Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Healthy Habits: What Parents Need to Know About Braces

If you are considering braces  for yourself or your child, check out this interview I had the chance to do with Minneapolis orthodontist Dr. Regina Blevins, DDS MS.

1. What are some signs that children need braces?

There are several things parents can watch for that are indications that a child needs to see the orthodontist.  The obvious ones are crowding, spacing and flared or protruded teeth.  A few of the not so well known reasons are speech difficulties, breathing and airway issues, and psycho-social issues related to being embarrassed of their appearance.

2. How can parents help prepare their kids to take care of braces?

Taking care of the teeth and orthodontic appliances is a major concern for parents.  the benefits of straight teeth and a healthy bite can be lost if the child ends up with gum issues or cavities. It's very important that your orthodontic team spends the time to make sure you know how to brush and floss around the braces.  Flossing in particular requires special plastic tools to weave the floss under wires and braces.  One particular advantage to Invisalign clear aligner treatment is that brushing and flossing is done with the aligners out so no special tools or skills are needed.

3. What are the different types of braces and how can parents work with their dentist to make the right choice?

For straightening teeth there are a few basic types of appliances.  There are glued on braces and wires that come in two varieties metal and clear. The clear glued on braces are a bit more prone to breakage and staining.  The non glued on or removable ones are the Invisalign clear aligners and with the advancements in these appliances we can treat from simple to complex cases in as much as 50% less time.

4. What are the benefits of braces?

The benefits of orthodontic treatment are many.  Often early treatment can help growth of the jaws so future issues are prevented or made less severe.  Correctly aligned teeth can help with chewing and lessen the risk of jaw joint issues or damage to teeth and supporting bones.  A radiant, healthy smile helps build confidence and self-esteem.

About Dr. Regina Blevins:
Dr. Regina Blevins is an orthodontist at Minnesota Orthodontics.  She started her career in dentistry in 1980 as a Dental hygiene graduate of C.S. Mott Community College. Afterwards she attended the University of Michigan where she received her degree in dentistry. Her appreciation and love for the fine art of the cosmetic side of dentistry led her to pursue her orthodontic graduate training at the University of Minnesota, where she received her Master of Science and a certificate in orthodontics.

Dr. Blevins enjoys staying up-to-date on the latest developments in orthodontics by maintaining a rigorous continuing education schedule and by following current orthodontic research.

Please let me know if you are interested in setting up an interview with Dr. Blevins for one of the above topics and I'd be happy to coordinate.

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