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Summer Newsletter 2021

July 28th, 2021

Office fun over the last month

April 3rd, 2021

Spring is bringing out some fun at the office! We dressed up for St. Patty's Day, played some pranks on April Fool's Day, dressed up the office for Easter, AND we celebrated Red Sox Opening Day 9even though it was postponed due to weather)! Happy Spring Everyone


Seven Common Questions Parents Have About Orthodontic Treatment

March 12th, 2021

Today, nearly four million children in the United States and Canada are receiving treatment from members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). And while parents know that orthodontic treatment results in a healthy, beautiful smile, many don’t realize the important long-term health benefits.

As part of its commitment to education, the AAO provides parents with this list of answers to commonly asked questions about orthodontic care.

1.    Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A: Straight teeth and properly aligned jaws contribute to good dental health as well as overall physical health. Orthodontic treatment can boost a person’s self-image as teeth, lips and jaws move into position and improve appearance.

2.    How do parents know if their child needs orthodontic treatment?
A: The best way is to visit an orthodontist. The AAO recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age seven.

3.    What if my child still has baby teeth at age seven? Should they still see an orthodontist?
A:  Yes.  By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for orthodontists to evaluate how the teeth and jaws meet, and to identify current or developing problems.  If a problem is detected, the orthodontist and parents can discuss when treatment may be necessary.

4.    How does a child’s growth affect orthodontic treatment?
A: Treatment and growth often compliment each other. In some cases, the orthodontist takes advantage of a child’s growth to guide jaws and teeth into their ideal positions.

5.    How often do you visit your orthodontist while in orthodontic treatment?
A: Typically a child will see the orthodontist every 6-12 weeks throughout the course of treatment.

6.    If you currently don’t have an orthodontist, what is the best way to find someone to treat orthodontic problems?
A: To find an orthodontist near you, ask for a referral from your family dentist, your pediatrician or your child’s school nurse. Or you can visit www.braces.org and click on the Find an Orthodontist service. It is important to choose an orthodontist who is a member of the AAO.  Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.  Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the AAO.

7.    What is the average cost of orthodontic treatment?
A: Fees will vary, depending on the treatment needed.  Most orthodontists offer convenient payment plans, making treatment more affordable than ever.  Most orthodontists will work with you to find a plan that fits your family budget.  In addition, many patients have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits. Check with your employer’s human resources department to learn about your coverage.

7 and up

February 16th, 2021

Did you know that in addition to getting her Doctorate in Dental Medicine, Dr. Hughes attained a Masters in Education? Her love of teaching and educating her patients is important and that is why we are starting a new awareness campaign called 7 and up. Lakewood Park Orthodontics is committed to the overall health and wellness of your children and we feel that this information is vital. According the American Association of Orthodontists, children should start seeing an orthodontist for evaluations no later than age seven.

While this may sound young, some children can significantly benefit from early intervention with orthodontic treatment.  Dr. Hughes can detect subtle problems early on to determine the best time to start orthodontic treatment. This ensures in some cases less time in braces as a teen, possible prevention of surgery or extraction of permanent teeth and developing the best smile possible. You can rest assured that Dr. Hughes is known to be conservative in treatment and would only treat your child with early orthodontic care if necessary so as to prevent serious bite problems that can affect jaw growth and tooth development.

Here are the main eight problems that Dr. Hughes will evaluate for to determine if early treatment is needed. This list is supported by the American Association of Orthodontists:

  • Crossbite of the front teeth: can lead to gum recession and enamel loss
  • Crossbite of the back teeth: Can lead to asymmetric jaw growth and significant wear of teeth
  • Severe crowding: Can lead to early loss of a baby teeth or significant challenges in proper brushing. In some cases early care can eliminate the need to extract adult teeth as a teen
  • Open bite: Often due to finger habits (thumb sucking or tongue habits) can lead to improper jaw growth, tooth development, speech issues and chewing difficulties.
  • Protruding front teeth: Can increase the risk of trauma, tooth loss and fractured front teeth
  • Ectopic Eruption: This is the improper eruption of a permanent tooth which can lead to impactions (requiring surgery) or early loss of baby teeth causing a more challenging and lengthy time in braces as a teen
  • Underbite: A very difficult bite to correct but critical that it is treated around age 7 as this is the time the child is most amenable to growth modification. Believe it or not, by age 10, it is already too late in many cases to successfully treat!
  • Spacing: In some cases, significant spacing can be due to extra or missing teeth. This subtle problem can often only be detected by an orthodontic evaluation and a panoramic x-ray

Getting an evaluation starting at age seven can help Dr. Hughes nurture your child’s best smile as well as help improve things like self-esteem and overall dental health. So remember, 7 and up is when we would like to evaluate your child to give them their best and healthiest smile that lasts a lifetime!