March 28th, 2018
Most parents know that routine dental care should begin during their child’s toddler years. And many assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to visit Drs. Rigali and Walder for an initial orthodontic consultation.
The ideal age for an orthodontic evaluation is age seven. At that age, your child will have a mixture of adult and baby teeth for Drs. Rigali and Walder and our team at Rigali and Walder Orthodontics to make a determination about whether any problems are present. Typically the first molars have come in by the time your child turns seven, giving us an opportunity to check for malocclusion, also known as “bad bite.” Also, by the time your child reaches the age of seven, the incisors have begun to come in, and problems such as crowding, deep bites, and open bites can be detected.
When Drs. Rigali and Walder and our team perform an evaluation on your child at an early age, you get one of two positive outcomes. Although treatment usually will not begin until one to five years after the initial evaluation, it’s still helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth early when they are still easy to treat. Earlier treatment can also cost less to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment.
Early evaluation, of course, may signal a need for early treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury and are detrimental to good oral hygiene.
If your child is approaching age seven, or has already surpassed his or her seventh birthday, it is time to schedule an appointment for an initial examination at Rigali and Walder Orthodontics.
March 21st, 2018
Many people undergo orthodontic treatment during childhood, adolescence, and even into adulthood. Wearing orthodontic appliances like braces is sure to produce a beautiful smile. Though orthodontic treatments at Rigali and Walder Orthodontics are designed to accommodate your lifestyle, chances are you will need to make some dietary modifications to prevent damage to your braces and prolong orthodontic treatment.
The First Few Days with Braces
The first few days wearing braces may be the most restrictive. During this time, the adhesive is still curing, which means you will need to consume only soft foods. This probably will not be a problem, however, as your teeth may be tender or sensitive while adjusting to the appliances.
Orthodontic Dietary Restrictions
You can eat most foods normally the way you did without braces. However, some foods can damage orthodontic appliances or cause them to come loose. Examples of foods you will need to avoid include:
- Chewy foods like taffy, chewing gum, beef jerky, and bagels
- Hard foods like peanuts, ice chips, and hard candy
- Crunchy foods like chips, apples, and carrots
How to Continue to Eat the Foods You Love Most
Keep in mind that you may still be able to enjoy some of the foods you love by making certain modifications to the way you eat them. For example, steaming or roasting carrots makes them softer and easier to consume with braces. Similarly, you can remove corn from the cob, or cut up produce like apples and pears to avoid biting into them. Other tips include grinding nuts into your yogurt or dipping hard cookies into milk to soften them. If you must eat hard candies, simply suck on them instead of biting into them.
If you have any question whether a food is safe to eat during your treatment with Rigali and Walder Orthodontics, we encourage you to err on the side of caution. Of course, you can always contact our Northampton, Amherst, and Easthampton office with any questions you have about your diet and the foods that should be avoided during treatment. By following our dietary instructions and protecting your orthodontic appliances from damage, you will be back to chewing gum in no time.
March 14th, 2018
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 Drs. Rigali and Walder - have a great St. Paddy’s day!
March 7th, 2018
If you’ve never been to an orthodontist before, you might be wary of what to expect during your first visit. Your dentist may have recommended an orthodontic appliance if it could improve the state of your oral health. More often, you may suspect that you or your child should have orthodontic work done if the time is right financially.
Understanding the various options your orthodontist can perform will be helpful to know before your appointment.
Your initial appointment usually lasts at least an hour. It’s common that diagnostic work will need to be done. This might include getting X-rays so Drs. Rigali and Walder can better understand the overall structure of your mouth. A quick mold of the mouth may also be taken if braces are a possibility.
Your first appointment is intended to find out how we can efficiently give you a great smile! Here’s a list of common questions you might ask during your first visit:
- Is now the right time for treatment, or should it wait?
- What is the estimated length of time for the treatment?
- How much should I expect to pay? What are the payment options?
- What can I do to prevent or minimize pain?
- Is it likely that I will wear extra appliances in addition to braces to correct my overbite, underbite, or other problems?
- Are there specific foods I will need to avoid?
- Will braces prevent me from playing my favorite sport or musical instrument?
- How can I keep my teeth clean with braces?
- How often will I be expected to come in for checkups and other appointments?
Don’t be afraid to ask these and other questions before you or your child commits to getting braces. Drs. Rigali and Walder and our team are happy to answer any of them before or after your visit.
Once you’ve had your initial consultation, our team will be here throughout the entire process if any problems arise. We look forward to seeing you at your first appointment in our Northampton, Amherst, and Easthampton office!