Discover How Exercise Impacts Dental Health and What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Smile

Dental Health
Dental health is a special concern when you are focusing on increasing your exercise schedule. Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald provide four simple tips to keep your mouth healthy when you are getting in shape.

Dental health is probably not something you have considered when it comes to your exercise routine. However, it is vitally important when sticking to your health plan and working out regularly to take the proper precautions for your teeth.

Increased cavities can become a real problem for people who work out regularly. While sports drinks and protein shakes can contribute to the issue, the real culprit is your own saliva.

Dental Health
Dehydration is just one way that exercise can work against your smile.

Exercise Can Damage Dental Heath by Altering the pH in Saliva

Normally your saliva helps build strong teeth and fights cavities by keeping the pH in your mouth neutral. Your saliva contains proteins from the salivary glands that normally help break down foods. But when you exercise, the pH in your saliva becomes more alkaline and interferes with the proteins in your mouth that help fight tooth decay.

The protein in your mouth helps prevent a buildup of plaque bacteria. When left unchecked, bacteria produce acid that erodes teeth. More exercise means more damage to teeth.

Dental Health
Your exercise equipment should always include a water bottle.

Dehydration Means Less Saliva and More Dental Health Damage

Making matters even worse, as you exercise and get dehydrated, the salivary glands produce less saliva to fight decay.

“If you rehydrate with a sports drink, you are at more risk because you are adding lots of sugar,” said Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald at Sky Ortho in Moore and Shawnee. “Your mouth is already compromised during exercise due to a temporary pH imbalance. Bacteria feast on the sugar in sports drinks and turn it into tooth-destroying acid.”

Good Moves
When making good moves toward better health don’t forget your teeth!

4 Simple Things to Improve Dental Health and Keep on Exercising

But don’t stop exercising! It is much healthier overall to be in shape. Just follow some simple steps so you won’t have to worry about any damage to your teeth. It is simple to maintain oral health even with exercise if you apply the same discipline you’re using to sustain your workout schedule.

Dental Health
Sports drinks help replace electrolytes but avoid sugar whenever possible.

1. Avoid sugary sports drinks to optimize dental health.

It is important to replenish electrolytes, especially on a hot day. Try doing it with a healthy fresh salad and a light meal after a good workout. If you are an athlete working out excessively for longer than an hour each day, speak to your doctor about the healthiest electrolyte replacements.

Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth regularly to optimize your dental health.

2. Brush your teeth twice a day or more if possible.

Be sure to brush right before your workout. This is even more important if you are working out later in the day and have not brushed since your last meal. A clean mouth will make it easier for your body to fight bacteria.

Healthy Eating
Eat healthy foods to improve the health of your mouth and teeth.

3. Focus on nutrition for dental health.

Eating tooth-healthy foods like cheese, meat, nuts, milk, and crunchy veggies like carrots and celery. These will raise the pH and help fortify your teeth against damage.

Dental Health
Visit the dentist or your orthodontist regularly to ensure top dental health.

4. See your dentist or orthodontist on schedule.

See your dentist or orthodontist at least twice each year unless you are wearing braces or dealing with other issues that require more frequent visits. This will allow your dentist or orthodontist to recognize a potential issue before it becomes serious. Plus, a good cleaning twice a year only helps to keep you healthy.

Keep up the good work while you keep your body and your smile in shape. And if you are due for a visit to the Oklahoma City orthodontist, schedule with Sky Ortho today.

A Winning Smile Could Be the Key to Your Success and Health

winning smile

Get Your Winning Smile at Sky Ortho

Winning smile? It’s the ticket to a healthy successful future. There is no time like the present to stop frowning and light up your future with a winning smile from Sky Ortho. Thanks to the latest technology and 0% financing, Sky Ortho is doing everything possible to ensure that no one in Oklahoma City, Shawnee or surrounding communities must go without a perfect smile. Whether you need dental alignment or restoration, no matter your age, Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald are ready to help you have the smile of your dreams.

Romantic smile

University Studies Support the Importance of a Winning Smile

Why is a winning smile important? No matter what the nature of our interactions, we are initially judged by our smile. Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of a winning smile in social, romantic, career, and political pursuits. Subconsciously, we know this. As a result, many of us, especially teens, feel self-conscious about chipped, stained, missing, or miss-aligned teeth.

Crooked or discolored teeth might prevent you from smiling freely or cause you to put a hand over your mouth when you laugh. If you’d like to improve your smile and make it shine, Dr. Larson or Dr. Fitzgerald can help you achieve your goals.

When it comes to improving your smile, the options are nearly endless. From teeth whitening to alignment and braces, whatever you dream for your smile, your orthodontist can make a reality.

winning smile

A Winning Smile Will Improve Your Health

When our teeth and gums are healthier, we have fewer dental infections, plus our risk for diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory disease are also lower.

When our teeth are misaligned, plaque, and gum disease form. Bacteria from your mouth can travel through the bloodstream to the organs in your body, including brain tissue, muscles, and joints, resulting in inflammation. As the inflammation grows, your body produces cholesterol to form a wall against inflammation. Cholesterol, also known as plaque, in the organs and blood vessels can result in long-term health issues.

The leading cause of heart disease, diabetes, kidney, and liver problems is gum disease. Gum disease also links to cancer. Consequently, the US Office of Women’s Health, stated that breast cancer was more prevalent among women with gum disease.

Winning Smile

The Financial Benefits of a Healthy Smile

There are few investments that will have a better long-term return than the investment you make in your smile. It saves you on medical costs over the years and improves your longevity. Therefore, it improves your earning potential. Plus, studies have shown that candidates with a healthier smile will land the better accounts, get the best job offers, get elected over other candidates, sell faster than competitors, and get more promotions at work. In general, a healthy smile boosts your confidence, and that improves your performance.

Why wait? Contact the office of Dr. Larson and Dr. Fitzgerald today or book an appointment online to find out how you and your family can get started on your winning smiles right away.

Mouthguards are a Must for the Young Athletes in Your Family

Mouthguards are critical to protecting your athletic children that are participating in team sports. Student-athletes without protective mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer mouth and facial trauma.

The Reasons Why All Young Athletes Should Wear a Mouthguard

Even though child athletes without protective mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer mouth and facial trauma, a recent survey found that just 32 percent of youth football players and 11 percent of hockey and lacrosse players wear these guards. Mouthguards help soften an impact to the face that could cause broken, chipped or lost teeth, jaw injuries or cuts to the lip, tongue, or face.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the doctors at Sky Ortho recommend custom-made protective mouthguards because the benefits far outweigh any discomfort or inconvenience.

These young athletes are dressed for soccer practice but something is missing…their mouthguards!

The Benefits of Mouthguards

“Mouthguards for children and teens involved in sports are the best way to avoid physical and financial stress,” Dr. Prisilla Larson of Sky Ortho said. “They protect the teeth as well as the gums, jaw, and jawbones from impact injuries especially common in team sports.”

According to the AAPD, protective mouthguards must be worn for all sports. But the most common causes of dental trauma in any sport is a ball to the mouth or a blow from an opposing player. Football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, boxing, and martial arts are the sports where kids and teens most commonly sustain dental injuries. The American Dental Association has found that mouthguards may also reduce the rate and severity of concussions.

Athletic gear
Mouthguard hanging off the helmet of an American football player during a team practice session.

All Mouthguards are Not the Same

There, is a general belief that all mouthguards are the same. However, as the old adage states, you get what you pay for. Typically with mouthguards, the higher the price, the better the design technology and materials.

“Parents need to understand that the cost of repairing even a chipped tooth can be up to 10 times the cost of a higher-end mouthguard,” said Dr. Larson. “Store-bought mouthguards provide little to no protection due to loose or improper fit.”

Contact Sports
Protection is key for all contact sports. It is also a good idea for non-contact sports.

Comfort is a Key Consideration with Mouthguards

Custom mouthguards fit better and therefore are more comfortable than the inexpensive ones. The more comfortable the mouthguard, the more likely your young athlete will be to wear it.

If you cannot afford a custom mouthguard, visit your local sporting goods store and buy a mouth-formed or “boil and bite” guard. These guards provide more protection than a pre-formed generic guard, but less than a custom guard.

Assorted Protective Gear
Protective mouthguards are a good idea for all young athletes.

What You Need to Consider When Buying a Mouthguard

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a mouthguard.

  • Be sure that it is fitted to the young athlete’s teeth. Follow any instructions included with the mouthguard if you are not getting a custom guard.
  • Your athlete must want to wear it. They need to think it looks cool. Most young athletes are less concerned with the protection aspect of the mouthguard than they are with the appearance of it.
Cool Mouthguard
Mouthguards that look cool are more likely to be worn by young athletes.

Custom Mouthguards – as Good for the Kids as they are for the Pros

Custom mouthguards for young athletes are made with the same care and consideration as the custom mouthguards of professional athletes. Mouthguards should fit well, be comfortable, and protect without affecting speech and breathing no matter the age of the athlete or the level of competition.

If your child has trouble with a gag reflex, check to ensure the mouthguard fits well. The more a mouthguard moves in the mouth, the more likely it is to create a gag reflex. The proper fit takes into consideration that the mouthguard does not extend too far onto the palate (roof of the mouth) or extend past the last tooth.

Start early teaching your child to protect his or her smile when playing sports.

The Sports with the Highest Incidence of Facial Trauma – Not What You Think

“Orofacial trauma is highest in athletes ages 8 to 14 and most often occurs in basketball and soccer,” Dr. Larson said. “If your child wears or has worn braces in OKC or a retainer, it is even more necessary to have a quality mouthguard. All too often, parents and kids go through the time and expense of orthodontic treatment to get the perfect smile only to have it ruined by traumatic injuries that could be prevented by wearing a custom mouthguard.”

Wait until orthodontic treatment is complete to go to custom mouthguards to ensure the fit will stay because the bite will continue to change until treatment is completed making it difficult to get a good fit from a custom mouthguard. To learn more about custom mouthguards, schedule a consultation with Dr. Larson or Dr. Fitzgerald by calling the office in Moore at (405) 378-4774 or Shawnee at (405) 275-3800. Or, request an appointment online.

Get Braces for Kids in Summer for these Five Good Reasons

Get BracesGetting braces in the summer is a great idea because it gives you a bit of free time to adjust before classes begin in the fall.

Get braces for your children now because there is no better time to start orthodontic treatments than at the start of summer, says Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald of Sky Orthodontics. Here are five reasons you should consider starting your kids now.

Get BracesSummer is a great time to get braces because you have more free time to learn how to care for them.

1. Get Braces in Summer to Give Kids More Time to Adjust

When your children get braces, it can potentially change their lives. It can impact how they see themselves and as a result, how they interact with friends and classmates. Giving young people a few weeks to wear braces might make the change much more comfortable in the new school year.

Similarly, summer helps kids learn important things about wearing and caring for their new braces. For example,

  • Eating a braces-friendly diet.
  • Learning proper brushing and flossing techniques.
  • Feeling comfortable (less pain) with braces on their teeth.
  • Gaining confidence (at ease socially) wearing braces.

Get Braces Summertime fun can make it a lot easier to forget about the discomfort of adjusting to braces.

2. New Technologies Improve Comfort

New Oklahoma City orthodontic technologies have minimized most of the physical discomfort of getting braces, but young gums and growing teeth can still feel a bit tender shortly after the initial installation. There’s also a learning curve for wearing braces, such as getting used to eating with them and learning appropriate cleaning techniques.

Becoming familiar with these aspects at home and under the guidance of Mom or Dad is a lot easier for kids. While at home, your child is be able to experiment with soft foods and slowly move to harder foods. By the time school is back in session, your child will see his or her orthodontic appliance as more of a natural extension of themself and less of a hindrance.

Adjusting to change takes time and the more time you have, the more comfortable your child is at the official start of school. Better to focus on the new school year than on new braces!

Cleaning teeth
Wearing and caring for braces is easier to learn when your head is not in your books.

3. Extra Time to Consider Options and Get Braces You Want

Free from school-related stuff and extracurricular activities, summer allows kids extra time to relax. When kids get braces during the summer, it gives them a head start to learn to care for their teeth and the apparatus.

Another advantage of summertime is that there is less hassle with getting on the appointment schedule at your orthodontist. Summer is an excellent time for braces because you have more time to adjust to your Shawnee orthodontic office visits which fit comfortably into a summertime schedule. It takes time to visit the orthodontist and care for new braces. Doing it during summer gives both the patient and the doctor an opportunity to discuss and set up an oral care plan.

Bonding with Kids
Braces are a great way for kids to bond with their parents due to added together time.

4. The Special Time to Get Braces Improves Family Bonding

Making the decision to straighten teeth is shared one-to-one time with you and that child. That makes it very special and memorable. When its summertime, you can work together with your kids to plan appointments and oral care. You can even turn your visits to Sky Ortho into memorable field trips by adding lunch and a unique activity following each visit. There is a lot more time to spend with each other when school is on break and turning the visit into an adventure makes checkups more exciting.

Get Braces
Get braces before summer growth spurts so that teeth get a head start on turning.

5. Start Straightening Teeth Before Summer Growth Spurts

The best time to complete orthodontic treatment is during your child’s maximum growth rate. Most kids will grow for short periods and then go into somewhat of a lag stage until the next spurt. Studies have shown that the greatest of these growth spurts occur during the long days of summer.

While researchers are still studying the cause, the most likely reason is pituitary gland factors that relate to the length of the day and increased heat. Whatever the root cause for this growth spurt, the fact is that it’s ideal to get the process started beforehand to ensure that your child’s teeth move into their desired positions while they are growing.

Get Braces
By the time school starts, your student will be focused on new classes, not new braces.

A Variety of Options if You Plan to Straighten Your Teeth

Sky Ortho offers many different types of braces for all ages. For the youngest orthodontic patients, Dr. Larson uses only fixed appliances. Fixed appliances are made of stainless steel that is bonded to teeth for the duration of treatment. These braces are great for kids because there’s nothing removable to lose.

Teenagers can also wear fixed braces if they don’t mind wearing visible appliances. For those teenagers or adults who want more discretion, Sky Ortho offers Invisalign in Oklahoma City.

Book Your Appointment Now
Book your appointment now. Summer will be gone before you know it!

Call now to schedule an appointment or use our online request form.

Call our Moore office at (405) 378-4774 or the Shawnee office at (405) 275-3800, or schedule an appointment online. Dr. Larson provides your child with a thorough exam, followed by a discussion with you and your child about recommended treatment.

Take the journey with your children to achieve the beautiful and healthy smiles they deserve.


Invisalign — Getting Invisible and Clear Braces in Oklahoma City


What is Invisalign and how is it different from traditional braces?

Invisalign is a type of dental treatment that straightens teeth without the use of metal braces.  It has transformed orthodontics giving patients an alternative to metal brackets.

Many people want straighter teeth. But few want to wear metal brackets and experience the discomfort associated with traditional braces. If you fit this description, consider Invisalign.

Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, include no metal, and are custom made for your teeth. They work with a series of trays that gradually shift your teeth into place. Each tray is manufactured so that the teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Your teeth will typically move up to 0.25 mm per tray. Every two weeks, you will receive a new set, slowly moving your teeth towards their ideal positions.

Invisalign is the most convenient solution for straightening your teeth discreetly.

OKC Invisalign offers complete convenience.

Just pop the trays in, and you’re ready to go. Because the aligners are clear and barely noticeable, they are perfect for people who want a more discreet option. And, unlike metal braces, OKC Invisalign won’t irritate your mouth as wires and brackets can. There is no need to apply wax to irritating brackets.

Another benefit is that Oklahoma City Invisalign allows you to see what your smile will look like when treatment is complete. No need to wonder about the end result — you can see it yourself.

After Invisalign See what your teeth will look like after Invisalign treatment is completed at Sky Ortho.

How does OKC Invisalign work?

Oklahoma City Invisalign involves wearing a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that shift your teeth into the proper position. Patients who would have never considered Oklahoma City braces before are now giving Invisalign a try.

Wear your aligners as you go about your daily routine. Take them out in the morning and evening to clean them. All you do is brush them as you do your teeth. Take Invisalign out when it’s time to eat so that you can enjoy all your favorite foods. No special diet because nothing gets stuck in wires or brackets.

In fact, Invisalign OKC keeps teeth cleaner than traditional braces because you brush as usual. This treatment is also perfect for people who play contact sports, especially those that require mouthguards. Simply remove the aligners while playing and replace them when you’re done.

Once you’ve reached your ultimate goal, your doctor will recommend retainers. This is the same whether you’ve gone through treatment with traditional braces or invisible aligners. Retainers are necessary because teeth can shift back into their pre-treatment position.

Invisalign OKC Invisalign may cost a bit more than conventional braces for there are many advantages.

How much does Invisalign cost in Oklahoma City, OK?

The typical price of Invisalign braces can be a bit higher than regular braces. The average cost is between $3,500 and $8,000. Your OKC orthodontist can give you a better estimate of the price. The factors that come into play are the extent of the alignment and how many aligners needed to complete treatment.

The cost of regular braces varies widely but is usually in the range of $2,500 to $6,000. Again, the price may change depending on individual need and should be discussed with your orthodontist. Most dental insurance plans cover Oklahoma City Invisalign just as they would regular braces. Check with your insurance company to determine the level of coverage.

east to wear The professionals at Sky Ortho can help you with everything you need to know about Invisalign.

Where can I find Invisalign in Oklahoma City, OK?

You may want to start by taking Invisalign’s Smile Assessment to see if it is the right treatment for your smile. Then you should consult with an experienced provider, like Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald of Sky Orthodontics who can determine whether this treatment will work for your teeth. The Sky Ortho staff can also answer any medical or financial questions you have.

Keep in mind that not every dentist will have professional experience or training with Invisalign. Invisalign-trained providers attend specialized instructional sessions and participate in ongoing clinical training. It’s essential to visit an expert working with Invisalign, like Dr. Larson and Dr. Fitzgerald, to ensure your best smile possible.

digital scan Your custom treatment begins with 3D images of your teeth.

Invisalign’s unique technology explained.

After your visit, one of our doctors will perform a digital scan and create a custom treatment plan. They will use precise 3-D images of your teeth to map out their movements over the course of treatment. These images help create your custom-made aligners. The smooth, BPA-free plastic is non-irritating and comfortable for constant wear. Every two weeks or so, you graduate to your next set of aligners.

The aligners straighten teeth using a patented thermoplastic design. This not only controls the force applied to straighten teeth but also the timing of force application. Just a few teeth move during each stage based on your individual treatment plan.

The average treatment takes about 12 months. This varies based on the severity of each individual situation. Dr. Larson and Dr. Fitzgerald will work closely with you to develop a personal treatment plan.

In addition, our doctors may use attachments to further perfect your smile. In some cases, tooth-colored composite “bumps” applied to your teeth help the aligner grip the teeth better. This helps ensure the desired tooth movement.

smile with gap Invisalign addresses a multitude of problems and it promotes your best oral health.

Will Invisalign work for me?

Gapped teeth, overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth are just a few of the problems that Invisalign can correct. Besides being unsightly, these problems can affect your dental health.

Gapped teeth will leave gums unprotected and can lead to periodontal disease. Overbites and underbites can cause stress to the jaw, and result in painful joint problems. Over-crowded teeth frequently lead to plaque accumulation because it’s difficult to floss effectively. This could result in cavities forming in over-crowded areas.

OKC Invisalign addresses all of these problems and more. Plus it promotes your best oral health. In the end, it is up to you and your doctor to decide which treatment is best for you.

The average price is not much higher than regular braces. Plus, Invisalign OKC offers unique advantages that may outweigh the difference in price. If cost is a big concern for you, talk to the Sky Ortho staff about financing options. Sky Ortho offers flexible monthly payment plans to spread out the cost of Oklahoma City Invisalign braces over a longer period.

Contact Sky Ortho for Orthodontic in Oklahoma City OK

Call or email Sky Ortho today to schedule your consultation.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City to Find Out if You Need Braces as an Adult

Visit an orthodontist in Oklahoma City if you are considering braces for yourself or anyone in your family. Dr. Priscilla Larson or Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald, both licensed orthodontists in Oklahoma, will help families understand the right time to get braces OKC. Sky Ortho provides orthodontic treatment services and helps everyone from Oklahoma who is looking for an orthodontist in Moore, Norman, Shawnee, or the OKC metro area. In addition, this OKC Orthodontist is also one of the select providers for Invisalign.

While many people think that only preteens and teenagers need to get braces, adults get braces, too. In fact, more than a million adults wear braces, and the trend continues to grow. Whether you are uncomfortable with your smile or have trouble with oral hygiene because of the placement of your teeth, adult braces have many benefits.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

Learn About Adult Options When You Visit An Orthodontist in Oklahoma City

Traditional metal braces are the norm for many, but you have other options for straightening your teeth. Depending on your budget and the severity of your misaligned teeth, your orthodontist may recommend dental aligners, lingual — or behind-the-teeth — braces, or porcelain braces. Porcelain braces are on the teeth like traditional metal braces, but with less conspicuous brackets.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

You Get More from Braces as an Adult Than Straight Teeth

As you age, your mouth and jaw change shape. In addition, your jawbone naturally loses density causing your teeth to shift. Over time, teeth become crowded and some people experience pain or discomfort when chewing and swallowing. Teeth that overlap also become difficult to clean, making teeth more susceptible to dental decay.

Braces not only straighten teeth to give you a more natural smile, but they also improve overall oral health. Many patients who get braces are over 50 years of age. They choose to get braces due to oral discomfort.

Adult Braces

Gain Confidence in Your Smile When You Visit an Orthodontist in Oklahoma City

Studies have shown that people with straighter teeth are viewed as more successful than those with crooked teeth. That is because people associate straight teeth with health and attractiveness. This means, perceived flaws in your smile can give others a bad first impression when you apply for a job, go on a date, or meet people for the first time.

You gain confidence in your smile when you get braces because you no longer feel self-conscious about the way your teeth look. Write down your concerns about your teeth and discuss them with your orthodontist to see if braces are a good solution for your dental needs.

Adult Braces

You Can Better Afford Treatment Later in Life

Braces are not as expensive as you think. According to a Harvard Medical School study, the average adult spends anywhere a range from $5-7,500 for braces. If you need braces for reasons beyond cosmetics — such as preventing dental decay or improving the way you speak and eat — your dental insurance may even help cover the costs. The cost for adult braces varies depending on the type of braces needed. Your orthodontist will show you the options that are best for your oral needs and budget.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

Your Time Wearing Braces as an Adult Passes Quickly

The average adult wears braces anywhere from 18 to 26 months. How long you will wear braces depends on the style of braces you choose and alignment factors. Your orthodontist will adjust your braces every few weeks as your teeth respond to treatment. After the orthodontist removes your braces, he or she will have you fitted for a retainer to align your new smile.

After receiving braces, your mouth will feel sore, and eating and speaking will be uncomfortable while you get used to your dental appliance. Dr. Larson or Dr. Fitzgerald will show you ways to take care of your teeth while wearing braces to keep your oral health in check.

Braces change your life and improve your overall health and oral hygiene. Speak to our highly trained and friendly staff at Sky Ortho for all your orthodontic needs. We specialize in both pediatric and adult dental care and will improve your smile today. Contact Sky Ortho today to learn more about Invisalign or braces.


Malocclusion of Teeth and How Elastic Bands Help Correct it

Malocclusion is a big word but to put it simply, it is a condition in which the teeth do not align properly. On the other hand, occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and how the upper and lower teeth fit together. This is also known as your bite. Occlusion, which is the normal state, indicates that the upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth. In this case, the points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposite molar.

It is interesting to note, the upper teeth keep you from biting your cheeks and lips. Meanwhile, your lower teeth protect your tongue.


How does Malocclusion Occur?

Malocclusion is often inherited, says Dr. Priscilla Larson of Sky Ortho. As a result of genetics, you may have a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws, or between the jaw and tooth size. Typically, malocclusion causes overcrowding of teeth or an abnormal bite. In addition, the shape of the jaws or birth defects such as cleft lip and palate can also be causes of malocclusion.

Other causes include:

  • Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifier use beyond the age 3, or prolonged use of a bottle
  • Also, extra teeth, lost teeth, impacted teeth, or abnormally shaped teeth
  • Ill-fitting dental fillings, crowns, dental appliances, retainers, or braces
  • Misalignment of jaw fractures after a severe injury
  • Tumors of the mouth and jaw

The Different Categories of Malocclusion and What They Mean

  • Class 1 malocclusion is the most common. The bite is normal, but the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
  • Class 2 malocclusion is called retrognathism or overbite. It occurs when the upper jaw and teeth severely overlap the bottom jaw and teeth.
  • Class 3 malocclusion is called prognathism or underbite. It occurs when the lower jaw protrudes or juts forward, causing the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth.

Why Use Elastic Bands with Braces?

Elastics or rubber bands are an important part of the orthodontic treatment for malocclusion. That is because they provide the force necessary to move the teeth and jaw into proper alignment. There are several parts to braces.

  • First, the brackets — square metal pieces bonded directly to your teeth.
  • Through these brackets runs the archwire, which, when attached to the brackets, provides the force that helps move the teeth.
  • Connecting the archwire to the brackets are the ligatures. Ligatures are little rubber bands that wrap around the individual braces and hold the archwire in place. They are the part of the braces kids don’t mind wearing because they get to pick the colors. These rubber bands stay on between visits; the Shawnee orthodontist will change them each time the wire is tightened or the braces are adjusted.
  • The final parts are inter-arch elastic bands. These adjust the bite and jaw position. They are connected to the brackets with hooks, usually connecting the top tooth bracket with the bottom tooth bracket. Doing so helps adjust the position of the teeth in the mouth as well as the position of the jaw. Interarch bands help ensure teeth line up properly. These must be removed during meals. They must also be removed when cleaning your teeth and brackets. In addition, they are replaced daily due to stretch.

Not everyone who gets braces needs inter-arch elastic bands. In fact, whether or not you have bands depends on your existing jaw alignment and what the orthodontist recommends for your malocclusion.

Elastics Help Malocclusion

What Can You Expect When Wearing Elastic Bands on Braces?

Wearing elastics will initially make your teeth sore but the pain will go away after a few days. However, you must wear them continuously. Giving your teeth a break from the elastics will only make them feel sore again the next time you put them on. Plus, removing the bands will delay the completion of your malocclusion treatment.

How to Wear Elastic Bands on Braces

Dr. Larson and her staff provide you with complete instructions on how to remove and replace the bands. It’s really quite easy.

Here is a sample of the instructions you receive for braces. Follow these consistently to ensure that treatment goes as planned.

  • Wear your elastic bands at all times unless otherwise instructed.
  • Only remove elastic bands when you eat or while brushing and flossing your teeth.
  • Change your elastics at least four times a day. The reason elastics must be changed four times a day is because they lose their effectiveness over time. A good schedule is to replace your bands after each meal and right before going to bed each night.

Elastics for Overbite Treatment

Improving Malocclusion through Orthodontic Treatment Relies on You

Consistently wearing elastic bands on your braces is one of the most critical elements when determining the length of your treatment. With the care and maintenance of your braces in Oklahoma City, it will require extra effort from you but it will be worth it.

Our top priority at Sky Ortho is to give you the best smile possible in the shortest period of time as possible. Your cooperation in wearing your elastics as instructed will help achieve this goal.

Braces are an Important Life Investment

Braces are a big investment, but they have the opportunity to change your life for the better. Investing in your oral and dental health, whether you are a child or an adult,  can help you with your speech, confidence, health, and many other areas of life.

Make an appointment today to meet Dr. Larson if you suspect malocclusion.

Clear Braces Versus Clear Trays for Aligning Your Teeth

Clear braces

Clear braces versus clear trays for aligning your teeth are both discreet. Both clear tray and clear braces can both take away some of the noticeability of having your teeth straightened. Invisalign is the most well-known version of clear tray dental alignment appliances.

Many people choose traditional braces as the least expensive option for straightening teeth. However, there are less noticeable options that produce the same results without drawing extra attention to your mouth. Clear braces and Invisalign are both great alternatives. Here are a few differences between clear braces and Invisalign treatments. Use these to help you decide which best fits your lifestyle.

Invisalign is more discreet than clear braces.

Invisalign is the most convenient solution for straightening your teeth discreetly.

Clear braces adhere to the teeth, and while they might be white to match the color of your teeth or completely clear, they still attach to the surface of your teeth, which means they are more noticeable than the clear plastic trays used in Invisalign treatment. This doesn’t mean that Invisalign is better, just that someone is less likely to notice a tray than clear brackets.

“One of my patients’ favorite things about Invisalign is its virtual transparency,” says Dr. Priscilla Larson of Sky Ortho. “Most people don’t even notice someone is wearing Invisalign.”

Clear braces can’t be removed like Invisalign can.

Cear Braces

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is the ability to remove the trays to eat or clean your teeth. This means fewer restrictions when it comes to what you can eat and how you can clean your teeth. However, it also means the treatment takes longer, especially if you are not vigilant. Wear your trays at least 22 hours each day for optimal results. If it’s more important to be able to remove your treatment to eat and clean teeth, opt for Invisalign. If you just want to get it over with as quickly as possible, go for the braces in Shawnee.

Clear braces are better for complicated cases.

clear braces
When dealing with complicated alignment issues, traditional braces might make more sense.

While Invisalign is a great system and can really straighten teeth, the aligning trays are really only good for straightening crooked teeth and closing gaps between teeth. In more complicated or severe cases, clear braces are a better option for any tooth or jaw alignment issue. In fact, clear braces are the best choice for correcting a bite, widening an arch, or turning a tooth in its socket. If you only have a few crooked teeth and an uncomplicated case, Invisalign is often a more convenient choice.

Invisalign is less fragile.

clear braces
Invisalign and other clear aligners are easy to remove for meals.

Because the aligners are switched out every other week, it is very rare that someone breaks an aligner and has to get a new one. However, as with any braces, the brackets do not change. This means they are more likely to break over time. This is, again, down to personal preference and your lifestyle.

Braces cause irritation in early treatment.

kids orthodontist
Kids’ orthodontist visits help detect problems early and form a baseline for good dental care.

While your mouth will likely not enjoy having the Invisalign trays in all the time, clear braces are more likely to irritate your gums and the inside of your lips during the early part of your treatment. The mouth is extremely resilient, however, and does create calluses on the insides of the lips and cheeks, to prevent further irritation as the treatment goes on.

Both options can stain.

regular cleaning
Regular cleaning will help prevent staining of clear braces and aligners.

If you smoke, drink coffee, or eat darkly pigmented foods while wearing either of these systems, it is possible for you to stain the plastic that both systems use. The best way to prevent stains on your braces or trays is by a regular, thorough cleaning. Follow the instructions from your orthodontist. Avoid eating or drinking things that stain. Because you can take Invisalign out, you can prevent stains. On the other hand, the more often you take the trays out, the longer your treatment takes.

Both clear braces and Invisalign are great options for those who want straighter teeth, without resorting to attention-grabbing metal brackets and wires. Clear braces are best for those who have complicated treatments or who want to get straight teeth as quickly as possible. Invisalign is best for those who have minor to moderate issues and like the flexibility of the Invisalign system, even if it does add slightly to the length of treatment.

First Orthodontist Visit In Oklahoma City and What Your Child Can Expect

When is the Right Time to Bring Your Child to the Orthodontist?

First orthodontist visit is very important to young children, especially as their permanent teeth begin to come in around the age of 7. Most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics. However, there are many good reasons why your child should get an orthodontic evaluation much earlier in life. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist by the age of 7.

first orthodontist visit

Why Your Child Should Have a First Orthodontist Visit by the Age of 7

Visiting an orthodontist in Shawnee early can help identify problems with the jaw and emerging teeth before they become worse. Even though your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there may problems only an orthodontist can detect.

In fact, your orthodontist check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. However, it could also identify a developing problem or issue that requires monitoring growth and development.

healthy teeth

The Benefits of Early Treatment

In some cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that benefits from early treatment. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing. In addition, it can make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.

Another benefit of early detection of issues, in some cases, is that the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing. Early treatment sometimes gives your orthodontist the chance to guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful oral habit, improve appearance, guide permanent teeth into a more positive position, and improve the bite.

first orthodontic visit

Giving Kids the Best Start with the First Orthodontist Visit

Through early orthodontic evaluation, you give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile. Because patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs, the orthodontist’s goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Some kids can’t wait to get their braces, seeing them as a sign that the teen years are coming. Others worry about how they’ll feel or what they’ll look like. In fact, you probably have some questions and concerns of your own about braces.

pediatric orthodontist in Oklahoma City, OK.

A Few Good Reasons Kids Need Braces

Kids can need braces for many different reasons such as crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, and a bad bite or malocclusion. Malocclusion occurs when there is a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws such as an overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite.

Sometimes tooth and jaw problems can be caused by losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. But most of the time they are inherited. Typically, if someone in your family needed braces, your kids will need them, too.

kids and braces

How Do You Know If Your Child Needs Braces?

Usually, your child’s dentist will be the first person to notice problems during a regular visit and recommend that you see an orthodontist in Shawnee. The orthodontist decides whether your child needs braces and what device is most appropriate for the condition.

While there is no set age for a child’s first orthodontist visit, many orthodontists in Oklahoma City like to see children for the first time around age 7 when their permanent teeth start coming in. At this age, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become apparent.

Starting the process early doesn’t mean a child will get braces right away. It just means the orthodontist will be able to find problems and decide the best time to start treatment.

first orthodontist visit

What to Expect During the First Orthodontist Visit?

At the first visit, the orthodontist will thoroughly examine your child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw. He or she may ask your child to bite the teeth together. They may also ask questions about whether your child has problems chewing or swallowing or has ever had clicking or popping of the jaw.

The Norman orthodontist may take X-rays of the mouth and teeth to see how the teeth are positioned. In addition, the orthodontist will check to see whether any permanent teeth still need to come in. Dr. Larson will also do a digital model of teeth to view in 3D on the computer or even print out on the 3D printer if needed.

It’s worth the effort and patience it takes to find an orthodontist who will treat your child properly. Straight teeth are more than just attractive — they can help keep your child’s mouth healthy for a lifetime.

Improving Economy Means Better Dental Care; But Don’t Delay Planning Orthodontic Treatments

planning orthodontic treatments
Planning orthodontic treatments should not be delayed without consulting first with your orthodontist and discussing options.

Planning orthodontic treatments as part of your family dental care doesn’t have to wait for economic recovery, even though predictions for job growth are strong in Oklahoma for 2018. In fact, experts predict continued economic growth for Oklahoma through 2024.

How Does A Job Change Impact Planning Orthodontic Treatments?

Families experiencing a job change this year may also have to change insurance and dental plans. If you make a job change in the middle of an orthodontic treatment plan or if you need to start one, do not worry about how that impacts your treatments. Sky Ortho has a dedicated team of experts in Moore and Shawnee to work with you on the most affordable options.

Should I Be Planning Orthodontic Treatments Now or Can I Wait?

If you have put off getting braces for yourself or your family during the economic downturn, do not wait for the economy to improve before you begin planning orthodontic treatments in Oklahoma City. Irregularities in the teeth and jaws can lead to more serious issues if left unattended. Come see us at Sky Ortho to find out how serious the issues are, we can help, and what kind of plan might make sense for you.
“Our specialists are dedicated to assisting all patients with finding affordable options,” said Dr. Priscilla Larson. “We never want finances to get in the way of a great smile.”

What Kind of Options are There for Planning Orthodontic Treatments Now?

Beyond insurance benefits, flex spending, and health savings accounts, Sky Ortho also offers in-office financing, discount programs, and external finance programs. Sky Ortho also honors insurance, family, military, and other discount programs. Please feel free to contact the office or schedule an appointment to learn more.

How Do I Know if I Should Be Planning Orthodontic Treatments?

If you can answer yes to any of the following for yourself or a child, you should be planning orthodontic treatments.

  • If your teeth or your child’s teeth are crowded, protrude, overlap, are missing or have gaps.
  • If you or your child have an overbite, underbite, or your teeth do not meet when you bite.
  • If you or your child grind or clench your teeth.
  • If your jaw or your child’s jaw pops or clicks.