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 March, 2014

Not-So-Sweet Sweets: The five worst candies to eat during orthodontic treatment

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sticky, hard, and gooey: these candies fill your dopamine receptors with spasms of sugar-filled joy, but if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment at Hart Orthodontics to straighten your teeth, then these sweets are not so sweet. While you may have a Willy-Wonka-sized sweet tooth, there are some candies you’re going to have to avoid while wearing braces.

Here are five bracket- and wire-destroying culprits that Dr. Patrick Hart and our team recommend leaving on the candy aisle and not put in your mouth, no matter how tempting they may be.

  1. Gum is sticky and stringy. It can get tangled like fishing net in your braces. You don’t want to be that boy or girl trying to pull knots of Wrigley’s out of your braces without being seen.
  2. All chewy, gooey candies need to be avoided. When you’re wearing braces, don’t even think about putting a caramel candy in your mouth. Caramel will not only stick to your braces, making it look as if you haven’t brushed your teeth in a week, but the gooey texture can pull apart the wires, and trigger an emergency visit to Hart Orthodontics.
  3. Hard candy may seem like a safe choice, but it’s not. What’s the problem? Nobody ever just sucks on hard candy; sooner or later, we bite down on it. Biting a hard candy may cause part of your braces to snap. Furthermore, once the candy is broken into a bunch of little pieces, it’s not uncommon for one of those sugary shards to get wedged between your braces and teeth … and that’s a cavity waiting to happen.
  4. The taffy you enjoy getting at a seaside boardwalk is going to have to go on the back burner. Like caramel, taffy can pull apart and damage your braces. You don’t want to have your expensive orthodontic gear replaced.
  5. Please, just one lollipop? Nope. A lollipop is nothing more than hard candy on a stick. If you can’t have hard candy during orthodontic treatment, then you shouldn’t have hard candy on a stick either.

Have any more questions about what you can and can’t eat when you have braces? Please give us a call at our convenient Woodbridge, VA office to learn more, or ask Dr. Patrick Hart during your next adjustment visit!

Follow Hart Orthodontics on Instagram!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

ig-blog-2You may have noticed on our Facebook page that we have recently been taking and posting pictures of our office, staff, and patients. These nostalgia evoking, color and white-framed portraits are Polaroid photos. While many may be familiar with Polaroid and instant film technology, we have definitely had quite a few patients look at us with bewilderment when our oversized, plastic camera spits out a photo just seconds after the flash and shutter click.

Instant film photography went all but extinct in the mid- to late 1990’s, with increased focus by most camera companies extending to a digital future. The name Polaroid was long synonymous with front ejecting instant photos that developed before your very eyes just moments after the picture was taken. These photos were known and loved for the soft and forgiving nature of the image, as well as the spontaneity of the picture. They simply capture a moment in time and allow you to take it with you almost immediately after it is taken.

We have been utilizing this film over the past several weeks in our office to capture our patients on Debond Day. We want to capture the happiness and big smiles that beam from our patients when their braces come off! When they come back to the office for their retainers, the photo is waiting for them as well as some markers that they can use to personalize their photo. Whether it’s drawing a doodle or signing their name or writing a little message, anything goes! We are collecting these photos and will be displaying them in a collage in our operatory in the next month for all our patients to see.

We are also utilizing these photos to begin our Instagram account. We want our patients to be able to share these pictures with their friends and families that can’t see them in our office. We also want those people who are interested in treatment to see the fun and successes we have at Hart Orthodontics! If you haven’t had a chance to view these photos simply click on the Instagram logo on the front page of our website and you can see what we have taken thus far. We will be utilizing our Instagram account for contests in the near future, so if you have an account follow us at “@hartorthodontics” and stay tuned!

We understand that not every patient or parent wants their information or photo made available online, which we greatly respect. A waiver must be signed before anything is posted.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! I look forward to seeing you all smiling around the office!

Best,

Dr. Shea Hart

Invisalign® Q&A

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

It’s estimated that up to four million people at any one time are wearing braces in the United States and Canada. But Dr. Patrick Hart and our team at Hart Orthodontics know that braces have come a long way from the early days of orthodontics, so much so that these days, options are available that are not visible to onlookers. The most popular of these “invisible” braces is Invisalign. Here’s a list of FAQs regarding Invisalign:

Are they really invisible?

Yes, the clear liners are virtually invisible, so they enable patients to feel good about themselves and their appearance, while getting the orthodontic treatment they need.

Are there wires, rubber bands, and brackets with Invisalign?

Nope. Invisalign is truly an alternative to conventional braces. The treatment consists of clear liners that can easily be removed and cleaned throughout the day. There are no wires, so there’s less poking and mouth irritation compared to braces. There’s also no wire tightening at adjustment appointments, so patients don’t have to worry about a sore mouth in the days that follow in-office visits.

I’ve heard that if I get braces, I won’t be able to eat certain foods like popcorn and hard candy. Is this true with Invisalign too?

No. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions. You simply remove your aligners when you’re eating, and replace them after you’ve finished and brushed any leftover food particles away.

Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

While overall cost varies on a patient-by-patient basis and is based largely on the level of treatment, Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces, which makes this treatment option a truly affordable alternative.

How does brushing compare with conventional braces?

Brushing your teeth while wearing conventional braces takes some getting used to. Patients have to brush around the metal brackets and floss with a specialty tool to get into the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. By contrast, Invisalign can be removed at any time to permit regular brushing and flossing.

Every patient is different and Invisalign might not be the best course of orthodontic treatment for everyone, but it’s an option that’s gaining more and more popularity, and it’s an orthodontic alternative that doesn’t sacrifice comfort and convenience for results. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at our convenient Woodbridge, VA office!

St. Patrick’s Day

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Patrick Hart – have a great St. Paddy’s day!

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