An orthodontic band is made of stainless steel and wraps entirely around a tooth. Bands may be used only on back teeth or can part of a full set of metal braces. They provide a very durable and solid connection point for major corrections and headgear.
Bands are often used as part of orthodontic services for those who need to close significant gaps or re-align the bite. Other candidates for orthodontic bands include:
• Adults whose teeth move less easily
• Contact or team sports participants
• Children whose teeth are not fully grown
• People with large fillings
What Are the Advantages of Dental Bands for Braces?
Orthodontic bands are stronger than bonded brackets and have a lesser chance of becoming loose. They allow orthodontic treatment to progress faster and straighten teeth more effectively for some people. While clear ceramic brackets are less visible, they can be used in combination to keep an almost invisible appearance on the front teeth while leveraging strong support in the back.
The Band Fitting Process
The orthodontic care process for installing fitted bands consists of two appointments. A dental impression of your teeth might be made to determine sizing. At the first appointment, spacers are inserted to create a gap, which allows the bands to be fitted and secured at the second appointment.
The process goes like this:
• Your orthodontist will insert elastic separators between the teeth, which will receive bands and determine general sizing.
• A week or so between the appointments allows the teeth to move apart slightly. Avoid flossing and eating sticky foods during this time.
• The separators are removed at the next appointment. The bands are tested for size and adjusted as needed. When the fit is perfect, your teeth are polished and the bands are secured with dental adhesive.
• The bands stay in place for the duration of your orthodontic treatment, connected with wire and/or brackets, creating the gradual movement that straightens your teeth.
How to Care for Your Orthodontic Bands
Orthodontic bands on teeth are very secure, but they are not permanent. They can become loose if too much pressure is placed on the tooth. Because bands completely surround the tooth, brushing and flossing are especially important to prevent decay.
These tips will help keep your bands secure:
• Avoid biting down on ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy.
• Stop chewing pens and pencils.
• Stay away from sticky caramels, chewing gum, and toffee.
• Use a night guard if you grind your teeth at night.
• Avoid whitening toothpaste, which may leave dark spots on bands and brackets.
• Call your orthodontist immediately if a band becomes loose or slips off.
Banding Together for Better Smiles
When you need orthodontist information you can trust, visit with us at Labbe Family Orthodontics. Our caring team has expert experience and a compassionate touch. We treat you like one of the family, and we can’t wait to help you choose the best braces for you and your loved ones—because life is better with a smile!
Give us a call today in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, or Greenbelt, and let’s start banding together!
You already know you smile if you feel happy, but did you know that smiling can actually make you feel happy, too? Psychologists have tested this theory and found that subjects who smiled more, even inadvertently, felt happier than subjects who frowned. Every time you smile, the brain interprets it as getting an award.
Smiling also releases three types of “feel-good” chemicals— endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Each of these acts on the “happy” parts of the brain, allowing you to feel more relaxed and less anxious. It’s also pretty good for your heart and blood pressure.
Smiles are always better when they are delivered with straight teeth. Of course, straight teeth offer many more advantages than just a pleasant smile.
If you don’t have a smile you like, visit Labbe Family Orthodontics. They offer many ways to straighten your teeth, including ceramic braces, Invisalign, and even surgical orthodontics. To find out more information about the benefits of smiling and getting your dream smile, read the following infographic.Click below to embed this infographic into your website:
There are many reasons to seek orthodontic care, including the numerous health benefits of a properly aligned bite, enhanced non-verbal communication, and increased confidence. Planning ahead by finding the best dental insurance policy to help cover the costs will allow you to choose the best orthodontist and the best braces available for your family.
When Will My Child Need Braces?
When deciding how soon to have your child seen by a pediatric orthodontist, consider the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists, who advise the first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. Whether the goal is to straighten your teeth or correct the bite, the earlier the better, especially if family history suggests that there may be issues.
Some insurance policies will not cover orthodontic care that has already started. Knowing that orthodontic care is in your family’s future will give you time to save for this investment and upgrade your dental insurance.
Your child should be evaluated as early as possible if they:
• have teeth that are coming in tipped, overlapping, or rotated.
• have a noticeable overbite or underbite.
• use a pacifier or suck their thumb after age 5.
Comparing Dental Insurance and Orthodontic Coverage Options
Navigating the sometimes-confusing world of insurance coverage for braces can be a challenge. Knowing what to ask and where to find the answers is half the battle.
If you have dental insurance through work, you may start with your HR benefits advisor. If you are directly purchasing dental insurance, your agent will be able to answer these questions:
Does this plan cover orthodontic care and what are the limitations?
Some plans may not cover orthodontic treatment unless it is medically necessary. Many plans provide coverage, but a yearly or even a lifetime limit is common. If coverage that pays a significant percentage without an upper limit is available to you, that is likely the best option.
Can I use a Flex Plan or Health Savings Account to pay for orthodontic care?
Many plans allow you to use pre-tax dollars to save for upcoming expenses, which can be a great way to prepare for your out-of-pocket orthodontic expenses.
Does my dental plan cover braces for adults?
Some policies limit orthodontic benefits to patients 18 or younger. There are supplemental policies which do cover adults, so make sure you have adult coverage if you need it.
Is coverage provided as a percentage or a fixed co-pay?
If you have a managed care plan, you may need to find an orthodontist within the approved network. You may have a co-pay responsibility with or without an annual or lifetime limit.
Are invisible braces covered by my dental policy?
Top orthodontists recommend clear, invisible, or ceramic braces to their patients when appropriate. Some policies limit which types of braces are covered, so make sure to ask if your policy covers options like Invisalign.
Helping Healthy Smiles Fit Your Budget
No matter the challenges, a caring orthodontic office will do everything possible to help you afford the best care for your family, from working with your insurance company to providing affordable financing options. We want nothing to stand in the way, because life is better with a smile!
Consider and compare your options when choosing your dental plan, and when choosing a nearby orthodontist in the Annapolis area. Just as all plans are not created equal, not every team will treat you like family the way we do at Labbe Family Orthodontics. Before you pick an “orthodontist near me” you find online, stop by our office and meet the best orthodontist for you, your family, and all their bright future smiles.
Many people associate orthodontic treatment with only a means to fix crooked teeth. True, orthodontic care can correct crowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and crossbites through a variety of means. Traditional braces and newer alternatives may be used.
Straighter teeth, however, can mean your teeth are easier to clean, allowing you to better tend to dental hygiene on a daily basis. They also make it easier to:
• Chew: A misaligned bite can make chewing inefficient and difficult; it might even be hard to eat altogether.
• Speak: Crooked teeth and misalignments can result in various speech problems that are hard to control without orthodontic treatment.
• Be confident: Straighter teeth mean a more desirable appearance, and your self-confidence many improve in social situations.
Straight teeth can be good for your oral health, eating and speaking ability, confidence, and even your career. After all, success in the job market typically depends on self-confidence and a great smile.
Orthodontists have many ways to move teeth into the correct places. Newer treatments can get the job done faster and achieve results with less pain and discomfort. Learn more about the benefits of correcting crooked teeth with Labbe Family Orthodontics below.Click below to embed this infographic into your website:
Protruding front teeth, also known as “buck teeth,” are a common problem which can cause young people to hide their smile. It is important to find an orthodontist who can provide early treatment to prevent schoolyard bullying and the other negative impacts of this condition.
Choosing the best braces and the right time to begin treatment will boost confidence, prevent injuries, and improve overall health. Let’s find out what causes this condition and how braces can correct it.
What Causes Buck Teeth?
Protruding front teeth can be caused by bone structure or dental issues, and they may be made worse by certain activities. Some of the primary buck teeth causes include:
• Genetics. This is a hereditary condition that probably runs in the family. This means it cannot be prevented, but it can be made worse by other factors.
• Jaw Growth Rate. During rapid growth spurts, the upper jaw advances over the lower teeth. The misaligned molars may provide further pressure on the front teeth, moving them forward.
• Large Teeth. Sometimes the front teeth are larger than normal, causing the appearance of protrusion, when, in fact, the bite is fairly well-aligned.
• Thumb-Sucking and Pacifier Use. After the permanent teeth appear, these childhood habits can change tooth positions and jaw alignment.
• Jaw Clenching and Tooth Grinding. The grinding pressure of these unconscious habits may crack teeth, change how the teeth come together, or provide pressure that pushes the front teeth forward.
• Tongue Thrusting. This is another habitual behavior where the tongue pushes against the front teeth when swallowing, gradually moving them forward from constant repetition.
What Problems Do Buck Teeth Cause?
The best orthodontist advice is usually to correct protruding front teeth early to avoid issues such as:
• A greater risk of breaking the front teeth during sports or play.
• Breathing difficulties and headaches.
• Problems chewing and subsequent issues with digestion.
• Bullying and the stress associated with it.
• Changes to speech and pronunciation, which may also result in teasing.
• Excessive tooth wear and decay.
At What Age Should You Get Braces for Buck Teeth?
The ideal time to begin protruding front teeth correction may be when children are 7-11 years old, as part of a two-phase treatment plan. A single phase plan might start at 12-16 years of age.1
While starting treatment early has been shown to reduce the chances of damage to the front teeth,1 teens and even adults can get braces to correct buck teeth and other serious bite problems. It is never too late to decide life is better with a smile!
Should You Fix Your Own Buck Teeth?
While browsing online to see examples of protruding teeth before and after braces, you may come across some at-home remedies and do-it-yourself ideas to fix buck teeth. Please don’t try these! Orthodontics is the science of moving teeth and bone. There is no safe replacement for expert care from an orthodontist who treats you like family.
Is It Just a Phase?
When children have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, it may be hard to tell if they will grow in to those two front teeth. If you have concerns, find an orthodontist to evaluate your child’s maturing smile and put those worries to rest.
At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we look forward to your first consultation and can help you decide if this is the right time for braces. We may be your nearest orthodontist with offices in Annapolis, Crofton/Gambrills, Bowie, and Greenbelt. Visit with us to find out why we are the best!
There’s nothing more exciting than knowing you’re about to get your braces off. Whether it’s been months, or even years, chances are you’re close to the finish line and that perfect smile is shining through.
Here are some fun ways you can count down to the date when you’re braces-free:
Use an App
These days, there’s an app for everything. Downloading a countdown app to keep track of the days until your braces come off is a fun and interesting way to keep tabs on your progress. Certain apps may also allow you to set the countdown as your mobile background or create a countdown banner that you can add to your social media profile.
Create a Selfie Journal
Taking selfies is a great way to see steady changes and track improvements in your smile. By keeping a journal of pictures, you can easily look back and see just how much your smile has changed.
Because you may not see progress as quickly as you want, taking photos will also help you stay motivated, especially as you see your teeth start to align and straighten.
And if any of your friends have teen braces, let them join in on the fun as well!
Wearing braces for months (or even years) is a huge achievement! When you reach those special milestones, make sure to treat yourself to something nice. Whether it’s a pedicure, a new outfit, or maybe even a braces-friendly sweet treat, you’ve earned it.
By celebrating milestones, your orthodontic journey will go by much quicker, and give you a date to look forward to!
A Caring Kids Orthodontist Office
At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we treat our patients like family – especially when it comes to orthodontics for children. For many younger kids and teenagers, the idea of having braces can be a little nerve-racking. At our orthodontics offices, we put a little fun into wearing teen braces by encouraging our patients to use a countdown, celebrate milestones, and treat themselves to make the process is a little more enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a pediatric orthodontist in your area, look no further than Labbe Family Orthodontics. We specialize in braces for children, ceramic braces, and other teeth straightening services to give you the smile of your dreams.
Call our office today at (410) 267-7300 to schedule an appointment.
Most people wish they were born with perfectly straight teeth. Sadly, few are. The majority of people have some form of overcrowding or misalignment, and most of them have visited their nearest orthodontist to improve the look of their smile.
But, why? What causes crooked teeth in adults? Can you prevent adult teeth from developing misalignments? Are crooked teeth genetic? Here are a few basic facts about oral health and some tips on how to prevent crooked teeth.
Having crooked teeth runs in families. That’s because genetics can affect:
• The size of the jaw: If people have small jaws, their teeth will compete for space inside the mouth. As a result, they begin to overlap, resulting in noticeably crooked teeth. If the jaw is too large, the teeth may not fill the entire mouth. The resulting gaps can cause teeth to shift position.
• The size of the teeth: Some teeth are bigger than others. Those born with oversized teeth may experience greater crowding while those with smaller teeth may notice gaps in their mouth.
• The number of teeth: The average adult has 28 teeth, but some have as many as 32, depending on whether the wisdom teeth are present. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth erupting can overcrowd the mouth and move the teeth alignment – one of the main reasons dentists and orthodontists encourage wisdom teeth removal.
Bright Smile Tip!
People can’t change their genes, but they can visit an orthodontist, who can come up with strategies for clearing space, closing gaps, and aligning teeth. The most common method for correcting overcrowding is to straighten adult teeth with braces.
Premature Loss of Baby Teeth
Babies get their first teeth between the ages of six months and one year. Called primary teeth, they’re space holders for the bigger, permanent set of teeth that will grow in when a child is about three years old.
If a primary tooth falls out early, either because of injury, decay, or natural loss, the other teeth may shift in order to fill the empty space. When the permanent tooth does replace the baby tooth, it may move from its normal position and grow in crooked.
Bright Smile Tip!
If a primary tooth falls out early, an orthodontist can insert a device called a space maintainer, which fills the spot left by the lost tooth to ensure that the permanent tooth grows in with proper alignment.
In some cases, it’s best to wait until the permanent teeth replace the baby teeth and then rely on braces to fix the problem. Either way, it’s good for parents to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist as early as possible, preferably before all of their child’s permanent teeth develop, or, at the very least, before they fall out.
Genes and luck account for most cases of crooked teeth, but behavior is also to blame. If children suck their thumbs, breathe through their mouths, grind their teeth, or press their tongues against their mouths, they may move their teeth out of alignment.
Bright Smile Tip!
On the bright side, it’s fairly easy to correct the bad habits that lead to crooked teeth. It’s important to avoid bad habits while the adult teeth are growing in. They haven’t yet settled into position, which makes them more susceptible to pressure.
Life Is Better with a Smile!
Preventing and correcting crooked teeth takes time and a good plan, but, with the help of a great orthodontist, it’s easy to do.
The best orthodontists not only use the latest tools and techniques, they take the time to examine each patient carefully. They want to know why someone’s teeth are misaligned and how they’re likely to develop over time.
As soon as the orthodontist identifies the underlying causes, he or she can create a personalized strategy that addresses a patient’s specific problems, whether that includes traditional braces, Invisalign, retainers, or space maintainers.
At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we go a step further. We treat each of our patients like family. Schedule an appointment today to find out why so many people leave our office flashing a great big, beautiful smile!
If you have recently become engaged, best wishes from our team! At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we treat our patients like our family, and, of course, we want to help you look your best on your special day and treasure your wedding photos and video for years to come.
If you have always wished for straighter teeth and have some concerns about smiling your widest for those photos, there is almost certainly time to improve the appearance of your smile with the wide variety of choices for teeth straightening available. Your Invisalign orthodontist can recommend the fastest options available to accomplish amazing results before you walk down the aisle.
It Is Not Too Late to Straighten Your Teeth
Of those wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances in the United States, 20% are adults.1 You may not have noticed this growing trend because orthodontic technology has improved to the point that adult braces and teeth-straightening aligners are almost barely noticeable.
Teeth Straightening Choices for Brides to Be
There are a variety of choices which are less noticeable than traditional metal braces, and very effective for adults. Based on your unique needs, your local orthodontist might recommend:
These virtually invisible trays straighten your teeth without permanent orthodontic hardware like brackets or wires. Invisalign works quickly and allows your natural teeth to shine through.
• Ceramic Braces
If Invisalign is not the right choice, ceramic braces may be the answer. They utilize clear or tooth-colored materials to blend in with the natural color of your teeth.
Is There Enough Time Before the Wedding to Straighten Your Teeth?
If your engagement will be six months or longer, there is time to make a noticeable difference in your smile. Most engagements allow a little more time—12 to 18 months will allow adequate time to complete most treatments before the big day. The type of braces an orthodontist chooses will depend on the time you have available.
This Is Not the Time to Do It Yourself
There is a recent fad being promoted by social media of using a variety of at-home methods to straighten your own teeth. A consumer alert has been issued warning of the “substantial risk for irreparable damage” these techniques present.2 The practice of dental orthodontics should be left to the experts. You should only straighten your teeth under professional supervision.
Beautiful Brides with Braces
Maybe your wedding is coming up sooner than your orthodontic treatment can be completed, but the appearance of braces in your wedding photos can be minimized. Alert your orthodontist, who will adjust your treatment plan with that goal in mind. Transitioning to the Invisalign option will allow you to temporarily remove your braces for the wedding.
Orthodontic Care for Special Occasions and Everyday Health
Family orthodontics involves more than just straightening teeth. The benefits of correcting crowded or overlapping teeth and bite issues (malocclusions) include preventing decay and gum disease, reducing pain, and improving swallowing or speech difficulties.
If you are interested in an evaluation by one of our Invisalign orthodontists for your wedding day or your everyday smile, call for a free consultation now. With offices in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton/Gambrills, and Greenbelt, whether we are the closest orthodontist or not, we promise a family-friendly experience and a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Ceramic braces have advanced significantly in the few decades they have been in use. This approach offers similar results to metal braces, with a more visually appealing appearance. Using clear or tooth-colored brackets allows the same bite-correcting power as traditional braces with less visible metal.
Of the more than four million people currently wearing braces in the United States,1 many are choosing this option. The best orthodontist for your family will base his or her recommendation on the issues to be corrected, the age of the patient, and individual preferences or needs.
Being confident you are taking advantage of the most advanced orthodontic treatments available will make you smile wider—and life is better with a smile! Ceramic braces are available at all of our Labbe Family Orthodontics locations, so let’s explore this exciting option.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
These braces have brackets and wires just like traditional braces, but they make use of modern materials to allow them to blend in with your smile. The brackets are clear or colored to match your teeth, allowing ceramic braces with white wire to become almost invisible.
This technology corrects more severe bite alignment issues than Invisalign or other clear tray methods, taking advantage of the firmly affixed brackets and guiding wires to achieve amazing results. Ceramic braces may also be used on just the front-facing top teeth, in combination with metal braces on the less visible lower and back teeth.
Will Ceramic Braces Become Discolored or Stained?
There are a number of ceramic braces reviews which mention an issue with staining. The earliest types of ceramic braces did tend to stain, but improvements to the technology have greatly reduced this concern. With proper care, staining should not be an issue.
Are Ceramic Braces the Best Choice for You?
After a free consultation, our orthodontists will guide you in choosing the best braces for your individual needs. When considering ceramic braces vs. metal, these may be the key factors:
• Age. Ceramic braces are most often recommended for teens and adults.
• Involvement in sports. Metal braces are still the pinnacle of durability, and they may be recommended for those engaging in contact sports.
• Mouth sensitivity. Some patients report more irritation from metal braces, while others report the same issue with ceramic. Individual sensitivities may guide the decision.
• Cost. Ceramic braces are somewhat more expensive than traditional metal braces.
• Degree of correction needed. While ceramic braces are almost as strong as their steel counterparts, metal might be required to correct certain conditions.
There are very few disadvantages of ceramic braces vs. metal, and both work by the same principles, allowing effective correction of most orthodontic issues. The increased cosmetic appeal of ceramic braces may be the deciding factor.
More Clear Advantages from Labbe Family Orthodontics
When you come by and visit at one of our four Maryland locations, you can trust us to treat you like family. We strive to make your visit pleasant and fun, and we offer accelerated treatment plans that feature ceramic braces and other smile-enhancing solutions.
With offices in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton/Gambrills, and Greenbelt, we might be the nearest orthodontist, as well as the best! Call today to set up your free consultation, learn more about your options, and start sharing your best smile sooner than you may think.
The versatility of invisible braces, provided and installed by an Invisalign orthodontist, continues to grow in popularity, allowing more patients to achieve a straighter smile without permanent orthodontic hardware. With the use of attachments, buttons, and elastic, a broader range of conditions can be corrected using this popular Invisalign system.
An evaluation by one of our expert orthodontists will reveal if you are a candidate for the use of attachments, setting you on the path to a healthy smile and proper bite alignment. To better understand the use of these tools, let’s define the terminology and explore the benefits of combining attachment technology with the Invisalign retainer system.
What Are Invisalign Attachments?
As part of your treatment plan, small dots of dental bonding material may be applied to the surface of your teeth using a template. These attachments fit securely into the Invisalign aligner trays and keep certain teeth stationary or provide a leverage point for movement.
Your plan might also make use of Invisalign buttons, which provide a place to attach elastics. These buttons are small plastic or metal brackets which serve as anchor and leverage points to increase tooth moving power.
There is no drilling involved and, after treatment, the buttons can be removed, and the attachments can be cleanly polished off. All attachments are of tooth-colored material to maintain the almost invisible quality of Invisalign braces.
Who Needs Attachments?
Certain types of reparative movement are difficult to attain with aligners alone. By adding attachments, more patients can take advantage of their orthodontist’s Invisalign technology. Using the attachments to grip a tooth firmly, more serious malocclusions can be corrected.
This combination of methods not only creates straighter teeth, but allows for better bite alignment, and ultimately a more beautiful smile. Consistently wearing your retainer for the recommended amount of time after treatment will be key in maintaining long-term results. Consistency and commitment are especially important when choosing Invisalign for teens.
Are Invisalign Buttons and Attachments Noticeable?
Because the attachments are made of material designed to match your natural tooth color, they blend into your smile seamlessly. Similarly, buttons are not likely to be set on front teeth and are thus barely noticeable in your smile.
What Extra Care Is Needed?
• Remove Regularly. The attachments will purposefully improve the fit of the aligner, causing it to fit more snugly. This means they will require more effort to remove. A special tool may be needed to pop off the aligner.
• Brush Well. The buttons and attachments unfortunately provide a place for food to lodge, and hot liquids like tea might stain the attachments. Take extra care when brushing your teeth before replacing your retainer.
• Wear Consistently. The importance of adhering to the recommended wearing times cannot be overstated. Having the ability to remove your aligner is a plus for many, but also enhances the possibility of leaving it behind or forgetting to put it back in.
Invisalign Treatment with Labbe Family Orthodontics
Our dedicated teams in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, and Greenbelt are highly skilled Invisalign orthodontists who can bring the latest in attachment technology to your treatment plan. Even if you’ve been told in the past that Invisalign is not for you, schedule a consultation with us and let us find the right solution for your smile.
We take pride in providing you and your family with the best possible experience in orthodontic care. Life is better with a smile! Give us a call or fill in our contact form today to feel the difference for yourself.