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Nine Things to Know Before, During and After Getting Braces

Are you getting braces soon? Maybe Dr. Hudson has diagnosed your bite and has already recommended braces for you. Or maybe you find yourself self-conscious of your current smile and know that straighter teeth would give you the smile that you want.

Even though you may already be convinced about the benefits of orthodontics and know that braces are in your future, that doesn’t mean you don’t have any misgivings about it. The good news is it’s easy to educate yourself about braces. Here are some things to know about your life before, during, and after braces.

Before Braces

  1. Your life won’t change that muchYou may think it will be a major event when you get braces, that people may look at you funny or treat you differently. But observe other people when you’re out and about. You’ll notice that there are lots of people, from teenagers to adults, who have braces. They’re very common and not that big a deal.

  2. Braces won’t really hurt – It’s true that your teeth will likely feel sore when you first get braces on your teeth and after your periodic visits. But the soreness typically only lasts a couple of days and can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medicine. This is because at Hudson Orthodontics we use several modern advances in orthodontics including light forces, smaller brackets, and in many cases Invisalign! After your mouth gets used to braces, you likely won’t feel any pain.

  3. You’ll look great once your treatment is done (and during :)– For reassurance against any misgivings you have about braces, just keep in mind how great you’ll look. And if you choose Invisalign or clear braces to correct your smile you will be amazed with how good you look during treatment!  Treatment may last one to two years. Your smile will last a lifetime!

During Braces

  1. You’ll have to alter your diet a little – Crunchy foods and foods that strain the jaw can weaken the orthodontic glue and cause brackets to pop off. Chewy, sticky foods can get caught in brackets and cause tooth decay. We will give you a list of foods to avoid. But there are often work-arounds. For example, instead of biting into a whole apple, just cut it up first.

  2. Cleaning your teeth will take longer – You probably already have good brushing habits, but with braces you’ll have to up your game somewhat. You should be diligent about cleaning your teeth and know that it will take a little bit more effort. Don’t worry. We’ll give you some great tools, tips, and tricks.

  3. You should protect your mouth – If you’re an athlete or even just play sports casually, you should protect your braces with a mouth guard. Dr. Hudson and our team can help you get sized for one that fits you perfectly.

After Braces

  1. Don’t immediately binge on the foods you missed – Your teeth will be a bit sensitive. Give them a chance to adjust.

  2. You'll need to wear a retainer – During orthodontic treatment, your teeth have made a journey from one spot to another. They’ll need to get settled into their new homes while the supporting structure of your mouth solidifies. Your retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting.

  3. Schedule a cleaning – You should keep up with biannual dental cleanings while you’re in braces, but once they’re off, you’ll be exposing parts of your teeth that won’t have been cleaned in a while. Get your teeth professionally cleaned, but wait at least a month before any whitening treatments.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, May 31, 2017 | 0 comments

5 Fun Facts About Braces

Although braces result in beautiful smiles, they are not typically referred to as “fun” by their wearers. However, braces have a long and interesting history, dating back to ancient times. Records show that ancient Egyptians even created a rudimentary form of braces, hoping to correct their dental problems. Straight teeth have been a goal for many generations since. If you don’t think braces are fun – especially the braces we are lucky to have today – then you would be mistaken!

To wear your braces with pride and embrace the fun that comes with them, we have compiled five interesting facts about braces and their history.

Number One: Bonjour, Braces!

While they have a long history, the first type of braces that resemble today’s designs were made in 1728. French dentist Pierre Fauchard, recognized as the father of modern dentistry, created braces from gold wire, fastened to teeth with thread. His discovery that wire could shape the alignment of teeth is the basis of orthodontics today.

Number Two: Space Style

Building upon Dr. Fauchard’s wire and thread braces, Edward Angle created brackets in 1915. Like the wires made back in 1728, the first brackets were made with either 14 or 18 karat gold. Using this malleable metal to shape the brackets was innovative, but expensive.

In 1959, a new substance, nickel titanium, becomes the future of brackets. Nickel titanium is a metal alloy made by NASA, discovered when trying to create a heat-resistant metal for shuttles going to space. This same heat-resistant property allows braces to be shaped for a patient, then they restructure to their original form. The result is a smile that is perfectly shaped!

Number Three: Techy Teeth

Align Technology, the company that created Invisalign, was established in 1997 by two Stanford business school graduates. Zia Chisti and Kelsey Wirth had no dental experience, just an idea for wireless braces, and access to 3D computer technology. Since then, the company has printed millions of their transparent braces, changing the notion of what braces are and can be.

Number Four: Braces Buddies

Think you’re alone? Think again! In the US today, over 4 million people are currently in orthodontic care. Whether sporting metal braces, Invisalign, retainers, or expanders, patients across the country look to their orthodontist for the smile they’ve always wanted.

Number Five: Smiling Stars

Braces are worn by kids, adults, and – more often than you realized – by celebrities. Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Tom Cruise, Emma Watson, Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani, and more have achieved their famous smiles through orthodontic care. Taking good care of your teeth can take you a long way; sometimes, it can even take you to Hollywood!

 
 

Whether you are learning to love your new braces or you are considering getting braces of your own, Dr. Hudson is here to offer more fun facts, answer questions, and listen to your concerns. Make your appointment with Dr. Hudson today to discuss your orthodontic options.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, June 15, 2016 | 0 comments

Teens and Invisalign

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Between sports, dating and extra curricular activities that keep many teens busy throughout the summer, the thought of adding braces into the mix is an overwhelming idea for parents and kids alike. When school’s out, the stress of adjustments, appointments and taking care of the hardware tend to stop parents from committing their kids to getting a better smile.

The truth is, summer is the perfect time to get started! Here in our office, we are so excited about an option that is perfect for busy teens - Invisalign Teen!

Invisalign teen has all the same benefits of Invisalign treatment - the clear plastic aligners come in several sets that gradually adjust teeth. The retainers are clear, leaving no trace of metal hardware or brackets to get used to. In fact, most people won’t even notice the aligners while you’re wearing them, although don’t be surprised if you get lots of questions on your newly straightened smile.

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Daily Treatment with Invisalign Teen

While going through treatment, one benefit of Invisalign Teen is the ability to remove the aligners before eating. This means no restrictions that come along with traditional metal brackets - and no holding back when you’re eating with friends. Traditional metal braces can restrict fun foods like movie popcorn, gum and hard candy.

Although you can take out the aligners to eat, drink and brush, it’s important to wear the trays for a minimum of 22 hours, in order to create consistent movement. Failure to wear the aligners each day may result in shifting teeth and unplanned tooth placement.

Your Invisalign provider carefully maps out each set of aligners using technology from Invisalign. This ‘road map’ is your journey to a straight smile.

Want to hear from a teen on how Invisalign has impacted their life and confidence? Watch the video about Emily below:

Why Invisalign Teen?

Downtime? Not here. When you are a patient of ours with Invisalign Teen, you’re encouraged to live your life to the fullest! Whether you’re into sports, playing a musical instrument or just on the go, Invisalign Teen fits into your lifestyle perfectly. You don’t have to worry about cutting your lip with metal brackets, or trouble playing your flute - the aligners are minimally invasive and are quick to adjust to!

Hudson Orthodontics and Invisalign Teen

We can’t wait to show you how Invisalign Teen can work for you. Think you’re ready to make the move to a straighter smile? We offer free consultations and can help you decide which treatment plan fits into your busy lifestyle. Fill out our form to request an appointment or call our office and tell them you're interested in Invisalign Teen!

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Posted by Brad Hudson at Thursday, May 26, 2016 | 0 comments

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

Braces have plenty of benefits, from giving patients more confidence in their smiles to making teeth easier to clean and healthier in the long run. However, getting these results requires taking care of your braces while you’re wearing them. Every patient should follow a braces friendly diet as well as careful oral hygiene (brushing and flossing).

clean teeth with braces | brushing with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

In fact, caring for your braces properly can help to keep your treatment on schedule, as well as ensure that your the best smile possible is revealed when your braces are removed. Just a glance in the mirror at your orthodontic brackets and wires can tell you that cleaning your teeth with braces will be a bit more challenging and take some patience on your part.

It’s worth the effort though, and once you get the hang of it, keeping your braces clean won’t be difficult or take as long as it does initially. To help you through the process of learning how to keep your braces clean, we’ve put together this post with tips and advice we give to our patients here at Hudson Orthodontics.

Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

Your orthodontist will help you determine the type of toothbrush to use depending on your specific treatment plan. Some orthodontic patients use a regular toothbrush, and some use electric toothbrush. Either way, soft bristles are important to help patients to keep from damaging their gums as they clean their teeth.

brushing your teeth with braces | how to clean your teeth with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

It may also be necessary to change your toothbrush or electric brush head more often than you normally do, because brackets and wires can cause more wear and tear to the toothbrush than your teeth alone would.

While you should be gentle when cleaning your braces, you should brush with enough pressure for the bristles to surround and transcend the wire and reach the teeth and brackets. As for technique, plan to spend several seconds on each tooth, beginning with a gentle stroke of the gumline, then working from top to bottom of the tooth and then bottom to top to get all sides of the bracket and tooth.

An interproximal brush, commonly known as a “Christmas Tree brush” can also help to clean between your braces and under the wires.

interproximal brush | clean teeth with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

How to Floss With Braces

Flossing is the often forgotten piece of dental hygiene, but it’s even more crucial when you’re wearing braces, which tend to trap more particles than your teeth alone while you’re eating. Some kids and even adults mistakenly think flossing isn’t possible while they’re wearing braces, but that isn’t the case.

Although the arch wire and brackets can be obstacles to flossing in a normal manner, a few adjustments to your technique will make flossing with braces not only possible but also very effective.

how to floss with braces | flossing with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

To get the job done efficiently, you may need to use a floss threader (shown below). This orthodontic tool will help patients to thread the floss under the arch wire towards the top of the tooth, where it can be placed in between neighboring teeth and then carefully drawn out to loosen food particles and eject bacteria. Some types of floss are designed with a stiff end that makes it easier to thread. This threading process should be repeated for flossing between each pair of teeth.

floss threader | flossing with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

It’s advisable that patients use wax coated floss, which will glide smoothly through your orthodontic appliances and teeth and won’t be shredded by contact with your brackets. A water or air irrigator may also be helpful to flush food particles and bacteria out of the hard to reach places in your smile.

How Often to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

When you’re wearing braces, it’s more important than ever to brush after each meal and floss at least once a day. However, if you’re eating out and don’t have a toothbrush on hand, you can at least rinse with water to get rid of some of the food particles that may be caught in your braces.

During orthodontic treatment, you should also continue to see your dentist for normal teeth cleanings at least every 6 months.

Younger children may need help and guidance with brushing and flossing while wearing braces, especially at first. Even kids who can brush and floss with braces may need encouragement and reminders to do so, and it’s also helpful for them to understand the importance of keeping their braces clean so they will want to do it.

Why Cleaning Your Teeth with Braces is Important

Neglecting to clean your teeth while wearing braces can also lead to decalcification, which leaves white stains around your brackets that are visible when your braces are removed. These white stains are called “White Spot Lesions” and they are 100% preventable with good oral hygiene. 

In addition, it is very important to minimize sugary snacks and acidic beverages such as soda. These types of food can rapidly decalcify tooth structure causing white spot lesions and decay especially if there is poor brushing and flossing.

Avoiding Tooth Decay, White Spot Lesions and Gum Problems

The same reasons behind general dental hygiene still apply with orthodontic patients. However, the risk for plaque is heightened because the brackets, wires and rubber bands provide perfect places for food particles and plaque to become lodged.

This plaque contains bacteria, which become acidic when exposed to carbohydrates. These acids can break down your enamel, leading to tooth decay, cavities, and white spot lesions.

inflamed gums | cleaning teeth with braces | Hudson Orthodontics

Bacteria surrounding your teeth can also irritate your gums, which can lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontitis. Take the time to learn and use proper oral hygiene during your braces or Invisalign treatment and you can guarantee a healthy smile to last a lifetime!

Hudson Ortho is Here to Help with Dental Hygiene

At Hudson Orthodontics, our staff is here not only to provide the best orthodontic treatment possible in our office, but also to help guide our patients on day to day care for their orthodontic appliances. After all, in between appointments is when the magic happens!

You come back to us a little further along in your treatment plan each time, and if you’re keeping your teeth clean, we can easily make adjustments and send you on your way in no time. Contact our team with any questions about cleaning your teeth with braces or starting your treatment plan today!

Posted by Brad Hudson at Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | 0 comments

Does My Child Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Our philosophy at Hudson Orthodontics is to treat patients at the ideal age in order to eliminate unnecessary work, extractions, and unneeded surgery. This means that we have some patients start treatment as early as 7 years of age, while we have also had patients start treatment well into adulthood.

Every person is different, and there really is no rule that all the permanent teeth should be in before a patient can have braces. In fact, sometimes waiting on all of the permanent teeth to come in can actually cause major problems to develop!

Since the 1990’s, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has recommended orthodontic evaluations for children at 7 years old, when most are losing baby teeth and their permanent teeth are emerging. These early evaluations allow orthodontists to recognize irregularities in your child’s mouth before they become major orthodontic issues.

We created our Hudson Ortho Kid’s Club as a way to accomplish this important goal by offering a free orthodontic screening for any child age 7 and up. We want Northern Virginia families to have free access to a trained Orthodontic Specialist, and the peace of mind that comes along with knowing your child’s jaw and tooth development is on track. These Growth and Guidance appointments are always free because we want to make sure families have accurate, up to date information about their children's jaw and tooth development.

braces for kids | phase 1 braces | Hudson Orthodontics

If early orthodontic treatment is deemed necessary, your orthodontist can begin to design a treatment plan to help guide your child’s teeth to their correct positions. At this point, your child will enter what is called two-phase orthodontic treatment.

How does two-phase orthodontic treatment benefit young patients and their teeth? In this post, we will discuss what phase 1 treatment involves and how it leads to an orthodontic resting period and the phase 2 treatment that completes your child’s smile.

Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is also known as early orthodontic treatment or interceptive orthodontics. Early orthodontic treatment is often started because certain irregularities like crowded teeth are easier to treat in a 7 year old child than an older child or an adult because a 7 year old child’s jaw is still growing.

For instance, with phase 1 orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist may use a palatal expander to expand the upper arch of your child’s teeth, making more room for the permanent teeth to come in less crowded, and potentially more evenly spaced.

two phase orthodontics | early orthodontics | Hudson Orthodontics

If your child didn’t have an orthodontic evaluation until all permanent teeth had emerged, he or she might need teeth pulled to alleviate the crowding or more extensive straightening to even the spacing between teeth. Early intervention is particularly important when children are subjected to bullying and teasing by their peers. In these cases, treatment can greatly improve self esteem during the formative years of childhood.

Early treatment can also potentially address some issues with the jaw and bite, such as protruding front teeth and crossbites, with certain types of orthodontic appliances. This can minimize the need for jaw surgery later in life and shorten treatment time spent in braces in middle and high school. This can also prevent children with excessive flaring of their front teeth from experiencing trauma to their front teeth during sports and activities.

Many children don’t need early orthodontic treatment at the time of their initial evaluation. However, the initial evaluation can still be valuable, because from there we can schedule periodic Growth and Guidance appointments to monitor your child’s teeth as they emerge and then begin treatment later if it becomes necessary.

The Orthodontic Resting Period

Between Phase 1 and Phase 2 orthodontic treatment will be a one or two year “resting period.” During this time, your child’s mouth is allowed to develop on its own and the rest of your child’s permanent teeth emerge, most likely in better positions than they would have without Phase 1 treatment.

During the resting period, appointments with your orthodontist may still be scheduled just to monitor the growth and development your child’s smile. Your orthodontist may also prescribe a retainer for your child to wear during the resting period to maintain the effects of Phase 1 braces.

Phase 2 Braces

When all permanent teeth have emerged in your child’s mouth, phase 2 orthodontic treatment can begin. Usually, phase 2 treatment entails braces on the upper and lower teeth for a prescribed amount of a time depending on your child’s individual case.

This is the period in which you really reap the benefit from your decision to seek Phase 1 treatment. Because of Phase 1, during Phase 2 your child will most likely experience a shorter and easier time in braces than he or she would have if they were just now beginning any orthodontic treatment. Major benefits include avoiding extractions and surgery!

Why Two Phase Orthodontic Treatment Is Worth It

Although two phases of orthodontic treatment may sound like it will cost more and be more involved, that is not necessarily the case. What we are essentially doing is splitting treatment into 2 shorter phases of treatment, and the cost of treatment is also split up accordingly. As we have discussed, early treatment can help guide your child’s permanent teeth to emerge in a more favorable position than they were going to naturally.

This can actually save your family time and money by correcting issues before they arise or worsen, thus simplifying orthodontic treatment later in life or in a few cases eliminating the need for it altogether.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Orthodontist

Visiting the orthodontist probably isn’t your 7-year-old’s idea of a fun outing, but that doesn’t mean it has to be scary! Here at Hudson Orthodontics, our staff works with children of all ages every day, and we do everything we can to make their time in the orthodontic chair as comfortable and engaging as possible. We will let you and your child know what we’re doing as we go, and if orthodontic issues are diagnosed, we will help both of you understand the treatment plan we prescribe.

If your child is around the age of 7, and especially if you’re already noticing spacing problems or issues with your child’s bite or jaw, we encourage you to schedule an evaluation with us today to determine if early orthodontic treatment might be beneficial.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Monday, April 18, 2016 | 0 comments

The Advantages of Adult Braces

All too often, when people hear the word “braces” they think of a young adolescent, with a mouth full of metal. As an adult, braces may not seem reasonable, but the truth is that’s not true!

Adult braces are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s society. Incredible advances in hardware and technique make braces obtainable and aesthetically pleasing for anyone, including adults who are self-conscious about their smile.

braces for adults | orthodontist springfield va | Hudson Orthodontics

In fact, many options for adult braces are hardly noticeable at all! Clear brackets, lingual braces and Invisalign are all great options for adults who don’t want braces to alter their appearance. Even in traditional metal braces, the brackets that adhere to teeth are much smaller than the brackets of years past, and are much less invasive.

Another reason why adult braces have become so much more important to personal health is that straight teeth have health benefits far beyond that award winning smile. Straight teeth reduce the amount of plaque that gathers in crevices, and less plaque can lower your chances for gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Straighter teeth also allow for better brushing, keeping your teeth healthier and in place for longer!

Still think adults braces aren’t for you? Read on about the different types of braces that can fit into your busy lifestyle and give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

Metal Braces

As mentioned above, metal braces are less invasive than in years past, and are cost effective. The traditional method of braces gives you an effective mode of seeing your progress. The small brackets are individually adhered to the tooth, and set in place using an ultraviolet light. A wire is attached to each bracket, and is regularly adjusted by the orthodontist in order to create movement for the teeth.

Clear Braces

Clear braces work exactly like traditional metal braces except for one hitch - they blend in with your teeth! With clear braces, a clear glue is applied to a tooth or clear-colored bracket. Treatment is nearly identical to traditional braces, and your wire is adjusted to properly move your teeth. Clear braces are much less visible than metal brackets, and from a short distance are hardly noticeable by the naked eye.

Lingual Braces

Lingual Braces are a newer technology that’s been growing in popularity. With lingual braces, the small brackets are adhered to the back of the tooth. A smaller wire is used to move your teeth, behind your bite. Although lingual braces aren’t noticeable, they can cause a little discomfort and keeping food from sticking between the brackets can be quite a chore. Even still, they do provide a very “invisible” method of adult teeth straightening.

Invisalign

Speaking of invisible, you’ve probably heard about the clear aligners that gradually adjust teeth. Invisalign is perhaps the most recognizable form of adult braces, and for good reason. The series of trays are created based on your mouth, and your doctor designs the trays to shift over time. Typically you wear a set of trays for two to three weeks before swapping them out. Many patients see incredible results within the first few trays. Invisalign adult braces are made from a thin plastic material and are worn in the mouth around 22 hours a day. One benefit of Invisalign is the ability to remove the trays to eat or brush your teeth, so no pesky food particles will get stuck in your hardware.

adult braces | orthodontics in springfield va | Hudson Orthodontics

Our office has seen great success with several methods for adult teeth straightening. By now, we’re hoping you can see that adult braces aren’t something to be afraid of. Instead, they are a valuable tool that helps create a better you! As 2016 approaches, many of us are working to be the best version of ourselves yet; will braces help you achieve the best version of you?

To learn more about adult braces, or our office, contact us to schedule your free consultation.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, December 23, 2015 | 0 comments

What is Jaw Surgery?

Chatting with friends, enjoying a hearty meal, getting a good night’s sleep - some of us don’t think twice about these normal everyday activities. What many don’t realize is that every one of those actions can be made difficult or even painful by a severe underbite, overbite or open bite.

Often, a misalignment of the jaws is related to TMD, or jaw pain. Often times these issues can be resolved with braces or Invisalign alone, but in more severe cases orthodontics must be done in combination with jaw correction through a procedure known as orthognathic surgery.

The word “orthognathic” actually originated from Greek roots, including the word “gnathic” for jaw and the word “orthos” for straighten. Thus, orthognathic surgery adjusts the jaw to allow maximum functioning capability. This jaw surgery is available to patients whose jaw position causes pain or prevents proper function. It is performed near the end of your orthodontic treatment, and your orthodontist partners with your orthognathic surgeon to carefully plan and treat jaw misalignment.

The best part - besides having a fully functioning jaw of course - is that the surgery usually takes place inside the mouth, so you won’t be left with scars on your face. Read on to learn about the types and benefits of jaw surgery to see if it could be right for you.

Types of Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery can adjust the upper or lower jaw (or both) to the correct position, size or shape so that the front teeth touch and close for effective chewing and a beautiful, effortless smile. Chin surgery, or genioplasty, is also considered part of jaw surgery because the lower jaw’s position affects the fullness of the chin. For instance, someone with a severe overbite might have less chin definition because the lower jaw is so far receded.jaw surgery | what is jaw surgery | Hudson Orthodontics

Why Jaw Realignment Surgery?

Patients seek jaw surgery because of a variety of oral issues from wear and tear on their teeth to jaw joint pain (TMD) accompanied by headaches. Struggling to bite, chew and swallow food is a very common issue among prospective jaw surgery patients. Audible breathing, speech impediments or snoring may also stem from the abnormal shape and size of the mouth’s opening. An open bite may additionally make it difficult for someone to close their lips around a straw or close their mouth completely while eating and drinking.jaw alignment surgery | orthodontist springfield | Hudson Orthodontics

In some patients, these issues exist from birth, perhaps in conjunction with a cleft palate or due to their jaws’ growing at different rates and ceasing development at different points. In other cases, the problems may arise in a patient who has experienced physical trauma in some kind of accident. The origin of these issues is significant because it may factor into how the misalignment is treated. In most cases, the cause is an uneven growth rate of the upper or lower jaw.

The primary goal and result of jaw surgery is typically to relieve pain and improve the bite. This helps the patient to eat nutritious foods in a variety of consistencies, and chew meals thoroughly for healthy digestion. However, many times jaw surgery also helps patients to speak more clearly, and - as an additional bonus - it tends to boost their confidence because they feel and look their best! how to fix an overbite | jaw surgery | Hudson Orthodontics

Jaw Surgery Recovery

Your orthodontist and orthognathic surgeon will give you specific recovery information based on your unique case, but usually the patient can move his or her mouth and talk shortly after the surgery. The only restriction on most patients is to avoid contact sports for the first few months, and generally patients are advised to stick to soft foods for the first few weeks following surgery.

Overall, the recovery period is surprisingly brief for most patients. The remainder of the patient’s orthodontic treatment will take place after the jaw surgery, and then it’s all complete!

Northern Virginia Jaw Surgery Experts

Here at Hudson Orthodontics, we have extensive experience with restoring function and balance to the mouth and face with traditional braces, Invisalign and various other treatments. For our jaw surgery cases, we work with the patient and a team of surgeons to analyze problems with the jaw, determine causes of misalignment and map effective treatment plans.


We are wholly invested in producing stunning results that leave our patients healthier, more comfortable and more confident. If an underbite or overbite has been troubling you, please don’t hesitate to set up a free consultation with us, your Northern Virginia jaw surgery experts.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | 0 comments

A Happy Halloween with Braces!

Did you know that October is National Orthodontic Health Month? Meanwhile many families are stocking up on sugar for trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties, and braces become the enemy to many kids (and adults!) who can’t have the same candy their friends are enjoying.

For dental health in general, no one should overdo the desserts, but Halloween seems particularly tricky to those with braces. Here at Hudson Orthodontics, we want to make the season less scary by not only explaining which treats to avoid but also sharing with your family some braces friendly snacks to help you stay in the Halloween spirit.

Candy that Kids with Braces Should Avoid

First let’s go over the candy that patients with braces should avoid unless they want a painfully sticky situation or an extra trip to the orthodontist to fix a broken wire or bracket. Sticky, chewy candy like taffy, caramels, gum and gummy bears can get stuck in your braces, prove very difficult to remove with cleaning and tug problematically on brackets, bands and wires.

Biting into hard candy, lollipops, candy containing nuts, candied apples, chocolate covered pretzels and peanut brittle can pop off brackets and break wires.

Anything high in sugar, like candy corn, can help bacteria breed in your mouth, producing acids that can discolor your teeth around your brackets, leaving a checkered pattern when your braces are removed. The same goes for citrus sweets, soft drinks and anything else highly acidic. Popcorn, including popcorn balls, should also be avoided, as its kernels and pieces can get lodged in your braces.

Braces Friendly Snacks for Halloween

With all of that said, there are still plenty of braces friendly snacks for ortho patients to enjoy during the Halloween season. Most of these suggestions still have sugar though, so remember moderation and brush your teeth soon after eating them to avoid tooth decay.

orthodontist springfield va | Hudson Orthodontics | Halloween Candy Alternatives

Soft sweets like peanut butter cups and plain chocolate candies that melt in your mouth are fairly safe for braces because they don’t require a lot of chewing. The usual braces friendly snacks like milkshakes, ice cream and fruit smoothies are also good options, especially if they’re served in a fun Halloween themed glass or bowl! Soft baked goods like pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie are also opportunities to keep the Halloween spirit without damaging your braces.

The American Association of Orthodontists has even compiled some ghoulishly good recipes to help those with braces enjoy the holiday as much as everyone else!

Candy Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters

It might be more difficult for your kids to resist sneaking candy if you’re collecting it at your house to give out to other trick-or-treaters. An alternative is to skip the sugar altogether and hand out something else this year since you have an orthodontic patient in the family.

Consider filling your usual candy calderon with ghost stickers, temporary tattoos, spider rings, plastic fangs, glow sticks or bubbles.

Happy Halloween from Your Springfield Orthodontist

We know Halloween can be challenging for patients with braces, and sometimes kids and teens eat one piece of hard candy that they don’t think will be a big deal, and then comes the pop! If you do end up with a broken wire or a bracket that has come off of your teeth, don’t hesitate to come into our Springfield office and let us fix it for you.

Overall, we hope this post has helped you understand how important it is be mindful of your braces when making the rounds trick-or-treating. Never fear, you can still have a spooktacular time if you try out some of our braces friendly snack recommendations or candy alternatives. From all of us at Hudson Orthodontics, have a safe and fun-filled Halloween!

Posted by Brad Hudson at Thursday, October 29, 2015 | 0 comments

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

You may have heard of Invisalign®, or you might have a learned about it from our Invisalign® pages here on our website, but how do you know if it’s the right orthodontic treatment for you? As a Preferred Provider of Invisalign® for Northern Virginia and DC, Hudson Orthodontics is here to help you answer that question for your own unique situation in a free consultation. In the meantime, we also wanted to provide you with a few key factors to help you see how Invisalign® could fit your lifestyle. Invisalign® might be right for you if you identify with some or all of the following situations or characteristics.

orthodontist springfield va | is invisalign for everyone | Hudson Orthodontics

You Want to Be Treated by an Experienced Orthodontist

We are committed to determining the proper orthodontic treatment for each case and delivering the results we prescribe for you. We will assess your orthodontic needs individually and let you know if your case would be better suited for traditional metal braces, but we are excited to offer Invisalign® for a wide variety of cases. In fact, here at Hudson Orthodontics, we have treated over 1,200 cases with Invisalign®. If you think Invisalign® might be right for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703.451.4666 or schedule a free consult so we can discuss how Invisalign® could potentially meet your orthodontic needs.

You Want an Alternative to Traditional Teeth Straightening

If you’re worried about how brackets and wires would feel in your mouth, rest assured that none of those metal pieces or traditional braces are involved with Invisalign® treatment. Instead, you are carefully fitted for a series of lightweight, clear, BPA-free plastic aligners that you will wear for about 2 weeks each. Invisalign® technicians make each set of aligners customized according to the map of positions that your orthodontist has prescribed for your teeth as they approach their final, straight position.

You Want an Effective yet Affordable Orthodontic Treatment Plan

You don’t have to make this decision based on price, because here at Hudson Orthodontics, we offer the most affordable Invisalign options available. In general, Invisalign® is usually covered the same way metal braces would be covered by an insurance plan, but you can give us a call at 703-451-4666 for help determining how orthodontic treatment is handled with your particular insurance policy.

As for treatment effectiveness, in many cases, the results of both metal braces and Invisalign® are the same: straight teeth and a dazzling smile. Since you don’t have to worry about one option being more effective or affordable than the other, you and your orthodontist can choose your treatment based on what suits your needs, feels right for you and works with your lifestyle.

invisalign for teens | affordable invisalign | Hudson Orthodontics

You Lead an Active Lifestyle

We understand you have a lot to do, from work obligations, to time with family and friends and other activities. We also know that you won’t have to give up a lot of time for your Invisalign® treatment.

You will only have check-up appointments every 6-8 weeks, so your already busy schedule won’t be affected very often. Also, your aligners are produced at the beginning of your Invisalign® treatment, so you don’t have to wait on them to be produced every few weeks.

Your bedtime routine won’t be disrupted either, because you can remove your aligners to brush and floss your teeth normally, and cleaning the aligners themselves is simple too. Because you remove your aligners to eat, you can also continue to enjoy foods like popcorn that are forbidden for patients with metal braces.

Also, teens and adults won’t have to worry about wires and brackets while they engage in sports and physical activity, and they can wear regular mouth-guards over their aligners. Invisalign® patients can play wind instruments without hindrance, and they won’t have to worry about their orthodontic treatment showing while they star in a play or pose for photos with friends.

You Want People to Notice Your Smile, Not Your Orthodontic Treatment

The aligners you wear during Invisalign® treatment are clear and effectively invisible. This means that while you are treated for spacing, crowding, crossbite, underbite, deep bite, open bite, overjet, or midline shift, all anyone will see is your smile, without noticing the orthodontic technology that you’re wearing over your teeth.

Interested in Learning More

Hudson Orthodontics is accepting new patients and will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. To learn more about our process, or to speak with our staff, contact us by calling 703.451.4666 or schedule a free consult.

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Orthodontist vs. Dentist- Do I need both?

All orthodontists are dentists, but only a small number of dentists become orthodontists. Dentists typically will do a variety of procedures in their office, and occasionally that includes some orthodontics. Orthodontists are specialists, and typically limit their practice to Braces and Invisalign.

Simply put, an orthodontist is:

A specialist dealing in orthodontics, the branch of dentistry dealing with the prevention and correction of irregular teeth and jaw alignment, as by means of braces or Invisalign.

So, what’s the REAL difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

After graduation, most dental students go directly into general dental practice where they provide the variety of dental services that they learned in dental school. A small number of dental students decide to hone in on a specialty, such as Orthodontics. The specialized knowledge required to understand the complex diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic patients requires an additional 2-3 years of residency training to become competent. After completing a residency in Orthodontics, a dentist becomes proficient in braces and Invisalign. At that point, they become an Orthodontist and their level of expertise in braces and Invisalign sets the Standard of Care for the profession.

Once all is said and done, an orthodontist goes through around 10 years of schooling. This commitment to the specialty means that orthodontists have a great passion for what they do!

Springfield, Virginia Orthodontist - Dr. Brad Hudson | Hudson Orthodontics

Do I need to go to a different dentist during orthodontic treatment?

In short, yes! While technically speaking, an orthodontist is a dentist, his or her commitment to their specialty often means they rely heavily on treating patients for that specialty only. This means that an orthodontist will often request that a general dentist help their patients with cavities, tooth cleaning or other general dentistry tasks.

More often than not, your orthodontist can refer you to a dentist that he or she is confident in for general dentistry during your orthodontic treatment. A general dentist is also able to help with gum issues, oral hygiene and general health. 

Proper teeth and jaw alignment is vital to your health, and dentists often refer patients to orthodontists for specialized care. Chances are, you were first referred to an orthodontist from sitting in your dentist’s chair!

My dentist offers teeth straightening options. Why do I need an orthodontist?

Some dentists have taken classes on orthodontics. Often these weekend classes are sponsored by companies such as Invisalign®, Fastbraces®, or Six Month Smiles® and are primarily focused on teaching dentists how to place orders for those specific products. While these options may be the right choice for certain simple problems, many patients still prefer an expert to evaluate their case before investing the time and money associated with braces or Invisalign. This is why many orthodontists such as Hudson Orthodontics offer free consultations - no referral required!

Finding an Orthodontist

Are you ready to start orthodontic treatment? Hudson Orthodontics is accepting new patients and will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. To learn more about our process, or to speak with our staff, contact us by calling 703.451.4666 or schedule a free consult.

To a Lifetime of Smiles,

Dr. Brad Hudson, DDS, MS

Posted by Brad Hudson at Monday, September 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Welcome to Our New Hudson Orthodontics Website

Welcome to HudsonOrthodontics.com!


Welcome to all new and improved HudsonOrtho.com! We are so happy to share our new website with you and are excited to be a full resource for all of your orthodontic treatment options and needs.

Stay tuned to our blog for tips on different treatment options, types of orthodontic solutions we offer and what's new in orthodontic treatment and orthonathic surgery. If you have any specific questions about treatment options or our practice, please contact our front office at (703)451-4666.

To a Lifetime of Smiles,

Dr. Brad Hudson, DDS, MS

Posted by Brad Hudson at Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | 0 comments

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