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Everything You Need To Know About Retainers

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, there’s nothing we love more than seeing a patient’s face light up when their beautiful new smile is revealed for the first time! It’s a wonderful feeling, and we never get tired of helping children, teens, and adults achieve the exceptional results they’ve been hoping for. Completing the active phase of treatment is a celebration in our office, but the work doesn’t stop here—now it’s time for the retention phase! Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about retainers!

Once your braces come off or you use your last aligner, the gentle pressure that moved the teeth into their new positions is removed. It takes time for the bones and tissue around the teeth to reorganize and adjust to all the shifting that occurred throughout the treatment process. Without something holding them in place, the teeth will begin to drift back to their original positions. That’s why the retention phase is so critical, and why wearing a retainer regularly is such an important part of keeping your smile in place.

But what is a retainer?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance, just like braces or clear aligners. Once the active phase of treatment is complete, we’ll use an impression or scan of your newly straightened teeth to create a customized retainer. This will usually happen on the same day your braces are removed or after you’ve used your last aligner. We may decide to take another set of x-rays or scans to ensure everything is where we want it to be, then we’ll get your retainer ready and walk you through when and how to wear it. 

What do retainers do? 

As we briefly explained above, wearing a retainer regularly will help prevent your teeth from drifting back to their original positions over time. This phenomenon is  known as “relapse” and can occur even after successful orthodontic treatment. Relapse is seen most often in young adults, but it can happen at any time. That’s because your teeth will always remember their original place in your mouth! Once the constant pressure of your braces or aligners is removed, they’ll begin to slowly move back towards those spaces. This is exactly why it’s so important to always wear your retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Nordberg. When you don’t, it can undo all your hard-earned progress over time. 

What are the different types of retainers?

There are a few different types of retainers available. Dr. Nordberg will decide which is best for your smile based on your specific needs, your preferences, and the expected level of compliance.

Fixed retainers

A fixed retainer consists of a thin wire that’s been positioned across the interior surface of the lower or upper front teeth, then bonded into place with glue. This wire stretches across several teeth, so good dental hygiene will require a little extra effort, particularly when it comes to flossing. It does tend to have the best outcome overall, however— the bonded wire does a fantastic job keeping newly straightened teeth in place. As an extra bonus, you never have to remember to wear it or worry about misplacing it! 

Removable retainers

We have a couple of options available when it comes to removable retainers. The Hawley retainer is made of a wire and acrylic material, and the Essix retainer is composed of a clear plastic material similar to the kind used with Invisalign aligners. Both of these are custom-made to fit your mouth following the first phase of orthodontic treatment.

Hawley retainers

Hawley retainers are one of the oldest and most recognizable styles. They’re kept in place by a wire that wraps around the teeth, which is then combined with an acrylic arch that rests against the roof of the mouth. The stainless steel wires can continue to be adjusted to achieve minor movement of the front teeth if needed. 

While many orthodontists are currently moving away from this more traditional retainer, it can still be very useful in some cases! If you’re given a Hawley retainer, you should follow these recommendations to ensure it’s being properly cared for.

  • Gently brush the retainer with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Do this daily to remove any food debris and bacteria.
  • Soak the retainer in a denture cleaner a few times per week to help kill germs and freshen it up.
  • Keep your retainer away from heat or hot water to protect the shape.
  • Store it in its case when you are not wearing it.

Essix retainers

Essix retainers have been a popular choice with both orthodontists and patients in recent years! They’re made of a transparent plastic material, and look similar to the trays that are used with the Invisalign system. An Essix retainer will be molded to the unique shape of your mouth and is much less noticeable than a traditional wire retainer. It should also last as long as you need it, provided you take good care of it. That means:

  • rinsing the retainer in cold water each time you take it out
  • rinsing the retainer before you put it back in your mouth
  • storing the retainer in a plastic case whenever you’re not wearing it
  • gently brushing the retainer after each meal, using a soft toothbrush
  • only using cool or lukewarm water on the retainer
  • never placing the retainer in hot water or near a heated surface
  • washing the retainer with a specialized cleaner once every few months

Both of these removable retainers make it easy to maintain a good dental hygiene routine, but you will have to remember to wear your removable retainer regularly. You should always be careful when handling it and be mindful of where you leave your retainer to avoid misplacing or damaging it.

Everything You Need To Know About Retainers

Keep your smile in place with retainers from Nordberg Orthodontics

Many experts now believe that most patients will need to wear some type of retainer part-time indefinitely for a lifetime of confident smiles. Don’t let this recommendation scare you, though! How long and how often you’ll need to wear your retainer will depend on your unique smile. Dr. Nordberg will be happy to answer any questions and discuss any concerns you have about this process at any time! 

Nordberg Orthodontics is committed to finding exactly the right treatment for you and your smile. That includes recommending the best retainer for you! Wherever you are in the treatment process, our expert team is here to provide you with world-class service and personalized care. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan or retainer use, get in touch with us today! Our goal is to keep your smile in place for many years to come.

Recognizing and Treating Your Child’s Orthodontic Issues

As a parent or caregiver, you want the best for your child, including a healthy smile. That means teaching them good oral habits, scheduling regular visits with the dentist, and limiting sugary snacks. But did you know that recognizing and treating your child’s orthodontic issues, by scheduling early orthodontic evaluations, is another important part of caring for your child’s smile? In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re about seven years old. By this age, most kids will have enough dental landmarks in place that we can assess their teeth, jaw, and bite for normal development. 

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we’re often asked how we know if a child needs orthodontic treatment. An early evaluation with Dr. Nordberg is our starting point to answering that question! When you schedule your child for a complimentary consultation in our Canyon Road office, there are several common issues he’ll be looking for. Knowing more about these challenges—and how we can correct them—will give you better insight into how they can affect your child’s smile. Keep reading below to learn more! 

Gapped teeth

Gapped teeth are common in children. There are a number of reasons a child would develop them, from genetics to poor oral habits like thumb sucking and extended use of a pacifier or bottle. Whatever the underlying reason, we can create a personalized treatment plan to help close the gaps in your child’s smile.  

Crowded teeth

If your child has crooked teeth, it can be difficult to brush and floss them effectively. Because healthy teeth and gums are essential to good oral health, this increases the chance of developing tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Customized treatment can move them into better positions in small increments, giving your child teeth that are easier to clean. This can also relieve facial tension and improve difficulties with chewing and speech.  

Missing teeth

Gaps between the teeth can exist because congenitally missing teeth never grew in, or they may be created when permanent teeth are lost due to injury or disease. When a child has missing teeth, we can use braces to move the existing teeth into the proper positions and put a bonded bridge where the missing teeth would normally be. This will result in a more evenly-spaced and functional smile.

Open bite

With an open bite, the upper and lower rows of the front teeth don’t touch or close when smiling or chewing. Many open bites come from extended thumb sucking in childhood, which can cause the teeth to grow into a noticeably rounded formation.

We can treat an open bite with a combination of braces and an orthodontic appliance known as a “crib.” This device prevents the tongue from putting pressure against the anterior teeth when swallowing, training it to swallow correctly. This will align your child’s smile, allow them to close their teeth, and help them smile or chew with ease! 

Deep overbite

With a deep overbite, a child’s lower teeth recede so far behind the upper teeth that they bite into the roof of the mouth. The upper front teeth also overlap the lower front teeth. Out of all the bite disorders, this one is the most detrimental to the teeth and health of the jaw joints. It can also negatively affect the shape and appearance of a child’s face. 

Treatment for a deep overbite may require orthodontics and restorative dentistry together, although orthodontics alone can sometimes be enough to correct it. This will usually depend on the severity of the case. By correcting this misalignment, we can restore the full functionality of your child’s teeth and improve the appearance of their smile.

Underbite

An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth. This type of bite misalignment can cause pain at the jaw joint and the angled pressure can wear down some of the teeth prematurely. We have a few treatment options available for children who have an underbite, including:

  • an upper jaw expander, which can be widened nightly until treatment is complete
  • a reverse-pull face mask, which wraps around the head and attaches to metal bands on the back upper teeth to pull the upper jaw forward
  • traditional braces to adjust the misaligned teeth

These treatments will not only help relieve any pain and discomfort caused by the underbite, they’ll also make it easier for your child to smile, eat, and breathe more effectively. 

Overjet

Often referred to as “buck teeth,” an overjet causes the top front teeth to protrude far beyond the bottom front teeth. Treatment is most effective when the child is diagnosed early, since it gives us the chance to guide tooth eruption to our advantage. Your child’s age and specific needs will determine the approach Dr. Nordberg chooses to take, but the options will usually include:

  • bite correction devices
  • traditional braces
  • removable orthodontic appliances
  • tooth removal
  • surgery

Whatever treatment ends up being best for your child, they’ll be left with nothing but a bright, beautiful, and balanced smile in the end!

Give your child’s smile the best chance with Nordberg Orthodontics

At Nordberg Orthodontics, we believe your child’s smile is as special as they are. Once they’ve had their initial evaluation with Dr. Nordberg, he’ll create a customized treatment plan for them based on their unique needs. This approach ensures the best results in the least amount of time.

Have you ever wondered if orthodontic care could benefit your child’s smile? We’d love to meet you both and take a look at their dental development. Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Nordberg, and take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child!

Your Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we’re proud to create beautifully aligned smiles for patients of all ages. And we do mean all ages! While teens still make up a large percentage of orthodontic patients, we’re seeing younger children and adults close that gap every day. The increase in adult patients is particularly impressive—with one in three patients over the age of 18, this demographic has reached an all-time high! 

What’s behind the dramatic increase in adult orthodontic patients? 

The American Association of Orthodontists was as curious about this as we are, so they conducted a survey on the topic. Adult patients were asked what was driving their desire for orthodontic treatment, and it turns out there are quite a few factors involved in this trend! We’ll take a look at some of them here.

Awareness of the importance of a healthy smile

Most adolescents undergo orthodontic treatment because their parents have chosen it for them. While younger patients can certainly understand the importance of treatment—and often love the final results—adults will generally have a better understanding of how a healthier smile can positively impact their lives. 

We also tend to learn more about the many ways our oral health is connected to our total body health as we get older. This leads some adults to seek out an orthodontist to help keep their teeth and gums in the best possible shape. Finally, adults are more capable of grasping what orthodontic treatment really is: an investment of your time and finances that will pay off in a big way through improved oral health and increased self-confidence.

A desire for improved oral health

It’s well-known that orthodontics can improve the cosmetic appearance of just about any  smile, but the benefits don’t stop there! Crooked or crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Misalignment can cause excess wear on the teeth and enamel, which may lead to chronic headaches, jaw aches, and pain in the face and neck. 

Orthodontic treatment can reduce or eliminate these symptoms. It can also help protect you from serious oral health problems in the future. This can result in some serious financial savings, something that tends to be greatly appreciated by adult patients who have a budget to balance! 

More affordable treatment options

It’s easier than ever to achieve a confident new smile, with a range of affordable treatment options to choose from. We offer a variety of payment options to fit every budget! During your consultation, we’ll outline all the fees associated with your treatment plan and ensure you understand each one before moving forward with fitting you for braces or aligners

A variety of treatment options are now available

Not so many years ago, metal braces were the only option for anyone looking to improve their smile. There are now multiple ways to align the teeth and jaws! Our practice offers many options for a complete smile makeover.  Please call for a “Complimentary Consultation” 253-387-1261

Metal Braces 

Traditional metal braces are usually what people picture when they think of orthodontics. However, today’s braces look nothing like their predecessors! The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even put a pop of personality into your treatment journey by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are usually the most economical treatment option and are ideal for patients who have more serious or complex cases. 

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets to blend in better with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide a very subtle way to straighten your teeth! While the ceramic brackets are durable, they are more prone to breakage than metal brackets and can be slightly more expensive. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients. 

Invisalign clear aligner system

Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide adult patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces, and allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would. Invisalign works best for mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues and can be just as effective as braces when worn as directed.

Your Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Get the healthy smile you deserve with Nordberg Orthodontics

Like everything in life, each treatment option comes with its own list of pros and cons. Not every method will be suitable for all patients, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced orthodontist!   When you trust our expert team with your orthodontic needs, you’re guaranteed to receive only the most appropriate treatment for your unique smile. 

If you’ve spent a lifetime waiting to take the first step towards a healthier smile, the last thing you want is treatment that’s “one size fits all.”   Dr. Eric Nordberg creates customized treatment plans for every patient. He’ll build a plan for you that’s based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. This will give you the most optimal results in the shortest amount of time possible. 

You’re never too old to get the confident smile you deserve. If you’re ready to see how orthodontics can transform your teeth, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Eric Nordberg @ 253-387-1261.   We look forward to hearing from you!!

Phase 1 Vs. Phase 2

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, our goal is to provide parents in Puyallup with reliable, expert information on what a long-term plan for their child might look like. One major question parents often have what the differences are between Phase 1 vs. Phase 2 treatment. Dr. Eric Norderg and the team have the expertise to guide you along your child’s orthodontic journey from day one! 

If you’ve been trying to determine if your child may need orthodontic treatment, we’re here to help! With clear, concise information from an experienced orthodontic source like the team at Nordberg Orthodontics, you’ll have everything you need to make the best choice for your child’s smile. Keep reading below to learn more! 

Getting Started on a Healthy Smile

The first step in any orthodontic journey is an orthodontic evaluation. We’re proud to provide an initial consultation at no charge for families in Puyallup and surrounding communities! While there’s no minimum age for a child to have their first orthodontic evaluation, the American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Nordberg recommend that all children have an examination by around age seven. By this time, most children will usually have a mix of permanent and baby teeth. An evaluation at this stage will give our team the chance to find, diagnose, and treat several common dental issues before they become more serious.

Like these orthodontic evaluations, early intervention can also reduce the need for more intensive orthodontic treatment later on. If a young child needs orthodontic care, we may choose to use two phases of treatment to be proactive rather than reactive. 

Understanding Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment

We sometimes refer to Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment as two-phase treatment. It involves a child receiving orthodontic treatment at two separate times, usually with a break in between. In most cases, we will start the first phase of treatment when the child still has a mix of primary and permanent teeth. This is followed by a rest period before the second phase begins, which will allow all the adult teeth to emerge.

This two-phase treatment approach allows us to create a better environment for a child’s permanent teeth to grow. This gives them the best start for a healthy smile that functions precisely the way it should! 

When your child visits Dr. Nordberg for the first time, he’ll complete a thorough oral examination, inspecting your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaws. If any of the following is a concern, we may recommend two-phase treatment: 

  • Your child shows signs of a particular problem that we want to keep from developing (preventive treatment)
  • Your child already has a developing problem that we now want to intercept (interceptive treatment)
  • Your child’s jawbones appear to need a bit of guidance as they grow (growth modification)

Dr. Nordberg follows the standard childhood growth patterns and development to ensure the best smile and oral health. Doing so gives him the best chance to improve and correct orthodontic issues at the most reasonable time! Many common dental problems can be treated relatively easily in a growing child but may require more invasive treatment as they age, especially once their jawbones stop growing. 

Phase 1 treatment can often achieve lasting results for many of these kinds of issues. Sometimes, it can even lessen the impact of other problems. However, most patients will still require a second phase of treatment to complete the alignment process.

How Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatments work

Understanding how the entire treatment process works to improve your child’s smile can help you get excited about the results you can expect for your child.  

Phase 1

Phase one treatment can help a child’s jaw develop to accommodate all their permanent teeth better. It also improves the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. This treatment method can have several benefits for a growing child, including an improved ability to bite, chew, and digest their food. It can reduce the risk of tooth damage because of crowding, misalignment, or malformed jaws. If a child is experiencing any of the following issues, they may respond well to Phase 1 treatment. 

  • Crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that don’t come together correctly
  • Oral habits that may affect their dental development
  • Speech problems
  • Jaw out of proportion to the rest of the head
  • Baby teeth are obstructing incoming adult teeth

The goal of any orthodontic treatment is long-term stability. We want the teeth to stay in whatever position Dr. Nordberg guides them! Once we have completed the first phase of treatment, the remaining permanent teeth should have a clear path to erupt. As we wait for these teeth to emerge, we’ll suspend orthodontic treatment to give the teeth, jaws, and mouth a temporary break. We’ll keep the teeth stable by using either a space maintainer or a non-removable retainer during this period.

Phase 2

This is the stage where everything comes together! We’ll typically start Phase 2 treatment once all your child’s permanent teeth have erupted. Braces or clear aligners will often be part of the treatment plan. Once treatment is complete, we’ll use a fixed bonded retainer or removable retainer to ensure that the teeth stay in their newly straightened positions long term. 

Create a customized smile for your child with Nordberg Orthodontics

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we believe that every smile is unique, and what works for one child might not work for another. Dr. Nordberg will consider your child’s specific needs when creating individualized treatment plans for their smile. 

Our expert team is committed to providing the highest-quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Puyallup and the surrounding areas. If you have a child around the recommended age for their first orthodontic visit, we’d love to schedule a free consultation for them! Contact our office today to get started!

The Truth About Invisalign Clear Aligners

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer patients of all ages a wide range of treatment options, including Invisalign clear aligners. For patients looking for a more subtle way to straighten their smile, this innovative system can be an excellent choice. Have you been considering improving your oral health with orthodontics? Are you on the fence about using traditional braces to help you achieve a healthier smile? Invisalign could be just what you’re looking for!

As our most popular alternative to braces, Invisalign allows patients to correct many orthodontic issues simply and discreetly. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign has been around for a relatively short amount of time, so not everyone is aware of what the system is or how it works. This has led to some misconceptions that we’d like to clear up! Keep reading below for the truth about the Invisalign clear aligner system. 

What is Invisalign?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, we use both fixed and removable appliances. Braces are a fixed appliance, which means the brackets are attached directly to the surface of the teeth and can only be removed by an experienced orthodontic professional. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are removable appliances. The aligners are custom-designed to fit your teeth snugly, but no part of them is actually attached to the teeth.

Invisalign uses a series of these removable aligners to shift your teeth in much the same way brackets and wires do. The aligners are made of a special type of thermoplastic resin which allows them to fit firmly but comfortably over your teeth. Using gentle pressure, the aligners gradually straighten the teeth, eventually leaving behind nothing but a beautifully aligned smile. 

How does Invisalign work?

The first step in any orthodontic journey is a complimentary consultation. At Nordberg Orthodontics, this visit includes photographs and x-rays of your teeth, plus a discussion with Dr. Nordberg about any areas of concern. This will determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for you and your smile. If you decide to move ahead with clear aligners, we’ll begin by mapping out a precise treatment plan for you using a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan includes the exact movements we want your teeth to make and will also give us an indication of how long we expect treatment to take.

We’ll also use this scan to generate your custom aligners. Once they’re in your hands, it’s up to you to wear them as directed. Patient compliance is essential for Invisalign’s success! The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process in order to produce the desired results. They also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements of the teeth. Regular check-ups will be scheduled for every 8-10 weeks or so, during which Dr. Nordberg will check that everything is progressing according to the treatment plan. 

Every smile is unique and every patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so there’s no uniform answer for how long treatment will take. In general, however, the average amount of time spent in aligners will be anywhere from 9-15 months. The good news? This is slightly less time than most patients spend in braces!

What advantages does Invisalign have over traditional braces?

Invisalign is more than an attractive alternative to traditional metal braces. The removable aligners also allow extra flexibility that other methods can’t match! One example of this is food restrictions. Many people who have worn braces will tell you that having to forego some of their favorite foods was one of the hardest parts of treatment. To protect the wires and brackets, patients in braces must steer clear of anything crunchy or chewy. This is never an issue with Invisalign! You simply take them out any time you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done. 

Removable aligners make it easier to maintain a good dental hygiene routine, too. The wires, brackets, and bands that accompany traditional braces can make cleaning the teeth a time-consuming task. With Invisalign, aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as normal. Cleaning the aligners themselves is a snap, too! There are special kits designed to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?

When patients are fully compliant, Invisalign can work just as well as braces in treating many of the most common orthodontic issues. That said, cases that are especially complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. During your initial consultation, Dr. Nordberg will determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you. You can trust us to only recommend the treatment we believe is best for your individual smile.

What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?

Whether you wear braces or aligners, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. Over time, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those positions if there’s nothing to stop them. That’s why you’ll hear us talk so much about how important retainers are! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. In order to maintain your newly straightened smile, you should always wear it exactly as directed.

Get a confident smile from the Invisalign experts at Nordberg Orthodontics

It’s easy to see why Invisalign continues to be our most popular alternative to braces! This exciting system is changing the way people view orthodontic treatment every day.  Would you like to learn more about how Invisalign can transform your smile? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Nordberg and take the first step towards a smile you’ll want to share with everyone around you!

How A Straight Smile Can Set You Up For Success

Dentists and orthodontists tend to talk a lot about how oral health can impact a person’s overall health. But did you know that your teeth can affect your professional life, too? A number of studies have shown a direct connection between the health and appearance of someone’s smile and their professional success. This highlights how important first impressions can be, but if you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look or feel, it may have you wondering if you could achieve more with a healthier smile. That’s where we come in! 

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we know that the appearance of your smile matters. Fair or not, the way others initially perceive you often sets the stage for their interactions with you over time. In fact, a perception study done by Kelton Global for Invisalign discovered that a person’s teeth could be the catalyst for assumptions about everything from success and popularity to wealth and trustworthiness! We may not love this kind of snap judgment, but why not use people’s perceptions to your advantage by investing in a confident smile?

Research has shown us that improving your oral health can have a positive effect, both personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at why you’re more likely to get hired with a straight smile, and how we can help you achieve just that!

Get things off to a great start

When you walk into a room or kick off a Zoom meeting with a warm smile, it helps set a positive tone immediately. When your teeth look and feel good, you’re far more likely to share your smile freely, which is something people will pay attention to. That’s because your smile is actually one of the first things people notice about you and the feature they remember the most when recalling your face later on. 

If you come across as stiff or stand-offish, it can affect your chances of succeeding on both a personal and professional level. But a genuine smile will get things off to a great start and leave others thinking of you fondly even after you’ve said goodbye.

Set yourself up for success

There’s no denying that first impressions are important, but a healthy smile comes with other benefits as well. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, which increases your chances of developing cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also cause a number of painful issues, including tenderness in the mouth and jaw, headaches, and a sore neck. Orthodontic treatment can give you a smile that not only looks great but feels good, too!

Don’t underestimate the value of a confident smile, either. Being self-conscious about the appearance of your smile can also keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone, but this is often exactly what’s required for success! Invisalign did a survey on this topic and found that almost 80% of adults who underwent orthodontic treatment said the improvement in their smile gave them the confidence to do something they never would have considered doing before. When you feel good about your smile, that confidence can spill over into other areas of your life, including your career.

Make first impressions work for you

About a hundred years ago, researcher Edward Thorndike described the “halo effect,” a phenomenon that explains how our brains tend to attribute multiple positive qualities to a person based on us noticing a single positive quality. In other words, we tend to make up information about a person based on our own perception of them.

Invisalign wanted to understand the role smiling played in this, so they had Kelton Global conduct a perception study on how we perceive people based on the appearance of their smile. The survey presented over a thousand Americans with images of people who had various tooth issues and asked them to give an honest opinion about their appearance. The results indicated that overall, we tend to view people with straight teeth as having more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including success and wealth.

Researchers also found that about two-thirds of those surveyed were more likely to remember a beautiful smile than a feature they found to be unpleasant. When you have a healthy smile you’re happy to share with those around, you can make those first impressions work to your advantage!

Don’t rely on first impressions—make a lasting one, too

Did you know that we all have psychological cues we use to communicate with others in nonverbal ways? This includes things like the gestures we use, our eye contact, our body language, and even our overall appearance. So what is your smile saying about you?

In the professional world, you’ll sometimes be dealing with people who are making subconscious assumptions about you based on what they see. Whether it’s an interview, Zoom meeting, or lunch with an important client, you’ll want to nail that first impression and leave a lasting one as well! Presenting yourself with confidence and an attractive smile can make an impact that will last long after your interaction is over.

Get ahead with a stunning smile from Nordberg Orthodontics

We grow up learning that we should never judge a book by its cover, but in reality, people do it every day! The way you look does play a part in how others perceive you, even if that occurs on a subconscious level. A healthy smile goes beyond making a good first impression, however. Improved oral health has been linked to better moods, increased positivity, and decreased stress levels.

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we have a variety of affordable treatment options to help you achieve a beautiful smile that stands out from the crowd! Using innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technology, we’re able to correct a number of orthodontic issues that may be affecting how you feel about your smile. If you’re ready to see how orthodontics can transform your smile and increase your chances for success, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our Puyallup office!

What You Should Ask Before Choosing An Orthodontist

We’re fortunate to live in a time where we can find information on anything under the sun with just the click of a button. That can sometimes work against us, however! If you’ve made the decision to improve your smile with orthodontic treatment, you may be looking for the best place to start. With so many choices at your fingertips, it can be a little overwhelming to try and determine where to begin. Nordberg Orthodontics is here to help!

The first step in any orthodontic journey begins with finding an orthodontist who will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and make you feel comfortable and welcomed in their practice. One way to find the right provider for you is by asking the right questions up front. Let’s take a look at what those questions are and why they’re important! 

“Are you a trained orthodontic specialist?”

This might seem like a strange question given the topic, but it’s actually one of the most important ones you can ask! Many people mistakenly believe that dentists and orthodontists are interchangeable, especially now that more dentists are offering treatments like clear aligner therapy along with their traditional services. Although there are many similarities between the two, there are also significant differences you should be aware of!

An orthodontist is a dentist who has taken on additional years of training and education after graduating from dental school. During this time, they learn a great deal about diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. They also study things like:

  • oral disease
  • biomedical science and biomechanics
  • how to successfully manage tooth movement and facial development using various orthodontic techniques

Dr. Nordberg is no stranger to the hard work and dedication it takes to successfully become an orthodontist! He first earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington before heading down to the coast to complete his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Southern California. He then moved on to Brooklyn and worked as a dentist in a hospital there performing craniofacial genetics research before completing his residency in San Francisco. Dr. Nordberg also holds a Masters of Science in Dentistry (Orthodontics) and an Orthodontic Residency Certificate.

When you trust your smile to Nordberg Orthodontics, you’re truly leaving your oral health in the most capable hands!

“How long will it take to straighten my smile?”

Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question since every patient responds to treatment in their own way. Each case we treat is different, but generally speaking, the length of time you’ll need to wear braces or aligners will be related to the complexity of your case. Mild orthodontic issues won’t take as long to treat as more complex problems will. 

When speaking with your orthodontist of choice, ask them for an estimated treatment time so you’ll have some idea of what to expect from the process. Regular check-ups are also an essential part of any treatment plan, so you may want to inquire about these to get a feel for how much you’re likely to be spending in their office.  

“How much will my treatment cost?”

When it comes to investing in a new smile, the last thing you want to encounter are hidden fees. The total cost for treatment will vary from case to case, so it’s important you understand everything that’s included in your treatment plan before moving forward. During your first visit with us, we’ll walk you through all the applicable fees associated with your plan so there won’t be any unwelcome surprises!

We believe everyone should have access to the high-quality orthodontic care they need. We offer a variety of affordable treatment options, and have multiple payment options to fit every budget! If you have dental insurance, you may want to check with your provider to see if they cover a portion of your orthodontic treatment. We’ll ask for your dental insurance information when you schedule your consultation to help make your first visit with us as efficient and accurate as possible.

“What treatment options are available to me?”

Modern technology and innovative new techniques mean there’s never been a better time to transform your smile with the following treatment options! 

Metal Braces 

Today’s metal braces are leaps and bounds away from previous designs. The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even put a pop of personality into your treatment journey by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are a cost-effective option with a long track record of successfully treating a wide range of cases. 

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use transparent or tooth-colored brackets to blend in better with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide an incredibly subtle way to straighten your smile! While the ceramic brackets are durable, they do tend to be a bit more prone to breakage than metal brackets. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients. 

Invisalign clear aligner system

Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide adult patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces. They also allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would! Invisalign can often be just as effective as braces when worn as directed.

Custom clear aligners

At Nordberg Orthodontics, we also offer our very own in-house aligners! These are an easy way to treat mild alignment issues or mild relapses without the need for a “middle man” lab or company. Because we create the aligners onsite, this can be a faster and more economical option for patients who need minor corrections or touch-up treatment. 

Find the right orthodontist for your smile at Nordberg Orthodontics

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we’re determined to stand out from the crowd by providing patients with exceptional care, affordable treatment options, and a stress-free orthodontic experience from start to finish. If you’ve been looking for an orthodontic practice that can meet all your needs and give you a confident smile, look no further! Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Nordberg and take the first step towards the beautiful smile you deserve. 

Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we hear from many adults who worry that the chance to achieve a straighter smile has passed them by. Orthodontics is often associated with tweens and teens, but the reality is that patients of any age can benefit from braces and aligners! More adults than ever are realizing that, however, with over 20% of current orthodontic patients over the age of 18. If you’ve spent a lifetime feeling uncomfortable with the way your teeth look and feel, there’s never been a better time to explore how orthodontics can transform your smile! Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of adult orthodontic treatment, and how it can help you achieve the healthy, happy smile you deserve. 

How does orthodontic treatment work for adults?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends every child have their first orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re 7 years of age. There’s a good reason for that! Treatment that is initiated when a patient is younger will benefit from the fact that their mouth is still growing and developing. Unfortunately, not every child or teen has access to orthodontic care in these crucial years. 

Additionally, our teeth tend to naturally drift as we get older. This mainly due to age and genetics, but can also happen if an adult has had treatment in childhood but neglected to continue wearing their retainer once their braces came off. Fortunately, the process to move teeth into the ideal positions is the same whether you’re 8 or 80! It can be a little trickier as an adult since your bones are no longer growing and the jaws have hardened in place, but we can still successfully achieve a beautiful smile using braces or aligners whatever your age. 

What are the benefits of adult orthodontic treatment?

Aside from the obvious cosmetic benefit of orthodontic treatment, correcting orthodontic issues can also greatly improve your oral health! Crooked or crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, which increases the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental health problems. Misalignment can cause excess wear and tear on the teeth and enamel, leading to headaches, jaw aches, and pain in the face and neck. Orthodontic treatment can reduce or eliminate these symptoms, leaving you with a smile that not only looks good but feels good, too!

Taking care of orthodontic issues decreases the likelihood of serious oral health problems in the future, which can mean major financial savings! This can help adults embrace treatment as the long-term investment in wellness it truly is. Besides improving their overall oral health, braces and aligners can also help patients overcome or avoid frustrating problems like teeth grinding.

Dental health aside, orthodontics can give your self-confidence a big boost! Numerous studies have shown that a healthy smile can increase self-esteem and project an impressive first impression. Invisalign actually conducted a study on this, and found that people with healthier, straighter smiles were much more confident than those who had crooked or crowded teeth. Those patients felt about 60% happier, more attractive, and more successful than they did before treatment, and the amazing thing is that other people picked up on that as well. 

Although we’re all told not to judge a book by its cover as kids, we still tend to do it, especially where smiles are concerned. This is the first feature we notice when we meet someone and the one we’re most likely to remember later on. We form a picture of a person based on the first few minutes after saying hello, and those with an attractive smile are often perceived to be successful, popular, and trustworthy. As you can see, the benefits of braces and aligners are nearly endless when you really think about them!

What treatment options are available for adults? 

One reason we’re seeing more adults seeking orthodontic treatment is because there are so many options available now! Patients who are uncomfortable with the idea of traditional metal braces have designs and styles to choose from that are far less obvious. At Nordberg Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer the following treatments to our adult patients.

Metal Braces 

Traditional metal braces are usually what people picture when they think of orthodontics. However, today’s braces look nothing like their predecessors! The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even put a pop of personality into your treatment journey by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are usually the most economical treatment option and are ideal for patients who have more serious or complex cases. 

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets to blend in better with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide a very subtle way to straighten your teeth! While the ceramic brackets are durable, they are more prone to breakage than metal brackets. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients. Clear braces can be an excellent option for adults who want the benefits of traditional metal braces without the visibility! 

Invisalign clear aligner system

Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide adult patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces, and allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would. Invisalign works best for mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues and can be just as effective as braces when worn as directed.

Give your smile some TLC with expert care from Nordberg Orthodontics

You’re never too old to take advantage of all the benefits orthodontics has to offer! Whatever your age, Dr. Nordberg and our talented team can help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re in the Puyallup area and want to learn more about how orthodontics can improve your oral health and transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Nordberg!

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

Many people mistakenly think that orthodontic treatment is limited to tweens and teens.  However, orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages, including children! In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that all kids have their first orthodontic evaluation by around the age of seven. If you’ve always associated orthodontics with teens in braces, you may not be sure what to think about this recommendation. Seven is pretty young, and most children that age still have developing mouths with baby teeth left. It turns out, that’s actually the point! Keep reading to find out why your child should see an orthodontist by age 7!

An early orthodontic evaluation with Dr. Nordberg gives him the chance to examine a child’s dental development and catch any potential issues before they develop into something more serious. This kind of preventive care is really important for giving kids the best chance at a lifetime of healthy smiles! We treat many young patients here at Nordberg Orthodontics, and we’ve seen firsthand over the years how starting treatment at the optimal time can have a positive impact on their oral health. 

If your child is ready for their first orthodontic appointment, we’d love to meet you both and take a look at their smile! During this evaluation, Dr. Nordberg will check for a number of issues. This will help him determine a diagnosis if there is one, and whether treatment is recommended, either now or in the future. 

Tooth loss and eruption

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of baby teeth. After all, they all fall out eventually anyway, right? But these primary teeth are placeholders for our permanent teeth and matter more than you may think. Since they tend to fall out in a fairly specific order, any significant deviation from this pattern could signify a developmental issue that requires further attention.

By the age of seven, most children will also have at least four permanent molars and up to four permanent incisors. If your child has more or less than this, it could indicate a problem with missing, crowding, or extra teeth that bears watching. 

Misalignment

Orthodontics goes beyond improving the appearance of a child’s smile. Crooked teeth can also be more difficult to brush and floss effectively, and more susceptible to uneven wear and tear. If a misalignment is left untreated over a long enough period of time, it can eventually affect both the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue. Although we’re able to successfully align teeth at just about any age, correcting misalignments when a child is young can help prevent some of that excessive strain. It will also give them a head start on a healthier smile! 

Crowding and spacing issues

An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Nordberg is trained to observe any problems with excessive crowding or spacing when a child is fairly young. He’ll also be able to tell if issues like this are likely to develop later on in life. Spacing issues can show up when a tooth is lost prematurely, where one has never developed, or with teeth that are too small or spaced apart. If crowding is the problem, it can often be corrected by expanding the arches or removing certain teeth.

Overbite (protrusive front teeth)

Aside from the obvious cosmetic concerns, front teeth that obviously protrude can increase the risk of injury to the permanent teeth and cause possible speech issues as well. Sometimes we have to wait until a child’s mouth is done growing before permanently correcting an overbite, but there are still a number of things we can do in the meantime to help reduce the risk of traumatic injury. This often has the added benefit of increasing the child’s self-esteem!

Underbite

Underbites can be caused by problems with either the teeth or jaws. The most difficult scenario involves the lower jaw growing too far forward. In these types of cases, we’ll often need to wait until the patient is close to being done growing to begin their treatment, usually during the teenage years.

Even if there’s a waiting period involved in resolving an underbite, early treatment is still important in order to avoid bite-shifting and damage to the front teeth. There are several things we can use to try and normalize the bite as early as possible. Underbite patients who receive early treatment between the ages of 7-10 are much less likely to need jaw surgery when they get older.

Posterior Crossbite

With a posterior crossbite, a child may experience crowding as well as a shift in the jaw from one side to the other. When we’re able to expand the upper jaw in earlier childhood, we can reduce that crowding and create space for the front teeth to come through uninterrupted. Expansion can also eliminate any shifting that may be present due to a constricted upper jaw. 

Anterior Open Bites and Deep Bites

These bite problems occur vertically. A qualified orthodontist can normally spot them by the time your child is ready for their first orthodontic appointment. In bites that are too deep, the top teeth completely cover the bottom ones when biting, which can indicate a small lower jaw. In an open bite, the overall bite doesn’t overlap enough. This often indicates that there’s a finger, thumb, or tongue habit causing dental problems. 

If this is the case with your child, we’ll be happy to work with you both to eliminate any bad habits early on. This will help their development to continue normally as they grow.

Give your child the best chance at a healthy smile with Nordberg Orthodontics

Early orthodontic evaluations are one of the easiest things you can do to maintain your child’s oral health. When a child receives preventive treatment at the optimal time, we’re able to help prevent destructive bite patterns from getting worse and lessen the damage to developing teeth. This can reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment as an adult, and even if further treatment is required at some point, it often takes less time and is more efficient.

Nordberg Orthodontics is dedicated to providing our young patients with a fun and rewarding experience in our Puyallup office. If your child is ready for their first orthodontic evaluation, get in touch with us! You don’t need a dental referral and the first visit is FREE, so take the first step towards your child’s best smile today.

Your First Orthodontic Visit

Welcome to Nordberg Orthodontics! It’s our mission to create beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Puyallup, and we’re excited to help you improve your oral health. The first step in any orthodontic journey with our practice is a complimentary consultation, which gives us the opportunity to meet, evaluate your needs, and address whatever concerns you have about your smile. 

This first visit is one of the most important appointments you’ll have with us. Patients who aren’t familiar with orthodontics may be a bit nervous, but there’s no need to worry—we do our best to keep your consultation easy, breezy, and stress-free! To learn more about what you can expect from this initial visit, keep reading below. 

How we’re keeping our community safe

While our office has reopened and resumed seeing patients, we’re still following CDC and OSHA guidelines to maintain a safe office environment. The health of our patients and staff has always been our top priority, and that’s certainly true now! Our team will be wearing personal protective equipment throughout the day, and we will be taking their temperatures daily. We’ll also be scanning our patients for fever as they arrive for appointments. We ask that anyone entering the office please wear a mask and maintain social distance. Thanks for helping us keep our community healthy!

What happens during your first orthodontic visit?

During your first orthodontic visit  at our Puyallup office, you’ll receive a warm welcome and be introduced to some of our team. We’ll take a full set of records, which includes digital photographs, x-rays, and digital impressions of your teeth. You’ll then meet Dr. Nordberg, who will perform a thorough oral examination and discuss any concerns you have about your smile. He’ll assess your x-rays, look at the alignment and position of your teeth, and conduct a complete analysis of your jaw and bite. 

Once this exam is complete, Dr. Nordberg will explain his findings and if there is a need for treatment, he will outline a customized plan for you. If there are multiple treatment options available to you, like braces and aligners, we’ll describe the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed choice based on your specific goals and lifestyle. Dr. Nordberg will let you know if it would be better to begin treatment now or later, and he’ll also discuss any available methods for speeding up the treatment process. 

We know this is a lot of information to take in! That’s why our office will provide you with a take-home visual summary of your visit with helpful notes attached. This gives you the chance to consider the options available to you in the comfort of your own home.  

Your investment in a healthier smile

Here at Nordberg Orthodontics, we believe everyone should have access to the high-quality orthodontic care they need. We offer a variety of affordable treatment options, and have multiple payment options to fit every budget! Because every smile is unique and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, the total cost of treatment will vary from case to case. During your consultation, we’ll outline all the fees associated with your treatment plan and ensure you understand each one before moving forward. 

Some dental insurance plans will cover some portion of a patient’s orthodontic treatment up to a lifetime maximum. Check with your dental insurer to see what orthodontic benefits your own individual plan will cover for you or your dependents. We’ll ask for your dental insurance information when you schedule your consultation, including how much, if any, of your treatment fees will be covered. By gathering this information ahead of your appointment, we can make your first visit with us as efficient and accurate as possible!  

What comes next?

If you decide to move forward with treatment, we’ll contact your regular dentist first.

Every orthodontic patient must start with a healthy set of teeth and supporting tissues—that is, healthy gums, supporting bone, and ligaments. We check with your dentist to be sure the foundation of your smile is healthy before we attempt any improvements of our own! We also need to know if you have any dental work on the horizon. If you’re scheduled for something like new crowns, fillings, or veneers, it wouldn’t make sense for us to create a custom aligner or affix brackets to your teeth before that happens. 

If we get the green light from your dentist, we can start treatment the same day, or schedule an appointment for you come back in and be fitted for your aligners or have your braces put on. You’ll have follow-up appointments every 4-8 weeks or so, depending on your treatment plan. During these visits, Dr. Nordberg will check that your teeth are moving the way they should be and will make any necessary adjustments. If you’re in braces, he may also change your wire. These appointments are an essential part of the treatment process, so you’ll want to do your best not to miss any. 

Your best smile is waiting for you at Nordberg Orthodontics

You only get one smile. Why trust it to anything less than an expert? Dr. Nordberg and the rest of our talented team are proud to create beautifully aligned smiles for patients of all ages in Puyallup and the surrounding communities. We’ve created a friendly environment where you feel welcome from your first visit to the last, and work hard to provide patients with a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic experience!

If you haven’t already scheduled your virtual or in-office consultation, get in touch with us today! We’ll be happy to help you set it up. There are no dental referrals necessary, so you can start working toward the smile you’ve always wanted as soon as you meet with Dr. Nordberg. There’s never been a better time to improve your oral health! Be sure to follow all of our patients smile journey on our social pages.