July 4th, 2013
One exciting part about wearing braces from the orthodontic practice of Dr. Howard Steiman is getting to choose the colors of your rubber bands. Orthodontists place elastic bands, or ligatures, over each bracket to secure the archwire in place. These rubber bands may be individual or connected, depending on your mouth’s needs. From Dr. Steiman, you have the option of choosing the color of your elastics, which are changed about once every month at every visit. Our offices keep a color wheel handy to help you choose which ones suit you best!
Children and teens often enjoy picking different colors each month to express their creativity and coordinate their braces with outfits. Decorating your mouth with your favorite colors is fun for kids and takes some of the stress out of wearing braces. Adults who wish for subtlety have color options that blend in with the metal brackets and archwire. Common choices for adults include silver, clear, and gray tones.
Common Color Combinations for Rubber Bands
With individual ligatures for each bracket, you may choose different color combinations for special events. You can have alternating colors or place an entire rainbow over your teeth. Here are a few options to consider:
- School spirit colors
- Favorite sports team colors
- Patriotic colors
- Holiday themes
Some patients choose only one color to match their mood, personality, or favorite outfits. The palette of choices allows you to make bold statements with your braces or go for subtler tones that blend in with the metal structures. Keep in mind that bright colors make your teeth look whiter, while lighter shades, such as yellow and white, may cause your teeth to appear less bright.
What Your Rubber Band Color Says About You
- Red tones indicate that you are ready for action and take charge of your life with aggressive, forward-thinking steps.
- Blue tones are calm and relaxing. You are conservative and exhibit integrity when dealing with situations.
- Green tones represent growth and balance. You are level-headed and look for opportunities to grow emotionally and spiritually.
- Purple tones attract creative energies. You like to have fun and use your imagination in every aspect of your life.
- Orange tones indicate that you are optimistic and thrive in social situations where communication is open.
- Pink is a romantic color that represents a caring personality. You also enjoy having fun with silly games and endless laughter.
June 27th, 2013
While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what the orthodontic practice of Dr. Howard Steiman does for our patients and how exactly Dr. Steiman can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we’re actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see me. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.
People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may come in crooked. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced to treat easily. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.
Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.
If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what your orthodontist can do for you, then simply ask Dr. Steiman. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment in Ajax, ON.
June 20th, 2013
Did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted to improve the look and function of their smiles? the orthodontic practice of Dr. Howard Steiman thinks of modern orthodontic appliances as sleek, efficient technology, but this was not always so! Take a look at the highlights in the evolution of braces.
Ancient Times: From Greece to Rome
- According to The Angle Orthodontist, Aristotle and Hippocrates first thought about methods for straightening teeth between 400 and 300 BC.
- The Etruscans, in what we now know as Italy, buried their dead with appliances that maintained spaces and prevented collapse of their teeth and jaws during life. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth.
- A Roman tomb has also been discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device.
18th Century: A French Development
- The French dentist Pierre Fauchard is acknowledged as the father of modern dentistry. In 1728 he published a book that described various methods for straightening teeth. Fauchard also used a device known as a “blandeau” to widen the upper palate.
- Louis Bourdet was another French dentist who published a book in 1754 that discussed tooth alignment. Bourdet further refined the blandeau and was the first dentist to extract bicuspids, or the premolar teeth between canines and molars, for the purpose of reducing tooth crowding.
19th Century: Orthodontics Defined
- Orthodontics started to become a separate dental specialty during the early 19th century. The first wire crib was used in 1819, marking the beginning of modern orthodontics.
- During this period, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite, and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, and copper were used — as was brass in the form of loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures.
- Edward Maynard first used gum elastics in 1843 and E. J. Tucker began making rubber bands for braces in 1850.
- Norman W. Kingsley published the first paper on modern orthodontics in 1858 and J. N. Farrar was the first dentist to recommend the use of force over timed intervals to straighten teeth.
20th Century: New Materials Abound
- Edward Angle developed the first classification systems for malocclusions (misaligned teeth) during the early 20th century in the United States, and it is still in use today. Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists in the 1930s.
- By the 1960s, gold was universally abandoned in favor of stainless steel.
- Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when tooth-colored aesthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics became popular
As we arrive in the present, you need only look at your own braces to see how far we’ve come. Your treatment plan was probably created with a 3D digital model, and we’ve likely used a computerized process to customize your archwires. Perhaps you have clear aligners, self-ligating brackets, or highly resilient ceramic brackets with heat-activated wires.
Orthodontics has come a long way from the days of Aristotle, and even the bulky wrap-around braces of just 60 years ago. Regardless of your specific treatment plan, the development of high-tech materials and methods has made it possible for your orthodontic experience to be as effective, efficient, and comfortable as possible. Call our office in Ajax, ON to schedule your first orthodontic consultation!
June 13th, 2013
Sports and energy drinks cause irreversible damage to the teeth of teens and young adults. A study which was published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry states that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of U.S. teenagers consume energy drinks and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. The high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel and the result is irreversible damage.
Dr. Steiman and our team at the orthodontic practice of Dr. Howard Steiman encourage our patients to limit their intake of sports drinks. The enamel erosion ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria and that can lead to hypersensitivity, staining, and tooth decay. If you do consume an energy or sports drink, make sure to wait at least 45 minutes until you brush, as consumption of acidic drinks causes tooth enamel to soften, making teeth more vulnerable to wear from the abrasives found in toothpaste.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. It’s also preventable with proper care. Dr. Steiman and our team can help identify early signs of erosion and offer solutions on how to prevent further damage and more serious problems from occurring.