Most people will do anything to get out of going to their orthodontist. However, only rarely does a healthy, beautiful smile happen all on its own. More often than not, you need to help to give you that million-dollar look— which means you do have to visit the experts.
Sadly, some discomfort can occur after an orthodontic appliance fitting and, to many people, especially children, this pain—or even the anticipation of that pain—will prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to having great teeth. It can cause them to skip appointments, to not wear their appliances at the right time, or to neglect their oral hygiene entirely, making orthodontic intervention less effective than it could be.
That’s why pain management is so important to us at Labbe Family Orthodontics. We want you and your children to have the very best teeth you could have. We want our patients to be informed, so they know exactly what to expect before, during, and after procedures. We want you to look forward to visiting us.
For some simple and effective ways to manage pain after an appliance fitting, read our infographic guide below. To put your smile in the hands of people who really care, call Labbe Family Orthodontics on (443) 603-3448 today.Click below to embed this infographic into your website:
Braces, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances are there to help you, but they do put you at risk for various oral health issues. That’s why, in addition to brushing properly, it’s important to use both mouthwash and floss. Orthodontic braces treatment will only be successful if you follow these oral hygiene practices.
Oral hygiene with braces is important because gingivitis, or gum disease, can occur. If too much plaque builds up, your gums will become irritated and infected. Decalcification of tooth enamel is another possibility. Plaque builds up when you eat, while acids produced by eating and drinking also help to decalcify tooth enamel, leaving white spots on teeth. Brushing your teeth is important but is not enough.
A mouth rinse after you brush and floss is a good idea. There are many over-the-counter and prescription products. These can reduce irritation caused by your orthodontic treatment and can alleviate gum inflammation. A good mouthwash can remove biofilm. If it contains fluoride, even better, but don’t rinse immediately after brushing because that will eliminate the concentrated fluoride in toothpaste before it has a chance to work.
After a fluoride rinse, wait 30 minutes to eat or drink. Also, it helps to choose a different time to use a mouthwash. Wait until after lunch or a time it’s easy to remember. There are also different kinds, including desensitizing, cosmetic, whitening, and anti-plaque mouthwash, depending on your needs.
Dental floss helps remove plaque and food between teeth. Regular flossing has other benefits as well, such as reducing bad breath and gum disease. If you have braces, flossing may be a challenge.
- Floss before you brush your teeth.
- Use waxed floss that won’t catch and shred.
- Take about 18 inches of dental floss.
- Thread it under the wire and pass it between your teeth.
- Gently move up and down, remove it, and repeat with the next pair of teeth.
- Use about 8-10 up and down strokes between each tooth.
Getting the floss under the wire can be tough. A floss threader can make this much easier. Ask your orthodontist for other options that can make flossing with braces simpler.
For the best results, floss before brushing. The debris you remove may still be on or near your teeth and gums. Brushing will remove it.
Get the Most Out of Your Orthodontic Care
Your orthodontic services professional may also recommend other techniques. A manual toothbrush may do fine, but remember to brush around every bracket and any other piece of hardware. Another option is a sonic toothbrush, but it should be used along with flossing to make sure all the plaque is removed. When brushing, remove bands and elastics and clean round all brackets and wires, moving from top to bottom. Make sure you reach every part of each tooth.
At Labbe Family Orthodontics, everyone is treated like family. With us, you have a local orthodontist specializing in all types of orthodontic services in Annapolis, Gambrills, Bowie, and Greenbelt, Maryland. Call us at 443-603-3448 today to schedule an appointment.
If you start to notice your teeth shifting positions over time, you’re not alone. Changes in teeth alignment are common and happen for any number of reasons, ranging from sleep position to age. Though the causes may vary, you don’t need to be alarmed. A qualified orthodontist can help you find the best method to straighten your teeth.
Shifting Under Pressure
People often cause teeth to shift by applying consistent gentle pressure over a long period of time. Many do not even realize they’re doing it. Sleeping on your stomach with your face in a pillow applies enough pressure to nudge teeth out of position. The changes may be gradual enough that, one day, you notice a slight overlap that wasn’t there before.
Resting your face on your hand, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding are other habits that can cause enough pressure to move teeth. Becoming aware of the habit that’s causing your teeth to change positions can help you identify ways to prevent further movement. Fall asleep on your back at night and maintain good posture during the day so you don’t rest your face in your hands. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding may require the help of an orthodontist, but you can take steps to prevent further changes.
Changes in Position After Orthodontic Work
Consistent pressure isn’t the only reason your teeth might be shifting. If you’ve had orthodontic work in the past and didn’t wear retainers correctly or long enough, you may notice shifting teeth. Like other alignment issues, you have options like Invisalign, ceramic braces, clear braces, or traditional braces.
While many people think the wisdom teeth cause this type of overcrowding, research suggests that wisdom teeth and overcrowding are not related. Dr. Jay Friedman , who conducted a study on third molars, states “Third molars do not possess sufficient force to move other teeth. They cannot cause crowding and overlapping of the incisors.”
Mesial drift is the term used to describe the gradual shift of the teeth toward the center of the face. Theories abound as to why this age-related change occurs. Some believe it’s a survival mechanism that dates back to when people only lived to the age of 40 years old. In this case, the teeth needed to move in toward the face to replace teeth that had fallen out from use or decay. With longer life expectancies and better dental care, this is rarely a problem today.
Most people notice overcrowding of the lower front teeth the most, but mesial drift takes place in the upper teeth as well. Overcrowded teeth, whether from mesial drift, pressure, or lack of care after orthodontic work, are at higher risk for periodontal disease and cavities.
A Smile That Makes You Proud
It doesn’t matter whether the changes in your smile stem from age or habits; they can be fixed. At Labbe Family Orthodontics, we treat you like family. We want to work with you to meet your goals while helping you find the right treatment for your lifestyle. Call us today at 443-603-3448 to set up an appointment.
Getting the smile you deserve is possible with Invisalign if you have gaps in between teeth or crooked teeth. There are several things you need to do to determine whether Invisalign is right for you ahead of time. The best place to start is with a smile assessment at one of our family orthodontic office locations in Maryland.
Before Treatment Processes
During your smile assessment, your orthodontist will discuss your objectives. At this visit, a treatment plan will be created to fit your needs. It will outline an approximate timeframe to achieve your goals.
You will also have an impression of your teeth taken, either using conventional methods or using newer digital technologies. The impression will be used to create your custom aligners you will wear throughout your Invisalign treatment.
During Treatment Procedures
Once you start your Invisalign treatment, it is essential you follow your orthodontist’s recommendations and requirements for a successful outcome. Part of these requirements will include:
- Wearing your aligners around the clock with some exceptions, like when you eat, drink, or snack.
- Brushing and flossing your teeth after eating or drinking and before putting the aligners back in your mouth.
- Switching to a new set of aligners every two weeks during treatment.
- Remembering to save your old set of aligners in case of an accident.
- Remembering to clean your aligners using the appropriate methods, which your orthodontist will show you how to do.
- Not skipping any follow-up appointments during your treatment. These appointments help ensure your treatment is progressing correctly.
- Notifying your orthodontist if your current set of aligners gets damaged, lost, or broken.
- Not drinking alcohol or smoking while the aligners are in your mouth.
After Treatment Processes
Once you achieve the desired straightness level, there are some after-care processes you will want to follow to avoid your teeth regressing. You should visit your orthodontist as recommended to verify the teeth have remained in their proper positions.
In addition, your orthodontist will prescribe a retainer for you to wear to help keep your teeth in the desired location. The retainer may have to be worn for around the clock the first few months, just like your aligners. Later, you will only need to wear the retainer in the evening and while you sleep.
It is important to keep in mind that retainers will wear out and need to be replaced periodically. If you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth could slowly start to regress and move. As such, most people make wearing a retainer a part of their normal oral home care to maintain the beautiful smile they just worked so hard to achieve.
To learn more about Invisalign and to find out whether this treatment is right for you, please feel free to contact Labbe Family Orthodontics at (443) 603-3448 today!
We treat our current and new patients like family and go above and beyond to make sure your visits are fun, relaxing, and memorable. We also offer a wide array of amenities to help pass the time, like free Wi-Fi, game rooms, coffee bar and refreshment area, photo booth props, patient rewards, and more!
Many people across the country visit their local orthodontist complaining of jaw pain, stiffness, and trouble opening their mouths. Here at our Maryland family orthodontic practice , we see it all the time. People often refer to it as “TMJ.”
In reality, it’s not one problem, but many different conditions. Collectively called temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJD), or simply temporomandibular disorders (TMD), these afflictions of the jaw and face can range from mildly annoying to seriously disruptive.
But What Is It?
The temporomandibular joints connect your lower jaw (the mandible) to the bone that’s located at the side of your head (the temporal bone). Together with your muscles, ligaments, and discs they help you open and close your mouth. Every time you speak, eat, or yawn, you’re using the TM joints.
TMJD or TMD occurs when the joints or surrounding structures fail to work properly. The result can range from jaw or facial pain to a “catching” or popping feeling, to limited range of motion and even locking of the jaw.
Who’s at Risk?
The National Institute of Health reports that between five and 10 percent of the population suffers from temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder. All told, the condition may affect up to 10 million Americans .
That being said, it doesn’t affect the population equally. According to the available statistics, women are more likely (up to two times more likely) to suffer from TMD than men. It’s also more common among younger people (those between the ages of 20 and 40).
What Causes TMD or TMJ?
As of yet, no one knows what causes jaw pain and dysfunction. Any number of underlying conditions may be responsible. These include:
- Displaced discs
- Dislocated jaw
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Stress that leads to muscle tightness
- Injury to the jaw, head, or neck
Although many people believe braces contribute to TMD, that’s most likely a myth. The truth is that no one knows the root cause. Since women tend to experience jaw and facial pain at a higher rate than men, researchers have even suggested that hormones might play a role.
What Are the Symptoms?
TMJ often causes:
- Pain or discomfort in the face, jaw, and/or neck
- Stiffness in the muscles of the jaw
- Locking of the jaws
- Limited motion in the jaw
- Painful popping or clicking when opening the mouth
- Bite misalignments
- Painful or difficult chewing
- Facial swelling
- Headaches, neck aches, or toothaches
- Earaches or hearing loss
How Do You Know if You Have TMD?
Your orthodontist will examine your TM joints and ask you if you’re experiencing any pain or tenderness in the area. Then he’ll test your jaw to see the range of motion and to listen for any locking or popping noises. Finally, your bite will be examined. In some cases, the orthodontist may order panoramic x-rays in order to uncover the root of the problem.
What Treatments Are Recommended?
In many cases, the problem disappears on its own after a short period of time. Others experience persistent pain and difficulty. Unfortunately, the temporomandibular joints are the most complicated joints in your body. They both hinge and slide. In addition, they’re made up of unique tissues. Combine that with the unknown origin of TMJ, and deciding on a course of treatment can be difficult.
To prevent any further damage, most doctors opt for a conservative approach. They often advise people to:
- Eat soft foods
- Apply ice packs
- Reduce stress
- Avoid large jaw movements
- Practice jaw exercises
Where Should You Go for Diagnosis and Treatment?
Whenever you’re dealing with a condition like TMJ, you should seek out the best orthodontist in your area. If you live in Maryland, be sure to visit Labbe Family Orthodontics . With offices in Annapolis, Crofton/Gambrills, Bowie, and Greenbelt, it’s easy to find an orthodontist near you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment, because life is better with a pain-free smile!
Few orthodontists are equipped with their own 3D printers. Even fewer manage to make fixing teeth a fun experience. At Labbe Family Orthodontics, you get the best of both worlds: great attitude and the latest technology.
“I have wanted to be an orthodontist since I was in 8th grade,” says Dr. Labbe. His youthful passion shows through every time a patient steps into his office.
Once a teacher and staff member at Prince George’s Hospital, Labbe now devotes his time to his local Maryland orthodontic practice, which serves both children and adults with the same level of buoyant enthusiasm.
Recognized as one of North America’s top 125 orthodontic practices by The Schulman Group, Labbe Family Orthodontics has grown impressively since its founding over four decades ago. It now boasts four locations around Maryland—in Annapolis, Crofton, Bowie, and Greenbelt.
If you really want to be impressed, though, step into any of one of Labbe’s four offices. There you’ll see all the latest gizmos, such as ITero scanners that send intra-oral scans directly to an in-house lab where a 3D printer is waiting to create high-quality models.
It’s that kind of dedication to state-of-the-art orthodontic care that makes Labbe one of the best orthodontists in the country and, also, one of the top one percent of Invisalign providers in the nation.
One thing is clear: Labbe and his staff may take great joy in their work, but they also take their smiles very seriously.
The Psychological Effects of Smiling & Why It’s Good for Your Health!
Many people seeking orthodontic services focus on the physical integrity and alignment of their teeth. However, visiting the orthodontist can have effects that go far beyond your oral health — it can transform your smile. Decades of psychological research suggest that smiles are more powerful than we think; they have even been called the window to your soul. Transforming your smile by visiting your family orthodontic practice can have enormous benefits for your emotional and psychological health.
Psychological Effects of Smiling
Only a fraction of the information we communicate comes through our spoken words. Our facial expressions
convey a large amount of information. Perhaps no facial expression is more potent at conveying our psychological state than a smile. Consider how smiling can affect you psychologically, as well as how investing in orthodontics can make you a more confident and happy person.
1. Smiling boosts your mood.
The relationship between facial expression and mood is complex. When we feel good, we naturally feel the urge to smile. However, scientific research suggests that the reverse is also true — smiling actually boosts your mood! When you smile, your body sends signals to your brain telling it, “I must be happy right now.” This leads to a cascade of neurochemical events that make you feel happier, which explains why the simple act of smiling is such a mood booster when we’re feeling down.
2. When smiling, you can “fake it ‘til you make it.”
A smile does not need to be completely genuine to boost your mood. In fact, you can “fake it ‘til you make it.” Psychologists discovered this through a simple experiment. They asked one group of people to bite a pencil between their teeth, which automatically draws one’s face into a smile-like expression. Another group was asked to purse their lips around the pencil, simulating a frown. The people simulating a smile reported more positive feelings than the people who were “frowning.” So, next time you feel distressed, put a smile on your face for an instant pick-me-up.
3. Smiling lowers your stress levels.
When the muscles of your face contract to form a smile, your brain receives signals in its reward center. In turn, the brain releases chemicals known as endorphins. These brain chemicals are the same ones that get released during a “runner’s high.” Endorphins lower our stress levels and bring feelings of euphoria.
4. A smile makes you more attractive.
We interpret a lot of information from a smile. Psychologists have found that people who smile are perceived as more personable and easygoing than those who have neutral expressions. Therefore, a smile may make you more physically attractive to others.
5. Smiles project confidence.
The next time you are in a high-pressure situation, remember that you have a secret weapon: your smile. Imagine you are interviewing for a new job. Walking in with a smile on your face shows that you are relaxed, competent, and confident in your skills. A neutral or nervous expression, however, can convey the opposite: you are anxious about your ability to succeed.
6. Smiling is contagious.
Smiles evolved as a way for us to communicate with one another. You may have noticed that when you come across someone with a wide, happy smile, you find yourself involuntarily smiling in return. This is due to a type of brain cell known as mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are active when we perform a specific action as well as when we see other people doing the same action.
Active mirror neurons mean that smiles are actually contagious! As a result, smiling not only makes you feel better, but it also boosts the moods of those around you. This cascade of effects can help you surround yourself with happier, more positive people. If this sounds like the type of positive energy you want to bring into the world, get yourself to the closest orthodontist right away!
7. Smiling boosts creative activity.
When you’re feeling a mental block, see if a smile can help. Psychologists from the University of California, San Francisco have found that happiness (which is triggered by smiling) is associated with creativity and better problem solving.
How Orthodontic Services Can Transform Your Smile
The best way to gain the psychological benefits of smiling is to “just do it!” However, many people feel embarrassed about their crooked or unattractive teeth. Investing in a smile that makes you feel more confident will pay major psychological dividends.
If you feel self-conscious about your smile, you may be closing yourself off from joy. Finding the best orthodontist in your area is easy; just contact Labbe Family Orthodontics! After achieving the smile of your dreams, you will find yourself feeling more confident and happier than ever before. Contact Labbe Family Orthodontics today to learn how we can help you transform your smile — and your life!
Dental health knowledge is growing and options to improve smiles have advanced. People are starting to care more about the health of their teeth than ever before. They are concerned with how their teeth appear and how to keep them healthy — and braces can play a big part in both.
But for some of us, the thought of going to the orthodontist causes a severe case of anxiety. So much so that the condition has a name: odontophobia. Fortunately, orthodontists have ways of making their treatments more bearable, comfortable and pleasant!
Prevalence and Consequences of Patients with Dental Phobia
Not many people look forward to sitting in the orthodontic office, and some patients have an actual phobia of it. Children are more prone to anxiety while at the orthodontist, but adults can suffer from this anxiety as well. Getting braces often comes with feelings of fear about the unknown.
Just how problematic is odontophobia? Severe anxiety prevents many Americans from scheduling an orthodontic appointment and getting the right preventative care their teeth and gums need. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that over 28 percent of the total respondents had a dental fear of some sort, and over 36 percent of them hadn’t been to the dentist in over a year.
The consequences of this lack of preventative care go much deeper than tooth pain and lost teeth. Studies are now linking gum disease to certain illnesses like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Reasons for Orthodontic Phobia
For some people, getting braces already feels like a laborious task. After all, you have to wear an apparatus over your teeth, be cautious of eating certain foods, and clean and maintain your aligners.
All in all, here are the most common reasons people fear orthodontic procedures.
- Trouble breathing through the nose
- Scary dental equipment noises
- Getting a tooth pulled
- Sensitive gag reflex
- Fear of the unknown
Getting Over Your Orthodontic Phobia
Both you and your orthodontist can use techniques to help with your orthodontic phobia.
What your orthodontist does
Since compassionate oral care professionals, such as the experts at Labbe Family Orthodontics, understand that dental phobia is a real issue and have techniques for dealing with your fear. Speaking about your phobia with your orthodontist ahead of time may help.
The best orthodontist implements simple techniques to help you feel more in control. Some of these techniques include the following:
- Explaining to you what you’ll feel and for how long.
- Regularly asking for your permission to continue.
- Providing you with the opportunity to take a break from the procedure if you feel uncomfortable.
During your consultation, your orthodontist will talk with you about what to expect—they won’t wait until you’re already in the dental chair. Once the procedure begins, he or she will continually ask you how you’re doing and if you’re comfortable.
What you can do
There are things you can do too to combat your dental anxiety while in the orthodontic practice chair. For instance, you can try the following:
- Refrain from over-thinking. In most cases, a visit to your orthodontist isn’t nearly as painful as you anticipate it will be. Patients often state that during their most dreaded procedures, like getting their braces tightened, they expected way more pain than they actually experienced.
- Admit your fear. You are not alone in your fear of the orthodontist . It’s quite common. Once you realize that you’re not alone with your phobia, the situation becomes easier to take on. Admitting your fear about getting braces on your teeth or about any other dental procedure is perfectly normal and encouraged.
- Ask your orthodontist for a play-by-play. To overcome your anxiety, have your orthodontist sit down with you and give you a step-by-step play of the procedure, so you’ll be mentally prepared for your appointment. Knowing ahead of time what to expect can provide you with some comfort.
- Distract yourself. Find something to distract yourself while you’re in the orthodontist’s chair. Bring along your headphones and listen to some of your favorite music. Many orthodontists have TVs in their treatment room to help distract their patients.
- Relax. There are many relaxation techniques you can try. Controlled breathing is a good relaxation technique to help you overcome your anxiety. Practice taking a deep breath, holding it for a few seconds, and then letting it out slowly. Think of how a leaky tire lets out air. Controlled breathing slows your heartbeat and relaxes your muscles.
No matter how brave you are, getting braces at a family orthodontics practice can be frightening. Just remember the reason you’re getting them and the huge improvements they provide for your teeth. Braces not only improve your smile but also boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Give your closest orthodontist, Labbe Family Orthodontics, a call at 443-603-3448 to set up your initial consultation and discuss ways to overcome your orthodontic phobia. At Labbe Family Orthodontics, patient care is our number one priority and we promise to treat you like family .
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