Orthodontic Blog

Smiling girl in the autumn

What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth and Braces

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Most people get their permanent second molars between the ages of 11 and 13. By the time these teeth come in, I’m able to see exactly what issues a patient may be facing with their smile, including crowding, spacing or an overbite. This is one of the reasons why it’s so common for teens to start orthodontic treatment around this time.

Yet, once a teenager is done with braces or Invisalign, they might have another milestone on the horizon: their third molars, or their wisdom teeth. If a person’s wisdom teeth do erupt (not everyone’s do), they typically make an entrance between the ages of 17 and 21. Of course, after investing in orthodontic treatment, you don’t want these final pearly whites to disrupt your results, which is why patients often ask, “Should you remove wisdom teeth before braces?” The answer I give my Monroe, Mill Creek and Bothell braces patients is, no, not usually. I’ll cover why that’s the case and when it might be recommended to have your wisdom teeth taken out.  Read More

A Guide to Preparing Your Child for Braces or Invisalign Teen

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When your child first finds out they’ll be getting braces or Invisalign, they’re likely going to have a lot of questions. They might be nervous about the treatment being painful or embarrassed to be the only person in class with braces (fact: they won’t be!). They might be frustrated about all the rules of what they can and can’t eat, and how to brush and floss their teeth. We get these questions all the time at Richard Chan Orthodontics, both from our teen patients and their parents. In most cases, kids are simply afraid of the unknown. As parents, it’s your job to help them understand what to expect and prepare them as best as possible.

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Braces-Friendly Summer BBQ Ideas

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What do the end of the school year, July 4th and Labor Day have in common? They’re all the perfect cause for a summer celebration. And for the team at Richard Chan Orthodontics, summer parties are synonymous with summer BBQs. We’re talking juicy burgers, grilled chicken, and corn on the cob! Summer food really is the best food.

We’re sure you love chowing down on all your summer faves as much as we do, but many of the patients at our Alaska, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontic practice have braces, making it trickier for them to eat certain things. Soft treats like ice cream or fall-off-the-bone meats like grilled ribs are perfectly safe foods for braces — but hard, crunchy or sticky things are a no-go. And if you have braces, you’ll want to cut your corn off the cob before diving in.

While there are definitely foods you’ll need to avoid with braces, there are so many yummy things you can still enjoy. Braces or not, we want you to get the most out of your summer, so here’s a list of summer BBQ ideas that are safe for the whole family.

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Cool Off at Our Favorite Seattle Area Water Parks, Pools and Splash Pads

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Cool Off at Our Favorite Seattle Area Water Parks, Pools and Splash Pads

Summer is almost here at last. After months of rain, we’re ready for warm, lazy days under the Seattle sun. We don’t know about you but at Richard Chan Orthodontics, our favorite thing to do when the weather heats up is to get in the water. Fortunately, Seattle (and the surrounding area) is full of water parks, pools and splash pads.

There’s plenty of warm weather activities for kids in Seattle to keep you and your family cool this summer. The best part? Most splash pads and spray parks are free and have longer hours than local wading pools. So grab your suits, pack a lunch and take the kids to a local swimming hole. Here’s our guide to the best water parks, pools and splash pads in Seattle and beyond.

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mom on computer with baby on lap

Mom Blogs and Mom Groups in the Seattle Area

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We see a lot of moms at our practice, either when they bring their kids in for treatment or when they visit us for their own smile. As a Mill Creek, Monroe and Bothell orthodontist, a husband and a father myself, I have a tremendous amount of respect for moms and I know that having support and a network of fellow parents is incredibly important. That’s why I’m sharing some of the best mom blogs, mom meetups and mom groups in the Seattle area.

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image of young girl putting in retainer

A Crash Course in the History of Orthodontics

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At Richard Chan Orthodontics, my team and I may take a pretty high-tech approach to care and stay on top of current innovations and what’s coming in the future but we still appreciate the rich history of orthodontics. While our Seattle area, Sitka and Juneau Invisalign and braces patients are able to choose from modern treatment options at our practice, these treatments are built on some of the foundations established over centuries. Let’s dive in with a crash course in the history of orthodontics. Read More

ma smiling while walking along water

Your Guide to Lasers in Orthodontics

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One of the things that really sets Richard Chan Orthodontics apart is our high-tech approach. When I find a proven advance in orthodontics that can bring about amazing results while making patients more comfortable or making their treatment more convenient, I embrace it. For over a decade, one of my favorites has been the orthodontic laser. It’s enabled me to safely, painlessly and quickly do everything from exposing teeth that are slow to erupt to improve the aesthetics of a gummy smile. Today, I’m covering the basics of lasers in orthodontics to help you get a better idea of how they can be a useful tool to really transform your smile.

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girl smiling pointing to braces

New Year’s Resolutions for Braces and Invisalign Patients

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Happy 2019! Chances are you probably made a few New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you resolved to eat healthier, give back to the community or hit the gym five days a week, which are all great ideas. But what about your smile? Considering our oral health is tied to our overall health, it makes sense to show it some New Year’s resolution love, especially if you’re a braces or Invisalign patient. Not sure where to start? Well, I have you covered with resolution ideas for anyone in orthodontic treatment.

  • Be diligent about brushing and flossing with braces AND Invisalign – Teeth move more effectively in a healthy oral environment, so it’s important to practice great oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape throughout your treatment. Not only that, if you get cavities when wearing braces, it can set back your treatment time. In severe cases, you may even need to have your braces removed while cavities are treated and then put back on at a later date.

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woman wearing braces smiling

Do You Know How to Brush Your Teeth With Braces? Take Our Quiz to Find Out!

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At Richard Chan Orthodontics, when my braces or Invisalign patients kick off treatment, I make sure to explain to them in detail how to care for their new appliances. However, with the holidays in full swing and lots of fun to be had, you could have forgotten some of the finer points on Invisalign and braces care. Well, let’s test your knowledge with a quiz that covers everything from how to brush your teeth with braces to how many hours a day you should wear your aligners. Write down your responses and check them against the answers at the end to see how well you did.

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young girl wearing braces looking up at camera

A Parents’ Guide to Early Orthodontic Treatment

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids see an orthodontist for an evaluation by the age of seven. That’s because at this time, a child will have his or her first permanent molars, which establish the back bite. We can then look at the side-to-side and front-to-back tooth relationships to see how things are shaping up. While early orthodontic treatment has become more prevalent in recent years, that doesn’t mean your child will leave their first appointment in braces. In fact, at Richard Chan Orthodontics, I always treat extremely conservatively with minimal treatment on young patients. Most of the time, I can get outstanding results without two-phase orthodontic treatment. That being said, there are times when stepping in early can prevent the need for more extensive treatment or surgical correction later in life.

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