Our Blog

Elastics and Braces

October 11th, 2017

If you’ve visited Kids Smile Dental Center, then there’s a good chance you’re looking to perfect your smile by straightening your teeth with braces. At some point during your treatment, you may need to use elastics, otherwise known as rubber bands, for a certain period. These are used to apply additional pressure that will move your teeth in the right direction.

Placement of the elastics is specific to each patient’s teeth. These small rubber bands stretch over the tiny loops on both the top and bottom brackets. At first, Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang may recommend you wear the elastics both day and night for an extended time.

You may be told to switch only to nighttime wear once the teeth are set in the correct position. By consistently wearing the elastics, you can shorten the overall time your braces will have to be on.

The elastics are made from medical-grade latex. If you have an allergy to latex, make sure to let Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang know, so you can be given an alternate material. We will show you how to take elastics on and off when they’re given to you at your appointment.

You should remove them when you eat so they don’t become overstretched or break. It’s important not to overstretch the bands, and always to replace them if they break. Eventually it will become a familiar habit to carry the bands around with you for times when this might happen.

The Do’s and the Don’ts

  • DO … always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
  • DO … call us if you run out of elastics.
  • DO … get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands as replacements.
  • DON’T … double up on elastics because this can exert too much pressure on your teeth and could actually harm the roots.
  • DON’T … overstretch the rubber bands or they will lose strength and become ineffective.

If you were recently given elastics as well as your braces, feel free to ask any questions during your appointment, or call our San Mateo office any time. Using elastics correctly is one more step in your journey to a perfect smile!

What's on your fall reading list?

October 4th, 2017

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang and our team at Kids Smile Dental Center encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in San Mateo for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Are you ready for orthodontic treatment?

September 27th, 2017

If you’ve been hiding your smile because you have crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth, it’s time to consider orthodontic treatment with Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang. Preparing for treatment is an important part of getting the smile you want.

Basic exams

The first step of preparation is the examination. An oral exam and X-rays taken at our office are necessary to identify potential problems and ensure the right steps are taken to prepare for orthodontic treatment at Kids Smile Dental Center.

Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang will first examine your teeth and take X-rays to determine if it is necessary to extract any teeth or additional work is necessary before braces are possible. You will be prepared for the next step of treatment after your exam is complete and potential problems are identified.

Model for bite

The next step in preparing for orthodontic is taking a plaster model of the mouth. With the model, Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang will be able to determine how the jaw is aligned so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the mouth and jaw with braces.

Depending on the situation, the model may be used to help evaluate your jaw and make decisions about appropriate treatment for your specific needs. Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang can create a model of your mouth with the bite indentation that is taken during preparation.

Extracting teeth

If it is determined that a tooth extraction is necessary, then the final step of preparing for orthodontic treatment is the removal of teeth. Only Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang can determine if it is necessary to remove any teeth before moving forward with the procedure to put on braces.

When your teeth are crooked, have a gap, or otherwise make you unhappy, orthodontic treatment at Kids Smile Dental Center may be an appropriate solution. Although it may take time to prepare for the actual procedure, making the decision to seek treatment can provide the opportunity to show the world a beautiful smile.

For more information about orthodontic treatment and its benefits, or to schedule a consultation with Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang, please give us a call at our convenient San Mateo office!

Brushing with Braces: How to Keep a Clean Mouth

September 20th, 2017

A clean mouth is a happy mouth. And when Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang and our staff see you have a clean mouth, we are happy too. Of course, all of this should make you happy because you’re the one preventing sneaky little food bits from getting trapped under the wires of your braces.

Still, you need to be thorough with your brushing. When you have braces, you’re playing a game of hide-and-go-seek with everything you eat. Here are five tips to keep your mouth (and us) happy.

  1. How is brushing with braces like geometry? It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down. Brush the bottom of your teeth with the brush angled up. Pointy brushes, aka interproximal brushes, are good for reaching the tiny spots around braces.
  2. Brush after every meal. If those sneaky little food bits hide in your mouth for very long, they’ll turn into plaque. And plaque is a sign of a very unhappy mouth.
  3. Brush one tooth at a time for at least ten seconds, and pay close attention to the spots where your braces touch your teeth.
  4. Fluoride is your new BFF. Make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash contain this cavity-fighting ingredient.
  5. Braces are no excuse not to floss. In fact, saying you can’t floss because you have braces is like saying the dog ate your homework. Drs. Jessica Chiang, Jocelyn Lee, Amy Chen, and Jessie Chang and our staff, like your geometry teacher, aren’t going to buy it. Be sure to floss after every meal.