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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Hey Austin! Our smile, or a lack thereof, says a lot. Do you like to show your smile? Or, do you tend to hide it? If you find that you’re not smiling while others around you are, then a visit to RJ Orthodontics may be the solution. Dr. RJ Jackson can help put that great smile of yours back on your face, which can help in so many ways. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should take the first step to visit our Orthodontic office located in the Steiner Ranch area of Austin, TX.
Benefits to your overall dental and oral health
We constantly use our teeth and mouths. From the time we wake up to the time we sleep, we are constantly taking part in activities like eating, talking on our cellphones, or having conversations with coworkers, family, or friends. If your teeth are misaligned, they can cause damage to softer parts of your mouth or your other teeth simply through the action of talking and chewing. Getting your bite aligned can reduce the risk of damage and injury to your mouth and other teeth.
Helps your Self-esteem
Self-esteem is a complicated thing that is dependent upon so many factors, and our appearance tends to be one of those factors. Dr. RJ can help get that smile of yours back on track so you can share it with the world again. Being happy about our smile can give us that much-needed boost to our self-esteem, which can put you on the road to even higher achievement. This can really be important for teens, especially, as they are readying themselves for many life changes that lie ahead. A teen with higher self-esteem is a teen destined for success.
Our smile projects self-assurance, confidence, and comfort. It’s so much easier to feel better about being around people whose body language tells us they want to be around us, isn’t it? Often people who fold their arms while we speak with them can appear to be aloof or antisocial. The lack of a genuine smile can convey a similar message to others. Our faces are usually the first impression others get when speaking with us, so it is important to have a smile that conveys the proper message. If our body language is more welcoming, we will be more friendly and welcoming to coworkers and new acquaintances. That fresh smile that Dr. RJ can give you, will make you more confident in social circumstances, even those that may be a bit stressful. We all want to show that we are calm under pressure, right? A confident grin does just that.
So, when you’re 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.
Fall is almost here! Temperatures will soon start leveling off (perhaps a bit later than usual in Austin, TX), team sports are underway, and the kiddos will be heading back to school very soon! At RJ Orthodontics in Austin’s Steiner Ranch, we want to offer some helpful orthodontics and braces tips for kids as they start their journey into a new year of school.
Brushing: Make sure your child follows the 2×2 brushing rule. This means brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times each day. By keeping their mouth and teeth clean, your child can have quicker appointments and healthier teeth. Make sure you pack a brushing kit in your child’s backpack, so they can brush after lunch.
Hydration: Water is the secret ingredient that keeps your body hydrated and mouth clean from decay and cavities. Make sure your child takes a bottle of water to school every day and avoids sugary drinks.
Elastics: Rubber bands play an important role in helping move your child’s teeth to their desired position. Make sure your child keeps an extra pack of elastics in their backpack and even in their lockers. Not wearing elastics could prolong treatment times.
Eating Smart: A balanced diet is needed for the brain to function optimally and also helps keep your braces in good condition. Your child should avoid foods that are hard, sticky or crunchy. These foods can damage the wires and brackets used in braces. This damage can cause discomfort and lengthen treatment times. For breakfast, we recommend fruit smoothies, yogurt and eggs. For main dishes, look for soft cooked vegetables and starches including spaghetti, macaroni & cheese and lean cuts of soft meats. For snacks, your child can enjoy soft fruits such as bananas which are high in potassium and fiber which promotes heart and bone health. Other suitable fruits include cut up apples or pears which your child can chew with their back teeth. Biting into hard fruits can cause damage to braces. If your child is wearing Invisalign, then there are not many food restrictions since the aligners can be removed while eating. Just make sure that they thoroughly brush their teeth after every meal and keep their aligners clean as well.
Good luck in the 2018 – 2019 school year and remember to properly care for your teeth and braces every day! Contact RJ Orthodontics in Austin Texas with any questions or to schedule an initial complimentary consultation.
When it comes to repairing your smile, you really have two main choices: braces or Invisalign. This leads many people to wonder if there are significant differences between the two choices, especially in terms of how effective the treatments will be in fixing your teeth. Price may be a consideration, as well, although some people are willing to pay more if it means a better outcome. The primary goal, whether you want to fix your own teeth or give your child a straighter smile, is to choose the option that will have the longest lasting effect.
Braces vs. Invisalign: What Are They?
Either option is intended to improve your smile by straightening your teeth and helping you return to a better state of oral health. At this point, braces are often more popular among people, simply because they have been around longer. Invisalign was only introduced in 2000, so they’re still fairly new.
Most people have a pretty good idea about what getting braces entails. It’s a metal bracket, which is glued to your teeth. The braces are also tied together with small wires and rubber bands. Originally, braces were all the color of the metal, but technology has given us more options. Today, you can get braces that come in a color that matches tooth enamel, so they’re less noticeable. Other colors are also available for those interested in using their braces as a fashion accessory.
You won’t get those same choices with Invisalign, because this corrective device is intentionally designed to be unseen. The aligner trays that shift your teeth gently and gradually are made of a clear plastic, so it won’t be noticeable to others. The plastic is BPA-free, so it’s safe for long-term use. Impressions, along with X-rays and photos will help the dentist form aligner trays that precisely fit the patient’s mouth, so the device can be configured for the best results.
Treatment times also vary between the two products. Braces are worn 24 hours a day for a period of up to two years. Some patients may wear braces for a shorter time, while others may have to wear braces longer than the two years. It will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. Invisalign is also worn up to 24 hours a day, though some patients may be able to remove the device for two hours per day. Invisalign works faster, so it’s typically only necessary to wear them for six to 18 months. Again, this will depend on the specific condition of each patient’s oral health.
Maintenance also varies between the two products. Since braces aren’t removable, they must be brushed along with the patient’s teeth. A water pick can help get to hard to reach crevices. Typically, Invisalign comes with its own cleaning system. Conversely, the patient can also brush and rinse the aligner trays in lukewarm water.
Patients wearing braces must return to have them adjusted once per month. Invisalign patients have to change their aligner trays every two weeks and will need to schedule office visits every four to six weeks, until the aligner trays are no longer needed.
Braces: The Pros and Cons
- Predictable results since it doesn’t rely on the compliance of patients.
- They aren’t removable, so the temptation to stop wearing them is eliminated.
- Pain and sores may develop, as the brackets and wires cause tooth movement.
- Challenging hygiene may cause tooth discoloration
- Eating sticky or hard foods may not be possible.
- Braces are not recommended for individuals who play rough contact sports (In this case, mouthguards are highly recommended)
Invisalign: The Pros and Cons
- They are invisible and removable.
- There’s no concern for food getting caught in the device.
- There’s also no difficulty with eating.
- The device doesn’t cause discomfort or pain.
- There is a chance that patients will lose aligners
- The aligner must be removed to eat or drink, except in cases where the patient is drinking water.
- Treatment can be less than ideal if patient does not wear aligners as instructed.
- Invisalign is not recommended for patients who will not have the discipline to keep the trays in place for 22 hours per day.
Invisalign is not recommended for patients with bridgework, back tooth bite problems, or those who will not have the discipline to keep the trays in place for 22 hours per day. Additionally, those who need vertical tooth alignment or need to have their premolars or canines rotated should consider more traditional braces.
In some cases, Invisalign may be the more attractive option, but it’s not without its drawbacks. The ability to remove the trays at will can be as much of a curse as a blessing, particularly because the patient will have to remember to remove it before every meal. Additionally, the discomfort cause by tooth movement can make it tempting to not wear the device for prolonged periods. This can disrupt the process of correcting the teeth and lead to more expenses for the patient, or for parents of the patient.
When you’re trying to decide between braces and Invisalign, it’s important to weigh all of the factors carefully. A consultation with Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson will help you better understand the process for each method, so you can make a more informed decision. Since the goal is to only have to correct one’s teeth once, you want to make the choice that’s going to be the most effective for your unique circumstances.
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
- 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!