your toothbrush every three months or sooner as the metal brackets on your braces may cause your toothbrush to wear down faster. Also make sure to brush all parts of your teeth including front, back, sides, chewing surfaces and even your tongue and roof of your mouth.

3. Using Elastics

If Dr. Jackson has prescribed elastics, make sure they are worn at all times, except when brushing teeth or eating meals.  Sometime is you fail to wear your elastics, even for one day, your teeth may start to shift back towards their initial position.

4. Addressing Damage to Your Braces

In the event that your braces get damaged, please call our office immediately to setup an appointment.

5. Eat Braces Friendly Foods

Finally, we have to address the part that deals with foods you must avoid. As a general rule of thumb, please avoid foods that are hard, chewy or sticky. These foods could include gum, ice, hard taco shells, pizza crust, popcorn, corn on the cob, apples, celery, carrots, crunchy chips, caramel, toffee, tootsie rolls and gummy candy.  Dr. Jackson can provide you with a more comprehensive list of foods that you should avoid.

We hope this information helps you take better care of your teeth while undergoing Orthodontic treatment at RJ Orthodontics in Steiner Ranch Austin!

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