North Charleston SC orthodontist

What Role do Elastics (Rubber Bands) Play in Orthodontics?

May 17th, 2013

Wearing orthodontic braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that's why you've come to see Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt at Nirenblatt Orthodontics. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of ElasticsCustomized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It's common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don'ts

DO - Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON'T - Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO - Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON'T - Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO - Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO - Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we'll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Charleston or North Charleston, NC office, and our staff will be happy to assit you!

What do rubber bands do?

March 22nd, 2012


Rubber bands, or elastics, can be an integral aspect of orthodontic care, so if Dr. Nirenblatt has prescribed elastics as a part of your treatment, it’s important to follow the directions fully. Elastics help to align your bite or cause teeth to move in different directions and straighten more quickly. We will instruct you how to hook one end to an upper bracket and the other end to a lower bracket so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one bracket to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure on the bracket, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. This tension is also sufficient to correct an overbite or an under bite in the jaw.

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. With rubber bands, you won’t be able to open your mouth fully, so they will have to be removed when you eat and reapplied after meal time. Many times, rubber bands are only needed at night, so you won’t need to worry about eating with them. Also, if you try to open your mouth too wide, your rubber bands might snap – so be careful!

Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed can lengthen your treatment time and may make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. But don’t worry; your time in elastics will be well worth it when you see your beautiful, new smile.

Tip-Edge Brackets with Dr. Nirenblatt

October 20th, 2011

At Nirenblatt Orthodontics, we strive to offer only the best orthodontic care. That means staying up to date on the latest technologies and orthodontic treatments. That's why Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt uses Tip-Edge PLUS brackets. Dr. Nirenblatt says that, "because of its small, single-wing design the PLUS Bracket System has plenty of inter-bracket width, allowing engagement of crowded teeth early on and easily in treatment. The vertical slot makes it easy to engage, upright and rotate teeth with spring auxiliaries if needed. Borderline extraction cases can be easily treated as non-extraction cases."

In Fact, Dr. Nirenblatt's orthodontic cases have been chosen to represent TP Orthodontic's Tip-Edge Plus Brackets. There is even a link on their website for orthodontists to e-mail Dr. Nirenblatt with questions about Tip-Edge brackets.

Dr. Nirenblatt has achieved successful treatment results for more than 10 years with Tip-Edge PLUS. If you have any questions about the Tip-Edge PLUS Bracket System, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nirenblatt, give our office a call!

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October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

October 13th, 2011

Happy October! For those who don't know, it’s National Orthodontic Health Month. This month-long event is organized by our pals at the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO.

Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt and our team realize that this is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Month also aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists like Dr. Nirenblatt and other dental professionals in South Carolina.

The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• Caramel
• Nuts
• Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Licorice
• Bubblegum
• Ice

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, ask us on Facebook, or ask us at Nirenblatt Orthodontics during your visit this month!

Tackling kids' sports safety, with Nirenblatt Orthodontics

August 10th, 2011

Let’s face it: sports-related injuries are common among children, let alone teens with braces. In a recent survey, the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, discovered that 70 percent of parents said their biggest worry is that their child will get hurt while playing sports. But 67 percent admitted that their child doesn’t wear a mouth guard when participating in organized sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer. That’s why Nirenblatt Orthodontics is helping spread the word that many facial sports injuries can be prevented simply by reminding your kids to wear mouth guards. Ask us—Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt will provide a mouth guard for any patient in active treatment. In addition, the AAO has provided the following tips for keeping your kids safe on the field this spring. Please remind them to:

• Wear mouth guards during contact sports
• Wear a helmet
• Stretch before and after a game or practice
• Wear protective eye wear
• Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin
• Be observant—even as a spectator

All of these can reduce injuries. Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Be sure to avoid mouth guards that custom form to your teeth as these will resist any tooth movements Dr. Nirenblatt is trying to achieve.

Give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment at Nirenblatt Orthodontics.

Age 7 is the magic number for an orthodontic checkup

August 3rd, 2011

Many parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to see Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt for a consultation, only to discover treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Did you know the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven?

That’s right—seven.

Ok, so what’s so great about age seven, you ask? Enough permanent teeth have arrived for Dr. Nirenblatt to make a determination about whether any problems are present. The first molars have come in, providing an opportunity to check for malocclusion, or “bad bite.” Also, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites and open bites can be detected.

Orthodontic evaluation at an early age provides one of two positive outcomes: For some, early identification or problems will lead to easier or shorter orthodontic treatment in the future. For others, a healthy prognosis will provide immediate peace of mind.

Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring on years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene. So, if your child is nearing his or her seventh birthday, give us a call at Nirenblatt Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.

Orthodontic Emergency Care, with Dr. Nirenblatt

July 26th, 2011

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with Nirenblatt Orthodontics.

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:

Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it's worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

How can Invisalign improve your oral health?

July 20th, 2011

When considering treatment options, patients often ask us how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Well, there are more reasons to smile about Invisalign with Nirenblatt Orthodontics than you may know. Invisalign is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, and besides straightening your teeth, can improve your oral health. Here’s how:

Healthy Gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque and even gum disease.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, just ask Dr. Brad Nirenblatt the next time you’re in for an appointment. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page! You can also read this article for more information on Invisalign and your oral health.

Ask Dr. Nirenblatt: How can Invisalign improve my oral health?

July 15th, 2011

When considering treatment options, patients often ask us how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Well, there are more reasons to smile about Invisalign with Nirenblatt Orthodontics than you may know. Invisalign is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, and besides straightening your teeth, can improve your oral health. Here’s how:

Healthy Gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque and even gum disease.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.
If you have any questions about Invisalign, just ask Dr. Bradley Nirenblatt the next time you’re in for an appointment. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page! You can also read this article for more information on Invisalign and your oral health.

Braces 101 with Dr. Nirenblatt

July 8th, 2011

If you ever sustain damage to your braces and need to call Nirenblatt Orthodontics, we can help you more effectively if you can tell us exactly which piece is in trouble! Here’s a handy diagram and corresponding list of all the parts that make up your braces.

Elastic Tie: Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Archwire: The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire: Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don't have a loop.

Bracket: Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth's surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube: Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring:
Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire: Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band: A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook: Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band): Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

Hope this helps! Give us a call if you have any questions!

Cane Bay
North Charleston
West Ashley