It’s Time to Smile
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.

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.


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.


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


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!

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.