Orthodontic Treatment For Children

Orthodontic Treatment Timing Merrimack NHMost parents understand the importance of starting children young with an at-home oral care routine. While children start their dental care routine in their toddler years, do you know the best age to start them with orthodontic treatment? Some parents choose to wait until all of their child’s permanent teeth have come in, but what is the real answer? Lucky Number 7

At Elliott Orthodontics, we suggest bringing your child in for an orthodontic evaluation at age seven. We recommend this age because the first molars come in around this time. While your child will have a mix of adult and baby teeth, our staff can identify any abnormalities or problems in the near future. These problems can include crowding, deep bites and open bites.

In some cases, early treatment can help regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, reduce the threat of impacted permanent teeth, eliminate the need for extractions and resolve speech problems. When caught early and quickly treated, many patients do not need orthodontic treatment later in life, saving them both time and money.

How Soon Will Treatment Begin?

Keep in mind that while you can have your child evaluated for early orthodontic treatment, the treatment itself may not begin for another few years after the exam has been performed. Depending on our findings, treatment can start as soon as one year later and as late as five years after the examination.

Early Treatment Benefits

Taking a proactive approach to your child’s oral health could prevent physical and emotional trauma as they mature. Kids can be cruel and children with misaligned teeth can experience poor oral hygiene and a lot of teasing from peers.

It is important to note that not every treatment plan is the same. Dr. Douglas Elliott works with each patient to develop a custom plan for treatment based on their needs. If treatment is not yet necessary, patients are placed on our orthodontic supervisory program in order to monitor progress.

Is your child’s seventh birthday coming up? If you suspect that your child may need an evaluation, contact our Merrimack or New Boston NH office to schedule your complimentary consultation. The sooner we meet, the better our chances of ensuring your child has a healthy smile and even brighter future.

Can Alcohol Damage My Braces?

Alcohol and Orthodontics Merrimack NHYou already know the effects alcohol can have on your body, but do you know how it can affect your oral health? At Elliott Orthodontics, our job is to educate adult patients on how to keep their teeth healthy during orthodontic treatment. Before you pick up that glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage, consider what’s inside.

Acid – Most alcoholic drinks are very high in acid content. Mixed drinks made of soda or fruit juices typically have the most acid. If left on the teeth too long, acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, making you prone to disease-causing bacteria.
Sugar – Whether you can taste it or not, your alcoholic drink of choice most likely has sugar in it. Sugar is bacteria’s best friend. Bacteria feed on the sugar left on your teeth and leave acid behind.
Dyes – Many wines and spirits contain dyes that can stain your teeth. Avoid colorful drinks and red wines to keep your teeth bright and healthy. Drinking white wines causes no discoloration.

Tips for Drinking Alcohol with Braces

  • Don’t babysit your drink. While sipping on your drink over time saves you money and keeps you from becoming intoxicated too quickly, it can have a negative effect on your teeth. Your mouth does not get time to balance its pH, helping bacteria to thrive.
  • Drink water throughout the evening. Not only can drinking water between drinks keep you hydrated, but it can also rinse away some of the acid and sugar from your drinks. Occasionally swish it around before you swallow.
  • Don’t skip your nightly routine. No matter how tired you may be, remember to brush and floss before bed. You don’t want your first breath the next morning to taste like last night.
  • Be smart and drink in moderation. Remember to drink responsibly and pace yourself. Try not to overdo it and be sure to have a designated driver or other transportation to get home safely.

On a Serious Note…Did you know that regular consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for oral cancer? A study by the American Cancer Society found that people who drink alcoholic beverages often are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than someone who does not. Of those diagnosed with oral cancer, 75-80% are regular consumers of alcohol.

Be Proactive

The best thing you can do for your teeth is, to be honest about your alcohol consumption and proactive when it comes to dealing with its effects. Keep the above tips in mind when drinking alcohol. Together, we can make sure you have the healthy, bright smile you’ve always wanted. Contact our Merrimack or New Boston NH office with any questions you may have or to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.


Announcing Our “Mom Knows Best” Winner Loren G.

Thanks to everyone who submitted photo and video entries for our “Mom Knows Best” Contest! Our winner is Loren G., who submitted a video slideshow of her momma and her! What a lovely job! We’d love to join you two for chocolate and 80’s music sometime! You can check out Loren’s entry below!

Loren receives a $25 gift card and her mom wins a $200 Spa Gift card! (Again, we are very envious!)

We haven’t forgotten about the father figures – check out our “My Dad’s Cooler” contest here. It runs till June 15th.

We hope all our patients, their parents, and their families have a lovely Memorial Day holiday weekend. Who’s ready for summer?!

Announcing Our “My Dad’s Cooler” Contest!

What one word would you use to describe your dad? If your father, grandfather, uncle or paternal figure in your life has made a positive impact on your life – we want to hear about it (in one word!)

Dr. Elliott and his staff will select their favorite entry! The winner will receive a Yeti Tundra 35 PermaFrost-Insulated Cooler! Great for the campsite, ballpark, backyard or wherever you enjoy bonding with your dad!

Grab your Thesaurus and get creative! Remember, you only get one word to describe what your dad means to you. We look forward to reading your responses! Visit our contest page to enter here.

Dads – thank you for all that you do for your children during their treatment with Dr. Elliott! We appreciate it!