It’s Time to Smile
National Ice Cream Month

National Ice Cream Month

Did you hear that, orthodontic patients and ice cream lovers?

July is National Ice Cream Month (NICM)!

And with the blazing summer heat well underway, now is the best time for orthodontic patients to celebrate this perfectly delicious, braces-friendly treat.

To kick off National Ice Cream Month, Hoskinson Orthodontics is here to give you the scoop on NICM and how you can best take care of your teeth and oral health when you indulge!

When Is National Ice Cream Month?

In 1984, former President Ronald Reagan (who was a notorious jelly bean consumer) proclaimed July to be National Ice Cream Month in the US.

While Reagan’s own sweet tooth may have influenced his decision to designate July as National Ice Cream Month, the delectable frozen treat has long served as an American staple. (In fact, ice cream in the United States dates all the way back to the late 18th Century before the Declaration of Independence was signed!)

Is Ice Cream Good or Bad for Teeth?

Ice cream can be both good and bad for teeth depending on how often you consume it. Because it is chock full of sugar, ice cream can lead to tooth decay if consumed in excess.

However, because milk is the other central ingredient in ice cream, it can also be a good source of calcium, which can strengthen teeth and help prevent bone loss.

How Often Should You Eat Ice Cream?

Generally speaking, you should only consume around 13 grams of saturated fat per day. With a ½ cup of vanilla ice cream weighing in at 4.5 grams of saturated fat, consumers can easily exceed the recommended daily intake if they’re eating other fatty foods.

With that said, ice cream in moderation is acceptable, especially considering the benefits of calcium! Limit your intake of ice cream to one serving per week. But if you must curb your sweet tooth or ward off the summer heat with a frozen treat, opt for nonfat frozen yogurt.

Best Home Care Practices for Braces

While ice cream is among the tastiest, braces-friendly foods around, patients should still be proactive about their intake and oral hygiene after consuming the frozen treat. So, what can you do to protect your teeth with braces and still indulge in ice cream?

First, skip the add-ons, like sprinkles, candy, and nuts. The excess sugar in these ingredients increases the risk of plaque buildup between teeth and makes it more difficult to thoroughly brush and floss between and around the brackets. Hard, sticky candy add-ons and nuts can even poke, scratch, or break the brackets and wiring.

After enjoying your ice cream, brush your teeth within the preceding hour. Brushing with braces can be difficult, but by following these steps every day, twice a day, you can significantly lower your risk of developing cavities and tooth discoloration after your braces come off.

It also helps to drink water before and after you eat ice cream. If you must wait to floss, you can ‒ but make sure you floss no more than 12 hours after having ice cream. Otherwise, the sugar between your teeth can start to form into plaque.

Let’s Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

Ice cream being the soft, safe, and delicious treat that it is makes wearing braces all the more rewarding. So long as you’re taking adequate care of your teeth and moderating your intake of ice cream, enjoy!

With it being National Ice Cream Month, Hoskinson Orthodontics wanted to take the opportunity to remind our patients to schedule routine teeth cleanings and checkups at their dentist.

If you need to make an appointment with our orthodontist and are located in Schenectady County and the surrounding areas, get in touch with us today! We’d love to hear from you ‒ and even learn what your favorite ice cream flavor is!

5 Reasons Why You Need to Wear Retainers

5 Reasons Why You Need to Wear Retainers

Are you in the final phases of orthodontic treatment?

You’ve spent months, and most likely years, wearing braces or Invisalign. But orthodontic treatment doesn’t end when the braces come off or the clear aligners go away. Next come the retainers, which play a vital role in maintaining your new and beautiful smile.

Hoskinson Orthodontics in Scotia, NY, is here to discuss five reasons why you need to wear retainers after orthodontic treatment. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, contact us today. Otherwise, let’s get started!

1. Keep Your New Teeth in Position

Although your teeth have moved during orthodontic treatment, they aren’t cemented in place. That’s because the bone and ligaments surrounding your teeth are malleable. Retainers help to hold teeth in place, preventing them from shifting, as these ligaments and bone reform and stabilize.

The bone surrounding your teeth and the ligaments that hold them in place is malleable. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting and hold them in place as the surrounding ligaments and bone reform and stabilize.

Retainers also allow time for the alveolar bones to harden, better preventing loose teeth and potential tooth loss.

2. Stabilize Your Bite

If teeth aren’t held firmly in their new positions, they will shift back to their old positions. Crooked teeth can then affect a patient’s bite. Otherwise known as malocclusion, a misaligned jaw can change a person’s smile, cause discomfort, and make it difficult to chew.

As the bone and surrounding gum tissue heal after orthodontic treatment, retainers maintain and stabilize the bite by keeping teeth in their new and aligned positions.

Retainers also provide adequate space for when wisdom teeth start to come in. We recommend all of our orthodontic patients have their wisdom teeth removed before they erupt. Unremoved wisdom teeth will eventually cause overcrowded teeth, pain, cysts, tooth damage, and other complications.

3. Improves Oral Hygiene

Misaligned teeth and an improper bite make it difficult to brush and floss behind and between teeth, which can lead to more tooth decay and cavities down the road. Braces and Invisalign not only correct misaligned teeth and malocclusion ‒ but they also make it easier for the patient to maintain good oral hygiene for the rest of their lives.

However, if a patient decides not to wear their retainers, subsequently causing their teeth to shift and become crooked, they are more susceptible to having poor oral hygiene and cavities in the future.

Misaligned teeth can also cause enamel wear, which can lead to teeth sensitivity, discomfort when eating certain foods and drinks, stained teeth, and increased risk of tooth decay.

4. Optimizes Overall Health

A straight smile is a healthy smile, and a healthy smile is a cornerstone to overall health and wellness. But poor oral hygiene not only leads to cavities and tooth decay but can increase the risk of periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that can cause any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Mouth pain
  • Gums that bleed easily after brushing & flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Pus & abscesses in the gumline
  • Receding gum line
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

Periodontal disease can also contribute to other health-related conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Even patients who do wear their retainers run the risk of gum disease if they don’t brush and floss adequately. So, it’s important that ALL patients brush and floss their teeth twice a day and visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup.

5. Reduce Need for Treatment Reversal

Nobody wants to have to go through orthodontic treatment twice. Unfortunately, many patients who don’t wear their retainers wind up having to pay for and endure orthodontic treatment later in life.

The bottom line: A retainer maintains a straight, healthy, and attractive smile. By not wearing a retainer, teeth will shift within a matter of months after orthodontic treatment, altering the smile they worked hard to achieve.

Tips for Wearing & Taking Care of Your Retainers

Our orthodontist recommends our patients wear their retainers in between meals and while they sleep for the first year after completing Invisalign or orthodontic treatment. After that, we recommend our patients wear their retainers at night for life. We understand wearing retainers long-term can be bothersome for some patients, but wearing them at night will maintain your straight and beautiful smile for a lifetime!

Keep your retainers clean. Always rinse them after use and soak them in a cleaning solution for five minutes. Make sure you brush your retainers with a soft-bristled toothbrush under warm water. This will remove debris and minimize bacterial growth.

Whenever you’re not wearing your retainers, keep them protected inside their case. Keep your retainers, as well as the retainer case, away from heat and hot objects to prevent them from melting. Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth during sports or high-impact activities.

Always remove your retainers before eating. This will prevent wear-and-tear on your retainers and keep food from getting caught in between your teeth.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Orthodontist

Wearing retainers may seem like a burden after years of wearing braces or Invisalign clear aligners ‒ but they are essential to maintaining a straight, healthy, and beautiful smile you don’t want to take for granted.

Do you have questions about wearing retainers or your orthodontic treatment plan? Are you located in Scotia, NY, or Schenectady County and are interested in scheduling a consultation with our orthodontist?

Contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today, or stay tuned to our blog for more tips and information!

How to Brush & Floss with Braces

How to Brush & Floss with Braces

Before you know it, your braces will give you a straight, beautiful, and confident smile ‒ but for that to happen, you’ll need to devote more time and attention to your oral care while wearing them.

Braces make it easier for plaque and food particles to accumulate and can potentially cause cavities, tooth decay, or gingivitis. Poor oral hygiene can also result in long-term discoloration once the braces are removed.

If you’re wondering how to brush and floss with braces, Hoskinson Orthodontics is here to help. Based in Scotia, NY, we help orthodontic patients of all ages throughout Schenectady County and the surrounding areas take proper care of their teeth while wearing braces.

Whether you’re new to braces or have had them for some time, read on to discover how to perfect your oral hygiene regimen for the brightest and most beautiful results! If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist, please contact us today.

Brushing with Braces

The American Dental Association recommends that people brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes with either a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush.

Those with braces, on the other hand, can expect to spend a couple of extra minutes brushing. Because in addition to their teeth, they also need to brush each bracket and around the wires and pins. If you’re curious about how to brush and floss with braces to prevent white spots and cavities, keep in mind: Quality brushing is key. Even patients undergoing Invisalign treatment instead of braces should devote ample time to thorough brushing.

Here’s how you can do a thorough job brushing without having to exert too much time and effort:

Rinse. First, rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water. This will help to loosen and remove dislodged food particles. Apply toothpaste to your electric or manual toothbrush.

Brush the Teeth. Once ready, position your toothbrush along the gums at a 45° angle. Move your brush in short, soft, circular strokes around the brackets and over the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Brush the Brackets. Continuing in a gentle circular motion, brush the top and bottom of each individual bracket. Then, use an interdental brush to target the areas of the teeth under the archwire.

Overall, you should aim to spend a minimum of 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your teeth; but again, you can expect brushing to take longer with braces.

Flossing with Braces

People with braces should strive to floss their teeth at least once per day, anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes altogether, and in front of the mirror for easier use. We’ll explore a couple different methods of flossing next.

Traditional Floss. Taking between 18 and 24 inches of waxed floss with each end wrapped around your index finger, thread the floss beneath the wire. Press the floss between the teeth, sliding the floss up and and down and underneath the gum line in a soft motion.

Floss Threader. Pass an 18-inch piece of waxed floss through your floss threader. Pass the threader beneath the wire until the floss is under, as well. Floss as normal by pressing the floss between the teeth and gently sliding it up and down the sides and underneath the gum line.

Orthodontic Flosser. Orthodontic flossers don’t require threading as seen with traditional floss. The sides of these tools are specifically designed to fit beneath the wire, allowing easy access to the teeth. Orthodontic flossers are not as readily available and cost more, but they are by far the fastest method of flossing with braces.

Flossing with braces certainly takes more time, but with the right techniques and know-how, you’ll become a pro at it and keep your teeth clean and healthy in the process.

Other Oral Hygiene Tips for Braces

Understanding how to brush and floss with braces is only the half of it. There are various ways to prevent white spots and yield the best results after your braces come off. Here’s what you can do in addition to brushing and flossing your braces and teeth:

You can also increase your brushing and flossing game by doing it more frequently or soon after consuming sugary and sticky foods.

Understanding How to Brush & Floss with Braces

With orthodontic treatment comes a series of lifestyle changes that can seem tedious and time-consuming. Learning how to brush and floss with braces is certainly one of them ‒ but essential nonetheless. Because proper brushing and flossing while wearing braces will ultimately leave the brightest and most beautiful smile once your braces come off.

If you have questions about taking care of your teeth with braces, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today. We’re located on 207 Mohawk Ave #1a in Scotia, NY, and we welcome patients of all ages throughout Schenectady County and the surrounding areas.

National Facial Protection Month

National Facial Protection Month

As the weather gets warmer, everyone will likely be spending more time outside. For kids and teens, that may mean participating in spring sports and activities. While it’s certainly a great opportunity to have fun and be active out of the house, it’s also a time of year when smiles and faces are more at risk for injuries.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to recognizing April as National Facial Protection Month. In addition to our orthodontic services, we strive to keep our patients across Scotia, NY, informed about the best ways to stay safe and protect their faces and mouths.

For helpful safety tips, read on below, or contact us to learn more about orthodontic treatment.

What is National Facial Protection Month?

National Facial Protection Month is an annual awareness campaign that strives to educate parents and children about the importance of using proper protection to help prevent sports-related injuries. Taking place every April, the campaign is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and American Association of Orthodontists.

Sports & Facial Injuries

Around one third of childhood injuries occur while a child is playing sports. No matter how talented or athletic your child is, playing sports puts them more at risk for dental damage than any other type of facial injuries.

Accidents can happen during sports, increasing the chances of chipped, broken, or knocked out teeth, as well as broken jaws and other painful facial injuries. That’s why it’s always important to stay informed about proper precautions to prevent such accidents and injuries.

How Can You Prevent Facial Injuries?

Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment. While it may be difficult to convince your child to wear protective gear, it’s important to remember that it’s a much safer and preferred alternative to a painful sports-related injury. Below are some effective methods for preventing facial injuries.

Wear a Helmet

If a sport allows the use of a helmet, then it’s highly recommended to wear one. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and can help to prevent damage to the head.

Wear a Face Shield

A face shield can protect the face and mouth from objects being hit, thrown, or kicked at them. While it can be more obtrusive than other options, it offers the benefit of protecting the entire face from injury.

Wear a Mouth Guard

The best way to prevent damage to the teeth and mouth is to wear a mouth guard. Small and often inexpensive, mouth guards can dramatically reduce teeth and jaw injuries, while helping to avoid costly medical expenses.

Why Are Mouth Guards Important?

Mouth guards are specifically designed to guard and protect the teeth and mouth. According to the American Dental Association, mouth guard users are between 82% and 93% less likely to suffer dentofacial injuries than non-users. As one of the easiest and least expensive pieces of protective sports gear available, mouth guards can ultimately prevent teeth from being chipped, broken, or knocked out.

A properly fitted mouth guard is vital for providing the best protection possible. For children with braces or other orthodontic apparatuses fixed to their teeth, mouth guards are especially important as they can protect braces from breaking. If you have questions or are interested in recommendations for orthodontic mouth guards, please contact us today.

What Types of Mouth Guards Are Available?

Choosing the right mouth guard can depend on a number of factors, including the planned amount of use and your budget. No matter your needs, it’s always helpful to know what options are available and the differences between them.

Custom-Made Mouth Guards

Custom-made mouth guards are created from full-mouth impressions and are specifically molded to fit every tooth’s contour. While they are the most expensive option, they provide the most protection and comfort, covering all the teeth and providing cushioning for the jaw.

Orthodontic Mouth Guards

Orthodontic mouth guards are specifically designed to offer protection and comfort for individuals who have braces or are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Recommended brands include Shock Doctor mouth guards (available at Walmart, Amazon, and sporting goods stores) and Sisu mouth guards (available on Amazon).

Keeping Your Face & Smile Protected

Prevent damage to your child’s face, mouth, and teeth this National Facial Protection Month and year-round by having them use protective sports equipment. Whether that means wearing a mouth guard, helmet, and/or face shield, the use of such gear can provide vital protection and safety.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’re doing our part to promote best practices when it comes to facial protection. While we do not offer mouth guards, we can provide recommendations and advice for our orthodontic patients. From answering whether Invisalign aligners should be removed during contact sports to determining the right kind of mouth guard to fit over braces, we are dedicated to helping you and your family stay protected.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Invisalign vs. Braces for Teens

Invisalign vs. Braces for Teens

Is it time for your teenager to begin orthodontic treatment?

When a parent discovers their teenager has crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, braces are usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, here at Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’ve seen more young patients choosing Invisalign® over traditional metal braces in recent years.

Both Invisalign and metal braces can equally create a beautiful smile for your teenager. One is not necessarily better than the other ‒ but there are key differences between Invisalign vs. braces.

What’s the best treatment choice for your teenager? In this article, Hoskinson Orthodontics explores the differences between Invisalign and traditional metal braces. Read on to learn more and contact us today if you’d like to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist.

Metal Braces

With traditional braces, metal brackets are placed and bonded to the enamel of every individual tooth. A metal archwire is then connected between the brackets, which our orthodontist adjusts over time to pull the teeth into the proper position.

How Long Do Teens Wear Braces?

Teenagers can wear metal braces anywhere from several months to a couple of years. Treatment time varies on the individual patient, whether or not they’ve received early orthodontic treatment, and other factors.

Treatment time will also depend on how thorough a patient follows their treatment plan. In many cases, young patients must attach elastic bands between their upper and lower braces. These elastic bands align and improve the bite. Typically, patients have to wear these elastic bands anywhere from six to 12 months. Not wearing these elastic bands as directed can delay treatment.

Invisalign®

Our orthodontist creates accurate images of teeth, which are then used to create Invisalign® removable clear aligners. Virtually invisible, Invisalign gradually shifts the teeth into position over time.

Invisalign® are removable clear aligners that are virtually invisible and gradually shift teeth into position over time.

Hoskinson Orthodontics does not make aligners in cases where major tooth movement is required. In minor cases, we first scan a patient’s teeth with an iTero Scanner. Dr. Hoskinson will then develop a treatment plan and send it to Invisalign®. Once the prescription is developed and the case approved by Dr. Hoskinson, we order the Invisalign!

How Long Do Teens Wear Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from a year to two years for teenage patients. Treatment time depends on how thorough a patient wears their aligners.

Patients can remove their trays to eat and brush their teeth, but they’re required to wear their trays between 20 and 22 hours per day. They must wear their Invisalign trays overnight while they sleep. The better a patient follows this treatment plan, the better and faster the treatment.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Braces & Invisalign

Metal braces can correct a wider variety of orthodontic issues than Invisalign. But for many young patients, the appearance of metal brackets is a common area of concern.

Of course, children can personalize their braces with different colored rubber bands. But some patients would prefer not having noticeable metal brackets on their teeth whatsoever.

However, in cases of crowding or severe malocclusion, Invisalign may not be a viable treatment.

Still, there are less severe cases where Invisalign may be equally effective, making the discreteness of Invisalign all the more appealing for patients who are more self-conscious about their appearance. It ultimately depends on what our orthodontist decides is best.

The ability to eat a wider variety of foods with Invisalign also makes it more appealing to younger patients. Because with metal braces, patients must avoid hard, chewy foods that can potentially damage the brackets and wiring.

Both metal braces and Invisalign do require daily brushing and maintenance to create the best results in the shortest amount of time. But those with braces have to be more painstaking about brushing and flossing between each bracket; otherwise, they risk having decalcified stains on their teeth once braces come off.

With Invisalign, there is another drawback. Young patients need to practice a higher level of discipline because their aligners are so easily removable. If they don’t wear their Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours per day, they risk longer treatment time.

Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Best Choice for Your Teenager?

Completing orthodontic treatment is one of many adolescent milestones, among others like obtaining a learner’s permit or going to the prom.

Though both effective at treating many of the same orthodontic problems, the experience of having braces is different compared to wearing Invisalign clear aligners.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we want to make your teenagers’ orthodontic journey as easy and worthwhile as possible. Our orthodontist and staff are here to guide you and your family every step of the way and help you decide between Invisalign vs. braces.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your teenager. We look forward to speaking with you!

How to Love Your Braces This Valentine’s Day

How to Love Your Braces This Valentine’s Day

Some patients love wearing braces and visiting the orthodontist, and others can be less than thrilled about them.

Between the metal wires, giving up hard and sticky foods, and devoting a little more time to brushing and flossing each day, patients – young and older – can struggle to find joy in orthodontic treatment.

While transitioning to braces can be a big adjustment, there are ways you can learn how to love your braces. This Valentine’s Day, Hoskinson Orthodontics is celebrating all the reasons why we should love orthodontic treatment.

So, whether you’re an adult patient or a patient in their tweens or teens, it’s time to celebrate your best and most beautiful smile in the making!

A Straight Smile Is a Healthy Smile

Orthodontic treatment can certainly give you a glowing Hollywood smile ‒ but not only that. Braces can make your smile healthier by aligning the jaw and improving the bite.

Simply put: Straighter teeth are easier to brush, floss, and maintain. By completing orthodontic treatment, you can better prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and painful complications arising from these dental issues.

Braces can also correct underbites, overbites, or crossbites. How does your bite affect your teeth? Misaligned bites not only cause tooth decay and gum disease. They can potentially lead to tooth loss due to the strain they can put on the jaw muscles.

So, when you’re feeling upset or frustrated about your braces, remember: You are doing the best thing possible for both your smile and overall health!

Orthodontic Treatment Is Convenient & Saves Money

Your braces are not only personalized to your unique smile, promoting its very best and most beautiful qualities now and for years a lifetime. By completing orthodontic treatment, you can potentially save money on costly cosmetic and restorative dental procedures in the future.

That’s not all. Orthodontic treatment is as comfortable as ever! No longer do patients need to undergo messy impressions when beginning orthodontic treatment. With our 3D printer, we no longer have to administer gooey or gaggy mold impressions!

Show Your Smile Extra Love

Taking proper care of your teeth and braces is essential to staying on track with orthodontic treatment.

Brushing the recommended two times per day is not enough for someone with braces. Aim to brush and floss your teeth after every meal, or at least three times a day, thoroughly for a couple of minutes each time. By showing your teeth some extra attention, you can avoid delays in treatment, as well as less-than-desirable results like white spots and post-braces stains.

In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, follow the instructions of your orthodontist. Wear your elastic bands, retainers, or other oral appliances as directed. You can prevent injuries and broken brackets and wires by avoiding hard, sticky, chewy, and crunchy foods. You can also prevent cavities and tooth decay by limiting your consumption of sodas and sugary beverages.

Be Gentle with Yourself & Embrace Your Braces

Sometimes you can experience tenderness and soreness after having your braces put on or adjusted. Not to mention, it’s also common for patients to experience self-consciousness while wearing braces.

Be gentle with yourself when your braces are causing you physical and emotional discomfort. Here are some ways you can relieve soreness:

  • Swish around lukewarm saltwater.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers for moderate to severe pain.
  • Administer wax to reduce friction between the brackets and your gums.
  • Relax and do something you enjoy to take your mind off the discomfort.
  • Eat soft and yummy foods (Jell-O, frozen yogurt, pasta, etc.)

Are you feeling self-conscious? There is no reason to be embarrassed by your braces! Again, you are doing the best thing for your smile, health, confidence, and social life.

Express your personality and get creative with your colored rubber bands (as well as your mouthguard if you play contact sports.) You can also opt for subtle colors that resemble the natural color of your teeth.

And remember to smile! Smiling makes us more attractive, relieves stress, boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure, and makes us feel good all around. So, if you’re ever feeling down, watch something funny, play with your pet, call a friend, or do something that brings a smile to your face!

Let Us Help You Love Your Smile This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! The Hoskinson Orthodontics team wants to remind our patients to avoid the sticky, chewy, and sometimes gooey treats we can see this time of year.

Approach festive treats like chocolate-covered strawberries with caution, as these can be tough and large to bite. When in doubt, if the food is hard and requires you to bite into it, you should avoid it if you aren’t able to cut it into small pieces. And don’t forget to brush your teeth after indulging in the V-Day goodies!

Are you considering your options for orthodontic treatment? Learning how to love your braces begins with confidence, and if traditional metal braces aren’t for you, know you have options! We can help you explore other types of orthodontic treatment, including ceramic braces and Invisalign. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Why Early Intervention Matters

Why Early Intervention Matters

Orthodontists once believed that children should not receive braces or orthodontic treatment until all of their permanent teeth came in, allowing for proper growth of their facial and jawbones before undergoing further changes. However, as orthodontics has advanced over the years, the recommendations for early intervention have increased. While early orthodontic intervention is certainly not necessary for everyone, it offers the potential to treat current issues and prevent more serious problems later in life.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we believe in keeping our patients informed and educated about their treatment options. If you’re wondering if early intervention is right for your child, then it’s important to learn more about what it involves and how it can make a difference.

Phase I of Early Intervention

Put simply, early intervention refers to orthodontic treatment that is performed while baby teeth are still present. While it may vary depending on your child’s development, phase I of early intervention treatment is typically recommended for children between the ages of 7 and 10. This phase focuses on the growth and development patterns of a child’s teeth, which are not all permanently grown yet.

Phase II of Early Intervention

Once a child is past age 10, they most likely have more permanent and developing teeth and would be better candidates for later treatment. Phase II of early intervention is usually implemented at peak growth and development years. This is the time when a child’s teeth are developed and grown enough to receive braces or Invisalign. The teeth are in an efficient movement position, resulting in avoiding unnecessary prolonged treatment.

How to Begin Treatment

If your child is under age 7 and exhibiting an orthodontic problem, it’s important to schedule an early check-up with an orthodontist as soon as possible for them to evaluate your child’s condition and determine if early intervention is necessary. Treating oral conditions as early as possible can ultimately prevent time-consuming and expensive treatment later on in life.

Conditions Treated by Early Intervention

Early intervention can be in your child’s best interest if they have a problem that could become more serious over time if left untreated. By detecting problems early on and guiding the growth of facial and jawbones, adequate space can be made for incoming permanent teeth.

This type of treatment is available for conditions such as:

Crowded Teeth

Crowding occurs when there is not enough room in the mouth for permanent teeth, which can cause them to come in crooked.

Excessively Spaced Teeth

With spaced out teeth, there is more room in the mouth than needed, which can cause gaps to form between permanent teeth.

Underbite

This occurs when the bottom front teeth cover up the top front teeth.

Crossbite

This typically happens when the jaw shifts to one side, causing upper teeth to close inside lower teeth rather than on the outside.

Extra or Missing Teeth

Extra or missing teeth can cause issues with spacing in the mouth as well as discomfort.

Thumb, Finger, or Pacifier Sucking

Any of these habits can lead to orthodontic problems, causing bones to shift in position and affect teeth and jaw growth.

Mouth Breathing

As a habit over time, mouth breathing can cause an open bite, in which the front teeth do not come together all the way.

Benefits of Early Intervention

The sooner that your child’s oral condition is evaluated and treated, the higher the chances are of improving their jaws, face, and overall development. Early orthodontic intervention can offer a wide variety of benefits and advantages for your child’s future, including some which may not be so obvious.

Early intervention can:

  • Lead to early identification of oral problems, ultimately saving your child from potential surgeries and more advanced complications in their future.
  • Create more space for incoming permanent teeth and guide them into more favorable positions for a more aligned smile.
  • Lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Reduce teeth grinding and its uncomfortable symptoms by realigning your child’s jaw placement.
  • Improve your child’s appearance and confidence by correcting crooked or misaligned teeth.
  • Help with speech difficulties by correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaw.
  • Assist with digestion as straight teeth and an aligned jaw can allow your child to more easily chew their food.

The Importance of Preventative Treatment

Your child’s growth and development is key to their future. Early orthodontic intervention offers the opportunity to detect and treat issues before they become more advanced, while also giving your child the chance to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we can help to determine if early orthodontic intervention is appropriate for your child. For more information about our orthodontic treatments or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today!

Enjoy The Holidays With Braces

Enjoy The Holidays With Braces

When the holiday season rolls around, you know we all are most excited for the home-cooked meals, fresh desserts, and guilty pleasure treats. As a parent of a child with braces, you should be aware of the foods they should avoid to prevent any mishaps. Having braces during the holidays doesn’t have to be daunting – it just takes some extra planning!

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we are here to help you avoid the discomfort with some tips on how to plan. Yes, your child may have to sacrifice some of their favorites, like caramel, but they can still indulge in other tasty treats this holiday season.

What Foods Should I Avoid With Braces?

Some foods, and oftentimes your child’s favorite snacks and treats, can cause a detached wire or busted bracket. This can lead to misalignment in teeth, causing their braces to stay on longer. There is a reason why eating risky treats can lead to painful cuts or sores on the inside of your mouth.

Here is a list of foods your child should avoid if they have braces:

  • Popcorn
  • Pecan pie
  • Caramel apples
  • Raw or Crunchy Vegetables
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Christmas Bark
  • Candy Canes
  • Fruit Cake
  • Nuts
  • Taffy

Your child may be tempted to indulge in some of these items this holiday season, but it’s important to remind them of the damage they can cause to their braces. These are just a few foods to steer clear of, but there are other foods to avoid as well, such as gum, pretzels, hard taco shells, and more.

So… What Can Your Child Eat Safely With Braces?

Your child may seem frustrated at the food restrictions due to their braces, but don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious alternatives! Ditch the caramel apples and candy canes for treats with a softer texture that are just as enjoyable. This will help keep your child’s braces intact and prevent any harmful stray wires or bracket mishaps.

Foods To Safely Enjoy:

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Soft Bread Rolls
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Pudding
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Stuffing
  • Soft Chocolate
  • Creampuffs

There are so many different options to choose from that won’t negatively impact your child’s smile. Plus, by ditching the sticky and hard candy, you’re also skipping the mess. If your child is still upset about missing out on other foods, remember the better they take care of their braces, the shorter duration they will have them.

What Other Ways Can I Protect My Braces During The Holidays?

If your child takes the risk and sneaks in a crunchy, sticky treat, make sure they take extra care of their braces. You should be prepared if a bracket loosens or a wire disconnects. There are plenty of methods to add to your teeth cleaning regime when having braces to ensure your mouth stays unharmed.

Care For Your Braces By:

A Proper Diet
Allowing bones and tissues to receive essential nutrients needed to adequately change the structure of your teeth with braces.

Using Orthodontic Wax
Protect the surfaces within your mouth from bracket or wire scraping.

Brushing & Flossing
Cleaning the crevices and surfaces of your teeth to avoid decay or food buildup.

Mouthwash
Fluoride mouthwash can strengthen your teeth, while leaving them polished and fresh.

Interdental Picks
Reach the places your toothbrush or floss may miss.

Make The Holiday Season Pain-free!

Help your child and their braces enjoy the holidays with these easy care methods. There are many more techniques they can use to care for their teeth. We look forward to seeing your child in our office, but not with broken braces after the holidays. We want their orthodontic treatment to go smoothly and be able to enjoy the holiday season pain-free!

At Hoskinson Orthodontic, we want to help you enjoy the holidays without oral issues. For more information about our services, please contact us today.

3D Printing in Orthodontics

3D Printing in Orthodontics

While the way we conduct our in-person appointments has changed in response to COVID-19, Hoskinson Orthodontics is excited to announce some new and innovative changes that are happening.

We’ve recently integrated 3D printing technology into our practice, and we are looking very forward to how this technology will enhance the way we provide orthodontic treatment to all of our patients across Scotia, NY, and the surrounding communities!

No More Gooey or Gaggy Mold Impressions!

If you’ve ever had braces, or if you or your child is currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, you might recall the mold impressions made of your teeth or your child’s. These impressions replicate a person’s teeth before treatment and allow us to measure and customize braces, retainers, Invisalign, and other orthodontic appliances for the best and most accurate fit.

The compound material used to make these traditional mold impressions is similar to putty. This material goes in two sets of trays that are separately applied to the top and bottom teeth. Each impression needs about one minute to harden. The process isn’t painful, but it can be uncomfortable for some patients.

How 3D Printing Technology Works

With our office’s new 3D printer, there’s no more need for these gooey and gaggy impressions! We now use an intraoral scanner to measure a patient’s smile and import the digital measurements to our CAD software. Our 3D printer then produces a precise and customized resin model of the patient’s teeth. Meanwhile, the patient can sit comfortably throughout this quick and seamless process.

We also take these digital impressions after a patient has their braces removed or completed Invisalign treatment. Our 3D printing technology allows us to yield better-fitting and comfortable retainers that will help patients transition into retainer therapy and maintain their new smiles for years to come.

Have a Safe, Healthy, & Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in 2020 will look and feel very different compared to previous years. We understand these changes can be difficult to cope in some children. We invite our families to learn more about how to teach adaptability to kids and apply these positive practices to the new way of celebrating Thanksgiving and the holidays.

If you have any questions about our new 3D printing technology, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our staff is happy to explain the technology, the process, and the results you or your child can expect.

On behalf of the Hoskinson Orthodontics team, we want to wish all of our patients and their families a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month!

Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month! Here at Hoskinson Orthodontics, we’d like to take this opportunity to provide our patients in Scotia, NY, with fun reminders on the importance of their braces and oral health.

With it also being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have some unique ways for our patients to get involved and raise awareness.

Read on to learn more!

National Orthodontic Health Month

Imagine a whole month dedicated to achieving and maintaining your healthiest smile. That’s what National Orthodontic Health Month is all about: Because while it’s no secret that brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is crucial to your oral health, having a straight and beautiful smile is also essential to your overall health and well-being.

National Orthodontic Health Month

 

Crooked teeth, gaps, overbites, and other orthodontic problems can cause a variety of dental health issues, such as:

Cavities. Crowded or crooked teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss certain areas that can harbor bacteria and lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Poor brushing and flossing can also cause gingivitis or periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss and other health complications.

Worn Down Tooth Enamel. Misaligned teeth and improper bites can cause extra friction while chewing, eventually causing the tooth enamel to wear down. Worn down tooth enamel can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, or erosion.

Headaches & Jaw Pain. Do you grind your teeth at night or clench your jaw when you’re stressed? An improper bite or misaligned teeth add stress to your gums and temporomandibular jaw (TMJ), which can cause pain, affect your sleep, and damage your teeth as a result of teeth grinding.

If you think you could benefit from orthodontic care, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation!

The Power of a Straight & Healthy Smile

A straight smile can help you avoid the array of health problems mentioned above, but it can also do wonders for your self-esteem.

Simply put: If you like your smile, you’re less likely to feel self-conscious or shy away from pictures and more likely to bust out laughing and show off your pearly whites without hesitation.

Smiling is great for our health, as it can produce feel-good endorphins that can act as natural pain relievers and elevate your mood. When you have straight teeth, you’re less likely to experience jaw and gum pain, which leads to a happier and healthier you!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many patients aren’t thrilled with wearing braces; still, the beautiful end results and benefits of a straighter and healthier smile make treatment time well worth it!

In the meantime, there are fun ways to personalize your braces, and this month, we’re honoring those patients who rock pink ligatures in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For every patient who chooses pink ligatures on their braces, Dr. Hoskinson will donate $1 in your name to Bellevue Women’s Center. All participants will then be entered in a drawing to win a $25 Visa gift card!

1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Together, we can raise awareness and support women in need today!

Halloween Is Right Around the Corner…

Halloween may be different this year, and many kids and adolescents are learning how to adapt to change. Even though many of us will not be trick-or-treating this year, it’s still possible to enjoy the season and make the most of this Halloween!

Here are some ideas on how you and your family can celebrate Halloween during COVID-19:

  • Tell scary stories around a fire
  • Have a movie marathon with your family
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins
  • Throw a virtual costume party
  • Play board games or charades

And just as a friendly reminder to our orthodontic patients, please refrain from eating the following festive treats this Halloween:

  • Apples (unless they’re cut up in small pieces)
  • Sticky or chewy candy, like caramel, toffee, taffy, Skittles, or gumdrops
  • Hard candy, like jawbreakers, butterscotch, or Jolly Ranchers
  • Candies that contain nuts
  • Caramel popcorn
  • Pretzels

Opt for softer chocolates and candies like peanut butter cups, pure chocolate, or even dive into some ice cream if you’re trying to curb your sweet tooth!

Take the Best Care of Your Smile This Fall

Between Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and National Orthodontic Health Month, October is one of the most exciting times of year at our orthodontic practice! Don’t forget to brush and floss thoroughly twice a day and after meals; that way, your smile is always beautiful and healthy!

Stay tuned to our blog for more news and updates from Hoskinson Orthodontics!

Address:
Hoskinson Orthodontics
207 Mohawk Ave #1A
Scotia, NY 12302

Phone: 

518-372-3424

Fax: 

518-372-6472

Hours

Monday -Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

We are open during school breaks and non-major holidays.