119 Massachusetts Ave. Lunenburg, MA 01462
Pond Road, Harvard, MA 01451

Dr. John Walker, a certified orthodontist in Harvard MA, is finding new and successful ways to help his patients receive the treatment that they need without breaking the bank. The team at Walker Orthodontics are experienced in helping their patients afford orthodontic treatment.

If you’re thinking about getting braces either for yourself or your child, be sure to carefully consider the cost. Today’s orthodontic treatment in Harvard MA certainly isn’t cheap. The current economic climate makes it hard on many families with a tight budget. However, there are many financial options to explore.

Payment Plans

Many orthodontists like Dr. Walker are able to make treatment with braces more affordable for their clients. This is done by spreading out the cost of treatment over a period of time, usually coinciding with the term of treatment to make the payments more affordable. Third-party financing through groups like Springstone Patient Financing or Care Credit are also available to assist patients in Harvard MA.

The Right Type of Braces

There are several orthodontic treatment options to explore, each with its own costs and benefits. Some methods work better than others for specific orthodontic issues. For example, braces work more efficiently as the individual brackets adhered to the teeth allow orthodontists to use a wider range of methods to move the teeth within the mouth. In contrast, clear aligner systems like Invisalign aren’t as effective in treating more severe malocclusions (the misalignment of teeth). Invisalign clear aligner trays have advantages over braces. For example, they aligners are practically invisible and removable.

Dental Insurance

Make sure that you check with your insurance provider before you start treatment. That way, you’re certain to be covered under your dental plan. It’s also possible to purchase supplemental orthodontic insurance if your current coverage isn’t right for you.

Initial Consultation

The best way to estimate the cost of a plan of orthodontic treatment is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr.Walker. Early intervention in orthodontics can ensure a more effective and permanent treatment outcome. Once a patient’s orthodontic needs have been evaluated, you can then discuss the treatment options available, payment plans, and insurance coverage.

If you’re a patient in Harvard MA in need of orthodontic treatment and are concerned about the costs associated with braces, consider a consultation with Dr. Walker and the professionals at Walker Orthodontics. Contact us at (978) 456-8902.


Dr. John Walker at Walker Orthodontics is an expert orthodontist. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, clear braces, or an orthodontist in Harvard, MA, 01451 zip code area, Littleton, MA, Ayer, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 456-8902.

Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are orthodontics experts in Groton MA. We can help explain to you why you should always maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces in Groton MA.

We’ve all been taught about the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth, typically in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to sleep. But the one thing that you should never forget to do is clean your teeth properly, especially if you wear braces. While wearing braces, whether you’re a teenager or an adult, maintaining good oral health care Walker Orthodontics helps ensure a successful treatment outcome.

Brushing and Flossing When Wearing Braces in Groton MA

With braces, food often gets caught in the brackets and wires, and then lingers on your teeth, creating plaque and tartar. These conditions can also cause serious and unwanted complications during your orthodontic treatment, such as:

  • Swollen gums
  • Cavities
  • Permanent stains on your teeth
  • Yellowed teeth
  • Bad breath

While wearing braces in Groton MA, not only is it important to brush your teeth multiple times a day but to brush them in the correct way. To get the best brushing results, make sure you brush your teeth and braces from every angle.

While brushing your braces on and around your top teeth, make sure to brush them with the toothbrush angled downward.
When brushing your braces on and around your bottom teeth, make sure you brush them with the toothbrush angled upward.

This helps to ensure that each tooth and every part of the tooth–the front surfaces, the chewing surfaces, and the back surfaces of your teeth–get completely clean. These techniques will also improve your brushing skills and give you a better cleaning treatment each time you brush.

Dr. Walker stresses that cleaning your mouth, teeth, and braces effectively is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. If you don’t put the effort into your cleaning regimen while you are wearing braces, you may not get the outcome that you were hoping for: a clean, healthy, straight, white smile.

Flossing

Just brushing your teeth is not enough when you’re wearing braces. Flossing is a necessary (even if it’s a bit more awkward and difficult) and important step toward optimal oral health and the best orthodontic treatment outcome.

For people who wear braces, the Walker Orthodontics team recommends using a waxed floss. Some tools designed just for flossing are made with a stiff tip to reach food stuck under the wire of your braces. To be certain you are flossing effectively, remember these tips:

  • Thread the floss under the wire before passing the string between the teeth.
  • Rub the waxed floss up and down each surface of the tooth and don’t skip cleaning each and every gap.
  • Weave the floss through the individual gaps between the teeth (no blood should be seen. If you see blood, you may need to floss a little more gently).
  • Be sure to massage the gums with your toothbrush during brushing.
  • Finish things off with a good and thorough mouthwash rinse.

Both brushing and flossing your teeth properly are crucial steps in your orthodontic treatment with braces. You’ve already spent a lot of money on your braces to straighten your teeth and improve your smile. So why not maintain your oral health to ensure you get a healthy, beautiful smile?

If you’ve been searching for an orthodontist in Groton MA that can help you achieve a beautiful, glowing smile, then look no further than Dr. Walker! To make an appointment for a consultation at our office, call Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988.


Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are expert in braces. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, clear braces, or braces in Groton MA, 01450 zip code area, Shirley MA, Ayer MA, Fitchburg MA, Acton MA, Westminster MA, Littleton MA, Devens MA, Westford MA, Harvard MA, or Lunenburg MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988.

Dr. John Walker of Walker Orthodontics works every day with patients who live in or work near Harvard, MA looking to fix their crooked teeth (malocclusions) and other orthodontic issues. An orthodontist is a dentist that has received special education and training after graduating from dental school. They deal mainly with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of the malposition of teeth and jaws. Dr. Walker is an orthodontist in Harvard, MA who can better understand the benefits of orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth.

Orthodontist Harvard, MA

Malocclusion Treatments

A malocclusion refers to crooked or misaligned teeth and is a flaw in the relationship between the bottom and top dental arches. Some examples of malocclusions include crossbite, overbite, underbite, open bite, reverse bite, asymmetrical teeth, and impacted teeth.
Three orthodontic techniques doctors use to treat malocclusions

Fixed Appliances

Fixed appliances are used in cases of malocclusion where precision is key. Appliances that are regularly used are braces, fixed space maintainers, or specially made fixed appliances. Although patients usually can eat normally with these appliances, Dr. Walker advises patients in Harvard, MA to avoid some foods and drinks that may damage their appliance (candy, gum, soda).

Removable Appliances

Walker Orthodontics use, in some treatments, removable appliances like retainers, lip or cheek bumpers, splints, aligners, palatal expanders and headgear. Removable appliances can be taken out of the patient’s mouth at any time, unlike fixed appliances. However, they should only be taken out when cleaning, eating, or flossing. In addition, if the doctor recommends that they be removed for activities like sports or playing an instrument.

Orthognathic Surgery

Also referred to as “corrective jaw surgery,” orthognathic surgery is used to correct conditions of the face and jaw; problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. These conditions may be related to other issues like sleep apnea, malocclusions, jaw- or teeth-growth problems, or issues in the structure or function of the jaw. This surgical process involves realigning the bones of the jaw and then keeping them held in place with plates or screws.

Dr. Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics in Harvard, MA can answer any questions you might have about correcting your crooked teeth, brightening your smile, or for any orthodontic treatment you might be considering.


Dr. John Walker at Walker Orthodontics is an expert orthodontist. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, clear braces, or an orthodontist in Harvard, MA, 01451 zip code area, Littleton, MA, Ayer, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 456-8902.

Dr. John Walker and the professionals at Walker Orthodontics have the skill and experience to treat their younger patients who live in or near Shirley MA with Invisalign for their orthodontic treatment needs.

Opportunity

If a child has not yet lost all of their baby teeth, treatment with Invisalign clear aligners is not needed.  Only when a child’s full set of adult teeth typically is in position by the ages of 12 or 13. For those ages and older, treatment with Dr. Walker with Invisalign can be a convenient and effective method of orthodontic treatment.

Responsibility

Parents and treatment providers must always consider the maturity and ability level of a child when prescribing treatment with Invisalign. The clear aligners are removable by the wearer for eating, brushing, flossing, and cleaning. That makes it easy to wear and maintain. On the other hand, it is also a responsibility for the child to keep track of the tray when it is not being worn. The professionals at Walker Orthodontics may be able to make replacement aligner trays, but they are expensive and the wait may delay the course of treatment.

Treatment

Invisalign clear aligner trays are virtually invisible to the casual observer. They fit snugly over the wearer’s teeth and are made of a thermoplastic material. They exert a gentle pressure to gradually and progressively move the teeth into a more natural position. A child being treated by Dr. Walker with Invisalign may experience less discomfort than with traditional braces. Children in Shirley MA can be active and social and not feel self-conscious that they are being treated for their orthodontic issues.

Support

Dr. Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics in Shirley MA are sensitive to the needs and lifestyles of all their active young patients. They understand the commitment required from a child toward their treatment. For example, they know that Invisalign clear aligners need to be worn 22 hours each day to be effective.

Outcomes

Results vary with each patient. Typically, treatment with the clear aligners provides approximately 43% improvement compared to treatment with traditional braces, which has the potential to show a 90-95% improvement. Also, Invisalign is not indicated in all cases of  malocclusions (e.g., crossbites). Depending on the treatment needs and goals of the patient, the clear aligners are a manageable and comfortable method of orthodontic treatment for children.

Dr. Walker knows that treatment may be a necessity for a child. Yet, it’s also an opportunity for them to learn responsibility and self-confidence while correcting their smiles. With that said, Invisalign may be the right treatment for your child. 


Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are experts in Invisalign. If you have any questions pertaining to braces, clear braces, Invisalign Teen, or Invisalign in Shirley MA, 01464 zip code area, Ayer MA, Groton MA, Fitchburg MA, Westminster MA, Littleton MA, Devens MA, Acton MA, Westford MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 456-8902.

Did you know that snoring and mouth breathing can kill you? Just a little occasional snore and part-time mouth breathing can destroy your life! Now, it is easy to understand breathing problems, easy to find the cause, and usually easy to fix. Dr. John Walker of Walker Orthodontics, an Advanced Airway Orthodontist, can assist with sleep disorder treatment. As a specialist whose team can find the problem area and prescribe the proper corrective treatment in just a few minutes, with the information shown by the 3D ICAT images. This will help with sleep disorder treatment, snoring treatment, and breathing disorder treatment.

How it all begins

First, consider the structure like plumbing. The pipe we breathe through begins at the tip of the nose and goes to the opening of the lung. It may be blocked, obstructed or it may be too narrow and small for air to pass through it. When this happens, there is a survival instinct to breathe through the mouth and the body adapts to it at expenses of our overall health.

So, what is so bad about mouth breathing?

A lot.

Nitric Oxide

To begin, cold, dry, and dirty air is brought to the lungs. This causes inflammation, which leads to a volume of defensive systems to start working. While preferably, air brought through the nose becomes moistened, warmed, and cleaned before entering the lung.

Most important and recently discovered, is the gas called Nitric Oxide (NO). It is created in the sinuses of the upper jaw. It enters the airway through an opening in the middle of the nose and then travels down to the lung. The function of NO is unique and critical to sustain life. It is the gatekeeper to our immune system. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and. More importantly, it is a vasodilator, which effects the heart rhythm, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Only when inhaling air through the nose, NO cleanses the air passing by the adenoids and tonsils, killing the bad bugs along the way. Then, it enters the lung for its key function. It enhances the ability of oxygen (O2) to enter the bloodstream and the carbon dioxide (CO2) to escape and be exhaled. None of these immune or O2/CO2 functions can take place efficiently through mouth breathing because the NO isn’t there.

Nose Breathing

Nose breathing is essential for the immune system to provide clean, warm, moist air. It also allows NO to the lung during the day, as well as during sleep. The mouth breathing at night; instead, prevents the proper sleep pattern and depth.
This is the story of the origin of so many health problems that develop from the lack of nose breathing and its importance.

Now WHY is an orthodontist telling you this? Because crowded, crooked and spaced teeth are often the most easily seen signs of a Breathing and Sleep Disorder along with facial and jaw imbalances.

Kids with this type of dental and facial characteristics usually have some other symptoms that are linked to breathing difficulties; such as:

  • Snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Night tremors
  • Hyperactivity during the day
  • Speech problems
  • Bed wetting
  • Overweight
  • Poor school/sports performance
  • ADHD behavior
  • Headaches
  • History of respiratory infection

Sleep disorder treatment

At this early stage, the treatment is very simple. It consists of eliminating the obstruction that is preventing the child from breathing through their nose. In addition, guiding the facial development with orthodontic appliances.

If the breathing problem is not solved during growth, there are other signs and symptoms that can develop. For example, did you know that flat, worn, chipped teeth are caused by clenching and grinding the jaws during poor restless sleep because the nose or throat are obstructed?

Well, to prevent suffocating when lying down during the night, the lower jaw moves from side to side and forward to open the obstructed airway in order to breathe, but the breathing occurs through the mouth. The brain knows this is a critical serious problem and it stays awake, but lets you be unconscious and in a light state of restless sleep. Sometimes, night guards are prescribed which can be very effective. Still, be aware that studies have shown that night guards that are not made by a sleep specialist can worsen apnea by more than 50%, even if the snoring disappears.

CPAP Mask

On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea or your sleep partner tells you that you stop breathing or gasp during your sleep, this is another life-threatening problem and must be corrected promptly. Your physician, maybe has, or will prescribed you to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask for sleep disorder treatment. This may be necessary to your survival. However, you should also look to find what and where the obstruction is.

Wouldn’t it be great and lifesaving to find the obstruction and fix it, to minimize the CPAP wear or even avoid its use? Studies have shown that 85% of the obstructions are in the nose. Those patients wearing the CPAP mask probably understand, the pressure is high, the strap is tight, and still they are unable to breathe well, and much less, sleep. Unknowingly they may well have a repairable obstruction.

The CPAP mask must be worn a minimum of four consecutive hours in order to have any beneficial effect on heart health and have a minimum of seven hours of quality sleep for REM sleep hormones to be produced and effective. If not, the insulin and leptin levels are imbalanced and the brain stores food.

And you wonder why you still gain weight and the diet doesn’t work!

Also, you awaken tired, remain so through the day, and your memory is becoming poor. Furthermore, you may fall asleep driving or in a conversation. Additionally, the risk for life-threatening conditions increases.

Life threatening conditions to sleep disorder

  • Arrhythmia
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Gastric Reflex (GERD)
  • Obesity
  • Daytime Fatigue
  • Work accidents (Pilots, drivers, machinery operators)

Help is available here and now at Walker Orthodontics at the offices in Lunenburg, MA and Harvard, MA. We encourage children’s examination as early as age 3-4 for sleep disorder treatment.


Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are expert orthodontics who can assist in sleep disorder treatment, snoring treatment, and breathing disorder treatment. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, clear braces, sleep disorder treatment, snoring treatment, and breathing disorder treatment in Harvard MA, Lunenburg MA, Fitchburg MA, Ayer MA, Groton MA, Shirley MA, Westminster MA, Littleton MA, Devens MA, Acton MA, Westford MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988 (Lunenburg) or (978) 456-8902 (Harvard).

The costs of orthodontic treatment with braces can differ depending on the orthodontist and the patient who lives in or works near Shirley MA. It depends on the amount of work which needs to be done, the length of the treatment, the insurance company, and the payment plan available. Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics treat their patients with a variety of approaches and methods. They can help you understand the expenses associated with braces near Shirley MA.

The Cost of Braces

The average cost of orthodontic treatment in 1980 was about $2,000; or about $5,700 in today’s dollars. The national average for braces is currently $3,000 to $7,000. Today, there are more options than ever for orthodontic treatment. Each option has different costs and benefits associated with them. These options vary in cost due to the system type selected, how difficult the application and debanding procedures will be, your orthodontist’s rate, and the cost of materials.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the least discreet option, but remain the most widely used method for orthodontic treatment. Dr. Walker says that even though metal braces have remained the primary treatment option for several years, many patients of Walker Orthodontics now choose newer, less visible alternatives to traditional braces.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are affixed to the back of the teeth and are completely hidden from sight. They may be uncomfortable for some due to the tongue constantly pushing or rubbing against the metal. If concealment is a patient’s priority, then lingual braces are by far the best option. These are usually the most expensive option with the national average price ranging from about $8,000 to $10,000. Know that your insurance provider may not cover this type of treatment.

Clear Aligners

Today, Invisalign is the preferred orthodontic treatment on the market. This is due to their low visibility and removability by the wearer. This allows for easy cleaning, brushing, flossing and eating. The cost of clear plastic tray aligners like Invisalign can average $4,000 to $7,500 nationally. However, they may be costly to replaced if lost. Furthermore, they will not work for serious dental problems such as malocclusions or crossbites.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to metal braces. However, their visibility is greatly reduced because they use either clear or tooth-colored brackets. Additionally, they can be a little more expensive than metal braces. The national average price tag range is between $4,000 to $8,000.

Insurance

Consult with your insurance company, as well as your orthodontist, when considering orthodontic treatment near Shirley MA. Many insurance companies won’t pay for treatment if the patient is over 18 years of age.

Dr. Walker says it’s possible to purchase additional orthodontic insurance if your health plan doesn’t cover braces. Make sure to ask about the percentage that they cover (a common figure is 50% with a $1,500 lifetime maximum per child). Know that if you change your insurance plan after the application of your braces, the insurance company may consider it to be a pre-existing condition. In which case, the patient will have to pay out of pocket.


Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are orthodontic experts. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, clear braces, or braces in Shirley MA, 01464 zip code area, Ayer MA, Groton MA, Fitchburg MA, Acton MA, Westminister MA, Littleton MA, Devens MA, Westford MA, Harvard MA, or Lunenburg MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker, contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 456-8902.

Dr. John Walker of Walker Orthodontics works every day with patients in Worcester County, MA who are looking to fix their crooked teeth (malocclusions) and other orthodontic issues. An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has undergone special training, similar to medical doctors that choose to specialize in fields such as neurology and endocrinology. Orthodontists also undergo extra years of university-based study, as well as gaining extensive experience in an orthodontics residency program.

What kind of problems do orthodontists treat?

Orthodontists help to correct patients’ dental malocclusions (an abnormality in the alignment of the upper and/or lower teeth). This includes under-bites, overbites, cross-bites, spaces between teeth, overcrowded teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Other problems with the function of the jaw should also be treated by an orthodontist.

Treatment Process

A typical consultation with the professional orthodontics practitioners at Walker Orthodontics may include:

  1. An analysis and diagnosis of each patient’s unique needs and outcome expectations.
  2. A report on the issues presented by the patient and a discussion with the doctor about treatment options.
  3. A treatment plan designed to correct the problems presented and to provide for the ongoing oral health of the patient.
  4. A strategy of treatment that is affordable, comfortable, and convenient to the patient while ensuring a maximal treatment outcome.
  5. A preliminary schedule to start treatment.

 

Malocclusion Treatments

A malocclusion refers to crooked or misaligned teeth. It is also a flaw in the relationship between the bottom and top dental arches. Some examples of malocclusions include crossbite, overbite, underbite, open bite, reverse bite, asymmetrical teeth, and impacted teeth. Three orthodontic techniques doctors use to treat malocclusions include:

 

  • Fixed Appliances: Fixed appliances are used in cases of malocclusion where precision is key.  Appliances that are regularly used are braces, fixed space maintainers, or specially made fixed appliances. Although patients usually can eat normally with these appliances, Dr. Walker advises patients in Worcester County, MA to avoid some foods and drinks that may damage their appliance (candy, gum, soda).

 

  • Removable Appliances: Walker Orthodontic use, in some treatments, removable appliances like retainers, lip or cheek bumpers, splints, aligners (like Invisalign), palatal expanders and headgear. Removable appliances can be taken out of the patient’s mouth at any time, unlike fixed appliances. However, they should only be taken out when cleaning, eating, flossing, or if the doctor recommends that they be removed for activities like sports or playing an instrument.

 

  • Orthognathic Surgery: Also referred to as “corrective jaw surgery,” orthognathic surgery is used to correct conditions of the face and jaw; problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. These conditions may be related to other issues like sleep apnea, malocclusions, jaw- or teeth-growth problems, or issues in the structure or function of the jaw. This surgical process involves realigning the bones of the jaw and then keeping them held in place with plates or screws.

The team at Walker Orthodontics are here to help you get the brightest, straightest, and healthiest teeth and mouth.


Dr. John Walker and the team at WAlker Orthodontics are experts in orthodontist. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Worcester County, MA,  Ayer, MA, Groton, MA, Fitchburg, MA, Shirley, MA, Westminister, MA, Littletone, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988

Dr. John Walker and the professionals at Walker Orthodontics know that Invisalign clear aligners in Fitchburg, MA are an effective and convenient alternative to traditional metal braces. They have the knowledge and experience to answer their patient’s questions about Invisalign, including if treatment with Invisalign is an option for them.

Invisalign clear aligners are indicated in the treatment of:

 

  • Gap Teeth: Gap teeth can occur because of abnormal growth in the jawbone or when existing teeth spread and move to fill the space where a tooth or teeth are missing. The clear aligners are an effective treatment for positioning gap teeth into a more functional and attractive position within the mouth.
  • Overbite: An overbite (or medically, an “overjet”) is when the upper row of teeth extend out an angle and lie in front of the lower row of teeth when the patient’s mouth is closed. An overbite can cause pain in the jaw or even gum disease. Treatment with Invisalign can correct the overbite and position the teeth more naturally.
  • Underbite: Underbites are the opposite of overbites. Underbites occur when the upper row of teeth bites behind the lower row of teeth. Usually, underbites are caused by an overgrown lower jaw or an underdeveloped upper jaw. Invisalign effectively corrects this misalignment.
  • Open Bite: Open bites occur when the upper row of teeth and the lower row of teeth do not meet in the middle of your smile. This can be caused by a misaligned or abnormal jaw or by thumb sucking. In most patients with an open bite, there is an impairment, and possible pain, with eating and speech. With Invisalign, there is often less pain during treatment compared to other orthodontic treatment options.
  • Overcrowded: When all of the teeth cannot fit into the mouth in correct position. While not typically painful, overcrowded teeth can lead to an accumulation of food, plaque, and tartar, which may lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
  • Crossbite: Crossbite occurs when both the upper and the lower rows of teeth are misaligned in relation to each other. Crossbite can cause abnormal wear on the teeth and lead to bone loss or gum disease.

Dr. John Walker and the team at WAlker Orthodontics are experts in Invisalign. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Ayer, MA, Groton, MA, Fitchburg, MA, Shirley, MA, Westminster, MA, Littleton, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, 01420 zip code area, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988.

One of the main concerns of many patients living near Westminister, MA is how to avoid having bad breath while wearing braces. Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics stresses the importance of how good oral hygiene practices are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. However, braces can make brushing more difficult because food particles can stick to the brackets, wires make it hard to floss in between the teeth, and plaque can build up on the surface of the teeth. Keeping your teeth healthy and clean during your course of orthodontic treatment will help them settle into their new positions faster and easier.

  1. Brushing Your Teeth. This is a major part of good oral hygiene and keeping bad breath at bay. To effectively clean your teeth, mouth, and braces, first rinse your mouth out with water to dislodge any food in and around the braces. Dr. Walker says that when you then start brushing, use a fluoride toothpaste and brush the gumline at a 45-degree angle. Then, angle the brush downwards and cover the tops of each bracket, and angle it up to brush the bottoms of the brackets. Be sure to brush every tooth at the gumline, as well as above and below the brackets, and the tops and backs of the teeth. This will ensure that you’ve reached the maximum area of your teeth’s surfaces and will remove any plaque or food remnants. Walker Orthodontics recommends that even if your child has been brushing on their own, they may need help with brushing until they’re comfortable with this new routine.
  2. Flossing Your Teeth. Another good oral hygiene habit is flossing your teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) avers that flossing is just as critical to good oral hygiene as brushing. Although the arch-wire running through your brackets makes this difficult, there are several methods that will help you. Dr. Walker says that one popular tool used for flossing is a floss pick. These are two-pronged and are small enough to fit under the wires to hold a section of floss between them. The opposite end has a pick that is useful to clean brackets or between teeth. Floss picks are available for both children and adults, and can be either reusable or single-use. Another tool commonly used is a floss threader; a thin piece of plastic with a loop at the end to hold the floss.
  3. Use a Fluoride Rinse. Another step that you can take, is to use a fluoride rinse that will clean out any remaining food particles and will also help to prevent bad breath. Swish the solution around in your mouth for thirty seconds and then spit it out into the sink. Try to refrain from eating for thirty minutes after rinsing just to make sure that your teeth remain clean.

Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are experts in braces. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Ayer, MA, Groton, MA, Fitchburg, MA, Shirley, MA, Westminister, MA, Littletone, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, 01423 zip code area, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988

Dr. John Walker of Walker Orthodontics knows that treating serious orthodontic issues with a retainer instead of braces or Invisalign clear aligners is ill advised for patients who live in or work near Westminister, MA. Braces or Invisalign work over a defined course of treatment to optimally re-adjust your teeth. As an orthodontist in Westminister, MA, Dr. Walker knows a retainer would have to be worn consistently to work at keeping teeth straight. While getting a retainer instead of braces may work in some situations, Dr. Walker does not recommend patients to substitute one orthodontic treatment for another.

Orthodontic treatment for patients with braces is a commitment of money, effort, and time. The reward of these commitments is a straight teeth, a more functional mouth and jaw, and a beautiful smile. Some patients may attempt ways to avoid the commitments that braces require and still get perfect teeth. One way people try to do this is by wearing only a retainer instead of braces to straighten their teeth.

When Is a Retainer Indicated Instead of Braces?

Retainers are a good substitute for braces when the issue is extremely minor. For instance, a retainer can be used effectively if the problem concerns only one or two teeth, if there is a slight gap between two teeth, or if one of the teeth is out of place. However, the retainer might have to be worn for a few years for the treatment to be permanent.

When Is a Retainer NOT Indicated Instead of Braces?

There are instances when a retainer should not be used as a substitute for traditional metal braces. For example, patients who have orthodontic issues involving more than one tooth such as overbites, under-bites, cross-bites, gaps between multiple teeth, or many crooked teeth). All of these orthodontic issues are treated by Dr. Walker using braces.

Why Are Braces More Effective Than a Retainer?

The material retainers are made of is not strong enough to shift and move the teeth. Orthodontic treatment like Invisalign clear aligners or traditional metal braces are better options. Retainers, as their name implies, are usually worn after treatment with either Invisalign or braces to retain the newly aligned position of the teeth. They are used to maintain straight teeth, not to make them straight.

Is Invisalign an Option for Me?

Traditional metal braces are not the only option for orthodontic patients living near Westminister, MA. Dr. Walker offers Invisalign clear aligners to his patients who want to avoid wearing metal brackets. Invisalign is clear and removable, just like a retainer. Invisalign offers the best of both approaches to orthodontic treatment with braces and retainers. It’s used by many patients who do not want the bulkiness of traditional braces, but need the permanent results that a retainer alone cannot deliver. After patients complete their course of treatment with Invisalign, they are often fitted with a clear retainer to keep their teeth intact.

Braces are only one option for patients in the surrounding area of Westminister, MA with severe orthodontic treatment needs. Invisalign clear aligners may be the perfect solution that will correct a variety of orthodontic issues while being more comfortable and discreet for the patient. Both effectively treat severe orthodontic issues such as overbites, under-bites, cross-bites, gaps between multiple teeth, or crooked teeth.


Dr. John Walker and the team at Walker Orthodontics are experts in braces and retainers. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Ayer, MA, Groton, MA, Fitchburg, MA, Shirley, MA, Westminister, MA, Littletone, MA, Devens, MA, Acton, MA, Westford, MA, 01473 zip code area, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Walker contact Walker Orthodontics at: (978) 345-7988