Our Blog

Teeth And Total Body Health

July 31st, 2018

Have you ever stopped to think about the effect your smile has on other people? It has more of an impact than you may imagine. In fact, when people meet you for the first time, your smile is the main feature they notice, and one of the things they will remember the most. Studies have shown that an attractive smile can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to others. It can even make you seem more successful! Keeping your teeth looking their best is clearly important when it comes to putting your best foot forward in public, but did you know that good oral hygiene has benefits that go beyond appearance?

The way we treat our teeth can keep the rest of our body happy, too. There are a number of different ways in which oral health can impact overall health, from reducing inflammation to keeping our memory sharp. Even if you haven’t always been vigilant about brushing and flossing, it’s never too late to adopt a new oral hygiene routine! Here at Bennett Orthodontics, we want to make sure your teeth are healthy and your mouth is happy. Understanding the connections that exist between your oral health and total body health can be key to making that happen, so keep reading below to learn more!

Going beyond an aligned smile

It’s common for people to mistakenly believe that orthodontic treatment exists only to straighten the teeth for a more attractive, aligned smile, but there are many benefits to having teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. Orthodontics itself is functional in nature, offering both cosmetic and health benefits that last. Misaligned teeth and jaws can increase the risk for problems like tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. When left untreated, these problems can worsen, and may even become severe enough that chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech are affected. Orthodontic treatment can correct oral issues and give you not only a straighter smile but a mouth that is fully functioning.

Easier to keep teeth cleaner

When you have teeth that are overcrowded, food can become trapped, allowing plaque to form more easily and eat away at the enamel. This leads to cavities forming, sometimes in between your teeth, which makes them harder to see and treat since they may not be discovered until they’ve become problematic enough that you notice symptoms. A buildup of plaque can also adversely affect the health of your gums and has the potential to lead to gum disease. When you give an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Bennett the chance to address this kind of overcrowding, it will make it more difficult for plaque and cavities to form in between your teeth, preserving the long-term health of your gums and mouth.

Bennett Orthodontics staff with a patient

Improve your digestion

It might seem a little strange to think of teeth and digestion as part of the same process, but chewing your food is the first step to digestion, and arguably the most crucial one. Chewing thoroughly is an important oral habit to cultivate, as this is how your body converts large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest. This gives your intestines the chance to absorb nutrients properly. When food can’t be chewed properly because of misaligned teeth and jaws, it won’t digest as well in your stomach, and your body will have to use more energy in order to absorb all the nutrients. Jaws and teeth that are properly aligned will allow you to process your food in the most effective manner, from start to finish.

Reduce infection and inflammation

Certain studies have found some association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts suggest that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. By eating a well-balanced diet, practicing good oral hygiene, and scheduling regular dental and orthodontic check-ups, you can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This can go a long way toward keeping inflammation and infection to a minimum, at least as far as your mouth is concerned!

Stay sharp

Recent studies have shown a link between gum disease and cognitive function. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis, with periodontitis being the more advanced form. Adults with gingivitis have consistently performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with healthier mouths, and periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Again, regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are easy things you can do that will help prevent a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, reducing your chances of developing gum disease.

Bennett Orthodontics staff with a patient

Keep your confidence up with a beautiful smile by Bennett Orthodontics

If your smile is what people are most likely to remember about you, don’t let them take away an image of you with unattractive teeth or bad breath! Both of these things and more can be caused by gum disease and tooth decay, which can have a very real effect on your self-esteem and self-image. When you are worried about what people will see when you smile, the level of confidence you have in yourself and your appearance can take a hit. A healthy mouth that’s free from gingivitis and cavities can not only give you a smile you love and want to share, you may even find that you’re eating, sleeping, and concentrating better, too, since you won’t have any aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you!

Are you in Mobile or the surrounding area and want more information on how orthodontics can help you achieve better oral and total body health? At Bennett Orthodontics, we provide personalized treatment plans to work with your smile and your lifestyle. Dr. Bennett uses leading-edge techniques and state-of-the-art technology to achieve optimal results, and our entire team is dedicated to giving every patient we see an amazing orthodontic experience from beginning to end. We create smiles that are not only attractive but healthy and functional as well. Get in touch with our office today to talk to a member of our team about all the ways Bennett Orthodontics can change your smile for the better!

Dentist Vs. Orthodontist For Braces

June 22nd, 2018

Many of us are creatures of comfort and do not like to branch out into something completely new and unknown. It is a big deal when you find a dentist you like and feel comfortable with! If you have been thinking about braces treatment for yourself or your child, you may be wondering if this is something that has to be done by an orthodontist, or if it is something your regular dentist can handle in his or her office.

Although there are a number of similarities between the two, they are not actually interchangeable. There are some significant differences that set orthodontists apart from dentists, and when you are contemplating orthodontic treatment like braces, it is important to understand what those differences are. In learning what orthodontists like Dr. Bennett have to offer that other dentists do not, you will be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for you and your family.

Continuing education, further training, a specific set of skills

Orthodontists and dentists both get their start in dental school. However, after graduation, orthodontists will set out on a different path, one that includes extra years of specialized training in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Because orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, only the top students in any dental school graduating class will be accepted to continue toward a specialty in orthodontics. This program includes two to three years of full-time training that concentrates on orthodontic issues and how to correct them with orthodontic appliances like braces. This residency must be successfully completed before a dentist is able to claim the title of a licensed orthodontist. Orthodontists are essentially dentists who have years of specialized, additional training in orthodontics behind them. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, most dentists will not have this same level of rigorous orthodontic training and experience. So, are dentists qualified to straighten teeth using braces or other orthodontic appliances?

stack of books

Yes, some dentists are qualified to provide basic orthodontic care. But...

Because all dentists receive some basic orthodontic training in school, there are some general dentists qualified to provide orthodontic care to their patients. These dentists will often take continuing education seminars and acquire extra orthodontic experience through workshops.  But since workshops and seminars have no way to go over such extensive and specific material in depth, it is a bit of an imperfect system.

If your dentist does offer orthodontic care, it is only natural that you would consider using them for braces. But before you choose to move forward with treatment, consider that an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Bennett will be able to:

  • provide a wide variety of treatment options, from traditional metal and ceramic braces to clear aligner systems like Invisalign, and more
  • create a customized treatment plan based around the unique needs, anatomical characteristics, and desired results for you or your child
  • offer more efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is the only focus
  • deliver the best possible outcome, particularly for cases that are more complicated or severe

At Bennett Orthodontics, providing the utmost in orthodontic care and treatment is our only specialty! We put a tremendous amount of time and energy into perfecting our techniques and creating a safe, comfortable environment for our patients. We use leading-edge techniques and state-of-the-art technology to perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and our entire team is committed to providing only the very best in individualized orthodontic care.

Specialized treatment for beautiful straight smiles that last a lifetime

Have you ever heard the saying, “just because it can be done, does not mean it should be done?” While it is always up to you as the patient to choose your care provider, there is something to be said for a doctor with the most specialized education, training, and experience when it comes to something as important as your smile. Having a general dentist perform specialized orthodontic work is a little bit like a general physician performing open heart surgery - is it possible? Sure! Is it something you want to take a chance on? Maybe not.

An orthodontist like Dr. Bennett puts emphasis on the most optimal treatment approaches, those that will help us avoid any unnecessary complications. With the training and experience to notice some of the smaller things a general dentist might overlook, orthodontists are able to recommend treatment plans that are time and cost-effective, and will also reduce the chance of any complications developing. Bennett Orthodontics has everything you need for the best orthodontic experience, with customized, long-term care plans to see you through the treatment process, from braces and beyond!

girl with braces holding heart

Bennett Orthodontics offers the best braces experience in Mobile

Our sole specialty at Bennett Orthodontics is orthodontics. Dr. Bennett and the rest of our skilled staff have the kind of expertise and experience necessary to give you nothing the best quality, cost, and efficiency in braces treatment. Choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and we know that it can often be a step outside your comfort zone. Our team will go above and beyond to make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment you walk in our door. We want your orthodontic process to be as rewarding as possible! 

If you are in Mobile or the surrounding area and would you like to see this kind of excellent care in action, why not schedule a consultation with us? After a comprehensive examination, we would love to outline a personalized treatment plan for you and explore all the ways braces can benefit your smile. Even if you decide not to get braces, we are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have in order to make an informed decision. If you are ready to take the first steps towards a beautifully aligned and fully functional smile, get in touch with us today!

Rhinogram

May 29th, 2018

Most of us text more than we talk these days, and with many businesses offering appointment reminders, donation prompts, and calls to action delivered right to your phone, it is become an even more convenient tool for staying connected. Now Bennett Orthodontics is making oral care a whole lot more accessible by offering Rhinogram, a text-based technology that allows our office to provide virtual orthodontic consultations! Imagine the ease of consulting with an orthodontist without having to take time off work, or even leave your home, and second opinions are a cinch when all you have to do is text with one of our orthodontic specialists. Let us take a closer look at what exactly Rhinogram is, and how you can benefit from this innovative tool.

What is Rhinogram?

Rhinogram is a tech-savvy communication tool that connects you with our orthodontic practice when you need trustworthy care delivered quickly from the comfort of your own home. This patient-focused service requires no downloads, no sneaky sign-ups, and there is never any cost to use it. It is also compliant with HIPAA, so you can be assured your personal information will be kept safe and confidential. No referral is necessary, you simply reach out to us as needed and we will be in touch with you as soon as we can.

How does it work?

Rhinogram could not be easier! To initiate your free virtual consultation, text us the following photographs

  • frontal
  • RIGHT close up
  • LEFT close up
  • upper
  • lower

and include a brief summary as well as any questions you have about the orthodontic issue you are experiencing. We will review these and respond as soon as we are able to, as well as provide you with any further instructions from Rhinogram. The initial advice you receive from us will be an estimation, and not in-depth specifics. In order to develop a customized treatment plan, more records and photographs will be necessary. 

lower teeth

What are the benefits of Rhinogram?

Aside from the convenience and ease of texting with an orthodontic practice like ours, Rhinogram provides our team with the opportunity to practice a more patient-focused approach via real and conversational texting. Texts are sent and received through our existing office number, and used for everything from scheduling and following up appointments to answering a variety of questions regarding orthodontic issues and care. Rhinogram is a secure channel with a personal touch, and because every conversation is stored in one place, all of our team members are able to stay on the same page of each case. No more repeating yourself!

bottom of teeth

Text Bennett Orthodontics with Rhinogram

We are so excited about this new system we are offering, and we think you will be, too! For current patients, we can schedule and reschedule appointments, follow up after appointments, and answer treatment or insurance questions using Rhinogram. If you are not yet a Bennett Orthodontics patient, Rhinogram gives us the chance to potentially offer a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan before we even see you in our Mobile office! We can engage with you and meet your needs before you ever become a patient, a much desired and entirely necessary service in today’s world. To learn more about Rhinogram, how to use it, and all the ways it can enhance your relationship with our orthodontic office, get in touch today!

Orthodontic Options for All Ages

April 17th, 2018

While most of us think of tweens and teens when we talk about braces, orthodontic treatment is for patients of all ages. About 25% of current orthodontic patients are adults, and the American Association of Orthodontics recommends a child have their first orthodontic evaluation before the age of seven, which just goes to show that you are never too young, or too old, to improve your oral health. Whether you are a child, a teen, or an adult— Bennett Orthodontics will provide you with quality orthodontic care so you can have a beautiful and healthy smile that lasts a lifetime!

Whether you are looking for information on interceptive treatment for your child, braces for your teen, or orthodontics for yourself, we have you covered at Bennett Orthodontics. We even created this guide to orthodontics for all ages to get you started!

Children and Orthodontics

There may not be an exact minimum age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, but the American Association of Orthodontists still recommends that children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. Most children have a mix of both primary teeth and permanent teeth at this age, which makes it easier for experienced orthodontists like Dr. Bennett to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems early. This lessens the chance of them requiring more serious treatment because the problems became more severe on down the line. At Bennett Orthodontics, this interceptive treatment allows us to:

  • help avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • correct bad habits like thumb or finger sucking
  • help improve minor speech problems
  • correct and guide the growth of a child’s jaw to help permanent teeth come in straight
  • regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • create more space for crowded teeth

Just simply looking at your child does not let you know whether or not they may need orthodontic treatment. Many dental issues are not visible on the surface, which means outward appearances can be deceiving. We will be checking for several potential problems that could indicate a need for treatment during your child’s initial orthodontic evaluation with us, like:

  • teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • crowded front teeth from around the age of seven or eight
  • baby teeth earlier or later than normal
  • difficulties with chewing or biting food
  • mouth breathing
  • finger or thumb sucking
  • crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
  • jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing

The first step in giving your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future is scheduling their first orthodontic exam with us.

Girl smiling

Teens and Braces

You likely have a lot of questions and concerns if you suspect your teen may be in need of corrective orthodontic treatment. Your teen may be feeling worried when considering braces, and you may be feeling nervous. This should only be a short-lived reaction! By showing you how the bulkier, more awkward metal braces of the past have evolved into braces that are smaller, sleeker, and far more comfortable than ever before, our Bennett Orthodontics team can help set your mind at ease. By choosing from the variety of styles, materials, and colors available, teens are able to show off their personality.

We offer a wide variety of orthodontic appliances that teens can choose from, both fixed and removable:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Invisalign clear aligner therapy
  • Traditional metal braces

“How long will I have to wear braces?” is the question we hear from teens the most. Since treatment time is on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the severity and goals of each patient, there really is no concrete answer for it. However, since a few common key factors determine the amount of time it will take to treat their smile with braces, we can estimate how long it might be.

Early treatment — In order for us to be able to recommend further orthodontic treatment if necessary, we need to monitor the growth of the jaw. We can cut down the total time needed in braces by a considerable amount when we catch the problems in the early stages.

What needs correction — Because patients react to treatment in different ways, what may take one patient twelve months to correct may take another patient twenty-four or even thirty-six months. The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem is what will determine how long the process itself takes. How quickly your teen’s body responds to treatment also plays a key factor in the time it takes.

Your teen —  By sticking to Dr. Bennett’s recommendations, teens can help keep their treatment time to a minimum by taking good care of their appliance, and maintaining a thorough dental hygiene routine. Completing the treatment as quickly as possible all depends upon compliance!

Adults

Adults seeking out orthodontic treatment later in life is becoming more and more common. We often better understand the importance of maintaining oral health, and want to feel better about our overall appearance as we get older. Adults are able to take advantage of more modern treatment options, which offer discreet but effective ways to straighten smiles, including clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign.

Adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment often have one or more of these common issues:

  • any abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
  • the desire for a healthier mouth, straight teeth, and a more confident smile
  • a bad bite (malocclusion) causing the teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • the teeth are too crowded, or spaced too far apart

Young woman with clear braces

A Difference in Ages

In younger patients their jawbones are still developing, which makes less invasive treatment more likely to be successful. This is the biggest difference in treating adults when compared to children and teens. The possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones is prevalent in adults because their jawbones have stopped growing. Other differences can include:

Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Patients with straighter teeth are much less likely to encounter gum disease. Adults are naturally more likely than children to experience gum recession or bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease.

Worn or missing teeth — Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease. Over time, teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care.

Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Teeth that have been straightened are likely to have shifted over the years. Adults often choose to complete or redo their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they have always wanted. They may have stopped orthodontic treatment as a child or teen and never completed the process, or they did not wear their retainer as directed after completing treatment.

Dr. Bennett will work closely with you to ensure you or your child receive the most appropriate treatments based on your particular needs. Our team will guarantee you are met with understanding and respect throughout the treatment process. Bennett Orthodontics recognizes that adults and children require different levels of attention and care because they have different orthodontic needs.

Orthodontic Treatment for You, Your Teen, or Your Child

Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Flossing and brushing works better with properly aligned teeth, and may also help prevent other health problems.

A straighter smile can build confidence — Your self-confidence, will be boosted from orthodontic treatment, resulting in a better quality of life and sharing your smile with the world.

Untreated issues can get worse — Long-term health issues will end up costing you more time and money in the end if you avoid orthodontic treatment when it is recommended for you.

Whether you are seven or seventy, Bennett Orthodontics is all about putting patients first! We work hard to create beautiful smiles for all ages in a relaxed, family-friendly environment. If you are in the Mobile area, get in touch with our conveniently located office to find out more information on what orthodontics have to offer you and your family. Schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Bennett and our team, so we can invest together in a smile that lasts a lifetime!

 
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