Our Blog

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

January 16th, 2019

The goal of orthodontic treatment at Coats Orthodontics, which may include the use of braces, retainers, and aligners, is to straighten your teeth. Treatment often starts in the pre-teen or teenage years, but adults may also need orthodontic treatment. The treatment can feel like a chore that lasts for several months or a couple of years, but it can fix important problems. These include:

  • Crowded teeth spaced too close together
  • Gaps between your teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Upper and lower teeth that do not meet

Straight Teeth are More Attractive

You are more likely to be proud of your smile when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced. Pride in your appearance can give you more confidence and encourage you to try new things. This can be particularly important for adolescents. In addition, people often judge others based on first impressions. A smile that shows straight teeth is more attractive.

Better Oral Health is Easier

Brushing and flossing your teeth are two basic components of an oral health routine to protect your teeth from conditions such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. As Dr. Matthew Coats and our staff know, caring for your mouth is easier when your teeth are straight. The American Dental Association says the following conditions are less likely to occur if you have the proper orthodontic treatment.

  • Dental caries
  • Gum disease or gingivitis
  • Tooth loss
  • Impaired speech
  • Worn tooth enamel

Orthodontic Treatment Improves Nutrition

Poorly aligned teeth can reduce your ability to chew properly or make certain foods more difficult to eat. Many of these more challenging foods are healthy, and avoiding them can cause you to limit your diet to softer, often less-nutritious foods, such as ice cream and canned soup. Straighter teeth and a better ability to chew let you eat crunchy foods, such as apples and carrots; stringy foods, such as asparagus and chicken; and chewy foods, such as raisins.

Ready for 2019

January 10th, 2019

A new year is an opportunity to start fresh and set new goals or continue working on long-term ones. That’s why we’re so excited for everything 2019 has in store for us! We believe that it’s important to work on our goals from start to finish and really see them through.

Here are Dr. Coats’ tips to tackling goals:

  1. Deal with things as they happen. Don’t set them aside and leave them for later.
  2. Make a daily list of attainable short-term goals that will help get you to your main goals.
  3. Update the list each evening to prepare yourself for the next day.

This year, Dr. Coats is looking forward to the challenge of growing Coats Orthodontics while balancing his home life. He’s also wanting to open the office more days a week and not work elsewhere.

On a personal level, Dr. Coats is hoping to have a little more trust in God and a little less worrying. And like many of us, he’s looking to kick sweets to the curb (for the most part). He’s also determined to work on his communication skills so that he can be the best orthodontist, father, boyfriend, and friend possible. And in addition to all of that, he’d like to squeeze in a vacation or two.

We hope you’re all having a fabulous start to 2019! Whatever you’re working toward this year, we encourage you to go after relentlessly.

What is a water pick and do I need one?

January 9th, 2019

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.

When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. Matthew Coats and our team at Coats Orthodontics want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don't cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

So how do you choose the right water pick?

Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

Please give us a call at our Tomball office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr. Matthew Coats during your next visit!

Do I really need to wear my rubber bands with my braces?

January 2nd, 2019

Most of our patients at Coats Orthodontics will need to wear rubber bands at some point during their orthodontic treatment. The main reason our patients are instructed to wear rubber bands is to correct their bite. If your teeth do not fit together properly, Dr. Matthew Coats will recommend that rubber bands be used. Dr. Matthew Coats may also recommend using rubber bands to close or open spaces.

Rubber bands are a critical part of your treatment, and wearing them as Dr. Matthew Coats and our team recommend will help move your teeth into the desired position. Dr. Matthew Coats may ask you to wear your rubber bands full time, meaning that they should only be taken out when you brush and floss your teeth three times a day. Other times, you may be asked to only wear them part-time, like only during the day or only during sleep.

If you still have any questions about orthodontic rubber bands, we invite you to give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment appointment. Remember, wearing rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. Matthew Coats is an important step during your treatment, and can reduce the time you have your braces. If you lose your rubber bands or run out, stop by our Tomball office and pick up more!