4 Things You Should Always Tell Your Orthodontist

One of our favorite things is knowing that we get to see you.
And that’s not just because of all the progress you’ve made between visits.
We truly treasure the relationships we’ve built over the years with our patients and with their families (in case you couldn’t tell from our collection of photos in our waiting room).
As we work together to create your best smile ever — whether it’s through traditional metal or clear braces, gold brackets or clear aligners — we want you to know that we’re all ears.
Communication is very important to our patients’ success, and we encourage you to always feel free to tell us when:

  1. You have a question: You can ask us anything at any time, of course, but we encourage you to keep a list of questions that might pop up between visits so that when you come in, we can get you the answers.
  2. Something doesn’t feel right: No one knows how your mouth feels better than you. Never hesitate to tell us when you think there might be a problem.
  3. You’re not flossing: Spoiler alert, we already know you’re not flossing, but what we don’t know is why. So let’s talk about it and figure out a hygiene plan that will work for you. Clean teeth are happy teeth.
  4.  You broke your retainer: This is a real bummer, but you need a retainer to keep your teeth straight and your bite aligned. Rather than pretend that you’ve been wearing it regularly, bring your broken retainer in to our office and we’ll take a look at it.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Bluffton Orthodontics, call us at 843-815-2521.

3 Things You Should Know About Possible Early Orthodontic Treatment for 6-9 Year Olds

A lot has changed in the field of orthodontics since you were a teenager.

In fact, braces are so advanced they’re sometimes invisible — or at least, the clear aligners version of them are.

Not only are braces less cumbersome than they used to be, they’re not just for teenagers and adults anymore. It’s not unheard of these days to see kids as young as 8 or 9 wearing them.

Why? The reasons vary by patient, of course, but here are some things to know about pediatric orthodontics — orthodontics for the younger patient — at Bluffton Orthodontics.

  1. Early intervention is important. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that patients begin seeing an orthodontist at age 7. While most patients aren’t given a recommendation of immediate action at that age, early intervention helps identify current and potential problems and gives parents more lead time on future orthodontic decisions. It can also save money in the long-run.
  2. Sometimes we don’t put braces on your child. An appointment with us doesn’t automatically mean “braces.” Younger patients are not usually ready for braces before 10 or 11 years old, but in certain cases there are solutions that can be implemented earlier that can help improve smiles and alignment. Treatments that incorporate expanders at a young age can help shorten the time your child will need to wear braces later on.
  3. Problems aren’t always obvious. “Straight teeth” does not always mean “no braces.” Common orthodontic problems, such as an overbite, are not always obvious to the untrained eye and, if left unfixed, could cause major gum issues or jaw pain in the future.

If you’re looking for an orthodontist in the Bluffton, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island area, feel free to stop by Bluffton Orthodontics for a tour of our office and to meet our staff. We also offer free consultations, which can be booked by calling 843-815-2521.

Early Intervention and What Parents Need to Know Before Choosing Any Treatment Plan

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontist visit at age 7, but your child’s regular dentist might advise you to bring your child in to see us even sooner than that.

This might seem excessively young to you, but that’s the point.

Early intervention — or what is called Phase I treatment — can prevent future problems and even reduce or eliminate future orthodontia costs.

With younger patients, orthodontists can guide jaw growth; they can coax adult teeth into the right place; they can prevent gum deterioration; they can improve bites and close gaps; they can make room for new teeth; they can correct bad habits that are affecting tooth or bite alignment; and they can help fix cosmetic issues that can affect your child’s self-esteem.

In short, they can intervene before things get worse.

With that said, most children who see an orthodontist early don’t end up with a recommendation for immediate action.

Instead, your doctor will likely recommend a wait-and-see approach with regular monitoring until your child’s adult teeth are in or they might come up with a future treatment plan that can be implemented at a specific time in the future.

The important — and smart — thing about early intervention is that parents can know about potential problems sooner and plan accordingly.

At Bluffton Orthodontics, every recommendation for early intervention is made carefully and with much consideration.

We work hard to build strong, trusting and long-term relationships with our patient-families. We are in it for the long haul and want what’s best for each individual patient.

If you’d like to book a free consultation with Bluffton Orthodontics or discuss any concerns about early intervention prior to a visit, call 843-815-2521.

Why Do You Have to Go to the Orthodontist So Much? Your Teeth Know the Answer

We do not kid ourselves at Bluffton Orthodontics.

We know our patients love us, but they certainly wouldn’t choose to see us as often as they do.

Actually, maybe a few would … we have a pretty sweet video game room.

But we get it: Visits to the orthodontist every six weeks on top of the discomfort of having to wear braces in the first place might seem like a form of modern torture particularly designed for you, but we promise it’s necessary.

And we’d like to take this opportunity to explain why because the reason is really interesting. OK. “Really interesting” is subjective, but this is science at work and it’s cool.

The point of braces, as you know, is to help guide your teeth into place so that your smile appears even, your teeth are straight and your bite is perfectly aligned.

This means your teeth have to move to get there.

But your teeth are made of tissue and bone. How do we move tissue and bone?

Very carefully.

The brackets and the wires in your braces work together to create a tension that pulls and pushes your teeth until they’re where they need to be.

To facilitate this gradual journey, your body makes and eliminates bone — it adds bone where it’s needed to hold the tooth in place and it removes bone to help the tooth get where it’s going.

And this takes time.

Every six weeks, when we look at your teeth, we are checking to make sure that the right tension and pressure are being applied to each tooth and that the growth and removal of bone is progressing as expected.

We tighten wires as needed and we take scans and impressions to verify that all systems are a-go.

And when it’s time for the braces to come off, we give you a retainer to keep those teeth right where we left them.

We custom-designed the office at Bluffton Orthodontics with fun and relaxation in mind — two words not often associated with an orthodontist visit. We have kid-friendly entertainment, include an arcade and our exam area is streamlined for efficiency. We like seeing you so often, but we know you have other things you need to do.

If you ever have a question about the how or the why of braces, always ask us. The staff at Bluffton Orthodontics are highly knowledgeable and experienced and they love nothing more than helping patients understand what orthodontia is all about. Talk to us at one of your regularly scheduled visits or call us at 843-815-2521.

Why You Shouldn’t Let The Cost Of Braces Scare You Away

When it comes to talking about the possibility of braces, we know your No. 1 concern is always going to be your child’s well-being.

We also know there’s another concern lurking not far behind that one; we’ll call it concern No. 1b: “Oh no. How the heck are we going to afford this?”

Let’s face it, orthodontic work is a major expense and a long-term commitment for your family. Thinking about it can be daunting.

You are not alone. Most parents have been there.

Generally speaking, it can cost between $3,000 and $7,000 per child depending on the treatment plan and the type of orthodontia your family chooses, whether it be metal or clear braces or ClearCorrect, a brand of clear aligner that we use at Bluffton Orthodontics.

And it can take two or three years to complete your child’s treatment plan.

As with any important investment of money and time, you should discuss the options, ask questions and come up with a plan.

The staff at Bluffton Orthodontics can help you with this.

First, we recommend that you call your dental insurance provider so that you have an idea of what, if anything, they will cover when it comes to orthodontist visits. We also advise you to talk to your employer’s human resources director to learn more about pre-tax or tax-deductible medical savings plans, which can go a long way toward reducing expenses.

The next step is to book a consultation with an orthodontist — we don’t charge for this visit.

After an examination, if your child needs long-term orthodontic work, including braces, we will come up with a treatment plan and a cost estimate.

At Bluffton Orthodontics, we understand the challenges parents face when it comes time for their children to get braces and we take pride in working with you to find a payment plan that works for your family’s budget and that helps you make the best decision for your child.

To book a consultation or speak with a staff member about how our payment plans typically work, call us at 843-815-2521.