Case Orthodontics

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

 

Aside from fall festivals and Trick-or-Treating, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month – a time to refocus on healthy oral hygiene habits, as individuals, and as families. A great way to implement healthy dental hygiene in your kids is to practice these good habits as a family! Case Orthodontics in the Charlotte, North Carolina area has gathered a list of 4 healthy routines to focus on: brushing, flossing, chewing, and rinsing.

Brushing

As a family, you’ve probably talked to your child about the importance of regular brushing, but it’s important to talk about the way to brush teeth. Bad brushing habits can be harmful to teeth in the long run, even if you can’t see the immediate effects. Even as parents, this aspect of teeth brushing can be overlooked. Follow these tips:

 

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Use short strokes in back and forth motion
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can linger there and ensure fresh breath
  • Never brush too hard – this can cause enamel to wear down over time

Flossing

Flossing may be the hardest part of oral hygiene to practice, simply because it’s easy to forget about. Flossing helps to remove bits of food that can linger in between and behind teeth, and just a toothbrush won’t always remove them. If these food particles are not removed, this leads to the buildup of plaque, and cavities will form. A good tip for flossing is trying to first implement flossing at the end of the day before bed. Try flossing as a family and teach your smaller children the best way to floss.  To remind your family to floss, try setting dental floss out on your nightstand or bathroom sink.

If your child wears braces, it is even more important to floss to remove food particles. Waxed floss is best to move easier around braces. Your Charlotte orthodontist or dental hygienist can show your child the best way to floss with braces.

 

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of your dental hygiene. Obviously, what you chew has a big effect on your teeth. It’s important to stay away from foods that are too hard or crunchy, as this can chip teeth. Additionally, you want to avoid acidic foods that can wear down your enamel over time.  There is something you can chew, though – sugarless gum. According to MouthHealthy.org, chewing sugarless gum can provide great benefits to your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food debris and can neutralize acids in the mouth caused by bacteria. Additionally, saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. Look for sugarless gum with the American Dental Association Seal to be sure it’s safe to chew.

Rinsing

Rinsing with a cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash can further help with excellent oral hygiene by improving bad breath and killing bacteria. Killing bacteria helps to prevent bad breath, plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If you have concerns about what types of mouthwash to use, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Additionally, use a child’s mouthwash if you have small children. Using a mouthwash is another way your family can practice good dental care together.

At Case Orthodontics, we believe good dental hygiene is essential to overall health and help improve orthodontics care. We offer child and adult orthodontic treatment as well as braces and Invisalign. We serve the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

The Consequences of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural tendency for babies and young children, it helps them to feel comforted and nurtured. However, if thumb sucking continues for too long, it can cause damage in the long run to teeth and mouths. So what are the exact consequences of thumb sucking, and how can you help your child to quit the habit at an appropriate age?

Babies are born with a natural tendency to suck on something – one way they first explore the world is by putting objects in their mouth. This urge should decrease after the first couple months of life, but some babies will suck on their thumbs or fingers in an effort to calm themselves in certain situations when they feel anxious or restless, or when they are attempting to go to sleep. It is recommended that thumb sucking, including the use of a pacifier, stop at least by the age of 3. After this age, if thumb sucking continues, it can impact the development of your child’s teeth.

Thumb sucking or using a pacifier can ruin the alignment of the teeth once they have started to develop, resulting in the need for dental and orthodontic work that can become costly. An overbite or an underbite can also start to develop, as well as jawbone alignment issues. Bite and jaw alignment issues can result in headaches, pain when eating, and can also be the cause of teeth grinding at night, which wears the teeth down over time. Improper tooth alignment and bite issues can also cause speech impediments over time. Additionally, thumb sucking can cause the roof of your child’s mouth to become more sensitive, making it less enjoyable to eat certain foods.

Another reason your child should get out of the habit of thumb sucking is they are spreading germs and bacteria to the rest of their body. Children at this age likely don’t yet understand the importance of good hygiene, and they likely aren’t always keeping their hands very clean. When they are sucking their thumb for extended periods of time, they are putting countless bacteria into their body which can lead to them getting sick more often.

So what can you do to encourage your child to stop thumb sucking or using a pacifier? One approach is to simply teach them the importance of quitting thumb sucking along with the downsides of continuing to suck their thumbs. You can also help your child quit thumb sucking at night by putting socks over their hands at bedtime to prevent the natural tendency.

Another solution is to implement a rewards chart so your child can see their progress and feel good about not sucking their thumb. A positive attitude will encourage your child more and can also help with anxiety that could be a cause of their thumb sucking. It’s equally important not to scold your child about sucking their thumb, as this can create a negative attitude and stress that could encourage the tendency even more.

If your child is around 2 years of age or so, thumb sucking and continued use of a pacifier is completely normal. As they approach 3 years old, be thinking of slowly weaning them off a pacifier and start thinking about ways you can peacefully encourage thumb sucking and pacifier use to stop.

Talk to your child orthodontist if thumb sucking continues to be an habit for your 4 or 5 year old. They can provide further solutions and advice to encourage your child to quit, as well as address any development issues that may be present as a result of thumb sucking.

Contact us at Case Orthodontics in Charlotte, North Carolina for early orthodontic treatment for your child. Some of our services include phase 1 and phase 2 orthodontics for children, as well as adult treatment. Our doctors take great pride in helping your child realize the best version of their smile!

 

Case Orthodontics

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

 

Because a healthy smile leads to overall wellness, it’s important to make a habit of taking your child to the dentist at a very young age. Aside from general dental care, it’s also important that your child has a orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. While your child may not have a serious need for braces, getting a check-up at this age will help determine if your child does need orthodontic work in the future, as well as help correct any other issues early on. This early orthodontic work is also known as Phase 1 Orthodontics and can help lead to easier orthodontic work and a healthy smile in the future.

 

Phase 1 Orthodontics or interceptive orthodontics describes the treatment your child receives around the age of 8 or 9 while there are still baby teeth present. During Phase 1, jaw growth and alignment is supported and more space is created to allow for erupting teeth to come through. This is sometimes done with spacers, which are bands placed in the mouth to prevent any overcrowding. This helps prevent having teeth to be pulled to make room in the mouth. If the teeth are too crowded, this can cause occasional or frequent headaches, tooth pain, and can lead to tooth decay.

 

Correcting jaw alignment at an early age can prevent things like jaw surgery that may need to be done to make sure that the jaw and teeth are properly aligned. This also helps with correcting bite issues such as an overbite or underbite and can also  help with the symmetry of the face. Because the jaw bones are fully fused by around the age of 8, this early evaluation by an orthodontist is essential. If not corrected, overbites and underbites, also called malocclusions, can lead to jaw pain, tooth decay, headaches,  and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, which inhibits the movement of the lower jaw.

 

There are several benefits of receiving Phase 1 ortho which include decreasing the amount of time that your child has to wear braces, among others. If these early steps are completed when the permanent teeth haven’t fully come in yet, getting orthodontic treatment such as braces will be a much easier process. When the teeth are essentially prepped during Phase 1, this can decrease the time that your child will need to wear braces and other orthodontic treatment can be less invasive and less expensive, saving you time and money.

 

Phase 1 orthodontics will give your child an easier and faster process to a more beautiful smile. When it comes to your child’s smile, it’s best to plan ahead.

 

At Case Orthodontics, we offer Phase 1 Orthodontics so your child can receive early interceptive treatment. We additionally offer Phase 2 Orthodontics for your child between the ages of 11 and 15. Because tooth alignment can change at any age, we also offer orthodontic treatment for adults. Schedule an appointment at our Charlotte, North Carolina office for an evaluation and start on your child on their path to a straighter and healthier smile!

 

Meet Dr. Chip Case!

Just like Dr. Lindsey Koerich,Dr. Chip Case is proud to be in his hometown of Charlotte where he has been practicing since 1983, providing the best orthodontic care at Case Orthodontics. His greatest joy in the orthodontic practice is the relationships he gets to build with patients and seeing the growth they undergo in their smile and self confidence. In order for you to get to know your Charlotte orthodontist a little better, we sat down to ask him a few questions about himself.

Dr. Chip Case Headshot

Dr. Case completed his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and then stayed at UNC-CH to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree with Honors. He then received a Master of Science degree in Orthodontics while winning a prestigious research award. Because of his care for patients, Dr. Case dedicates much of his time to learning about the latest Orthodontic advancements, leading him to be the first orthodontist in North Carolina to be certified by Invisalign®. Dr. Case has also held roles in several dental associations including a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) and a case review consultant in orthodontics with the North Carolina Board of Examiners. He was tested and awarded Board Certification by the ABO – a level of certification attained by only a select number of orthodontists. In addition to these organizations, he is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists, World Federation of Orthodontists, North Carolina Dental Society, and Charlotte Dental Society.

 

Dr. Case loves being a part of the Charlotte community and giving back locally while not in the office.  He sings in his local church choir and participates in charitable dental organizations. Additionally, he devotes his time globally by participating in mission trips. His hobbies include watching college football and nascar races, traveling, and creating videos for his friends and family. He is married to Lori Wilson Case and has two daughters.

 

Check out our interview with Dr. Case!

Q: What drew you to orthodontics, and what is the most rewarding part of your job? How did you decide on becoming an orthodontist?
A: “Developing relationships with the patients I treat, and individually helping them develop better smiles and self images.”

 

Q: What do you like most about working with Dr. Lindsey?
A: “Dr. Lindsey is very smart, kind, and brings a newer perspective to orthodontic practice.”

 

Q: What do you want to be remembered for?
A: “I want to hear Jesus say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

 

Q: If you weren’t an orthodontist, what career path would you have chosen?
A: “OBGYN”

 

Q: How do you spend your time outside the office?
A: “Church, ministry, travel, golf, amateur videographer.”

 

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for patients?
A: “Trust your orthodontist.”

 

Dr. Case loves treating and getting to know his patients, and he’d love to meet you! Case Orthodontics offers a wide variety of orthodontic treatments such as affordable braces and Invisalign®. We love being a part of the Charlotte orthodontics community, and we’d love for you to join our family at Case Orthodontics! Learn more about the services we offer to see which one fits your needs best. You can start your treatment by scheduling an appointment online, or giving us a call!

Meet Dr. Lindsey!

For Dr. Lindsey, Charlotte, NC is more than just where her job is, it’s home. Dr. Lindsey loves getting to meet all of the patients that come to Case Orthodontics to get their braces and Invisalign for the first time. Many patients that come into the office don’t get the chance to ask Dr. Lindsey about herself. One of her favorite parts of working with patients is getting to hear about their lives and seeing them as they progress through their treatment. Now, it’s your turn to get the inside scoop on Dr. Lindsey’s background! We sat down with Dr. Lindsey to let you get to know her a little better — both inside and outside of the office. Dr. Lindsey Koerich Headshot

Dr. Lindsey grew up in the Granite Falls/Hickory area of North Carolina and went to college, dental school, and did her orthodontic residency at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors and distinction. She also completed a residency program in general dentistry at Columbia University. Dr. Lindsey worked for several years in Charlotte, NC before temporarily relocating to Richmond, Virginia for her husband’s dental education. She then came back to the Charlotte orthodontic community to practice with Dr. Chip Case.

Q: What drew you to orthodontics? How did you decide on becoming an orthodontist?
There is both a great deal of art and engineering involved with Orthodontics. I have always loved to work with my hands, from doing little crafts as a child to painting and other work as an adult. The sciences have always been my favorite subject in school, so the fact that Orthodontics allows both to be combined made it a perfect choice for me. It was an easy decision after I got a chance to do a braces treatment for a patient while still in dental school and got to see the smile that we created for her! She was so happy. Seeing someone smile on the first day that they get to see the smile that always wanted never, ever gets old. Best job ever!

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Hands down getting the chance to be a part of our patients’ lives. It is so fun to hear from them on a regular basis while they are in their treatment, and celebrate victories big and small in their lives.

Q: What do you like most about working with Dr. Case?
Dr. Case is an easy going guy whose morals always lead him to put our patients’ best interests as our #1 priority. Don’t let his friendly, laid back personality fool you though; he is very smart, talented, and a hard worker, too!

Q: What do you want to be remembered for?
As the doctor in you or your child’s life who takes the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions (and provide a beautiful smile for you!). I hope I come across as friendly, supportive, and on your team.

Q: If you weren’t an orthodontist, what career path would you have chosen?
I love architecture and interior design; something in a creative field.

Q: How do you spend your time outside of the office?
My husband and I have two little children, and we love to spend time with them at any of the fun places that Charlotte has to offer. When we have a little extra time, I love to travel (favorite past trips would be the south of France and Brazil, where my husband is from.)

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for patients?
Wear your rubber bands and you’ll always get finished with your braces earlier than if you don’t! And, you will be amazed at what you can achieve in life if you believe in yourself!

Dr. Lindsey loves treating and getting to know her patients, and she’d loved to meet you! Case Orthodontics offers a wide variety of orthodontic treatments, such as affordable braces and Invisalign. You can start your treatment by scheduling an appointment online, or by calling us.

Adults Get Braces too!

I know you’re probably thinking, “Hmm, I am way too old for braces!” Or you might ask, “Why now?” Well, let’s look at some benefits of getting braces as an adult.

Your Health

Do you suffer from headaches, earaches, or any gastrointestinal problems? These symptoms can caused from not chewing properly due to malocclusion. Malocclusion is dental terminology for “incorrect bite”. When you have misaligned teeth, you have an increased chance of plaque and food buildup between your teeth. This means you have the potential to get periodontal disease or gum disease. You can also possibly avoid tooth decay, bone loss, and TMJ/TMD pain.

Affordable

Good news! Here at Case Orthodontics, we offer all in house financing so there are never any interest charges! We also offer flexible payment plans and accept almost all insurances. Most dental insurance plans cover part of the cost of treatment.

They’re Clear

Maybe you work in a field that requires you to talk often or constantly meet new people so you don’t feel comfortable wearing braces. Well, fortunately, braces have come a long way; in fact they are nearly invisible. Another great development for teeth that is popular with adults is Invisalign. These clear, removable, plastic aligners are worn over the teeth and do not require any metal or wires. You are custom fitted for clear trays that will leave you with no food restrictions, and you’ll be able to brush and floss like you normally would.

Tips for brushing with braces

The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces, and over time, turn into plaque. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result.

You want to make sure that when you have braces you use a tooth brush with soft bristles and toothpaste with fluoride. When you brush, you will move the toothbrush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under the gum line as well as on the surface of your teeth. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces and the surface of each tooth. It is important that you brush with soft bristle tooth brush because if using bristles that are too rough on your gums can cause damage to your gum line resulting in gum recession. Brushing your teeth should take at least 2-3 minutes.

If you currently have braces you should be brushing your teeth at least three times a day:

  1. In the morning after breakfast
  2. After lunch or right after school
  3. Before you go to bed

It’s no secret that having good hygiene with braces can be time consuming, so it is important that you allow yourself enough time each day to complete the proper hygiene steps to ensure a clean and healthy smile!

How long do I Have to Wear Retainers?

DO I REALLY HAVE TO WEAR THEM FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?

Glad you asked!

This question is asked quite frequently, so we thought we would answer.

Here at Case Orthodontics, when you are issued your initial set of retainers we advise all patients to wear their retainer’s full time. Full time means at least 20 hours a day for three months. After your teeth have had time to stabilize, we advise to wear your retainers at night. We suggest at least a year of continuous retainer wear after that, wearing the retainer 3-5 times a week for life.

No matter what treatment option you choose to go with, you will always need retainers.

It is important to wear your retainer because as your body grows, your teeth do some shifting. The purpose of the retainer is to control the shifting which occurs naturally. Without consistent wear for the rest of your life, you risk the chance of your teeth returning to their pre-orthodontic position. Teeth are not static. They are active, always moving, and they will continue to move and shift even though you’ve had braces or invisalign. If your teeth ever hurt when putting your retainers in or at any time when you are wearing them, that is your first caution sign that your teeth are trying to move and you should wear them more frequently. Adult patients usually sleep with their retainers on for the rest of their lives, if they want their teeth in perfect alignment.

Your initial retainers can last anywhere from 2-10 years depending on how well you take care of them. If your retainer has been broken or lost make sure to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to replace!

Always remember, going a period of time without wearing your retainers can result in teeth shifting. Retainers may not seem like fun, but hey! It’s better than braces, right?

Invisalign® vs. Traditional Braces

Many people have this question come to mind after they make the step to pursue orthodontic treatment:

“Do I choose Invisalign or traditional braces”? HELP!

First, let’s start by understanding exactly what the differences between the two are.

When someone mentions braces, a lot of people refer back to when they were younger and remember the “train track” and painful experience. It’s important to recognize that today’s braces are less noticeable, have the option of being clear, and are more comfortable; just to name a few!

Having braces on your teeth means that you have a bracket attached to each tooth, along with one arch wire that extends through each tooth.

Choosing Invisalign allows you to straighten teeth without wires and brackets that are associated with traditional braces, making it a more “clearer” option.

Invisalign® uses removable, clear aligners to correct your misaligned teeth.

Each set of aligners gently guides the teeth into place and is worn for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next in the series. You can remove your aligners for eating and when you brush and floss your teeth. The removable design enables you to eliminate harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums. This reduces your risk of tooth decay and other potentially harmful dental issues.

Both treatment options Invisalign® and Traditional braces have their pros and cons.

Invisalign is not for everyone. It requires you wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day, which is the reason it is recommended for teens and adults. Also, there are a few corrections that are not available with invisalign. Dr. Case will be sure to advise the patient whether he or she is a candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Always seek the advice of an Orthodontist before choosing. Whichever treatment option you choose, the result will almost always be the same. It will provide you with straight aligned teeth that can transform your appearance and over all oral heath!

How long should orthodontic treatment take?

“My coworker only had braces for 6 months…” “My son had to have them for 2 years…” It’s important to understand that treatment time varies on a case-by-case basis. People pursue orthodontics for several reasons that you may not be aware of, hence one reason for the different treatment times. Anytime you see advertisements for “6 month braces” let that be a warning sign. Short treatment like this typically only allows for minimal changes and is not a long-term solution. Six months is not enough time to move the teeth along with their roots into the right place. There are procedures for moving teeth faster; however you will want to get all the information you can about what exactly that will involve. Twenty-four months can seem like a long time, but rather than the newer “fast” approaches, this is commonly safer and more accurate.

Another thing to take into consideration is that there can always be different phases of treatment. Simple straightening of the teeth at a young age can be completed in a shorter amount of time. It is more than likely not a long term solution and is for minimal changes such as to boost self-confidence or for several different reasons.

The average treatment time for a teen or adult is 24 months. Actual treatment time is affected by development and severity of the correction necessary and most importantly patient compliance. Keeping your regular scheduled appointments is imperative to staying on track with your treatment time. You want to also keep up good oral hygiene and follow closely to any instructions that are given by your Orthodontist.

As always, consult with your orthodontic specialist to get your answers based on his or her evaluation of your specific needs.

Contact your Charlotte orthodontist about saving time during your orthodontic treatment. Ask about AcceleDent to improve the pace and effectiveness of your orthodontics.

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