Did you know that babies are born with the ability to smile and that children smile about 400 times a day, but adults average only 20? It probably has something to do with all those bills that need to be paid.
The History of Smiling
Have you ever noticed that people look super serious in old photos? The theory behind this is that old photos needed a longer exposure time to take, and people grew tired of smiling while they waited. Another belief is that due to poor diets and inadequate dental care, teeth were not smile-ready. Culture also played a big part – in the 1700’s it was seen as a sign of excess frivolity and an unnecessary display of emotion to smile for no real reason. Thank goodness we’ve changed the way we see smiles!
Fun Fact #1: Smiling is Universal
Anyone, anywhere, will see you smile and know that you are happy about something. As the most recognized facial expression, it spans across cultures – no interpreter needed!
Fun Fact #2: Smiles are Unique
No two sets of teeth are the same, which makes YOUR smile as unique as your fingerprints.
Fun Fact #3: Smiling Uses Fewer Muscles Than Frowning
Turn that frown upside down; smiling uses 13 muscles while frowning uses about 43. That means less wrinkles!
Fun Fact #4: There are 19 Different Types of Smiles
In 1924, a student at the University of Minnesota by the name of Carney Landis experimented on his friends, teachers, and patients. He photographed them taking part in various pranks and activities and recorded 19 different types of smiles. Only 6 of these 19 are happy smiles!
Fun Fact #5: Smiling Can Make You Happier
Plastering on a smile when you’re sad can actually make you feel better – this action in a stressful or painful situation tricks your brain, and studies have shown a faster recovery time.
And remember – a smile is something that you cannot just give away – it always comes back to you!
We’re here to help you make a splash with smiles for miles; call our office at 703-263-0575.
Here you are, planning for your child to get braces and there is so much information that it can easily be overwhelming to choose which braces will be the best for your child while also avoiding breaking the bank.
You know you have to think about costs more sooner than later, but a big question needs to be answered – why do different types of braces cost different amounts? You’re asking friends what they paid, and the same exact braces can even cost different amounts between offices!
Here’s why costs are different.
In a nutshell, costs differ between products and practitioners because of things like:
Breaking it down - here are the variables that impact the cost of braces.
But don’t worry! We’re here to guide you on the best braces for your child, and how to best manage the costs associated with which type you choose. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office. We are excited to help you make a splash with your new smile.
Many new and existing patients have been reaching out to see how we’re keeping things cool while COVID is still heating things up.
Here are a few things you can expect that we are doing to make your visit as safe as possible during COVID-19.
Before Your Visit
We will be emailing you a COVID-19 checklist link with your appointment reminder. It is a health check which will ask questions like:
You will also receive a waiver, consenting to treatment. In order to reduce paper or exchanges on our in-office iPads, we ask you to fill out all digital forms at home. They will come to us through our HIPAA compliant patient portal so your health information is safe and secure.
The Day of Your Visit
After you park in our parking lot, we ask that you call or text us to notify us of your arrival. YOU MUST WAIT IN YOUR CAR - our lobby is presently closed to help reduce possible interactions. You can never be too cautious.
Parents, on this note - please understand that only the patient will be asked to enter the office. This means you and your other children must wait outside or in your car until the appointment is over.
Once your child enters the courtyard, they will be met by a member of the OBC staff who will greet them and direct them to use the touchless hand sanitizer before entering the lobby.
At this time, the patient’s temperature will be taken touchlessly and will be recorded. If normal, the patient will be escorted to the treatment chair where patients are spaced with at least 6 feet of distance.
Your Treatment Team
While OBC has always adhered to the highest levels of hygiene and germ control, we have taken it up another notch by having Dr. Crutchfield and all technicians wear disposable gowns and face shields. As always, the team will be wearing medical-grade face masks.
When the treatment is finished, a member of our team will walk your child back to the courtyard and will encourage them to use the touchless hand sanitizer once more.
At this time, either the team member escorting your child will explain to you from a safe distance the results of the appointment and next steps or you will receive a recorded message from Dr. Crutchfield if there are specifics he wants to ensure you’re hearing directly from him. The team member will tell you if you should expect this or if you just need to set your next appointment.
What Happens Between Patients
To ensure your child’s health and safety, we sanitize the treatment chairs and stations with cleaning spray after each patient. This includes all wires, cords, and permanent instruments. Since the start of COVID-19, we have also started using a disinfectant fogger twice a day.
Throughout the office are hand sanitizers and we have replaced the bathroom soap and towel dispenser so that they are also touch-free.
As always, we want to keep you and our staff healthy. Each morning, every member of our team is checked in and their temperature recorded. And while these are challenging times, we want you to know that we are here for you and your family and are eager to keep you on your treatment plans so you can make a splash with your new smile.
Have you been thinking about getting braces but are worried about how you’ll look? It’s natural to be apprehensive about changes to your appearance. That’s why, now might be the ideal time to get started.
Why? The face covering or mask you are currently asked to wear in public due to COVID-19 provides you with an opportunity to get used to how you look with braces. If you worry about what other people will think, they won’t know, at least for a while. By the time you no longer wear your mask, you’ll be used to having braces and how you look in them.
Most people adjust to how they look with braces in a couple of days. It’s really not any different than how you feel when you get a new hairstyle. The first few times you look in the mirror you notice and then suddenly what was new is now normal. You look and feel like yourself.
Patient Safety and Treatment
We understand and want to assure you that your health and safety are our highest concern. Dr. Crutchfield and the OBC crew are happy to answer any questions you may have about starting treatment during COVID-19.
Keeping patient safety at the forefront, we have limited the number of in-office appointments we are seeing and have put additional safety protocols in place - such as closing our reception area.
Choosing the Right Braces for You
We offer a variety of options to straighten your teeth, some are invisible or clear aligners and others resemble the traditional brackets the word braces brings to mind. We will evaluate and determine the best option to give you a smile that makes a splash and fits your lifestyle. We offer:
Remember, the masks and braces are temporary, but your smile will last a lifetime. Don’t wait to begin treatment. Straight teeth are easier to clean and can help lead to a happier healthier you.
Your teeth and smile are at the forefront of greeting and meeting people and they are often one of the first things people notice about you. They play a role when you go for a job interview, on a date, to a social gathering, or when you speak in class or public.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to get orthodontia when they are children and many adults are embarrassed by their smiles - which has a negative impact on their self esteem, and potentially, their mental health.
Do any of the following describe you? Do you:
These are a few of the reasons people visit us for braces.
The technology available today to both adolescents and adults makes braces even more accessible and user-friendly. Clear aligners, like the popular Invisalign, make straightening your teeth a more “private improvement”. But that being said, if you want faster results, you can’t beat our Damon Brackets to get a faster jump start. You can always finish your treatment with clear aligners if you don’t like the appearance of the brackets. It all depends on your personal preferences, the anatomy of your unique mouth, and fitting orthodontia into your every day life.
Braces Boost Confidence
Having straight teeth and correcting misalignment issues with your jaw can boost your confidence. As you already know, braces do not instantly straighten your teeth, they are a process, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take years to see a significant improvement.
Besides the boost in self-confidence, Dr. Crutchfield believes that people who have made the investment in their smile continue to practice good dental hygiene. Often, someone who is unhappy with their teeth may neglect dental care until it is absolutely necessary.
It’s never too late...
The American Association of Orthodontists states that “one in four orthodontic patients is an adult.” While we may put a limitation in our minds on when the right time is for braces, it’s never written in stone and we love seeing our patient’s parents for care too!
Orthodontic treatment leads to good dental hygiene and a beautiful smile leads to confidence and well-being.
Gum disease is one of the most significant threats to the integrity and health of your smile. It starts when you let dental plaque accumulate on the teeth and along the gum lines. You’d think that as someone undergoing orthodontic treatment, patients would be hyper aware of teeth cleanliness, but unfortunately, sometimes the braces themselves can serve as a deterrent for getting squeaky clean teeth because they can make it harder to maneuver a toothbrush within the mouth.
Gum disease, if it progresses, can cause patients who wear braces to have to interrupt treatment. We do this to stop the disease before extensive damage occurs. After all, we want you to finish treatment with a smile that makes a splash, but not a belly flop!
At OBC, Dr. Crutchfield’s team helps educate patients on maximizing oral hygiene to keep their smiles healthy while straightening their teeth. We do this in our “Brush Talk” where we teach you about the things that will help you maintain a healthy smile throughout treatment.
Stop Those Mouth Germs
Smiles rely on daily attention to remain clean and healthy. Brushing and flossing are essential to controlling the buildup of sticky dental plaque. Some of those germs pose serious, specific threats to your oral health, such as targeting sensitive gum tissue through harmful toxins and excessive inflammation.
As a progressive issue, gum disease gets worse until treated. In its most severe form, it can destroy the tissues and structures that support healthy teeth. This means tooth loss. This spells more trips to the dentist, unnecessary pain, and extra healthcare costs. We understand how challenging it can be to stay on top of your kid’s brushing behaviors, but it really is important for you to take an active role in supporting habits. It’s for them AND for you!
What to Watch For
As bacteria infects your gums, the first sign is often bleeding gums while brushing. Other indications are redness and swelling. Gum disease generally starts with a quiet progression. As the disease continues, the infection and inflammation can destroy the gums that protect your teeth’s roots, and eventually it could reach the jawbone leading to tooth loss in the most severe cases.
Improve Your Oral Hygiene
Traditional braces involve brackets attached to each tooth and connected by arch wires. The components can often make your usual brushing and flossing more challenging. Without proper care, you increase the risk of developing gum disease and other dental health issues.
Your team at OBC provides case-specific instructions for proper hygiene while wearing braces, as well as an interdental cleaner to reach around, between, and behind the brackets and wires. Don’t forget, we also have clear aligners too!
When you have braces, you need to be even more vigilant with your oral hygiene. If you take care of your teeth, your new smile should last a lifetime.
If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any discomfort, please come in and let us take a look. Call our office at 703-263-0575.
Fighting Plaque in Braces
Today we have access to an impressive array of technological and dental advancements. There are few oral health issues that cannot be effectively corrected with early, appropriate treatment.
Prevention is Key
Unchecked dental diseases can cause a LOT of damage. Prevention remains the most effective method for preserving your smile. Good oral hygiene at home is the foundation of excellent dental health, but without regular professional care and maintenance, brushing and flossing could fall short of protecting you from dental diseases.
Patients who wear braces to correct malocclusion are especially at risk for dental issues, which stem from plaque that can hide between braces. Taking extra care of your oral hygiene while wearing braces is a vital part of successful orthodontic treatment.
Put Up a Fight
Tooth decay and gum disease can be quite destructive in their severe stages, but they begin as minor bacterial infections resulting from excessive plaque buildup. Brushing and flossing usually helps control plaque and bacteria buildup, but spots that hide behind and around the components of braces can be difficult to remove.
We Can Help
Dr. Crutchfield can quickly spot early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Early detection and diagnosis allow for fast, preemptive treatment to prevent the damage that progressing dental diseases can cause. Don’t forget, you still need routine, professional cleanings while your braces are on. It’s super important to let a professional dentist help you reach the spots your toothbrush can’t easily clean.
If you have questions or concerns, please come in for answers. Call our office at 703-263-0575
While traditional metal braces may be fine for teen-agers and young adults, at this stage in your adult life, metal braces may not be a viable option. But proper balance lets your jaw move smoothly along its joints, and allows teeth to evenly disperse the pressure of your bite to minimize impact and avoid damage.
Occlusion describes the manner in which your teeth fit together. When your jaw is closed, your upper front teeth should protrude ever so slightly in front of your lower front teeth. The chewing surfaces of your teeth should also align comfortably with the chewing surfaces of their opposites.
Malocclusion describes teeth that aren’t aligned properly. When imbalanced, teeth can become excessively worn. The jaw’s joints can also become damaged, leading to debilitating discomfort in the form of TMJ disorder.
Ideally, teeth grow straight up and down in their sockets and are properly aligned. But that is not always the case. Determining the nature of your malocclusion is the first step to effective orthodontic treatment, and will determine the extent of treatment you’ll need.
Upper front teeth should naturally extend between 3-5 mm in front of their bottom counterparts. Patients whose front teeth extend above 5 mm suffer from a condition commonly known as an overbite.
If the lower teeth extend in front of the upper teeth, then the patient suffers from an underbite.
A crossbite describes when one or more teeth grow diagonally (at an angle) instead of vertically.
Discrete Braces for Adults
Many adult patients hesitate to start braces because they don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires on their teeth. Orthodontics by Crutchfield offers discreet adult orthodontic options, including OBC Clear, Suresmile Clear aligners, and Invisalign clear braces that trade brackets and wires for clear plastic aligners.
All clear aligners consist of smooth, comfortable acrylic. This allows patients to participate in sleek and virtually invisible orthodontic treatment. To make these braces, technicians create a set of aligners that fit over teeth like a retainer. Each custom-made aligner should be worn for approximately two weeks and will move your teeth in increments. Total treatment can take 6-18 months.
Clear aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for easy eating and daily hygiene.
Damon System is another revolutionary orthodontic technology that creates beautiful smiles in less time. No elastic or metal ties, the Damon Brace uses a passive, less friction system that facilitates faster tooth movement and enhances facial aesthetics without extraction or surgery.
Damon clear braces, on the other hand, are completely inconspicuous and use tie-less braces that don’t require tightening. They are gentler on the teeth but work just as fast, if not faster, than traditional braces. Because they require fewer adjustments, Damon clear braces require fewer visits and shorter treatment time.
The Damon Smile System is a great option offering clear, discrete brackets for some patients.
Don’t let your age discourage you from balancing your bite. We are happy to talk with you about your treatment options!
If you are curious or ready for braces, please come in for answers. Call our office at 703-263-0575.
We get it; everyone likes to save money where it makes sense, and good braces are not cheap. However, the do-it-yourself aligners advertised by mail can deliver unexpected results… and by unexpected, we mean potentially dangerous and painful.
But Really, Would You Tattoo Yourself?
The promises are alluring—a beautiful smile at a fraction of the cost – no office visits required. It sounds like a good deal - freeing up your time and your money. Why not give it a try?
Here’s why... we’ve all seen the awful tattoo fails on social media. People who have tried to save money on tattoos that are left with some pretty unattractive artwork decorating their body - forever. Tattoos, like orthodontia, can be fixed but it is a costly mistake to repair.
A perfect smile and some extra cash in the bank isn't always the result you get with DIY aligners. You might actually end up needing additional, expensive procedures to repair unwanted results.
Teeth are for Chewing and Biting
We’ve seen a few “oh no” patients since the “braces by mail” fad took off. The most common complaint, after trying these aligners is that the teeth just don’t seem to work properly anymore. Meaning, they are not properly aligned for biting and chewing. This is what teeth are for! (Well, besides a splashy smile!) But what’s scary is that in some cases, teeth actually become loose, requiring an immediate dentist visit.
Long-term problems can show up much later (such as tooth loss). It’s a big deal; saving now could cost you thousands later.
What you’re being advertised, isn’t always what you’ll get! If you read through the offer completely and you review the limitations and qualifications, you could discover that they only cover a reduced treatment period or a certain number of trays. It might not include retainers or check-up appointments during the retention phase of treatment. This matters because shortcuts, especially unsupervised ones, are less expensive, but only in the short term.
Remember, they think you value your dollars and time above quality and durability. Is that true?
Love Your Smile
A good orthodontist works with you until the malocclusion is corrected, the bite is aligned, and you have a smile you love.
At OBC, patients understand that orthodontics is an investment in your oral health, your smile, and your self-confidence. It’s definitely not the best idea to take your smile and your dental health to the lowest bidder.
Aligners by mail don’t allow for any “special case scenarios” - and let’s face it, we’re all a little unique. When you decide to orthodontically treat yourself, you’re unaware of the circumstances your orthodontist might see immediately in an office visit that could alter your treatment regimens. An in person exam allows the orthodontist to inspect the condition and general health of your gums, tissue, and bone that could impact the success of the aligners. Also, office visits include an inspection of your mouth and allow your doctor to see how your jaw functions throughout treatment - not just at the end when we have to potentially “undo” damage - if possible.
The End Goal is a Functional and Beautiful Bite
Orthodontia involves more than pretty, straight teeth; it includes a healthy and functional bite. If your back teeth no longer touch properly, a posterior open bite occurs making chewing difficult and uncomfortable. Can you see why we think it’s a bad idea?
If you still think DIY aligners are a good idea to save time, call us about OBC Express. We can get you started quickly and send you on your way with reduced, but crucial check-ins. This works especially well for adults who have finished growing.
Do-it-yourself aligners carry risks that you need to be aware of. Remember, DIY teeth straightening may cause irreversible damage that you can’t cover up with long sleeves, like you can a bad tattoo.
If you have questions, please come in and let us take a look. Call our office at 703-263-0575.
A healthy diet is one of the primary concerns of most parents, and can go a long way in helping children keep their teeth healthy. Unfortunately, some of your child’s favorite drinks at the coffee bar are packed with sugar, and terrible for their teeth.
Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes. Unfortunately, most of your kid’s favorite drinks from places like Starbucks are absolutely LOADED with sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends that children limit their daily sugar intake to less than 26 grams per day, and adults should have less than 36 grams per day. Unfortunately, most of the items on the coffee bar menu far exceed 30 grams of sugar – even if the drink is a “small” (tall) on the menu.
1 – Any Frappuccino
Frappuccinos come in a variety of flavors, but each of them contains far more sugar than your child needs to consume in one day.
2 – Iced White Chocolate Mocha
Another iced drink, is Iced White Chocolate Mocha contains 54 grams of sugar per drink, which is far too much sugar for one drink to contain.
3 – Cinnamon Dolce Crème
The Cinnamon Dolce Crème doesn’t have caffeine, but it is loaded with sugar at 28 grams of sugar in a tall drink, and 37 grams in a grande.
Visit Our Office
We suggest that your tweens and teens avoids visiting coffee bars, and instead focuses on drinking more water and real fruit juices. Drinks from coffee bars are loaded with sugar that can cause cavities, and lead to other oral health issues.
Visit our office for more information about a mouth-healthy diet that can help your child grow a healthy smile. Call our office at 703-263-0575.
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