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Check out this page for the latest news on what’s going on at Andros Orthodontics. Dr. Andros will write about products he recommends, you’ll get news on contests’ we are running, and even tips for your orthodontic treatment.

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Orthodontic Emergencies

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It’s not unusual to be nervous about embarking on the journey towards straighter, healthier teeth with orthodontic treatment. Whether it’s traditional metal braces or Invisalign’s clear aligner system, orthodontic treatment can take a little getting used to. Like most new experiences, it has a learning curve, but it’s nothing to fear!

One of the questions we hear most from our new patients at Andros Orthodontics is if treatment will be painful. It’s not at all uncommon to experience a bit of soreness when braces are first put on, or some minor aching when your teeth begin moving into the desired positions, but treatment should never hurt. That said, there are times a genuine orthodontic emergency may occur, although this is rare.

What counts as an orthodontic emergency?

There are only a few instances that would be considered an orthodontic emergency:

-Injury or trauma to the face, neck, mouth, teeth, etc.

-Swelling and infection or bleeding of the gums, mouth, and face

-Severe pain or discomfort to areas that haven’t responded to treatment

If you do start to develop symptoms like these, then you need to seek medical help immediately. We recommend you go to your orthodontist’s office first if at all possible, but if you believe that you need to go to the emergency room, don’t hesitate to go. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell when it is an emergency that requires immediate attention or if it’s something that can wait until the next time you can get to an orthodontist. Need help deciding? A good example of something you would need to go to the emergency room for is a fractured tooth because that would require immediate attention and treatment. Anything that has developed swelling and severe pain is also a good example of something that would require immediate attention, as it can be a sign of infection or disease. It’s fine if you have to go to the emergency room to get looked at over orthodontic injuries; your orthodontist can fix anything else that he or she needs to so that your treatment will continue as planned. At Andros Orthodontics, we want to be available to you as soon as you need. If you experience severe discomfort or have broken wire or a bracket, we want you to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We can try to fit you into an appointment as soon as possible to get whatever problem you’re having fixed. Fortunately, a lot of orthodontic problems can be relieved from home!

This does not mean every home remedy will work and that you can fix every orthodontic problem at home, but there are a few things you can do to alleviate pain and discomfort in the meantime. We recommend that you soothe the source of pain or discomfort immediately at home and then schedule an appointment with us to help fix any appliance that might be out of place or causing pain. But following these guidelines can assist you while you’re waiting to be seen. Also keep in mind that even if you’ve alleviated the discomfort that is caused by an orthodontic problem, such as a broken bracket or out-of-place wire, you will still need to come in and see us get it fixed.

Minor orthodontic emergencies

Here are a few of the most common emergencies you may have and how you should handle them:

Loose or broken brackets, bands, or wires

This often happens when someone eats something hard or sticky that they’re not supposed to be eating during their treatment. When given an estimated time range that treatment will take, orthodontists don’t anticipate broken appliances when estimating treatment time. That means that problems like these will make treatment last longer, so really stick to your safe foods recommended to you by your orthodontist!

If the band or bracket is broken but is still attached to the wire, just leave it alone until you can visit the orthodontist. If it’s causing any irritation on the inside of your mouth, take some of the orthodontic wax given to you by your orthodontist and just cover the band or bracket with it to keep the slightly sharper edges from rubbing against your mouth. If it happens to completely detach from the wire, just save it until your appointment. If this does happen, give Andros Orthodontics a call at 509.792.1008, and we can walk you through how to get it fixed.

Misplaced wire, bracket, or tie

Once your teeth start to move, you might end up with the end of the wire poking out of the base bracket on one end, and that can be irritating to your cheeks! You can usually move the end into a better position by pushing it with a pencil eraser or a Q-tip or manipulate the situation with some tweezers. If it’s irritating still, you can cover it with orthodontic wax (seriously, this stuff is so great!) and that should help with discomfort. You still need to get in touch with us so that we can clip that wire or put it back into place.

Broken retainer

Sometimes retainers can bend or break which causes pain and an improper fit. If this happens, stop wearing the retainer immediately and call us. If the retainer has broken into pieces, put all the pieces in a bag and bring them to the orthodontist’s office. We can sometimes fix a broken retainer, and if not, we can fit you for a new one.

General pain or loose teeth

As worrisome as it might sound, teeth do loosen up a little bit when going through orthodontic treatment. They shouldn’t loosen too much; it’s proof that your braces are working! If you do have sore teeth, there is a salt-water rinse that you can make yourself and use twice a day that might prove to be helpful. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and swish for about 30 seconds; the heat and salt should help with soreness. You can also use a heating pad on the outside of your jaw to help relieve pain.

Swallowed parts

If you ended up swallowing a bracket or a band that has fallen off, don’t panic! It should just pass right through your system. The only thing you have to worry about is if you have swallowed a piece by accident and you have trouble breathing. If this happens, get help immediately.


We understand that orthodontic emergencies, although they are rare, they can be scary. It can be nerve-wracking when one happens, but staying calm and following these tips will help immensely. Always make sure to contact us as soon as you can when an emergency comes up, and we will schedule you an appointment as soon as possible. A beautiful smile shouldn’t be painful to achieve, if you are in the Pasco, WA area, please get in touch with Andros Orthodontics as soon as possible if you experience discomfort. We’ll do all that we can to get you the smile you want pain-free!

Dentist Or Orthodontist: Who To Choose For Braces?

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Who To Choose For BracesHere at Andros Orthodontics, we often have patients question what the difference is between dentists and orthodontists. Many people wrongly assume that the two are interchangeable, and while there are many similarities, there are also some significant differences to set them apart.

If you’re looking into orthodontic treatment like braces, it’s important to understand what orthodontists have to offer that general dentist don’t. Read along to learn more about those differences, and how to decide which is best for orthodontic treatment like braces!

Schooling and training

All orthodontists and dentists graduate from dental school, but from there, orthodontists take a different, more challenging path. They must attend additional schooling and training to specialize in straightening teeth. Orthodontists are essentially dentists who have specialized, additional training.

Once they’ve completed dental school, only the top students in the class will be allowed to continue their education toward a specialty in orthodontics. In fact, acceptance into an orthodontic residency program is extremely competitive! Once accepted, orthodontists must undergo an additional two to three years of full-time training concentrating on orthodontia including braces, bite problems, and straightening teeth. Although some do, most regular dentists will not have this kind of rigorous supplementary training.

Only when a dentist has successfully completed this residency program may they refer to themselves as an orthodontist.

Are general dentists able to straighten teeth?

Short answer? Yes, they can. Some general dentists may be able to provide orthodontic care to their patients. However, this is only permitted if these dentists commit to taking continuing education seminars and acquiring experience in the subject.

As an example, general dentists are required to attend specific workshops before they’re allowed to offer a treatment like Invisalign in their practice. This isn’t a perfect system, though. These workshops and seminars lack the kind of rigorous testing and examinations needed to truly learn such extensive and specific material in depth.

Where the field of orthodontics is concerned, a more superficial, surface understanding isn’t always enough to correctly provide the best possible treatment for patients.

Are you considering a dentist for orthodontic treatment?

It’s not uncommon for people to consider their primary care dentist for orthodontic care if they offer it. But before jumping on board braces treatment with your dentist, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Are you confident that your dentist can provide the same level of orthodontic care that a licensed orthodontist would?
  • How much orthodontic training does your dentist have compared to a licensed orthodontist?
  • How many cases like this have your dentist treated in his career?
  • Has your dentist ever had to refer a case like yours out to a licensed orthodontist?

Unlike general dentists, orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic care and treatment. This is our only specialty, so naturally, we devote a lot of time and energy to perfecting it! We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, make an effort to keep up to date on the latest industry practice, purchase the latest equipment, and continue to participate in orthodontic classes and workshops.

Experienced orthodontists like Dr. Andros know the best-individualized treatment method for each patient, more than general dentists who may be more inclined to use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Should you choose a dentist or an orthodontist for braces?

Who To Choose For BracesIf you had a heart condition, would you want to be treated by a primary care doctor or a cardiologist? Obviously, a cardiologist would have a great deal more experience where the heart is concerned. This same approach can apply to teeth. Having a general dentist perform specific orthodontic work is a bit like a general physician performing plastic surgery. It can be done, but why would you want to risk it?

The choice of care provider is always up to you as the patient, and it’s true that some general dentists will have a fair amount of orthodontic experience. It’s important to remember, though, that orthodontists keep our focus solely on orthodontic issues, and we’re much more likely to have had experience in dealing with specific dental issues. While dentists may develop short-term results and treatment plans, orthodontists are invested in long-term care plans for our patients, that will see you through your treatment from start to finish and beyond!

Practices like Andros Orthodontics also place a great deal of emphasis on optimal treatment approaches and how to avoid complications. We’ll be much more likely to recommend such plans and to notice the small things a dentist might overlook. These are issues that could cost you time, money, and could cause pain should any type of complication develop. Don’t risk your health and finances by seeking treatment from someone with less knowledge, experience, and specialized education.

Looking to Andros Orthodontics for all your orthodontic needs

Here at Andros Orthodontics, making sure we educate our patients about their particular orthodontic needs, as well as orthodontics in general, is of the utmost importance to us. Our sole specialty is orthodontics, which gives us the experience and capability necessary to help our patients by providing them the best quality, cost, and efficiency in treatment. To see this kind of care in action, we offer a complimentary consultation for prospective patients. During this exam, we’ll take you on a tour of the office, do x-rays, and then have Dr. Andros provide you with a thorough diagnosis. We’ll also outline your personalized treatment plan, and even build enough time into this appointment for you to begin your orthodontic treatment.

If you’re in Pasco or the surrounding area and are interested in Clarity, Incognito, or Damon braces treatment, give us a call and explore all the ways that an experienced orthodontist can positively impact your smile. We have a fantastic and friendly team who are dedicated to providing personalized treatment that’s affordable, transformative, and efficient. When you choose to invest in orthodontic treatment with Andros Orthodontics, we promise to invest in you and your smile!

Smiling girl brushing teeth

3 Hidden Benefits of Braces

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When you think of the benefits of braces, you probably think of straighter teeth and better bites. While braces are built primarily to serve these ends, they can also help patients in a few unexpected ways. Understanding all of the upsides is crucial when decided with your orthodontist whether braces are right for you or your child, and this kind of education happens to be a cornerstone of our practice at Andros Ortho. We believe exploring all possible treatment options for each unique situation is important when it comes to effective orthodontic care, and accurate information is key to this exploration. That being the case, let’s go over three of the hidden benefits of braces in a bit of detail.

Improved Oral Health

Straightening your teeth with braces reaps more than just aesthetic rewards. When you get your teeth out of one another’s way, it’s entirely possible to see some substantial health benefits. These benefits are thanks to an increase in access to more teeth, and fewer barely open gaps. Imagine a case in which a patient has one toothGirl smiling tucked behind another, making thorough brushing and flossing a pain. They just can’t seem to reach their bristles in between the two teeth, no matter how they contort their wrist to try. Flossing is even worse; they blindly fumble around trying to get the string where it needs to be, but the whole affair ends in frustration and unflossed teeth. This person will likely notice a decline in the quality of their breath quite quickly, as all manner of gunk and grime make a home where they’re unthreatened by cleaning devices. Over time, these neglected areas will host more and more plaque and food particle build-up, which is bad news. Tooth decay and loss are likely to follow–yikes!  

When this hypothetical patient straightens their teeth with braces, they eliminate these hard to reach places and bring each tooth out into the light. Flossing and thorough brushing become exponentially easier, and their overall oral health will likely improve in turn. Plaque and food particles are no longer safe from bristles and string and will be expelled with a regular oral hygiene routine. In this way, the patient drastically decreases their vulnerability to problems like gingivitis and full-fledged gum disease. Oh, and their breath will become much more agreeable to boot.

Protection from Tooth Trauma

Braces are often employed to remedy protruding teeth and bites. Sometimes, the patient just finds these features unsightly and wants them straightened out, but they might not realize that protrusions like these can pose real dangers. Especially in very active people, an impact to the mouth and teeth is a genuine possibility.

An outwardly protruding tooth may be more likely to cause injury to the gums upon even small impact. This can lead to cuts bleeding on the gums and lips, which are both sensitive areas packed with pain receptors. Other risks with protruding teeth include cracking, damage, and even loss. They’re just more likely to be impacted by other teeth and a plethora of objects someone might come into contact with on a daily basis.

As braces gradually align these outliers, the patient’s chances of tooth trauma steadily decrease. By the completion of the treatment, a true smile is left to be admired, and no rogue tooth is left to cause any grief.

Doing the Work for You

While Invisalign has many benefits, it can have some unexpected downsides that wearers of traditional braces simply do not have to worry about. One of these has to do with treatment discipline.

Patients with Invisalign can remove their aligners at any time. They can do this to eat, brush and floss, play sports, or for any reason at all. For the system to be effective, though, the patient needs to keep their aligners on for 20-22 hours per day. The freedom that comes with a fully removable system can lead some to take them off too often, and this means slower, less efficientinvisalign treatment. If the patient isn’t wearing the aligner, they simply are not getting the treatment they’re paying for.

This is just not a problem with traditional braces. While this benefit might seem marginal on its face, a patient with certainly notice it when their treatment ends right on schedule instead of months later than expected.

Another area where traditional braces shine is in the treatment of complex orthodontic issues. Invisalign is ideal for mild to moderate cases of crooked teeth and misaligned bites, but it isn’t appropriate for certain unique and severe cases. Potential patients should certainly consult with their orthodontist when deciding what’s best, but remember that traditional braces are the optimal option in many scenarios.

So, What Now?

If you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment, don’t count out traditional braces. It’sbraces and ceramic braces important to remember that not all braces are created equal; orthodontists offer metal, ceramic, and Incognito braces that all have their particular pros and cons. It depends on your situation, and an initial consultation is the first step in deciding what’s right. Invisalign has many benefits, but it’s not the right fit for everyone; don’t be discouraged if it’s not just good for your smile.

At Andros Ortho, our team sees patients of all ages with many different orthodontic issues. Because of this, we know a lot about the best approach to any given scenario. We’d love to hear about your experience and take a look at what’s going on, so feel free to give our Pasco, Washington office a call at 509.792.1008 or schedule an appointment. See you soon!

7 Reasons Why Invisalign Is Perfect For Teens

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When you think of orthodontic treatment for teens, you probably imagine a mouthful of pokey wire and taught rubber bands. Though metal braces have been the end-all, be-all treatment for quite a long time, the many benefits of Invisalign provide an excellent new treatment plan for teens. Orthodontists started developing teeth-straightening techniques resembling metal braces almost 200 years ago, but around the turn of the millennium, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced and revolutionized the field. The benefits are clear (pun very much intended), and can be game changers when it comes to a teen’s self-esteem. It’s no accident that, since their introduction, these products have become a consistent go-to solution for misaligned teeth. This system’s our first recommendation for dental alignment here at Andros Orthodontics. We always want to give our clients the best solutions possible, and we use reliable, cutting-edge technology to do so.

girl smiling

For a teenager, experiencing physical changes at the same time as a personal identity is really developing can be a perfect storm of intense stress. Worrying about who they want to be while being unsatisfied with their smile just doesn’t jibe, and when they think about adding corrective braces to the mix for months on end, they might just explode with frustration. This is a place where the Invisalign system really shines, and it’s here that we’ll begin our list of distinct benefits.

Virtually Invisible

Fitting in amongst their peers is not only important to a student’s ego, but also to their self-esteem. Teens are 68% less likely to be teased when wearing Invisalign aligners as opposed to metal braces, and 92% of teens say that metal braces would definitely keep them from fitting in with their peers.* Your teen should stand out for their accomplishments, not what’s attached to their teeth. Why not use a completely invisible corrective tool instead of metal braces when they’re just trying to fit in, and look their best while doing so? Invisalign’s a system that assists instead of characterizes; it’s an unseen friend to anyone who wants to shine through what they do.

Heightened Self-Confidence

At the height of hormone-fueled confusion, teens with braces are often teased and even bullied. Anything you can do to prevent that’s worth it, don’t you think? That’s why Invisalign aligners are such a good choice; wearers are two times more likely to see a boost in their self-esteem during treatment, as they’re happier with the way they look and are more likely to be noticed for what’s important.*

Effects You Can See

Invisalign aligners aren’t just for correcting the odd stray tooth. At Andros, we can use Invisalign just as effectively as traditional metal braces. By the end of the system, teens will really have a great new smile that they won’t be afraid to show off. If you consider that they aligners are virtually invisible, that’s pretty powerful stuff. What’s more is that they’ll be able to clearly watch their progress as they transition through the aligners. Clear, unobstructed results can be seen much earlier than with metal braces that fence in most of your smile.

Perfect for Sports and Musicteens playing basketball

Remember that one braces-wearing basketball player in high school who took a mistimed block to the face, sending metal into the inside of his lip?  We do too, and nobody likes to see it. Ouch. It’s one of the reasons why we recommend Invisalign to any athlete or musician for whom traditional braces pose the risk of irritation. As an added bonus, athletes can comfortably wear normal mouthguards since Invisalign is fully removable. This is actually great news for any active teens.

Eat Anything

Wearers of Invisalign can eat anything. Yep, anything. Traditional metal braces mean no popcorn, no caramel, and no chewing on ice, just to name a few. Since Invisalign’s totally removable, all they’ll have to do is pop them out, eat up, clean their teeth with a brush and floss, and put them back in. This section’s a good place to note that those unsightly, uneven white spots one might risk finding upon the removal of traditional braces aren’t an issue here. Being able to brush those teeth completely, and without restriction is an awesome added bonus.

Comparable Costs

Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces. You read that right, just about the same price. Most insurance plans cover Invisalign, too. You get all the benefits with no extra cost; why wouldn’t you?

Reliable

Do you want to hear something crazy? group selfie teensOrthodontists confirm that most teens are more reliable in wearing their aligners than adults. Really—data shows that, on average, teens keep their aligners on for the recommended 21 hours a day. While it’s true that Invisalign can’t work its magic if a teen doesn’t use it, it’s so easy to use that it’s not much of a problem at all.

Find out if Invisalign is right for your teen with a free Invisalign consultation. Call Andros Orthodontics at (509) 792-1008 or contact us here to book your complimentary Invisalign consultation today! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

* Kelton. Invisalign Teen Confidence Study, 2014

AirFloss Review

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Our good friends at Philips Sonicare came by office Monday.  It was an interesting and informative meeting.  They answered all of our questions and then some.  They gave me two articles that I found very interesting.  For today I’m just going to write about the AirFloss.  It is a newer product that Philips has brought out to cater to those who are marginal flossers.  Regardless of the reason for not flossing (no judgements here) the AirFloss has improved enough that it has matched the efficacy of flossing.  Flossing is the gold standard of cleaning in between teeth.  That means when products are being tested for effectiveness, they measure the new product against what has traditionally been the best i.e. flossing.  Nothing out on the market can match flossing.  Not even the original AirFloss, but Philips has made some key improvements to their design.  Now the AirFloss will do 3 quick bursts in between each tooth.  That added boost, leading to more cleaning power, has improved AirFloss enough to match traditional flossing.

I have patients ask me all the time if electric toothbrushes are better than traditional toothbrushes.  According to the research the answer is no… but that is assuming a lot.  It assumes everyone who is using a traditional toothbrush is brushing with perfect technique and for the same amount of time.  Many people cannot accomplish this, i.e. little children and geriatric patients and everyone else who is in a rush… That is why I recommend electric toothbrushes for all of my patients.  They are easier to use so that more patients can effectively clean their teeth. Read More