orthodontic treatment

Why success is determined by first impressions - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

October 9th, 2020

Walk through any bookstore or have a look through a handful of websites that talk about self-enrichment. Chances are career and personal development advice is readily available. Nearing the top of almost every list is how appearance counts. Regardless of whether your idea of success is career-driven or in relation to nurturing personal relationships, the unfortunate truth is that many people will often overlook you if you do not “look the part.”

This particular train of thought indicates that healthy-looking and aesthetically-pleasing smiles can help make or break a first encounter. After analyzing multiple studies, an article[1] featured in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics noted that, if a person presents themselves in a more professional manner regarding attire and overall levels of appearance, they were likely to be perceived as having higher IQs and be more successful in a job hunt. These studies also revealed the increased likelihood of positive outcomes in relation to career prospects, salary, and relationships - even if they were facing convictions for civil or criminal crimes[2].

Why is this though? When and why did physical appearance become such a substantial determining factor for success? The answer lies in self-confidence and the projection of who a person is. Malocclusions and other oral health issues harbor psychological effects on individuals. For example, did you know that many people with crooked teeth feel embarrassed to smile, hold a conversation, or even eat in front of others?

According to a study by the American Association of Orthodontists[3], young and mature adults were often more antisocial if they were in need of orthodontic care. This study described how malocclusion can lead to a gradually more negative outlook, plus an inherent embarrassment regarding oral health and/or general appearance[4]. Consequently, if a smile alone is an undeniable portrayal of positive self-confidence, then it is understandable how it can influence other areas of your life, including if you are hoping to achieve a promotion or discovering a new dating prospect.

At Budd Orthodontics, our staff works with a wide variety of patients, from children to teens and adults. In recent years, we have seen a rise in adults seeking orthodontic care given that appearance matters. Adults are actively seeking ways to actively improve their youthfulness and venues for success in their personal lives. Fears and vanity are common when it comes to personal success.

Our question to you is, why wait? Whether you are seeking college approval, an entry-level position, climbing the professional ladder or seeking a romantic partner, there are many reasons to straighten your smile. At Budd Orthodontics, both of our offices are located near Arizona State Route 51 for your convenience. Schedule your free intial consultation or learn more about the cost of braces or Invisalign today!

[1] Henson, Scott T. Steven J Lindauer, W. Grham Gardner, Bhvana Shroff, Eser Tufekci and Al M Best. “Influence of Dental Esthetics on Social Perceptions of Adolescents Judged by Peers.” April 2010; July 2010. American Association of Orthodontists. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Vol. 140.3.
[2]Ibid.
[3] Hassan, Ali H. and Hatem El-Sayed Amin. “Association of Orthodontic Treatment Needs and Oral Health-Related Quality of Life in Young Adults.” October 2007; February 2008. American Association of Orthodontists. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Vol. 137.1.
[4]Ibid.

How to determine the ideal timing of orthodontic treatment with braces in children -Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

September 9th, 2020

A frequent concern of many parents who notice that their child's teeth are not growing in correctly is - when is the right time to see the orthodontist?  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen for an initial screening exam at age 7.  Phoenix orthodontist Dr. John Budd explains that many children will not require treatment at this age. However, many of the permanent adult teeth will have started to erupt by this age and more significant problems can be discovered and avoided with timely orthodontic treatment.

Some of the problems that might require treatment at an earlier stage, sometimes referred to as Phase I treatment include: crossbites, underbites (the lower teeth in front of the upper teeth), severe crowding, bites that present a risk of damage to the gum tissue or severely protrusive teeth to give a few examples.  An orthodontist can determine which problems will benefit from preventive treatment and which can wait for the eruption of all the adult teeth.

The best way to determine if your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment is to see an orthodontist for a screening exam. Budd Orthodontics offers free consultations to assist parents in determining if now is the right time to begin treatment with braces or Invisalign or if waiting for more dental development would be more beneficial.

Why choose an orthodontist? -Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

August 9th, 2020

An orthodontist is a dentist who has received an additional two to three years of education beyond dental school at an accredited university residency program.  Orthodontists are experts in straightening teeth and have extensive experience in determining the best method of treatment to align your teeth and jaws while maintaining your overall dental health. They are familiar with the latest techniques and advancements for excellent orthodontic treatment.

Patients often ask - what is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist? It is important that patients understand this difference in order to find the treatment that is best for them. The difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is similar to the difference between a family doctor and a medical specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon.  Both doctors went to medical school and were trained to provide excellent care to their patients.  However, the knowledge that an orthopedic surgeon has is more specialized and extensive for that specific area of treatment. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.  In fact, only 6% of graduating dentists in the United States go on to become orthodontists.  The best way to ensure that you are receiving care from an orthodontist is to verify that they are a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

The First Few Days With Braces - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

May 5th, 2020

What are my braces going to feel like?  Are my braces going to hurt?  What foods can I eat?  These are some of the typical questions patients ask on the day of their appointment to get braces placed on their teeth. They are all very good questions and important to answer to help patients feel at ease about the changes they will experience while receiving orthodontic treatment.

Wearing braces has become a relatively straight forward process with minimal discomfort compared to twenty years ago.  While this is true, you are still going to experience some changes that will take a little getting used to.  Your mouth is an incredibly sensitive place – you can feel the thickness of a hair in your mouth immediately and braces are much thicker than a human hair.  Just like a new pair of shoes, your new braces may initially rub and cause an irritation to your lips and cheeks until your mouth gets used to having braces.  The first few days are an adjustment period, but after the first week your braces start to become a new part of your mouth and are pretty easy to manage.

Wearing braces does require some minor modifications to the foods you eat and the liquids you drink.  The adhesive used to place braces is designed to be strong enough to withstand chewing, but not so strong that it damages your teeth when the braces are removed. This is the reason for the need to be a little bit careful about eating really hard or really sticky foods. For example, ice chewing should be avoided whether you have braces on or not. If you would like to eat an apple, it is better to cut it into slices instead of biting into the core.  Similar modifications can be made for most foods. Excessive drinking of soda – diet or not- should be avoided.

Braces will cause some slight discomfort the first few days as your teeth begin to move into alignment.  There is a cartilage ligament around the root of each tooth that allows the orthodontist to mold the teeth into a better position.  This process of molding the bone around the roots of teeth causes a slight amount of inflammation and is the source of sore teeth when braces are placed or tightened.  Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or naproxen (Alleve) are generally sufficient to make you comfortable while you go through the adjustment period with braces.  Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen will generally be more effective than acetaminophen for tooth pain.

If you have any additional questions about what to expect with braces, please feel free to call one of our offices at Budd Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation.  The adjustment period that braces require is totally worth it for the beautiful new smile you will enjoy!

What is the best way to clean my retainers? - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

December 10th, 2019

Retainers are the most important aspect of orthodontic treatment. If retainers are not properly worn, all your hard work to achieve the perfect smile and a healthy bite using braces or Invisalign can simply go to waste.  One important aspect of maintaining your retainers is keeping them clean and free of the harmful buildup of the acid-producing bacteria found in dental plaque (the white fuzzy stuff that collects on your teeth when you don’t brush well). The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to gently brush your retainers with your toothbrush and toothpaste every time you brush your teeth.

In general, if you are brushing your retainers as often as you brush your teeth, your retainers will stay relatively clean and free of bacteria buildup.  If you are “out and about” and don’t have access to your toothbrush, you should gently rinse your retainers with clean water and then brush them when you do have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste.  This will prevent the proteins and minerals in your saliva from drying on the retainer and creating what might be referred to as “hard water” stains on your retainer.

When you are no longer wearing your retainer full-time and only while you sleep, a thorough cleaning in the morning after waking up should be sufficient to keep your retainers looking like new.  Sometimes despite your best efforts, you will start to get some buildup collecting on your retainers.  The best way to get back on track is to soak the retainers in a denture cleaner like  Efferdent or Polydent or a generic equivalent.  These cleaners are specifically designed for the materials that retainers are made of.  Please do not use household cleaners like bleach or other abrasive cleaners on your retainers.  This is dangerous if there is any residual cleaner left on the retainer and will be harmful to the retainer itself over time. 

Follow these simple guidelines, and you should have a happy and healthy mouth for many years to come.

What you need to know about orthodontic expanders - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

November 22nd, 2019

So your orthodontist said your child needs a palatal expander?  Here is some helpful information to become familiar with what to expect moving forward.

How does it work?

Palatal expanders are a commonly used appliance in orthodontics to make room for crowded teeth, correct crossbites, increase the size of the airway and/or widen a narrow upper jaw. Many of us have held a newborn baby and felt the “soft spots” on their tender little heads. Those “soft spots” are cartilage sutures that have not yet closed in their developing skulls. In much the same way, each of us has a cartilage suture in our upper jaw that splits the upper jaw into two halves. At the onset of puberty, that suture starts to fuse together into one bone. However, prior to the fusion of the bone the upper jaw can be expanded significantly using a palatal expander. As the palate expands, the cartilage is stretched and stimulates bone to fill into the space created by the expander. If given enough time to stabilize, the jaw will then fill in with bone at the new “corrected” width. Pretty amazing!

Interestingly, the lower jaw does not have a suture to match the upper jaw, which limits the amount of expansion you can achieve on your bottom teeth.

What does it look like?

 

The expander connects to your top molar teeth with little metal rings called “bands”. Wires connected to these bands rest gently on the teeth. There is an activating mechanism in the center of the expander that can easily be turned with a “key” that is given to each patient. Your orthodontist will show you how to use the key – it is really easy! The key will slowly and gently widen the jaw with each activation about 0.25 mm. In our office, one activation is recommended each night before bedtime. Over the course of each 4 day period, the jaw widens just 1 millimeter. While this may not seem like much, within just a few weeks you will have created much more space for the teeth to fit into. You may experience some slight discomfort as the suture starts to open, but this process is relatively pain-free.

As the suture opens, you will often see a space open up between the two front teeth. This is normal and is evidence that the expander is doing its job. After your expansion is complete, the space will naturally start to close as the crowded teeth unravel. Any residual space will be closed with your braces.

How do you maintain the expander?

Keeping your teeth healthy while going through treatment with a palatal expander is pretty easy – it just takes a little extra time and effort when you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Your orthodontist will likely give you some extra little brushes to help you clean well around your expander and show some spots that are commonly missed. A Waterpik or similar device is also a helpful tool to clean around the expander. You should brush your expander the same way you would brush your teeth - until it looks clean and shiny with no white “fuzzies” (plaque) sitting on it.

Before you know it, you will have the stunning smile you have always wanted. Good luck! If you have any questions regarding expanders or orthodontic treatment, give our office a call.

What is two-phase orthodontic treatment? - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

August 26th, 2019

Two-phase orthodontic treatment generally means that part of the orthodontic treatment is completed while the patient still has some baby teeth.  This part of the treatment is referred to as Phase I and is usually completed sometime between ages 7-10.  After the eruption of the remaining adult teeth, the second phase of orthodontic treatment involving full upper and lower braces is completed.  This part of the treatment is referred to as Phase II. The idea behind this type of treatment is that some of the more severe orthodontic problems can be treated more effectively by treating them in two stages.

Some examples of problems that can be treated effectively by doing two-phase orthodontic treatment are:

  • Creating spacing for severely crowded teeth or repositioning teeth that are developing incorrectly
  • Creating facial balance through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of fracture or uneven wear to protruding teeth or teeth in crossbite
  • Preserving space for teeth that have not erupted
  • Correcting harmful habits like thumb sucking
  • Preventing damage to gum tissue around teeth that are erupting outside of a normal position

The type of appliances that are used in Phase I while patients still have baby teeth varies a lot.  It can be as simple as a special retainer to correct one tooth that is really crooked or as complicated as partial upper and lower braces with a palatal expander.  If a Phase I treatment has already been completed, Phase II is generally more straightforward involving traditional braces or Invisalign as most of the more severe orthodontic problems have already been corrected in Phase I treatment.  Minor problems like mild spacing or crowding, mild overbites, and mild to moderate misalignment can generally be treated just as effectively with a single phase treatment at around age 11-13 depending on the age of eruption of the adult teeth.

Does everyone who has braces have to wear retainers? - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

June 28th, 2019

The simple answer is yes. There are two main reasons why. First, your gums have little elastic fibers in them that attach to the teeth. There is actually a protein in your gums called elastin. The elastic fibers in your gums act like little rubber bands. When you straighten a crooked tooth, the elastic fibers get stretched out and want to recoil to their original positions. These fibers “remember” where the teeth were before treatment began and are the main cause of teeth getting crooked again after orthodontic treatment. By the way, a common misconception is that wisdom teeth are what cause your orthodontic treatment to relapse.  This is actually not true - patients who were born without wisdom teeth have the same amount of orthodontic relapse.

Second, teeth naturally tend to move and adjust as you age – regardless of whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not – unless you are wearing retainers.
If you stopped wearing your retainer and your teeth have shifted, all is not lost. Straightening teeth the second time around tends to be easier and faster. A lot of the work was already done the first time around. Invisalign is a great option for those who have had previous treatment with braces but have had some orthodontic relapse. Bonded fixed retainers are a nice option for holding teeth in position for the long term. Check out our website to learn more about retainers.

Remember, it’s easy to slip your retainers in at night before you go to bed to keep your smile straight and beautiful. If you make retainers part of your nighttime routine, you can enjoy beautiful, straight teeth for the rest of your life. If you have had some relapse, please give us a call to get your smile back on track. You’ll be happy you did!

Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?- Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

May 14th, 2019

Braces have come a long way in the last 20 years. Pictures of patients with large, ugly metal rings on every tooth are now found in the history books. One of the more recent developments in orthodontic treatment, especially adult orthodontic treatment, that has caused a lot of excitement in recent years is Invisalign or clear aligners.

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Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that straighten your teeth a little bit at a time. This reduces the discomfort felt from moving the teeth into alignment and allows patients to easily brush and floss their teeth because the aligners are removable. There are also no diet restrictions with Invisalign because the aligners are removed while you are eating. Not to mention, they are nearly invisible when placed on your teeth. Invisalign allows patients who would never consider traditional braces to be potential candidates for orthodontic treatment.

The other side of the coin with Invisalign is that removable aligners don’t work well if they are always being removed. You have to wear the aligners literally 22 hours/day for the treatment to be effective. There are also some limits to what Invisalign can do compared to traditional braces for certain bite problems. It is important to see an orthodontist who is an expert in orthodontic treatment as an “Invisalign Certification” can be acquired in one weekend and does not an expert make.

In our office we offer complimentary initial exams and can tell you whether or not you would be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment and answer any questions you might have. If you are interested, come and check it out! We look forward to meeting you.

How long will I have braces? - - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

April 4th, 2019

This may be the most common question I am asked as an orthodontist.  In the digital world that we live in, we have all become accustomed to having things the minute or even the second we want them. While the average length of orthodontic treatment has been significantly reduced as a result of developments in technology over the years, orthodontic treatment is still usually measured in months and sometimes years, not in days or weeks.

Asking how long braces will be on for is like asking how long it will take to drive to San Diego.  Are you leaving from Philadelphia or from Phoenix?  How long it takes to arrive at your destination depends a lot on where you are leaving from.  The same is true for orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign.  The severity of the bite problems that are in place at the beginning of treatment will significantly affect how long it takes to get to the end of treatment.  Treatment can be as short as a few weeks or as long as a few years depending on the severity of the bite problem to begin with.  We can drive a faster car to shave down the time we spend in the car, but no matter how fast the car is you still have to obey the speed limit and it is still going to take a while.

The “bottleneck” in orthodontic treatment is the rate at which the bone around the roots of the teeth remodels.  Stimulating bone to remodel is how we move teeth with braces.  While there are techniques to speed up this process, bone remodeling is still a relatively slow process.  This is the same reason you have to have a cast on a broken arm for several weeks to allow the bone to set in the proper position.  So hang in there and know that your braces will come off as soon as your smile is perfect.  Good things come to those who wait!  If you have questions about how long braces might take in your individual case, please contact our office at Budd Orthodontics for a free consultation.

When is the right time to see an orthodontist?

March 4th, 2019

Your smile is the centerpiece of your face. It will be your social signature for the rest of your life. Orthodontic treatment is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your children. Because of this, many parents wonder if their child will need braces and, if so, when is the ideal time to see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen at the first sign of an orthodontic problem but not later than age 7. Most children will not require orthodontic treatment at this age, but there is enough dental development to spot problems early and evaluate the growth of the jaws and the spacing available for erupting adult teeth.  If no treatment is needed, your orthodontist will likely recommend that your child be reevaluated periodically to ensure proper growth and development.

Budd Orthodontics will complete a free initial consultation to allow parents to receive information regarding their child's dental development before having to commit to any treatment. This is an opportunity to learn if treatment is needed and, if so, how long it would take and how much it would cost.  We also believe it is important for families to have an opportunity to have all their questions answered regarding any recommended treatment so they can feel confident about making an informed decision. Having your child evaluated at the right time will give you peace of mind regarding one of your chid's  most important characteristics - the development of a healthy, beautiful smile.

Do braces hurt?

March 1st, 2019

The simple, honest answer to this question is – a little bit – but not as much as you might think.  The same is true for Invisalign or any other appliance that moves your teeth to a new position in your smile. Any discomfort experienced while wearing braces I like to compare to someone who has not exercised in a while and then goes for a jog one morning.  The next day this person is going to be a little achy but with a level of discomfort that is manageable and will quickly go away.

Braces have come a long way in the last twenty years.  It was not very long ago that nearly all the wires used to straighten teeth as part of orthodontic treatment were made out of steel – a very stiff, unforgiving metal that was effective but not very gentle.  Most orthodontists now begin treatment using a newer metal that is a titanium alloy.  These soft “memory” wires can be deformed (to fit into braces on crooked teeth) and return to their original shape (to straighten them) using a very small, gentle force that is perfect for straightening teeth. Invisalign® is also a great option and “kind” to the patient because it is made up of a series of aligners that will move the teeth on average only 0.25 millimeters over a two-week period – a very small, gradual movement for that time interval.

Modern orthodontic treatment is gentle, comfortable and a worthwhile investment in YOU! Please don’t let any concerns about how treatment will feel prevent you from achieving the smile you want and deserve. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has had braces once as a child and again as an adult, (I didn’t wear my retainer!) I can tell you it is definitely worth it. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation with Budd Orthodontics.

The Health Benefits of Orthodontics Extend Beyond the Straightening of Teeth

February 27th, 2019

Most of us associate orthodontics exclusively with the straightening of our teeth. This is a logical association, but the truth is that the importance and influence of orthodontics extends beyond straight teeth and an improved smile. Dr. John Budd and the staff of Phoenix-based Budd Orthodontics remind our patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale and throughout the Valley of the Sun that proper orthodontia elicits a number of health benefits that will serve you well moving forward. If you’re a candidate for a visit to the orthodontist, a better understanding of these benefits may inspire you to schedule that visit sooner than later.

Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease – properly aligned teeth can prevent certain physical health problems, and tooth decay and periodontal disease are central among them. In terms of tooth decay, untreated orthodontic issues may exacerbate this issue. Simply put, properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean and collect less plaque. Should plaque and tarter continue to build up in your mouth, you may be at risk of developing gingivitis and, eventually, periodontal (gum) disease. Should this condition worsen, certain teeth may become loose or have to be removed.

As you can see, even if you are making an effort to keep your teeth clean, their misalignment may render your diligence in this area ineffective. Thus the importance of scheduling an appointment with your local orthodontist to make sure your teeth are properly aligned.

Fracture or Injury – protruding upper teeth are more at risk of being broken or fractured in an accident than properly aligned teeth. Repositioning your teeth via orthodontics can greatly reduce this risk.

Improved Self-Confidence – the truth is that we live in a world in which first impressions are vital. One of the key elements of making a good first impression is your smile, and if your smile is less than stellar your self confidence is certain to be as well. Straightening your teeth is not only a good idea from a physical health standpoint. It also makes us feel more confident in social situations, at work or anywhere else in which we interact with others. Being happy with your smile is important, and a good orthodontist can create that reality for you.

The benefits of orthodontic treatment are ones that keep on giving. If you’ve been putting off scheduling your visit to an orthodontist, you owe it to yourself to call today. For your health and your self-confidence, it makes sense to see an orthodontist and begin the process of properly aligning your teeth.

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