It’s Time to Smile
Oral Health Care Tips for New Invisalign Patients

Oral Health Care Tips for New Invisalign Patients

Invisalign aligners have taken the orthodontic world by storm. They are the most requested treatments for crooked teeth due to their near invisibility. It is a great choice for adults and anybody wanting the benefits of traditional braces without bulky hardware. Hoskinson Orthodontics has put together a few helpful tips for you to ensure your oral health.

If you are in the Scotia, NY area and looking for an orthodontist to handle your Invisalign treatment, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

Maintain Your Regular Dental Routine

There is nothing more important you could do to take care of your oral hygiene than to follow the American Dental Associations’ recommendation of brushing for at least two minutes and flossing twice a day. Along with regular dental and orthodontic checkups, keeping up with your at-home dental routine is key to ensuring your teeth stay healthy, strong, and beautiful for years to come.

Only Remove Them When Necessary

One of the most significant benefits of Invisalign treatment is that the aligners themselves are removable. However, just because you can remove them does not mean that you should do so often. Invisalign aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day for the best results and should only be removed for cleaning, brushing, flossing, and eating.

Properly Cleaning Your Invisalign

You should clean Invisalign aligners at least twice daily. To properly clean your Invisalign aligners, remove them, and rinse them under lukewarm water. Then, with small, circular motions, use a soft toothbrush to scrub them thoroughly, both inside and out. After brushing, inspect them for tartar build-up, and, if you find any, you may need to let your aligners soak in a denture or retainer solution. Once clean, you may either put them back in or leave them in their case to dry completely.

Store Them Properly

Ensure that your aligners are free of excess germs and bacteria by storing them properly in their designated case.

Avoid Potential Staining

Just like your teeth, your Invisalign retainers are prone to staining. Do your best to avoid food and drinks that will cause stainings such as red wine, coffee, tea, and other high acidity items.

Follow Your Orthodontists Instructions

Your orthodontist is the key to your successful treatment. They know the specific problems that you face and have tailored your treatment around them. Their instructions will keep you on the right path.

Keep Up With Your Appointments

Don’t let yourself push off going to your checkups and appointments. During this time, your orthodontist will gain valuable information on how your treatment is progressing. It will also allow them to identify any roadblocks that may have come up that could cost you money and extended treatment time down the road.

Get Started With Invisalign Today

Are you ready to start your Invisalign treatment? Take the first steps by scheduling a consultation with your orthodontist’s office. Invisalign is not suitable for everyone, so an orthodontist must perform an evaluation before treatment begins. If you are in Scotia, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

Why Parents Should Consider Early Orthodontic Intervention in 2022

Why Parents Should Consider Early Orthodontic Intervention in 2022

When it comes to your child’s orthodontic health, timing could not play a more important role. It may sound early to you now, but the American Association of Orthodontists actually recommends that your child’s initial orthodontic check-up happen no later than age 7. There are a few reasons for this as well as a long list of benefits that come with early orthodontic intervention.

Hoskinson Orthodontics is here with all the information you need about early orthodontic intervention this year. If you are looking for an experienced orthodontic team in the Scotia, NY area, contact the office of Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

Read on to learn more!

The Importance of Timing

Why does the AAO place such importance on age 7? At this age, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to not only evaluate those teeth that have already erupted but will also be able to evaluate the development of the other teeth and jaw. With this information, your orthodontist can construct a plan for your child’s treatment going forward.

What to Expect from the Initial Check-Up

Medical & Dental History

One of the first steps to an initial examination is a review of your child’s medical and dental history. Because your child is likely to have minimal history due to their age, expect your orthodontist to ask you about your history as well. They do this because in many cases, jaw problems such as over and underbites, as well as crowded or overly spaced teeth, can all be caused hereditarily. Ensuring your orthodontist has all this information is vital for them going into the examination, as they can better understand subtle problems that may pop up later in life as much bigger issues.

Examination & Imaging

During the initial check-up, you can also expect your orthodontist to go through an oral exam and get some x-rays of your child’s teeth and bite. Orthodontists are experienced in spotting problems early on. In some cases, you may not even realize that issues are arising, so having a professional take a detailed look in this way can save you time and money in the long run.

Possible Treatment Plans

Lastly, after discussing medical and dental history, and performing the initial exam and imaging, your orthodontist will consult you on possible treatment plans. In general, there are three things that will happen during this consultation. Your orthodontist may inform you that they believe treatment to be unwarranted for now, and ask you to schedule a follow-up, they may say that your child will need treatment, just not at this time, and lastly, they may suggest starting orthodontic treatment immediately.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Intervention

The benefits of early orthodontic intervention are vast. If caught early enough, some problems such as bite issues and crowded teeth can be corrected in less time and therefore, for cheaper than if they were caught later. It is in the best interest of everyone involved to at the very least consider early intervention.

Get Started with Early Orthodontic Intervention

In order to save yourself on some expenses as well as your child some treatment time, it is important that you get into your orthodontists’ office for that initial check-up as soon as you see possible issues arise, and no later than age 7. If you are in the Scotia, NY, area and looking for an experienced team of orthodontic professionals to handle your child’s treatment, contact the office of Hoskinson Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation!

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Smile

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Smile

Starting some new year’s resolutions is a great way to get yourself excited and motivated about reaching your goals for the year. If one of your goals is to get your teeth in better shape, molding some of your resolutions around your oral hygiene is a great place to start. From the fundamentals to more advanced ideas, Hoskinson Orthodontics is here with a few new year’s resolutions that you may be interested in.

If you are in the Scotia, NY area and looking for top-notch orthodontic treatment, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

Master Your Daily Routine

The first and most important thing you can do for your teeth is master your daily oral hygiene routine. That means brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. If you are in the middle of your orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, make sure you are flossing as much as you can and ensure to get between the brackets.

Flossing may be difficult and even feel like a nuisance from time to time, but it is drastically important to keep everything clean while you are undergoing treatment.

If you are already an avid brusher and flosser, consider adding some new steps to your routine. The occasional stick of sugar-free gum is great to keep your mouth fresh throughout the day and in between meals, and adding a mouthwash rinse to the start of your day can also help keep your breath fresh for longer. Another way to help keep your breath fresh is to use a tongue scraper.

Keep Up with Your Check Up’s

If you are currently being seen for ongoing or upcoming orthodontic treatment, make sure you keep up to date with your check-ups. Check-ups are your orthodontists’ opportunity to ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly. If something is out of place or moving in the wrong direction, during your check-ups, your orthodontist can spot and address these issues, saving you from further treatment down the road.

Keep a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is a great way to help you knock off a couple of resolutions. It may surprise you, but keeping a healthy diet can drastically affect your teeth’ health. Sugary and dark drinks such as soda, red wine, and coffee can degrade and stain your teeth, whereas plenty of foods actually acts in fortifying them.

According to the University of Illinois Chicago, a few of the best foods and drinks for your smile include high calcium foods like cheeses, yogurt, and milk. They also recommend drinking plenty of water, eating your daily recommended dose of leafy greens, and avoiding acidic foods.

Book an Appointment with Your Local Orthodontist

If you have been putting off getting orthodontic treatment, there is no better time to start than now! Many people are under the misconception that it is too late to receive treatment, but with recent advancements in orthodontic technology, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Between Invisalign and other treatment options, bettering your smile as an adult has never been easier. In Scotia, NY, Hoskinson Orthodontics has all the expertise and tools to help you through this process, so if you are in the area, contact us today for a consultation.

New Year, New Smile

Make this year the year of your teeth! By working towards these new years resolutions, you should see some of those results you have been looking for. Remember not to skip out on any of your appointments this year, keep a healthy diet, and make sure you stick to your daily routine.

From everyone here at Hoskinson Orthodontics, we wish you a very happy and healthy new year!

Caring for Your Braces During the Holidays

Caring for Your Braces During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. Between the lights, gift-giving, and family celebrations, there is a lot to look forward to. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the busyness that we all feel this time of year, however, it is still important to make sure you are taking care of yourself, including your braces. Hoskinson Orthodontics is here with a few helpful tricks and reminders to ensure that you and your braces have a very happy holiday season.

Read on to learn more, and if you are in the Scotia, NY, area and are looking for orthodontic treatment, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

The Basics

When it comes to your orthodontic health, it is imperative that you remember the basics. This solid foundation will keep your teeth bright and healthy year-round, but with all the eating and sweets that come with the holidays, it is even more critical this time of year.

Brushing and flossing twice daily will always be an important part of your day-to-day life, however, when you add orthodontics into the mix this becomes even more vital. Having a solid brushing and flossing routine will ensure that your braces are strong, clean, and healthy, and will cut out those emergency visits to your orthodontist to reattach a broken brace.

Tips & Tricks

Although brushing and flossing is the most important thing to remember for your orthodontic health this holiday season (and beyond), there are also some other things you can do that will help.


Many of us travel for the holidays, and packing can be extra stressful due to how busy transportation can get during the season. If you are traveling, along with all your normal toiletries, remember to always bring extra bands, wax, or anything else that you may need for your braces in a pinch. Remember, it is always better to have it, and not need it than need it and not have it!


Next to Thanksgiving, the winter holidays are the easiest to get carried away with our comfort foods. We are not saying to skip out on your holiday dinner, instead consider how you eat. Taking smaller bites is a great way to make sure the stress on your braces is minimized.

Things to Avoid

You hear it all the time, but making sure you are avoiding certain kinds of food is drastically essential for the health of your braces. As a good rule of thumb, popcorn as well as hard and sticky foods are the main culprits here. That includes hard candies, nuts, and even jerky. Keeping these out of your holiday diet will help you stay out of the orthodontist office this season.


Although it may seem like having braces means you can’t eat any of the things you enjoy, but there are plenty of delicious foods to indulge in this time of year. For example, soft-baked goods such as muffins, bread, and pies are perfectly fine to eat when you have braces, so if you are a dessert lover, feel free to dig in! (just make sure to keep up with your brushing!)

Make Sure to Enjoy

At the end of the day, your priority should be enjoying a safe and relaxing holiday season. After the stress and hard work of the past few years, we all deserve that. Of course, it is important to remember to keep your orthodontic health in check by avoiding hard-to-eat foods, and keeping up with your brushing and flossing routine. Ensuring your teeth and braces stay healthy this season will make starting the new year with a smile just a little easier.

From everyone at Hoskinson Orthodontics, we wish you a very happy holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

If you are in the Scotia, NY, area and are looking for high-quality orthodontic work, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today.

Celebrating National Orthodontic Health & Emotional Wellness Month

Celebrating National Orthodontic Health & Emotional Wellness Month

Your physical and emotional well-being don’t just go hand in hand ‒ they can also play off each other in ways that can be hard for people to identify.

Whether you’ve been dreading the shorter and darker days, the holidays, or the back-to-school grind, there is never a wrong time to do some self-evaluation.

This October, Hoskinson Orthodontics invites you to celebrate both National Orthodontic Health Month and Emotional Wellness Month together with us. We believe there are many ways to take stock of your orthodontic health and that there are many ways your emotional wellness can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your overall well-being.

Continue reading to learn more! What you find may surprise you. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in Schenectady County, contact us today.

Orthodontics & Mental Health

Although there are plenty of ways that crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can negatively affect your overall oral health, it is not the most significant selling point for orthodontic treatments. Instead, many people turn to orthodontics due to the way they view their own smiles.

Unfortunately, even if you follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation of twice-daily brushing and flossing to the letter, no amount of either of those activities will fix a crooked smile. This realization can cause feelings of frustration or even anger that has no direct or immediately visible outlet to offer catharsis.

The fact that, even though you had done everything right up to this point, you are still stuck needing orthodontic treatment will most likely sit wrong with most people, and it should. It is genuinely unfair and, at times, aggravating reality.

However, in our journey to becoming better, healthier people, it is crucial to consider what we are working towards to avoid losing sight of the end goal.

Keeping Everything In Check

Keeping a close eye on your overall health is a key factor in assuring a positive long-term outcome. As stated above, even the most unassuming actions and thoughts have a tendency to sneak up on you in ways you wouldn’t have imagined. In a different light, however, we may also use this to our advantage.

Hacking Your Brain Through Good Orthodontic Health

Imagine this: It is midway through your day, you run your tongue over your teeth and a realization hits you. You didn’t brush this morning.

It’s happened to all of us, and it’d be a safe bet to assume we all have the same kinds of reactions. Paranoia may set in and all you can think about is if the person you’re chatting with can smell your breath. You may feel embarrassed about how you could have overlooked such an important part of everybody’s morning routine. In that short, and, in the grand scheme of things, massively insignificant moment, you are now entirely too far in your own head.

Now yes, there are plenty of people who can brush off a moment like this, but if it’s already been a rough day, month, or year for you in regards to your emotional health, it can be hard to pull yourself out of that place.

If only you had just remembered to brush.

This is just one example of how establishing and maintaining strong oral health routines can have a positive impact on your emotional wellness. Not only do these routines help you avoid situations like the one listed above, but they also directly correlate to the way in which you view yourself and the quality of your overall self-esteem.

Self-Care & Orthodontic Health

You may be wondering, “Well, Hoskinson Orthodontics, if a straight smile can boost my emotional health and well-being, can I improve my smile by practicing more self-care?”

Of course, you can ‒ and there’s no better time than National Orthodontic Health Month and Emotional Wellness Month to understand the correlation between your smile and mental health.

Creating Positive Routines

Creating and maintaining positive routines is essential to ensuring your continued emotional and oral health.

One great way to do this is to set up a self-care routine. Self-care refers to anything that you do throughout the day to ensure and protect your continued happiness. You do this by doing things for yourself. This can be anything from taking a mental-health day from an overwhelming school or work schedule to treating yourself to your favorite meal or a day at the spa.

What is orthodontic and oral care if not a form of self-care then? In the moments throughout your routine that you address your orthodontic and oral health, you are not just encouraging long-lasting health benefits, although that is a plus. Through maintaining a self-care routine, you are also, with the right perspective, reminding yourself that your body is worth caring for, and being proud of.

The Benefits of Maintaining Routines

When you take time out of your day to do something solely for the good of yourself, you may find that some of the things that once took such a heavy toll on your mood begin having a smaller impact. The great thing about making these practices a dedicated routine is that this effect will compound on itself the longer you stick to it.

At the end of the day, understanding that you have the knowledge to not only take care of yourself but also to make yourself happy breeds confidence and self-assuredness. Much in the same way that that smile you’re working so hard on will someday do for you as well.

Orthodontics & Emotional Health: An Unlikely Duo

We should always be active and aware of our orthodontic health and emotional well-being. By viewing these seemingly unrelated things through such a wide lens, we can better understand how our smiles and emotional well-being affect one another.

Do you have a child who is ready for braces? Are you an adult looking for a reason to smile again? Hoskinson Orthodontics is here to help. We offer traditional braces and Invisalign for patients of any age in Scotia, NY, and the surrounding areas. If you think you could benefit from Orthodontic treatment, contact Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

From everyone here at Hoskinson Orthodontics, we wish you a happy National Orthodontic Health and Emotional Well-Being Month!

5 Myths & Facts About Orthodontic Care

5 Myths & Facts About Orthodontic Care

Myths are stories passed down across generations; grandmother to grandson, and subsequently every single one of grandson’s classmates. These tales create a fictitious narrative, which becomes widely understood and believed — this is why when we think of getting braces, or orthodontic treatment in general, cliché and outdated visuals likely come to mind.

It’s critical to consider how far the field of orthodontics has evolved and advanced. If you’re considering treatment, remember: these aren’t your grandmother’s braces.

At Hoskinson Orthodontics in Scotia, NY, we strive to keep patients informed about the innovative possibilities of today’s orthodontics. Let’s put these myths about orthodontic care to rest, so your smile can come to the surface!

Myth: Only Middle & High Schoolers Seek Orthodontic Treatment

Fact: Everyone Deserves the Benefits of a Confident Smile, No Matter Their Age!

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting 6th grade, graduating college, starting your career, working towards a promotion, or about to retire; it’s never too late to get a smile you love! When consulting with a patient, age isn’t a concern, nor is it considered. Our biggest priority is your overall oral health and your confidence — we’re here to help you achieve your goals, whether you’re 15 or 50!

While providing more expedient results to those in their adolescence (as their jawbones are still developing), there isn’t a point in one’s life where orthodontic treatment becomes ineffective — there’s never a time when braces won’t work. As we age, our teeth do too, creating concerns or reasons to strive for self-improvement.

If you’re an adult who wants a straighter smile, start by scheduling an appointment with us. After an initial exam and x-ray, Dr. Hoskinson will go over the results and help you make an informed decision about whether treatment is the right decision for you at this stage.

Myth: I Can Visit My Dentist for Orthodontic Treatment

Fact: A Trained Orthodontist Is Your Best Bet for Getting the Smile You Want!

While some general dentists offer orthodontic services to their patients with braces or Invisalign, only an experienced professional (like Dr. Hoskinson) has received additional years of training at an accredited residency and can provide the necessary level of treatment you need! Taking shortcuts could potentially cause permanent damage to your smile and mouth. It isn’t worth the risk!

Myth: Orthodontics Are Purely for Cosmetic Concerns

Fact: A Great Smile Is Just One Benefit!

Orthodontic care does much more than people give it credit for! Braces and other orthodontic treatments make it easier for people to chew, speak, and minimize the risk of developing gum diseases and decay. In addition, braces prevent wear of the teeth and prevent pain. While many seek treatment to feel better about their smile, orthodontics delivers perks you can see and feel.

Myth: Braces Are Attractive & Unappealing

Fact: Braces Today Are Far Less Noticeable & Far More Comfortable!

The 21st-century has seen plenty of innovation, and orthodontics is no exception. Today’s traditional metal braces have shifted in look and function — the brackets are much smaller, and the wiring is much thinner. Due to advancements, you can think of your braces as less of an appliance and more of an accessory.

Catering to the needs and goals of each specific patient, Hoskinson Orthodontics proudly offers a variety of orthodontic treatment options, including:

  • Wilson 3D® Mechanics are a group of prefabricated “fixed-removable” modules that can be interchangeable and provide movement such as arch development, single tooth movement, or maintenance for space.
  • Carriere® Motion 3D aligns the jaw and moves teeth into better positioning, making the straightening process more direct and quicker. Patients often choose aligners because there is no need for surgery, extractions, or ugly, bulky devices.
  • Invisalign offers all the features of braces without the appearance of an appliance. Virtually invisible, Invisalign has become the most popular method of straightening teeth.

Myth: Orthodontic Treatment Takes Too Much Money & Time

Fact: We Provide Efficient, Cost-Effective Care

Frequently, people put off orthodontic treatment because they feel as if they’ll be stuck with braces forever — but that isn’t the case! Depending on your situation, the process could take only a few months. While complex cases require more patience, Dr. Hoskinson strives to deliver exceptional results in the shortest amount of time.

Others may neglect orthodontic care because they don’t think getting the care they need is within their budget. At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we offer several options (such as payment plans and insurance/flex benefit) to help patients receive the excellent care they deserve. The total cost of treatment is dependent on a variety of factors, however, we’ll work with you to establish a payment option that works best for you and your family.

Myth: An Improved Smile Can Change Your Life

Fact: An Improved Smile Can Change Your Life

Now that we’ve proven that common misconceptions about orthodontic care are either outdated or incorrect, it’s time to take care of your smile. Experience the life-changing results of orthodontic care by scheduling an appointment at Hoskinson Orthodontics today!

Back-to-School Tips for Schenectady County Students

Back-to-School Tips for Schenectady County Students

Summer 2021 has been one for the books! Between National Ice Cream Month, the warmer weather, a reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions, and getting to see all of our patients’ bright and smiling faces, the Hoskinson Orthodontics team couldn’t have asked for a better summer.

With autumn right around the corner, we wanted to take the time to touch base with our young orthodontic patients and their families to discuss ways they can prepare for the upcoming school year. So, whether you’re a patient or a parent, let’s dive into the best back-to-school tips for Schenectady County students!

Taming the Back-to-School Jitters

Back-to-school jitters were common even before the COVID-19 pandemic. But after more than a year of jumping back-and-forth between in-person and virtual learning, many students have anxiety going into the new school year.

The uncertainty of what to expect this new school year is likely a main culprit behind the back-to-school jitters. Fortunately, there are ways students can alleviate some of their anxieties.

For parents, the first thing you should do is recognize and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Avoid asking leading questions like, “Are you nervous about returning to school?” You don’t want to belittle or minimize their anxieties, either. Acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that you will help them get through it.

If your child says, “I’m afraid to go back-to-school”, find common ground with them. Recognize and share your own fears, and model what they can do to positively cope. Then, introduce them to activities you both can do together to manage the anxiety.

Here are some ideas:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Taking a walk
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Journaling

Getting out in nature can also help your child calm down and better manage their anxiety. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities for Schenectady County students and their families to reconnect in nature. Cut down on screen time and make it a point to visit any of the area’s outdoor parks each week leading up to school. There’s Shenantaha Creek Park, Cohoes Falls Park, Central Park Rose Garden, and many more.

Set a New Back-to-School Routine

August is the best time to get your entire family back into a routine. That way, resuming all back-to-school activities and responsibilities will come as less of a shock to your child in the fall.

Here’s what your family’s back-to-school routine could look like:

  • Laying out clothes & packing school bags & lunch the night before.
  • Early bedtime at the same time every day.
  • Waking up at the same time every day.
  • Reading in the morning or going for a walk before school instead of watching TV.
  • Taking the family dog for a walk each evening after dinner.
  • Shutting off phones & tablets at the same time each night.
  • Reading before bed.

Getting your child accustomed to a back-to-school routine is all the more important if they’ll be attending online school this year. With virtual learning, the boundaries between home and school can easily become blurred. Virtual students tend to perform better when they stick to a balanced home learning routine.

Whether your child attends in-person or virtual school, creating a weekly schedule can also help them stay productive. Start by delegating weekly chores and knowing when after-school activities are taking place. This way you can schedule meals and homework time accordingly.

Each Saturday or Sunday, review how the week went with your child and brainstorm ways you can help them better manage their time.

Additional Back-to-School Tips

What are some other ways Schenectady County students can prepare for the new school year?

Start with your smile! After all, a healthy smile and good oral health mean better overall health. Schedule your family’s next visit to the dentist so everyone is up-to-date on their cleanings and check-ups. If your child has braces, make sure they understand how to brush and floss properly.

Coordinate healthier meals and incorporate more vegetables and calcium, protein-rich foods. Limit your family’s intake of sugar and substitute desserts for fruit and sugary drinks for fruit-infused water.

Is your child involved in after-school sports or high-impact activities? Whether they wear braces or not, talk to them about the importance of wearing a mouth guard. Nothing will put a damper on the new school year than broken teeth or an injury to the mouth.

Are You Ready to Go Back-to-School?

Even though summer is coming to an end, there’s a lot to look forward to in the year ahead! With these back-to-school tips, Schenectady County students will continually thrive and smile!

Hoskinson Orthodontics welcomes families throughout Schenectady County to get in touch with us to learn more about orthodontic care, braces, and how to achieve beautiful smiles for life. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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.

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






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

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