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Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

It’s natural that your braces may seem annoying, or even painful at times. While they definitely take some getting used to, you should know just how far braces have come since teeth straightening technology began in Ancient Egypt. That’s right, egyptian mummies have been found with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Instead of wire or elastic, the Egyptians used a natural cord made out of animal intestines called catgut to tighten the metal. But that’s far from the strangest technique humans have used to straighten their teeth.

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

The Ancient Greeks and Romans were also concerned with creating straighter smiles. A Roman writer called Pliny the Elder, who is responsible for the famous line “home is where the heart is,” recommended pushing on teeth with your fingers and filing them down regularly.

 

In the 18th century, a french man named Pierre Fauchard, often referred to as the Father of Dentistry, began experimenting. Using a giant pair of metal tweezers called forceps, he would realign teeth by hand and tie them together so they would stay in place while healing- all without any modern anesthesia. Thankfully times have changed.

 

Braces are advancing faster than ever as the use of plastics and 3D printers begins to develop. Technology such as plastic aligners, lingual braces and retainers help straighten teeth with ease, not to mention much less painfully.

 

While braces may not be your favorite accessory, we want to ensure that you have as comfortable a process as possible. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment.

 

 

 

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Be Wary of These Beverages

It’s common knowledge that plenty of beverages are not good for your health. The excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine, or alcohol found in a lot of popular drinks have well-documented impacts on your body. However, you may not be aware of the immediate impacts that these beverages can have on your teeth. Below is a list of some common beverages and tips for enjoying them responsibly.

Be Wary of These Beverages

Soda, Juice, and Energy Drinks

The high sugar content in these drinks can have a negative impact on your physical health. Less obvious however is the effects that they can have on your teeth. As with any sugary food, prolonged exposure can lead to the damage and decay of your enamel, opening the door for cavities and other issues to occur.

 

Coffee

Many popular coffee drinks contain just as much sugar as sodas and juices. However, even people who drink their coffee black run the risk of damaging their smile. Excessive coffee consumption can stain your teeth, though the amount of discoloration experienced varies from person to person.

 

Wine, Beer, and Liquor

Though it seems obvious that red wine can stain your teeth, all wines pose a similar risk of damage. Likewise, darker beers can gradually stain your teeth depending on the frequency of consumption. While hard liquors generally don’t pose as much of a risk to your enamel on their own, the mixers they’re often served with can.

 

How to Protect Your Teeth

After consuming one of these beverages, your first impulse might be to brush your teeth as soon as possible. However, rushing to brush could actually be doing more harm than good. All of the aforementioned beverages contain high levels of acid. This acid has a softening effect on your enamel, and the pressure applied during brushing can potentially further this softening. Instead, it’s recommended that you follow sugary or acidic drinks with water and wait 30 minutes to brush. It is also beneficial to swish the water around as you drink it, as this will help gently rinse off all of your teeth and allow the enamel to harden before you brush.

 

Watching your diet can benefit your teeth as much as it benefits the rest of your body. However, moderate consumption of any of these beverages won’t cause an issue provided you maintain a proper oral care routine that includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as professional cleanings at least twice a year. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment!

 

 

 

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Do you Think You are Too Old  For Orthodontics? Think Again.

Most of us associate braces with early teen years, along with highschool algebra and acne. If you’ve been wondering what “could have been,” wonder no longer. Adult orthodontic treatment is an option for most adults, and don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of company.

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Do you Think You are Too Old  For Orthodontics? Think Again.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists over 1 million adults are wearing braces in the United States. Popularity of adult braces has grown by over 40 percent since 1989 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Our physical appearance has become increasingly important to us as social media thrives and our life span increases. Orthodontics  can also help people who are struggling with headaches because of their misaligned teeth. In short, having braces as an adult is nothing to be embarrassed  about and can help you become healthier and more confident.

 

Adults getting braces today will find that there are significantly more options than there were when they were children. Our team will work with you to ensure that you choose the option that works best for your lifestyle and smile. If the appearance of traditional braces is a concern, there are alternatives.

 

Aligners 

Common brands of aligners include,  Invisalign and ClearCorrect. . Aligners are clear trays that are worn for 20-22 hours per day, and only removed for eating and cleaning. They don’t add extra hassle to your oral hygiene routine. While certainly less visible than traditional braces, aligners aren’t completely invisible. They also require a certain level of discipline to ensure that they are in for every possible moment. If you go with this option, you’ll also be in charge of adhering to a schedule of changing your liners every two weeks. Without diligence, this option may take longer to complete than traditional braces. 

 

Lingual Braces

You may also consider lingual braces. Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces are cemented to the back side of the tooth making them virtually unseen by anyone but your dentist. While they work just as quickly as traditional braces, they are custom made and typically cost more than any other option available to you.

 

Regardless of the type of orthodontic care  you choose, we will work with you to help you achieve a beautiful smile. . For more information or to schedule an appointment contact our office today.

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Make Your Life Easier: Our Top 6 Hacks for Braces

While current technologies have made braces easier and less painful than ever before, they can still take some getting used to. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six easy ways you can make having braces no big deal. Go ahead and try these out to keep your mouth healthy and beautiful.

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Make Your Life Easier: Our Top 6 Hacks for Braces

  • The Super Hero of Toothbrushes

Believe us, we know you’d like to be done with your braces as soon as possible. We’d love to help make that happen. The best way to speed up your treatment is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Teeth move more efficiently in a healthy oral environment and issues like cavities can become unnecessary bumps in the road that add time to your treatment. Braces tend to trap food and plaque, making your brushing routine more important than ever. To keep your teeth clean, consider investing in a high quality electric toothbrush.

  • Waterpik Flosser

Speaking of effective and efficient alternatives, a waterpik flosser is ideal for patients with braces as it can get hard to reach places and blast away stubborn buildup. They are also great for sensitive gums after getting your braces tightened.

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Braces can make your mouth feel like a pretty crowded place. Some areas may be difficult for a normal brush, electric or not, to get to. To help you keep those small spaces  clean we recommend using an interproximal brush. These tiny brushes make a great addition to your oral health tool box. They’re available in travel packs as well so you can bring one with you wherever you go.

  • Braces On the Go

School, work, a tropical vacation: oral hygiene is important no matter where you are, which is why we recommend creating a travel kit that you can easily bring with you on your adventures. There’s no need to get fancy, but you’re certainly welcome to customize your kit however you see fit. We recommend carrying a travel toothbrush, a small mirror, floss, and your orthodontic wax in a toiletry bag that you can easily keep in your backpack, desk or vehicle.

  • Braces Friendly Snacking

We recommend stocking up on braces-friendly food before getting your braces on. Your teeth will be sensitive when you first get your braces and after each adjustment, so go for soft foods. Some of our favorites are mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup, smoothies and steamed veggies. Getting the food you need before hand makes sure you don’t have to think about it afterwards and will help cut back on your temptations for the hard, sticky and chewy foods you know you should avoid.

 

  • Protect Your Mouth

And last, but certainly not least, sharp metal edges in your mouth can cause some serious damage if the proper precautions aren’t taken. If you play a sport, make sure you invest in a protective mouthguard that will prevent your braces from cutting into your soft tissue.

 

As always, our experienced dental team is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions you may have, or to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

Orthodontist in Midlothian | To Floss or Not To Floss? 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

Midlothian, VA Orthodontist | 8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile 

Midlothian, VA OrthodontistWe all know the importance of making great first impression. Whether youre going into a job interview or about to go on your first date with someone new, you want to have the confidence that comes with a great smile. After years of wear and tear however, a lot of people end up with teeth that theyre not completely proud to show off. If you feel unhappy with the way your smile looks, dont worry; there are plenty of options that can help. 

Figuring out the best ways to improve your smile can be a daunting task, but our dental team is here to help, offering a range of services dedicated to helping you look and feel your best. 

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile 

  1. Teeth Whitening 
  2. Dental Crowns 
  3. Veneers 
  4. Tooth Bonding 
  5. Braces or Invisalign® 
  6. Dental Implants 
  7. Brushing and Flossing 
  8. Regular Dental Visits 

There are a myriad of ways you can improve your smile. Whether you decide to pursue a more in-depth treatment at our clinic or simply want advice on how to improve your oral health routine at home, our dentists are happy to help. Our highly trained team offers all the state of the art services necessary to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining bright. 

Its clear that there are a lot of treatments available for anyone looking to improve their smile. With options for any budget, theres no reason to wait to begin your journey towards a better smile. To schedule a professional cleaning or to speak with someone about a personalized treatment plan, contact our office today! 

 

Orthodontist in Midlothian | Say Cheese!

Orthodontist in MidlothianIt has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

 

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

 

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

 

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

 

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our dental office.

 

Orthodontist in Midlothian | Invisalign® and You

Orthodontist in Midlothian

Invisalign® is a prime example of the improvements in modern orthodontic technology. With their discreet clear design and custom treatment process, Invisalign® aligners are a safe, effective solution for teens and adults to improve the health and appearance of their smiles. 

The Obvious 

With their discreet form and clear material, Invisalign® allows you to straighten your smile without drawing attention to your teeth. No one else needs to know you’re in treatment with Invisalign®. 

Quick Results 

The Invisalign® process averages 1 to 2 years to complete treatment, while two to three are common with traditional metal braces. This means less time in treatment and more time enjoying your new smile. 

Less Restrictive Diet 

Invisalign® aligners are removed for meals, allowing greater flexibility in your diet. You can continue to enjoy many of your favorite foods that may not be compatible with braces, without risking damage to your orthodontics. 

Removable 

Since you can remove Invisalign® aligners during dental hygiene, you can ensure proper care for your teeth during treatment. Floss with ease and reach every part of your teeth while brushing.  

Comfort 

Invisalign®’s custom aligners are fabricated specifically for your teeth. They fit comfortably in your mouth and do not have the risk of gum and cheek irritation that can occur with traditional braces. 

Straighter teeth can be achieved comfortably and discreetly with Invisalign®. Contact us for a consultation to see if Invisalign® clear aligners are the right solution for your orthodontic needs. 

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Mail-Order Aligners: The High Cost of Cheap Care

Your smile is important. The state of your oral health can affect your opportunities, your confidence, and your overall health. Correcting crooked or misaligned teeth can play a vital part in creating a more optimal level of health and a more beautiful smile. One recent trend has been enticing patients with promises of equal quality care with lower costs and no in-office visits. Unfortunately, many people are discovering too late that these promises are indeed too good to be true.

What is this trend? 

The recent trend wreaking havoc for so many is remote orthodontic care, generally in the form of mail-order aligners. Private companies are advertising online to provide the same kind of clear aligners used by orthodontists’ offices and purport to be able to give the same level of care at a lower cost without office visits by working remotely. 

What is the problem? 

Problems with this remote care option can occur at many points in the process. In an orthodontist’s office, your aligners are fabricated based on a complete digital scan of your mouth. This ensures the aligners are a precise fit for your mouth and teeth and that each new aligner in the series is custom-created to guide your teeth into position.  

Mail-order aligners are fabricated based on a mold you take of your teeth without the benefit of a professional to ensure the correct placement and fit. Molds are generally less accurate than digital scans, meaning the aligner may not be an accurate fit for your teeth. 

During professional orthodontic care, such as our doctor provides, you will have a series of visits to our office, where our team will evaluate your progress and monitor for any early-warning signs of complications. If you are not following recommended guidelines, you can lengthen or undermine your treatment, so these appointments are a critical part of ensuring optimal outcomes. 

During remote orthodontic treatment, your care is overseen by a doctor you never meet in person. While you will generally be able to email if you have questions or concerns, the burden is on you to know whether there is a problem that may need to be addressed. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that something is wrong, it may be too late to avoid complex and costly treatment to fix the issue. 

When you make the decision to straighten your teeth, don’t be swayed by false promises and cheap alternatives. Schedule a consultation with our doctor and be confident about your investment in your smile.  

Horsey Orthodontics of Midlothian Phone: (804) 464-8711 313 Schofield Drive, Midlothian, VA 23113

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Orthodontics in Ancient Times

ODid you know that dentistry dates back to around 400-300 BC? Hippocrates and Aristotle actually contemplated ways to straighten teeth and fix certain dental conditions. Archaeologists have found numerous mummies with what appears to be metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Researchers believe this is the first sign of ancient orthodontics put in use in attempt to straighten teeth. 

Another ancient form of early orthodontics was using a “catgut”, which is a cord made of natural fibers from animal intestines. They were used in a similar fashion as wires used with braces are today – to close gaps in between teeth. 

The Etruscans, a powerful and wealthy ancient civilization in Italy, actually buried their dead with dental appliances in order to maintain space and prevent collapse of the teeth for use in the afterlife. One Roman tomb was found with teeth bound by gold wire called a “ligature wire” – a small elastic wire that is used to affix the arch wire to the bracket. Even Cleopatra, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Egypt, was documented as wearing a pair of these gold brackets. 

The earliest form of treatment in attempts to straighten teeth are documented to have been simple finger pressure. However, since preservation of teeth and documentation was sub-par during ancient times, most of the early research comes from the 17th century when dentistry had already begun making great advancements. 

Enjoy the benefits of modern orthodontic care. Contact our office for your consultation. 

Horsey Orthodontics of Midlothian Phone: (804) 464-8711 313 Schofield Drive, Midlothian, VA 23113