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When Does Your Child Need to See an Orthodontist?

January 16th, 2018

Just because your child’s teeth look straight, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need to see an orthodontist.

Orthodontia isn’t just about having a perfectly even looking smile; it’s a matter of proper alignment, and an effective bite. There may be problems in the jaw, or in the growth patterns of the teeth that won’t be detected without the consultation of an expert with the proper experience and tools.

Your Childs 1st Orthodontic Exam

The AAO recommend a child’s first visit to the orthodontist at seven years old.  There are many children that don’t need any sort of treatment at such a young age, but it’s still a good idea to try and detect any potential problems sooner rather than later.

Early detection can save a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run. Catching potential issues at a younger age greatly lessens the chances of needing surgery, or severe and prolonged treatment later on down the line.

If it’s determined your child isn’t in need of treatment at this time, they may be placed under “observation”, where they will be seen at intervals, as determined by the orthodontist. This way your child’s teeth and their growth can be anticipated, and solutions and proactive care can be implemented ahead of time.

In the cases where treatment is necessary, the early detection of problems greatly reduces the risk of more drastic treatment, such as surgery, or prolonged and intensive courses of action. Staying current with your child’s orthodontic care is very important, whether they are in need of imminent care or not.

Early Intervention Orthodontic Treatment

Sometimes it is determined that a child’s mouth is too small to accommodate incoming teeth, or there is an imbalance between the upper and lower jaw. These issues and others may cause pain or problems in the jaw later on in the future.

A common early orthodontic treatment is a removable palatal expander that can be used to make more room in your child’s mouth for teeth to grow, for braces later on, or to redirect the jaw into proper alignment. These appliances are not usually painful, though there will be an adjustment period. Sometimes there is a bit of a speech impediment while your child gets used to it, or excess saliva production.

Remember, the sooner your child starts any kind of orthodontics treatment, the sooner they will be finished. And taking them into see an orthodontist at age seven gives us the opportunity to fix small problems long before they become big  (and more expensive!) problems.

Expert Orthodontics for Your Child

My patients are very important to me, like a second family. We pride ourselves on our community focus approach to running our business. My father opened this practice many years ago, and many of the children he treated bring their children in to see us now! It’s delightful and heartwarming to see the kids of parents entrusting their care to us, because they have positive memories of coming here themselves.

I know that the prospect of orthodontics can be daunting and overwhelming for kids and their parents. It is standard procedure here to make sure that everyone feels comfortable, informed, and cared for throughout the entire course of their treatment.

If you think it’s time for your child’s first trip to the orthodontist, call us today! We see patients from all over the East Bay, including Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Lafayette, Martinez and Concord.

Our Patients Are Like Family to Us!

December 12th, 2017

My father opened this orthodontic practice decades ago, so it’s not just a business to me, it’s like my 2nd home. My team and I like to share that sentiment with our patients…many of you really are like family to us! We’ve literally served two generations here, and it gives us such pleasure to see some of our adult patients coming in to proudly introduce us to their children, and trust them into our care.

This is what is known as a “Legacy Practice”, and we take great pride in ours. This isn’t just a job to us, it’s a contribution to our society and community. It matters to us, far above and beyond what a paycheck does. We sleep better at night, and awake in the mornings with a sense of purpose and satisfaction, knowing that we are compassionately and empathetically assisting people on an important journey.

Not Just a Place for Orthodontics

Going to the orthodontist isn’t everybody’s idea of a good time. We think that our longstanding history with our patients and the community helps take away some of the frightening or clinical feelings that  oral health care might bring up. Our practice doesn’t embody the typical business model you normally think of with a cold, sterile and intimidating office. We have fun here, and really get to know our patients and their needs.  Your all around health and happiness matters to us, not just your teeth.

Orthodontic care is not just about the mechanics of fixing your teeth, it’s about bettering your life. We see each of our patients as an individual taking an important step towards a healthier and happier self. It is a pleasure to see people transform, gaining confidence and improved health. We realize that everyone has a different journey, and we’ll take the time to get to know you and your needs.

Our Commitment to the Greater East Bay Community

Our passion and commitment for a healthy community don’t end in our office. We understand that being healthy isn’t just about regular trips to the dentist and the doctor’s office. Well rounded health and happiness is our ultimate goal. That’s why our commitment and passion for our patients and community extends outside of our practice.

We proudly contribute annually to many community run programs. Some of our contributions go to Toys for Tots, Little League, several youth sports programs, and candy buyback programs. We’re always open to and curious about other ways to contribute to the community, so if you have suggestions or know of other programs in need, please feel free to share them with us.

Your Community Centered Orthodontic Practice

We are skilled in everything from Invisalign to Dentofacial orthopedics. We are continuously advancing our own education and skill set, keeping up with current technological advances.

If you are considering orthodontic care for yourself or any member of your family, please give us a call and schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation. We see patients from all over the East Bay including Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord and Martinez.

Invisalign vs. Braces, Which is Best for You?

November 29th, 2017

With the advancement of modern technology, there are various ways to improve your dental health. Orthodontic care can be daunting for many, and with more treatment options on the market, there is access to care that wasn’t previously available. Now patients have a choice of orthodontic appliances to suit their lifestyle.

Braces are still a great choice for many patients, and for others we have Invisalign clear aligners. We can work with you to decide which orthodontic treatment program is best for you.

When pursuing orthodontic care, an important choice for patients is…braces or Invisalign? Each option offers specific benefits, and we here at Jennifer Martin Orthodontics are equipped and trained to provide both.

Wearing Braces or Invisalign

Braces and Invisalign both require some maintenance and compliance from the wearer. Braces are permanently attached to the teeth, and therefore do not need to be replaced or withdrawn on a daily basis. Braces require less discipline from the wearer, since they don’t need to be removed in order to eat or brush your teeth. Patients still need to be committed to brushing their teeth properly.

Invisalign, however, must be worn all the time in order to move your teeth to the proper position. It’s only removed in order to eat or drink anything besides water. A patient needs to be fully committed to wearing their aligners for the treatment to work. Invisalign aligners must be worn on average of 22 hours day, so if you tend to stray from the rules, or resist being told what to do, Invisalign may not be for you.

Braces require new hardware quite periodically, which means there are more frequent trips to the orthodontists than with Invisalign therapy.

Food Restrictions with Braces and Invisalign

With braces, the wearer can be restricted from sticky foods, such as caramels, or hard foods, like nuts. Wires may snap or poke out, and brackets may break. These incidents can require emergency visits to the orthodontist. With a healthy diet and smart food choices, that can be avoided.  In general, braces may require more unexpected maintenance apart from routine care.

Invisalign requires stricter compliance. You must remove your aligners each time you eat or drink anything besides water. Snacking will be more difficult (many see this as a benefit!), and it is necessary to thoroughly brush and floss each time you consume food and beverages.

The Benefits of Braces

Braces are attached to your teeth and that’s that! For teenagers, busy adults, and children, braces require the least amount of thought and effort. You may have the occasional poking wire or broken bracket, but it’s an easy fix and when it’s done it’s done.

Braces nowadays don’t necessarily mean a heavy “metal mouth”. They’re lightweight, less intrusive, and easier to put in and take out than the traditional mouthful of metal that we’re used to thinking of when we think of braces.

The Benefits of Invisalign

One of the major benefits to Invisalign, especially in adults, is that they’re virtually invisible. The hardware is lightweight, invisible, and removable. Because Invisalign is fitted to your teeth, there are no wires poking into your mouth or gums.

Invisalign are more comfortable than metal braces, and easier to remove for the sake of eating or cleaning. There are no wires or brackets to poke lose or break, which means less emergency visits to the orthodontist.

There are pros and cons to any treatment program designed to better improve your smile and health. We here at Jennifer Martin Orthodontics are available to help you sift through your options and assist in finding the best fit for you. Call and make an appointment at our Pleasant Hill, CA office today!



Can Adults Get Braces? Yes. And They Should!

November 22nd, 2017

Can adults get braces?

Believe it or not, many adults wonder if they can get braces. The answer is a resounding yes—in fact, if you’re an adult thinking about getting braces, then you probably should seek orthodontic treatment.


Most people associate braces with the pre-teen years, and assume that orthodontics are simply for cosmetic purposes, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are braces one of the best non-invasive treatments for crooked or misaligned teeth, but opting for orthodontic treatment as an adult is actually one of the best choices you can make for your long-term oral health.

Keep reading to find out why you—and adults of all ages—should consider getting braces.

Why Do Adults Need Braces?

Ever wonder why adults actually need braces?

While getting straight teeth—and the perfect smile you’ve always wanted—is a huge perk, it’s certainly not the only reason, or benefit, to getting braces as an adult. The reality is that the alignment of your teeth are directly linked to your overall dental health, and braces, like any orthodontic treatment, are an investment in your health.

In fact, getting braces can dramatically improve your overall dental health—they can even help ensure that you keep all of your original teeth throughout your entire life.

When teeth or crooked, crowded, or misaligned, they provide the perfect hiding place for harmful, hard-to-clean bacteria. When left untreated, the bacteria can ultimately lead to periodontal disease (gum infections).

What’s more, getting braces helps protect your adult teeth from serious long-term damage from abnormal trauma: when teeth are out of position, even simple things like chewing food can cause your teeth to bang into each other at odd angles, which eventually leads to wear and tear, chipping, cracking, and other perfectly preventable trauma.

Adult Braces: Even More Benefits

Perhaps one of the most important benefits to getting braces as an adult—other than achieving a perfect smile—is the preventative aspect orthodontics provide.

When you get braces, the oral health benefits are such that they all but guarantee that you keep your original teeth throughout your entire life: that means avoiding costly and painful dental procedures down the line, including having teeth pulled, restored, replaced with dental implants, and more.

The truth is, braces aren’t just a long-term investment in your oral health, and your overall health: they’re an investment in you.

To find out about the benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults, schedule an appointment today.

Creating generations of smiles through a legacy of personal care and heartfelt service!