10 Common Questions About Braces and Orthodontics


10 Questions about Orthodontic Treatment

If you’re thinking about getting braces, you probably have a lot of questions like most people. The information below sheds light on many of the questions that arise about braces and orthodontics.

1. What’s the best time to consult with an orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should see an orthodontist before the age of 8. In fact, age 7 is the best time because there are a lot of issues that can occur by that season in a child’s life. Keep in mind that visiting an orthodontist doesn’t mean braces are needed. Additionally, it’s prudent for adults to visit an orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible to make sure their oral health is optimal.

2. How do I know if I need braces?

Sometimes it’s evident when a person needs braces because the problems are visible. However, there is a big difference between needing and wanting braces. Many people want braces because they desire to feel more confident. There are some people that need braces because they have a serious overbite or underbite, which will also require a surgical procedure.

3. Is a referral from a dentist required to see an orthodontist?

Unless it’s required by your insurance provider, you don’t need to get a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist. You can simply visit an Orthodontist of your choosing. Sometimes people get referrals from friends or family.

4. Will I need to get shots?

There are some instances when a shot is required because surgery is involved. However, that isn’t usually the case. Basic orthodontia treatments do not require shots.

5. Is there a lot of pain involved?

Wearing braces isn’t painful, but there is some pain involved. For starters, when you first get braces, your mouth will feel sore the following day and it could last for several days before dissipating. Pain medication is provided after the installation. Beyond the initial pain, there’s a chance that the friction caused by your braces rubbing against your lips, tongue and cheeks will cause a small amount of pain. This can be fixed by using orthodontic wax.

6. Will my teeth straighten naturally over time?

Without getting braces, your teeth won’t likely straighten on their own. Sometimes the spaces between teeth will get smaller, but that doesn’t mean braces are no longer needed.

7. How often will I need to see an orthodontist after getting braces?

After you receive your braces, you will have about 3 appointments back to back. Thereafter, you will have to visit your orthodontist approximately every 4-8 weeks. They will establish a schedule based on your situation.

8. What types of foods should I avoid when wearing braces?

When you wear braces, the goal is to make sure you don’t eat foods that will break your braces or damage your teeth, which includes anything hard. For instance, eating popcorn is a problem because the kernels are hard. The same applies to eating meat with bones. You just have to be careful.

9. Are elastics necessary?

Elastics are small rubber bands that help to fix your bite. Installing elastics isn’t difficult. You will likely receive a tutorial and instructions from your orthodontist.

10. Is it possible to just get braces on the top or bottom?

While you might think that braces are only needed for the top or bottom, that’s probably not the case. It’s not often recommended because doing so might result in a malocclusion. This can end up damaging your jaw joints, teeth and the tissues in your mouth.

Helpful Tips for Wearing Invisalign Aligners During the Holidays


Caring for your Invisalign in Austin TExas

After you have prepared your home with decorations for the holiday season, you’ll probably start to feel festive. The next step is going to holiday parties and snacking on all of the sweets that will seem to be on every table you pass by. If you’re the type of person that goes on vacation during the holidays to get away from the stress of it all, there will still be lots of food and desserts to contend with. Either way, you’ll need to have a plan for wearing Invisalign aligners. The tips below can help you get through the holiday season without getting behind on your treatment.

Wearing Your Aligners As Recommended

As the holidays approach, the first thing you’ll want to do is make a decision to wear your Invisalign aligners as much as possible. It’s generally recommended that you wear them about 21 hours each day. This provides you with plenty of time to eat and clean them appropriately. By having 3 hours without your aligners, you can use an hour for each meal, which gives you plenty of time to eat and clean your teeth. It’s also important to note that not wearing your aligners for a long period of time can cause discomfort down the road.

Brushing Your Teeth After Each Meal

Most people know that good dental hygiene requires you to brush your teeth at least twice a day. However, when you wear Invisalign aligners, it’s necessary to brush your teeth every time you eat a meal. Why? Because food can get stuck in your teeth and end up in the aligners. To make sure you’re able to keep your teeth clean, you’ll need to carry toothpaste and a toothbrush with you at all times. In addition to brushing your teeth, you will also need to use mouthwash to help eliminate or prevent bacterial growth.

Carrying Your Storage Case

You’ll receive a storage case for the Invisalign aligners that should be kept with you no matter where you go. This is where your aligners go when you’re eating or not wearing them for some other reason. A common mistake the people make is putting their aligners in a napkin while eating at a restaurant or somebody’s house and forgetting where they were placed. This usually results in the aligners being thrown in the garbage, which means they will need to be replaced. Your treatment will take longer when this happens.

Preventing Any Discomfort

If you drink coffee or another hot beverage, you should not do so with your aligners in your mouth. This will seem like an inconvenience if you’re someone that drinks coffee frequently. The same applies to drinking hot apple cider or any other holiday beverage on a regular basis. The reason why it’s a problem is because hot liquids can change the shape of your aligners, which means they will not be able to move your teeth in the right direction. It can also lead to discomfort when the aligners don’t quite fit the way they should. Another problem with consuming hot liquids while wearing your aligners is many beverages can cause them to get stained.

A lot of time and effort has gone into straightening your teeth if you’re wearing Invisalign aligners. It wouldn’t make sense to get behind in your treatments because of the holiday season. The bottom line is that you can enjoy yourself during the holidays and stay on tack with your Invisalign treatment.

Clear Braces: An Overview


Clear Braces: An Overview

Choosing braces can be quite overwhelming, as there are so many varieties to choose from. Metal braces are what most people opt for because of their affordability. But for a majority of folks who want straight teeth, metal braces can be an issue, especially if they are in a work environment. This is where clear braces come into play. These types of braces can straighten teeth discreetly without anyone else even knowing a person has them.

Invisible braces are more common than people think, especially in Austin, TX. They can’t be seen which is why people never notice when someone has them on. There are a lot of adults who hate their teeth but won’t fix them with metal braces because they are childish and not attractive. Invisible braces are one of the best options available; however, many people don’t even know they exist.

When a person is thinking about braces, there are a few things they should take into account, including whether they should opt for metal braces or invisible braces. There is a difference in cost between metal and clear braces as well as how long the braces would need to be worn, their appearance, and the overall effect of having the braces.

The cost of invisible braces is dependent upon what kind of invisible braces a person chooses. For most patients, they must be worn between one and two years. It’s also important that the braces are comfortable.

The three kinds of invisible braces that are available include lingual braces, Invisalign, and clear ceramic. Ceramic braces are the least expensive of the three and are a good option for patients who want invisible braces that other people won’t notice and will make them feel better about themselves.

The brackets are composed of a tooth-colored material that blends in with a person’s natural teeth. From a distance, no one will be able to tell. A person would have to get up pretty close to someone’s mouth to see them. The downside is that ceramic braces are not as strong as the metal braces. There is a greater chance of them coming loose even though the effects are the same. Make sure you avoid any chewy or hard foods whenever ceramic braces are worn.

Invisalign is slightly better in that they are unnoticeable and completely clear even up close. They are very comfortable and don’t easily break. Patients can eat whatever foods they want because these types of braces can be removed during meals. The negative thing about them is the cost – they are the most expensive braces on the market.

Invisalign is comprised of removable clear aligners made of plastic that are custom-made for the patient’s teeth. The company uses 3-D technology to produce them. The aligners move the teeth a little at a time until they eventually become a perfect smile. Patients must see an orthodontist every 4 to 8 weeks for regular treatment.

Every pair of the aligners is worn for two weeks, which allows the teeth to develop gradually into a straighter smile. The length of treatment is variable, depending on how severe (crooked) the teeth are, as well as the overall dental condition. The best part is that on average, a complete treatment takes only a year or slightly longer.

Finally, there are lingual braces which can be hidden from sight but aren’t really invisible. They aren’t as expensive as Invisalign braces but cost more than ceramic braces. Lingual braces are metal braces that are placed on the back of the teeth instead of on the front of them. At first, they may feel a little uncomfortable against the tongue, but the problem becomes less noticeable after about a week of wearing them.

RJ Orthodontics is an advanced practice that specializes in Orthodontics. Their primary commitment is to their patients. They offer natural, beautiful smiles in a comfortable and caring environment.  The atmosphere is relaxed for trust and comfort, while the professional side of the practice is run by an experienced staff. Each patient deserves to receive quality care for their overall well-being and health.

Treat Yourself to Invisalign this Halloween!


Getting Invisalign in Austin Texas

The holidays are on the way and there will surely be lots of sweets to go around. Everyone likes having sweets and fun and being around people they know and love. Being able to show them a great smile could even make the holidays a little better.

When you know that your teeth have seen better days you tend to hide them. You are embarrassed to show them because they are not straight. This year you can do something about it and there is a way to keep it a secret – with Invisalign.

The Invisalign system of aligners will accomplish the same thing as braces. You will be able to get straight teeth and they can even be used to correct some dental problems such as gaps between your teeth.

Each aligner is made of clear plastic, which will let your teeth color show through. They are specially cut so that they will not cut into your gums and they are comfortable. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and they slowly move your teeth into alignment.

Teens and young people around Steiner Ranch, TX want straight teeth but they have a problem with “robot teeth.” They would prefer to get those straight teeth without everyone knowing about it. Many adults of all ages (including celebrities) are getting their teeth straightened because they can now do it invisibly.

The aligners are also much safer than braces if they are involved with some kind of sports. Being active in sports can easily lead to a broken wire or bracket. This can cause an injury and it is going to cost when you have to make an extra trip to see the dentist. Depending on the sport, braces may even prevent them from playing.

A strong advantage of the Invisalign system is that the aligners can be easily removed at any time. This greatly reduces the amount of time needed to clean teeth and around all the brackets and wire.

It also enables you to eat what you want when you want. No food is off-limits because you simply take them out to eat. When eating is finished, you simply brush and floss your teeth normally and put them back in.

Aligners also reduce the amount of time spent in a dentist’s chair. Since no adjustments need to be made of wires with the Invisalign system, it saves time. Fewer appointments need to be made but the Orthodontist will still need to check on the progress of tooth movement to ensure the goal is going to be achieved.

When going in for your first appointment, the first step will be to get a 3-D digital scan of your teeth. This scan enables each aligner to be custom-made to follow a plan to move teeth in a specific way. Before the order is sent, you will be able to see what your teeth will look like when the treatment is completed. Once the plan is approved, it will be sent directly to the manufacturer to make the aligners.

The Invisalign system can correct many problems when it comes to alignment. It can be used to correct problems with crowded teeth, a crossbite, underbite, overbite, open bite, and gaps between teeth. In more severe cases of misalignment, braces may be necessary.

A new smile can do wonders for your self-confidence. You will no longer need to hide your teeth. Once they are straight, you will be more confident around other people and be glad to show off your new pearly whites. Who knows? it may even lead to a promotion? Contact RJ Orthodontics in Austin, TX today for more information about Invisalign and get a free consultation.

Orthodontic Smile Checklist


Dr. RJ wants students to have a beautiful smile and a strong bite before they return to school. Here is a great smile checklist that parents can use for their children.

Smile Checklist Tip 1: Visit an Orthodontist for an Evaluation

The summer vacation is an excellent time to arrange an evaluation from our orthodontist, Dr. RJ, to determine if you need to wear braces or aligners. If you do need to straighten your teeth with orthodontic care, then you can become accustomed to the devices before you return to school. Dr. RJ will use X-rays to determine if you can wear aligners or if braces are required instead. Younger children always wear braces, but teenagers can often use aligners to repair mild to moderate malocclusion.

Smile Checklist Tip 2: Stop Bad Habits

When you have bad oral health care habits such as forgetting to brush your teeth before bed or chewing on gum all the time, you should begin to overcome these problems now. You can start the school year with teeth that are sparkling white instead of having discolored dental enamel. By avoiding bad habits, you won’t damage the enamel on your teeth with the constant grinding from chewing gum.

Smile Checklist Tip 3: Wear a Mouth Guard

Before you return to school, you should talk to Dr. RJ about an orthodontic mouth guard for your teeth so that you can play contact sports without worrying about damaging your gums or your teeth. Remember to wear your mouth guard at school sports and for other sport activities.

Smile Checklist Tip 4: Eat Nutritious Lunches

Your parents may serve you nutritious meals at home, but you may make bad choices for your lunch. If you pack your own lunch for school, then choose fresh or packaged containers of fruits or vegetables along with sandwiches that are on whole-grain bread. Buy fresh milk in the school cafeteria, or you can bring along a container of natural fruit juice or water instead.

Smile Checklist Tip 5: Drink a Lot of Water

Drinking a lot of water can keep your soft oral tissues hydrated to prevent a dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, then it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. The average individual requires eight glasses of water a day, but if you are active or if the weather is hot, then you will need to drink much more than this.

Smile Checklist Tip 6: Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing regularly are still the best ways to protect your teeth from dental health issues. Make sure to brush your teeth each morning and again at night, but you can also brush at other times when you have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste. You should also take advantage of the many types of dental flosses that are available to remove additional food debris and bacteria.

Smile Checklist Tip 7: Have a Care Packet for Your Braces or Aligners

When you wear braces or aligners, you must care for the items correctly to avoid disrupting your orthodontic treatments. Dr. RJ recommends having a care package or braces kit with you that contains the items required for your aligners or your braces. Some of these things will include having a plastic case for your aligners, carrying a toothbrush along with toothpaste, a small package of dental floss and having dental wax for your tender lips or gums.

For more questions or ideas to prepare to go back to school, give us a call at (512) 363-5792. To schedule a free orthodontic consultation with Dr. RJ, in Austin, Texas, fill out a consultation request form here.

 

Give Your Teen the Gift of a Healthy Smile and Strong Confidence with Invisalign Teen


Invisalign Teen in Austin, Texas

Going to class, doing homework, participating in extracurricular activities, and keeping up with friends keeps a teenager quite busy these days. With everything going on, a typical teen is also dealing with self-confidence. For those who need orthodontic treatment but don’t want the traditional metal braces, Invisalign Teen is an excellent choice.

What Is Invisalign Teen?

Instead of involving a complicated nest of metal wire, bands, and brackets, Invisalign Teen uses a series of invisible, removable aligners to bring teeth into their ideal position. It’s just like the adult version of Invisalign, just adjusted for teen needs.

These aligners make it much easier to get through a busy day without the fear of someone teasing the wearer.

What are the Advantages of Invisalign Teen?

Teenagers gain plenty of advantages when they wear Invisalign Teen over traditional metal braces. Let’s look at a few.

  • They take less time to manage. Traditional metal braces require the teen to spend a lot of time cleaning them, plus they require periodic visits to the dentist for adjustments. With Invisalign Teen, the aligners come out for eating and cleaning. They also don’t require frequent visits to the orthodontist for adjustments.
  • They don’t require going on a restricted diet. Orthodontists typically recommend abstaining from certain foods while wearing traditional braces. These foods can get caught in the braces or could potentially damage them. With Invisalign Teen, there are no such restrictions. The aligner comes out for meals, avoiding potential damage.
  • They make it easy to play in the band. Traditional braces make it difficult to play certain instruments due to mouth positioning. It can take some time for a kid to relearn how to play an instrument due to wearing braces. With Invisalign Teen, that’s not a problem. The aligner doesn’t get in the way most of the time. And if it does, it can be taken out temporarily then put back in once done.
  • They make it easy to play sports. Traditional metal braces can cause injuries to the inside of the mouth when engaged in sports activities. However, Invisalign Teen involves no wires or brackets that could cause potential injury. It takes the potential injuries out of the equation entirely.
  • They are virtually invisible. Traditional braces are quite visible, often resulting in kids being called names like “metal mouth”. This kind of name-calling can erode a teen’s confidence and make it difficult to get through the day. With Invisalign Teen, the aligners are clear and appear virtually invisible to the observer. They allow a teen to do everyday activities without worry about teasing or ridicule.

What Is The Next Step?

If your teenager is interested or needs orthodontic treatment, it’s time to call us about Invisalign Teen. Call our office today to set an appointment. We are here to help your teen find confidence and a healthy smile.

Signs That You Might Want to Consider Getting Braces in Austin, TX


Getting the Perfect Smile in Austin Texas with Orthodontics

Getting That Perfect Smile in Austin, Texas

Perhaps you’ve always had crooked teeth but never really understood what was so important about having them fixed. Besides, other than aesthetics, are crooked teeth really that detrimental? You might be surprised to know that crooked teeth can impact more than just how you look when you smile. It can greatly disrupt your oral health. To determine if you should take the plunge and have braces put on, consider some of these signs.

  1. Crowded and Packed Teeth

If your teeth are crowded or packed, then it means you have a set of teeth that overlap one another. For example, you may have a few molars that sit in front of one another instead of beside one another. This is most common in your front teeth and incisors. They can prove a threat to your oral health. This is because teeth that are tightly packed together are more difficult to floss. As a result, plaque can easily build up and lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

You may also experience a hit to your self-esteem. Since first impressions are often made based on the appearance of your teeth, you may feel that you’re sending the wrong message to people. All because you have overcrowded teeth. Getting braces in Austin can be a great fix to put those teeth where they belong.

  1. Gaps

Another indicator that you may need braces is if you have gaps in your teeth. Gaps typically arise because the upper and lower jaws aren’t aligned properly. Misalignment can occur simply because of genetics. However, it can also be a result of thumb-sucking when you were a toddler or young child. It may also be because of the way the oral tissue formed in the first place. Gaps in your teeth aren’t good to have. For one, it disrupts the forces of the teeth around it. This can lead to further tooth loss. It also puts you at further risk of gum disease because the gums are vulnerable to infection and plaque.

  1. Uncomfortable Bite

Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you bite down, your teeth don’t come together correctly. It may even cause you some pain. Because of tooth misalignment, you may be more prone to headaches, neck pain, and even suffer from delayed or impaired speech development that can impact the rest of your development. Braces can correct your bite and reduce the chances of having further problems with your bite in the future.

  1. Jaw Pain

If you’re experiencing jaw pain or have experienced it in the past, then this is usually a sign that the forces within your mouth are misaligned. Your jaw structure relies heavily on a correct bite. When that formation isn’t present, your jaw has to work extra hard to chew your food. This trauma can then escalate into a pain that you feel in your jaw. It can even spread to your head and neck. Without having braces put into place, this problem can continue to the point where you have difficulty chewing and even speaking.

  1. Difficulty Chewing/Speaking

One last sign that you may need braces is if you already suffer from a difficulty in chewing and speaking. Because both can have a larger impact on your life and overall health, it’s important that you receive braces to amend these problems. Not only can braces reduce the chances of developing a speech impediment, but it can also keep you from biting into your cheeks and roof of your mouth. Find relief with braces.

If you are ready to take that first step toward greater health and confidence, contact RJ Orthodontics Austin Texas. With years of experience helping others find their smile, we are here to help you find YOUR smile. Conveniently located in the Four Points area of Austin, TX, RJ Orthodontics proudly serves the surrounding communities of Steiner Ranch, Lake Travis, River Place, Grandview Hills, Westminster Glen, Comanche Trail, Jester Village, Lakeway, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Hutto, and Leander.

Types of Appliances Used in Orthodontics


Orthodontic Appliances used in Austin Orthodontics office of RJ Jackson

At RJ Orthodontics in Austin TX, there are many types of appliances used for orthodontic treatments. Dr. RJ uses these appliances to help straighten teeth, prepare the teeth and mouth for braces, and support the braces process.

Here are some common orthodontic appliances:

Spacers or Separators

Spacers are small rubber spheres that are typically placed between the teeth in order to move them apart. This is done to create a space that orthodontic bands may be placed in. Spacers are removed prior to placing the bands between the teeth. When spacers are used, patients must refrain from eating foods that are sticky, using toothpicks, or using floss. Use of floss, toothpicks, or eating sticky foods may inadvertently move or remove the spacers.

Elastics & Rubber Bands

Wearing rubber bands may help to improve the fit of a patient’s lower teeth and upper teeth. Elastics should be worn as instructed by Dr. RJ.

Bite Corrector

Often used as an alternative treatment to rubber bands or headgear, a bite corrector works to improve the fitness of teeth, eliminate and decrease overbite, and prevent the possible need of surgery on the jaw.

Retainers


Retainers work to hold teeth in the correct position after they have been straightened. Retainers should be worn at night in order to keep teeth in the straight and correct position.

Palatal Expander

Palatal expanders widens the upper jaw through gentle pressure on the upper teeth after an adjustment is made. After the expansion is complete, the palatal expander is typically worn for several months in order to prevent movement of the teeth.

As you can see, these appliances help optimize the effectiveness of your Orthodontic treatment. If you are interested in a free consultation to help straighten your teeth, please contact Dr. RJ Jackson. He is a board certified Austin Orthodontist and has worked to create hundreds of new smiles in Austin with braces and Invisalign.

Dr. RJ receives Businessman of the Year award


Dr. RJ Receives Businessman of the year award from the West Austin Chamber of Commerce

Dr. RJ received his “Businessman of the Year” award this weekend from the West Austin Chamber of Commerce!

Visit the West Austin Chamber of Commerce website for more event photos.

Invisalign – Making Halloween Awesome for Braces Again!


Invisalign – Making Halloween Awesome for Braces Again!

When you think Halloween, you think candy. You probably think about all types of candy – chocolate, caramel, the really sweet ones, the sticky taffy ones – it’s the best time for anyone who has a sweet tooth.

However, for a person wearing metal braces, Halloween isn’t as fun as it used to be. Why is that, you might ask? Because individuals with metal braces cannot eat certain types of candy. They are restricted from eating candy that can get stuck inside of the wires and brackets of their braces and cause some really terrible problems. This is where Invisalign comes in and saves the day!

Invisalign is a system of clear aligners that straighten your teeth over a certain period of time. After your initial consultation with your orthodontist, you will receive a smile scan. This will be the roadmap for all of you aligners for the whole time you will be wearing Invisalign. After the aligners are designed, then they will come to life, and are custom made just for your teeth. You will let each aligner move your teeth in the perfect position for a certain period of time before switching to the next aligner in your set. Usually you will wear each set for one to two weeks for about 20 to 22 hours out of the day.

With Invisalign, you don’t have to stop living your best life – including eating all the Halloween candy you want! All you have to do is make sure that after you have your over indulgence of candy, brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligners back in place. This helps to keep the aligners clean and to prevent anything getting stuck inside of them. Also, since the aligners are supposed to put a little bit of pressure on your teeth to move them slowly into place, if there is a piece of food or candy leftover, the aligner might get this confused with your tooth instead of a piece of food. This means the wrong amount of pressure is used and could potentially effect the aligning of your teeth.

To keep your smile and your Invisalign aligners cleaner and in overall better health, here are some Halloween candy tips to follow!

  • Try to eat your candy with your meals or either shortly afterward. If you eat one piece of candy as a desert, your saliva will be able to wash away more bacteria from the candy. Then brush your teeth afterward before placing your aligner back in place.
  • Don’t snack on candy throughout the entire day. This is not good for your teeth or your waistline. This not only increases the need to brush your teeth throughout the day, but it also increases the possibilities for cavities to form.
  • You should try to avoid choosing to eat candy that stays in your mouth for a long period of time. The longer a piece of candy stays in your mouth, the longer the candy has to dissolve. This can cause bacteria as well as different types of acids to form in your mouth and sit on your teeth. This can lead to cavities or tooth decay.
  • Drink water after you eat candy. This helps to wash away some of the icky stuff that can get stuck to your teeth. A good mouth rinse with water can help prevent tooth decay. Make sure that you wash your mouth out and then brush before placing your Invisalign aligner back into your mouth.

With Invisalign, you don’t have to take the candy sideline this year for Halloween! You’ll be able to eat and drink all of your Halloween favorite candy and dishes without effecting the straightening of your beautiful teeth. Are you ready to give Invisalign a try? Make an appointment with Dr. RJ Jackson for a consultation about straightening your teeth with Invisalign in Austin, TX. Dr. RJ will answer all of your questions and concerns about Invisalign and any other dental care questions that you may also have, too. You’re not stuck in metal braces –Invisalign can give you the beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for today!  Dr. RJ is a Platinum Invisalign provider and the highest ranked Invisalign provider in Steiner ranch, Grandview Hills,  and Riverplace.

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