July 29th, 2014
Orthognathic surgery is surgery to correct a wide variety of abnormalities of our patients’ jaw and teeth. The surgery is often done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. While the patient’s appearance may be significantly improved as a result, the primary purpose of the surgery is to correct functional problems including but not limited to:
- Unbalanced facial appearance
- Protruding jaw
- Open bite (upper and lower teeth don’t overlap properly
- Excessive wearing down of the teeth
- Difficulty with chewing or biting
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Sleeping problems such as sleep apnea
- TMJ pain (jaw joint pain)
- Restoring facial injuries
Knowing when to start the orthodontic treatment in preparation for orthognathic surgery can also be tricky if our team at Olsen Orthodontics is treating a teenager. It is important to know when to get started. If orthodontic treatment is initiated too soon and the teenager is still growing, the patient will either need to hold in braces until his or her growth is complete and they are ready for surgery or the braces will have to be removed and then placed again when growth is complete. Neither of these options is attractive since it requires longer time in treatment, which is something all our patients want to avoid. Our team at Olsen Orthodontics strives to get all patients finished with treatment as quickly as possible because it is healthier for the teeth and gums and gives them a beautiful smile to enjoy for a lifetime.
If you are considering orthognathic surgery or you have been told that you need jaw surgery, give us a call to schedule your initial consultation today. Dr. Olsen and our team at Olsen Orthodontics will explain our treatment plan in a way you will understand and we will keep you informed every step of the way.
July 22nd, 2014
If you’re brushing your teeth twice a day during your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Olsen and our team think that’s wonderful! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every six months, or as recommended, in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing. (And visiting Olsen Orthodontics for regular adjustments, of course.)
Dental checkups are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of tooth decay, as well as catch and treat oral health problems early. During an oral exam, your dentist can also check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing.
If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next adjustment visit and we will provide a few great references in the Billings or Laurel, MT area!
July 15th, 2014
In recent years, many links have been established between orthodontic treatments and whole body health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers have observed that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease or experience difficulty controlling blood sugar than people without gum disease. While researchers continue to find associations between oral health and the overall health of the body, as of yet it hasn’t been determined whether gum disease is the sole cause of these health conditions. What can be determined, however, is that good oral health isn’t just about maintaining a healthy smile; it has an impact on the health of your entire body.
The associations between gum disease and whole body health
The links between the health of your mouth and the health of your body are too many to ignore. Is it a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together? Researchers don’t think so, despite the lack of definitive proof.
Here are four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.
- Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater incidence of clogged arteries.
- The American Society of Microbiology has revealed that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
- Loose teeth are often believed to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
- Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.
Orthodontics and gum disease
So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment at Olsen Orthodontics have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than give you a nice-looking smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at ridding tiny particles between your teeth.
Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body. And that’s a chance Dr. Olsen and our team at Olsen Orthodontics believe is worth taking. For more information about this topic, please give us a call at our convenient Billings or Laurel, MT office or ask Dr. Olsen during your next visit!
July 8th, 2014
The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. One of the first things people notice about others is their smiles so take the first step towards getting the smile you’ve always wanted and make your initial consultation at Olsen Orthodontics
A good bite not only makes it easier to eat and speak, but will enhance your dental and overall health as well. Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean reducing the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Let your smile express yourself! Give us a call at our convenient Billings or Laurel, MT office to schedule your consultation today!
July 1st, 2014
Happy Independence Day from Dr. Olsen and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country’s independence! Today we’re devoting the Olsen Orthodontics blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!
- My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
- Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
- The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth’s most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn’t have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington — they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
- Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
- The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?
No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don’t forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!
June 24th, 2014
Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during their child’s toddler years. And many assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to visit Dr. Olsen for an initial orthodontic consultation.
The ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven. At that age, your child will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth for Dr. Olsen and our team at Olsen Orthodontics to make a determination about whether any problems are present. Typically the first molars have come in by the time your child turns seven, giving us an opportunity to check for malocclusion, also known as “bad bite.” Also, by the time your child reaches the age of seven, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.
When Dr. Olsen and our team perform an evaluation on your child at an early age, you get one of two positive outcomes. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, it’s still helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Earlier treatment can also cost less to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment.
Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene.
If your child is approaching age seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination at Olsen Orthodontics.
June 17th, 2014
Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves two separate and distinct periods that your child receives orthodontic treatment. It allows your son or daughter to begin early treatment of bite and jaw problems, in order to reduce the dental issues he or she experiences later on.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment with Dr. Olsen can improve how well the second phase of the treatment works and helps to make room for permanent teeth. Overall, two-phase treatment helps to position the teeth and the jaw for an attractive profile. Our team at Olsen Orthodontics recommends that you bring your child to our Billings or Laurel, MT office at the age of seven or eight, so that Dr. Olsen can determine if early (Phase-One) treatment is necessary.
Phase-One orthodontic treatment is known as early treatment. It begins shortly after your child’s first orthodontic examination, usually around age eight or nine. The main goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to help make room for permanent teeth, which reduces crooked teeth as a result of overcrowding. It treats the jaw and bite growth, and issues like crossbite or underbite. This can reduce the need for your child to undergo extractions.
Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. The purpose is not just to correct spaces or misaligned teeth, but also to correct overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two usually begins around age 11 or 12, and the braces are worn for an average of two to three years, depending on your child’s unique needs. Some children have fewer issues and wear braces for little more than a year, while others need them for up to four years.
Signs your child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment
If your child exhibits the following signs, he or she may be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment:
- Losing baby teeth early, before five years of age
- Problems with biting or chewing
- Sucking the thumb after age five
- Evidence of a crossbite, where the teeth don’t come together when opening or closing of the mouth
- Teeth are crowded at age seven or eight
- Protruding teeth on the top or bottom
Not all children need to have early treatment, but if your child shows any of these signs, you should bring him or her to us for an evaluation at Olsen Orthodontics.
June 10th, 2014
You’ve made an investment on spending money on getting braces, so why not keep your teeth in good health while undergoing orthodontic treatment? Dr. Olsen and our team at Olsen Orthodontics will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you’re wearing braces as you did before proceeding with treatment.
Flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you’re wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.
While we know it’s tough enough to get kids to floss daily without braces, that battle becomes even tougher when braces are involved. Remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease during your treatment.
When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.
Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don’t forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.
If you have any questions about flossing or your orthodontic treatment at Olsen Orthodontics please don’t hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!
June 3rd, 2014
As we start our summer, our team at Olsen Orthodontics wants to remind our patients who have completed treatment that it is very important to wear your retainer as prescribed even while away for vacations and summer camps.
If you are away from home and only wearing your retainer at night, here is a helpful tip: after removing and brushing your retainer in the morning, place it back in the case and then put it with your PJ’s or on your pillow. That way you have a reminder to put your retainer back in at night.
Remember, retainers should be worn every night, not just some nights.
We wish you safe travels and adventures this summer!
May 27th, 2014
Today, Dr. Olsen and our team thought we would offer a few tips for our patients currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. For those of you wearing braces, it’s important to be even more dedicated to good oral hygiene than those not currently in treatment.
After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment.
Braces are known to trap food, which contributes to plaque formation. If it is not carefully removed from the teeth and gums, plaque will develop into decay or gum disease, leading to costly delays during your treatment. It is important to practice good oral hygiene by following instructions from Dr. Olsen during your treatment.
We are proud to offer supplies to help fight plaque, such as a proxabrush, dental floss, and floss threaders. The use of an electric toothbrush and or a water pick can also be helpful in combating cavities and decay. And, of course, our team at Olsen Orthodontics suggests brushing at least twice a day.
We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Billings or Laurel, MT office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!