Good oral hygiene has many benefits, whether you’re in braces or not. Removal of plaque is very important to help prevent tooth decay. Braces provide more surface area for plaque to cling to and hide behind, so it is important to be aware of techniques to clean around these additional surfaces. Plaque that remains around braces (or anywhere on the tooth) for too long can cause white spot lesions, which is the initial stage of tooth decay. These spots are the result of demineralization of the tooth surface and are a permanent stain the tooth surface. White spot lesions can then progress to dental caries, or cavities. “Fillings” are required to restore cavitated or demineralized areas that have progressed to the point that tooth structure needs to be replaced.
Plaque that is not removed can also cause gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissue. Signs of gingivitis include swelling, redness, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease with progressive bone and gum tissue loss. It is important for people to understand that poor oral hygiene is a major cause of bad breathe (halitosis). Most often, a person’s senses becomes accustom to their own bad breath and they are unaware that it even exists. However, people in their vicinity are usually well aware of this condition. When this is explained to teens, it can often be news to improve their oral hygiene.
The good news is that tooth decay, demineralization, gingivitis, and halitosis are easily preventable. In the next blog entry I will review the best tips and techniques to keep these conditions away from your mouth!
At Meadows Orthodontics, we work really, really hard to make the process of aligning your teeth as affordable as possible. I thought it would be helpful to list the things that we do for our patients, and the things that our patients can do independently to help with the finances involved with this important investment.
- The best way to keep costs under control is to have orthodontic treatment only once in your life, and the best way to ensure this is to have it done properly the first time around. Do your homework when choosing an orthodontist! This is the most important part, and it is important to understand that braces are not a commodity. That is, two orthodontists can use the exact same braces, and the patient may end up with radically different results. The orthodontist’s decisions ultimately determine the quality of care that you receive (not the braces or brand of braces). Check the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) website and the orthodontist locator to make sure that the professional you have choosen is an actual orthodontist (an orthodontic specialist) at mylifemysmile.org. You can then check if the orthodontist is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) at www.americanboardortho.com/portal/public/.
- Take full advantage of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), or Flex Spending plans. These can be set up through your employer’s human resource dept., or can be set up through a local bank. The power of using these accounts is that they allow you use money that you earn without paying taxes on the amount that is used for braces or invisalign, which could save you well over 20%! Our staff will help you set up your plans, and will help you with proper timing in starting treatment to take full advantage of HSA and Flex benefits.
- Take advantage of our 0% interest in house financing plans. We will gladly extend fees into monthly payments for the length of your treatment. Since there is no interest and is financed 100% through our practice, this really helps most families. We also offer discounts if you wish to pay in full at the start of treatment. Either way, we will always find a way to make things very comfortable for your family and your lifestyle.
- Make sure you wear your retainers after orthodontic treatment is completed. I see hundreds of adults that had braces as teenagers, had amazing teeth, then stopped wearing their retainers in their late teens. Over the years, their teeth have become more and more misaligned, and they often come in for orthodontic treatment again. These days we strss the importance of lifetime retention to keep your teeth straight. We will discuss the various retainers available (which can be permanently fixed or removable), and help you decide what will be comfortable and predictable for the long run. I love seeing my patients, but I do not want to treat them a second time later in life!
- We offer discounts for multiple family members, and discuss the differing costs for different types of braces, clear braces, and clear aligners. We are also kind to those who serve our country in the Armed Forces, and the police officers and firemen who protect us. Give us a call- you will be surprised how easy it is to get an amazing smile very affordably!
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics, which has two locations within Castle Rock, Colorado. We are open five days a week in Castle Rock, and are open evenings and every other Saturday for the convenience of the busy people in our home town!
I still have not quite become used to my kids going back to school in early August, as my childhood memories are of returning after Labor Day. But, all three of my kids are back on the school time schedule, and all three of them are in braces. With their minds on school, class mates, getting up and getting ready earlier, I thought now would be a good time to give them and my patients a pep talk to keep up the effort in taking care of their teeth and braces that will continue moving them forward to the end result of an amazing, finished smile. Here are some tips and reminders for all of you heading back to school, and for the parents of these kids:
- In the morning rush of getting ready, reserve a nice amount of time to brush really well around your braces! Not only will this help eliminate permanent staining and gingivitis, but it will help in another area that youngsters and teens seldom think about- it will improve your breath! Kids with poor oral hygiene rarely can detect that their own breath is noticeably smelly, but those around them certainly can!
- Parents- help your kids with the above! My wife an I do a quick check on our kids before they head out the door. Yes, even an orthodontist’s kids are not self motivated to always keep their mouth clean. Oral hygiene, especially with braces added into the mix, is a challenge for most kids and teens, and it need to be a team effort. I tell parents all the time that they are not alone with non-compliant kids… we have three of them that need constant reminding and encouragement. I also commonly hear “They are old enough to remember to do it on their own!”. After treating thousands of patients through the years, I have found this to not be the case. Kids and Teens usually are just not wired like adults when it comes to personal hygiene! Keep the effort up mom and dad- it will pay off, and use the bad breath warning- teens are usually responsive to this based on what others are perceiving of them.
- Now that we are on the school year schedule, parents and all of us here at Meadows Orthodontics have scheduling challenges of our own. Our after school appointments are obviously the most popular for most people, and we have responded by being open an (unheard of!) average of five days a week for after school (and Saturday) appointments in Castle Rock. You will notice a large crowd during these hours, and I am putting in a tremendous effort to be open during these convenient hours as much as possible to accommodate our patient’s busy lives, while keeping care extremely personalized. Every now and then, I will ask for patience if it gets really busy, as I will never reduce the amount of time I need to appropriate to each patient. Every now and then, I may request that we schedule an appointment during the school day for procedures that require even more time than the busy after school appointments will allow. This is our way of giving you the attention you need, while keeping the after school hours free for the larger number of your (and the rest of our patient’s) more numerous “traditional” appointments. Thank you! Just a tip- if you or your child are the type to enjoy a much more quiet atmosphere, the hours from 10-2:00 are much more “calm”! Let us know what hours fit your needs best, and we will make it work.
- Keep wearing your rubber bands as directed! Again, with the rush of starting a new grade, don’t let the task of wearing your rubber bands as much as possible delay your date of getting braces removed. Not wearing your rubber bands during school hours will greatly increase the time that you are in braces, often by many months.
- Don’t forget to keep your appointments with your general dentist for cavity checks and cleanings. Especially when you have kids in braces, it is important to have your professional keeping a close eye on their teeth.
Dr. Dan Rejman is the father of three children (and soon to be a fourth!) in Castle Rock, and understands our local families’ busy schedules. Meadows Orthodontics offers appointments five days a week, all in two Castle Rock locations, and Saturdays also!
I returned today from five great days of continuing education and meetings in Asheville, North Carolina. This meeting and the scientific programs (lectures and continuing education) are the centerpiece of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics annual meeting, and the board meetings are part of my responsibilities as the councilor for the Rocky Mountain and Southwestern Orthodontic Societies. I always like to publish the latest in orthodontic research and advancements that are being made in the field of orthodontics, and what I can incorporate into my practice here in Castle Rock.
Of great interest was the procedures being performed by Dr. Flavio Uribe and his team of orthodontists at the University of Connecticut. Patients who have bites and facial appearances that are severely deviated (usually due to an underlying skeletal imbalance of the upper and/or lower jaws), traditionally require about a year of orthodontics followed by orthognathic surgery (performed by an oral surgeon to re-position the upper and lower jaws), and another 9-12 months of orthodontics to fully correct the bite and skeletal imbalance of the jaws. Dr. Uribe and team are now performing the surgical portion of treatment immediately after the braces are placed, and orthodontics follows this surgery to correct the bite and imbalances. They are finding a greatly reduced time that the patient spends in braces with this method, along with avoiding the transient time period where traditionally the patient’s teeth were “decompensated” prior to the surgery. Decompensation of the teeth is where the teeth are initially placed in a more ideal position for after the surgery, but usually makes the teeth look more unattractive during the period before surgery. It also makes the planning for insurance coverage more precise and predictable. This is certainly something that I will discuss with the oral surgeons that I use for surgical/orthodontic cases in the Castle Rock area, as with selective cases this appears to be a win- win for myself and my patients.
As far as the yearly report from the American Board of Orthodontics, there continues to be a rise in the number of young orthodontists that are putting in the time to become board certified, which is encouraging for our profession. Becoming board certified is not only requires hundreds of ours and dedication to prepare for, but also raises the level of care for the public that we serve across the country.
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics in Castle Rock, CO, and has been Board certified by the ABO since 2007.
My entire staff at Meadows Orthodontics and I are honored to be voted “Best of the Best, Best Orthodontist in Castle Rock” for the third year in row! We were also voted “Best Customer Service”, which is something that we really, really work at on a daily basis. The cool thing about the customer service award is that it was for ALL businesses in Castle Rock- not just orthodontic practices. I just wanted to list a few of the things that we do to try to create an atmosphere of “customer first”:
Just a note- many of these have been questioned/criticized by “practice consultants”, who tell us that we are losing profits by not following many industry standards with scheduling, time allotted to each patient, etc… I totally disagree! To me running a local business and being a great orthodontist is not about crunching numbers and figuring out the way to fit as many patients into a day as possible. I need time with my patients and their parents, plain and simple- which ultimately means spending more time with people and being “less efficient” as a business. That is our model, and it will not change.
- We offer Saturday, later evening, and early morning hours for our patients. We decided to do this to help families that have kids in sports and activities, and also parents who work during “traditional” hours. Our goal is to help kids miss as little school as possible, and to help adults to not miss work. Is it more hours for me? Yup. But I used to be a dairy farmer, and these hours are natural for me!
- Related to the above, the days we are open in Castle Rock alternates 5 days one week (M-F), then open 6 days the next (M-Sat). ALL in Castle Rock! Which means no days that I practice at a satellite office in another town or another part of the state. This gives our patients an incredible variety of days to choose from that will fit their schedules. It also ensures that they see me at every visit.
- I have two offices, BOTH in Castle Rock! Crossing I-25 has become a hassle for residents, especially with all the new growth occurring along the interstate corridor. So we decided to make our locations as convenient as possible, while staying completely in Castle Rock. We alternate days, and patients see myself and the same staff at both offices. Our patients love the convenience this has created for them! Our Meadows office is right next door to the Meadows, Red Hawk, CVHS, CRMS, AVA, Academy Charter and all the elementary schools west of I-25. Our Founders Marketplace location is right next to Founders Village, Terrain, Crystal Valley ranch, and is close to DCHS, Mesa Middle, Sage Canyon, Rock Ridge and Flagstone Elementary Schools, and is only 10 minutes from Ponderosa HS.
- I live in the Meadows in Castle Rock, and I cannot overstate how important I think it is to live and be involved in the community that I practice in. I hope that by being a presence in the community, people can sense the accountability and pride I put into my work, and in the advice I give my patients about their orthodontic needs. This is still a small town at heart, and being known as an honest small town Doc that puts the interests of my patients first is ultimately the most important thing to me professionally.
- Living in the town in which I practice also allows me to respond as fast as possible when my patients have after hours emergencies or comfort concerns, and it is almost always myself that takes emergency calls and visits with my patients.
- Every day, we stress to our staff the importance of compassion, patience, and communication. Our wonderful staff wear many hats each day; Helping an anxious young child through their first appointment, patiently teaching a teen how to properly brush and improve hygiene (sometimes at every visit!), helping a busy mother find time in her busy life to bring multiple children in, or taking the time to talk to children and parents to really get to know them and the interesting things that are going on in their lives. We try to make Meadows Orthodontics special.
- Finally, we are human. I do not get upset over broken brackets- life happens! If there is an important event in your life such as a wedding, graduation, senior pictures, etc.., we try to be flexible and work around your schedule and plan braces and invisalign accordingly. If a family falls on hard times in their life, I feel I have a responsibility as a small community member to help, and to discuss options that will help with their unique situation.
Again, thank you Castle Rock for your support- this is a special place where we live, and we are very grateful.
Dr. Dan Rejman
Summer is the time that we see many kids and adults with braces moving into, and out of, Castle Rock. If you are one of these families, here are some tips to make your transition to an orthodontist in a new city as easy as possible.
- Let your current orthodontist know that you will be moving as far ahead as possible. Getting informed by families of a move early allows me to prepare for your move.
- If your treatment is nearing completion, I can plan accordingly to get your braces removed, and get you into the proper retainers before you move!
- If there is more time left in your treatment, we prepare a transfer form from the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that will give your new orthodontist information on your original diagnosis, treatment plan, expected length of treatment, current status, and anything about your case that is unique or that needs special care.
- I gather copies of your records for your new orthodontist, including all of your pre-treatment and current photographs and radiographs.
- I will help you select a new orthodontist in the city that you are moving to. Like most professions, it is a small world, and I have many contacts around the country to help find a great match in your new hometown. I can look up information that will let you know if they are board certified, use similar braces, and have a good reputation in general.
- An early warning that you are moving helps you transition financially. Time is often needed transitioning insurance benefits, adjusting payment plans that you may have, or prorating your balance if you have paid in full. We want your move to go as smooth as possible, both treatment-wise, and financially!
- While on the subject of finances, the AAO transfer form mentioned above outlines the financial arrangement of your orthodontic treatment, and this (hopefully) will give your new orthodontist a guideline to treat you fairly in your new location. Unfortunately, there are often extra costs to transfer to a new office, and if moving from Denver to a metropolitan area that has a higher cost of living (most of the east and west coasts), your new contract may reflect this.
- Always feel free to call us after your move if you have any questions at all. Once you have started with us you are family, and we will help make your move as smooth as possible!
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics, which has two convenient locations in Castle Rock, CO. Our West Castle Rock office is in the Meadows right next to Firehouse and Einstein’s, and the East office is in Founders Marketplace near the King Soopers Plaza (near Terrain and Founders).
Summer is the time of year when Meadows Orthodontics sponsors many local events in Castle Rock. Being at these fun events get us out in the community, gives us an opportunity to interact with kids and their parents, and allows us to answer many questions parents have about orthodontics, braces and invisalign. We approach these events a bit differently – we like to have fun! I am an avid painter (oil painting local landscapes and scenes), and for several years I have been face painting at these events (note the serious painting face I’ve got going above!). This year Meadows orthodontics will be sponsoring and painting at all the Music in the Meadows events, Red White and You Fourth of July Celebration, PumpkinFest, Holiday in the Meadows, and the Starlight Movies at Festival Park in Downtown Castle Rock. I customize the face painting for each event to keep things fresh and fun for the kids (and young at heart adults!), and I really have a good time contributing to the wonderful small town feel of Castle Rock. Come out for these events, and make sure to stop by and see us!
I recently returned from the American Association of Orthodontists annual meeting and convention held in Orlando, Florida. In addition to teaching the national board preparatory class to practicing orthodontists and residents working towards becoming board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, I was able to attend several very interesting and informative lectures by some of the leaders in our profession. Of special note was the lecture (orthodontists were spilling out of the lecture hall to hear this presentation) by Dr. Kevin O’Brien entitled “In the Land oUncertainty is Salesman King?”. Dr. O’Brian is a professor of orthodontics and researcher at the School of Dentistry at the University of Manchester, UK. and has been a clinical orthodontist and researcher for about 30 years, with the research directed at the outcome of orthodontic treatment using randomised trial methodology.
I have included below a link to one of his articles that was discussed in his lecture, which describes the current state of research on self-ligating brackets (braces that include the brands Damon, Smartclip, Empower…). To summarize, the incoming credible research is showing the claims being made by the companies (and orthodontists) marketing these brackets are not supported. The public should be aware that aggressive direct to consumer marketing by manufacturers, which is then incorporated into many orthodontists websites, is just that- a marketing pitch without backing (and now contradictory) evidence. When these products involve making a claim of superiority (and an increase in cost), candor should be used when presenting the option of these brackets to our patients. As it stands now- there is no evidence of faster results, less sensitivity, superior results, cleaner teeth, or any of the major claims for using these brackets and their systems.
Does this mean that these braces are a bad option, or worse than traditional brackets? Of course not- I actually offer them as an option to my patients because they are very nice brackets (braces). I am just up front with patients in informing them that there is no evidence that they provide better results or a better experience than “traditional braces” (which manufactures also make unsubstantiated claims about in competition with one another, and the new technologies incorporated into them!). I believe my job as a professional is to keep up with current technology, but to be completely candid with my patients about the most current evidence if we are going to choose to use a product. Please read the article in the link below, and feel free to look up Dr. Kevin O’Brien’s blog for many valuable articles on the latest research involving orthodontics controversies, products, and treatments.
Dan Rejman, DDS, MS
Last Wednesday I finished up the sky and touched up the stadium on the wall of our exam room. Thank you for your help Leela! We added a special touch in the sky with the Air Force Thunderbirds doing a flyover. For you flight geeks (me!) the actual Thunderbird maneuver they are doing in the mural is called the “Delta Burst” with the two outside F-16’s rolling away from the middle four. Our kids and adults are loving this room when they are getting their braces! Remember- Orthodontics is an art!
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics in Castle Rock, CO. We have two locations in Castle Rock – in the Meadows close to CV High School, CRMS and Aspen View Academy, and another office near Founders, Terrain, Franktown and southern Parker (close to DC and Ponderosa High Schools and Sage Canyon Middle school).
Tomorrow my family, staff and I will be heading down to the annual American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) national convention in Orlando, Florida. I will be busy with responsibilities for my position on the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics. Additionally, there is the opportunity to catch up with the latest technology available in orthodontics, and the decisions that follow of whether to implement this new technology into Meadows Orthodontics. There are also hundreds of lectures and continuing education classes to choose from for myself and our staff. I thought I would highlight some of the things I will be doing and checking out at the convention.
- I will spend the entire day Friday as the instructor of the preparation course for the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Exam. I will be teaching two sessions to orthodontists and orthodontic residents who are preparing and studying to be Board Certified. Becoming Board Certified is important for our profession, and helping others with this process not only helps relieve some of the stress they are feeling through the long preparation process, but is also an opportunity for me to remain as sharp as possible (I study several times a year to prepare to teach the course).
- On Sunday morning I will be judging over 400 finished braces cases submitted by residents from programs across the country. The competition involves accessing quality of finish of the completed cases (patients that have been treated with braces), taking into account the difficulty of the case and the severity of the initial misalignment of the teeth and jaws. It is always inspiring to see our future orthodontists striving to attain such a high level of quality in treating patients.
- We have had an optical- digital scanner that replaces most impressions needed in our office (reducing the amount of goopy impressions needed), but there is a new generation out that we will be receiving soon that is multiple times faster and smaller. For those of you that have had this scan, it takes the scan time down from about five minutes to well under one minute!
- There are numerous lectures and research presentations on a technology that has been out for a while- using specific frequencies of vibrations to accelerate tooth movement- that I will be looking into. Many offices across the country offer this technology, but the problem has been a lack of credible evidence of it’s effectiveness, and a very steep price that is transferred to patients. I will look into the latest evidence and cost-benefit for my patients.
- And of course, we will spend several days at Disneyworld while we are there!
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics in Castle Rock, CO. There are two convenient Castel Rock locations- one in the Meadows, and one near Founders/Terrain and close to Parker.