mccoy ortho

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Early Phase Braces?

child with braces smilingThe average age that a child will get their braces on is between 11 & 12. Sometimes we see children as young as 6 or 7 with a full set of braces on. Some may think that the parents of these children just wanted to start the process early, or that it is some kind of trend. However, some children truly benefit from early orthodontic treatment, reducing future pain and expensive complications. As time goes on, we, as orthodontists, are getting better at identifying these special cases in a timely manner.

How do I know if my child is a candidate for two-phase treatment?

As young as six years old, we can identify when a child has serious issues with their jaw alignment. These children need something we like to refer to as “two-phase” braces. This means that their orthodontic treatment will be completed with two phases and two sets of braces. If your child has severe jaw alignment issues, having two-phase treatment will reduce their need for surgeries, extractions, and other costly and severe treatments later on in life.

What happens during the first phase?

The first phase of treatment takes place while your child has both baby and adult teeth. Typically, children who go through two-phase treatment start phase one around the age of 7 or 8. For most cases, the first set of braces is left on for 12-18 months. This set of braces will correct functional and skeletal problems, such as overcrowding. After the first phase is complete, there is a period of rest as we wait for the remaining adult teeth to grow in.

What happens during phase two?

The second phase of treatment begins only when your child has all of their adult teeth. With phase one being complete, the jaw is already in a better position and each of their adult teeth has its own space. During the second phase, your child’s orthodontist can focus on the aesthetics of your child’s smile!

5 Tips for a Healthier Smile

woman smiling holding fruit slicesSometimes we skip a tooth brushing every now and then, which may seem like no big deal. While, in the grand scheme of things, it may seem like missing a tooth brushing here in there isn’t the end of the world, it may lead to unhealthy dental habits, which eventually could result in serious dental damage! By adopting healthy, regular dental habits, you can lower your chance of tooth decay and cavities. Here are some helpful tips towards a healthy, happier smile!

Brush and Floss Regularly:

You should brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once. If you want to have impeccable oral hygiene, you may also brush your teeth after each meal or snack. If brushing isn’t a post-meal option for you, thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water will help as well.

Use Mouthwash:

Using mouthwash twice a day after brushing is a great way wash away leftover bacteria and give your mouth that super clean feel.

Eat Tooth-healthy Foods:

Believe it or not, there are certain foods that are good for your teeth and will help to strengthen them and fight against bacteria and plaque build-up. Some foods that will benefit your dental health include but are not limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum.

Make Routine Dental Visits:

Professional teeth cleanings and dental check-ups should be scheduled for every six months. If you have a history of dental issues, or if you know you need special attention, visiting your dentist more often than every six months may be best for you.

Consider Dental Sealants:

During your next dental visit, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants will seal up small grooves and nooks in your teeth, preventing bacteria build-up in those hard to reach places. They can also help prevent tooth decay and can last up to ten years with proper dental care!

If you have any questions about your oral health, please give us a call at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333.

How to Help Your Child Get Through A Dental Impression

orthodontic dental moldIf your child needs a retainer or other orthodontic appliance, they may need to have a dental impression made. We all know that impressions are never fun and can be unpleasant, especially for children. It is possible that your child won’t be a fan of the process either, so you are probably wondering how you can help them get through it if we need to make an impression!

Here are some tips to keep in mind to help children get through the process smoothly.

Breathe through the nose: It’s not easy having to keep your mouth open for a long period of time. But breathing through your nose will take the focus off your mouth and help the time go by quicker.

Drooling is okay: It may not feel okay to drool, but sometimes you should let it go. It can be hard to swallow your saliva when your mouth is wide open and it could trigger the gag reflex. Tell your child to let the drool flow. Let them know that it’s normal and happens to everyone.

Sitting up: If you child is having a hard time with the impression, the orthodontic assistant will prop them up in their chair. If they are sitting upright, the material won’t drip back into their throat making them gag.

Reward: Tell your child that when they are done with their impression, you will take them out for their favorite treat. Have them brainstorm an idea of what they want and where they want to go while getting their impression. Not only is it a good distraction, but it will give them something to look forward to after.

Dental impressions may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but once they are done, your child shouldn’t have to deal with it again for quite some time. Remind them that it’s a part of the process and they are once step closer to a pretty smile.

Alternative Eating with Braces

young girl smiling holding a bowl of strawberriesEating with braces can sometimes be a struggle – we get it, constantly getting told what to eat or what not to eat can be frustrating. We want to make eating as easy as possible for you and keep your brackets safe from breakage at the same time. So instead of telling you what not to eat (you probably have been told by now not to eat popcorn and hard foods…), we have listed some good alternatives to foods that are braces-friendly!

Instead of popcorn, try kernel-less snacks

The main reason why popcorn and braces don’t work is because of those pesky kernels. A hard kernel can surprise you mid-bite and break off one of your brackets. Plus, the kernels can get stuck in your teeth, which is no fun! Popcorn without kernels (such as Pirate’s Booty) can satisfy your popcorn craving without the danger of breaking your brackets!

Don’t ditch the meat altogether

Tough meats are hard to bite into when you have braces – but this doesn’t mean you have to ditch meat entirely! Instead, try eating softer meats, such as tender chicken, turkey, and lunch meat. This way, you can still get your protein.

Braces: a great way to get into fruits and veggies

Fruits and veggies are a great alternative to eating with braces! Most fruits are soft and won’t harm your braces. In fact, eating fruits and veggies will greatly improve your oral and overall health! Veggies can be steamed or cooked in a way that makes them softer, so you don’t have to worry about harming your braces.

Maintaining a healthy diet is important for your oral health and will do wonders for your braces! The better you treat them, the less you have to come in and see us! If you have any other questions, please call us at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333. Bruce P. McCoy, D.M.D., M.S. is here to answer all your braces questions.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

woman smiling holding appleKeeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. This blog will focus on the best ways to make sure your gums stay healthy in order to prevent gum disease and keep your smile shining bright for years to come.

1) Floss, Floss, Floss

Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once a day helps clean those areas in between your teeth which are hard for your toothbrush to reach.

2) Brush and Rinse

Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth fresh and clean. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to thoroughly clean your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

3) Use the Right Toothpaste

Choosing the right toothpaste is important to keeping your gums healthy. Make sure to grab a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to get the best results when brushing. Also make sure to look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure that you’re getting a toothpaste backed by experts at the ADA!

4) Regular Dentist Checkups

Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing diseases and ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and clean. Your dentist will be able to see early symptoms of gum disease and is the only way for you to get rid of tartar and plaque which are stuck to your teeth and can have a negative impact on your gums if not cleaned.

These four steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of gum disease. If you have any more questions about how to keep your gums healthy or how to prevent gum disease, give Bruce P. McCoy, D.M.D., M.S. a call at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333 today!

3 Ways to Take Care of Your Retainer

mouth retainer You just got your braces off and now you can’t wait to show off your new pearly whites. However, your orthodontist just told you that you have to start wearing your retainer. You are a tad reluctant, but you realize the importance the retainer has on your teeth in keeping them in the perfect condition. Here are a few things you should keep in mind now that you are a new and proud retainer owner.

  1. Remove your retainer before eating.

    Certain foods can not only cause damage, but can also get stuck to the retainer. Be sure to remove the retainer before you eat and store it properly.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: Try to carry your retainer case with you when you are eating out. This way you don’t have to wrap the retainer in a napkin and have it accidentally get thrown away. No one thinks this will happen to them, but it always does.

  2. Clean your retainer.

    If you don’t properly clean your retainer, it can cause you to have bad breath, which no one ever wants. When you are brushing your teeth, remove the retainer and use your tooth brush to brush it down. Next, you should be soaking your retainer in a safe cleanser, such as denture cleaner. This will help get rid of that unwanted bacteria. If you don’t have a cleaner try a mixture of baking soda and water. That will get the job done.

  3. When playing sports, switch out your retainer for a mouth guard

    . Any time you are playing anything that can cause damage to your mouth, you should always wear a mouth guard for protection (not a retainer). Important note: when swimming for sport or just for fun, remove your retainer to avoid having it slip out and get lost.

These are just a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind when you have a retainer. If you have and issues or questions about how to properly care for your retainer call our office at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333. We are happy to help and we are even happier to give you more than one retainer case.

Taking Care of Braces During Your Summer Vacation

'hello summer'As summer gets into full swing and families start heading out on their summer vacations, it is important to remember that taking care of your braces doesn’t stop just because you are going on vacation! Today we have gathered some tips on how to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your braces stay perfect while you are living it up on your dream vacation.

  1. Pack a ‘braces bag’ so you are able to have everything you could need in one easy to find location while you are on the go. Some useful items to carry in this bag could be: a toothbrush, waxed floss with an orthodontic floss threader, and a small bottle of mouth wash.
  2. Continue to be cautious of foods which could damage your braces. Remember to stay away from chewy and sticky foods, whole fruit, hard candy, nuts, and popcorn. Stay away from these foods to prevent broken brackets or problems with your braces!
  3. Create a list of orthodontists who practice in the area in which you will be vacationing. It is important to have a list of practicing orthodontists on hand who will be able to fix any issues that may arise with your braces, or be able to relieve any pain or discomfort that may arise while on your trip.
  4. Last but not least, remember to always keep an eye on your retainer after taking it out for meals! Retainers are not only expensive to replace, but going a few days without using it can have a drastic impact on the movement of your teeth.

We hope that by following this set of tips, your vacation with braces can be just a little bit easier. Taking care of your teeth and braces is not only important at home, but also while on vacation. If you have any more questions about the upkeep of your braces, or would like any more information about orthodontics, feel free to give Bruce P. McCoy, D.M.D., M.S. a call at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333 today!

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Manual, Electric, and Sonic Toothbrushes

'manual and electric toothbrush'With the many options of toothbrushes available today, we understand that choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. If you are considering changing your brush style, read more information below about manual, electric and sonic toothbrushes.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes are the most common type of toothbrushes, available at your local convenience store. Many people choose to opt for the manual toothbrush because it is a much cheaper option compared to the electric and sonic toothbrushes. Studies have shown that there is not a huge difference in using a manual toothbrush vs. an electric/sonic toothbrush, as manually brushing still cleans the surface of your teeth of food debris and plaque. However, manual toothbrushes clean your teeth at a rate of around 300 brush strokes per minute, while electric and sonic toothbrushes operate much faster (see below).

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric brushes operate at a much higher brush stroke rate than manual toothbrushes, with around 3,000 – 6,000 brush strokes per minute. A brush stroke from an electric toothbrush differs from that of a manual toothbrush because it moves much faster in a smaller surface area, using either oscillating or vibrating motions.

Sonic Toothbrushes

Sonic brushes differ from electric brushes slightly in that they vibrate at a much higher frequency, about 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute. Sonic toothbrushes have been found to have a slighter higher cleaning rate because they clean harder to reach areas, such as under the gums and in between the teeth. However, while this may be true – nothing compares to flossing in between the teeth. The ADA recommends for adults with arthritis or who have a hard time manually brushing to change to electric or sonic toothbrushes, which increases stability for your hand while brushing.

Whatever option you chose, as long as you are brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once, you will be able to effectively keep your teeth clean and healthy! If you have any further questions about the toothbrush for you, give us a call at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333!

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Flossing With Braces

'cartoon teeth using floss'We get it – flossing can be a pain even without braces in the way. So how does someone with braces clean their gums and in between their teeth properly? There are so many options to clean in between your teeth, so don’t get frustrated with the cumbersome task of flossing with braces!

Here are some methods to flossing your teeth that will keep your smile nice and healthy:

  • Wax-based floss.

    This floss is less likely to get caught in the metal frame of your braces. If you have issues threading the floss through the wires between your teeth, try using a floss threader. Floss threaders make it much easier to get floss behind your wires.

  • Water Flosser.

    Threading floss through each wire separating your teeth can be a tedious task. If you don’t have the patience, or you simply just do not want to use floss – try a water flosser. A water flosser shoots a stream of water out, which when directed between your teeth and gums, cleans out those areas, freeing them of plaque and food debris.

  • Proxy Brush.

    Proxy brushes have the feathery top attached to a wire. These tools are meant to clean hard to reach areas, such as in between your wires. While a proxy brush isn’t the ideal alternative to regular flossing, it still helps to clean those stubborn areas! Before you abandon flossing altogether, at least give the proxy brush a try. Your teeth won’t regret it once you get your braces off!

    Pro-tip:

    put some toothpaste on your proxy brush!

Before you ditch flossing altogether, give these options a try! Then when you get your braces off, your smile will be radiant and healthy. And remember, you can always call us at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333 for any advice or suggestions about your flossing needs!

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Invisalign®: Working for Men

'man with invisalign smiling'Guys: More and more of your colleagues, coworkers and neighbors are having their teeth smoothed, whitened and aligned to gain that competitive edge in the business world.

So, we have to ask: How is your smile looking today?

Let’s face it, in today’s world, men and women will likely work for more employers over the course of their career than at any other time in history. Long gone are the days where people work for the same employer, climbing the ladder toward retirement. The modern worker knows that he must constantly adapt his skills, and possibly even his personal appearance, to stay in the game. Often, that work starts in the orthodontist office.

More and more men these days are choosing Invisalign® clear aligner orthodontic treatment to get their smile in tiptop shape. After all, first impressions in the business world are, indeed, everything.

Invisalign®: What Men Love

  • Discreet Meetings: By far one the most appealing aspects of Invisalign® is the fact that it provides orthodontic treatment that goes nearly undetectable while in progress. This means that you can go to those meetings and no one will know from across even a small board-room table that you are in the process of aligning your smile.
  • Safety in Numbers: Even if someone does notice, you can rest assured that you are in good company. With so many adults, including men, choosing clear braces to fix decades-old smile issues, you will still “fit in”.
  • Convenience: Invisalign® can be removed for eating and brushing.
  • Length of Treatment: Most cases require just 12-18 months of treatment.
  • Compatible with Your Personal Life: Because it is removable, Invisalign® encourages you to continue on with your personal life as planned and without restrictions.
  • Confidence: A great smile projects your worth, both in the professional and social realms. You may just land that promotion or dream job when you flash a bright, handsome smile that exudes confidence.

If you’d like to find out about the cost of Invisalign® and whether you are a good candidate, please give us a call at Newnan Office Phone Number 770-304-0333!