5200 Village Creek Dr., Suite 101
Plano, TX 75093
3424 Long Prairie Rd.
Flower Mound, TX 75028
8461 Boat Club Road
Fort Worth, TX 76179
Nelson Family & Implant Dentistry
2625 Matlock Rd Ste 101
Arlington, TX, 76015-2527
Summerlin, Scott D.D.S.
3330 Matlock Rd # 100
Arlington, TX, 76015-2925
ALL Smiles Dental Center - Park Plaza General
1604 New York Ave
Arlington, TX, 76010-4724
Mid Cities Endodontics
1000 N Fielder Rd
Arlington, TX, 76012-3149
When asked what their orthodontist does, most people will answer "straightens crooked teeth." Yet there's a good deal more to it than that.
To practice in the field of orthodontics, a dentist must be trained not only in dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy, but in physics and engineering. They must have the touch of a master craftsman, and the eye of an artist. To fully serve their patients, orthodontists must be part scientist, part psychologist, part detective, and part businessman. Becoming an orthodontist requires four years of formal postgraduate training leading to a dental degree, and two more years of graduate studies in orthodontics. But their education doesn't end with a diploma. In many ways, that's where it begins.
Though it may not be obvious from the casual office visit, the practice of orthodontics has changed dramatically in just the last few years. With ongoing research have come continuing advances in ceramic, clear and invisible braces. There are more sophisticated tools to diagnose orthodontic problems, plus innovative materials and techniques to treat them. There are new drugs to control pain, and cosmetic dentistry procedures no one had heard of 10 years ago. Plus, the number of adults getting braces has risen dramatically. This means that now orthodontists must practice adult orthodontics which presents different challenges.
The field continues to change so rapidly that it's estimated orthodontists must acquire an entirely new set of knowledge every two to four years. In fact, in many states, meeting minimum standards for continuing education is mandatory for orthodontists to retain their licenses. In addition to the formal courses is all the time spent reading professional journals and reviewing new products. Fortunately, orthodontists have no lack of opportunity to learn. By the American Dental Association's count, some 3,000 to 5,000 organizations offer continuing education courses to those in the dental profession.
From the hundreds of thousands of hours of specialized training offered annually, each orthodontic professional can choose the courses he or she feels are most needed to expand and update his or her skills.
The practice of orthodontics is a profession, a science, an art, and a lifelong commitment to provide the best and most advanced possible care for your teeth.
When your mouth is loaded with extras like bands, brackets, and wires, from your orthodontic braces, brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important. Plus, dental braces interfere with the chewing process that normally bathes and exercises gums, and helps clean teeth. General dental care like caring for your teeth and keeping them cavity-free, is a top priority during orthodontics treatment.
While proper-fitting bands or brackets usually protect the covered portion of your teeth, the brackets and wires on the outside of teeth make it harder for proper dental care.
Trapped food particles and plaque are a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria in your dental braces. Gum disease also can develop, causing swelling and making cleaning even more challenging and painful. Improper dental care can also stain tooth enamel.
It's best to brush within five minutes after eating anything, even if you're just snacking, and especially after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth cavity-free. Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home.
You may also want to use a water oral hygiene device that helps to remove food particles from your dental braces that the toothbrush may not reach. It should be used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute for brushing.
While wearing dental braces for teeth, be sure to schedule regular dental care exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Ask your dentist and orthodontist how often they wish to see you.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO