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National orthodontist month

October is the month for us all to appreciate orthodontists. Not only do they create beautiful smiles, they create functional smiles! Orthodontists use external appliances to help guide teeth to a straight shape.

Usually, these treatments are used on kids and teenagers, as this is optimal for best results, but that’s not to say that adults cannot benefit from orthodontia.

There are many options for orthodontia, as technologies are advancing. There are traditional methods such as braces, and there are also more subtle methods like Invisilign.

We know orthodontic treatments can be unattractive to many adults but the benefits are very promising.

Benefits

Straight teeth make for less nooks and crannies that plaque can get caught in. This leads to healthier overall oral health as well as healthier overall body health. A poor bite can cause abnormal wear on the teeth and jaw issues if not corrected.

Depending on your specific case of crooked teeth or misaligned jaw, your orthodontist may recommend special treatment.

For more of an aesthetic problem, Invisilign is normally used to help. You wear the retainer for 24 hours a day and swap out the retainer every couple of weeks, working your way up to the straightest one.

In more complex cases, traditional braces will be used. This method gives the orthodontist much more freedom to correct your teeth and jaw bite with one appliance and some accessories.

It is important to remember that while you may want one version of orthodontia over another, it is best to listen to your orthodontists’ advice based on your specific dental issue.

Another use for orthodontics is TMJ. A simple mouth guard could possibly help your TMJ case.

No matter what your age, you could benefit from orthodontic treatment!

As always, each case is different and everyone will be treated differently according to his or her dental condition. If you have an orthodontic related issue that you would be interested in learning more about treatment options, contact you dentist or orthodontist.

Please join us by celebrating National Orthodontics Month by expressing appreciation for your orthodontist or exploring orthodontic treatment options for your dental condition. A straight smile is a healthy smile!

If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our dentists or orthodontists or if you’d like to learn more about your options, please give us a call. We would love to chat!

Health benefits of having straight teeth

We all know how important it is to care for our teeth and overall oral health. Brushing is a must and don’t forget to floss! We want to keep our teeth in tiptop shape, avoiding harmful foods that can destroy our enamel and cause us cavities. But one area of oral health that we often overlook is straight teeth! Orthodontics is mainly thought of as a cosmetic dentistry treatment. So how can having straight teeth help benefit your oral health?

Here are some of the benefits to having a straight smile:

Healthier gums –

Having straight teeth allows for your gums to fit properly around your teeth, reducing the risks of periodontal disease. When teeth are too crowded, it can be difficult to clean in between teeth, which will ultimately cause gum issues.

Cleanliness –

To piggyback off of the prior benefit, having an orderly set of pearly whites makes space for easier brushing and flossing. There will be fewer crevasses and spaces open for food or plaque build up. Build up of food particles and plaque will eventually lead to tooth decay.

Less tooth wear and abnormal bite –

With straight teeth, they sit in each other, for less wear on enamel. When teeth are crooked they can rub on each other, wearing them down over time. Along with the rubbing, crooked teeth can cause an abnormal bite, whether it be an overbite or under bite. Having a serious bite issues can cause difficulty chewing.

Reduces headaches –

Crooked teeth can cause stress on the gums and jaw, oftentimes resulting in misalignment of the jaw. When the jaw is out of place with tension and stress placed on it, you may experience headaches.

Overall health –

It has been proven that when you improve your oral health, you will in turn improve your overall health. You will reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, gum disease and many other health concerns.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth and improving your smile as well as your health, we have several options you can choose from. You are welcome to give us a call or set up an appointment to discuss which option may be best for you.

We want you to look and feel the best that you can. Let us know how we can help you and we will do our best to accommodate you and improve your oral health.

 

 

 

 

Braces at Any Age

I am fortunate to be able to make people smile for a living!

Teri Before 6 Month SmileMany times I cannot get my guests to show any teeth in their “before” or pretreatment photos. Honestly, I so feel lucky because by the time we are done (or even close to done) with treatment, they are finally able to smile- something they haven’t actually done in years or sometimes their whole adult life.

I would like to introduce you to Teri. She came in for multiple reasons but her main concern was a front tooth that had started to stick out “like Nanny McPhee” she said. She just wanted to be able to smile, but due to other dental health concerns, she didn’t think anything could be done.

 

 

 

 

Teri After 6 Month SmileWe decided to place Teri in short term orthodontics and in my office I work with an orthodontic company called 6 Months Smiles. Teri’s case was VERY short term. She started in early February 2015 and we finished her treatment in April 2015. She was so happy with the results and tired of feeling like a teenager that I agreed to take them off and place a permanent retainer.

Sometimes I forget how blessed I am and forget to take pictures of me and my guests, but here is a shot that I love!

An amazing alternative to traditional braces!

Sometimes there are things you find out about in your career that defy or are against everything you supposedly learned during your many years of professional education.

If you aren’t paying attention you might miss out on an idea that can change your calling and alter the path of what you thought you were supposed to be doing! For me it was stumbling across an orthodontic appliance called the Ortho-Tain. This device has changed, in a most positive way, the way I see orthodontics and the way I practice dentistry.

For some reason training in orthodontics during dental school is very minimal. I was fortunate, however, to have spent over 8 years in Nome getting to do orthodontics under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Beck, an orthodontist from New Mexico. Dr. Beck has traveled rural Alaska for over the last twenty years helping clinics in Bethel, Kodiak, and Nome. I learned about the Ortho-Tain from Dr. Beck, but we never had much success with it due to compliance issues so I basically swept its power and potential “under the rug.”

Fast forward 7 years to my moving and starting my own small practice in Anchorage. At this point I now I have a 7 year old who, one day, appears with a smile in cross bite, i.e. his new upper front teeth are growing behind his back teeth.   As a mother and a dentist, I think, “This cannot be!!!!” (Even though I personally spent 3 miserable years myself in braces: 7th, 8th and 9th grades—ugh!). Here is my son when he was seven:

Before1Before2

 

I immediately think back to this Ortho-Tain appliance, contact the company and start my son in treatment.

SO let me introduce to you to the Ortho-Tain appliance. There are actually multiple appliances that the company Ortho-Tain makes, but they are all very similar. They are all a mouth-guard type appliance that basically guide teeth into their correct position through a few hours of daily wear and through night-time sleep. In many cases, if the child is young enough, it can guide the teeth in straight before teeth are ever crooked. What I used on my son is the Occlus-o-guide appliance.

His cross bite was actually corrected in a few short weeks of only sleeping in the appliance and now that he is 11 years old he regularly just sleeps in it to guide the rest of his teeth in straight.

This picture was taken when he was 9, but correction was much earlier, I just never recorded it!  Note that he never wore any wires, but only slept in the Occlus-o-Guide and would wear it during night-time reading.

After1After2

 

I want to make it clear that because this appliance exists, does not mean that traditional wired braces is a thing of the past. I still enjoy and practice band and bracket orthodontics as a general dentist.  And I still refer many people to orthodontic specialists if need be.

However, I am absolutely obsessed and impressed with the appliance! If you have any questions, please call me and would be happy to discuss its benefits.

What is This Whole Ortho-tain Thing You Keep Talking About?

shutterstock_210060295Wondering what this whole Ortho-tain thing is I keep mentioning? Well here is everything thing you need to know!

My Experience:
For the past three years of my 13 years of experience as a dentist, I am truly stunned by the results of the Ortho-tain appliance and am so excited to share it with the public. The Ortho-tain appliance can effectively prevent the need for orthodontics and straighten young smiles as early as possible. The best part about this appliance though is that it actually works!

So what exactly is this amazing product?
Ortho-tain is a mouthguard appliance that can straighten your teeth without brackets and wires. It is generally worn for just a few hours a day. It also gradually guides your child’s teeth in the correct position before severe crowding, unlike braces which mainly correct crowding.

Why have I never heard of it then?
The appliance has actually been around since the 1970’s but does not garner as much of a profit as braces do. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting with the Otho-tain creator, Dr. Earl Bergerson, a humble and caring orthodontist. He is very passionate about this product and is excited for it to increase the growth and development of oral health.

Will Ortho-tain work on young children?
I have placed the Ortho-tain appliance on children as young as 5 and 6 years old. It is actually ideal to start children on this appliance young because it guides the teeth into the correct placing, corrects cross-bites, overbites, and deep-bites, avoiding the need for costly braces.

Can I afford Ortho-tain?
Oh yes! This appliance is actually 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of traditional orthodontics.

Will my child need a retainer after treatment like they will after braces?
Nope! Your teeth are connected to your jawbones with a periodontal ligament. With normal braces, we wait for the adult teeth to come in crooked and twisted (after the ligaments are set), and then they must be untwisted. The ligaments are like rubber bands and they want to move back to where they were. This is a relapse and this is the reason people get braces over and over again. With Ortho-tain, the appliance actually guides teeth straight as the erupt in the first place, and the ligaments form and end up exactly where they need to be. It’s the most remarkable thing about the appliance!

Interested now that you know a little more about this amazing product, or maybe you’re still a little skeptical even? That’s alright, give me a call at (907) 276-5522 and I would love to tell you more about it and answer all your questions.

To Choose, or Not to Choose the Toothbrush

shutterstock_206881837How much thought goes into choosing your toothbrush? Chances are your choice was based on price and color, but what about the health and well being of your mouth? Did you think about that?
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, after you have been sick, or when they start to show wear.  This means at least four times a year you will find yourself in the toothbrush isle faced with the decision of what type of toothbrush to purchase.
So what should you consider when selecting a toothbrush? Bristles, the shape of the head, and the handle are all important factors.
Soft bristles are often the best choice because they are best at removing plaque from your teeth, while staying gentle and not damaging the gum line.
The shape of the toothbrush head can be important as well. A small toothbrush head allows you to navigate better and reach further back in your mouth, where plaque is hiding. It also proves to be less invasive for those prone to gagging.
Additionally, a nonslip flexible handle can ease the process. It will also allow you to cover more surface area without the risk of slipping and harming the inside of your mouth.
Next time you find yourself in the toothbrush isle, be sure to consider the head, handle, and bristles of the brush as well. If you have any other questions, please give me a call today at 907-276-5522.  

Conquering Your Fear of The Dentist

shutterstock_200626970Many people have huge anxiety and fear at the thought of going to the dentist. Some even postpone their necessary routine teeth cleanings, which can lead to infection, cavities, root canals and more. If you are someone who dreads going to the dentist, here are a few tips to overcome your fear:
 
-Request break times if you are feeling overwhelmed
-If the noise of dental tools is scaring you, bring earplugs or headphones
-If you feel that you cannot breath, try a nasal strip to help with blockage
-Find an escape. Focus on an interesting picture or the view outside
-Relax. Unclench you jaw, unfurrow your brow, and close your eyes
-Find a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Someone who can calm you and you know you can put your trust in.
Dr. Mandanas never overbooks, and gives all her focus and care to each patient one at a time. If your are experiencing dental anxieties, give her a call today at 907-276-5528, and she will be happy to discuss any special care and requests you need.

Innovative Alternatives to Braces

shutterstock_197324459We understand the importance of a healthy bite structure and the aesthetic appeal of brilliantly straight teeth. We also understand the financial and physical pain of braces (snapping rubberbands and food stuck in your brackets is never fun).

Therefore, Dr. Mandanas has teamed up with Ortho-Tain® and Six Month Smiles® in order to offer our customers alternatives to traditional braces.

Ortho-Tain®

What differentiates Ortho-Tain® from metal braces is that the appliance is the only removable orthodontic appliance approved by the FDA to correct both functional and aesthetic issues regarding your teeth. Ortho- Tain® can even correct overbites, buck teeth, crowding, spacing, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion, all at a lower more affordable price than traditional braces.

Six Month Smiles®

Six Month Smiles® is designed for those who wish for a short-term orthodontic solution. The use of clear brackets and wires that match the shade of your teeth, serves to be less noticeable than traditional braces in a manner that is more comfortable and conservative. Results can be obtained in approximately six months.

Are you interested in any of these new and impactful treatments? If so, give us a call today at (907) 276-5522.

Am I a Candidate for Six Month Smiles®?

A discreet method for straightening teeth in a short amount of time, Six Month Smiles® is commonly used for adults in need of orthodontics. Receiving orthodontic treatment during adulthood is becoming increasingly more common—especially because of advancements in treatment methods that work to straighten teeth efficiently and inconspicuously.

Instead of using traditional braces, the Six Month Smiles® orthodontic system utilizes clear brackets rather than metal ones and tooth-colored wires. This method is often more comfortable for many adult patients because the treatment requires less force to reposition teeth. Six Month Smiles® may be ideal for adults who have already received traditional braces during adolescence or their teenage years but have encountered tooth misalignment after wisdom teeth have erupted in their early 20s.

In addition to improving a patient’s confidence and self-esteem by producing a straight, attractive smile, orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages is important for maintaining good oral health. For example, when teeth are crooked and crowded, it is nearly impossible to thoroughly clean between them. Over time, plaque buildup will harden into tartar in these hard-to-reach crevices. Plaque and tartar accumulation contribute to tooth decay, enamel loss, and even periodontal disease. With straight, properly aligned teeth, many patients possess a decreased risk for developing dental health conditions because they can properly clean their mouths.

When determining a patient’s candidacy for a particular orthodontics system such as Six Month Smiles®, your dentist will closely evaluate the current position of your teeth, how much tooth movement is necessary over time to properly position teeth, and the alignment of your bite. During your orthodontics consultation, your dentist will inquire about any past orthodontic treatment and conduct a comprehensive oral examination to determine the underlying cause of tooth displacement.

To learn more about your options for straightening teeth discreetly or to schedule a consultation to determine if Six Month Smiles® is right for you, contact the office of Dr. Owen C. Mandanas at 907-276-5522 today to reserve your appointment.