October 26th, 2022
Thanks for asking! It really depends on the dental age of the patient rather than their chronological age. Usually a good time to have your child evaluated by an orthodontist is after the front permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth or if there appears to be extreme crowding of the teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children between the ages of seven and nine should be evaluated by an orthodontist. There are times when an early developmental treatment is indicated to correct situations before they become major problems. In these circumstances the patient will most likely benefit from a second phase of orthodontics when all of their permanent teeth have erupted.
Most full orthodontic treatment begins between ages nine and 14, and lasts from one to three years, with two years being the average. It’s important, however, that children be screened at an early age for Dr. Andrew Schwartz and our staff to assess if your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment and when treatment should begin.
We hope this helps, and invite you to give us a call if you have any questions about your child’s treatment at Capitol Orthodontics.
October 26th, 2022
Halloween is a time to enjoy delicious candies you might avoid the rest of the year. Youngsters who get to dress up and ask for sweet treats out trick-or-treating cherish this holiday.
If you have braces on, Dr. Andrew Schwartz would like you still to have fun and celebrate Halloween this year!
It’s easy to get carried away on Halloween by eating too much candy at once. Most parents try to prevent the all-too-common sugar high their kids experience on Halloween night. While there are certain candies that should be avoided, not all candy will cause problems for kids with braces. After trick-or-treating, you could trade unsafe candies with siblings and/or friends so they don’t miss out on the sugar buzz.
Dr. Andrew Schwartz and our team have come up with a list of teeth-friendly treats that should keep you from worrying about breaking your braces. We also came up with a list of candies to avoid, so as to save you a trip to our Washington DC office. Remember to be extra careful when you indulge this Halloween!
- Solid chocolate: Milk, white, or dark
- Nougat-filled candy bars: Three Musketeers
- Powdery candy: Sweet Tarts, Pixie Stix
- Mint-flavored candy
- Malted milk balls
- Soft cookies
- Peanut butter crackers
Avoid These Treats
- Sticky candy: Starbursts, toffee, Tootsie Rolls
- Hard candy: Suckers, Jolly Ranchers
- Fruit chews
- Caramel apples
When in doubt, ask Dr. Andrew Schwartz if a particular candy is safe to eat when you have braces. We hope you enjoy your Halloween sweets, and look forward to seeing you at your next appointment! Happy Halloween!
October 19th, 2022
Your teeth are precious. Once your permanent teeth come in, they need to last you a lifetime. Extensive tooth decay can lead to dental caries and the need for fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures.
While these fixes can go a long way toward maintaining your quality of life, they cannot compare to your natural teeth. Getting braces is no excuse to let up on your thorough oral health routine: You need to take good care of your teeth before, during, and after braces to benefit completely from the gains you get from newly straightened teeth.
Why You Should Maintain Good Oral Health for Life
Begin a complete oral health regimen as early as possible in life, and maintain this routine throughout your life. Keeping your (or your child’s baby) teeth clean establishes a routine. It preserves healthy baby teeth whose function is to save space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to come in. Care of your permanent teeth helps preserve the enamel and prevent decay.
Take Special Care with Braces
It is important to pay attention to oral health when you have braces. If you do not take special care of your teeth during the months or years that you have braces, you risk irreversible damage to your teeth. Care is more difficult with braces because food can easily get stuck. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing each day, Dr. Andrew Schwartz and our staff suggest avoiding sticky foods.
October 19th, 2022
If Dr. Andrew Schwartz and our team at Capitol Orthodontics have recommended a palatal expander, you might be wondering what it is and how it will help you. A palatal expander is a small appliance fitted in your mouth to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is often used when there is a problem with overcrowding of the teeth or when the upper and lower molars don’t fit together correctly. While it is most commonly used in children, some teens and adults may also need a palatal expander.
Reasons to get a palatal expander
There are several reasons you might need to get a palatal expander:
- Insufficient room for permanent teeth currently erupting
- Insufficient space for permanent teeth still developing which might need extraction in the future
- A back crossbite with a narrow upper arch
- A front crossbite with a narrow upper arch
How long will you need the palatal expander?
On average, patients have the palatal expander for four to seven months, although this is based on the individual and the amount of correction needed. Several months are needed to allow the bone to form and move to the desired width. It is not removable and must remain in the mouth for the entire time.
Does it prevent the necessity for braces?
The palatal expander doesn’t necessarily remove the need for braces in the future, but it can in some cases. Some people only need braces because of a crossbite or overcrowding of the teeth, which a palatal expander can help correct during childhood, when teeth are just beginning to erupt. However, others may eventually need braces if, once all their permanent teeth come in, they have grown in crookedly or with additional spaces between.
If you think your child could benefit from a palatal expander, or want to learn about your own orthodontic treatment options, please feel free to contact our Washington DC office!