Payment Options for Your Family’s Orthodontic Treatments

An Affordable Fix: Payment Options for Your Family’s Orthodontic Treatments

As far as I know, everybody wants a beautiful smile. Why, then, do some people avoid the orthodontic treatment that could give them the smile of their dreams?

Money. Most of the time, this is the answer. The truth is, braces and other types of orthodontic treatment are not cheap. Treatment with Invisalign or traditional metal braces costs an average of $5,000, plus or minus a few thousand depending on the patient’s needs.

But we have never wanted orthodontic treatment to be out of reach for the people who want it. That’s why we have several payment options available at our practice locations in and around Charlotte. We work with people to make sure they can find a solution to fit their budget, so they can get the care they want and need.

Using Insurance

We are in-network with several insurance companies, meaning we can save families who have the right kind of insurance a lot of money off the cost of treatment. Note that many dental insurance plans don’t cover orthodontic treatment of any kind, while others require a waiting period. Check your insurance plan to see what’s covered. Our treatment coordinators will also check before beginning treatment.

Paying Over Time with 0% Interest

While insurance is a great option if you have it, many people don’t have it and must pay the cost of their orthodontic treatment out of their own pocket. For these self-pay patients, we offer 0% financing, handled in-house, over the course of treatment. Our self-pay patients typically make payments throughout the course of treatment. The amount of each payment varies depending on the down payment, but for many patients it’s less than a cell phone bill.

Discount Up Front

Another payment option we offer to self-pay patients is a discount for paying in full on the day the orthodontic treatment begins, that is, the day braces are put on.

Making It Work

You can see from the options above that we’re serious about wanting to help our patients get the orthodontic treatment they need in a way that’s affordable for them and fits their family budget. Some other orthodontic practices offer financing with a low interest rate, which is great, but we think that 0% interest is even better. (So do our patients!)

We also make sure that there are no hidden fees or annoying extras that sneak onto your bill. The cost of treatment you will pay includes fees for treatment, office visits during treatment, and check-up appointments at three and six months after the braces come off.

For patients who have any questions during or before beginning treatment, our treatment coordinators are here to help. They help our patients make sense of the finances and payment options available.

What’s Your Smile Worth to You?

When faced with the cost of orthodontic treatment, it’s understandable that some people hesitate. But we tell our patients to think not of the price they’re paying but of the value they’re getting. Having a beautiful, healthy smile, one that makes you feel good about yourself and gives you the confidence to smile at the world, is truly something you can’t put a dollar amount on. If you’ve been considering braces but have hesitated getting them because of the money, we encourage you to come visit us and see what your options are.

Send Your Kids Back to School Healthy and with a Beautiful Smile

For parents, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For children, not always so much. Back to school means an end to uninterrupted leisure time, but also, the return to daily peer interactions, and for some children, that’s a real stressor.

There are many reasons that children may dread returning to school and encountering their peers for whole days at a time. 

One reason may be the way they look. Children can be heartless about each other’s physical appearance. 

Another reason could be that they feel fatigued when they awake and can’t think straight from a poor night’s sleep. School can reveal and accentuate that problem. It can lead to low self-esteem and a host of other emotional problems, not to mention long-term physical consequences.

Both problems may be solved by visiting an orthodontist.

Children with overbites and underbites, with misaligned teeth and adult teeth popping sideways through their gums are all subject to taunting from their peers. Back-to-school time brings all that to the fore.

It’s a good idea to bring your children to the orthodontist just before they enter school. You might be surprised to know that children as young as seven may benefit from braces. 

At that time, we evaluate the child to determine if the teeth, jaws, and facial structures have any issues that need to be addressed while the child is developing. The goal of early intervention treatment is to ensure the foundation for straight teeth and a beautiful smile is developing correctly.

Rest assured, we take a conservative approach to treating young children, only addressing issues that take advantage of that early growth or those that can cause long-term problems if left untreated.

Sleep and Breathing Issues

Does your child appear to have an attention deficit? The symptoms of sleep apnea look very similar to ADHD, and can be addressed by an orthodontist. Sleep apnea and other obstructed breathing disorders are caused by a narrowing of the airway when sleeping. This causes momentary interruptions in sleep constantly throughout the night and prevents the deep, restful sleep all humans need.

An unstable bite or narrow jaw may be signs that breathing is obstructed. X-rays help us determine what to do next. That might involve simply monitoring the child, referral to an ENT doctor, or orthodontic treatment, including a palatal expander appliance.

Palatal expanders fit inside the roof of the mouth and widen the upper jaw and nasal cavity. The seam of the palate in younger children has yet to fuse, making it easier to expand. Once children reach the age of about 10, the seam hardens into bone.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to orthodontic issues. We treat each individual child with a plan that suits their particular needs. Back-to-school is a great time for parents to bring their children in to avoid long-term issues like misaligned teeth and breathing disorders.

You want your children to smile – a nice, straight, bright smile.

5 Strategies for Maintaining Your Family’s Oral Hygiene on Vacation

A family vacation doesn’t mean a vacation from taking care of your teeth. Whether you’re planning a quick visit to grandma this weekend or will be on the road all summer long, use these simple strategies to keep your family’s oral hygiene on track.

 

1) Bring What You Need 

Don’t count on getting the basics once you arrive at your destination – bring them with you! If space is at a premium, pack travel-size toothpaste, a small or foldable toothbrush, and a mini floss. Alternatively, each member of the family can bring their own toothbrush but share a larger size toothpaste and floss. A snap-on case for the toothbrush head saves space, too. Just be sure you don’t keep your brush in the case all the time, as it needs to dry out between uses to keep bacteria at bay.

If you wear a retainer, nightguard, headgear, elastic bands, or other appliance at home, do the same while you’re on vacation. If you wear braces and use a water flosser instead of string floss, bring that, too. Yes, the extra equipment takes up space, but remember that skipping it could mean a longer treatment time.   

 

2) Check Up on the Little Ones

The kids may be stars when it comes to brushing morning and night at home, but don’t assume they’ll keep up the habit when they’re out of their typical routine on vacation. It’s a good idea to watch them to ensure they’re really brushing and flossing like they’re supposed to.

 

3) Use Finger Tooth Wipes On the Go 

Sometimes it’s just not possible to brush your teeth while you’re out and about. In those situations, give your teeth a quick clean with a disposable tooth wipe that fits over the index finger. While it doesn’t replace a proper brushing session, it does the trick when you have no other options to remove some plaque and help freshen breath. They can typically be found in the oral hygiene aisle or can be purchased online.  

 

4) Chew Gum 

Chewing gum is a good way to get saliva flowing, which is good for your teeth. Saliva helps clear food particles away and also helps strengthen the enamel. That’s why it’s smart to keep enough gum for the whole family on you at all times while traveling. Just make sure it’s sugar-free!

 

5) Drink Water

Last but not least, drinking water is a simple way to boost oral hygiene, on vacation (and at home, too!). It helps with saliva production, washes away food particles, and prevents dry mouth, which is associated with more cavities and gum disease. If you’re in a place where the tap water quality is iffy, use bottled water instead. Green tea has also been shown to be good for teeth, but only drink it as a water substitute if you’ve brewed it yourself, as many commercially bottled varieties are full of sugar and acids, both of which are bad for teeth.  

As you can see, a little planning ahead goes a long way towards maintaining great oral health. It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy on vacation. Safe travels!

 

foods for oral health

Summer Smile: The Best Summer Foods for Your Oral Health

Summer is here! Who is excited for warm weather, long days, and all of the fun this season has to offer? We are! We are also excited to indulge in all of the tasty summer foods that are now available. Did you know there are certain foods that are better for your oral health? In our last blog post, we talked about some foods you should avoid while you are wearing braces. In this post, we want to share our favorite summer foods that are great for your teeth and overall oral health! We also share some tips to help you enjoy tasty summer treats while still protecting your braces.

Cheese: Did you know that dairy is important for your oral health? The calcium and protein can strengthen tooth enamel. On your next summer picnic, consider bringing some cheese and whole wheat crackers. You can make your picnic feel a little fancier and boost your oral health while you are at it!

Leafy greens: Full of vitamins and minerals, these veggies—like broccoli, lettuce, spinach, or kale—are great for any healthy diet! They are good for your oral health because they are high in calcium, which, like cheese, can strengthen your enamel. Enjoy some delicious summer salads—fresh, healthy, and good for your teeth!

Apples & carrots: We are lumping these two together because both healthy snacks are full of fiber. They are also crunchy, so when you eat them your mouth produces more saliva and decreases your risk for cavities. Apples and carrots are two snacks that are great for your oral health! But if you remember from our last blog post, we recommend cutting these foods into small pieces before eating to prevent damage to your braces.

Lean meats: For many families, summer means family barbecues! Grill up some lean meats that are rich in phosphorous, an important mineral that can protect your teeth and boost your oral health. If you have braces, make sure to cut your meat into bite-size pieces—especially if it is a little tough.

Smoothies: These sweet, cold treats can be especially tasty after an orthodontist appointment if your teeth are feeling a little bit sensitive. However, smoothies can be very sugary and too much sugar is obviously not good for your teeth. Make sure you are using whole fruit, maybe some calcium-rich milk or yogurt, and perhaps some spinach. Yum!

Water: Alright, maybe water isn’t exactly a food, but we wanted to include it because staying hydrated is important for your oral health, and it’s especially important during the summer! Stay away from sugary drinks like juice, soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks. If you need a little flavor, try infused water that is low in sugar and calories. Additionally, used crushed ice instead of cubes. And don’t chew it! That’s not good for your teeth, with or without braces.

This summer, improve your oral health with these delicious foods! We hope these tips can help. If you have more questions about your oral health, especially with braces, we’d love to chat! Visit our website today.

braces

Put Down the Candy: The Foods You Should Avoid While Wearing Braces

With new technology and orthodontic advancements, braces are getting to be more convenient and comfortable than ever! Braces won’t disrupt your life too much while you are getting the smile of your dreams. However, there are minor adjustments you might need to make to some eating habits to ensure your braces work effectively and efficiently!

When we place braces on a patient, we tell them we’re putting something on their teeth that is not naturally supposed to be there. The brackets are bonded to the teeth with a strong adhesive, but we want those braces to come off at some point in time. It’s a bit of a balancing act determining how well we bond the brackets to the teeth. We want the brackets to hold, but we also want them to release at the end of treatment.

It’s not solely up to the orthodontist to determine whether braces stay put, though. It also takes a commitment on behalf of the patient to get a successful outcome, and this is where some changes might come in.

You’ve probably heard it a million times before—avoid eating sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods when you have braces. This can include hard or sticky candy, crunchy raw veggies or popcorn. During your consultation treatment, we’ll provide an extensive list and go over it in detail with you. This conversation is an important one because your commitment to caring for your braces will help us achieve a successful outcome! Certain foods are more likely to damage your braces and potentially slow the process. Of course, we are always ready to fix any broken brackets as soon as possible, but your experience will be much more smooth if you make a few easy changes.

Some foods—like carrots, apples, or corn on the cob—can be cut into smaller pieces to prevent damage to the brackets. Other foods—like hard or sticky candies—should just be avoided until the brackets come off. It’s a small price to pay during the duration of your treatment.

In addition to being aware of what food you eat, it’s also important to remember that you need to take extra care cleaning your teeth when you have braces. The food you eat—even the soft, safe food—can still get trapped between the brackets and wires and your teeth. If it stays there for a long time, bacteria in your mouth can cause damage to your teeth. Have you ever seen white spots on someone’s teeth after braces were removed? That comes from leaving food on the teeth that the bacteria will feed on, not the actual bracket. Don’t let this happen to you! That’s why we recommend brushing and flossing after each meal.

Changes to your diet and oral health practices are small actions you can take to ensure that your path to the perfect smile runs smoothly. Got more questions? We’ve got all of the answers in our book.

If you’d like to chat further or book an appointment, visit our website today!

kids braces

3 Steps for Preparing Your Kids for Their Orthodontic Experience

Getting braces can be an exciting time for kids, but they can also experience feelings of uneasiness and anxiousness. These feelings can come if kids don’t have all the answers to their questions and don’t know what to expect. At Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we want the orthodontic experience to be pleasant and exciting. Here are our top tips to help parents prepare their kids for braces.

Step 1: Find the best orthodontist for your child

We recommend parents bring their children to an orthodontist for consultation around the ages of 7 to 11 years old. Our initial consultations are free! It may sound early, but if we see your child at this age we can make better plans for their orthodontic care as their mouths finish developing.

When you are looking for an orthodontist, some important considerations are what type of treatments they offer, their practice location, and their office hours. For example, we offer many different treatment options like traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign. We have three convenient office locations, and we do our best to ensure you’ll never have to miss work or school with our appointment times.Of course, you also want to work with an orthodontist who is experienced. All orthodontists are dentists, but orthodontists go beyond the initial training to specialize in orthodontics. At our practice, Dr. Jack Burrow, Dr. Sam Burrow, and Dr. Britney Welchel are all board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Combined we have decades of experience and have improved over 20,000 smiles!

Step 2: Tell your child what to expect

It can be helpful to tell your child what to expect with the orthodontic process. Here are some of the basics.

When you and your child come to our office for an appointment, you’ll be greeted by our friendly staff. During the consultation, our team will take photos and x-rays and one of our orthodontists will look at their teeth and bite. They will determine the best course of action and treatment options.

Once your child has braces, we’ll meet on a regular basis to continue perfecting their smile! Treatment lengths vary, and it’s something we’ll talk about during the consultation.

Braces should not affect your child’s life very much. For example, there are only a few foods we recommend avoiding. Additionally, there may be some discomfort initially as your child gets used to the brackets or aligners. But we have tips to help make that experience more pleasant.

Step 3: Ask the orthodontist all of your questions

As you are explaining the process to your child, you or your child could come up with questions you don’t have answers to. That’s ok! We have the answers and we wrote them in our new book, The Orthodontic Answer Book.

You are also welcome to call our team with your questions or bring them to your appointments. If your child has questions, they can ask us! We are working on their smile and want to neutralize any worries or concerns.

We hope that with these tips, your child can be excited about the orthodontic journey. Please reach out today if you have questions or would like to schedule your free consultation: https://www.charlotteorthodontists.com/

bite orthodontics

What Your Bite Says About the Orthodontic Treatment You Need

Often when people hear about orthodontic treatment, they first think of straight smiles. Of course, the aesthetic of your grin is essential. But orthodontic treatment can also be very important for your oral health. When orthodontists straighten your teeth, we can also improve your bite.

Orthodontists call a misaligned bite “malocclusion,” and we have different treatments based on the problem and its severity.

A misaligned bite, or “malocclusion” in orthodontist-speak, can cause a variety of problems. It can make it harder to chew and affect your speech, breathing, and even sleeping! If your bite is misaligned, you can also experience jaw pain which can radiate to your neck and head. In this case, you could be suffering from a condition called TMJ disorder. Since you use your jaw so much, this pain can become chronic. Finally, if your top and bottom teeth don’t line up, you can be at an increased risk of breaking a tooth!

But don’t worry, at Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we have different orthodontic treatment options based on the problem and its severity. Here are the top 2 types of malocclusion problems and what we do to fix them.

Overbite:

Overbites are the most common type of malocclusion, and they make up almost 70 percent of dental problems for kids. As the name suggests, an overbite occurs when the top teeth extend beyond the bottom teeth. Overbites can come from the early loss of teeth, prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use, or tongue thrusting. Ideally, we want to fix an overbite as soon as possible for the individual’s oral health. However, there is no age limit for this orthodontic treatment. We help lots of adults, too! Traditional braces are a great method to correct an overbite, but Invisalign can be used, as well. At Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we’ll use the best treatment for your case.

Underbite:

Underbites are less common, but plenty of our patients come in looking for a fix. Again, as the name suggests, an underbite occurs when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth. In mild cases, the rows of teeth almost touch. In more extreme cases, there may be a gap. With an underbite, the jaw may look different, so in addition to wanting the fix for oral health reasons, many patients want to improve the aesthetic as well. Underbites are usually present at birth and are not usually developed. We like to start orthodontic treatment to remedy underbites when our patients are still young. Treatments can range from orthodontic appliances to surgery when necessary. We will help you determine the treatment that will work the best for your situation.

Two other types of malocclusion include crossbites, where one or more upper teeth fit behind the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed rather than in front, and open bites, where the upper and lower teeth do not make physical contact when the mouth is closed. Orthodontic treatment can permanently fix these problems, too.

At Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics, we want you to get the smile of your dreams and also have the best bite. Visit us today to learn how you can get started on your path to your perfect smile!

The Burrow & Welchel Difference: How We Built an Unrivaled, Patient-First Orthodontic Practice

In our orthodontic practice, we want to help patients feel comfortable with treatment and achieve the smile of their dreams. Our process is what we like to call the “Burrow & Welchel Difference.” We built our patient-first orthodontic practice focusing on what makes us different. Most notably we have three board-certified orthodontists, we treat our patients like family, we use cutting edge technology, we focus on continuing education, and we give back to our community.

Our three board-certified orthodontists, Dr. Jack Burrow, Dr. Sam Burrow, and Dr. Britney Welchel, have unrivaled expertise and more than 50 years of combined experience. While our training and experience are key to good outcomes in our treatments, we also work together as a team on every case. Instead of a single practitioner providing one-on-one treatment, at our orthodontic practice, it’s three-on-one. We collaborate on a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.

Because we are a family practice, Burrow & Welchel patients are treated like family. You’ll have each doctor’s cell phone number in case a problem should arise. Having experienced our own orthodontic challenges, we go the extra mile to ensure patients look forward to each appointment. We also put an emphasis on the total health of your teeth. Straight teeth are great, but healthy teeth come first! Each treatment plan we create is customized to individual patient needs and wants, as well as their skeletal, dental, and soft-tissue makeup.

Our offices are modern, and we use state-of-the-art 3D technology for diagnosis and treatment. We use scanners instead of goopy impressions that create digital images, which we employ to make more accurate and effective treatment plans. For appliances, we use the best metal and ceramic brackets and wires on the market. We also offer Invisalign, 3M Clarity aligners, and Incognito lingual braces. Learn more about other options in a previous blog post.

We are big believers in continuing our education so we can best serve our patients. All our assistants go through the Burrow & Welchel Training Academy to learn all about our standards of care and protocols. As a team, we hold ourselves to higher standards and keep up-to-date on the latest practices and technology. Dr. Jack Burrow teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry; he and Dr. Sam Burrow IV have lectured at Harvard University and at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. Britney Welchel lectures at Baylor College of Dentistry. Learn more about what we do here.

Finally, we believe that what really makes our orthodontic practice difference is our dedication to our community. We believe our practice is about more than providing orthodontic care. We participate in community events each quarter and give back in some way every month. For instance, we participate in organized events like TeamSmile’s Carolina Panthers Day, where we provide free dental care to more than 250 children, or we might sponsor a patient of ours who is a cancer survivor and is now running in a 5K race.

Our orthodontic practice is proud of the “Burrow & Welchel Difference” and how it sets us apart as orthodontists. Want to learn more about us? Visit our practice website to book your free consultation or check out this link for information about our new book that can answer all your orthodontic questions. We hope to see you soon!

Smiling

5 Tips for Creating a New Smile this New Year

Your smile is the nicest thing you can wear. Why not resolve to improve your smile this year?

It’s about more than a smile, of course. Straighter teeth are easier to maintain and less prone to disease, which also leads to healthier gums and mouth, and even better breath. It also affects the function of the mouth, potentially making it easier to speak, chew, and swallow.

The positive effects of a new smile extend to self-esteem. Straighter, whiter teeth mean no more self-consciousness about your smile, or smiling with your mouth closed. And it improves your overall aesthetics, giving you more confidence. Research has shown that people with bright smiles are judged as better looking, more competent, and more honest.

If your smile doesn’t do this for you, perhaps it’s time for a new smile. Here are five tips for making your new smile a reality:

  1. See an orthodontist An orthodontist is a dentist who has continued their education another two to three years to learn about moving teeth, assessing bone structure and bite, and creating that perfect smile. Some dentists do provide orthodontic treatment, but it is not their specialty.                                                                                                   
  2. Make sure you get a customized treatment plan – No two patients are the same. Each patient has his or her own distinct needs and goals. Your skeletal, dental and soft-tissue composition will determine the ideal position of each tooth and its relationship with all other teeth for your overall facial aesthetics. Make sure you have an individualized treatment plan in place before any of the orthodontic work begins.                                                                                                                                                                     
  3. Ask about bracing devices – Bracing comes in many forms these days, from traditional wire braces to clear Invisalign and Clarity clear aligners that don’t involve wires. There are also ceramic braces that are nearly invisible, incognito lingual braces whose brackets are bonded to the back of the teeth, and braces in multiple styles and colors. Talk to your orthodontist about which is the best option for you.                                                                                                                                                                                      
  4. Choose what you need – A bright new smile might require nothing more than having your teeth whitened, or you might need your teeth straightened, your gums treated, your teeth contoured, or something else. Talk to your orthodontist about your particular needs and the extent of treatment each requires.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  5. Don’t go halfway – Just beware of an incomplete solution designed to save money, because you may not be enamored with the results. Limited treatment may be an option if you have one very specific need, but some situations require comprehensive treatment. For example, moving a few teeth to improve your smile can change the alignment of your bite and cause muscle irritation and joint issues. A good orthodontist would recommend comprehensive treatment in that case.

If you’re happy with your new smile you will use it more often. You will feel more confident and comfortable in social and business settings alike. A new smile for a new year can mean a whole new you, one who achieves their goals and enjoys life!

perfect smile

Give Yourself the Gift of the Perfect Smile

If the eyes are the windows to our soul is a smile the front door? A beautiful smile is like curb appeal, then: it is welcoming and inviting to all who pass by.

Beautiful smiles inspire poetry, but they also inspire science. Research has found that people with beautiful smiles are perceived as possessing a long series of positive attributes – they are more memorable, trustworthy, intelligent, employable, wealthy, successful and more. No wonder studies show that perfecting the smile can enhance self-esteem and improve a person’s social life.

People who seek orthodontic treatment report they feel younger afterward, all because they have straighter, whiter smiles.

And it’s not just aesthetic. There are practical advantages to a perfect smile. Straighter teeth are easier to keep clean, leading to better overall oral hygiene – healthier gums, better breath, and fewer infections. Because our bodies are a series of interconnected parts, better oral hygiene means better overall health. Healthy gums have been linked to lower risk of heart disease and other acute and chronic conditions.

In short, orthodontic care makes you look better, feel better and actually be better. You can see why we feel in our practice that we are doing much more than aligning teeth or even perfecting smiles.

We are truly changing people’s lives.

Have you considered orthodontic treatment but balked because of the time, commitment, or cost? We would like to suggest that you are thinking about it wrong.

Orthodontics isn’t a cost; it’s an investment – an investment in you.

If someone told you they could increase your job prospects and your self-esteem, strengthen your heart and improve your social life, how much would that be worth? It could pay for itself in the better job alone.

If you’re not willing to invest in a happier life, what is your money for?

Attaining a perfect smile is not just about finding the closest, or least expensive orthodontist. In our book, The Orthodontic Answer Book, we outline the major considerations for choosing a provider. Here are four things you should look for:

  1. An orthodontist, not just a dentist. Orthodontists are dentists who return to school for added training specifically in the complex biology involved in manipulating teeth.
  2. Board certification. These demonstrate that an orthodontist is increasing their skills and remaining current on the latest advances.
  3. Great communications skills. If you take a liking to your orthodontist immediately, trust your instincts and find another. Great orthodontists educate their patients with honesty and compassion, but without a lot of jargon.
  4. Friendly, trained staff. The staff at a doctors’ office is a reflection of the doctors around whom the practice revolves. When you see staff that is well-trained and patient-focused, it means the doctors care about great customer service.

A great orthodontist can give you a perfect smile. And that itself is something to smile about.