Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Are you packing for camp this month?  If you wear braces, don’t forget to pack everything you need to take care of your Spectacular Smile!   Here’s a list of what you need to bring:

  • Extra wax, floss and spare toothbrushes
  • Mouth guards – and remember to wear them for sports
  • Extra retainer cases – remember the most common way to lose a retainer is to put it into a napkin.  

If a wire or band breaks or becomes loose while you are away at camp, use the back of a spoon or the eraser on a pencil to gently press the wire back under the archwire.

You can use wax or a piece of wet cotton as a buffer between the wire and your mouth if the inside of your mouth feels irritated.

Remember not to eat foods that are hard to chew and follow the same instructions at camp that you do at home.

If you have any questions or concerns, just call the office 631-427-8444.  
And have a great summer!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why Mouth Guards Matter!

If you're a sports fan, you know that every now and then a player gets sidelined by a hit to the face. Lately, this has happened to a few basketball players who don't wear protective helmets but do face a tangle of arms and elbows. They leave the game and sit on the bench, surrounded by concerned coaches, and usually they are back in the game in a matter of minutes -- because they are wearing mouth guards!

Mouth guards are mouth savers! Student athletes wearing a high-quality custom fit mouthguard enjoy an extra layer of protection. The material in the mouth guard is designed to absorb the force of the blow to the face. This is Physics 101: if you get hit hard on the face, the force transfers from the thing you were hit with your face. Not fun!

When kids are wearing braces and they take a hit to the face, the force transfers to the braces and that can cause soft tissue damage, painful cuts and tears to the lip, gums and inside of the cheeks.  A mouth guard can minimize the damage.

Even kids who are not wearing braces need to wear a mouth guard. Having permanent teeth knocked out at a young age is life altering. If the tooth is not put back into the mouth in time, they'll have to deal with having false teeth for the rest of their lives. It's easily avoided—just by wearing a mouthguard.

At Gellerman Orthodontics, we think mouth guards are so important that we give them away for FREE - and these are not just the inexpensive mouth guards that you can pick up at the local sport store for a few dollars. These are high-tech materials that offer the protection possible!

If your student athlete doesn't have a good mouth guard, you are sending them out to play unprotected.

Call our office at 631-427-8444 for an appointment for a custom fit mouth guard. Coaches are encouraged to call and make appointments for the entire team. We're serious about mouth guards - we hope you are too!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why You Want to See an Orthodontist for Invisalign

Did you know that only orthodontists are trained in the art and science of the movement of teeth and other facial structures? There's a lot of science behind your braces!

An orthodontist devotes years to studying the science of how teeth move, but she also studies the artistic design of the smile. The size and shape of the teeth have to be in proportion to the size and shape of the mouth, which also has to be considered in relation to the size and shape of the face.

All of these aesthetic considerations, combined with the medical aspects of the mouth, jaw, teeth, upper hard palate and soft palate and airways, are all part of how an orthodontist looks at a patient's smile and considers what the best treatment will be to achieve the final goal of a Spectacular Smile.

That's why you want your orthodontic treatment to be provided by an orthodontist, and especially an orthodontist who is board certified. That means your treatment is being designed by a professional who has made a commitment to giving patients superior care. The proof is in your smile!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Graduates of All Kinds Love Invisalign

High school graduates and college graduates are both getting ready for the next stage of their lives, and Invisalign is on everyone's to-do list!

For high school graduates, Invisalign is an easy part of preparing for college, when they are going to meet a new group of peers and prepare for living on their own in a dorm setting. Invisalign is perfect for college students, as they can easily bring aligner trays with them and don't need to return to the orthodontist's office until they are home on break.

College graduates are also making a fresh start, this time heading out into the work world, where their appearance matters. There have been many studies on the impact that appearance and a person’s smile can have during a job interview.

For college students and graduates, the confidence that comes from knowing that your smile is at its best speaks volumes to those around you. In the classroom, in social settings and during interviews for internships and jobs, having a confident and Spectacular Smile can make the difference between being one of the crowd and standing out from other candidates.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why is that baby wearing braces, or why we offer early treatment

Today we’re used to seeing tweens, teens and adults of all ages wearing braces, but you may be surprised to see braces on the smile of a younger child. That’s because there are times when early treatment can solve orthodontic problems that may be harder to treat when the child is older.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an orthodontic check up by the time they are seven to evaluate their mouths and jaws and make sure that their teeth are coming in correctly. At this time, most children have at least eight permanent teeth – four molars and four incisors. Most children don’t need treatment at this time, and it’s a quick (and free) visit.
But for some kids, teeth that are growing in above the gum line, an already crowded jaw line or teeth that have not yet come in at all may point to the need for early treatment. Can you tell just by looking?  Sometimes these early problems are easy to spot, but oftentimes they are not.
We can tell if a child’s jaw may not be big enough to fit all of the permanent teeth that are coming in. There are several appliances that can widen the jaw when the child is younger, avoiding the need for teeth extraction later on. Make no mistake about it: orthodontists, parents and patients prefer to avoid having teeth extracted!
Early habits may have already created orthodontic problems. If not treated, things like protruding teeth from thumb or a misaligned bite could become worse as the child’s oral structures grow and change over time.
If a tooth or teeth have failed to come in, a spacer will ensure that when the teeth finally do come in, there’s plenty of room for them.
Because orthodontists study the movement and placement of teeth for many years to master their specialty, they are able to see precisely what is happening in the mouth and determine if early treatment is necessary. Most kids are fine, but wouldn’t you want your child to get the right treatment, at the right time?
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, call our office at 631-427-8444 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Why we don’t want to extract your teeth before treatment

One question parents often ask when their children begin their journey to a spectacular smile is whether it will be necessary to extract teeth. Our goal is to minimize the need to extract teeth, but it is worthwhile to understand the role of extraction in orthodontic treatment.

The orthodontist is trained to look at the patient’s entire face and head, including the jaw, cheeks and chin. How do all of the parts of the face fit together? Are the proportions correct, both in terms of function and appearance? Just as every person is different, every person’s teeth, jaws and facial structures are unique. A careful examination by a skilled orthodontist will evaluate issues including crowding, tongue placement and the position of other facial structures.

Today, orthodontists are able to minimize teeth extraction because of the improvements to orthodontic technology.

For children under the age of 13, palate expansion, sometimes referred to as Rapid Palatal Expansion, is used to gain more space on the upper jaw and avoid having to extract teeth. The appliance gently widens the roof of the mouth, and treatment can take a few weeks or months.

The most common reason for extraction is known as “crowding.” Each person’s jaw has only so much space, and when there’s not enough room, teeth respond by moving out of alignment, overlapping or sticking out at awkward angles. Think of this like putting too much furniture into a small room: you can push furniture in, but no matter how strong the movers are, you won’t be able to open drawers if they are up against the bed! By removing teeth on a crowded jaw, the patient’s teeth have sufficient space to line up to create a straight and smooth surface.

If you have questions about whether or not your child’s teeth need to be extracted before orthodontic treatment can begin, call our office at 631-427-8444.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Does Your Child Have Sleep Apnea? Dr. Gellerman Can Help

Did you know that children suffer from sleep apnea in the same way that adults do? Some children who have problems concentrating or staying focused in school are actually having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea, when someone cannot breathe for a short period of time during sleep or snores heavily, is caused when certain structures in the mouth and throat block the airway necessary for regular breathing. Sometimes this happens because the muscles located in the back of the throat relax during sleep, and other times the position of the jaw itself pushes the soft tissue and muscles of the throat onto the airway.
There are ways to treat sleep apnea without the use of a breathing mask. 
Start with determining what is causing the sleep apnea. The use of a 3-D imaging study is very useful in examining patients to determine the cause of sleep apnea. We are able to tell what structures are blocking the airways, and this plays a key role in selecting the most effective treatment. The 3-D- imaging is also helpful to monitor the changes that occur over time, another means of evaluating the efficacy of the treatment.
A sleep study gives the ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) an opportunity to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea, and start investigating treatments. Non-surgical appliances can be used to improve symptoms of sleep apnea through expanding the upper jaw and/or re-positioning the lower jaw forward and allowing airways to expand. 
Treating children is very different than treating adults because oral structures are still growing and changing. In some cases, tonsils and adenoids may be inflamed, causing a sleep apnea condition. In the past, tonsils and adenoids were routinely removed, but today we know that they are an important part of the lymphatic system and are only removed if they become a problem.  
Concerned about your child? Call our office at 631-427-8444.