Benefits of the Patient Reward Program from PacificWest Dental Group

Dentist-Shots-4-Laurie-02Have you ever heard of a dentist that offers a rewards program? At PacificWest Dental Group, we’re glad to offer something that most other dentists don’t: opportunities to incentivize the maintenance of your dental health. Our reward program is designed to keep all of our patients happy, even those patients who are afraid of the dentist and our younger patients.

Joining the Patient Rewards Program is great for adults and kids alike. Here are a few of the benefits.

Earn Points Towards Rewards

Maybe the idea is obvious, but we want to reward our patients for taking good care of their teeth. When you sign up for the program, you’ll automatically get points. Each time you complete certain tasks – like taking a trip to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups – you’ll accumulate more points.

What You Get

For our adult patients, the best rewards come in the form of prizes. You can redeem points for prizes and gift cards from many major brands including McDonald’s, Subway, Sports Authority, Apple, Old Navy, and Starbucks, among many others.

We also offer access to many fun games online, as well as contests for even more prizes! Many of the games are fun for adults, but we also have a selection of games just for kids. Our kids games help encourage little ones to get excited about going to the dentist. By getting your kids involved in the Rewards Program, you’ll be teaching them to feel good about regular dental visits, something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Find Out More

The PacificWest Dental Patient Reward Program was designed to help everyone stay on top of their dental health. It’s easy to get busy and to skip dental visits when you’re not experiencing dental pain. But those regular visits are all about avoiding bigger problems. You can make it a bit more fun and benefit from taking good care of your teeth by joining the Patient Reward Program.

Proper Care and Cleaning of Braces

Dentist-Shots-4-Laurie-01 Taking care of your braces isn’t just a good idea for dental hygiene reasons. It’s also important for your comfort. Food stuck in braces can cause pain or discomfort, not to mention increase the likelihood of decay. Of course brushing and flossing is much harder with braces than without. You may not always have a toothbrush handy after a meal. But it is critical that you learn how to properly care for your braces and your teeth so that when those braces come off, you’ll have the straight, pearly whites you were hoping for!

Tips for Brushing with Braces

If you don’t have a toothbrush after a meal, rinse thoroughly with water. Soft bristles are best and you should brush after every meal if possible. The hardest thing about brushing with braces is that it’s going to take some time if you do a thorough job. Once you get into the habit of brushing thoroughly, it’ll get easier. Remember these pointers:

  • Don’t use a lot of toothpaste
  • Don’t wet the brush
  • Carefully brush each arch separately and spend about 10 seconds on each tooth
  • On lower teeth, brush upwards
  • On upper teeth, brush downwards
  • For hard-to-reach places you can purchase special brushes to get between tight spots

Tips for Flossing with Braces

When you have braces, it may seem like flossing will be impossible. But that is not the case, and flossing is still very important. You’ll need to floss between teeth and around your braces. If you have the time, it’s not a big deal, so make sure you give yourself enough time for a thorough job.

  • Use unwaxed floss
  • Pull the floss under the wire that is strung between the two braces on the teeth, so you have access to the space between your teeth
  • Floss around the braces on either side
  • Floss around the gums

For more information about cleaning braces, get in touch with PacificWest Dental in Vancouver and Surrey, BC.

Top 3 Reasons People Delay Getting Braces

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Some of the myths that have been built up about braces can be extremely unrealistic. If you’re putting off getting braces for any of these reasons, stop delaying now. These are the three common excuses that people make all the time and there’s simply nothing to them.

My Child is Too Young for Braces

Orthodontic care for kids between the ages of 7 and 10 is quite common. Early treatment can help an orthodontist correct skeletal and non-skeletal issues like jaw and tooth alignment, as well as help create a favourable growth pattern for permanent teeth. If your orthodontist is seeing signs of overbite, open bites, missing teeth or excess teeth, cross bites or overcrowding, starting you off early with braces will save you time on treatments, as well as cost.

Im Too Old for Braces

It’s never too late for braces. Properly aligned teeth can help you live longer. With gleaming, well aligned, healthy teeth, there’s a lower risk of periodontal disease and gum disease. Plus you’ll be able to chew food with gusto even as you age, reducing gastrointestinal problems.

Everyones Going to Call Me Brace Face or Metal Mouth

If you decide to get braces, you’ll be joining the ranks of Tom Cruise, Faith Hill and Emma Watson, all huge, A-list celebrities who wore braces! If you’re wondering how you missed this, then you haven’t been keeping up with braces technology. Today’s braces have come a long way in the last fifteen years. Brackets are smaller, bands don’t wrap all the way around your teeth, and you can wear them without anyone even noticing they’re there.

Get an orthodontic consultation today, don’t delay! Pacific West Dental Group in Surrey and Vancouver will give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of. We’re here for you!

Why should I choose PacificWest Dental for Invisalign Aligners?

Dr. Wang is an expert on Invisalign® and will get you the results you need as quickly as possible with Invisalign® clear aligners.

 

Dr. C Lun WangDr. Wang has provided Invisalign® for more than 15 years as an early supporter of the clear aligners.  In fact, Dr. Wang himself was his own first patient in using the Invisalign system.  By using himself as a guinea pig, Dr. Wang gained valuable experience and refined his technique in working with Invisalign.  Invisalign’s success is determined by the experience and expertise of the provider, and Dr. Wang provides high quality care in Surrey and Vancouver.

invisalign-logoInvisalign® aligners are clear and removable, making straight teeth easier to obtain and as discreet as possible! You hardly notice the aligners when they are in, making Invisalign® a favourite option for adult patients. You also have no eating restrictions when wearing Invisalign® because the aligners are removable, making it easy to brush and floss teeth as you normally would. Because the aligners are not metal, they are comfortable and do not cause abrasions in your mouth as regular braces often do.

Just as any tool that we use, they all have their advantages and limitations.  Invisalign aligners are removable, they can be lost or broken when they are out of your mouth; and If they are not worn properly or enough of the time during the day, then your teeth will not move properly or at all.  Therefore, patient cooperation can be an issue.  Success with Invisalign treatment begins with proper diagnosis of a patient’s problem.  Dr. Wang will be able to give you a proper diagnosis when you come in for a complimentary consultation.

Invisalign® also typically requires less frequent visits to PacificWest Dental Group because there isn’t a need to tighten wires as in traditional braces. Invisalign® patients wear a set of aligners for 2 weeks and remove them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. Every two weeks, you will move to the next set of aligners in the series until your teeth reach the correct position. Treatment typically lasts 9 to 15 months, but can last slightly shorter or longer depending on your specific case. Visit us for a free consultation to determine if Invisalign® is right for you.

How to Choose an Orthodontist

Orthodontist with PatientWith all the new advances in Orthodontics, there is no reason you and your family can’t achieve the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. Whether you are noticing your child’s teeth coming in crooked, are suffering from misaligned bite issues or have always wanted to feel more comfortable with your smile, your local orthodontist can help you find the option that will work best for you and your family. So how do you choose an orthodontist?

Ask Around
When choosing an orthodontist, often the best place to start is word of mouth. You can ask your family dentist, friends, co-workers and of course family members. If that doesn’t yield results, use the Internet, being sure to read online reviews to see what previous patients have to say. Because this is a long term commitment, you want to be sure it will be a positive experience.

Experience
Straight teeth are a result of more than just traditional braces. You want to find an orthodontist that has experience in the field and can identify the techniques best suited to your needs. This may include a variety of methods and hardware. An examination and consultation will help your orthodontist create your personalized treatment plan, based on their years of experience.

Initial Consultation
Your potential orthodontist should provide you with an initial consultation – many offer these free of charge – where they outline your options, length of treatment, expected outcome and total cost. When you are meeting your orthodontist, be sure to also check out the office and talk with the staff. With a longer course of treatment and multiple visits, you want to ensure you will feel comfortable and be treated well at your visits.

Really an Orthodontist
While most general dentists might be willing to treat minor orthodontic issues, you want to make sure you are working with a certified orthodontist. They would have completed additional years of school with specialized study in orthodontics.

Location, Location, Location
Due to the number of visits, adjustments, etc required for orthodontic treatment, you want to be sure your orthodontist’s office is conveniently located. This makes keeping on track with your visits more manageable.

With a bit of research and due diligence, you will find an orthodontist that is the right fit for you and your family.

Good Oral Hygiene is the foundation to Straightening your teeth

Good Oral Hygiene is the foundation to Straightening your teeth

 

Dr. C Lun WangI have been treating myself with both lingual(tongue side) and labial(lip side) braces for almost a year now.  Initially, the biggest adjustment was to the braces poking or rubbing against my lips or my tongue.  The constant irritation gave me raw spots on the mucosa of my mouth.  This skin irritation was an annoyance that was minor and lasted only for the first month.

 

Further to that, I had to learn to eat with the braces, since if I chewed hard on foods, I would hit some of the braces too hard, and broke them off.  It is amazing how your body adapts to these needs, since you cannot remove the braces, I was able to adjust the pressure to which I applied with each bite, so that I would not bite too hard to break my braces, but hard enough to chew my food.  The proprioceptive(pressure sensing) receptors built into my teeth gave instant feedback to my bite pressure, and by training, my muscles developed the proper muscle memory so that during each subsequent bite, the pressure is just right.

 

The next adjustment I went through was the fact that I frequently bit on my lip when I chewed.  This was a much more painful experience and one that took me longer to get over.  During your chewing cycle, your lips, cheeks and tongue have been trained to move the bolus of food that is in your mouth around and on to the biting surface of your teeth.  Your lips have to provide an additional function, that is they also have to keep your food, and especially the liquids in your mouth from being squeezed out of your mouth, on to your chin and your clothes.  Your eating partners especially appreciate this function, since seeing your food coming out of your mouth is hardly neither appealing nor appetizing.  My problem with my lips is that they frequently got caught on my lower braces during chewing and made cuts on my lips that are very painful.  Luckily, wounds in your mouth heal much faster than on your skin, and after a few months, my lip muscles also adapted to their new functional parameters.

 

935972_586677598030630_1493679419_nThe last and most lasting difficulty is one that is probably most important and has long term ramifications; that is my ability to keep my teeth clean.  With braces on, there are much more nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in.  Normal cleaning regimen does not do a thorough job.  Even with proper tools and good dexterity, the cleaning process is tedious and took a long time.  That is why in our clinic, we stress good oral hygiene practice from day one of your orthodontic treatment.  On the day of getting your braces, we spend time teaching you how to clean your teeth properly.  We also provide tools that will help speed up the cleaning time.  One of those tools is an electric tooth brush.  I have always told my patients that if brushing is done properly, a manual tooth brush is as good as an electric tooth brush.  However, it does take better coordination and more diligence to achieve a proper cleaning with manual tooth brush.  So we provide an electric tooth brush with your orthodontic treatment help you with this important task.  The following is a scientific study that demonstrates the advantage of using an electric tooth brush in most people.

 

Introduction

Good oral hygiene is a challenge for orthodontic patients because food readily becomes trapped around the brackets and under the archwires, and appliances are an obstruction to mechanical brushing. The purpose of this study was to compare plaque removal efficacy of 3 toothbrush treatments in orthodontic subjects.

Methods

This was a replicate-use, single-brushing, 3-treatment, examiner-blind, randomized, 6-period crossover study with washout periods of approximately 24 hours between visits. Forty-six adolescent and young adult patients with fixed orthodontics from a university clinic in Germany were randomized, based on computer-generated randomization, to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) oscillating-rotating electric toothbrush with a specially designed orthodontic brush head (Oral-B Triumph, OD17; Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio); (2) the same electric toothbrush handle with a regular brush head (EB25; Procter & Gamble); and (3) a regular manual toothbrush (American Dental Association, Chicago, Ill). The primary outcome was the plaque score change from baseline, which we determined using digital plaque image analysis.

Results

Forty-five subjects completed the study. The differences in mean plaque removal (95% confidence interval) between the electric toothbrush with an orthodontic brush head (6% [4.4%-7.6%]) or a regular brush head (3.8% [2.2%-5.3%]) and the manual toothbrush were significant (P <0.001). Plaque removal with the electric toothbrush with the orthodontic brush head was superior (2.2%; P = 0.007) to the regular brush head. No adverse events were seen.

Conclusions

The electric toothbrush, with either brush head, demonstrated significantly greater plaque removal over the manual brush. The orthodontic brush head was superior to the regular head.

This study and other similar helpful articles can be found on the American Association of Orthodontists’ website.  Proper care for you teeth will not only help you with good healthy teeth and gums during your orthodontic treatment, but will also promote good oral hygiene habits that will last a life time.  After all, with your orthodontic treatment, you will be rewarded with straight teeth and a great smile, why not keep that picture perfect smile for a life time?  Every time you visit your orthodontist, they will check your teeth for proper cleaning, but you will still need to visit your family dentist regularly for professional cleaning and check up to avoid unwanted decay or disease to your teeth and gums.

7 Common Questions Parents Have About Orthodontic Treatment

Many parents know that braces can give their children beautiful smiles.  However, many may not realize the long term health benefits orthodontic treatment can bring.  Here is a list of answers to the 7 most commonly asked questions about braces gathered by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

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1. Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Besides being able to boost a person’s self-image, straight teeth and properly aligned jaws can also contribute to good dental health and overall physical health.  It can facilitate brushing and flossing so teeth can stay healthy for a lifetime.  Also, it can reduce improper wearing of teeth and make chewing and speaking easier.

2. How do parents know if their child needs orthodontic treatment?

The best way is to visit an orthodontist. The AAO recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age seven.  Orthodontists are dental specialists, who receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

3. What if my child still has baby teeth at age seven? Should they still see an orthodontist?

Yes.  By age 7, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth.  This is a good time for orthodontists to evaluate how the teeth and jaws meet, and to identify current or developing problems.

4, How does a child’s growth affect orthodontic treatment 

Treatment and growth often complement each other. In some cases, the orthodontist can use the child’s growth to guide jaws and teeth into their ideal positions.

5. How often do you visit your orthodontist while in orthodontic treatment?

Typically a child will see the orthodontist every 4-12 weeks throughout the course of treatment.

6. If you currently don’t have an orthodontist, what is the best way to find someone to treat orthodontic problems?

To find an orthodontist near you, ask your family dentist, your pediatrician or your child’s school nurse. Or you can visit www.braces.org and click on the Find an Orthodontist service.

7. What is the average cost of orthodontic treatment?

Fees will vary, depending on the treatment needed.  Most orthodontists offer convenient payment plans and will work with you to find a plan that fits your family budget.  In addition, many patients have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits. Check with your employer’s human resources department to learn about your coverage.

 

At Pacificwest Dental group, our orthodontists are all fully licensed specialists that are Canadian Dental Board certified and are members of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Orthodontists and Fellow of the Royal College of Dental Specialists.  We fully support and follow the guidelines set out by the American and Canadian Association of Orthodontists.

We offer convenient office hours and will work with you needs to achieve an ideal smile for you and your family, at a reasonable cost.  Payment plans can be set up with no interest for the length of your treatment.  Please ask your dentist for a referral, or simply contact us for a free orthodontic consultation at your convenience.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

12 early signs of Orthodontic problems in children

s-smile-01Because orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth or teeth while a child still has primary or “baby” teeth present, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age seven.

Some problems are not so subtle, and you may notice them early on. If you see any of the following signs in your child, please make an appointment immediately. (If your child is younger than seven, it is not necessary to wait till his or her seventh birthday to visit our office.) We want to identify any problems as early as possible so that we can implement the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time for your child’s individual needs.

 

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger sucking or other oral habits
  • Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Speech difficulty
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that stick out too far
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Upper and lower jaws that don’t line up
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth

Your family dentist may already have found some of these problems and may be monitoring the changes.  They may also refer you to an orthodontist to have these problems looked at.  An orthodontist is trained specifically in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of crooked teeth and jaws, as well as problems of the jaw joints; they will definitely be able to tell you when is the best time to have any of these problems fixed.  The key to successful treatment in young patients is delivering the right treatment at the right time.

Since the teeth and bite of children with baby teeth are dynamic and transitional, this means that there are changes going on all the time.  The first baby teeth to exfoliate should be the lower central incisors, or the ones in the center teeth. They should become loose and fall out between the ages of 5 ½ and 6 ½. The last baby teeth to fall out should be the upper cuspids or “canine teeth”, at around age 11 to 13.  Therefore, between the ages of 6 and 12, there will be a constant changing of baby teeth to permanent teeth.  The goal of early orthodontic intervention is to eliminate any interference to the normal eruption of teeth and the development of the jaw and face.

 

Dr. C Lun WangWho is an Orthodontist?

All the orthodontists in British Columbia must first obtain a license to practice dentistry in Canada.  They must then successfully complete at least two years of advanced training in the specialized field of orthodontics from an accredited university.  Finally, they must pass all provincial dental licensing exams in the field of orthodontics.  Only dentists with such advanced specialty education can present themselves as orthodontists. Dr. Wang is one of the most experienced orthodontists in the Province.

 

Do you need Braces?

Esthetic Orthodontic Appliances

Dr.C Lun WangOrthodontic treatment is no longer viewed as a treatment for children and teenagers.  On average, one in five patients is an adult in an orthodontic practice.  Reasons for adults to seek for treatment are:

  • Esthetics – they have never liked the way their teeth looked but never gotten the opportunity to have orthodontic treatment when they were young.
  • Dental health – overlapped and crooked teeth have caused them much trouble to maintain good oral hygiene over the years.  They notice that their dental health has deteriorated over the years due to difficulty in brushing and flossing.
  • Bad bite – the way of eating and speaking are altered because the bite is not proper.
  • Dentist’s recommendation – the dentist has recommended them to have a consultation with a certified orthodontist because dental restorations cannot be done properly due to misaligned teeth and/or poor bite.  This is a common situation where bridges or implants cannot be made properly to replace missing teeth because neighboring teeth have shifted.

Although the idea of getting a beautiful smile with proper oral function is great, the thought of having metal braces on their teeth for an extended period of time is off-putting.  Thanks to recent technological advances in orthodontics, metal braces is only one of the many options that the patients can have in terms of orthodontic appliances.

Clear BracesCeramic bracket appliance, also known as “clear braces”, has become a very popular choice among adults and teenagers.  Even though they are placed on the front surfaces of the teeth, the quality of the brackets is high so that they blend with many shades of teeth and they do not stain.  The comfort level and the adjustment period are very close to metal brackets.

InvisalignFor those patients who do not want braces to be attached to their teeth, clear aligner appliances, such as Invisalign, can be an option.  These aligners are clear and easy to use.  They give the patients some flexibility in their daily lives since they are removable.

 

 

lingual 2Lingual appliance is a truly invisible system because the brackets are mounted on the back of the teeth (lingual = tongue side).  The teeth will move as they do with traditional labial braces (labial = lip side) but no one will see the braces.  The adjustment period is longer because the brackets are closer to the tongue, which will affect speech and eating, but it is a great option for those individuals who would like highly esthetic orthodontic treatment.

Lastly, a combination of these appliances can be used to customize your needs.  For more information or to see if you are a good candidate for treatment, please connect with us today.

 

 

 

Did you know one in five orthodontic patients are adults?

Did you know that one in five orthodontic patients is an adult?

Dr. Wang with one of our new Adult patients

Dr. Wang with one of our new Adult patients

It is never too late to have a healthy and beautiful smile!  On average, 20% of patients in our orthodontic practice are adults.  It’s not something that is just for kids and teenagers and here is why – Many adults now realize the value of a great smile! It’s not vanity – it’s all tied in with self-esteem, first impressions and lasting impressions. Let alone the many health benefits of having a healthy and manageable smile.

Many adults have thought about getting braces themselves because they are self-conscious about their smile.  Orthodontic treatment can help correct crooked teeth or spaces that they have been uncomfortable with all their lives.  Straight teeth and a great smile can boost confidence and pride.

Maintaining Dental Health

Because misaligned teeth can make brushing and flossing more difficult, other dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, may arise if oral hygiene is not satisfactory. Also, poor bite can lead to abnormal wearing of tooth surfaces and cause difficulty in chewing.  Orthodontic treatment can help maintaining good dental health easier so that teeth can last for a lifetime.

Many adults may have many concerns about getting braces at an older age.  Here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions regarding adult orthodontic treatment:

Is orthodontic treatment effective for adults?

Orthodontic treatment is equally effective for adults as for kids and teenagers as long as teeth and gums are healthy.  Orthodontic forces move teeth the same way in patients of any age.

Are there any other options than metal braces?

Metal braces is just one of many options when it comes to orthodontics appliances.  Ceramic brackets, also known as “clear braces”, are a popular choice for most adults due to their high esthetic and comfort level.  For the patients who would rather get orthodontic treatment without being seen with braces, lingual braces are a good option because they are mounted behind your teeth.  Lastly, the ever-so-popular Invisalign is also a good option for patients who don’t want actual braces cemented on their teeth.

Will orthodontic treatment fit my lifestyle?

You can do almost anything during orthodontic treatment!  After the initial adjustment period, you will find braces become a natural part of life.  There have been great advances in orthodontic technology in the recent years so the brackets are now smaller and the wires are gentler on teeth but are even more effective than before.  Therefore, the initial adjustment period has been shortened to a couple of days to weeks.  However, the biggest challenge is to be able to maintain a high standard of home oral care so that your teeth and gum can remain healthy throughout treatment.  It is something that will become second nature once you get used to the routine.

Can I get orthodontic treatment if I have some missing teeth?

Yes.  Usually, the teeth next to the spaces have drifted into the space, making any type of dental restorations difficult to be fabricated perfectly.  Orthodontic treatment can create or hold space, align teeth and correct the bite so that the restorative dentist can achieve the best result with your new restorations.

Can I get orthodontic treatment if I have been treated for gum disease?

As long as the gum disease is not active and is under control, orthodontic treatment can still be rendered.  Your orthodontist will consult with your dentist and/or periodontist about the health of your gums before treatment. If you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment, you will continue be under regular supervision by your dentist and periodontist while you have braces.

One of our former patients is local Realtor Robbie Johal – Robbie knows just how important it is to have a great smile!

Former patient and successful Realtor Robbie Johal

Former patient and successful Realtor Robbie Johal

 

To find out whether braces are for you, contact us today for a free consultation with Dr. Wang