About our Office

Am I too old to straighten my teeth?

June 24th, 2016

Have you always wondered if you could straighten your teeth but realized that your age is stopping you from getting your teeth straightened? You may also have been recommended by your dentist to correct your bite but your answer has always been, “I am too old for that.” Not necessarily. Age is not a contraindication for orthodontic treatment. Bad bite can be corrected at any age. There is no such thing as “too old” for braces. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that one in five orthodontic patients is older than age 18.
If you have been living with bad bite your entire life, you know that crooked teeth, crowded smiles, or poorly aligned bites raise more than cosmetic concerns. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean, making tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Teeth that don’t come together properly when you close your jaws can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Poor tooth alignment can also make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds and can put excessive stress on the chewing muscles, causing facial pain. Although childhood is the ideal time to make changes in the positioning of the teeth, more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment and coming away with excellent results.
You will find that a lot has changed since you were a teenager in terms of the orthodontic appliances themselves. Clear braces can be used that are far less noticeable than the metal braces. Invisalign or invisible clear aligners are also appropriate in many cases. These newer appliances have contributed to an increase in adults seeking treatment, with most reporting that they are very happy with the results. So remember that when it comes to straightening teeth, there is no age cutoff.
A great-looking smile is a surefire way to boost self-confidence and studies have demonstrated that orthodontic treatment can even enhance an adult's career opportunities and social life. So there are many reasons to consider orthodontic treatment at any age. If a better smile is something you really want, schedule a complimentary consultation with us to discuss your treatment options. As the saying goes, you're only as old as you feel.

Should I wait for my child to lose all the baby teeth?

May 10th, 2016

This question is frequently asked from parents. The answer is a resounding NO.
We typically see patients as young as age 7. At this young age we analyze the facial growth specifically the growth of jaw bones. For example, is the lower jaw bone keeping up with the upper jaw bone in terms of growth? Sometimes, one jaw bone will grow faster than the other and early detection and treatment of this situation will lead to a better result than if treated later when all the adult teeth have grown in.
Typical orthodontic problems treated early include crowding, cross bites or narrow palates, open bites, and under bites. By correcting the problem at a growing age, we can prevent a patient from invasive jaw surgeries and extractions of teeth.
In some instances we see that the jawbones are growing in harmony, and the child is placed on a complimentary six month recall schedule until the appropriate time. This will give you peace of mind that you won’t miss that optimal window for fixing your bite.
In other words, early treatment allows for the correct amount of space in the mouth for the incoming adult teeth so that when they do come in, they have room to be in the proper position. This makes orthodontic treatment simpler and less complicated process since the upper and lower jawbones are correctly aligned.
There is no harm in seeing an orthodontist too early but there is a lot of harm in seeing one too late.
Do not wait until all your baby teeth have fallen out because you may have missed a very valuable window period of growth.

Why Do I Need To Wear Rubberbands?

February 10th, 2016

During your orthodontic treatment Dr. Chary-Reddy may have recommended you to wear rubber bands and you may have wondered what those little rubber bands do? The purpose of these rubber bands is to put forces on the teeth to move the upper and lower teeth until they fit well together. They help to adjust the bite of patients that have overbites, open bite, under bites and cross bites.
There are several different ways rubber bands can be worn. Dr. Chary-Reddy and her staff will tell you at your orthodontic appointment the type of rubber bands to wear. We also make you practice during your appointment to make sure that you are wearing the rubber bands correctly. Rubber bands are generally worn all of the time, even while sleeping. They are removed when brushing, flossing and eating. These rubber bands are placed and removed by you. Rubber bands will lose their elasticity and efficacy after 6 hours of wear; therefore you need to replace them 4 times a day.
Once you get used to placing the rubber bands, it will become very easy and you won’t even need a mirror. We highly encourage the following routine. Change them after you brush and floss your teeth following each main meal and once before you go to bed. If your rubber bands break or you lose them, replace them immediately. You always need to carry a spare pack with you at all times. If you run low on your rubber bands, let us know and we will give you more.
It is important that rubber bands are worn as directed by Dr. Chary-Reddy, if not, it could delay the progress of your treatment or you may have an inferior result. We want your orthodontic result to be exceptional and that is why wearing rubber bands is so important.

Can Orthodontics prevent sleep apnea?

December 31st, 2015

Can Orthodontics prevent sleep apnea?

Yes, Orthodontic treatment can prevent sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is caused by a number of factors. One of the main causes is the anatomy of the jaw structure of the individual. Narrow jaws and receded or underdeveloped jaws cause the tongue to be pushed back into the airway during sleep and this prevents normal breathing. When we are not getting adequate air and in order to compensate for the lack of air we open our mouth to breath. This makes the tongue to move and thus causing the snoring sound. Snoring can be seen in patients as young as three years old to mature adults. In growing children enlarged tonsils and adenoids can narrow the airways further exacerbating sleep apnea. A combination of enlarged tonsils and narrow jaws causes sleep apnea and if this is not corrected early it affects the health.

In adult patients, a person maybe overweight and have a lot of fatty tissue in their neck that when relaxed in sleep pushes on the throat because of gravity closing off the airway. These factors singly or in combination cause us to stop breathing from time to time. Many studies have shown that sleep apnea in adults can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or irregular heartbeat, diabetes, and obesity. All this is because when you stop breathing, the level of oxygen in the blood decreases to a point that the organs of your body have a hard time functioning.

Thus having orthodontic treatment to expand the arches and removing the obstructions such as tonsils and adenoids can prevent sleep apnea and improve overall health. Orthodontics is not just to get a pretty smile but it also gives health.

Happy Holidays

December 4th, 2015

Happy Holidays

The beginning of a new year is a time to not only reflect on the year that was, but also to set personal goals for the upcoming year. Most of us make New Year’s resolutions. Are you planning on making resolutions for the coming year? How are you planning to improve your health and happiness in 2016?

Our team at VK Orthodontics recommends that you make New Year’s resolutions to benefit your oral health! It is important that New Year’s resolutions are reasonable and attainable, and that they improve your overall quality of life. For example, did you know that flossing every day is the very best way to prevent periodontal disease or gum disease? Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages can also help prevent cavities. Did you know that straight teeth improve the health of gums? Did you know that early orthodontic treatment prevent unnecessary surgeries and other complex procedures? There are many small steps that you can take to prevent cavities, oral infections and bad breath. Be sure to give us a call if you need a few suggestions on ways to improve your oral health. Your oral health is more than just a beautiful smile.

We thank all our patients and families for a wonderful 2015. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season! Your friends at VK Orthodontics.

Ten things you may not know about VK Orthodontics

November 4th, 2015

Ten things you may not know about VK Orthodontics

1. Our youngest patient in orthodontic treatment is 7 years old and the oldest patient is 78 years old. Age is not a contraindication for orthodontic treatment.

2. We have highly experienced staff with collective experience of more than 100+ years.

3. Our motto is: Creating smiles, one patient at a time, through innovation, passion and excellence. We strive very hard to live up to the expectations of our patients.

4. New patient consults; retainer check appointments and recall appointments are complimentary.

5. Our newly built facility is a modern standalone building with plenty of parking and conveniently located close to highway 281.

6. We offer complimentary Gourmet Coffee brewed daily with gourmet cookies, juice and water.

7. Each patient enjoys comfortable treatment areas with direct television and family seating.

8. Dr. Chary-Reddy analyzes all cases and is actively involved with the treatment plan on every patient throughout their treatment.

9. All patients in Orthodontic treatment with VK Orthodontics are recommended to have cleanings done with their dentists every 3-4 months during their treatment. In some patients every 2 months could be recommended.

10. Dr. Chary-Reddy is a Board certified Orthodontist. This requires hundreds of additional hours of preparation to test judgment, skill and knowledge to demonstrate the highest quality of work. Only 1 in 3 orthodontists are board certified.

Happy Orthodontic Month

October 15th, 2015

Happy Orthodontic Month from VK Orthodontics!  Do you refrain from smiling because you are not 100% confident in your smile?  Consultations with Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy are always complimentary (210) 496-6262 contact our office to schedule your appointment today.

The history of orthodontics dates back to early times when discovering mummies in tombs. There was evidence of  teeth aligned with materials created from various animals’ skin, intestine, and  bone.

Today’s technology is far advanced beyond animal intestines and bone, the unique wires and brackets give comfort and flexibility for whatever lifestyle you may have.  Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy offers clear Radiance braces, traditional metal braces, and Invisalign to name a few options for you to choose from.  The end result is a beautiful smile that you are proud to show off.

Call our office today for a complimentary consultation (210) 496-6262.

What's Next?

September 22nd, 2015

What’s next?

I have completed my consultation and my family has decided that we are choosing Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy as our orthodontists, what’s next?  To begin our office will schedule a series of appointments the first for your separators, your expander or other orthodontic appliance to begin your orthodontic treatment journey.

Once that process is complete then the brackets and wires are placed.  Remember we do not administer shots into your gums for any reason here at VK Orthodontics.  There will be discomfort later in the day or evening, this is associated with the movement of the teeth with over the counter medication this can be eased.

Following all the rules the assistant and Dr. Reddy are providing you assist in the process of your orthodontic treatment and success in a timely manner.  Remember staying away from the sticky, hard and “not permitted” foods is a must otherwise broken wires and brackets will prolong the treatment.  The rules of elastics, are you wearing them?  Lastly, brushing and flossing after meals in conjunction with seeing your regular dentist for cleanings every 3 – 4 months helps ensure healthy teeth and gums throughout your orthodontic journey.

If you have any questions or would like set up a complimentary consultation appointment with Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy call our office today.  (210) 496-6262.

Why AO (American Orthodontics)?

September 15th, 2015

Why AO (American Orthodontics)?

You may ask why VK Orthodontics uses AO products for your orthodontic treatment.  American Orthodontics makes 95% of their products in the USA, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  They produce quality products that are durable and readily available.  Their innovative technology and advancement create products that assist the patients with their lifestyle needs.

What different products does AO offer?  They offer clear, metal and Damon brackets that Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy will offer for your orthodontic treatment.  Dr. Chary-Reddy only chooses the best quality from AO for our patients with outstanding reviews from across the USA.

AO is constantly educating the providers with the up to date technological advancements to ensure the best care for the patients.  What type of orthodontic treatment do you currently have?  Remember consultations are complimentary at VK Orthodontics call to schedule your consultation appointment today (210) 496-6262.

Happy Labor Day

September 8th, 2015

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day from VK Orthodontics, in the United States the day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September.  It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

In early celebrations of Labor Day the proposal for a parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” here after the day has become a celebration and holiday.

The holiday often marks the end of the traditional summer season (although summer doesn't officially end until September 21), as students normally return to school the following week, although school year starting days now vary.

Retailers take advantage of the holiday by advertising sales that are second only to the Christmas season’s Black Friday.  Ironically the initial start to Labor Day is contradicted by the retail sector by having their employees work on the day and longer hours.

How did you celebrate Labor Day?  Hope your holidays were relaxing and enjoyable.  Remember consultations are always complimentary call our office today (210) 496-6262.

Can my child still play sports with his/her braces or appliances?

September 1st, 2015

Can my child still play sports with his/her braces or appliances?

You may ask during your next appointment, “Can my child still play sports with his/her braces or appliances?” Yes they can participate with a little preparation and the right sources the sports can remain a major part of their life.

Take precaution before going onto the field, rink or where the sports are being played. Remember to bring your mouth guard and wax. This is will help with any discomfort and protect the brackets from being damaged. Don’t have a mouth guard; call our office to request one (210) 496-6262.

Always protect your teeth and other body parts and remember safety is key when you are participating in sports and activity. The most important part have fun in the sports you play.

Going back to school after my orthodontic appointment...

August 25th, 2015

Going back to school after my orthodontic appointment...

On the day of your orthodontic appointment your appliances are put in place, you then ask “can my child go back to school after he/she receives an appliance or braces?” Yes, there will be discomfort however a little Motrin or Tylenol will relieve this. For lunch on the first few days we recommend soft foods, packing a lunch is a great idea.

Great ideas for lunches are any salad ideas; tuna, chicken or egg on soft bread makes for an easy lunch. Include soft fruits; grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi and strawberries. Cut up everything it will give more ease on the first few days. After the discomfort ceases remember to cut up apples, carrots and any crunchy fruits and vegetables, it’s important to include these in your diet for healthy gums and teeth.

Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy gives all new patients a kit with everything your child will need for school. After meals it’s essential to brush the food away from the teeth to prevent any bacteria that could cause cavities. Avoid flossing it’s time consuming during the school day and can be done in the evening before bed.

If you have any concerns or questions contact our office (210) 496-6262.

Do I need to take care of cavities prior to orthodontic treatment?

August 18th, 2015

Do I need to take care of cavities prior to orthodontic treatment?

Some patients aren’t aware of cavities most of the time unseen to the eye, Dr. Reddy recommends having a cleaning prior to starting orthodontic treatment. Do I need to take care of cavities prior to starting my orthodontic treatment? The answer is simple yes, when the brackets are in place and you’ve begun your treatment the cavity will only progress and perhaps worsen during this time.

To ensure during treatment no cavities form brush 3 times a day and floss once at night to remove all bacteria on the teeth from food and drink. If you have any questions or need assistance on the technique to floss with the orthodontic hardware please contact our office (210) 496-6262.

How much discomfort will be expected?

August 11th, 2015

How much discomfort will be expected?

One of the most common questions heard is “How much discomfort will be expected during my orthodontic treatment?” There are no injections into the gum or teeth during your orthodontic treatment done in our office. The discomfort felt is the tightened wire that is placed between the brackets to pull the teeth into the correct position. For this common pain we recommend Motrin or Tylenol to ease the discomfort. During some visits the wires are upgraded to a thicker wire for the next phase in the treatment, during which the assistants and Dr. Reddy both tell you for the discomfort take Motrin or Tylenol.
How much discomfort will be expected during my orthodontic treatment? We often describe the orthodontic treatment as the “spa treatment” of dentistry it’s time to relax and prepare for the beautiful end result smile. Follow all instructions by Dr. Reddy and assistants your orthodontic treatment will be a smooth success.   Call if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule your complimentary consultation (210) 496-6262.

How often should I visit my general dentist during orthodontic treatment?

August 4th, 2015

How often should I visit my general dentist during orthodontic treatment?

When you are in orthodontic treatment you may ask Dr. Chary-Reddy and her staff how often you should visit your general dentist for dental cleanings? Dr. Chary-Reddy recommends dental cleanings every 3 to 4 months versus the every 6 month rule before treatment. In some adult patients, Dr. Chary-Reddy recommends dental cleanings every 2 months during the orthodontic treatment. In addition to dental cleanings at a dental office, taking good care of teeth at home is important. We strongly recommend brushing your teeth 3 times a day and flossing once a day. Flossing can be challenging with braces but it is extremely important to remove the food and bacteria between teeth. If patients are unable to floss between teeth we recommend using a Waterpik™ once a day to keep the gums healthy. The bacteria left over from meals and drinks can cause cavities and gum disease.

The day you have a cleaning appointment with your dentist, you can stop by our office to have the wires removed. This will give easy access to the hygienists and ensure thorough cleaning. However, you would need to return to our office for replacing the wires after the teeth have been cleaned. This is important to maintain the health of the gums and the teeth during your orthodontic treatment. Some patients may not have the time to come to our office to have the wires removed. In this situation, the hygienists can still clean your teeth thoroughly but it will take extra time for them to get to the difficult areas. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy while in orthodontic treatment will also not delay the treatment.

The goal at VK Orthodontics is to give every patient a healthy and beautiful smile. Cooperation from patients is extremely important in the final outcome of healthy and spectacular smiles. If you have any questions or would like to make a complimentary consultation appointment, call our office at (210) 496-6262.

Retainer Options

July 28th, 2015

Retainer Options

The next step after your orthodontic treatment, there are a few options. Remember whatever option you choose wear them as instructed, after the endurance of your orthodontic journey you want to maintain the beautiful smile you have accomplished.

VK Orthodontics offers 3 retainer options:

• A Hawley (a traditional option) the retainer must be worn as instructed and removed for meals and brushing.
• An Essix (clear retainer) the retainer must be worn as instructed and removed for meals and brushing.
• Fixed Retainer (bonded to the teeth) no special instructions but some hard foods can damage the orthodontic hardware.

The retainer option that best fits your lifestyle is the one you choose but remember maintaining the beautiful smile you have accomplished is the key so follow the instructions of Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy. Which retainer will you choose? If you lose your retainer(s), call our office for appointment for a new retainer (210) 496-6262.

National Junk Food Day

July 21st, 2015

Happy National Junk Food Day

National Junk Food day is celebrated July 21st annually. Though the day is not recognized as a legal national holiday by any means it is a day for Americans to “skip the diet” and feed the junk food cravings.
Junk food was first categorized in the 1960’s. Today the American consumes 25 lbs. of candy per year.

Do you know America's most popular candy bar? Snickers!

Did you know the best-selling potato chip brands? 1. Lay's, 2. Ruffles, and 3. Pringles!

Remember to brush and floss after having your “skip the diet day” in celebration of National Junk Food Day. What’s your favorite “junk food”?

Consultations are complimentary (210) 496-6262 call to schedule your appointment today!

Happy National Ice Cream Month

July 14th, 2015

National Ice Cream Month

National Ice Cream Month is celebrated in July each year in the USA. On May 17, 1984 the celebrations began by Joint resolutions 298, which were sponsored by Senator Walter Dee Huddleston. President Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984 with Presidential Proclamation 5219 signed it as a legal law. Ice manufacturers market on the law and publicize the month annually as a celebration.

Ice cream is a great cool treat after your orthodontic appointment to ease the discomfort of your shifting teeth. Which is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Happy 4th of July

June 30th, 2015

4th of July

Happy 4th of July from VK Orthodontics! The day is also referred to as Independence Day; it is a federal holiday celebrating the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Did you know in 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday? Americans celebrate the day with many different traditions. How will you celebrate? Instead of traditional slices of watermelon a fun summer treat slice the melon then use a star shaped cookie cutter to make star shaped watermelon bites. Enjoy the celebrations!

Tobacco use while in Orthodontic Treatment

June 23rd, 2015

Tobacco use while in Orthodontic Treatment

You may ask Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy is it okay for me to smoke or chew tobacco during my orthodontic treatment? Any engagement with tobacco products can affect your health and well-being as well as adversely prolong your orthodontic treatment.

How does Tobacco use while in orthodontic treatment prolong the treatment plan? Even with good oral hygiene periodontal disease can worsen during orthodontic treatment. For teeth extractions in some treatment plans tobacco will increase the healing time. Healthy teeth and gums promote an effective orthodontic journey with little delay, for a tobacco user the journey is lengthened. After treatment the tendency of relapsing is more common for a tobacco user due to the periodontal disease in some cases. Chewing tobacco is not an option either; the tobacco is packed in between the bracket and teeth causing damage to the gum tissues.

Overall, Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy does not recommend continued tobacco use during your orthodontic treatment journey.

Elastics

June 16th, 2015

Elastics

Today at your orthodontic appointment Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy explains the next step in your orthodontic journey, Elastics. You ask why Elastics?

Orthodontic treatment requires two things light continuous force and time for a successful smile. In some cases additional force is necessary and this why Dr. Chary-Reddy recommends Elastics. These must be worn as instructed by Dr. Chary-Reddy and removed for meals and brushing. Actively wearing the Elastics will decrease the amount of treatment time.

A few rules to remember when instructed to wear Elastics:

• Ensure you are wearing Elastics as recommended! Be sure to place them in the correct position where instructed.
• Always carry your Elastics with you if you are low call our office we are here to help you through your orthodontic journey. (210) 496-6262
• If a day is missed don’t double up just continue as the treatment has been instructed.
• Don’t forget to follow the instructions of the assistants and Dr. Chary-Reddy the Elastics will lose their stretch so change them as often as directed.

So you ask again why Elastics? Following the instructions of Dr. Chary-Reddy will have a successful orthodontic journey outcome.

Too Old For Braces?

June 9th, 2015

Too Old For Braces?

Adult patients will often ask am I too old for braces? The question is always answered absolutely not; VK Orthodontics has patients that range from age 7 to 80. With the same orthodontic force for children an adult with healthy teeth can achieve the same goal.

With innovative technology and advancement in materials many orthodontic appliances are hardly seen and are rarely noticeably for the socializing adult. Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy can recommend the best approach to your orthodontic treatment plan for your lifestyle.

So the question once again am I too old for braces? Call VK Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy today (210) 496-6262.

National Fruits & Vegetable Month

June 1st, 2015

The month of June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month, VK Orthodontics loves all fruits and vegetables and most are orthodontic friendly. The city of San Antonio is growing in the farmer market industry with so many locations all around the city to participate with local farmers that provide the freshest selection of produce. In addition there are many great programs in the community to participate in, for example, Bountiful Baskets is designed with a set amount per basket and the opportunity to support local farmers, visit their website for more information and a location near you. www.bountifulbasket.org

There are many great ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your orthodontic friendly lifestyle. Remember cutting apples, carrots and corn help with keeping your orthodontic hardware safe. Make smoothies with bananas, strawberries, pineapple and oranges to create a cold drink for those sore teeth after adjustments. Sautee zucchini, eggplant and squash for a healthy dinner with a side of fish or chicken.

Eating healthy while wearing orthodontic hardware helps with the health of your teeth and gums, by naturally providing the nutrients without the sugar from soda and junk food, just remember to be cautious how you are preparing and serving these wonderful fruits and vegetables.

What is your favorite dish or drink made with Fruit and Vegetables?

National Bike Month

May 21st, 2015

National Bike Month is celebrated in May, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. National Bike Month is a way to encourage more people to try bike riding; the month was established in 1956.

National Bike Month is to encourage more people to bike to work, school, exploring the community and daily errands. Bike riding is a great form of cardiovascular, safer for the environment and great for your overall health.

Remember from an orthodontic stand point to wear safety gear including mouth guards and helmets to protect your head and mouth from accidents. Drink plenty of water and ensure your clothing is safe for the short or long bike ride you endure.

Will you participate in National Bike Month? What type of bike do you own? Where are you commuting on this National Bike Month?

Cinco de Mayo

May 6th, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo meaning the Fifth of May in Spanish is held on May 5th. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes is often mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day which is on September 16th.

Americans began focusing on Cinco de Mayo in between the 50’s and 60’s, but it didn’t gain popularity till the 80’s when markets discovered how to capitalize on the celebratory nature of the day and began to promote it. Twenty one different states are reported to participate in celebrations of Cinco de Mayo, according to the 1998 study in the Journal of American Culture reported.

Mexican citizens feel proud for the victory against the French and the meaning behind Cinco de Mayo however, the day is not observed as a national holiday in Mexico. The public schools are closed nation-wide in Mexico on May 5th.

How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

What occurs at the first orthodontic consultation appointment?

April 21st, 2015

What occurs at the first orthodontic consultation appointment?

Every few weeks, John's friend Jacob goes to the orthodontist after school to have his braces checked. One day the dentist told John's mom that John should see an orthodontist, too. John was scared and asked his mom all the questions any kid would ask. What will occur at the first orthodontic consultation appointment?

When you make your first trip to the orthodontist, you'll visit an office that looks a lot like your dentist's office. You'll sit in a dental chair and the orthodontic assistant will take digital x-rays and digital pictures of your face and teeth. The X-rays and pictures show the orthodontist where the teeth are positioned and whether you have teeth that haven't come in yet.

The orthodontist will examine your teeth, mouth, and jaws. He or she may ask you to open wide or bite your teeth together and might ask questions about whether you have problems chewing or swallowing or whether your jaws ever click or pop when you open your mouth. The orthodontist may tell you and your parent that your teeth and jaws need alignment, and recommend that you begin orthodontic treatment.

John was now excited to find out what occurs at the first orthodontic consultation appointment! Consultations are always complimentary at VK Orthodontics, P.A. Call our office at (210) 496-6262 to schedule for your first appointment.

What foods should I avoid during braces?

April 14th, 2015

What foods should I avoid during braces?

When you wear orthodontic braces, certain foods should be avoided because they can damage the appliances in your mouth, so you ask what foods should I avoid during braces? For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

However patients having orthodontic treatment with Invisalign can continue to eat anything they want. This is because patients can take out the removable trays at mealtime, although it’s always a good idea to restrict sugary foods for better oral health.

Sticky Foods to Avoid: Gum, Licorice, Sugar Daddies, Toffee, Tootsie Rolls, Caramels

Hard Foods to Avoid: Ice, Nuts, Hard taco shells, French bread crust/rolls, Corn on the cob, Apples (unless cut into small pieces), Bagels, Chips, Jolly Ranchers, Pizza crust, Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Sugary Foods to avoid: Sodas, Cake, Ice Cream, Cookies, Pie, Candy

Avoiding foods you like may not be fun, but eating things that you're not supposed to eat can cause broken wires or brackets. Always ask yourself should I avoid this food while in braces? These can not only be painful, but can actually prolong treatment. In other words, break the rules and you could be stuck with your braces for even longer.

What are the potential benefits of Orthodontics?

March 31st, 2015

People often ask us "Why do I need braces?" or "What are the benefits that make the cost and time worthwhile?" The following are the main reasons why people seek orthodontic treatment, as documented in scientific studies and from our personal experiences.

1)    Improved Appearance: A great smile always gives a great first impression!

Our smiles are a big part of our identity and how we are perceived by our peers. Improving your smile is one of the most valuable investments you can make to improve your overall appearance and self image.

Mark Montano host of TLC's show says "We live in a very image conscious society and impressions are made within seconds. Straightening teeth makes a difference and can ultimately make or break your chances of getting certain opportunities."

2)    Better Oral Health– A healthy mouth for life

•   Orthodontically corrected teeth are less prone to chipping and wear
•   Well aligned teeth are easier to clean, and less likely to decay
•   Ideally positioned teeth lessen the chance of gingivitis, recession, and gum disease
•   A good bite results in less strain on jaw muscles/joints
•   Better chewing and food digestion
•   Ability to close spaces and avoid the need for bridges or implants

3)    Proper Oral Function

Since we depend on food to survive, jaw muscles and joints will often adapt to bad teeth positioning in order to maximize chewing effectiveness, even if it means putting those joints into a position that can cause damage over time. Thus, having teeth that are properly aligned can restore jaws to their proper position, offering benefits for such far-ranging symptoms as jaw popping, jaw and chewing pain and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

4)    Cost Benefits

Improvements in overall dental health (teeth and gums), frequently result in lower dental care costs, in total, over a lifetime.  In summary, few things can be purchased that can give such long-term benefits. Orthodontic treatment is discretionary, and as such competes with a new car, clothes, and many other things. We feel the benefits received both short-term and into the future, make orthodontics one of the best bargains your money can buy. Orthodontics is clearly worth the cost and time when considering what benefits are available, which can explain orthodontics’ increased popularity over the last few decades.

What is Orthodontics?

March 24th, 2015

What is Orthodontics?

In English dictionary the word orthodontics is defined as follows: or·tho·don·ticsˌôrTHəˈdän(t)iks/noun the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, including the use of braces. Orthodontics used to be called orthodontia - the word comes from the Greek orthos, meaning "straight, perfect or proper", and dontos, which means "teeth".

In much the same way as doctors choose to specialize in areas such as plastic surgery and cardiology, dentists can also choose to specialize. Orthodontics is a dental specialty which aims to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and dental irregularities, such as malocclusions (bad bites).

A specialist in this field is called an Orthodontist. Orthodontists are fully qualified dentists who embark on a further three years of university-based study and gain extensive clinical experience in an orthodontic residency program. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is the regulating body for this branch of dentistry. Only the top 1% of the Orthodontists that graduate from the residency program is awarded the board certified status by AAO. Selecting a board certified orthodontist for your family’s orthodontic treatment adds the assurance that treatment is being administered by the most qualified doctor. Many orthodontic practices can successfully treat patients of any age.

March E-Newsletter

March 3rd, 2015

Why Straighten Teeth?

Straight teeth help an individual to effectively bite, chew and speak. Straight teeth contribute to healthy teeth and gums. It contributes to self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image - important qualities at every age. A pleasing appearance is a vital component of self-confidence. A person's self-esteem often improves as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips and face into proportion. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success, as well as improve a person’s general attitude toward life.
Straight teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease and injury. Straight teeth collect less plaque, a colorless, sticky film composed of bacteria, food and saliva. Decay results when the bacteria in plaque feed on food we eat or drink to produce acids that can cause cavities. Plaque can also increase the risk for gum disease. When teeth are properly aligned less plaque collects it’s also easier to keep teeth clean. As for injuries to teeth, protruding upper teeth are more likely to be broken in an accident. When re-positioned and aligned, these teeth are at a decreased risk for fracture.

Untreated orthodontic problems worsen with time. They may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, destruction of the bone that holds teeth in place, and chewing difficulties. Orthodontic problems can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, misalignment of the jaw joints, sometimes leading to chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck. Treatment by an Orthodontist to correct a problem early may be less costly than the restorative dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.

What are some signs that braces may be needed?

• Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
•   Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
•   Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
•   The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
•   Crowded or overlapped teeth
•   The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
•   Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years of age
•   Difficulty chewing
•   Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
•   The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
•   Spaces between the teeth

St Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th around the world, in Ireland a public holiday celebrating past century’s religious movements with alcohol, wearing the four leaf clover and the color green. The color green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640’s. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn on St. Patrick ’s Day as earliest as the 1680’s. Special feasts are created during this celebratory time; corned beef and cabbage are among the Irish’s favorite dishes. What will you make for St Patrick’s Day festivities?

Easy Irish Soda Bread

•   4 cups bread flour
•   1 tbs baking powder
•   3/4 tsp baking soda
•   1 tsp salt
•   1 cup currants, raisins or dried cranberries
•   1/2-1 tbs caraway seeds (OPTIONAL)
•   2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease. Set aside.

Rinse whatever dried fruit you are using in a strainer under hot water. Place on paper towel to absorb excess water.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fit with dough hook and mix dry ingredients for about 1 minute.

Add the fruit and caraway seeds if using. With mixer running, add the buttermilk gradually--using only enough to form a soft dough (I had to use the whole 2 cups of buttermilk). Knead for 1 minute.

Turn out the dough on a well-floured surface and shape into 2 rounds and place on prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut an "x" about 1/4-inch deep on each loaf. Sprinkle with additional flour if desired.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 2 round loaves.

Parent’s Corner

These are events around San Antonio that might interest you for March…

•   Make your orthodontic appointment for a New Patient, adjustment or just swing by to see us during Spring Break we’ll have these fun days!

  • Monday wear your VK Orthodontics’ T-shirt
  • Tuesday come with your crazy hair so we won’t feel silly
  • Wednesday come in your best “Nerd Outfit” we’ll have our pocket protectors ready
  • Thursday is show us your crazy in your socks
  • Friday if you have appointment stay in your pajamas we’ll join you

•   Contemporary Art Month. This month long celebration of contemporary arts features more than 400 exhibitions and involves more than 50 venues, including galleries, museums, neighborhoods and studios.

•   Mar. 6-8: Remember the Alamo Weekend.  Visitors can witness reenactments, live firing of black powder rifles, muskets and cannon. See what life was like in 1836 during the 13-day siege of the Alamo.

•   Mar. 14-15: Murphy's St. Patrick's Day River Parade & Festival. A family friendly festival of music, food and fun! Floats release 110 pounds of environmentally friendly green dye into the San Antonio River, transforming it into "The River Shannon."

•   Mar. 20-21: H-E-B Big League Weekend. The Texas Rangers and the L.A. Dodgers battle it out for two games at the Alamodome.

•   Mar 23-29: Valero Texas Open. The VTO has been played in San Antonio since it began in 1922. It has been one of the top-three most charitable PGA tournaments on TOUR for the last several years.

Hall of Fame winners

•   Jeannie won our Starbucks drawing; remember to enter in our waiting area for a chance to be appreciated too! Look for a new contest in June for Parent’s Appreciation.
•   Isabella guessed how many chocolates were sold in the 2003?! Now that’s a lot of chocolate, remember to brush and floss after sweets. Keep smiling!

February E-Newsletter

February 3rd, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day

Did you know the history of the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day on February 14th? It began long ago in the High Middle Ages; Geoffrey Chaucer with traditional courtly love affairs. It evolved into a holiday in which lovers exchanged flowers, offering sweets and sending greeting cards (known as valentines). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers in order to ward off Saint Valentine's Malady. During the 2nd half of the 20th century the economy began commercializing the day for the economic impact on society. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? [Source: Wikipedia]

Have you heard of Propel?

In this issue we would like to introduce our patients to the PROPEL TECHNOLOGY. Is it possible to finish orthodontic treatment faster than what is conventionally considered normal? YES! Dr. Chary-Reddy works with Oral surgeons who perform the Propel to get the same results in a shorter period of time. This method accelerates treatment by adjusting the bone structure that supports the teeth.

Recent scientific advances have enhanced our understanding of healing and bone growth. The repair processes in bone are called the remodeling process. By performing minor perforations in the bone, the dense bone is softened, accelerating the remodeling process. It is this process of accelerated bone remodeling that sets the propel system apart from conventional orthodontics. The softened supporting bone permits the teeth to move into their new position more quickly. Conventional braces or Invisalign are still required to move the teeth along with the Propel procedure. In complex situations repeated Propel procedures are needed. The Propel technique provides the patient with a beautiful, long-lasting smile, in a short time possible.

If a patient has a special event like: wedding, vacation, prom, graduation, moving out of state, going to college out of town, family reunion or any other event coming up in their lives that would require that their treatment be completed sooner, there is a chance now that we can fulfill that request utilizing the Propel system.

Call for a Complimentary Consultation (210) 496-6262

Parent’s Corner

Fun facts about San Antonio in February

• Have you visited the San Antonio Rodeo in February? Many great concerts, carnival rides and the fair food! Visit www.sarodeo.com
• February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month…early treatment is essential in some cases call for a complimentary consultation (210) 496-6262.

Strawberries and Cream Poke Cake


Ingredients:

Cake:
1 (15.25 oz.) boxed white cake mix
1 cup boiling water
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry flavored Jell-o
1/2 cup cold water

Frosting:
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool-Whip non-dairy whipped topping
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:
1 pound strawberries, diced

Directions:

Make cake as directed on the back of the box for a 9×13″ pan.

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and “poke” the cake with a large fork (I space my pokes about 1/2″ apart and do it until the entire surface of the cake is covered).

Mix together the boiling water and Jell-o until the Jell-o is completely dissolved. Pour in the cold water and mix well then pour over the cake.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours.

Combine the Cool-Whip, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth (I have found that it’s easiest to use an electric mixer, but you don’t have to). Spread on top of cake.

Top with strawberries and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Hall of Fame Winners

• Starbucks drawing winner was for January Amanda we hope she’s enjoying a nice white chocolate mocha for Valentine’s Day!
• Emily guessed how many marbles were in the jar! Great job enjoy your Orange Leaf gift card for frozen yogurt.

January E-Newsletter

January 5th, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions…

Welcome to 2015 it’s the month of resolutions. What are your resolutions? Eat better, exercise more, laugh more, get a better job, or fix your smile. There are many different approaches to making 2015 the best year yet.

The history of New Year’s Day began long ago during the Gregorian calendar. The concept was later created by Iraq during 2000 BC. As the most celebrated day, many countries celebrate the day in array of customs. Both Eastern and Western Hemispheres participate in setting New Year’s Resolution Goals. A study in 2007 involving 3,000 people had shown 88% of goal setters for New Year’s Resolutions fail. Resolutions are easier to maintain when shared with a group or an accountability partner to ensure the success of those goals.

Complimentary Consultation (210) 496-6262

Why is Orthodontic Treatment important?

There are many factors that can be of importance for your orthodontic treatment plan. Your dental health is the number one priority of your orthodontist. For teeth that may be crooked, turned, have a gap it’s difficult to maintain a healthy smile with your daily maintenance. Orthodontic issues can also cause abnormal wear on teeth creating an uneven bite which can effect chewing, jaw alignment, speech difficulty and damage to the joints if not corrected with orthodontic treatment.

How young is too young for an orthodontic consultation? The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child be seen by an orthodontist by age 7. The dental problems that are developing can be detected and treated. Making an appointment with Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy for a complimentary consultation is an efficient way to approach early intervention.

It is never too late for orthodontic treatment. Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy’s patients have individualized solutions that are offered for each of their specific orthodontic needs.

There are many options for orthodontic treatment; here are a few Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy offers:

• Traditional
• Clear (Ceramic)
• Lingual
• Self-Ligating
• Invisalign®

Call Dr. Saritha Chary-Reddy today for a complimentary consultation for your future beautiful smile.

Parent’s Corner

Making New Year’s Resolutions are easy, sticking to them is difficult. Here are a few tips and tricks to find ways to abstain from dropping those creative resolutions you’ve made for yourself.

• Think long term but manageable.
• Create a plan for the now.
• Write it down and put it on the fridge, in a nice frame by the front door, hanging in the bathroom. It’s a constant reminder of your goals.
• Reward yourself when you accomplished a milestone. Perhaps you walked a mile every day this week, you drank water all week instead of soda, you saw your orthodontist for your new smile options. Rewards could be a trip to the spa, a movie ticket, a new t-shirt that reads Keep Calm and Wear Braces from VK Orthodontics. Whatever the reward is ensure you feel accomplished.
• Track your progress, important to know how you are doing and the accountability you have arranged is informed too. My Fitness Pal, Instagram, Snap Chat with friends, and of course our Facebook page to see your beautiful smile after your braces are removed.

We’ve added a new Pinterest board with great ideas for Fitness, Healthy Recipes and life style changes to create a healthier you.

Cauliflower Chowder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
• 4 slices bacon, diced
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
• Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
• Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
• Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
• Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
• Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

Hall of Fame Winners

• Marisa Ayala won our monthly Starbucks drawing! Hope she’s enjoying a peppermint mocha! Remember fill out a form in the waiting area to feel appreciated!
• How many marshmallows were in the jar? Toni Fasehun guessed correctly! They are enjoying their gift card.
• Caption this for Facebook contest our creative winner is Tanya Katsuda! They are enjoying their gift card!! Remember to like us on Facebook and keep an eye out for the new contests each month.

December E-Newsletter

December 1st, 2014

Holiday stress free tips…

We here at VK Orthodontics hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family. Included in this newsletter are stress free tips for your holiday season.

As we near the end of the year remember to use your Flex Spending Account funds as a down payment for a family member’s orthodontic treatment.

Oral care tips while wearing orthodontic appliances

Remember keeping your teeth healthy while having your braces on is essential for obtaining a beautiful healthy smile. Here are a few key points and tips to remember. Brush after each meal, here at VK Orthodontics you are given a kit when you get your braces bonded. Great for the locker, purse, briefcase, desk, etc. so you have the accessibility to keep the teeth healthy while away from home. There are many great ideas located on our Pinterest boards for you to discover along with helpful tips and tricks to making your orthodontic process go by smoothly. Remember during the holiday season stay away from nuts, popcorn, and any sticky or hard candies that can damage the brackets.

A perfect smile gets the job

Did you know the appearance of your teeth can be a factor in being chosen for a job? Researchers published an article in the October 2014 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics posing the question, “Would dental esthetics have an influence on finding a job?” Researchers compiled a group of 10 patients that needed orthodontic treatment. Half the group had pictures taken only before treatment and the other half were manipulated pictures to create ideal smiles. The photographs along with the qualifying factors for employment were sent to a 100 adults who were responsible for hiring and had a degree in business administration. Several important questions were posed to the group of adults comparing their appearance to their intelligence to be employed by them. The results were all the adults chose the ideal smile candidates as hirable rather than the non-treated patients. [American Dental Association article]

Hall of Fame Winners

• Amabel guessed the correct number of pumpkins in the jar! Great job! There were 642 pumpkins! She’s enjoying her gift card!
• Yvonne was our appreciated mom for the Starbucks gift card! Remember to fill out a form by the coffee in the waiting room.

Parents Corner

Holiday tips…

Buy in bulk… If you know you will be attending several social gatherings, save time by purchasing all of the hostess gifts you’ll need at once. Buy several poinsettias or bottles of maple syrup, honey and wine to gift to friends over the season.

Gift giving…Create a spreadsheet with names, ideas and the cost you’d like to spend, stick to the list! Create an odds and ends basket for small last minute gifts, lotions, hand sanitizers, etc.

Serve simple desserts… Bake and freeze apple or carrot cake. When you need an easy dessert, simply defrost and serve. See the simple creative recipe below.

Holiday Morning Delights…

Easy Holiday Morning Casserole

Serving Size: 6
Ingredients

2 tablespoons of melted butter or baking spray
2 cans (12.4 oz. each) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (icing reserved)
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped Pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup + 1 teaspoon

Instructions

• Heat oven to 375 degrees.
• Pour melted butter into a 3 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
• Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 6 pieces - place the chopped cinnamon rolls over the melted butter.
• In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon & vanilla until combined. Drizzle the mixture over the cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1/4 cup maple syrup.
• Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove covers from the icing; microwave for about 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Stir in 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Drizzle over the cinnamon roll casserole.

November E-Newsletter

November 3rd, 2014

Happy Veterans Day…

Americans celebrate Veterans day in many ways by honoring and supporting our United States military on November 11th. History states U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first dedicated November 11th as Armistice Day in 1919. Through the years the name dedicated to November 11th changed for each congress, president, voting party and public view. President Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 establishing the holiday. The holiday even changed dates in 1971 to the fourth Monday in October, but was moved back to the original date of November 11 in 1978. We support and honor our military families here in San Antonio, Texas and across the world at VK Orthodontics, P.A.

Happy Thanksgiving….

As far as scholars can trace back Thanksgiving celebrations began in 1621, beginning at Plymouth. Not until the late 1660’s did the New Englanders celebrate their first Thanksgiving. President George Washington was the first president of the United States of America in 1789 to declare November 26th as a day of thanksgiving and prayer with gratefulness in the people’s hearts. Franklin D Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress to change the date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the 3rd Thursday in November. His theory was earlier celebrations would bring a boost to the economy. Today, Americans have many different traditions and ideas on Thanksgiving. Some participate in being thankful for the entire month of the many gifts that are continually given to them, others create large feasts and bring families together around tables, others get the shopping list together and ready for the great Black Friday deals. VK Orthodontics, wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Don’t forget to brush and floss after eating the sweets and treats of the holiday season.

Parents Corner

Thanksgiving tips…Use this month guideline to prepare for the big feast.

  • One month before purchase the turkey according to the number of guests you intend on inviting.
  • Two weeks before make the cheesecakes and freeze. Prepare the pies and freeze also; prepare the turkey stuffing.
  • Within one week of the dinner, prepare cranberry sauce, defrost the turkey, and prepare other dishes. Thaw the piecrust and pies and refrigerate.
  • One day before make the pies, chop vegetables and prepare sweet potatoes.
  • Day of the dinner feast, roast the turkey, cut the salads, prepare the appetizers and little other things that need to be done. This will cut down on the stress of Thanksgiving dinner.

Crockpot Creamed Corn
2 bags of corn
8 oz. Cream cheese
4-6 tsps. Butter

• Layer corn and half of cream cheese & butter
• High setting for an hour
• Mix well and cook for another hour
• Turn to low setting for another hour and a half and stir every ½ hour

A great addition to any Thanksgiving feast.

Hall of Fame Winners from October

  • Amanda guessed how many goldfish were in the jar!!  Great Job!!
  • Gloria was our appreciated parent for the Starbucks gift card!!
  • Thank for liking us on Instagram!  We put the new followers into a drawing and drew Jillian.  Enjoy your Bahama Bucks gift certificate!!

Happy Orthodontic Month

October 1st, 2014

Our newsletters from October and so forth will be posted on our blog with interesting information pertaining to orthodontics, family life, holidays, etc. Each month will continue to have our “Parent’s Corner” with useful tips, recipes and information for our parents.

Did you know the month of October is National Orthodontic Month? The earliest appearance of orthodontic braces was discovered in between 400-300 BC. Archeologists believed to discover mummies with bands wrapped around the teeth with different animal fibers. Orthodontics was established in between 17-19th centuries, in 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard, who created modern orthodontics, published his book, “The Surgeon Dentist” on methods of straightening teeth.


The evolving of the orthodontic brace was seen well into the mid-19th century, with much assistance from several important dentists. Delabarre, Maynard and Tucker all contributed to the ongoing development of the orthodontic brace with the wire crib in 1819, the gum elastics in 1843 and the rubber band in 1850 from rubber tubing. Continuing into the 20th century, Edward Angle organized the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which later became American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in 1930s. [Wikipedia]


Today we are beyond using animal fibers for wires instead using the most innovated technology to enhance the development of the teeth alignment.

Parent’s Corner

Halloween candy tip for parents…Before the festivities of trick or treating set a limit for the children, have kids choose a select number of candy 3 for each year of their age. Cuts down on the sugar overload, be sure to brush and floss after eating the sugary candy. Remember orthodontic patients keep away from sticky & hard candy, popcorn and chewing gum.

Cooler month recipes…great for braces….

Cheeseburger Casserole
2 lbs. ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheese soup
1 bag of crinkle fries
Toppings: cut pickles, mustard, ketchup, onions


Brown ground beef and drain. Mix together beef, soups and place at bottom of Pyrex dish. Sprinkle fries on top and bake 60 minutes at 450 degrees. Let cool for 10 minutes and use the toppings. It’s great to have easy dishes for busy fall nights.

Hall of Fame Winner for September include…Our Parent Appreciation winner, Christyn Humphreys is enjoying her Starbucks gift card. For October don’t forget to snap a selfie wearing your VK Orthodontics t-shirt and send to us via E-mail, Facebook, or Instagram, you could win a gift card. Also, don't forget our Instagram #followus contest!

The Advantage of Invisalign Teen®

September 30th, 2014

Many teens want to improve their smile without the pain and embarrassment of having to wear metal braces. Just like metal braces, Invisalign works by gently moving teeth into position. Metal braces are worn continuously, however, and need to be adjusted by Dr. Chary-Reddy regularly in order to move the teeth into proper position.

Invisalign uses a series of clear trays to move teeth into position. When you are done with one tray, simply pop in the next! Invisalign Teen straightens teeth just as well as traditional metal braces, but has several advantages.

Invisible

You’ve probably figured out the most obvious advantage already: the aligners are nearly invisible. Invisalign works by using a series of clear aligners that should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. Invisalign trays are almost undetectable when you wear them, so you can smile with confidence — even while you are straightening your teeth.

Removable

One of the best things about Invisalign Teen is that the trays are removable. This means you can remove your tray to eat, brush, and floss your teeth, or even to play sports. While Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics require you to wear the trays for most of the day, having the ability to remove your straightening trays means you have practically none of the dietary restrictions that metal brace wearers have to observe.

Teens that play contact sports often experience difficulties with metal braces. Invisalign Teen allows the flexibility to wear a mouthguard, and no metal wires or brackets means less risk of cuts or other injuries while playing a game. Musicians also benefit from being able to remove their trays during rehearsals and performances. You can even remove your tray for your school photo or to snap a quick selfie!

Finally, because you can remove your aligners, you can easily keep your teeth clean through normal brushing and flossing. You can also clean your trays by brushing and rinsing them in warm water. Brushing and flossing with metal braces can be frustrating and time-consuming. Invisalign Teen treatment at VK Orthodontics helps you keep your smile white and shiny with very little change to your normal routine.

To learn more about Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

A Helpful Site on Orthodontics

September 23rd, 2014

As you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, our team at VK Orthodontics would like to point you to a helpful website. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have lots of important information about everything relating to braces, including myths and facts of orthodontics, tips for a better orthodontic experience, and cool webisodes about orthodontics.

Check out AAO today and feel free to contact us at our San Antonio TX office if you have any questions.

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics hope this information helps you!

What’s the advantage of Invisalign®?

September 16th, 2014

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team know it is natural for you to feel some concern when you need to wear any type of dental device to correct a problem with your teeth. Both braces and Invisalign can produce good results in giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. Both methods can straighten your teeth and alleviate such issues as crowding, spacing, cross bite, overbite, and underbite. Both methods of treatment have a similar cost.

You can take a cross-country road trip in a ten-year-old economy car or you can make the trip in a brand-new luxury sedan. Both will get you to your destination, but you will be far more comfortable traveling in the luxury sedan. Similarly, your journey to a great smile is much more comfortable and convenient with Invisalign as opposed to braces.

Comfort

Some of the discomfort you may experience with braces is greatly reduced with Invisalign. Because Invisalign is custom-fit to your mouth and made of plastic, you will feel less pain, irritation, and soreness. Unlike braces, there are no food restrictions; you can eat anything that is on your diet.

Brushing and flossing

Of course you will want to brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and dental decay. If you wear braces, these simple tasks can become quite a challenge. Invisalign aligners are very easy to remove and replace, so you can brush or floss like normal without having to work your way around any metallic framework covering your teeth.

Appearance

You do not have to be embarrassed to show your teeth when you are using the Invisalign system. Since the aligners are practically invisible, no one will even notice you are wearing them! Whether you are a teenager or an older adult, you can live your life normally.

If you want to learn more about Invisalign, or are wondering what your treatment options are at VK Orthodontics, feel free to give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

Orthodontics and Whole Body Health

September 9th, 2014

In recent years, many links have been established between orthodontic treatments and whole body health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers have observed that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease or experience difficulty controlling blood sugar than people without gum disease. While researchers continue to find associations between oral health and the overall health of the body, as of yet it hasn’t been determined whether gum disease is the sole cause of these health conditions. What can be determined, however, is that good oral health isn't just about maintaining a healthy smile; it has an impact on the health of your entire body.

The associations between gum disease and whole body health

The links between the health of your mouth and the health of your body are too many to ignore. Is it a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together? Researchers don’t think so, despite the lack of definitive proof.

Here are four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.

  • Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater incidence of clogged arteries.
  • The American Society of Microbiology has revealed that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
  • Loose teeth are often believed to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
  • Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.

Orthodontics and gum disease

So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment at VK Orthodontics have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than give you a nice-looking smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at ridding tiny particles between your teeth.

Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body. And that’s a chance Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics believe is worth taking. For more information about this topic, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office or ask Dr. Chary-Reddy during your next visit!

What was your favorite part of summer?

September 2nd, 2014

It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Happy Labor Day!

August 26th, 2014

Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful San Antonio TX community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.

About Labor Day

Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
  • Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
  • Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Thanks for being a valued patient of our orthodontics office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!

What is so different about Damon® Smile braces?

August 19th, 2014

Damon Smile braces, with their self-ligating technique, have made the orthodontic treatment process more comfortable and faster than ever before. Damon Smile braces require elastic ties to hold the wires in place, which helps in alleviating pressure while your teeth move into their desired position. Therefore, both treatment time and follow-up visits to VK Orthodontics are reduced.

Damon Smile braces often times do not require the extraction of healthy teeth or other techniques to make space in your mouth before treatment begins. Traditional braces often require metal or elastic ties to hold wires together, typically resulting in a feeling of pressure and discomfort among the teeth while they are moving into an ideal position.

Damon Smile uses a technology called self-ligation, a process that eliminates the need for the ties and lessens the feeling of tightness during your treatment with Dr. Chary-Reddy. Plus, Damon Smile braces use shape-memory wires that are able to move the teeth into position faster, ultimately cutting treatment time. Damon Smile braces also diminish the amount of food and debris that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning. Damon Smile braces are also available with clear brackets to lessen the visual impact and give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile during treatment.

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics can meet with you to discuss all aspects of treatment. With this innovative technique, you can take advantage of many of the same benefits of traditional braces only with greater comfort, less self-consciousness, and in less time.

Please give us a call at our San Antonio TX office for more information on Damon Smile, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy.

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer after Orthodontic Treatment

August 12th, 2014

It's the big day and your braces are finally coming off! Does that mean you are completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment here at VK Orthodontics, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team will recommend you wear a retainer, which must be worn routinely after treatment in order to hold your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. Most patients are required to wear their retainer every night at first, with many also being directed to wear them during the day. It's important to know there are different kinds of retainers, and today we thought we would explain the differences between them.

Hawley Retainers

The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.

Essix (Clear) Retainers

The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a mold. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner trays, Essix retainers have no metal or wires. They can also be used to produce minor tooth movements and can be helpful in prevention of tooth wear due to tooth grinding at night.

Bonded Retainers

Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics encourage our patients with bonded lingual retainers to be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself.

The retention phase of treatment begins when the patient’s braces are removed. Retainers are worn full time, typically for the first nine months, except while eating. Retainers should also be removed before brushing your teeth.

If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us at our convenient San Antonio TX office and we will be happy to answer any of your questions!

It's time to go back to school!

August 5th, 2014

Now that many of the schools in San Antonio TX are back in session, Dr. Chary-Reddy would like to remind all of our patients about the importance of scheduling appointments in advance. With school, clubs, sports, and family duties to consider, we know that it can be challenging to find time to visit VK Orthodontics this fall. In order to accommodate all of our patients’ busy schedules, it is important that you plan ahead for your appointments so that we are able to provide you with a convenient appointment time.

As always, please remember to give us advanced notice if you’re unable to make your regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your fall appointment.

We’ll see you soon and hope summer is winding down nicely for you and your family!

Invisalign® Q&A

July 29th, 2014

It’s estimated that up to four million people at any one time are wearing braces in the United States and Canada. But Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics know that braces have come a long way from the early days of orthodontics, so much so that these days, options are available that are not visible to onlookers. The most popular of these “invisible” braces is Invisalign. Here’s a list of FAQs regarding Invisalign:

Are they really invisible?

Yes, the clear liners are virtually invisible, so they enable patients to feel good about themselves and their appearance, while getting the orthodontic treatment they need.

Are there wires, rubber bands, and brackets with Invisalign?

Nope. Invisalign is truly an alternative to conventional braces. The treatment consists of clear liners that can easily be removed and cleaned throughout the day. There are no wires, so there’s less poking and mouth irritation compared to braces. There’s also no wire tightening at adjustment appointments, so patients don’t have to worry about a sore mouth in the days that follow in-office visits.

I’ve heard that if I get braces, I won’t be able to eat certain foods like popcorn and hard candy. Is this true with Invisalign too?

No. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions. You simply remove your aligners when you’re eating, and replace them after you’ve finished and brushed any leftover food particles away.

Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

While overall cost varies on a patient-by-patient basis and is based largely on the level of treatment, Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces, which makes this treatment option a truly affordable alternative.

How does brushing compare with conventional braces?

Brushing your teeth while wearing conventional braces takes some getting used to. Patients have to brush around the metal brackets and floss with a specialty tool to get into the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. By contrast, Invisalign can be removed at any time to permit regular brushing and flossing.

Every patient is different and Invisalign might not be the best course of orthodontic treatment for everyone, but it's an option that's gaining more and more popularity, and it's an orthodontic alternative that doesn't sacrifice comfort and convenience for results. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

Early Orthodontics

July 22nd, 2014

The average age of individuals who get braces is between nine and 14, although it is appropriate for younger children to visit VK Orthodontics for a consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy. While parents may be concerned about the efficacy of early orthodontics, research suggests that early intervention can prevent greater dental health problems later in life.

What types of conditions require early intervention?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 3.7 million children under the age of 17 receive orthodontic treatment each year. Early intervention may be appropriate for younger children with crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and other common issues. Early orthodontic treatment may be of use for several types of problems:

  • Class I malocclusion. This condition is very common. It features crooked teeth or those that protrude at abnormal angles. In general, early treatment for Class I malocclusion occurs in two phases, each two years long.
  • Class III malocclusion. Known as an underbite, in which the lower jaw is too big or the upper jaw too small, Class III malocclusion requires early intervention. Because treatment involves changing growth patterns, starting as early as age seven is a smart choice for this dental problem.
  • Crossbite. Crossbite occurs when the upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned. An orthodontic device called a palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing teeth to align properly. Research suggests that early treatment may be beneficial in crossbite cases, especially when the jaw must shift laterally to correct the problem.
  • Tooth extraction. That mouthful of crooked baby teeth can cause problems when your child’s permanent teeth erupt. For kids with especially full mouths, extracting baby teeth and even permanent premolars can help adult teeth grow in straight.

Considerations when thinking about early intervention

Early intervention isn’t helpful for all conditions. For example, research suggests that there is little benefit to early orthodontics for Class II malocclusion (commonly known as an overbite). Instead, your child should wait until adolescence to begin treatment. Scheduling a visit to our San Antonio TX office when your child is around age seven is a smart way to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses unique orthodontic needs.

What are the advantages of lingual braces?

July 15th, 2014

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team get this question a lot. The word lingual means tongue, and lingual braces work in a similar fashion to regular braces, but with one important difference: Lingual braces are attached to the inside surfaces of the teeth facing the tongue, so they are practically invisible. Plus, they can align your teeth just as effectively as traditional braces. Treatment time with lingual braces at VK Orthodontics is similar, too. Of course, each patient’s treatment time depends on his or her unique case.

What are the advantages of lingual braces?

Besides being completely invisible while straightening your teeth, lingual braces are just as efficient as clear aligners when it comes to complex movements such as correcting rotations, closing extraction spaces, or changing the height of your teeth. Plus, any discoloration or white spots that occur from wearing braces will be on the inside of your teeth. Lingual braces are also custom fit to each patient, which ensures a higher level of comfort.

If you have been considering orthodontic treatment, or would like to learn more about how lingual braces work, we encourage you to give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics will be happy to answer all of your questions and help you determine if lingual braces are right for you.

Braces-Friendly Recipe: Breakfast

July 8th, 2014

Kids can be picky eaters. How many times have you seen your child try to hide the peas under a mound of mashed potatoes?

At VK Orthodontics, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team understand how hard it can be to get your child to eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. The task of providing fun, nutritious meals becomes even more challenging if he or she wears braces. It's an age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. These five braces-friendly recipes are not only nutritious, but they will have little Jimmy flashing his “tin grin” when he sits down at the kitchen table in the morning.

  1. Scrambled eggs are soft and easy to eat if you have braces. If you drown them in ketchup (which many kids love to do), eggs become even mushier. Minimal chewing is required, and that’s the key to a braces-friendly recipe.
  2. A healthy breakfast provides energy and jump-starts metabolism. A smoothie is not only a good source of fruit, but it’s also gentle on braces. More importantly, smoothies are fun to create. You can toss anything in the blender (bananas, mangoes, strawberries, spinach) and create a drink that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
  3. If you wear braces, eating crunchy cereals or granola for breakfast is out of the question: Bite down the wrong way and you might snap the wires or dislodge the brackets. However, you can get your grains and oats by substituting oatmeal for cereal. This mushy breakfast treat has a host of health benefits.
  4. Pancakes are not the healthiest breakfast choice. Still, this Sunday morning favorite is braces-friendly. The idea is to make it healthier by hiding blueberries in the pancake batter just like your child hides peas in the mashed potatoes.
  5. Toast with jam is ok, but skip slathering peanut butter on the bread. If you have braces, the general rule of thumb is to steer clear of foods that are hard or chewy. These types of foods can break wires. Of course, most kids will agree that toast isn’t the most exciting breakfast recipe. Make it a Pop-Tart instead!

For more braces-friendly recipes, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

Happy Fourth of July

July 1st, 2014

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.

The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations

Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.

First States to Recognize the Fourth of July

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

What are lingual braces?

June 24th, 2014

Patients who want corrective braces but don’t like the look of traditional braces with the metal showing on the front have an alternative in lingual braces. As opposed to metal braces visible across the front of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the rear of the teeth. Most of the metal in lingual braces is not visible to other people, unless you have widely-spaced teeth. For those who make good candidates for lingual braces, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics will tell you it is a great alternative with a significant cosmetic benefit.

Benefits of Lingual Braces

The primary benefit of lingual braces is that the metal is on the back of the teeth, which is very rarely seen by anyone. Patients can comfortably talk and smile, without the added worry of someone noticing the metal braces on their teeth. Another advantage of lingual braces is that they are just as effective as traditional braces and are worn for the same amount of time. They are also helpful for people who play contact sports or play wind instruments because lingual braces don’t get in the way. Finally, lingual braces are a great option for patients who have are sensitive to plastic and can’t wear other types of clear or invisible braces.

Who can get lingual braces?

While many patients qualify for lingual braces, not everyone who needs corrective orthodontic treatment will be a good candidate. The best candidates are teenagers and adults with normal-sized teeth. Children who get braces often have smaller teeth, so lingual braces may not be suitable. A patient’s bite also makes a difference, because a deep vertical overbite makes lingual braces difficult to place.

Talk to Dr. Chary-Reddy the possibility of lingual braces if you’re thinking about correcting your smile but don’t like the idea of metal braces worn on the front. Lingual braces have the same basic benefits of straightening teeth, correcting misalignments, and fixing overbites and underbites that regular braces offer, but are a great aesthetic alternative.

For more information about lingual braces, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

How Braces Can Work at Any Age

June 17th, 2014

Are you an adult who is considering getting braces? Perhaps you’ve had them before, but over the years that dental work has been reversed. Or maybe you’ve never had any orthodontic work done, but are considering braces for the first time. In either case, VK Orthodontics can help you enjoy straighter teeth, an improved bite, and a more beautiful smile. If you are considering getting braces, here is what you need to know about adult orthodontic work from Dr. Chary-Reddy.

Can braces work for adults?

Absolutely! Braces work for just about anyone. However, there are several different types of braces, and not all of them may work for you. Different types of orthodontic treatments include:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Metal braces
  • Self-ligating brackets
  • Lingual brackets (braces behind the teeth)
  • Invisible braces
  • Rubber bands for bite correction
  • Headgear and other appliances

By scheduling a consultation, we can determine which treatment or combination of treatments would be best for your specific needs.

How do I get started?

Getting braces can be a little bit daunting. At first glance, the process may appear expensive and time-consuming. However, if you take it step by step, getting braces can be a simple and relatively pain-free experience. Here are the first steps you need to take to get on the road to straight teeth:

First, you need information. If you are nervous about getting braces, or are having trouble getting started, learning more about the process can help ease your mind. Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  • What kind of braces do you recommend for my teeth?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How often will I need to come in for adjustments?
  • What is the total cost of the treatment? Do you accept insurance? Will you require the full amount up front, or do you have payment plans?

Asking these types of questions will help you understand what to expect during the entire process, which can aid your decision on the proper course of action.

The next step is to complete any prerequisite treatment. During your first meeting with Dr. Chary-Reddy, we’ll need to take some X-rays and molds of your teeth, and then help you determine an appropriate treatment plan. Recommendations may include some preliminary dental work before you get your braces, which can be an important step in making sure your orthodontic treatments are effective.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to get started! After you’ve chosen a treatment plan and undergone any necessary prerequisite dental work, you’ll be able to get your braces. Just like that, you’re on your way to a better smile! If you’d like to get started right away, call our San Antonio TX location today!

Tips for Using Invisalign®

June 10th, 2014

More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”

While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Dr. Chary-Reddy, and add the following advice to your daily routine.

Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at VK Orthodontics knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.

Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.

Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.

You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office to schedule an appointment!

VK Orthodontics, PA Receives 2014 Best of San Antonio Award

June 4th, 2014

SAN ANTONIO May 15, 2014 -- "VK Orthodontics, PA has been selected for the 2014 Best of San Antonio Award in the Orthodontist category by the San Antonio Award Program.

Each year, the San Antonio Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the San Antonio area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 San Antonio Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the San Antonio Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About San Antonio Award Program

The San Antonio Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the San Antonio area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The San Antonio Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy."

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 3rd, 2014

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr. Chary-Reddy for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Dreaming of a stunning smile without using braces?

May 27th, 2014

Most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And if you’ve thought about straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about doing so with traditional orthodontic treatment, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics want you to know there is another option – Invisalign®!

Invisalign is an ideal solution for most adults looking for a less noticeable way to achieve a better smile. In fact, Invisalign has increasingly become a very popular choice for adults looking for a more comfortable, convenient and cosmetically-appealing treatment for straightening their teeth.

Our team at VK Orthodontics is proud to offer Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing, which allows you to smile more during treatment, as well as after. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want; brushing and flossing is easier with Invisalign than with traditional braces.

Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. Invisalign also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

A consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy can determine if Invisalign is right for you. We encourage you to give us a call at our friendly San Antonio TX office if you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign or if you are ready to visit us for an initial consultation! We look forward to seeing you!

Memorial Day

May 20th, 2014

Memorial Day is not only a federal holiday in the United States, but it is a day of observance and remembrance of those who died in service. Originally known as Decoration Day, this solemn day has been marked on calendars since the end of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate both the Confederate and Union soldiers who fought and died in the war.

Marking the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, or other tokens has been practiced throughout history, but it wasn't until the mark of the end of the Civil War that a special day was decided upon as the one to spend in remembrance. By 1890, every state in the country was observing Decoration Day. It wasn't until 1967 when the name formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day, in order to encompass all fallen American soldiers in all wars and conflicts. In June of 1968, Congress moved the official date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a three day weekend.

Today, while there is certainly an air of remembrance on Memorial Day, it has become more a day of spending time with family, friends, and other loved ones. This day is also heralded as the start of summer, with many schools finishing for the year around this time. Our team at VK Orthodontics remembers it as a day to take solace and remembered those lost.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day are still held, and they often involve raising the American Flag then lowering it to a half-staff position until noon, and then raising it once again to its full height afterwards. The flag is lowered to remember those who've lost their lives while in service to their country, and then it is raised to signify our willingness to not let their sacrifice be in vain.

From community parades in the San Antonio TX area, backyard cook-outs, and fireworks to formal ceremonies, Memorial Day is commemorated in many different ways. No matter how you choose to spend this day, take a moment to remember those who've lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

Adults and Braces: Not just for kids anymore

May 13th, 2014

Just hearing the word “braces” can take many of us back to junior high — that painful era when we wore unattractive glasses, endured unflattering haircuts, and carried a mouthful of braces to complete the awkward adolescent look. Despite the common assumption that braces are for kids, more and more adults are choosing to pursue orthodontics to correct their smiles.

Braces for Adults

Perhaps you never had braces as a kid and you are embarrassed by your crooked teeth. Or you went through a round of braces a decade ago and stopped wearing your retainer, which allowed your teeth to shift. Whatever your personal history, wearing braces in adulthood is an excellent way to create the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.

What are my options?

With recent advances in orthodontic medicine, there are numerous options for adults who need braces. The basic option is traditional metal braces. These are best for individuals who have severely crooked teeth or a significant bite problem, or require other major orthodontic changes. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option. The greatest drawback to wearing metal braces as an adult is aesthetics. Many people find them unattractive and distracting.

If you are a professional who is worried about your personal appearance, clear ceramic braces may be a better choice. Clear braces are capable of handling very crooked teeth or bite issues, but they cost more than metal braces. You also have to be careful about smoking or drinking red wine, soda, and other dark beverages while wearing clear braces. These items may stain the adhesive that binds the brackets to your teeth.

Another popular option for adults who need braces is a clear aligner treatment, such as Invisalign®. This system works in a different way from traditional braces by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners. The series is custom made for your teeth, which makes this option more expensive than either metal or ceramic braces. In general, the Invisalign process takes anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth.

Although you may be nervous about the prospect of getting braces as an adult, you should not let your fears stop you from talking with Dr. Chary-Reddy. A consultation at our San Antonio TX office will address your concerns and provide information about the best course of treatment for you. No matter what your personal situation, adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 6th, 2014

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to VK Orthodontics. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Chary-Reddy and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

VK Orthodontics Fights Cancer!

May 5th, 2014

You might not have seen Cyndee at our VK Orthdontics office, but she's the glue that keeps us together! As the Financial Coordinator, she does a lot of behind the scenes work in the office, but is very involved in community events! She works with her high school alumni group and because of her sister's encouragement, she's become incredibly invested in the annual Relay for Life Event for the past 3 years!

The goal of Relay for Life is to save millions of lives by fighting cancer! Every year, thousands of people around the world gather together to raise funds and participate in the walk. Many people participate because they know someone who is affected by cancer and wants to raise awareness and prevent cancer in the future through research, information and providing services.

Cyndee does her part by participating in the walk each year and hosting a bingo fundraiser. The walk begins at 6pm and goes all night, in order to beat the hot Texas heat! This year's bingo was a huge success and raised over $1000 from an attendance of 52! This year, 36 door prizes were auctioned off from local vendors charitable donations. Dr. Reddy started donating to the Relay for Life bingo last year and her door prizes receive a huge following! Everyone wants a VK Orthodontics gym bag!

And isn't Cyndee's grand dog Dominic the cutest thing? He wanted to do his part in supporting the cause!

We proudly offer Invisalign Teen®!

April 29th, 2014

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team are excited to offer Invisalign Teen, a clear alternative to braces that’s just for teens! With Invisalign Teen, we are able to straighten your teen’s teeth without the hassle, discomfort, and embarrassment of traditional braces.

Invisalign Teen’s clear aligners are virtually invisible. What's more, they are removable, which means your child is free to eat anything they choose, as well as brush and floss with ease! And best of all, Invisalign Teen uses no wires or metal to straighten your teen's teeth.

Invisalign Teen aligners are made from a lightweight plastic material and fit precisely on the teeth. Invisalign Teen has become a popular treatment here at VK Orthodontics because it helps our younger patients achieve a straight, beautiful smile without their friends noticing.

Our team at VK Orthodontics is aware that most teens today have a busy lifestyle, and sometimes, they tend to lose things, including their retainers or aligners. But with Invisalign Teen, if your child happens to lose an aligner, let Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team know as soon as possible and we will have the aligner replaced.

For more information on Invisalign Teen, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office today!

Every Day is Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at VK Orthodontics wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

April 15th, 2014

A popular option for straightening teeth at VK Orthodontics, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At VK Orthodontics, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our San Antonio TX office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our San Antonio TX office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

The Clear Benefits of Invisalign®

April 8th, 2014

Straighter teeth is something many people desire. A nice smile is one of the most attractive things about a person. However, wearing a mouth full of braces for two, three, or more years can be a major pain, both literally and figuratively.

Luckily, there is another option. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces. Learn more about the benefits Invisalign offers and why you should consider this exciting method of straightening teeth.

  • When you have straight teeth, your mouth is healthier in general and there is less chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign makes it possible for more people to straighten their teeth.
  • Invisalign is essentially invisible. You can straighten your teeth without unsightly metal in your mouth.
  • The average cost is similar to that of traditional braces, which makes it affordable for many families.
  • With Invisalign, the aligner trays are smooth and comfortable to wear. Traditional metal braces can be uncomfortable and cause irritation to the mouth.
  • Invisalign is removable, so you do not have to wear the system during special occasions, or when you’re eating. With normal metal braces, you are stuck with them for the entire straightening process.
  • Brushing and flossing are simple. Since the system is removable, you can brush and floss just like normal.

As you can see, Invisalign is an exciting option we provide at VK Orthodontics for those who want straighter teeth. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, talk to Dr. Chary-Reddy and find out if it would work for your particular situation. Get started today, and before you know it you will be enjoying your straighter teeth.

For more information about Invisalign, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office today!

VK Cares!

April 7th, 2014

VK Orthodontics is dedicated to bettering the community and engaging with others.

We support the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts and many local organizations, with their annual charity events.

Our very own, our VK Smile Train program provides free orthodontic care for children who have enrolled in the Big Brother Big Sister Organization. Moreover, we participate in various school career days to educate students about opportunities in the field of Dentistry and Orthodontics.

We recently rewarded a lucky winner of our Big Brother Big Sister community service for the year... congratulations to Genesis Escobedo! She will receive FREE orthodontic treatment from VK Orthodontics!

Genesis is the tenth case added to our charity program, the 'VK Smile Train'!

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 1st, 2014

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at VK Orthodontics for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

Are you visiting the dentist during your orthodontic treatment?

March 25th, 2014

If you’re brushing your teeth twice a day during your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team think that’s wonderful! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist every six months, or as recommended, in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing. (And visiting VK Orthodontics for regular adjustments, of course.)

Dental checkups are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of tooth decay, as well as catch and treat oral health problems early. During an oral exam, your dentist can also check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing.

If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next adjustment visit and we will provide a few great references in the San Antonio TX area!

What are the advantages of Damon® Smile?

March 18th, 2014

At VK Orthodontics, we are pleased to offer our patients Damon Smile braces, which allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than traditional braces. Thanks to this innovative system, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible! Here's how:

Better Results in Less Time

With Damon Smile, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team can achieve great results and finish your treatment faster. Depending on your case, of course, this may mean a savings of many months. After reviewing your specific needs, we will be able to provide you with a treatment plan.

Simplified Procedures

Damon braces are very precise and effective. In fact, with this system, Dr. Chary-Reddy and team can reduce the need for many of the time-consuming and complicated procedures that are used with traditional braces.

Fewer Visits to VK Orthodontics

Because Damon braces work more efficiently, fewer adjustments at our San Antonio TX office are needed. The result? Your adjustment appointments will be quicker and fewer in number.

Greater Comfort

Due to the unique design of this new braces system, we can move your teeth into their correct position with much less discomfort than is experienced with traditional braces. Also, Damon braces are small, comfortable, and easy to keep clean.

If you have been thinking about straightening your smile, visit us at VK Orthodontics for an assessment to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 11th, 2014

Millions of people, around San Antonio TX and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Dr. Chary-Reddy thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Chicago’s Green River

If you happen to be near the Windy City during St. Patrick’s Day or you’re thinking of planning a trip, don’t miss out on going downtown to watch the large-scale celebration that kicks off when the city dyes the river bright green. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has been celebrating the holiday with this tradition for more than 50 years, with tens of thousands of people gathering annually to witness the mysterious dying process and the stunning result.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from VK Orthodontics!

Damon® Smile Patient Spotlight: Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton

March 4th, 2014

In Hollywood, a world where image and beauty is just about everything, many celebrities take the time to fix flaws in their appearance that make them feel uncomfortable. One of those such celebrities is soul surfer Bethany Hamilton, who chose to straighten her teeth using Damon Smile braces, an orthodontic treatment we proudly offer at VK Orthodontics that combines patented "tie-less" braces with advanced memory wire.

Hamilton, who overcame an injury from a horrific shark attack to return to professional surfing, chose Damon Smile to perfect her smile. With her choice, she showed children, teens, and adults who are apprehensive about orthodontic treatment that even celebrities get braces.

At age 14, Hamilton began her orthodontic treatment for a severe underbite with significant crowding and a narrow arch. She also had an open bite, which meant there was an open space between her upper and lower teeth when her jaw was closed. These types of cases are typically among the most difficult to treat and often require surgery. Hamilton relied on Damon Smile rather than traditional braces for her treatment.

If you have been thinking about an orthodontic procedure, come see us at VK Orthodontics for an assessment to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

What's the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

February 25th, 2014

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. One important difference is that all orthodontists like Dr. Chary-Reddy are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

How are they similar?

The main similarity between a dentist and orthodontist is that they both focus on oral care. An orthodontist can work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. So in this respect, they are quite similar. They are both considered doctors, and deal with the teeth and gums.

How are they different?

There are more differences than similarities. An orthodontist requires additional schooling as a dental specialty; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon. Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, or fitting them for corrective braces and devices. If a patient has an overbite, a dentist will refer him or her to an orthodontist.

Dentists typically encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening

Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth, and provide services related to:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

What an orthodontist can help with

Orthodontists help with crooked teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Additional problems with the jaw also need to be treated by an orthodontist.

While a dentist may be trained to provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions, TMJ treatments, and fillings, trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you require.

To learn more about the difference between dentists and orthodontists, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give our team at VK Orthodontics a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office.

Why Damon® Smile?

February 18th, 2014

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our dedicated team at VK Orthodontics are pleased to offer Damon Smile for our patients. Damon braces allow your teeth to move more comfortably and easily than do traditional braces. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile will be faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

You're probably saying, “Okay, how are Damon braces an advantage over regular braces?”

Time Saving

Damon's innovative technology of self-ligating braces saves you time in orthodontic treatment at VK Orthodontics. Damon Smile allows for fewer trips to our office, and faster movement of your teeth than do traditional braces. The light forces applied by Damon braces are “biologically compatible,” meaning that they work with your body for gentler and quicker tooth movement. Finally, Damon braces diminish the amount of food and moisture that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning.

Comfortable

Damon Smile braces have a unique slide mechanism that allows Dr. Chary-Reddy to use lighter forces to move your teeth to their correct positions. That makes your treatment at VK Orthodontics not only shorter, but also far more comfortable. Because of its unique sliding door, the Damon Smile bracket allows us to use high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement. That means less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment.

To learn more about Damon Smile, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call.

Valentine's Day History

February 11th, 2014

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic verses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 stems of roses.

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at VK Orthodontics wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

What should I ask during my orthodontic consultation?

February 4th, 2014

If you have been thinking about undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth or correct jaw alignment, the first step is scheduling an orthodontic consultation at VK Orthodontics. During the consultation we will actively listen to your concerns and address all of your questions, as well as discuss a treatment options that would best suit you or your child's situation.

Here are the top five questions that most patients want answered during their initial orthodontic consultation:

  • Can I benefit from orthodontic treatment, and if so, how long will it take?
  • How frequently will my appointments be scheduled?
  • Can I expect any pain when getting braces? (Ask Dr. Chary-Reddy about the ways we address pain management).
  • Will I need to have teeth extracted, headgear, expansion appliance, etc.?
  • How much will it cost and what payment options do you offer?

Visit our website for more answers to your questions prior to your initial consultation. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics are happy to answer all your questions and concerns, and excited to explain all aspects of your treatment plan, as well as the expected outcome. We believe your orthodontic experience should be comfortable, hassle-free, and most importantly, leave you with the smile you've always wanted.

Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces During Orthodontic Treatment

January 28th, 2014

After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment. Today, our team at VK Orthodontics thought we would provide you with five tips you need to know to ensure you undergo successful treatment at our San Antonio TX office.

Flossing
Flossing twice a day or after every meal can help you clean areas between teeth and other places a toothbrush can miss. We also recommend using a floss threader, which can be used to help you navigate safely around your braces and brackets. It is vital to floss twice a day, preferably after lunch and before bedtime to keep gum disease and tooth decay at bay.

Brushing
Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime using fluoride toothpaste and gentle, soft strokes. We recommend using an interdental toothbrush, which can help you clean the hard-to-reach areas under wires better than an ordinary toothbrush.

Using Elastics
This phase of orthodontic treatment requires cooperation and consistency on your part. If your orthodontist has prescribed elastics, make sure they are worn at all times, except when eating meals or brushing teeth. It’s important that you wear the correct size elastics and have extras in case they are misplaced. By failing to wear your elastics for even one day, you run the risk your teeth moving back toward their original position.

Addressing Damage to Your Braces
In case your appliances are damaged, we ask that you call our team at VK Orthodontics immediately to set up an appointment.

Eat Friendly Foods
When undergoing treatment, there are certain foods you must avoid. Foods that are hard, sticky, chewy or sour can add months to your treatment time. These includes gum, caramels, taco shells, nuts, ice, chips or hard candies.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our San Antonio TX office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!

Smile with Invisalign Teen®!

January 21st, 2014

Invisalign Teen is designed with today’s youth in mind. These clear, removable orthodontic aligners can straighten your teeth without the need for metal wires and brackets. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign Teen aligners are comfortable, nearly invisible, and removable, which allows you to remove them as you eat your favorite foods and brush and floss your teeth. Invisalign Teen motivates teenagers to enjoy life without restrictions while promoting better overall dental care.

Key features of Invisalign Teen

Teenagers are constantly on the move and require special options when it comes to their braces. Invisalign Teen utilizes the same technology as Invisalign for adults; they consist of a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually move the teeth. Extra features designed especially for teens include:

  • Blue wear-indicators on the aligners that gradually fade from blue to clear to help you, and our team, gauge wear time
  • Aligners designed to compensate for the growth of molars and new teeth
  • Customization to fit your mouth correctly and comfortably
  • Removable and nearly transparent to ensure you can eat with freedom and smile with confidence
  • Six free individual replacement aligners in the event that your aligners become misplaced or lost

Conditions improved by Invisalign Teen

Between 70 and 80 percent of adolescents in the United States require braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Invisalign Teen uses advanced technology to treat a broad range of orthodontic conditions. These include overbite, underbite, crossbite, widely-spaced teeth, and overly crowded teeth. Injuries and tooth and jaw problems may also require the use of braces to correct jaw and teeth alignment problems.

How does Invisalign Teen work?

Like any orthodontic treatment, Invisalign Teen requires a customized treatment plan created by Dr. Chary-Reddy. Generally, each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks and removed when you brush, floss, eat, and drink. Your teeth will gradually move with the series of aligners, which typically ranges from 18 to 30 aligners in total. You’ll visit our San Antonio TX office every eight to ten weeks to check your progress and make any needed adjustments.

Invisalign Teen introduces a whole new way to make your smile straight without the unappealing look and hassle of traditional metal braces. This revolutionary method of correcting smiles is being used by teens everywhere, including right here at VK Orthodontics, to straighten their teeth with confidence.

What is Damon® Smile?

January 14th, 2014

Many patients ask Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team about the differences between Damon Smile braces and regular braces. Today we thought we'd share some information on Damon Smile.

A lot of our patients, especially adults, come to Dr. Chary-Reddy thinking traditional braces are the only answer to straight teeth. Here at VK Orthodontics, we offer Damon Smile, a revolutionary new braces system that can give you better results in less time!

Am I right for Damon Smile?

Dr. Chary-Reddy will evaluate your eligibility for Damon Smile, as it can be used for children and adults alike!

What makes Damon Smile braces better?

Probably the biggest advantage to Damon braces versus traditional brackets is the amount of time and effort involved. Treatment with Damon Smile can often cut months off of the total treatment time and fewer visits to our office are necessary to make adjustments.

If you have any questions about Damon Smile or your treatment here at VK Orthodontics, please post a comment here or give us a call!

Proud of Our Patients!

January 13th, 2014

We wanted to wish a hearty Congratulations to VK Orthodontics, P.A. Invisalign patient, Ms. Jessica Reyes!

Jessica lost 115 lbs and won this car!

Her very first ride in her new car was to our clinic.

Way to go Jessica! We are very proud of your accomplishment!

What’s the advantage to Invisalign®?

January 7th, 2014

Invisalign, which we happily provide at VK Orthodontics, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you've been apprehensive about the thought of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment with Dr. Chary-Reddy, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for during meals and when they’re brushing and flossing; cleaning your teeth and eating are a snap since you can easily remove your aligners! And because they’re clear, no one will know that your teeth are steadily straightening!

To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office and schedule a consultation.

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 31st, 2013

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the San Antonio TX area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from VK Orthodontics

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Dr. Chary-Reddy, have a great new year!.

Is Invisalign Teen® right for my child?

December 24th, 2013

Straightening your teeth with traditional braces used to be something of a public affair. While traditional teeth-straightening methods yielded high-quality results, it was also essentially impossible to wear them undetected as you went about your day. The visibility of braces could be especially troubling to teens in the high-stress environment of high school and even during the early years of college.

With Invisalign Teen, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics will tell you that many of those concerns are no longer as relevant as they once were. Because Invisalign Teen aligners are constructed out of a plastic that is both smooth and clear, in all likelihood friends and family members won’t even realize the teen is wearing them. The smooth and clear plastic also makes the aligners much more comfortable than traditional braces, which means the teenaged user won’t have to deal with something large and obstructive in his or her mouth.

Additionally, the Invisalign Teen aligners are specifically made to be removable when the need arises. Your son or daughter won’t have to worry about getting food stuck in the alignment trays because they can be pulled out before a meal and popped back in afterwards. Invisalign Teen wearers can remove the aligners before brushing, which allows them to make sure their teeth are free and clear of all obstructions.

Invisalign Teen aligners also allow wearers to keep doing all the activities they have previously enjoyed. If your teen plays sports, for example, he or she won't have to worry about a mouth filled with metal brackets getting injured during play. If your teen plays an instrument, he or she won’t have to worry about traditional braces affecting normal playing techniques. The aligners will remain both comfortable and convenient during all of those activities and more.

If your teen is concerned about physical appearance and worried that braces will adversely affect his or her life for a year or more, Invisalign Teen treatment with Dr. Chary-Reddy is definitely the right choice. Teens don’t have to be shy about their smile, won’t have to change any of the activities they normally do, and will still get all the benefits of straight teeth when the process is completed.

For more information about Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office today!

It's the Giving Season!

December 23rd, 2013

VK Orthodontics, P.A. was proud to donate Walmart gift cards to Maspero family as part of "SAPD Blue Santa charity event"! This is our first year working with the SAPD (San Antonio Police Department) for their Blue Santa Program. One of our Patients Kyle Cooksey and his dad are very actively involved in this event. The police officers identify needy families and make their Christmas fun, the cops go to their house with the lights and the sirens!

How is Damon® Smile different than regular braces?

December 17th, 2013

Great question! Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics are happy to offer the self-ligating Damon Smile braces.

Damon Smile braces use a slide mechanism to hold the archwire in place, thus reducing the amount of pressure exerted on your teeth. In the process, this allows your teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably during your treatment with Dr. Chary-Reddy. Thanks to these innovative new braces, achieving your perfect smile can be faster and easier than you ever imagined.

So, what are the main differences between Damon braces and regular braces?

Damon braces reduce the amount of pressure being placed on your teeth, requiring fewer adjustments at our San Antonio TX office because there are no elastics to replace. Damon Smile facilitates healthy tooth movement with complete control by combining tie-less brackets and high-tech archwires.

Comfort

Even though Damon Smile works so quickly, the use of gentle, low-friction force means less discomfort for you.

Convenience

Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable and are easy to keep clean during treatment. Without the elastic ties, which attract and collect plaque, Damon braces make dental hygiene easy during treatment. Plus, Damon Smile is available in clear brackets for patients who want a great smile without sacrificing aesthetics.

Less Time in Braces

While the time needed in braces will vary on an individual basis, treatment time with Damon Smile is typically faster than with traditional braces. Also, far fewer appointments with Dr. Chary-Reddy are required during treatment, making your Damon experience convenient and hassle-free.

If you have been thinking about improving your smile, please visit us at VK Orthodontics for an initial consultation to see if Damon Smile is right for you! Give us a call today at our convenient San Antonio TX office!

What happens if I have an orthodontic emergency while I'm on vacation?

December 10th, 2013

At VK Orthodontics, there are a few things we want to remind you of when you're on vacation, so that a day with friends and family won’t be spent dealing with an orthodontic emergency. Firstly, we are here for you whether you are in town or out of town on vacation. Give us a call and we may be able to address the problem over the phone. Second, if we are unable to help you fix the problem over the phone, we will help you find an orthodontic practice in your vacation area that can help you.

If you experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get them out of pain or discomfort.

If you have braces, whether they are metal, ceramic, or lingual, Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team suggest steering clear of the following foods to avoid broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears and other whole fruits (cut fruit into thin wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels and hard rolls
  • Bubble gum
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Hard cookies
  • Pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

Finally, if you have clear aligners and you lose your tray, don’t worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation!

What’s the deal with bottled water?

December 3rd, 2013

As more people turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride! Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. Our friends at the American Dental Association have endorsed both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned that “bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health.” If you are avoiding fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health. One 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65 percent of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained.

If bottled water happens to be your or your children’s beverage of choice, check the label to make sure your brand contains fluoride. Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake.

Questions about fluoride? Give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office! We look forward to hearing from you!

Thanksgiving Trivia

November 26th, 2013

At VK Orthodontics we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Chary-Reddy wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

Damon® Smile Braces

November 19th, 2013

Until recently, the only option for people who need braces was the traditional type in which a wire threads through a bracket that attaches to each tooth. Both the wires and the brackets extend across the breadth of the mouth. Pressure from the wires moves the teeth into the proper position.

For most patients, traditional braces are far from ideal. They are often very uncomfortable for the patient because the ties that connect wires to the teeth prevent them from moving. Ties are used to create heavy force, but the force cuts off the blood supply between the root of the tooth and the bone surrounding it. Teeth can’t move until the blood flow is restored.

Damon Smile aims to guide teeth gently and continuously, and reduce the use of force. Patients have reported that the entire experience of wearing braces is a lot more comfortable. Proud to offer Damon Smile to patients, Dr. Chary-Reddy can help you better understand if it’s right for you.

How Damon Smile Works

Unlike traditional treatment with braces, Damon Smile doesn't require the removal of teeth or the use of palatal expanders. The system uses unique self-ligating braces, in which a specialized clip with a “door” replaces elastics or other ties. The “door” guides the archwire, and allows the teeth to move gently into the proper position. Because of the increased flexibility of the self-ligating brace, it exerts less pressure on individual teeth, and this means you won’t have to get adjustments as frequently.

Another advantage is the fact that the gentler, low-friction force means you won’t experience the long-term discomfort from intense pressure on your teeth, or the tight wires that are so common with traditional braces. Because there are no ties, Damon braces are also much easier to clean.

Three Components of Damon Smile

There are three components of Damon Smile that create faster results, require fewer appointments, and cause less discomfort for patients.

  1. Because Damon Smile doesn't use metal or plastic ties, there is no need to tighten the wire on the braces.
  2. Lightweight shape-memory wires allow teeth the freedom to move faster, without the need for as many adjustments as occur with traditional braces.
  3. Damon Smile realigns teeth and enhances facial appearance without extracting teeth or using rapid palatal expanders. The slide mechanism of Damon braces facilitates faster, more comfortable repositioning of your teeth.

Damon Smile technology can offer you the option of braces that require fewer adjustments, with less pressure on the teeth and the entire mouth. A discussion with Dr. Chary-Reddy will help you determine whether Damon Smile is the best option for you or your child.

What is orthognathic surgery?

November 12th, 2013

Orthognathic surgery is surgery to correct a wide variety of abnormalities of our patients' jaw and teeth. The surgery is often done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. While the patient’s appearance may be significantly improved as a result, the primary purpose of the surgery is to correct functional problems including but not limited to:

  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Protruding jaw
  • Open bite (upper and lower teeth don’t overlap properly
  • Excessive wearing down of the teeth
  • Difficulty with chewing or biting
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleeping problems such as sleep apnea
  • TMJ pain (jaw joint pain)
  • Restoring facial injuries

Knowing when to start the orthodontic treatment in preparation for orthognathic surgery can also be tricky if our team at VK Orthodontics is treating a teenager. It is important to know when to get started. If orthodontic treatment is initiated too soon and the teenager is still growing, the patient will either need to hold in braces until his or her growth is complete and they are ready for surgery or the braces will have to be removed and then placed again when growth is complete. Neither of these options is attractive since it requires longer time in treatment, which is something all our patients want to avoid. Our team at VK Orthodontics strives to get all patients finished with treatment as quickly as possible because it is healthier for the teeth and gums and gives them a beautiful smile to enjoy for a lifetime.

If you are considering orthognathic surgery or you have been told that you need jaw surgery, give us a call to schedule your initial consultation today. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics will explain our treatment plan in a way you will understand and we will keep you informed every step of the way.

What causes crooked teeth?

November 5th, 2013

Crooked teeth, more correctly called malocclusions, have reached epidemic proportions in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately 80 percent of American teenagers are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Although advances in orthodontic devices and increased availability of such devices explain part of this increase, it still means there are a lot of crooked teeth in the world.

The theories about what is causing so many crooked teeth range from the ridiculous to the scientific. For years, oral health professionals believed that crooked teeth were an evolutionary result of the change in Western diets from raw, wild foods to soft, processed foods. That theory has since been debunked.

The truth is that crooked teeth can be caused by a number of things. Crooked teeth can be an inherited trait. Parents with crooked teeth and malformed jaws are more likely to have children with malocclusions. Ill-fitting or poorly-executed dental restorations, such as fillings and crowns, can also cause teeth to become crooked. Baby teeth that fall out early, gingivitis, and even a jaw that is too small to accommodate all of a person’s adult teeth are additional causes of crooked teeth. In addition, thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier for too long can contribute to crooked teeth.

What to do about crooked teeth

Fortunately, modern orthodontics offers a number of solutions for crooked teeth. Traditional metal braces are the most popular, though our San Antonio TX office provides a number of clear, aesthetic options as well. If you’re tired of hiding your smile because of crooked teeth, contact Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics and set up an appointment. We’ll have you showing off your straight pearly whites in no time!

Halloween at VK Orthodontics!

November 5th, 2013

A few of our staff members dressed up in their 50's flair!

There were lots of poodle skirts, cat eye glasses and hair scarves!

We kept busy at work, but we had fun celebrating Halloween! We hope you had a great Halloween too!

What is so different about Damon System® braces?

November 5th, 2013

Damon braces, with their self-ligating technique, have made the orthodontic treatment process more comfortable and faster than ever before. Damon braces require elastic ties to hold the wires in place, which helps in alleviating pressure while your teeth move into their desired position. Therefore, both treatment time and follow-up visits to VK Orthodontics are reduced.

Damon braces often times do not require the extraction of healthy teeth or other techniques to make space in your mouth before treatment begins. Traditional braces often require metal or elastic ties to hold wires together, typically resulting in a feeling of pressure and discomfort among the teeth while they are moving into an ideal position.

The Damon System uses a technology called self-ligation, a process that eliminates the need for the ties and lessens the feeling of tightness during your treatment with Dr. Chary-Reddy. Plus, Damon braces use shape-memory wires that are able to move the teeth into position faster, ultimately cutting treatment time. Damon braces also diminish the amount of food and debris that can become trapped along the brackets, allowing for more efficient teeth cleaning. Damon braces are also available with clear brackets to lessen the visual impact and give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile during treatment.

Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team at VK Orthodontics can meet with you to discuss all aspects of treatment. With this innovative technique, you can take advantage of many of the same benefits of traditional braces only with greater comfort, less self-consciousness, and in less time.

Please give us a call at our San Antonio TX office for more information on Damon braces, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy.

Halloween - Candy, Costumes, and More!

October 29th, 2013

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the orthodontics office of Dr. Chary-Reddy hope that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or Treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at VK Orthodontics!

Thanks to Invisalign®, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

October 22nd, 2013

At VK Orthodontics, we know that image is everything. For many people, the thought of having metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth for two or more years may be more than enough to reconsider orthodontic treatment.

If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about metal wires and brackets getting in the way of your smile, Invisalign treatment at VK Orthodontics may be a great solution.Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look. Then, as your treatment begins, Invisalign straightens teeth through a series of clear, custom-fit removable aligners, and does so in a way that is discreet and hardly noticeable.

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment at our San Antonio TX office, please give us a call to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Chary-Reddy.

How to Protect Your Braces During Sports Activities

October 15th, 2013

Proper mouth protection is recommended by VK Orthodontics when you participate in any sports activities. If you wear braces, this protection becomes essential. Injuries to your mouth can not only damage your teeth, but your braces could break and cut open your lip.

Full Facial Guards

Full facial guards are often used in football and offer protection to your mouth from most injuries. Even with full facial protection, you may benefit from additional mouth protection. While your face is protected from outside impact, you could still suffer from cuts or damage to your braces from internal impact.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards referred to as boil-and-bites can be purchased at many retail stores. As the name implies, these guards are boiled in water to heat and soften the material. While the guard is still warm, you place it in your mouth and bite down gently. This causes the guard to form to the shape of your mouth. Unfortunately, these guards do not necessarily offer the best protection or fit.

Dr. Chary-Reddy can make custom mouthguards specifically for you. The custom fitting ensures you of better protection and a comfortable fit. Custom guards are also built in layers for durability. The American Dental Association recommends custom guards for orthodontic patients. Your mouthguard will be designed to provide proper protection for both your teeth and your braces.

No matter what type of sport you participate in, a mouthguard can protect your braces. Even an activity as seemingly harmless as table tennis can result in a contact injury. The Academy for Sports Dentistry states that a properly fitted mouthguard should not interfere with any athletic activity.

VK Orthodontics will provide you with properly-fitting mouth protection to ensure the safety of your braces and your teeth. We will be glad to answer any questions you have so you can continue the activities you enjoy with little concern. If you do suffer any injuries to your mouth or braces during sporting activities, please contact us immediately. The sooner we can care for your mouth, the better the results will be.

Who benefits from Invisalign®?

October 8th, 2013

What’s great about Invisalign is that the treatment is designed to benefit just about anyone, and that’s part of what makes it work. To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, the first thing Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team do is to take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Next, our team at VK Orthodontics use special software to map out the exact path your teeth will take from the beginning of your treatment to the end. Based on the results, a set of custom aligners are created just for your teeth. Throughout the course of treatment, you will be required to wear these clear, removable aligners one at a time; each one moving your teeth closer and closer to their final, perfectly-aligned position. And since the aligners are virtually invisible, nobody around you will even know you are in treatment!

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment, please give us a call at our San Antonio TX office!

Halloween Guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists

October 1st, 2013

Fall can be a really enjoyable time of the year for you and your family. The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing, and Halloween approaches. This holiday is a lot of fun for kids, but VK Orthodontics wants to remind you it can also be risky, especially for your child’s braces. If you have kids with braces, take a look at the following tips from the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) on how to keep your kids and their teeth safe this Halloween season.

Important Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating is a favorite Halloween activity for kids everywhere. While it is a great holiday tradition for children, it comes with some potential risks. To keep your kids safe while trick-or-treating, try following these simple guidelines:

  • If you have young children, make sure they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • You or your kids should always carry flashlights.
  • For costumes, try to include a light-colored or reflective element that can be easily seen by oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid costumes that include a mask, especially for younger children. These can pose a safety hazard for both the wearers and the people around them.
  • Tell your kids not to eat any of their candy until they arrive home. Be sure to inspect all treats carefully before letting them dig in.

Following these guidelines can help you keep your kids safe on Halloween.

Halloween Treats to Avoid if Your Child Has Braces

If your kids have braces, you’ll want them to steer clear of certain treats on Halloween. Many candies can cause damage to braces, so it’s wise to avoid them while you’re celebrating this fun holiday. Here is a list of treats to stay away from:

  • Hard candies
  • Chewy candies
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Licorice
  • Jelly beans
  • Taffy
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn

Some of these treats may seem harmless, but all of them have the potential to bend or break your child’s braces. So it’s best to avoid eating them altogether.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats

If your children have braces, they may feel like they can’t enjoy any treats on Halloween. However, there are plenty of braces-safe treat options for them to choose from, including the following:

  • Soft chocolate
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Gelatin treats
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Root beer floats
  • Apple cider

These are just a few braces-friendly alternatives to traditional Halloween candy. Helping your kids have a fun and safe Halloween—while at the same time protecting their braces—can be easy if you follow these simple tips and guidelines. Help your kids enjoy the holiday without having to visit Dr. Chary-Reddy for repair work on damaged braces!

We Love to Hear From You!

September 30th, 2013

We love to hear feedback from our awesome patients! Let us know what you thought of your service at VK Orthodontics!

Based on your experience, would you recommend us to a family member or friend?
Definitely yes

Is there anyone you would like to recognize for outstanding or less-than-outstanding service?
Dr. Reddy as well as all the staff:) you all always have a smile on your faces...

Do you have suggestions to help us improve our service?
You all don't need suggestions:) your customer service is awesome :)

Is there anyone you would like to recognize for outstanding or less-than-outstanding service?
All of the staff was warm and welcoming and the followup has been outstanding, including the handwritten thank you note from Dr. Reddy....what a refreshing act.

How do I know if I need braces?

September 24th, 2013

Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Dr. Chary-Reddy to schedule an initial consultation. Here are 12 warning signs indicating it’s time to check in with us:

1. Early or late loss of baby teeth

2. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way

3. Mouth breathing

4. Finger sucking or other oral habits

5. Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth

6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude, or recede

7. Speech difficulty

8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth

9. Protruding teeth

10. Difficulty of chewing or biting

11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry

12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Do any of these warning signs fit you? If so, give us a call at our San Antonio TX office as soon as possible! Dr. Chary-Reddy and our staff know orthodontic emergencies are never convenient or timely. If you are a patient of record, we are committed to your oral health and are available to you.

Is adult orthodontic treatment for you?

September 17th, 2013

Adult patients who seek orthodontic treatment usually fall into one of two camps: those who did not undergo orthodontic treatment as a child or those who had braces at one point but stopped wearing retainers for one reason or another.

At VK Orthodontics, we are happy to offer a variety of treatment options to straighten our patients’ teeth. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team believe you’re never too old to straighten your teeth. And we have many adult patients who are currently undergoing treatment. In fact, did you know that roughly 30 percent of all orthodontic patients these days are adults?

Invisalign® is a great treatment option for adults. The Invisalign aligners are easy to wear and are not visible to most people. Plus, Invisalign's clear aligners are removable, so there are no restrictions on what you can eat during treatment. When considering Invisalign, we tell adults to determine if they can be diligent about wearing the aligners at all times and make them part of their lifestyle for the duration of treatment.

If you have been thinking about obtaining a beautiful smile, please give us a call at our convenient San Antonio TX office for an initial consultation. Dr. Chary-Reddy and our team welcome children, teens, and adults alike. Call us today for an appointment!

What is Hyperdontia?

September 10th, 2013

When a child is born, he or she will have 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth. But sometimes kids are born with additional teeth, and our team at VK Orthodontics call this oral condition "hyperdontia." Primary teeth are the first set of teeth that erupt in your child's mouth, typically by the time they are 36 months old, and are shed by the time your child reaches the age of 12. Permanent teeth then take the place of the primary teeth and are usually fully-erupted by the time your son or daughter reaches 21 years of age. Anyone who develops more than 20 primary teeth or more than 32 permanent teeth has hyperdontia, and the additional teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth.

While the cause of hyperdontia is not entirely clear, it is believed that there may be a genetic factor. Oral professionals have found that patients with extra teeth often have syndromes like cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Gardner syndrome, or cleft lip and palate. The prevalence of hyperdontia affects between one and four percent of the population in the United States, and the majority of cases are limited to a single tooth.

So, what is the best way to deal with hyperdontia? It really depends on the case. The treatment plan your doctor suggests varies according to the potential problem posed by the supernumerary teeth, as well as their type. Orthodontic treatment may certainly may help, but extraction can also be a good option. We recommend that children receive an oral evaluation or checkup no later than the age of seven. In addition to hygiene evaluation, this helps ensure your child does not experience hyperdontia problems.

If you suspect you or your child may be suffering from hyperdontia, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our convenient San Antonio TX office to be evaluated.

We Love to Hear From You!

September 6th, 2013

We love to hear feedback from our awesome patients!

Is there anyone you would like to recognize for outstanding or less-than-outstanding service?
"Everyone at VK is always helpful.

I feel like family when I am there."

Overall, how would you rate your experience at our office?
"Comments: nice, bright space and very friendly people"

How would you rate how you were treated on the phone?
"Friendly & professional"

Based on your experience, would you recommend us to a family member or friend?
"Definitely yes"

Is there anyone you would like to recognize for outstanding or less-than-outstanding service?
"Everyone we interacted with was amazing!

really liked Dr. Reddy's easy rapport"

September is Self-Improvement Month!

September 3rd, 2013

These days, Americans everywhere are putting greater emphasis on health and self-improvement, and more people are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. September happens to be Self-Improvement Month, and our team at VK Orthodontics knows that orthodontic treatment is an investment in self-improvement that will provide benefits for a lifetime. Recent advances in orthodontia now make treatment more comfortable for many interested in obtaining that beautiful smile.

Not only does orthodontic treatment give you a beautiful smile, it can also benefit your dental and general health. If teeth are poorly aligned, removing plaque and tartar by brushing and flossing may be difficult. A bad bite may result in fractured or excessively worn tooth surfaces, and the extra stress caused by a bad bite may even result in problems with your jaw joints.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, Dr. Chary-Reddy would love to have you visit for an initial consultation. Please give us a call to schedule a visit! See you soon!

Wonderful July Reviews

August 28th, 2013

For the month of July, we received some wonderful reviews on our Google+ page!

*I absolutely adore Dr. Reddy and her entire staff! They treat me like family, remember that my sister got married last year, and asked to see my wedding pictures. I couldn't be happier with how my teeth/smile turned out. I will recommend them to anyone and everyone.

*VK Orthodontics was a fantastic experience for me. When I first came to Dr. Reddy, I was very frightened of the prospect of having to wear braces. However, the staff at VK made the transition super easy and were very friendly and informative. It is obvious that the team at VK is a caring group and they really are passionate about what they do. Not only did Dr. Reddy's work fix my smile, but it improved my confidence as well. I would definitely recommend VK to anyone in need of orthodontic work and would like a high quality of professionalism in that field.

Thank you for your kind words! We have such great patients!

Celebrate Labor Day by Getting Away

August 27th, 2013

Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend in 2012, according to CNN.com. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at VK Orthodontics to give you some travel inspiration.

Explore a National Park

On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.

Chow Down in a BBQ Haven

Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.

Relax on the Beach

Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.

Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the orthodontics practice of Dr. Chary-Reddy!

Welcome to Our Blog

July 2nd, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about our orthodontics industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

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