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4 New Year’s Resolutions for People with Orthodontics

January 3rd, 2022

And just like that, 2021 is out the door—bring on 2022! People have likely started asking you about your New Year’s Resolution, and if you haven’t come up with one yet, we’re happy to share a few ideas! For people with braces or Invisalign, a few small changes in the coming year can make a big difference for how their treatment goes, so here are 4 resolutions to consider.

1. I will brush after every meal

Yes, you’ve probably heard that you need to brush at least twice a day, but for people with orthodontics, it’s better to do so after each meal and snack. Why? Because braces can easily trap food in the brackets and wires, and with Invisalign, any leftover debris can become pressed against the teeth when the aligners go back in. Both increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath. That’s why it’s better to brush throughout the day.

2. I will wear my elastics as much as I should

Elastics allow your bite to line up while straightening your teeth at the same time, but they only work when you wear them! Many orthodontic patients “forget,” which ultimately slows down their treatment. By wearing them as much as your orthodontist recommends, you can ensure that your new smile is ready as quickly as possible, and you can get your braces off. : )

3. I will wear my retainers as much as I should

After a braces or Invisalign treatment concludes, a patient will be asked to wear retainers to help their teeth stay in their new positions. At first, a patient will need to wear them 12 hr per day, and after 3 months they can switch to only using them at night. Not wearing them can cause the teeth to actually drift back to where they started, so be sure to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations so you don’t accidentally undo all of the progress you made with braces or Invisalign.

4. I promise to keep up with progress checks

Regular progress checks enable your orthodontist to make sure your teeth are moving as planned and that everything is alright. If you tend to miss them, this can allow a small problem to pop up, and eventually, it can turn into a big issue that potentially derails your treatment. Usually, these appointments only happen every 6-10 weeks, but they can make a huge difference in how smoothly your treatment goes.

And just like that, you have a New Year’s Resolution! Of course, if you ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or what you can do to help it be faster and easier, all you have to do is talk to your orthodontist, and they’ll point you in the right direction.  Wishing you all a Happy and Bright New Year.  :) Dr Holt and Dr Jena.

Orthodontic Accidents & Emergencies - Don't Panic - Call Us!

December 13th, 2021

It’s Holiday party time!  Parents, you are now officially entering the “School Break Zone.” This time of year, of course, brings family gatherings, parties, and treats! It’s hard to turn away from the ooey-gooey treats which is why Dr. Holt wants you to be prepared if an orthodontic emergency happens in your house.

Most importantly, he would like you to understand that accidents can happen during orthodontic treatment. When they do happen, it can result in a call or unplanned visit to your orthodontist – this is what you would consider an “emergency visit.”

Most times, “it’s not a big deal,” but Dr. Holt would like to remind you to make the call–dont wait. He is your partner in creating a HEALTHY smile. If there is an urgent need during this time–for example if you are in pain, or an injury has occurred–your orthodontist should be notified and you should call for an emergency appointment.

In the meantime, stock up with supplies to help discomfort. Essential items to keep in your medicine cabinet are:

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss
  • Tweezers
  • Interproximal brushes
  • Topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)
  • Over the counter pain relievers (such as one taken for a headache)

Plus, a warm salt water rinse can be soothing, as well. The recommended mixture is 1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. warm water.

Ultimately, an important part of successful orthodontic treatment is communicating with your orthodontist. If an emergency arises, it’s okay. Don’t panic. We have a phone number you can text.  We will take good care of you.  Given the situation we will work hard to get you back on your treatment plan. Don’t forget, you play an essential role in your treatment. All you have to do is follow your orthodontist’s directions. With holiday fun on the horizon, now is the time to have a plan in place in case you eat too many ooey-gooey treats.  Enjoy the Holidays!

Halloween Is Coming!

October 20th, 2021

You know I love sweets—take a look around my pantry and you would see a who’s who of the candy world! :)  But it is all about moderation, especially with braces in place.

Worried your braces might ruin your Halloween fun? Spooky thought – but never fear! Enjoying good candy with braces is still an option. But first, avoid damaging your braces and risking your successful orthodontic treatment by learning which candy might loosen the brackets attached to your teeth.

Candies to avoid with braces

These candies may damage orthodontic appliances and can really set your orthodontic treatment back. Steer clear of:

  • Caramels
  • Taffy
  • Hard candy
  • Chewy candy
  • Jellybeans
  • Licorice
  • Bubble gum
  • Suckers
  • Sour candy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

Candies you can eat with braces

Softer, melt-in-your-mouth candies tend to be less risky when it comes to keeping your braces intact. Enjoy these treats in moderation:

  • Chocolate (without caramel or nuts)
  • Peanut butter cups
  • KitKats
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Marshmallows
  • Cookies

Be mindful, that in excess, candy of any kind can accumulate around your braces and lead to permanent white marks (decalcification), cavities or gum disease (gingivitis). Make sure to brush thoroughly around your braces especially after indulging in sugary snacks!

No need to miss out on the trick-or-treating fun but enjoy candy in moderation and snack wisely! If you do find a bracket not attached to the tooth, call me (Dr Holt)  as soon as possible to make an appointment to repair the loose bracket so your treatment is not delayed.  Now get out there and have a spooktacular Halloween! :)

Using Your Health Savings Account or Flex Plan for Braces!

October 4th, 2021

As Fall approaches we get a lot of people asking if they can use their HSA / FSA account for orthodontic treatment at Holt Orthodontics.  The short answer is yes . . . so get on your way to a better smile!

What is an HSA or FSA account?

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), often offered by your employer, allow you to set aside money for qualifying health care expenses for yourself, your spouse and eligible dependents.

Can I use my HSA or FSA for orthodontic treatment? 

In most cases, yes, you can use your HSA or FSA for eligible orthodontic treatment. Only the portion of your orthodontic payments(s) not paid by your dental insurance or any other plan may be considered an eligible expense.

How can my HSA or FSA help save me money?

HSA and FSAs are types of savings account that let you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. By using untaxed dollars in an HSA or FSA to pay for your orthodontic treatment, you save money.

Contact your HSA or FSA provider or your HR specialist for specific details.

Trust Holt Orthodontics

You can work with Dr Holt to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Start smiling now!