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small child in the dentist chair

When Should My Child Visit the Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in correcting jaw and teeth alignment problems.The earlier you bring your children to see an orthodontist, the easier (and probably less expensive) it will be to correct their teeth. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child should see an orthodontist for an exam by the time they are seven years old, despite the fact that there are baby teeth present. Your child’s orthodontist can identify bite issues at an early age and can recommend the appropriate treatment.

What to Expect on the First Visit

At seven years of age and up, your orthodontist can evaluate issues such as an uneven bite and teeth overcrowding. Seeing an orthodontist doesn’t mean your child will get braces right away. The first visit is usually a time for detecting any problems and deciding the best time to start treatment.

If the upper and lower jaw are growing too much or too little, it can be detected at an early age. If young children aged seven years and older have a jaw discrepancy, then early orthodontic treatment may be recommended.

Your orthodontist will give your child a thorough examination of the mouth, teeth, and jaw. Your doctor will ask your child to bite the teeth together to evaluate for any misalignment. Questions about any problems with chewing or swallowing, and if the jaw makes clicking or popping sounds are typically asked.

Your orthodontist may take mouth and teeth X-rays to get a better look at how they are positioned. Your doctor is also looking for any permanent teeth that have yet to erupt. An impression (mold) of your child’s teeth may be taken by sinking the top and bottom teeth into a tray of gel. After the tray is removed, the gel hardens and creates a replica of your child’s teeth. The replica is used to determine if any or which treatment options are best for your child. Your child should experience no discomfort during the visit.

Treatment Options

Traditional Braces

Braces help to correct alignment problems by keeping pressure on the teeth that gradually moves them into straighter positions. Traditional braces are recommended to correct bite problems, such as an overbite. These types of braces have wires threaded through brackets attached to the teeth, as well as rubber bands. The wire is tightened in small increments over time to slowly line up the teeth and jaw into their desired positions. Braces can be metal, clear, or white ceramic, and some versions can be placed behind the teeth.

Removable Braces

Clear removable braces use plastic trays (aligners) to move teeth. Removable braces can be taken out when eating and are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Invisalign is highly recommended by many orthodontists. For younger children, removable braces may not be the best choice, because they can be easily misplaced, or the child may simply forget to put them back in after eating, brushing, or flossing.

If you’re interested in learning more about early treatment for your child, contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson and Dallas, TX. Dr. Crosby provides compassionate and comprehensive orthodontic evaluations and treatment options to ensure that all your child’s needs are met for a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Crosby’s professional team works with you every step of the way, beginning with a complimentary consultation. To schedule your orthodontic consultation, give us a call today at 972-680-9882 or fill out the form on this page anytime.

smiling girl

Top Reasons for OrthoPulse

If you wear braces, stopping in at the orthodontist for a checkup is just another part of your hectic routine. You signed up for all the brackets, wires, and appointments because it’s completely worth it to get the dazzling, perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of. But, would you be excited to learn you can shorten the length of time to achieve that smile? It’s possible with a new device called OrthoPulse.

What Is OrthoPulse?

OrthoPulse is an FDA-approved, state-of-the-art treatment called photobiomodulation, or light-accelerated orthodontics. Used with traditional braces or Invisalign, OrthoPulse uses light energy to stimulate movement of bone tissue below the gum line, reducing the amount of time necessary for you to wear braces.

How Does OrthoPulse Work?

OrthoPulse looks like a plastic sports mouth guard, but that’s where the similarities end. You insert the device into your mouth for just 10 minutes allowing the infrared light to stimulate bone movement at the tooth roots. This helps your teeth reach their intended placement much sooner than wearing braces alone. Wearing the appliance is easy, comfortable, and you can wear it while watching TV or scrolling through social media.

What Are Some of the Features of OrthoPulse?

An OrthoPulse device features:

  • A one-size-fits-all waterproof mouthpiece made from medical grade silicone
  • An LED light source that emits a safe 850 nm of infrared light
  • An accelerometer that times each session without the need for wires or other equipment
  • A battery that can be charged wirelessly
  • Bluetooth capability to track treatments
  • Status indicator to show how much time is left for a treatment and to display battery life
  • Free app with iPhone or Android devices to allow you and your orthodontist to track treatment progress

How Much Time Can I Save Using OrthoPulse?

Each orthodontic case is different. Some patients have major tooth and bite misalignments, while others wear braces for cosmetic benefits. Consult with your orthodontist to find out how long you’ll need to use OrthoPulse to achieve your best smile faster.

Who’s a Good Candidate for OrthoPulse?

Anyone who wears traditional braces or plastic aligners like Invisalign can use OrthoPulse.

You’re a good candidate if:

  • You wear traditional braces or plastic aligners
  • You’d like to reduce the amount of time you need to wear braces
  • You can commit to using the OrthoPulse device daily for 10 minutes

How Do I Care for My OrthoPulse?

It’s so simple. After using the device, rinse with warm water and let air dry. You can also wipe it clean with a cleansing cloth. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on how to use OrthoPulse including how to properly charge the device.

If you’d like to learn more about speeding up your perfect smile with OrthoPulse, make an appointment today with Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson or at our Dallas location.

girl at dentist

Why Would I Need a Retainer?

After having braces removed, a person is fitted for a device called a retainer. This device is a specially molded mouthpiece that is designed to be worn at night, and often during the day, to make sure the teeth that have undergone straightening do not shift back into their past position.

This is even more important for younger children because their mouth grows as they do and teeth becoming crooked again can happen easily. Preserving expensive dental work isn’t the only reason your dentist might request you to wear a retainer.

Minor Defects

In a few cases, a small gap or only a slight crookedness of a tooth or two may not require the use of braces. In these cases, the dentist will design a retainer that can help gently ease the tooth or teeth back into their proper position over time. The defect may be too slight to require braces, but any abnormalities of the teeth can make chewing difficult, resulting in digestion problems.

Speech Problems

Wearing a retainer requires getting used to speaking with something foreign in your mouth. You have to learn to speak slowly in order to properly form words. This makes a retainer useful for helping both children and adults who have problems with their speech. Being forced to speak slower and concentrate helps improve their speech.


Retainers can’t help with many causes of snoring but there are some that are caused by a misalignment of the jaw. In these cases, a retainer may help position the jaw properly to open up the airway and make breathing easier, and snoring less.

Proper Care for Dental Retainers

Whatever reason requires you to wear a retainer, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions about proper care. Remember that your mouth is full of bacteria and your retainer must be cleaned regularly. It is also important to keep it from becoming bent or twisted as it was made to fit your mouth perfectly. Even though they may look alike, no two retainers are exactly the same.

For a complete evaluation of your teeth and whether or not you could benefit from the use of a retainer, contact us for an appointment. Our trained staff will evaluate your situation and proceed with the best course of action to get you the greatest smile possible.

woman at dentist

Am I A Candidate for Orthodontic Surgery?

There are several conditions for which orthodontic surgery may be your best option. Let’s explore what they are, and what you can expect if you decide to have an orthodontic surgery.

What Types of Orthodontic Surgeries Are There?

The proper alignment of your jaw is important for you to eat, speak, and breathe correctly. When there is a problem with the alignment of your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and its functions, it can cause chronic pain, tingling in your arms/legs, and a clicking or popping jaw. An orthodontic surgery realigns your jaw by moving it to improve the way it fits together.

Also, you may need a tooth removed to make room for the realignment of your teeth. Tooth extraction is a common orthodontic surgery.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Orthodontic Surgery?

You’re a good candidate for orthodontic surgery if:

  • Your teeth alignment can not be achieved by using braces or other dental appliances; if the problem is beyond these methods, orthodontic surgery may be your best option
  • Severe jaw misalignment
  • You have an open bite (upper and lower teeth do not meet when you bite down)
  • You have a malformed jaw (either too big or too small)

Recovery Process from Orthodontic Surgery

How long your recovery period will be after jaw surgery depends on the kind of surgery. Some people have lower jaw surgery only, and others only upper jaw surgery. Some individuals have both jaws operated on at the same time.

After the corrective jaw surgery procedure is done, your jaws will be wired or banded closed for a duration of time. This can be from two weeks to two months, depending on the extent of the operation.

Lower jaw surgery usually calls for the jaws to be immovable for about two weeks; upper or double jaw corrective surgery typically requires wiring/banding for approximately six to eight weeks, so that your bone can heal and become sufficiently sturdy for a soft diet.

During the time the jaws are wired/banded closed, you’ll be on a liquid diet that’s high in protein. Once the wiring or banding is removed, your jaw will be very tender and too fragile to chew regular food for about four to six weeks. A soft diet is needed during this time that consists of foods you don’t need to chew, such as rice, mashed potatoes, soups, and puddings. You can supplement your nutrition by liquifying vegetables and fruits.

Once you’re past the four to six week mark in your recovery after unwiring, you can gradually add foods that involve light chewing, such as cooked vegetables, boneless fish, and pasta.

If you chew and it hurts your jaw, stop. Pain means it’s too soon to be eating that certain food. You could need several months before you go back to your entire, regular diet, but you’ll get there. It’s important to have patience and heed the pain signals your body gives you to prevent any damage to your jaw while it’s healing.

Benefits of Orthodontic Surgery

People who undergo orthodontic surgery:

  • Have restored jaw function: improved chewing, speaking and breathing
  • Enjoy cosmetic improvements of a better facial appearance now that the jaw is properly aligned
  • No longer have to deal with pain/headaches from aching TMJ
  • Enjoy longer-lasting orthodontic results
  • Have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime

Dr. Doug Crosby is a leading provider of orthodontic surgery to the communities of Dallas and Richardson, Texas. He offers exceptional orthodontic care, bringing the latest techniques and technology to a comfortable environment. Schedule your orthodontic consultation by calling 972-680-9882 or fill out this form.

Gum Cleaning

Signs of Gum Disease

Brushing helps keep your teeth healthy, but don’t forget about your gums. When you don’t floss or go for routine cleanings, you can end up developing gum disease. While this disease starts out mild, it can become a serious problem that requires extensive treatment to lower the risk of complications.

Causes of Gum Disease

You can develop gum disease when bacteria on your teeth forms plaque and tartar. The bacteria from plaque and tartar can invade your gum tissue, causing inflammation and damage. Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, a mild inflammation of the gums. When you do not treat gingivitis, it can become periodontal disease, which occurs when bacteria gets below the gumline and attacks the bone in your jaw. This causes the bone to gradually deteriorate, which can cause serious dental problems and other health problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

It can be hard to tell that you have gum disease in the early stages, since it usually does not cause significant discomfort. You might notice some signs and symptoms of this disease, such as:

  • Bleeding gums, especially after brushing or flossing
  • Gums that have a reddish appearance or are swollen
  • Gums that feel tender
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that have become loose in their socket
  • Changes in the way your teeth line up when you bite down
  • Discomfort when you chew foods
  • Teeth that have a high amount of sensitivity to hot & cold temperatures

If you have any signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should seek dental care as soon as you can. Taking care of gum inflammation early helps keep it from turning into periodontal disease.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Gum disease requires professional treatment to prevent complications. When you leave gum disease untreated, it can end up increasing your risk of heart problems, infections in other parts of your body and other serious health issues. Gingivitis can usually be treated with a dental cleaning and regular flossing and brushing at home. You might also benefit from using mouthwash, toothpaste and other products that help ease gum inflammation.

When you have periodontal disease, you’ll need to undergo professional dental care. This involves scaling and root planing to get rid of plaque and tartar. If you still have gum disease, you might need to see a periodontist for more advanced treatment, such as undergoing surgery to lower your risk of tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

Flossing at least twice a day helps prevent you from getting gum disease by removing food particles before they attract bacteria. You can also reduce your risk of gum disease by having routine dental cleanings done twice a year. Keep in mind that if you wear braces or another orthodontic device, it can be harder to keep your gums clean and in good condition. This makes routine orthodontic and dental appointments even more important.

If you wear an orthodontic device and have gum problems, please contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics to make an appointment. We can check your gums and help you manage gum problems before they become worse.

Braces vs. Retainers

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

What are Braces?

Dental braces are orthodontic devices, generally made from thin, strong wires, used to gently realign teeth. A wide variety of tooth misalignment problems can be gradually corrected by braces – particularly, crooked or crowded teeth.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of clear plastic spacers also used to fix a range of issues with tooth alignment. These spacers should be worn a minimum of about 23 hours every day, but they can be removed periodically for eating, cleaning, or sports.

Benefits of Each


  • Braces can correct the widest variety of issues and are suitable for patients of almost any age
  • They are relatively easy to care for and the underlying science behind them is well understood, so virtually all patients are ultimately successful with braces
  • Braces are relatively inexpensive and suitable for many budgets
  • Although they are not as subtle as Invisalign, many of today’s braces can be made from materials that blend in with the teeth for a more pleasing appearance
  • They are especially good for younger patients, who might find it more difficult to care for Invisalign spacers or to keep them in the mouth for the appropriate length of time.


  • Not quite as versatile as traditional braces, but tend to work faster
  • They can be removed any time the patient desires which can be a good when engaging in activities like contact sports, eating, or other hobbies.
  • They are undetectable in day to day situations
  • Requires fewer follow-up appointments than braces

Why One Might Be Better Than the Other


Braces tend to be inexpensive, are somewhat more versatile than Invisalign, and great for patients of all ages. Very rarely, people with certain known allergies to plastics may experience mild inflammation or other discomfort with Invisalign. In these cases, braces are the best course of treatment for long-term orthodontic health.


Invisalign is ideal for those who want superior aesthetic value from their orthodontic solution, such as performers or speakers. It is also great for athletes, particularly in fast-paced sports where occasional contact with the head may be unavoidable. It is very convenient, requiring no lifestyle changes and very little extra time spent on dental hygiene.

Who Makes a Good Candidate?

Invisalign clear braces may be right for patients aged 12 and up once permanent teeth have grown in. Patients must complete any pending dental treatment before they can start using Invisalign. People of any age with significant dental decay may be unable to use Invisalign.

Conventional braces can usually be placed starting at age 10. Because of the differences in how metallic braces work versus Invisalign, these are most effective if they are placed while the mouth and head are still growing – doing so can reduce the total time that treatment requires.

Adults of any age whose teeth are in otherwise healthy condition can also pursue braces or Invisalign spacers. When used correctly, either of these treatments will continue to produce desirable results, although the course of treatment may be somewhat longer.

Dr. Doug Crosby is a leading provider of both standard braces and Invisalign to the communities of Dallas and Richardson. He offers exceptional orthodontic care, bringing the latest techniques and technology to a comfortable environment. Contact us today to learn more.

Boy at Dentist

Should I Visit An Orthodontist Or A Dentist?

When your children have dental problems, such as tooth decay, you know that they should see a dentist. However, when they have problems that affect the way their teeth are lined up, you should be making an appointment for them to see an orthodontist instead.

Similarities Between Dentists and Orthodontists

Dentists and orthodontists both provide services that help patients maintain a healthy mouth and smile, but they do so in different ways. Orthodontists are all dentists and sometimes offer dentistry services, such as teeth cleanings or treatment for tooth decay, in addition to orthodontic care. However – not all dentists are orthodontists.

Differences Between Dentists and Orthodontists

Orthodontists and dentists have a similar education when it comes to dental care. Orthodontists also take classes in orthodontic care, which involves learning about problems with tooth alignment and how to provide treatment to correct these issues. Orthodontic care involves helping patients with problems such as teeth that are misaligned, teeth that are crowded, underbites and overbites. They can fit patients with braces, aligners or other orthodontic devices in order to correct problems with their bite or tooth alignment.

Reasons to Seek Orthodontic Care

When your children have teeth that don’t line up properly or other problems with their jaw, orthodontic care is designed to correct these issues. Bringing your children to a dentist for care won’t ensure that they receive the services they need to straighten teeth, correct misalignments or correct jaw problems.

An orthodontist has the training, education and equipment needed to provide your children with the right care. Keep in mind that having tooth misalignment or a bite problem can affect your children’s lives in different ways. They might have difficulty speaking clearly, or they might feel self-conscious about their appearance. Orthodontists can evaluate their teeth and jaw to check for signs of problems and provide the necessary treatment.

Orthodontic Treatment

There are different kinds of orthodontic treatments available to correct alignment or jaw problems. Some of these include braces, palatal expanders, separators, retainers and Invisalign. In some cases, orthodontic surgery is recommended to correct severe problems that orthodontic devices cannot help with. Orthodontists also provide treatment for problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), such as mouth-guards that are worn at night to prevent tooth grinding.

Keep in mind that adults sometimes need orthodontic care. If you are experiencing problems with your jaw or with tooth alignment, it’s important to see an orthodontist for proper care.

If your children need orthodontic care, please contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics to make an appointment. Dr. Crosby can provide your children with orthodontic care to improve their smile