Our Blog

Is there an age limit with Braces?

May 9th, 2017

Quick answer- NO.  Our oldest adult patient during their treatment a few years ago was in their mid 70’s.

As we continue to thankfully live longer, more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment (braces and Invisalign) for the first time or being retreated because of infrequent/lost/damage/etc of their past retainer(s).  Furthermore, with better access to dental care, education and income, more adults have all of their teeth and understand the important relationship between their teeth and their overall health; they want to invest the necessary time and money into their health.  In the past for a lot of adults due to missing teeth and finances, straight teeth and a good, functional bite were often achieved with dentures/fake teeth only.  Now, adults have their teeth and have options.

Past obstacles to orthodontic treatment that we hear from our past adult patients at their complimentary initial exams are the following:

1)      Length of treatment- Will it take a long time?

2)      Will I be the only adult among a bunch of kids?

3)      Will I have a mouth full of metal like the old days?

4)      Cost and financing.

Depending on the extent of an adult’s problems and their expectations, some patients’ treatment times can be as short as 6 months or less!  Really, we are not joking.  Dr. Altherr does joke that his patients’ treatment times are shorter because of him being naturally impatient; but more seriously, it’s because we are experts at orthodontics, we use up to date technology and Dr. Altherr’s board-certified experience and being UNC trained further adds to the efficiency in treatment and the corresponding brief treatment times.

Adults are about 20% or our practice, and growing.  There are some mornings where we only see adults.  There are many more aesthetic options than the metal braces of the past.  We offer clear braces and Invisalign, which a lot of our adults really like.  And finally, with all of our patients (not just adults) and the various treatment options offered, we have many flexible financing options that make affording orthodontic treatment simple and easy.

Note: Dr. Edward Altherr is a board-certified orthodontist in private practice serving Apex, NC, and the surrounding towns/cities of Cary, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina.  Dr. Altherr’s training in orthodontics was at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s program where we studied under many great orthodontic icons like Dr. William Proffitt and Dr. Camilla Tulloch.  During his orthodontic training, Dr. Altherr’s research and further focus was on the orthodontic treatment of the mixed-dentition (mix of baby and adult teeth in kids between 6 and 14 yo).  With his research and over 15 years of clinical orthodontic experience as of 2017, Dr. Altherr is considered an expert in mixed-dentition orthodontics and other areas of orthodontics like temporary skeletal anchors.  This web blog is for educational purposes only.  Dr. Altherr is licensed only in the state of North Carolina, and cannot diagnose and recommend orthodontic treatment over the phone or internet.

Inflation hitting the Tooth Fairy harder than ever

May 1st, 2017

Visa had randomly polled over 3,000 households and was able to obtain about 1,000 responses regarding what the Tooth Fairy is paying for a child's lost tooth/teeth.  The going rate was about $2.60 in 2011, and increased to $3.70 in 2013.  Today, it's approaching close to $4 a tooth.  We hope the Tooth Fairy can conjure up enough money to continue her endeavors since each child has 20 baby teeth totalling $80 per child!

Should I use a water pick during my treatment?

April 26th, 2017

Dr. Altherr and our team at Altherr Orthodontics know that for some of our patients wearing braces, it can be difficult to weave through those wires and brackets as you brush and floss during your treatment.

Some of our patients use a water pick to flush out food and other particles and bacteria stuck between their teeth as the water can reach behind the metal wires and hit spots where your floss simply cannot reach. People suffering from gum disease also find water picks quite effective because of their ability to flush out bacteria from inside the deep pockets.

Water picks are friendly to braces and are also gentle on the gums. They are less likely to cause bleeding for people with sensitive teeth or gums. But as many benefits as they may have, Dr. Altherr and our team want you to know that water picks should never be used as a substitute for flossing. Though they are great tools for helping improve oral health while you are in treatment, they are just not a good enough tool on their own to keep your mouth and gums gingivitis- and decay-free. Water picks are also incapable of removing plaque from teeth as effectively as floss can. While water picks rinse the sticky bacteria off your teeth, flossing is actually more effective as it actually scrapes the bacteria off of your pearly whites.

If you have any questions about water picks or any general questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to please ask us below or give us a call!

Earth Day

April 19th, 2017

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Altherr Orthodontics wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Altherr Orthodontics.

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(919) 363-2221 1011 W. Williams St, Suite 101, Apex, NC 27502

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