Smile, it’s Good for Your Health

What does a great smile have in common with good physical and mental health? Quite a bit, and at Hatcher Orthodontics we are very aware of the connection. We see people every day who are interested in improving their smiles. There is however, much more to that great smile than meets the eye. The importance of having your teeth and gums in the best dental health possible has a huge impact on your general health. If your teeth do not fit together correctly or you have missing teeth, it is more difficult to chew your food properly and this can affect your digestion and overall health. Not feeling well physically can have quite an effect on your mental health and not feeling well mentally can have an adverse effect on your physical well-being.

Let’s not forget about how that smile makes you feel. At Hatcher Orthodontics, there is nothing more rewarding than to see the smiles of our patients when they get their braces off. Smiles become easy and this is where the mental attitude changes and they are aware of the benefits of a great smile! It is so rewarding to give someone a smile and have one returned. When you are happy and that happiness comes through in a smile, it makes those around you happy and smile. Before you know it, the original smile has become contagious!

No matter your age, having a wonderful smile and feeling good about yourself is of great benefit to your overall well-being. Great smiles and good dental health will last a lifetime and will provide the benefits needed for both your physical and mental health that will also last a lifetime.

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Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
~ Author Unknown

The Prime of Your Life is NOW!

Adults have a tendency to put off things. Things such as not using the good china except on holidays, buying tools for that project you never get around to starting, and the list keeps going. However, having the smile you have always wanted should not be one of those things. Your smile says so much about you, and the longer you wait to address the issues you may be having with your teeth, the shorter the time to enjoy having your smile the way you want.

At Hatcher Orthodontics, about 40% of our practice is adults. We see children, young adults, and a lot of older adults. We have even had a few patients in their 80’s. Orthodontic treatment can be necessary at any age and for many different reasons. Younger children can benefit from addressing growth or crowding and spacing issues. With adults, orthodontic treatment can address making space for missing teeth replacement, crowding, or if retainers were not worn after previous treatment. It can also be necessary if hygiene becomes a problem due to crowding or if gums are being worn away due to deep bites. The good news is there are so many different options available for orthodontic treatment now. In the past, it was always metal brackets and/or bands around every tooth. Now there are tiny metal brackets, clear brackets, and Invisalign (a series of removable trays that align teeth).

We treat many adult patients and there is never a charge for the initial consultation. The investment in a great smile is always worth the effort – and most adults only regret not taking the steps toward that great smile sooner.
Remember – The Prime of Your Life can be ANY AGE you want it to be. So if you are waiting for the Prime of Your Life to achieve a Great Smile, the Prime of Your Life is NOW!

“Most smiles are started by another smile.”
~Author Unknown

Timing is Everything
Is it Time for Your Child’s First Visit to the Orthodontist?

Just as feeding and fertilizing your lawn for the spring and summer has to be timed just right, your child’s first visit to the orthodontist should be timed just right.

At Hatcher Orthodontics, we are always asked “when would you like to see my child for their first visit”? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist by age 7. Although every child’s development is different, in most children the first molars have typically started to emerge by age 6. This, along with other developmental markers, lets us see the basic alignment of the teeth, from front to back and side to side. While treatment for common orthodontic problems typically begins around age 9-14, when all the baby teeth are gone and many of the permanent ones are in place; there are some conditions that are much easier to treat if they’re caught early, when a child’s natural growth processes are going full speed ahead.

One of the most common conditions treated early is a severe crossbite, where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. To treat this problem, a device called a palatal expander can be used, which gradually and painlessly widens the upper jaw; it’s especially effective when the jaw itself hasn’t fully developed. If we wait too long, a more complicated treatment – or even oral surgery – might be required to correct the problem.

It is important to note that in most cases, an early evaluation isn’t necessarily followed by early treatment. Intervention or first phase cases account for only about 10% of most orthodontic practices total active patients. We recognize if orthodontic treatment isn’t needed early, we simply monitor your child’s growth patterns until we see that it is time for treatment to begin. This is why Dr. Hatcher believes in providing a complimentary orthodontic initial consultation and complimentary visits to monitor children’s growth. These visits also build trust and rapport between the child and the doctor and the orthodontic team. This has always been one of the best things about orthodontics, besides playing a role in a beautiful smile, we get to know our patients and families over the years and consider them all a part of our Hatcher Orthodontics Family.

So remember, when considering a first time orthodontic consultation – timing is everything!

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