Hart Orthodontics

Dr. Patrick Hart
Dr. P. Sheamus Hart

Phone 703-491-4278
Office 12600 Lakeridge Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192

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Archive for October, 2013

Halloween Fun with Braces

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Halloween is a favorite holiday among children due to the festive games, imaginative costumes, and candy. Modern celebrations stem from a combination of traditions from Pagan and Christian traditions throughout the centuries. The original holiday was called Samhain and derived from the ancient Druids of Ireland. In their belief system, November 1st marked the beginning of winter, and Pagans began their Samhain celebrations at sunset on October 31st.

Modern Celebrations of Halloween

Children and adults love dressing up for Halloween, and this tradition comes from the ancient belief in spirits. From sunset on October 31st until sunrise on November 1st, the souls of the dead entered the physical world. Some spirits were benevolent and wanted only to cross over to the afterlife while others harbored malicious intents of revenge and trickery. Pagans wore masks and disguised themselves so that the malevolent souls would mistake them as fellow spirits.

Families left food and ale outside of their doors to appease the spirits. With the rise of Christianity in Europe, the church encouraged its members to offer food and money to beggars. In exchange, the beggars would agree to pray for the family’s deceased loved ones. Eventually these traditions led to the development of today’s customs where children dressed up and received candy from their neighbors while circling the community.

Teeth-Friendly Treats

With all of the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to get carried away on a sugar high. Parents warn their children not to eat too many pieces in one night to avoid tummy aches and cavities. Our team at Hart Orthodontics especially want to remind children with braces to be extra cautious about the treats they eat because some varieties can get stuck in between the brackets and damage the devices. Sticky candy, such as caramels, fruit chews, and gum should be avoided when wearing braces. Children can trade with their friends and siblings to get only safe candies. The following list offers some alternative treats that children with braces can safely enjoy.

  • Solid chocolate, including milk, white, or dark
  • Nougat-filled candy bars, such as Three Musketeers
  • Candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms
  • Powdery candy, such as Sweet Tarts or Pixie Stix
  • Mint-flavored candy
  • Malted milk balls
  • Cookies
  • Peanut butter crackers or cookies

When in doubt, children should ask their parents or Dr. Patrick Hart if a specific candy is safe. Halloween is a fun holiday for children, and having braces does not have to take away any of the excitement from tasty treats.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013


Your smile is unique, so your orthodontic treatment time should also be unique and customized for your special needs. In the past the average orthodontic treatment took approximately two years, but with today’s new technology and our commitment to providing the best orthodontic care in the least amount of time, we have experienced a reduction in our patients’ treatment time. With the use of lighter forces, customized braces, and clear aligners, our patients experience less discomfort and shorter treatment time while achieving a great smile.

Of course, treatment time will vary depending on your specific situation. Very minor tooth movement may only take a few months to correct, while serious malocclusion (poor bite) may need more than two years to correct. Only Dr. Patrick Hart will be able to accurately estimate the time your treatment will take. But trust us—it’ll all be worth it in the end!

Has your child or teen visited Hart Orthodontics for an orthodontic consultation? If not, please give us a call and let us help him or her begin the journey to a gorgeous smile! Please feel free to contact our Woodbridge, VA orthodontic office, and let us know how we can help you. We look forward to working with you and your family, and giving you the right orthodontic care that makes you smile.

Are you ready for orthodontic treatment?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013


At Hart Orthodontics, we know having an attractive smile puts a spring in your step, as well as increases your self-confidence, no matter if you’re a teen or an adult. Smiling not only puts people in a good mood, but doing it often can even help you live longer!

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 Dr. Patrick Hart. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how quickly and efficiently today’s advanced techniques can straighten your smile! And if you are apprehensive about traditional braces, clear aligners can be a great treatment option.

Don’t hide your smile any longer. Give us a call today to schedule your or your child’s orthodontic consultation at our convenient Woodbridge, VA office. See you soon!

Is Invisalign Teen® right for me?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


At Hart Orthodontics, we know that for most teens, the thought of having metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth for a period of time may be more than enough to delay orthodontic treatment. But thanks to innovations in technology and the recent wave of celebrities undergoing treatment, the days of “metal mouth” are all but gone. Teens today have more options than ever before, including high-tech, removable option called Invisalign Teen.

Invisalign Teen is a method of straightening your teenager’s teeth using a series of clear, almost invisible, removable aligners. Invisalign combines the treatment plan recommended by Dr. Patrick Hart with proprietary 3-D, computer-generated software to move your teenager’s teeth in very precise increments. Invisalign Teen is designed with “compliance indicators” that fade from dark to light during a period of time and let your child know when to change trays. And because we know kids tend to be forgetful sometimes, each aligner comes with replacement aligners in case the original aligner ends up lost or broken.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation to talk with Dr. Patrick Hart to find out if Invisalign Teen is right for your child, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient Woodbridge, VA office.

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