About orthodontics

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!


Fun Fact

February 2nd, 2021

Gold was the metal of choice for braces circa 1900.
Gold is malleable, so it was easy to shape it into an orthodontic appliance. Because gold is malleable, it stretches easily. Consequently, patients had to see their orthodontist frequently for adjustments that kept treatment on track.

January News

January 15th, 2021

January has been a busy and fun month for us! We were sad to see all the Christmas decorations come down in the office, but never fear.... Valentine's Day is near and so up went the new decorations! Looks festive as always now. We also spent our Saturday at the office in our cozy PJs and asked our patients to wear PJs with us to their appointment that day. Was a great success! Patience's one year work anniversary was on the 12th so of course we celebrated her and all the wonderful work she does in the office. Time flies when you're having fun!

Tentative Re-opening Date May 18th

April 24th, 2020

To keep all of our patients and employees safe, we are adhering to the mandate from the CDC and State of Massachusetts that all dental/orthodontic offices remain closed until May 18th. For your protection, if you have an appointment scheduled from now until May 18th, it will be rescheduled as soon as we are confident that we will open on May 18th. We will be checking phone messages regularly but ask that calling the office try to be limited to inquiring about acute orthodontic emergencies and not scheduling questions.  At this point, we are only allowed to see emergency orthodontic patients with pain. We wish you good health through this tough time and we will work hard to help everyone as soon as the emergency is over.


Dr. Hughes and the Team at Lakewood Park Orthodontics

Virtual Learning During COVID-19 Closure

April 20th, 2020

Over the past month we have all had to learn new ways to live and work differently. While many of our patients are doing virtual learning at home, we are taking this time away from the office to do some virtual learning too! In past years during the Spring we been able to continue our education by traveling to the American Association of Orthodontics Annual Session in locations such as Orlando and Washington DC. Unfortunately, this year the session has been canceled due to the Covid-19 virus. We are not going to let that keep us from learning! We have taken this time away from the office to watch webinars and do online training to stay up to date on all aspects of orthodontics (HIPAA, new bonding processes, treatment coordination with our patients and the future role of teledentistry).  On our weekly office Zoom meetings we have been able to share with each other what we have learned from the webinars as well as keep in touch with one another.  We have been completing more training in Infection Control and particularly discussing new protocols for the office when we are able to reopen. We are all dedicated to ensuring the safety of our patients, their families and ourselves. Stay well everyone!

Back to School

September 1st, 2019

Summer is over and now we are getting back into the swing of things for the Fall. Sports, School, upcoming holidays etc are quickly approaching and are all on the forefront of our minds and schedules! But, don't forget about your teeth! Make sure you fit time in to schedule you or your child's orthodontic exam/consultation (ideally starting at age 7 and up) and orthodontic adjustments if you are in braces/aligners already before your schedule of Fall activities gets filled up!


Thinking About Orthodontic Treatment? Read This

October 15th, 2018


October is Orthodontic Health Month

We’re super excited over here at Lakewood Park Orthodontics for our favorite month of the year; October is Orthodontic Health Month! To us, orthodontics encompasses more than just putting brackets on teeth. Through orthodontics we bring confidence, health and joy to our patients. To help give someone the confidence to smile (a real, big smile) is irreplaceable. This confidence extends into our patients daily lives and enables them to feel comfortable with who they are. So yah, Orthodontic Health Month is a big deal around here ;)

There are many blog posts about the benefits of a straight, healthy smile (decreased risk of oral disease, tooth decay, injury, jaw problems, confidence…) this is not one of those posts.  If you’re reading this blog you likely have already researched the benefits or orthodontic treatment and are considering starting treatment. Today, I want to help you break down any barriers that are keeping you from moving toward your goal of a healthy, straight smile. So let’s discuss some common barriers that patients face when deciding to start treatment.

  1. You don’t think you have time for appointments: It’s true, at the beginning of treatment, there is usually a longer appointment needed the day we put the braces on or get started with Invisalign. After the initial appointment you are usually in only every 6-8 weeks with braces and every 10 weeks with Invisalign. These appointments can easily be scheduled in advance in order to make sure they are convenient for your schedule. At Lakewood Park we also offer evening appointments on Tuesdays and Saturday morning appointments one Saturday a month. You are sure to find something that works with your schedule!
  2. You don’t like the way braces look: Technological advances in orthodontics have come so far! Now we have clear aligners (like Invisalign) and ceramic braces that are just as effective as regular metal braces but with the advantage of being barely noticeable. Many adults and teens are taking advantage of these new technologies.
  3. You think you are too old for braces: The number of adults pursuing orthodontic treatment is rising. In fact, it increased by 40% between 1989 and 2012. As of 2014 there were 1.4 million adults in orthodontic treatment and this number has likely risen. At Lakewood Park we have patients in there 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s! Adults are realizing the benefits of orthodontic treatment. A study conducted on behalf of the AAO found that 75% of adults who had orthodontic treatment reported improvements in career or personal relationships, which they attributed to their improved post-orthodontic smile. Citing their newfound self-confidence, 92% of survey respondents said they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults. Many of our adult patients were not motivated by the aesthetic benefits of treatment but for the health benefits that come along with a proper malocclusion (bite) like the ability to keep your teeth clean, prevent decay, recession and gum disease! (for them, a dazzling, straight smile is just an added bonus!) Whatever your reasons are for pursuing orthodontic treatment as an adult, know that you are in good company.


The benefits of orthodontic treatment are far reaching. Improving your smile can bring you a new found confidence that will last a lifetime (no matter what your age)! At Lakewood Park Orthodontics, we believe that the benefits of a healthy smile outweigh any of the barriers that might be holding you back.

What do you think? You’ve been considering it for long enough – it’s time to take the next step. Come in and ask your questions, confront your barriers and learn what treatment options are right for you at your free consultation. Call us at (508) 319 1545 or email us at smiles@lakwoodparkorthodontics.com

We hope to talk to you soon!

Summer is a Great Time to Start Braces

July 9th, 2018

Summer is in full swing …the sun is warm, the days are longer and we are enjoying being outdoors. Summer is a great time of year, not only for cookouts and beach trips, but it’s also a great time of year to start orthodontic treatment. With the kids out of school and many parents on vacation, appointments can be much easier to schedule. But there are other good reasons to start treatment in the summer too.

No missed school: The first orthodontic appointments are usually the longest (as well as when treatment ends). The initial exam is an hour. (This is your first visit to our office when we do a full evaluation and present your individual treatment plan.) If braces are in your future you can expect the banding appointment (placement of the braces) to be ab out 1 ½ - 2 hours. When starting in the summer there are no worries about missing school.

Time to adjust: The first few days of treatment may bring some discomfort as your teeth begin to move and shift. This discomfort usually lasts a few days and then subsides. Most people are fine to return to work and school immediately. However, those who are more susceptible to pain may like a few days to just stay home and relax.

Time to develop new habits: Beginning orthodontic treatment will require some changes. Brushing more frequently (about 4-5 times a day with braces) is a must. There may be dietary changes that need to be made as well. Some foods (hard and sticky) need to be avoided when braces or appliances are worn because they can cause damage. Starting treatment in the summer gives kids time to make these adjustments and form good habits more easily than when they are busy with school and sports.

Summer is the Season for Ice Cream and Smoothies: There is nothing more soothing than a cold treat after the braces go on. New braces are the perfect excuse to indulge.


For more information on orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment visit our website http://www.natickorthodontics.com/

7&Up Check-up

December 30th, 2017

First Orthodontic Check-Ups No Later than Age 7
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and Dr. Janeen Hughes recommend that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
The reasons for this early examination:
-Guide jaw growth
-Lower the risk of trauma to protrusive front teeth
-Correct harmful oral habits
-Improve appearance
-Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
-Improve the way lips meet

The AAO does not advocate comprehensive orthodontic treatment at age 7. However, interceptive treatment may be appropriate in the kinds of problems shown below. Final treatment decisions should be made among the parent, child’s dentist and orthodontist. Call 508-319-1545; email smiles@lakewoodparkortho.com to schedule your free orthodontic consultation with our orthodontist, Dr. Janeen Hughes at Lakewood Park Orthodontics.

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 16th, 2017

Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month by learning more about orthodontists.The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy bite — straight teeth that properly meet opposing teeth in the opposite jaw. If your teeth are crowded, protrusive, spaced too far apart, meet in an abnormal way or do not meet at all, correction may be recommended. If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Correcting the problem can create an awesome-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. A healthy bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. It also prevents improper wearing of the teeth, tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems.

Abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have a consultation around age 7. Treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. In the past, orthodontic treatment was associated with children and teens, but today many adults seek orthodontic treatment. In fact, there are currently more than 1.2 million U.S. adults in orthodontic treatment! Today there are many aesthetic options for adult treatment including clear braces, Invisalign and active retainers.
Come visit Lakewood Park Orthodontics in Natick to learn how orthodontics can improve your oral health and give you a healthy, straight smile. Call 508 319 1545 for a complimentary consultation.

April is Mouthguard Awareness Month

April 7th, 2017

Mouthguards Matter! The American Association of Orthodontics has teamed up with Shock Doctor to stress the importance of wearing mouthguards, especially during braces. Orofacial injury rates in non-mandated sports are as high as 38%, so help protect those teeth! If you wear braces, select a mouthguard specifically designed for braces. Choose an Insta-Fit style which requires no boiling or fitting and adapts as braces are adjusted and teeth move. Dr. Hughes now carries Shock Doctor mouthguards at the office. Make sure to ask about them at your next visit!

Theme Days at Lakewood Park Orthodontics

March 29th, 2017

Dr. Hughes and the entire staff at Lakewood Park Orthodontics believe that creating a beautiful smile should be a fun and joyful experience! Our theme days are an exciting way we create a fun environment for our patients and their families.
Theme days are celebrated at our office every month. Many times the theme days are coordinated with holidays and current events. We encourage our patients to participate in the theme days by dressing up with us and taking silly pictures in exchange for ‘wooden nickels’. (Wooden nickels are tokens that patients earn during treatment that can be traded for cool prizes).

Recent themes have included St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Pajama Day, Ugly Sweater Day, Chicken Dance Day and Red Sox Opening Day (just to name a few). No matter what the theme we are always willing to dress a little wacky to encourage our patients to have fun and feel like a part of our family during their time at Lakewood Park Orthodontics.

Do you have a great idea for our next theme day? Comment below or let us know at your next appointment and we may use your suggestion for our next theme day!

Children's Dental Health Month

February 17th, 2017

February is Children's Dental Health Month! Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S. but, it's preventable! Teach children to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. In addition to brushing an easy way to get Fluoride to help protect your teeth is just to drink tap water! Studies show that fluoride in community water systems prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults.

The Biggest No-No Food

January 16th, 2017

Unfortunately for our patients with braces, popcorn is a no-no. It may not seem like it, but Popcorn is the single worst thing you can eat with braces. The reason? Popcorn kernels! For someone without braces, popcorn kernels can cause minor discomfort, but can be relatively easily taken care of with floss or a fingernail. However, with braces in place, kernels can get stuck for extended periods of time, leading to extremely painful swelling of gum tissue, requiring removal of braces and wires to clean out the area.Remember to ask Dr. Hughes about popcorn alternatives and all the wonderful things that you can eat while in braces. Before you know it, the braces will be off and you can go back to enjoying popcorn again!

Early Treatment

January 1st, 2017

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Preserving space for unerupted teeth
Reducing the need for tooth removal
Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you!

When You Shouldn’t Brush After Every Meal

February 8th, 2016

When you get your braces on our staff explains all of the ways you can help keep your mouth healthy and make your treatment move faster. We tell you to avoid hard and sticky foods that cause broken brackets and to floss every day.  We also tell you to brush five times a day - after every snack or meal. However, there are some times when it is better to not brush after your meal or snack… Actually brushing your teeth after certain meals can hurt your enamel!

When you eat foods that are highly acidic like citrus fruits, soda and sugary foods it changes the PH balance in your mouth from alkaline to acidic. After eating highly acidic foods your teeth are susceptible to damage. When you brush your teeth in this weakened state you can damage the enamel because the bristles can wear away the surface.

Now, for all of you who hate brushing, don’t get too excited – you still have to brush five times a day. However, after eating highly acidic foods it’s best to wait an hour before brushing. Other preventative measures you can take after eating acidic foods include rinsing or drinking water and concluding your meal with milk, cheese or another non-acidic food. After you have given your mouth time to return to a healthy PH balance continue to brush as normal.

Braces and Halloween

October 22nd, 2015

Just because it is Halloween doesn't mean you can't enjoy some tasty treats! Try out some of these yummy recipes!


Halloween Contest

October 21st, 2015

Don't forget to come in and participate in our "count the number of candy corn in the jar " contest. The prize is a $25 Target gift card!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 6th, 2015

Have you heard of this dangerous trend? http://www.seventeen.com/health/news/a33177/why-this-diy-braces-trend-is-seriously-so-dangerous/

Leave the braces up to a professional for a beautiful AND healthy smile. An orthodontist is a specialist who has two to three years of additional education, and is an expert in straightening your teeth and choosing the treatment option that's best for you.

How Your Diet Can Improve Your Oral Health

June 11th, 2015

How Your Diet Can Improve Your Oral Health

Improving your diet may prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay and periodontal disease. Decay is caused when teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid from oral bacteria. Certain foods and food combinations are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Many researchersbelieve that periodontal disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diets do not supply necessary nutrients.

Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system and increases the susceptibility of many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease.  Research also shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating a well-balanced diet, and therefore increasing fiber and vitamin intake, may not only improve your dental health but may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

Planning Meals and Snacks to Promote Better Oral Health

Choose foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein. Avoid fad diets that eliminate entire food groups as these often result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Always keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water.  Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues. If you have a dry mouth, supplement your diet with sugarless gum or candy to stimulate saliva.

Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. When you snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruit. Choose dentally healthy foods instead, like nuts raw vegetables, plain yogurt and cheese. (If you have braces skip the nuts and make sure to cut your vegetables in thin slices)

When eating fermentable carbohydrates, like crackers, cookies and chips eat them as part of a meal, instead of by themselves. Combinations of foods neutralize acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay. For example, enjoy cheese with your crackers.

Do not over-snack. Each time you eat, you create an environment for oral bacteria to develop. Studies show that dental disease is just as related to overeating as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

The Dangers of Teeth Clecnhing and Grinding

June 3rd, 2015

Teeth are designed to fit together with the top and bottom teeth touching only when chewing and very briefly during swallowing. This actually only adds up to about 6 minutes a day! So, you can imagine if your teeth are clenched together or grinding against each other all day, your jaw joint (the TMJ) and teeth are doing the equivalent of a super marathon each day! Clenching and grinding puts a lot of stress on your teeth, jaw muscles and jaw joint which can cause eventual fractures of teeth, recession of gums, TMJ symptoms and headaches. Frequent grinders can also expect their tooth enamel to wear away 6 times faster thann those who don't grind.

Possible treatment options include custom made night guards by your dentist, special exercises or medications in some cases. If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth or clenching excessively, it is best to seek the opinion of your general dentist or Dr. Hughes to customize a treatment plan right for you.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 6th, 2015

As the nation prepares to observe the 16th Oral Caner Awareness Month this April, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, the American Academy of Oral Medicine, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Dental Association and the American Dental Hygienists' Association have joined the Oral Cancer Foundation in its campaign to raise awareness of this silent killer.

Be mindful of symptoms

The mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. Between dental visits, it is importance that you be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and see a dental professional if they do not improve or disappear after two to three weeks:

  • A sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn't go away
  • Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Factors that may increase your risk of oral cancer

Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Historically, those at an especially high risk have been heavy alcohol drinkers and smokers older than age 50, but today the cancer also is occurring more frequently in younger, non smoking people. The human papillomavirus 16 (HPV) is related to the increasing incidence of oropharyngeal cancer (most commonly involving tonsillar tissue, including the base of the tongue) in the younger population.

If you have never had an oral cancer examination, there is no better time to schedule one than during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April! When you do, be sure to ask that this examination be made routine at all your future dental checkups.

All you ever wanted to know about expanders

March 4th, 2015

One of the most common orthodontic appliances used in children is the palatal expander. Arch expansion is one of the most common ways to eliminate mild/moderate crowding and cross-bites in growing patients. Successful expansion requires that the growth plate in the roof of the mouth (the midpalatal suture) is not fused. This fusion usually occurs between age 14-16. An expander is attached to the upper arch by bands placed around the first molars (and in some cases around the 1st premolars if they are erupted). Although there are removable expanders, fixed ones have an importance advantage in that they cannot be lost or forgotten.

Interestingly, the lower jaw (mandible) is not amenable to expansion. The suture in the mandible fuses soon after birth so true expansion is not able to occur. If the back teeth have an excess tip inwards (Curve of Wilson), then a Swartz removable expander is useful to upright teeth to the ideal position. This does allow some space creation in the front teeth as well.

Expanders are relatively painless for our patients. Some report that they feel pressure on the teeth, in the roof of the mouth, behind the nose, and even between the eyes as their expander is activated (or turned). This pressure fades within minutes. Besides pressure, we also tell parents to expect the child to speak differently for the first few days. Additional saliva production may also occur as well as slight modifications to eating. One of the most visible signs that the suture is opening (the desired effect) is the appearance of a space between the upper central incisors. Once the expansion is complete, it is normal for the space to close spontaneously. This occurs as the elastics fibers surrounding the gingival tissues return to their original positions. The underlying bone, however, remains expanded. It is normal for the anterior teeth to feel slightly loose and sore as they move together.

Because there is always some relapse, I generally choose to over-expand the palate slightly and then hold the expander in  place for an additional 4-6 months. Following the removal of the expander, I will provide a Hawley retainers that is to be worn at night (of after school and night) so as to ensure the stability of the correction and then follow the patients quarterly until they are ready for comprehensive orthodontic evaluation (when all the permanent teeth erupt).

As always, if you have any questions about this appliance or any orthodontic treatment, please don't hesitate to talk to Dr. Hughes or one of the assistants at the office.

Can Braces Cause Staining of the Teeth?

July 10th, 2014

The day that braces come off is a day greatly anticipated by all orthodontic patients and orthodontists alike. It’s the day when both patient and doctor get to see the results of all of their hard work. Nothing can ruin this day quicker than discovering white spot lesions on the teeth.
White spot lesions, also called decalcifications and demineralizations, appear as white, chalky marks on the teeth. They are caused by dental plaque when acids created by the plaque remove minerals from the tooth surface changing the way the surface reflects light. The most common area for white spot lesions is between the gums and the brackets where brushing is most difficult. Many times white spots develop under swollen gum tissue making their detection difficult until after the braces are removed and swelling subsides. University studies have found that white spot lesions occur in 24% of adolescents who have never had braces. This number jumps to as high as 50% in teenagers with braces! Although braces DO NOT cause white spots on the teeth, they do complicate the removal of the plaque.
In order to prevent white spot lesions great oral hygiene is necessary, especially during orthodontic treatment. Removing plaque is the only sure way to prevent these stains. At Lakewood Park Orthodontics we begin oral hygiene coaching at the very first appointment. At the new patient consultation our treatment coordinator explains the importance of removing plaque and shows a video of how white spot lesions are formed. She describes which foods and drinks need to be avoided and encourages the use of a fluoridated toothpaste in order to harden the enamel surface. She also recommends using an electric toothbrush. By the end of the consultation both patients and parents know that white spot lesions are a possibility and how to prevent them.
When the braces are put on, our assistants go through proper brushing and flossing techniques with each patient. Patients are told to brush five times a day for two minutes and to floss once each day. During treatment, our assistants and Doctor Hughes reward good brushers with wooden nickels and give additional instruction to patients who are struggling. When they notice that oral hygiene needs to be improved they point it out to the patient and family immediately. Dr. Hughes has even removed braces early from some patients with severe problems.
If you have white spot lesion on your teeth when your braces come off, it’s reassuring to know that all white spots improve a little over time. Experts advise AGAINST applying extra fluoride during the first six months as it may seal the surface of the lesion and prevent remineralization below the surface. After six months, low concentration over-the-counter fluoride rinses can be applied. Remineralization pastes (like MI Paste) can also be used to repair the tooth. Bleaching has been shown to lighten the enamel surrounding white spot lesions. White spots then blend in better and actually improve as the effects of the bleaching wear off. For more severe problems, your dentist may perform microabrasion (removing superficial white spots), cosmetic bonding (replacing damaged enamel), or place porcelain veneers (covering badly damaged surfaces).
Since white spot lesions are caused by plaque the best prevention is keeping your teeth clean by practicing proper oral hygiene techniques. If you would like additional oral hygiene instruction ask Dr. Hughes or our assistants at your next appointment.
Jorgensen Orthodontics http://www.gregjorgensen.com/blog/2013/08/do-orthodontic-braces-cause-white-spots-on-teeth/#sthash.rnKxgG5n.dpuf
Ora Media Dental Self-sufficiency http://mizar5.com/demin.htm

Board Certification

March 11th, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Hughes on completing her board recertification process! This is an honor bestowed to less than 25% of all orthodontists in the country.

Is Every Orthodontist Board-Certified?
No. There is a difference between licensed and Board Certified. All practicing orthodontists are licensed; only about 25% of all orthodontists are Board Certified as well. Certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics signifies a unique achievement—a large step beyond the two to three years of advanced education required for a dentist to become a specialist in orthodontics. The current procedure requires the candidate to demonstrate actual accomplishments in patient care with detailed case reports on the treatment provided for a broad range of patient problems. Board certification is a unique honor following a process by which an individual orthodontist is thoroughly examined by an expert panel as to orthodontic knowledge and clinical skills.

What is the American Board of Orthodontics? Are there other recognized boards in orthodontics?
No. Today, it is the only certifying board recognized by the American Dental Association for the specialty of orthodontics. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) was founded in 1929 and is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. Key objectives of the ABO are to elevate the standards the practice of orthodontics, and to certify continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics.

If Board Certification is voluntary, why would an orthodontist become board certified?
The passage of the examination process is a demonstration to the dental profession and the general public of the orthodontist’s pursuit of continued proficiency and excellence in orthodontics. It is a representation of a commitment by a licensed specialist that he/she has the necessary knowledge base and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards. It exemplifies a practitioner’s commitment to continue to keep abreast of the latest advances in patient care, and to continue to deliver these latest advances to patients.

What is the process by which orthodontists may become board certified?
Since its founding in 1929, the process has changed many times. Today, the process involves a thorough Written Examination covering all areas of information on which an orthodontist should be knowledgeable. Successful passage allows the orthodontist to then present detailed case reports, which demonstrate a history of excellence in patient care. These cases are evaluated by expert examiners of the Board during a Clinical Examination. An Oral Examination is then given, and the applicant is tested on a wide variety of academic and clinical topics. Certification is then awarded for a time-limited period and the orthodontist must re-examine on a periodic basis to maintain the board certified status.
For further information on the American Board of Orthodontists, click below: http://www.americanboardortho.com/public/

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 1st, 2014

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. As an active member of the ADA,Dr. Hughes strongly supports this effort! She and Brandy will be headed out to the local Natick Schools this month to hand out toothbrushes, dental information and give fun class room presentations on  dental health. Hope everyone has a wonderful February and don't forget to brush 2xday for 2 min (that's 4 times a day for those of you with braces), floss 1xday and see your dentist every 6 months.

Adult Orthodontic Patients Would Recommend Treatment to Others

October 23rd, 2013

Adult Orthodontic Patients Highly Satisfied with Treatment Outcomes: A survey of adult orthodontic patients, conducted recently for the AAO in conjunction with National Orthodontic Health Month, indicates high satisfaction with treatment results. Seventy-five percent of adults surveyed reported improvements in career or personal relationships, which they attributed to their improved post-orthodontic treatment smiles. Citing newfound self-confidence, 92 percent of survey respondents say they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults. To read more, visit the AAO site below!

Electric Toothbrush

August 2nd, 2013

Keeping your teeth sparkling clean with braces is not easy! At Lakewood Park Orthodontics, we stress the importance of excellent brushing habits and agree with the recent studies done by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics that electronic toothbrushes (particularly the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean + Floss Action Electric Toothbrush with SmartGuide) do a better job than regular toothbrushes. They are expensive at stores, but you get a discount of 40% by buying through your dentist or orthodontist. Next time you are in the office, just ask any of the staff members for more information.

Here's some more information about electric toothbrushes in case you are considering purchasing one. In any case....just keep brushing!

Features of A Power Toothbrush: Simply stated, rechargeable electric toothbrushes (or “power” toothbrushes) provide superior plaque removal to regular manual toothbrushes. And because they provide the brushing action for you, many people find using power toothbrushes easier than using regular manual ones. Additionally, with so many different types and features available, it’s easy to find one that suits your specific oral health needs.

Superior Plaque Removal: According to a 2005 independent study, “Brushes that worked with a rotation oscillation action removed more plaque and reduced gingivitis more effectively than manual brushes in the short and long-term...

Ease of Use: Whereas you have to move a regular manual toothbrush back and forth along your teeth, power toothbrushes provide the cleaning action for you. That means you need only guide it along the surfaces of your teeth. Once they get the hang of it, many people find this method of brushing easier. Likewise, people with arthritis or other similar conditions may find using a power toothbrush less painful. Power toothbrushes may also help kids brush their teeth more effectively, but sure to check the age recommendations on an electric toothbrush before letting your child use it.

Technology and Features: Generally rich in technology and features, some power toothbrushes can even enable you to improve your brushing habits. And most come with convenient features like a brush head or toothbrush holder, bathroom-counter storage units and travel toothbrush chargers. Hi-tech features may include:

•Numerous brushing modes specialized for sensitive teeth, whitening benefits or gum-massaging action

•Pressure sensors to signal when you’re brushing too hard

•Timers to help you keep track of how long you’re brushing each quadrant of your mouth

•Digital reminders to replace your brush head

•Oscillating-pulsating and cupping, oscillating-rotating or sonic technology

•Multiple brush head compatibility so you can choose which kind of bristle design you prefer

The Benefits of Choosing an Orthodontist

January 18th, 2013

Benefits of choosing an orthodontist
The number of general dentist who are offering orthodontic treatment is rising and many patients are wondering – what is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? The most important differences have to do with training, experience, and value.

Orthodontists are highly trained specialists that have received education in an accredited orthodontic residency program for an additional 2-3 years full time after dental school. General dentists who practice orthodontics do not have this additional education. The additional education an orthodontist receives concentrates on growth and development, and in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of all types of malocclusions and jaw growth discrepancies. This education gives orthodontists an advantage at recognizing both existing issues and potential issues that may arise with growth before they happen and equips them with the knowledge to properly treat all cases, simple or complex

The next thing that differentiates an orthodontist from a general dentist is experience. Because an orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, correcting facial profiles, and creating beautiful smiles, they treat hundreds of new orthodontic cases each year. A general dentist, on the other hand, may see only a hand-full of cases per year in between the other procedures they regularly perform. Due to an orthodontists’ combination of specialized training and greater amount of experience, the orthodontist is more prepared to properly diagnose orthodontic complications and handle unexpected problems as they arise.

Finally, there is the issue of affordability and value. Many patients are surprised that the orthodontist fees are usually nearly the same as a general dentists’. The reason is efficiency. An orthodontist and their expertly trained staff are set up and equipped to devote all their efforts and attention towards orthodontic care. On the other hand, a general dentist and staff may have an occasional orthodontic appointment in between drilling and filling. As a result of this efficiency, fees are nearly the same, even though the specialist possesses significantly higher expertise and experience.

There are many well trained and highly capable general practitioners that can treat less complicated cases with great results. However, there are many advantages to seeing an orthodontist when it comes to creating the beautiful smile you've always wanted!

"Am I Too Old For Braces?"

January 1st, 2013

Many adults ask the question, "Am I too old for braces?" and the answer is absolutely not! Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed since the '90s and many offices now have 25% adults receiving orthodontic treatment! Adults are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the esthetics of the smile and health of the mouth at any age. In a society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:

• Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart

•Teeth have shifted over the years because a retainer was not worn

• Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw

As an adult patient, we recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit us for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, therefore our office offers evening and Saturday appointments in order to find a time that is convenient for you. Please give our office a call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Hughes today! Make 2013 a better, brighter, healthier New Year.

The Evolution of Braces

December 10th, 2012

Did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted to improve the look and function of their smiles? We think of modern orthodontic appliances as sleek, efficient technology, but this was not always so! Take a look at the highlights in the evolution of braces.

Ancient Times: From Greece to Rome

• According to The Angle Orthodontist, Aristotle and Hippocrates first thought about methods for straightening teeth between 400 and 300 BC.
• The Etruscans, in what we now know as Italy, buried their dead with appliances that maintained spaces and prevented collapse of their teeth and jaws during life. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth.
• A Roman tomb has also been discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device.

18th Century: A French Development

• The French dentist Pierre Fauchard is acknowledged as the father of modern dentistry. In 1728 he published a book that described various methods for straightening teeth. Fauchard also used a device known as a “blandeau” to widen the upper palate.
• Louis Bourdet was another French dentist who published a book in 1754 that discussed tooth alignment. Bourdet further refined the blandeau and was the first dentist to extract bicuspids, or the premolar teeth between canines and molars, for the purpose of reducing tooth crowding.

19th Century: Orthodontics Defined
• Orthodontics started to become a separate dental specialty during the early 19th century. The first wire crib was used in 1819, marking the beginning of modern orthodontics.
• During this period, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite, and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, and copper were used — as was brass in the form of loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures.
• Edward Maynard first used gum elastics in 1843 and E. J. Tucker began making rubber bands for braces in 1850.
• Norman W. Kingsley published the first paper on modern orthodontics in 1858 and J. N. Farrar was the first dentist to recommend the use of force over timed intervals to straighten teeth.

20th Century: New Materials Abound
• Edward Angle developed the first classification systems for malocclusions (misaligned teeth) during the early 20th century in the United States, and it is still in use today. Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists in the 1930s.
• By the 1960s, gold was universally abandoned in favor of stainless steel.
• Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when tooth-colored aesthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics became popular.

As we arrive in the present, you need only look at your own braces to see how far we’ve come. Your treatment plan was probably created with a 3D digital model, and we’ve likely used a computerized process to customize your archwires. Perhaps you have clear aligners, self-ligating brackets, or highly resilient ceramic brackets with heat-activated wires.

Orthodontics has come a long way from the days of Aristotle, and even the bulky wrap-around braces of just 60 years ago. Regardless of your specific treatment plan, the development of high-tech materials and methods has made it possible for your orthodontic experience to be as effective, efficient, and comfortable as possible.
Sources: angle.org, arched wire

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

October 23rd, 2012

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!

October 4th, 2012

Stop Zombie Mouth

This Halloween, Dr. Hughes, the ADA and PopCap Games are redefining what a Halloween “treat” can be… by giving FUN instead of candy. Lakewood Park Orthodontics is giving away Plants vs. Zombies™ download games as a sugar-free alternative, and you can join in the fun!

At your next appointment, ask us for the limited-edition, collectible Plants vs. Zombies trading cards with the code for a free Plants vs. Zombies download game.

But remember..... to really stop Zombie mouth you MUST Brush 3-5 times (in braces), floss once a day and see your dentist regularly !!

Enjoy Halloween and the game!

Improve Your Life with Orthodontics

September 12th, 2012

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good occlusion (or bite), meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. Research shows that a good occlusion makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health, overall health, and self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.

Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are generally easier to clean which reduces the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!

Get the beautiful smile you've always wanted and still enjoy your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. At Lakewood Park Orthodontics, Dr. Hughes can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs.

What Your Mouth Says About You

August 16th, 2012

Think the way your teeth look doesn't really matter? Survey says: think again.

Without saying a word, your mouth is sending messages to everyone you meet. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), people often make snap judgments about individuals based solely on the condition of their teeth.

"This phenomenon was documented more than 25 years ago," says Dr. Don Joondeph, a past president of the American Association of Orthodontists, referring to an eye-opening study in which photos of young smiling individuals were altered to show varying orthodontic problems and then reviewed by focus groups.

"When the focus groups looked at the altered photos they used unflattering terms such as 'unattractive' and 'aggressive' to describe the individuals," says Dr. Joondeph. "However, when groups saw photos of the same individuals with a healthy, beautiful smile, they were more likely to view the individuals as 'intelligent,' 'attractive' and 'a friend I'd like to have.'"

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Dr. Joondeph believes that the original study, which was published in 1981, is even more applicable in today's image-obsessed world. "More than ever, young people and adults want to be perceived as healthy, attractive and appealing to their peers and others."

To obtain optimal oral health and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile, the AAO recommends a team approach. In addition to seeing a dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning, patients also should see an orthodontist to ensure that an orthodontic problem is not overlooked.

For children, an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven can identify potential problems and ensure that any future treatment is timed appropriately. For adults, an orthodontic consult may reveal that cosmetic dentistry is unnecessary. "Patients may be pleasantly surprised to learn that their unattractive teeth are generally healthy, just misaligned," says Dr. Joondeph.

In regards to the study, Dr. Joondeph believes that the first thing that people notice about his young and adult patients is obvious: "The confidence and sense of self-esteem that comes with their healthy, beautiful smiles is unmistakable to anyone they meet."

For more information about orthodontics or to schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation with Dr. Hughes, please call 508-319-1545

Play it Safe with Mouthguards

August 1st, 2012

The Olympics have been so exciting to watch this summer! Like many of you, this summer has brought us the Olympics as well as wonderful weather to go outdoors and enjoy all the sports we love! So, it is also an appropriate time to remind you about the importance of taking a few precautions to preserve your teeth and be protected from facial injuries, whether at a practice, at a game, or simply enjoying some fun in the neighborhood. How can you play it safe?

*Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to one’s head.
*Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
*Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs, and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
*Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person’s jaw, mouth and teeth; and they are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury.

Dr. Hughes wants you to have fun, but play safe. Let’s talk about the right mouth guard for you at your next visit!

Seven Common Questions Parents Have About Orthodontic Treatment

July 26th, 2012

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

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.

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.    How do I find an orthodontist?
A: Ask your family dentist, pediatrician, family and friends or check out the AAO website for a list of providers in your area. 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.