Summertime Oral Care Guide from Your Steiner Ranch Orthodontist


Keeping Your Braces in Top Shape

If you enjoy remaining active during the summer, then you may forget to care for your braces, and this can lead to oral health issues along with damaging your braces. Here are some tips from Dr. RJ at RJ Orthodontics in Austin, Texas to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy throughout the summer.

Tip 1: Bring Along Your Dental Care Supplies While Traveling

While you are packing your suitcase for a family vacation or summer camp, make sure to prepare a dental care bag that includes the supplies for caring for your braces. Remember to have these items in your suitcase:

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Fluoridated toothpaste
  • Dental Wax
  • Pain relievers
  • Small mirror

If you are away from home for several weeks, then you may need to replenish these supplies occasionally.

Tip 2: Maintain an Oral Hygiene Routine

When you are having fun during the summer, you may change your daily routine by sleeping at odd hours. However, you should maintain your recommended oral hygiene routine by making sure to brush and floss when you wake up and before you go to bed. It is a good idea to carry a small toothbrush, dental floss and a tiny tube of toothpaste with you while you are visiting restaurants or county fairs so that you can keep your teeth and braces clean.

Tip 3: Protect Your Lips This Summer

If your facial lips hurt, then it will make it difficult to care for your braces and your teeth. Make sure to apply a soothing lip balm that contains ingredients that will block the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You will need to use this lip balm throughout the day. In addition, make sure to drink more water than you do in the winter to keep the sensitive skin on your lips hydrated properly.

Tip 4: Remember Your Recommended Dietary Plan

When you had braces placed on your teeth, you should be mindful of foods that you should eat along with a list of foods that you shouldn’t eat. Remember that if you chew fibrous or hard foods, then you are more likely to dislodge a bracket or break a wire. When you choose to have a snack at a carnival or local community pool, make sure to look for treats that aren’t sticky. Summer is the perfect time to learn how to cook soft but healthy foods such as stir-fry dishes. After eating a snack, rinse your mouth with water or use the toothbrush and toothpaste in your traveling kit to care for your teeth and braces.

Tip 5: Wear Your Customized Mouth Guard

If you are playing sports or riding a scooter, you should protect your teeth and braces with your customized mouth guard. RJ Orthodontics can create a mold of your mouth to made mouth guards that will fit over your top and bottom teeth. Bring these items with you to camp or a vacation, and if the items degrade, then contact your orthodontist to have new ones made as soon as possible.

Tip 6: Avoid Sugary Beverages

During the summer, you will see sugary beverages offered at every restaurant and summertime event. Drinks that contain high levels of sugar are bad for your teeth, gums and braces. Soft drinks or energy beverages often contain artificial dyes, preservatives or other additives that have no nutritional value and that can erode the metal or ceramic materials of your braces.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about caring for your teeth and braces throughout the summer, contact RJ Orthodontics at 512-363-5792.  If you are interested in learning more about braces or Invisalign, we encourage you to schedule a free Orthodontic Consultation. We serve the Orthodontic needs of Steiner Ranch and Northwest Austin.

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.

How Long is Too Long to Wear a Retainer?


Orthodontic Retainers in Austin Texas

One concern patients have after orthodontic treatment is how long must they wear a retainer. There isn’t a clear answer, as several things influence how long a retainer is needed. The best option is to wear your retainer for as long as recommended by your orthodontist.

Retainers Make Orthodontic Treatments Worthwhile

Retainers maintain the results achieved from orthodontic treatment. Failing to consistently wear your retainer can cause the teeth to return to their original position. This is true for all orthodontic treatments that reposition the teeth.

Teeth will remain in a new position after about a year. But before that, they want to shift back into their old positions. This is usually because of a lack of bone to keep them stable. Wearing a retainer trains your teeth to remain in place while the bone forms in the new position.

Retainer Timeline

You must start wearing a retainer as soon as your braces are gone. For the first three to six months, you should expect to wear your retainer at least 22-hours a day. Your orthodontist will let you know when to start wearing your retainer only at night. But even then, you will have to wear the retainer every night for at least 12-months straight. After that period, you may reduce wear to every other night. This is a routine you’ll have to follow probably indefinitely.

Return to nightly wear if the retainer starts to feel too tight. This gives the retainer a chance to loosen and become more comfortable. Most teeth naturally shift forward with age. Wearing your retainer regularly can help avoid shifting.

Kinds of Retainers

Three common types of retainer are:

1. Hawley retainers consist of a metal wire wrapped around a certain number of teeth, usually 6 at a time. The wire secures the teeth in the correct position. It’s possible to simultaneously wear this type of retainer on your upper teeth and lower set of teeth. With the proper care, a Hawley retainer can last up to 8-years.

2. Bonded retainers are also known as permanent retainers. A bonded retainer consists of a wire secured to the back of your teeth. The wire holds your teeth in the correct position. This type of retainer can fit the upper or lower teeth, but generally isn’t recommended for both. You must carefully brush and floss around the wire daily. When well maintained, a bonded retainer can last up to 5-years.

3. Essix retainers are possibly the most well-known. These clear snap on retainers fit over the teeth. They are made of clear plastic and require daily thorough cleaning. The Essix retainer lasts for about 3-years or less before it needs replacing.
No matter the type of retainer, you’ll eventually need to replace it. Watch for signs that your retainer is no longer effective. For instance, it might lose its shape. Inspect your retainer for bending, loosening, and cracking.

Maintaining Your Retainer

Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your retainer. Properly caring for your retainer will help it last longer. It’s also a good idea to occasionally have your retainer inspected and cleaned by your orthodontist. You can do this during follow-up visits to have your teeth checked and cleaned.

Your Retainer is Important

You might dislike the idea of needing to rely on a retainer. But it’s better than having your teeth return to their previous state. If that happens, you may have to undergo orthodontic treatment again.

Are you ready to give start treatment? 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. Dr. RJ is a Platinum Invisalign provider and the highest ranked Invisalign provider in Steiner ranch, Grandview Hills,  and Riverplace.

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.

Hiding Your Smile? 3 Reasons to Visit an Austin Orthodontist


Hiding Your Smile? 3 Reasons to Visit an Austin Orthodontist

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.

Improves Communication

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.

Back to School with Braces: Tips from your Austin Orthodontist


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.

Braces vs Invisalign > From an Austin Orthodontist That Uses Both


Braces vs Invisalign From an Austin Orthodontist That Uses Both

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Gold Braces in Austin? Yes, they’re in!


Gold Braces in Austin Texas

Golden braces are in! They can add a set of sophistication and elegance to your smile while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you choose to have gold braces, your stainless-steel braces will be covered with 24-karat gold. Many patients love this look. Since it can take almost two years before you can take them off, adding a nice touch of gold will keep your optimism high as you await the day you can take them off to show the world your perfect teeth.

An overview of gold braces

To begin the process of getting braces, you must schedule an initial consultation at RJ Orthodontics in Austin, TX. At this consultation, Dr. RJ Jackson will take measurements on your mouth. He will take x-rays and impressions to understand what state your mouth and teeth are in. At the end of your initial exam, Dr. RJ will craft a customized plan for you. He might suggest braces at this stage.

If Dr. RJ decides that braces are the right option for you, he will place small brackets on each of your teeth. Next, he will use wire and elastic rings to connect all of the brackets in your mouth together. This will result in him being able to form your teeth into the position you need for an ideal smile. After your braces have been placed, you will go back periodically to have your braces tightened or loosened. The goal is to correct the position of your teeth and to align the jaw.

Are the Braces really made out of gold?

Gold Braces Orthodontist in Austin TexasYou can’t actually get 100% gold braces. 24K gold is too soft to be able to straighten teeth. It would be almost like trying to pull together two heavy objects with a small piece of string. Additionally, it would be extremely expensive. The gold braces Dr. RJ offers is a strong metal that is coated with a layer of 24k gold. This will ensure that your braces will be strong enough to correct your teeth while giving you the appearance of having braces made out of gold. The metal will do the job while the gold will make it look amazing.

Gold Braces in Austin

One of the hardest parts for most patients will be finding an Austin Orthodontist that offers gold braces. While it is becoming popular, many doctors still cling to the tried and true silver braces. We invite you to request your complimentary initial exam with Dr. RJ.  We will thoroughly evaluate a smile and let you know if you are a candidate for braces…gold braces!

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!

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