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What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

January 21st, 2020

A popular option for straightening teeth at Grace Kerr Orthodontics, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At Grace Kerr Orthodontics, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Cincinnati office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Cincinnati office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

Adults and Braces

January 14th, 2020

Braces aren’t just for kids. Many grownups are taking advantage of orthodontic treatment and having their teeth straightened at a later age.

Sometimes, patients include adults who already had braces in the past, but their teeth shifted over time once they stopped wearing their retainers. In other cases, adults who have never had braces are tired of having crooked teeth and ready to invest in a beautiful smile.

Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking to straighten your teeth with braces, Drs. Kerr and Levy would love to help you with this process. Having a dazzling smile can increase your confidence in all areas of your life!

Depending on what you’re willing to spend and how quickly you would like to complete the process, you have various options for getting braces. We all know what traditional metal braces look like. This is a less-expensive route for individuals who have severely crooked or displaced teeth. However, many adults avoid option because the braces are noticeable or distracting in a professional atmosphere.

For people concerned about aesthetics, clear ceramic braces may be a preferable option. This type can still fix extremely crooked teeth or jaw alignment issues. It may be slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces. Patients who choose this treatment route need to be careful not to stain the clear adhesives by drinking too much coffee, red wine, soda, or other beverages that can discolor teeth.

Another great option for adults who don’t want to have visible braces is a clear aligner treatment known as Invisalign®. This popular option differs from traditional braces by featuring a series of clear aligners that are each custom-made for your teeth.

The entire process can take anywhere from three to 18 months to straighten your teeth completely. This may not be the best choice for patients who have an overcrowded mouth or extreme bite issues. Invisalign is often the most expensive option, but it’s great if you’re concerned about your appearance while your teeth are being straightened.

If you’ve been thinking about straightening your teeth with the help of braces, don’t hesitate to contact our Cincinnati office to set up a consultation. From there, Drs. Kerr and Levy can figure out the best course of treatment, depending on your budget and overall needs.

Adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and finally give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Tooth Protection and Winter Sports

January 7th, 2020

Just because it’s cold out there doesn’t mean you’ll give up keeping fit and active! Winter is the season for some of our favorite team sporting activities, and when you’re donning your protective gear, don’t forget to protect your teeth as well.

  • Basketball

This sport actually tallies one of the highest counts of dental injuries. Running, jumping, and diving for the ball on an unforgiving court can lead to tooth and jaw injuries.  And for every ten men on the floor, it seems like there at least 50 flailing elbows in the paint.

  • Hockey

Notorious for the toll it takes on teeth, hockey is a game of sticks, ice, and whizzing pucks. And when your sport’s penalties include the terms hooking, slashing, and tripping, the more protection, the better.

  • Skiing

When you are flying down the slopes, combining powdery snow and speed, mouth protection is a good idea. This also applies to snowboarding and other snow sports.

  • Wrestling

Grappling and pinning in close quarters can lead to unintended injuries after accidental contact with the mat or your opponent.

Different uniforms, different equipment, and different playing fields, but all these sports have one thing in common—the easiest way to protect your teeth while playing them is with a mouth guard.

Mouthguards generally come in three forms:

  • Over the counter, ready-made appliances. These are available in drugstores and sporting goods stores, but might not be a comfortable fit as they are pre-formed sizes.
  • The “boil-and-bite” option is a mouthguard form placed in hot water. You then bite down to shape it to your mouth and teeth.
  • Custom mouthguards can be fabricated just for you through our Cincinnati office. These appliances are designed to fit your individual mouth and teeth, so provide a better fit and better protection. They are also usually more durable and more comfortable. If you wear braces, you definitely need a custom mouthguard to prevent an injury to your mouth or braces caused by an ill-fitting appliance.

Whether you play on a team or pursue individual athletic activities, keeping safe as you keep fit is your first priority. We would be happy to discuss your mouthguard options for any sport, any time of year.

Signs That a Child is Suffering From Sleep Apnea

January 6th, 2020

Does your child seem drowsy during the day? Does he or she snore or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? They could have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) - a chronic condition where breathing stops periodically during sleep because soft tissue is relaxing and obstructing the airway. These periodic stops can happen as many as 20-30 times in an hour and cause a lack of oxygen to the brain, waking up your child so that they restart proper breathing. All that waking up can leave one pretty sleepy the next day - even if they don’t remember waking up! 

Untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can affect school work and overall alertness as well as raise your child’s risk of serious health problems down the road. These include: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Obesity
  • and even Depression

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ENTs) sleep disordered breathing affects approximately 12 percent of children. 

Luckily, sleep apnea is easily treatable. It just needs to be diagnosed. That’s where you come in: if your child has any of the following symptoms, bring them to see us for a free consultation and sleep apnea test at Grace Kerr Orthodontics. 

Here’s what to look for: 

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping (tossing and turning or night sweats)
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Long pauses in breathing
  • Chronic mouth breathing during sleep
  • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
  • Changes in mood, misbehaviour or decline in school performance
  • Hyperactivity or inattention (in some cases children who are diagnosed with ADHD are actually not hyperactive but rather are showing the clinical symptoms of OSA.

Orthodontists are leading specialists in spotting Sleep Apnea early because of our familiarity and expertise in working with the soft tissue in children’s mouths. As both an Orthodontist and parent, Dr. Grace Kerr makes a point of asking all parents if they’ve noticed any of these symptoms when they first consult with new patients. 

If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, bring them in for a free consultation and at home sleep test. We can help with a treatment plan and make sure your kids are sleeping soundly! 

While Sleep Apnea can have very serious side effects, it’s very easily treatable. The most important thing you can do is pay attention and have your child evaluated. 

Click below to schedule a consultation.  

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