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Archive for March, 2011

Braces 101 with Coquitlam Family Orthodontics

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

If you ever sustain damage to your braces and need to call Coquitlam Family Orthodontics, we can help you more effectively if you can tell us exactly which piece is in trouble! Here’s a handy diagram and corresponding list of all the parts that make up your braces.

Elastic Tie: Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Archwire: The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It’s changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire: Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don’t have a loop.

Bracket: Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth’s surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube: Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring: Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire: Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band: A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook: Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band): Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

Hope this helps! Give us a call if you have any questions!

Your pal, Fluoride!

Friday, March 25th, 2011


There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at Coquitlam Family Orthodontics. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment? Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.

Fluoride used in the orthodontists’ office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask Dr. Michelle Couto how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.

Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!

Orthodontic Fun Facts, from Dr. Couto

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Everyone loves fun facts. Fun, fun, fun! The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, has come up with some fun facts about orthodontics that our team at Coquitlam Family Orthodontics thought you might enjoy.

• The first mechanical treatment for correcting irregular teeth was suggested by Gaius Plinius Secundus (A.D 23-79).

• The American Association of Orthodontists is comprised of more than 12,000 members in Canada, the United States, and abroad.

• The time required to complete orthodontic treatment ranges from 12 to 36 months depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

• Of the 160,000 dentists in Canada and the United States, 8,000 are practicing orthodontists.

• The cement that attaches the braces to the teeth is now made with a special fluoride-releasing substance.

• Wires activated by body heat used in today’s braces originally were developed by NASA for use in the space program.

• In addition to alleviating or preventing physical health problems, orthodontics can boost self-esteem as treatment aligns teeth, jaws and lips.

• Famous orthodontic patients include: Dr. Joyce Brothers, Hale Irwin, Cher, Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Daisy Fuentes and Brandi.

Have a great weekend!

The advantage of Invisalign Teen™ at Coquitlam Family Orthodontics

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011


Dr. Michelle Couto knows image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having metal brackets and wires constantly attached to teeth may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today’s teens. But… not to worry! There is a clear alternative to traditional braces! The team at Coquitlam Family Orthodontics thought we’d remind you that Invisalign Teen™ gives you a whole new way to wear braces for a “clearly” amazing smile!

So how does Invisalign Teen work, you ask? Much in the same fashion as Invisalign, but with a few added characteristics tailored specifically to teenagers’ lifestyles. For instance, Invisalign Teen is designed with “compliance indicators” that fade from dark to light during the two week period that particular tray is used and once it has faded teens know to change trays. Each aligner comes with up to six free individual replacement aligners in case the original aligner ends up lost or broken. Another big benefit for the patient!

The treatment period for Invisalign Teen varies from nine to 18 months. If your teen is considering orthodontic treatment, please contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have about Invisalign Teen.

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