Friday, August 11, 2017

Patient Profile: Kat Redner

At Legler Orthodontics, we love meeting and getting to know ALL of our wonderful patients and we are continuously surprised by the intelligence, determination, and talent that walks through our doors. Whether our patients are gaining fame in the Hollywood spotlight, winning medals, or saving lives we feel so incredibly lucky to have contributed on their path to success. A smile gives people confidence, leaves a lasting impression, and most importantly, is the boldest statement you can make without saying a word. After the 25th Anniversary of Legler Orthodontics, 25 years of creating smiles that are making an impact on this world, we felt it was important to share and feature the stories of some of our most influential patients.  
For our first Patient Profile, we are featuring…
Patient: Kat Redner
Occupation: Jet Girl

Kat Redner 20, was born in Vero Beach, Florida and a Legler Orthodontics patient at age 12. She is currently studying Multiplatform Journalism at the Florida Institute of Technology but, Redner is not the typical college student. She is also learning how to drive a jet dragster at Larsen Motorsports. Yes, we repeat DRIVING A JET DRAGSTER! You know, those fire breathing turbine powered cars that race down a ¼ mile track reaching speeds over 280 mph. Yep, Kat may actually be a real-life Wonder Woman!
When she first started her college career at 18 years old, Kat met Elaine Larsen (current boss) and her entire world was changed. She was inspired by Elaine who is not only an IHRA Jet Dragster World Champion but, a powerful business woman, wonderful mother and wife, and someone that embraces being a female that never backs down from a challenge. Kat immediately applied at Larsen Motorsports and jumped head first into the racing world. At first, she started doing the marketing and social media for The Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster Team but in November 2016 she was given the opportunity to start racing these crazy jet cars.
     Sitting in part of the shop at Larsen Motorsports where they build the bodies of the jet dragsters, we asked Kat about her “12-year-old self in braces” and the impact it made on her life. Kat giggles, scrunching her nose and says “Well, at 12 years old that is ALWAYS the awkward stage in your life, you’re in middle school and you’re like, I do NOT feel confident in myself. But after I got braces I gained so much confidence once my teeth got straighter and my smile looked better. Now it is my favorite thing about myself!” Kat definitely has a dynamite Legler Smile!
     The best part of our day spent with Kat was talking about her girl power team and the young fans that look up to her. We asked her what it’s like to be in a primarily male dominated sport and the advice she would give to any little girl hoping to achieve their dreams. Kat responded enthusiastically, “When men see me at the track they are like, oh she’s just a girl she doesn’t know what she is doing but once they see you wrenching on the cars and doing the same job as them, they totally start to respect you and appreciate what you do. It’s almost better because I’m underestimated and I get to prove everyone wrong. I would tell little girls with high ambitions and dreams that you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to. Work hard and always pursue your dreams and no one, male or female, can hold you back.”

   We had an incredible experience listening and watching our very own patient display what it’s like to be a Girl Boss! Kat ended our convo with her favorite quote, “You have three choices in life:  you can give up, give in, or give it all you got. And a Jet Girl gives it all she’s got!” It’s all about girl power and Kat is the perfect example of a Legler Smile and we are thrilled to have had the chance to visit her! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer of 7 Series Part 2

     Welcome back to our Summer of 7 Series Part 2! Dr. Lee Legler from Legler Orthodontics has teamed up with Dr. Chelsea Garcia from Seaside Smiles in Vero Beach to cover additional topics on the importance of Age 7.
     To recap our Summer of 7 Series Part 1, Dr. Legler and Dr. Reza Ardalan from Ardalan Pediatric Dentistry in Port St. Lucie discussed what a parent should expect in their child’s mouth during the process of this transitional phase. They touched on permanent (grownup) teeth beginning to erupt and why it is necessary to evaluate your child’s dental growth and development. They discussed the common problems of large grownup teeth not fitting properly in a child’s tiny mouth and why visiting an orthodontist at Age 7 can save your child from dental problems occurring in the future. Dr. Reza talked about letting your newly independent child brush their own teeth while always keeping a close eye. He discussed proper brushing techniques, how to avoid cavities, and the importance of dental sealants. Dr. Legler went over why it is so important to see an orthodontist at Age 7 not just for the esthetics of your child’s smile but the confidence and joy it brings them at this young age.
     No parent loves to see their little baby grow up, lose their adorable baby fat, find their independence, and no longer see them as their shining light in the universe. However, a parent can only pretend for so long that their child will stay a little munchkin forever. It is imperative to address a child’s growth and development and take proper measures to ensure their health now and in the future. This is a team effort and Dr. Legler and Dr. Chelsea are here to work with you and your child and provide their knowledge and support during this scary and exciting milestone.

What Happens at Age 7?

Dr. Chelsea Garcia:
     The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and I recommend that patients develop a dental home with a Pediatric Dentist as early as age 1. A Dental Home enhances the dental professional’s ability to provide optimal oral health care for successful preventive care and treatment as part of an overall oral health care foundation for life. At the age of 7, it is crucial for patients to have a dental home to guide them not only for caries (decay) prevention and gingival health, but for evaluation of growth and development. At age 7, most patients are transitioning into the “mixed dentition” stage, with their baby teeth starting to loosen and their permanent teeth beginning to erupt. At that time especially, we want to perfect oral hygiene habits at home and schedule regular dental exams to evaluate dental problems.
     Every patient is unique and has individual treatment needs at different points in their development. At age 7, common treatment completed at Seaside Smiles includes preventative measures such as, cleanings, exams, X-Rays, oral hygiene instruction, sealants, and fluoride treatment. As well as restorative treatment including, fillings, crowns, nerve treatments, extractions, space maintainers, habit appliances, and frenectomies. We use space maintainers to uphold space for developing permanent teeth after early loss of primary teeth due to cavities or crowding as well as, to maximize space during permanent teeth eruption in patients with severe crowding. We also use habit appliances to break bad habits like thumb and blanket sucking, that alter the developing dentition. At Seaside Smiles we try to make dental visits enjoyable for kids. When introducing them to new things or doing treatment that can be scary or stressful, we use fun and friendly terms like “Mr. Thirsty”, “Mr. Whistle”, “sleepy jelly”, and “sleepy juice”. We “count teeth”, “make teeth dance for the tooth fairy”, “clean out sugar bugs”, and place “princess” and “superhero” filings to help ease children’s fears and anxieties while at our office. We also take pride in our "No Cavity Club" patients and honor them with a certificate at each “cavity free” visit!
      As far as home care, each patient is unique. During our recall consultations at Seaside Smile, we discuss important oral hygiene techniques and tips specific to each patient.  We also discuss with the parents if their child is able and ready to begin brushing and flossing on their own or, if they need continued help/supervision with their daily dental routine. At age 7, we always emphasize brushing 2 times per day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste, flossing nightly, and then tailor other recommendations as needed for each patient. Prevention is key for good oral health and we try to stress that to each of our Seaside Smiler families.
     On top of providing these services at our office, we coordinate with orthodontists like Dr. Legler at Legler Orthodontics to determine orthodontic needs for patients. The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends a consult with an orthodontist for your child by Age 7. During biannual exams at Seaside Smiles, I screen patients for orthodontic treatment due to crossbites, crowding, severe overjet and overbite, impacted permanent teeth, etc. and coordinate treatment with Dr. Legler. At Legler Orthodontics, Dr. Legler creates patient specific treatment plans to help manage the developing dentition and strives to perfect smiles in the permanent dentition.
Dr. Legler
     Thank you, Dr. Chelsea, for sharing your thoughts and expertise on the importance of evaluating your child’s dental growth and development at age 7. I first want to stress how critical it is for a parent to bring their child to a dentist that not only has a comfortable and welcoming environment so they are not intimidated, but also reiterate that the dentist needs to be able to detect early warning signs at age 7 in the developing mouth. These can be problems with tooth size, jaw size or jaw length, all of which should be very evident.
     On a positive note, of all of the 7 year olds we see at Legler Orthodontics, only about 50% require treatment. However, it is still beneficial to schedule an orthodontic evaluation even if your pediatric dentist does not find any early warning signs of growth and development problems. For the 50% of patients that are not ready to start their orthodontic treatment, at Legler Orthodontics we give the parent an idea of future orthodontic needs and then see their child on a recall program until they are ready around the age of 11 or 12. Usually the reason for the other half  of the 7 year olds that require treatment, fall into about three different categories.
Dental Problems:
Where the size of the teeth do not match the size of the jaws. Some kids may require early extraction of the primary (baby) teeth and space maintainers or expanders.

Effects of Bad Oral Habits:
When a child sucks their thumb or thrusts their tongue, the front teeth are not able to erupt fully and they have what we call an open bite. In other cases, the child’s jaw can be too narrow. For these types of cases we not only use braces but, we also use appliances to help fully stop their thumb sucking habit and tongue thrust. We basically realign the jaws or the arches so that the child can grow and develop more normally.

Skeletal Problems:
This occurs when one jaw grows too much or too little. For instance, an overbite which is the protrusion of the upper teeth or an underbite where the lower jaw has grown too much and the upper jaw has not grown enough. These types of cases require a two-phase treatment, where some treatment at the ages of 7-9, the first phase, may require braces, appliances, or space maintainers. We can not only make more room for the teeth to erupt but, we can also modify the growth of the size of jaws so they fit together. As a result, when your child proceeds through their adolescent growth spurt, their growth is more normal. Our ultimate goal at Legler Orthodontics is to minimize the need for extraction of permanent teeth, gum tissue grafts, and in severe cases jaw surgery to move a jaw forward or back. Any improvement we can make on these issues we feel is very valuable.

     Thank you for joining us this summer for our Summer of 7 Series! We hope to have been of help in informing parents on the importance of evaluating their child’s dental growth and development at Age 7. If you have any additional questions please visit our website and call our office to set your child up for a complimentary consultation. Legler Orthodontics Makes You Smile!