Latest News & Blog

Braces vs. Invisalign®: Which is Best for You?

August 15, 2018

There have been major advancements in dental and orthodontics in the last 15 years. At one time, the only option to straighten teeth and manage issues was traditional metal braces. These could be painful, especially after monthly bracket band changes and tightening. Today, there are many more options for children, teenagers, and adults for a comfortable experience. If you are considering making changes to your dental health, explore the differences between braces and Broomfield Invisalign. Consult with your local orthodontist to discuss your issues and an action plan to help you with your oral health.

Common Dental Issues Braces Can Fix

As you may have read, straight teeth have several benefits outside of cosmetic appeal. Certain issues can lead to medical issues or long-term problems. This is why it is important to keep orthodontics as a priority. Some of the following issues include:
  • Teeth Malocclusion: When teeth grow in too close together, it can cause some of them to grow in crooked. This is known as malocclusion or crowding. Since the teeth are so tightly packed, a person is not actually able to properly care for them. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, there will be areas a person is not able to reach. This can lead to a build-up of plaque, inflamed gums and gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, bad breath, inability to chew food properly, and health issues.
  • Bite Problems: When the jaw grows improperly, it can lead to issues with one’s bite. For instance, there may be an overbite, where the top teeth extend over the lower. The opposite of this is an underbite. When the two rows of teeth do not touch, this is known as an openbite. If the top teeth protrude, commonly from thumb-sucking, this is known as protrusion. Last, if the top and bottom row of teeth shift slightly to one side, this is known as a crossbite. Any of these bite and alignment issues can cause TMJ disorders, problems chewing and/or speaking, pain and excessive wear, headaches, tooth decay, cavities, and more.
  • Headaches: When the mouth is not aligned due to issues with the jaw, it can cause headaches. In some cases, it can even be the leading cause of migraines. Many of the muscles are connected and can lead to tension.

Exploring Your Options

Whether you realize you have dental issues or not, it is best to consult with an orthodontist to review your oral health. Several issues can be resolved simply by having braces. On average, a person will need braces around 18 months. For some it is more, for others, it is less. By speaking to your local orthodontist, you will be able to learn about any dental issues you have and their advised plan of action to resolve it. From here, you can talk with them about payment options that will help you carry out your plan. Depending on your specific situation, you may be eligible for braces or Invisalign.

Reasons for Braces

Braces can be used as a solution for any dental problem. Traditional braces are small brackets that are temporarily glued to the teeth. Through using wires, and small brackets, they will move the teeth and jaw into the optimal positions. A person will typically visit their orthodontist on a monthly basis to have bands re-tightened or adjusted so the teeth continue to move into their proper place.

Malocclusion can easily be fixed with traditional braces, getting them into place fairly quickly. In addition, braces are needed for complex dental issues—such as a misaligned bite. There are different techniques that can be done with braces to move the jaw into the proper position that cannot be done with other solutions.

Today, there are different options available when installing braces. The great news is that the latest advancements in braces offer options that are quicker and easier on patients. A common set of braces that are installed are In-Ovation. Available in R and C, this type of braces is self-litigating. This means bands are not required as the brackets themselves have clips that keep the wire in place. Since elastics are not needed, this means there will be fewer visits to the orthodontist. They are also not as painful as traditional brackets that use elastics. The difference between In-Ovation R and C is in appearance. In-Ovation R uses a small, metal bracket. In-Ovation C uses a translucent ceramic bracket that is not as noticeable.

Reasons for Invisalign

For individuals with crooked teeth or simpler orthodontic needs, Invisalign is a great solution. Why? There are no brackets needed at all! Invisalign works using a series of clear aligners. An orthodontist will assess your dental needs then provide you with a set that will be switched out. In your plan, you will receive instructions on when to switch out your aligners. The aligners can be removed when eating, drinking, brushing or flossing. Other than that, they must be left in. In order to be successful, aligners must be kept in for a minimum of 22 hours per day.

Invisalign is a fantastic option that is low maintenance and not as noticeable as traditional braces. Even better, there will not need to be as many visits to the orthodontist as you will carry on the plan yourself when switching out the aligners. You will need to check in, of course, but not as often. Invisalign will give you more options on the food you can eat. In addition, they also are easier to manage and clean and can resolve issues fairly quickly.

If you have dental issues, it is important to know when to see an orthodontist in Broomfield. Get started and schedule your first visit with Prentice Orthodontics. Dr. Ricarda Prentice and her team will provide you with a great experience to help you achieve straighter teeth, eliminating health risks, aches, and pains. This state-of-the-art dental practice uses the latest in technology to help you have the best experience possible. With offices in Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Thornton, and Westminster, you can visit the location nearest you. Start your free consultation today by calling 303-468-7722.

Summer Dental Care Tips from Your Broomfield Orthodontist

August 1, 2018

Summer is such a great time of year! Denver has beautiful weather for much of the year, but summer can be extra special. It is perfect to spend time enjoying the beautiful mountains, exploring hiking trails, spending cool evenings around a bonfire, or enjoying cookouts and get-togethers with friends and family. It’s also a time many people choose to take on home projects or other activities they could not otherwise do during colder months. With more on your plate, both fun and productive, it’s easy to forget about the small things—such as your dental hygiene! Avoid costly issues by following these summer dental care tips from your orthodontist in Broomfield.

Summer Foods Hard on the Teeth

The warm months are the perfect time to enjoy cool treats or cookout foods. While everything may be okay in moderation, it is important to be aware of certain foods you are eating. Use caution with the following—keeping consumption in moderation and be sure to brush and floss regularly:
  • Citrus and acidic food and drinks: Lemonade, a cold cola, or a refreshing orange are great on a hot day—however, use caution consuming too much citrus or acidic foods. They can damage your enamel that leads to decay. Drink water after consuming them and brush your teeth if you can.
  • Ice: Don’t worry, having ice in a beverage will not harm your teeth. However, many people love to chew ice, which can be very hard on them! Chewing ice can lead to chips or breaks. If you love to chew ice, go for soft ice. Many call this type of ice “Sonic Ice,” as it is commonly found in Sonic restaurants. But today, consumers can purchase their own soft ice makers, find it at local convenience stores, or you can even learn the secret to making soft crushed ice, Sonic-Style.
  • Chewy and sticky foods: When eating very chewy candy or sticky foods, if not brushed or flossed properly, this can lead to long-term issues. This includes foods such as chewy candies and dried fruit.
  • Alcohol: If you enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer, make sure you enjoy in moderation and drink water regularly. Alcohol can actually make your mouth drier, causing anything in your mouth to stay in place as there is no saliva there. This can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and more.

Brushing Your Teeth

When it comes to brushing your teeth, do you consider what type of toothbrush you buy, or your brushing technique? Even if you brush two to three times per day, having the right brush is crucial. In many cases, soft bristles are recommended by dentists. To find what is best for you, talk to your orthodontist. While it may seem that having hard bristles will do a better job, in many cases it can be detrimental. For many, hard bristles can damage tooth enamel, as well as the gums. Your orthodontist will be able to explain to you if it is a better option and ways to brush if it is.

For technique, make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Make sure to cover all areas, both top, bottom, outside, and inside. If using a traditional brush, brush at an angle. Go against your gum line. Be sure to brush your gums but go in soft motions.

However, electric toothbrushes are highly recommended by many dentists and orthodontists. Electric toothbrushes do an excellent job of removing plaque that causes so many issues. When using a soft-bristled electric brush, you can feel confident that you are brushing away any residue that would be detrimental to your oral health. They do an excellent job at removing problematic plaque, keeping your gums in good health, and more. Essentially, you just hold the toothbrush over each tooth allowing it to do the work—and not you. This is especially beneficial for patients with braces as it helps to remove debris away from any of the brackets.

Don’t forget—caring for your toothbrush is important. Be sure to learn more how an orthodontist in Broomfield provides tips for taking care of toothbrushes.


It is just as important to floss your teeth regularly as it as to brush them. Food and debris get stuck in between each day due to regular eating. Debris falls in between the teeth that are impossible to remove with brushing. Floss is able to get into these crevices to break it up so it can be removed. But that’s not all. Flossing regularly is great for your health. Flossing protects the gums, which will help you to avoid periodontal disease. This is crucial as periodontal disease can lead to several other health issues throughout the body.

Getting Food Out of Braces

If you have braces, you know that you have to modify some of the foods you eat. It is best to avoid chewy foods, nuts, hard candies, and more. You may notice certain foods are difficult to eat. With braces, make sure you cut certain foods that are difficult to eat. Avoid overly chewy and sugary foods, gum, and anything hard on your teeth. For brushing, if using a manual toothbrush, be sure to spend 10 to 15 seconds per tooth. This will ensure all debris is removed so plaque and other issues do not arise. For flossing, be sure to use a waxed floss. This sill glide in and out more easily. Flossing with braces can seem a little more challenging, so using other resources such as an irrigator can help. Use this supplementary

When it comes to mastering your dental hygiene, Prentice Orthodontics will help you make intelligent decisions, so you can maintain great dental hygiene this summer. As a team dedicated to helping you achieve your periodontal goals, we can guide you on the best toothbrush to use, techniques to floss, tips for brushing, and much more. This is beneficial for everyone, especially those with braces. Whether you need braces or questions about them, get a free consultation today at 303-468-7722.

How Adults Benefit from Braces

July 18, 2018

For many adults, having Broomfield braces was not an option. It may have possibly been too expensive or just not made a priority by parents. However, just because a person didn’t get braces when they were younger does not mean they are not ever able to have braces. You may fall into this category and to your surprise, there are several options available today that are affordable, convenient and more natural in appearance. The time commitment and investment will have such a great return on investment in the long term. Explore the importance of having braces as an adult and how thankful you will be you had them in the long-term.

Introduction to Braces

While braces have a cosmetic impact, they do much more. In fact, their health benefits alone can help a person much more in the long-term. How? When a person’s teeth are straight, they are easier to keep clean. But there are several other benefits and factors.

When the teeth and jaw are in line, issues are prevented or alleviated. Some of these problems include:
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Speech issues
  • Mouth tooth, and jaw pain
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Headaches
  • TMJ symptoms

Each plan for braces is different but very affordable. The money you will save by having braces as an adult can save thousands down the road. In some cases, you can have braces for under $4,000. You can discuss with your local orthodontics on your plan and how much it will cost.

Importance of Straight Teeth

Straight teeth look great, but you may not realize how important this is to your overall health. When teeth are crooked or crowded, which is also known as malocclusion of the teeth, it makes it nearly impossible to fully clean them—even for the most diligent of people. This happens because there are places that cannot be reached both with a toothbrush and floss. These areas become more subjected to cavities and/or gum disease. Ensuring the teeth are in order will resolve and prevent these issues.

Health Issues

Delving into health issues, while cavities can be filled, for those without straight teeth, it can be detrimental. The cavities or built-up plaque and other damage can lead to tooth decay. This leads to the build-up of bacteria in the mouth and inflamed gums. You may be saying to yourself, “So I’ll just have mouth issues.”

Unfortunately, the bacteria can spread throughout your body and potentially cause diabetes, heart disease, various types of cancer, issues in pregnancy, osteoporosis, respiratory infections, rheumatoid arthritis, and much more—including the loss of teeth.

How do you know you have issues with your gums? Signs include:
  • Red gums
  • Swelling along the gum line
  • Bleeding after brushing and/or flossing
  • Canker sores
  • Pain in gums
  • Pockets (bubble-like) between the teeth

As you face any of these issues, it is important that you understand proper brushing and flossing techniques. Just as important, you need to make braces a top priority.

Bite and Jaw Alignment

Millions of Americans suffer from some type of issue stemming from a misaligned jaw. This causes your bite to be off, as well as a slew of other issues.

There are a wide array of jaw issues, some of which include:
  • Crossbite: The teeth are slanted to one side
  • Crowding: When teeth are too close together
  • Open bite: Top and bottom teeth do not properly close, leaving open space
  • Overbite: The top jaw is over the lower jaw
  • Underbite: The lower row of teeth sits over the top teeth

Options for Adults

Having braces as an adult is different than the options available 20+ years ago. One of the latest advancements popular among all people in need of braces is Invisalign®, a clear form of braces. You may be eligible for this treatment depending on the issues your orthodontist says needs to be treated. Options from your local orthodontist include:
  • In-Ovation R: Most affordable solution for orthodontic wear. In-Ovation R braces have small, metal brackets. Unlike traditional braces, the way they have a self-litigating design, meaning a person will not need to go in several times to have braces tightened as often. The brackets are silver and smooth. These are ideal for those with alignment issues both with the teeth and jaw.
  • In-Ovation C: This type of braces is very similar to the In-Ovation R with some added benefits. Their translucent, ceramic construction is less noticeable and smoother on the gums. They too have a self-litigating design, saving you time and money on visits to the dentist. They are commonly used for those with both malocclusion and jaw alignment problems.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign straightens your teeth using a series of customized clear aligners. Upon a consultation with your orthodontist, you will receive a supply of aligners. You will wear a set of aligners for most of the day, only removing them to eat, drink, and normal care of teeth. This option can be done on your own, meaning you only need to check in with your dentist just a few times during the duration of using the aligners. These can be used for malocclusion issues, but not jaw problems.  

Time Commitment

As you become intrigued by braces, understand your options and health benefits they bring, you may be wondering… “how long will I have to wear braces?” Each person and situation are different. On average, one can expect to have braces for up to one or two years. If there are serious malocclusion or jaw issues, it could potentially be up to three issues. While this may seem like a long time, it is important to have done. When you care for your teeth, you will reduce or eliminate pain and protect yourself from diseases down the road. Make time for finding room for your perfect smile through a visit to your Thornton orthodontist. You will be glad you did!

Prentice Orthodontics is your go-to local orthodontics team that will help you every step of the way for braces. We have a variety of options to resolve your issues, leading to a lifetime of comfortability and a great smile. Schedule your free consultation today by calling us at 303-468-7722.

Braces for Teens in Broomfield: What You Should Know

July 4, 2018

Whether you are a parent or a teen considering braces, they are a great step for your periodontal future and overall health, too. When a person has straight teeth, the benefits far surpass just cosmetics. The risks of improper alignment or the inability to properly care for teeth can lead to lifelong negative effects. All of this can be avoided by wearing braces. Being a year or longer commitment, there are several questions you may have about this major life decision. Learn the answers to some of your top questions when it comes to getting braces for the first time.

The Right Time to Get Braces

Orthodontists may recommend a child get braces as early as seven- or eight-years-old. This proactive approach can help tackle issues before they become a problem. However, in many cases, if treatment that early is not an option, getting braces as a teen or pre-teen is an ideal time. This age time-frame is when the jaw and alignment are still forming into place, making the alignment process easier. The process can be especially helpful when the jaw and other areas need to be moved as well to ensure proper alignment.

Benefits of Earlier Treatment

During a child’s early dental and orthodontic appointments, they may see tell-tale signs of issues. This can be as early as six-years-old. Some of these problems can include:
● Misaligned bite
● Protruding front teeth
● Disproportionate jaw
In these situations, taking a proactive approach can be crucial to overall long-term health. Braces will move the teeth and correct alignment issues while the jaw is still growing, making for an easier adjustment. Tackling orthodontic problems early in life can also be better for one’s budget as there will be less treatment needed down the road. Explore the benefits of early orthodontic treatment to see if this is an ideal solution.

How Long To Wear Braces

When it comes to braces, each individual situation is different. For the typical teen, braces will stay on for one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half years. More in-depth jaw, alignment, and spacing issues can require them to be on for longer in order to successfully get through the treatment. Age also plays a role in how long a person will need to wear braces. Goals can be achieved more quickly in younger children with jaws that are still forming.

Types of Braces to Choose From

Braces today are more advanced than they were 20 to 40 years ago. Three common types of braces are In-Ovation R, In-Ovation C, and Invisalign® Teen. Each is different with different purposes. The In-Ovation options work on a better and best model. Both are fantastic options, leaving it your choice which you prefer. Both have special self-tightening features that reduce the number of visits to the orthodontist’s office. Also, both are smaller in size, leading to a more comfortable experience. The R braces use silver brackets with wiring and the C model uses a translucent ceramic. The R will allow a teen to choose different bands while the C has a natural appearance. 
For teens without jaw or alignment issues, Invisalign is an option. Invisalign does not require the installation of brackets. Instead, upon creating a diagnosis and plan, an orthodontist will give a patient a series of clear retainers that over time, will straighten out one’s teeth. These clear retainers are referred to as “aligners,” and must be worn at least 22 hours per day. They can be removed to eat or for dental care, but should otherwise be left in. There will be a few visits to the orthodontist to check on progress, but not nearly as much as traditional braces.
Your orthodontist will discuss with you or your child the differences between these braces. A budget will factor into the conversation, but so will the types of changes that are needed. You can discuss with your orthodontist what your budget looks like and they can work with you on a plan for success.

What to Expect After Getting Braces On

Do braces hurt? Advancements in braces have led to less pain. However, there is some soreness to be expected as the teeth are moving into a new place. A majority of this soreness occurs in the hours and days after an orthodontic appointment. Taking an over the counter medication just before the appointment, such as acetaminophen or naproxen can help with the pain. In addition, an ice pack can be used to help combat any swelling in the area.
For some teens, the cheeks or gums can become irritated by the newly installed brackets. You can purchase wax to be placed on the end that creates a barrier between the wire and the mouth. Topical creams such can also be used to numb the area.

Important Care Tips

When a person has braces, it is imperative to continue regular brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Be sure to purchase interdental brushes to get in between each bracket. These can be purchased online or at your local drug store. For flossing, you can purchase a floss threader to make the experience easier.
During meals, be sure to avoid overly chewy or sticky foods. Certain crunchy foods can also become problematic. Avoid foods that are very hard that can break any of your braces. Stick to softer foods that you do not have to take bites into.

Post-Braces Maintenance

The process of bracket removal is normally not painful at all. There will be some noises of the brackets coming off and some pressure to get this done. An orthodontist may also have to scrape off residue. Other than that, the process is simple!
In the first couple days of getting your braces off, expect there to be some soreness. This will pass. Depending on how well you cared for your mouth when you had braces, you may notice some discoloration. If it is an issue, you can discuss with your orthodontist and dentist on ways to whiten the area.
In order to keep your teeth in their newly aligned condition, a retainer is necessary. An orthodontist will tell you how long to wear the retainer. In some cases, it is two years, while for more serious issues, a permanent retainer is needed. Be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions to ensure your teeth stay straight and in place for the long-term.
For a local expert to help you or your child with all orthodontic treatment, contact the experts at Prentice Orthodontics. Get your free consultation today at 303-468-7722.

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

June 20, 2018

When it comes to orthodontics, many parents consider braces as only a cosmetic fix. This is a common misconception, especially when you are trying to decide what investments to make for your child. Dental care is crucial—even more crucial in a child’s early years. Many problems can be corrected before they ever become serious when addressed early on, which can save you and/or your child time and money down the road. Take some time to learn the benefits of early orthodontic treatment in Broomfield and see how your child can benefit.

Importance of Braces

Straight and properly aligned teeth, as well as the jaw, look great cosmetically. However, medically, it is important to have this as well. Crooked or crowded teeth, also known as malocclusion, make it difficult to properly brush and floss teeth. This can make proper dental hygiene difficult for even the most diligent of people.

When the teeth are not properly cared for, this will lead to issues such as cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is especially problematic. Why? It means bacteria, which comes from plaque build-up, has caused damage. This can lead to red, swollen and painful gums, bleeding, and even in extreme cases, movement of the teeth or tooth loss.

In addition to treating malocclusion, braces also fix a misaligned jaw. When the jaw is not aligned, it can cause a slew of issues that can get worse over time. In children, it can make speaking or eating difficult. Then also, in children and adults, a person can suffer from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This leads to pain anywhere on one’s head, even affecting the neck. It also makes it painful to talk or chew, and creates other symptoms such as tinnitus, headaches, hearing issues, and more.

Phase I and Phase II

If your dentist or orthodontist suspect or see signs that your child may have jaw issues and/or malocclusion, they can take advantage of a Phase I treatment option. Phase I orthodontics is a proactive approach that can begin when a child is as young as seven-years-old, up to 10. The orthodontics works with the child as they are growing to help everything come into place, properly. This is especially helpful if a child has an improper bite or crowding of the teeth. Phase I treatment has long-term benefits because it prevents many problems from happening, including the need for surgery, speech therapy, and more. Each situation is different, but problems can be corrected in as little as a year.

Phase II treatment is most common as it is the addition of braces to correct final alignment of teeth. It begins when most of the adult teeth have grown in, so it can be done for children as young as 11 or 12, or adults if they did not have braces as a child.

Working with a Growing Jaw

Early orthodontic treatment can work well with a growing jaw. As teeth start to come in, an orthodontist will monitor how the jaw is moving as it settles into place. If the jaw is showing signs that there will be issues, intercepting early can help positively manipulate the growth.

The jaw can be manipulated by using headgear, which will move the jaw into a specific place. A jaw expander can also be used for those with an underbite which will increase the width of the upper jaw. A reverse pull face mask can also help move the jaw in certain directions. Some of these issues occur naturally, while others happen if a child sucks their thumb or pushes on their front teeth with their tongue.

Curbing Thumb Sucking Damage

While thumb sucking can seem innocent at first for young children, it can become very problematic for their dental health if they continue the habit as they get older. When the thumb is in their mouth, especially for extended periods of time throughout the day, it will impact the roof of their mouth and the way their adult teeth grow in. Aggressive thumb sucking can even impact their primary teeth as well. In addition, thumb sucking can lead to an overbite or underbite, as well as speech impediments.

On average, it is ideal to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb when they turn four or five years old. Since each child grows differently, speak with your local orthodontist. Breaking the habit can be challenging, but you can do it! Use these nine ways to wean a child off thumb sucking to help.

Improved Speech

When a child’s teeth are not properly aligned, not only can it lead to health issues—but can lead to speech impediments too. One of the most common issues that lead to speech impediments is having an improper bite. When the teeth do not close down all the way, the gap makes it difficult for a child to say certain words. Thumb sucking can also change the shape of a child’s palette, also affecting the bite and the way they speak.

Using Phase I orthodontic treatment is great to curb some of these issues early. When you work with your orthodontist on a plan, they are able to prevent certain issues before they happen. This can save your family money down the road and help avoid certain issues and challenges that may occur when they are older.

Early orthodontic treatment is very beneficial for several children. While it can seem intimidating to them, you can learn how to ease your child’s fears about visiting an orthodontist near Superior. The team at Prentice Orthodontics are experts in the field and will do everything we can to make your child’s experience fun and comfortable. Our kid-friendly environment will help them feel relaxed as we work on their Phase I plan that will lead to improved long-term health and dental benefits. Contact Prentice Orthodontics today to schedule your child’s first visit. We can assess their situation and work on a Phase I treatment plan if one is necessary. We look forward to seeing your family in our office!