Take Advantage of Summer Braces!


After the long cold winter we endure in Southern Ontario, the moment the warm weather hits, we rarely can be found inside. Summertime brings with it, long sunny days, no school for most of us, long weekends, bbqs, and summer fun! We hold on to these hot days and for good reason! Something most of you may not realize is that summer also happens to be the best time to begin your braces treatment!

Here is a perfect opportunity to check off a to-do-list item while school is out and the extra-curricular activities are decreased.

At Liberty Orthodontic Centre we offer FREE consultation appointments. This complimentary evaluation is completely painless and easy. We will do a very brief exam to see if there is a need for braces and a few photos. As we evaluate the situation, we will give you an idea of what the orthodontic process will look like for you or your family and which kind of dental appliances or braces will work best. During your appointment, our friendly staff will chat with you, making sure all your questions are answered. To speed up this process bring this form to our office, which you can print beforehand right from our website!

With the daylight hours at their longest, you may find our mid-day times most convenient with your routine this summer! Consequently, this will free your time for more afternoons and evenings outside by the pool or dock!

Taking steps now, at the beginning of summer will ensure a perfect smile in no time!

Contact our Markham location and make an appointment for your free consultation. We look forward to seeing your bright smiles that add to the joy and warmth of the season!

What is the difference between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

As a treatment coordinator, when I sit down with prospective patients there is one common question I get asked time and time again. “What is the difference between my dentist and an orthodontist?”

Personally, I love answering this question.

There are so many specializations in dentistry, just as there are with medicine. You see your family doctor for your overall health, and when something is wrong, or needs to be explored further, your doctor refers you to a specialist. For example: if you are having heart trouble, your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist. (heart specialist) This specialist has gone through additional training in that area and can come up with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to correct or manage your issue.

When you see your general dentist for the overall health of your teeth, and there is a more specialized area that needs to be addressed, they will refer you to a specialist like an endodontist (root specialist) periodontist (gum specialist) or an orthodontist (malocclusion specialist) to name a few.

The extensive training beyond dental school that a specialist like an orthodontist receives, gives them the ability and expertise to provide the absolute best treatment of even the most complicated cases, with the highest results possible.

These days there are so many general dentists practising orthodontics. I think this is where the confusion comes from. If my dentist can do braces, then why not just go there? Fair enough, but would you go to your family doctor for treatment of a brain tumour? Or would you seek out a specialist like an oncologist? (cancer doctor)

My guess…you would choose the specialist. The same should be said for orthodontics. Yes, a general dentist can take a course and learn to do braces, but the amount of training and skill, experience and knowledge is not at the same level as a certified orthodontist.

The best way to tell the difference between an orthodontist (specialist) and a general dentist who offers braces is to ASK! – Ask your dentist if they are a board certified orthodontist and where they completed this certification.

Differences between a Dentist and Orthodontist: 

An orthodontist completes an orthodontic residency program for 2-3 years after dental school.

Dental school only provides minimal orthodontic instruction.

Orthodontic residency programs provides intensive instruction of proper and safe tooth movement techniques and the guidance of dental, jaw and facial development. These extra years of schooling make the orthodontist the dental specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. This is the only focus of their practice.

Some reasons to see an orthodontist are:

You want a beautiful smile
– You feel a great smile will improve your self-esteem and self-confidence
– You want the best for your family
– Early or late loss of baby teeth
– Difficulty chewing or biting
– Mouth breathing
– Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
– Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
– Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
– Protruding teeth
– Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
– Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
– Grinding or clenching of teeth
– Inability to comfortably close lips
An orthodontist can diagnose and treat all of the above issues and more, I implore you choose a specialist for the best care for yourself and your family.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists:

 “All orthodontists are dentists, but only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists.”

posted by: Laura Thomas – Treatment Coordinator and Dental Assistant with Liberty Orthodontic Centre – Markham Ontario

Caring for Your Smile While Wearing Invisalign®

Getting your braces off is exciting. You’ve been working on your new smile for months or years, and it’s time for the trips to our Markham, ON office to pay off. Can you imagine how bad it would be to discover that your teeth are straight, but that there’s decay?

Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond just waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you’re done with your Invisalign treatment.

Take Your Trays Out

The first difference you may notice between Invisalign and traditional metal braces is that Invisalign aligners are invisible, but there’s another important distinction as well. Invisalign braces are removable. You can take the trays out, and you should. Remove the trays while you’re eating so you don’t get food stuck in them. Also, remove them while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have full access to all the nooks and crannies in your mouth.

Brush Normally

The guidelines for brushing your teeth with Invisalign don’t change compared to braces. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, being sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. If possible, brush after each meal.

If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.

Floss and Wash

Flossing your teeth gets out the bits and pieces stuck between them. It’s a time-consuming task when you need to navigate the wires of traditional metal braces, but thanks to Invisalign’s removable design, flossing is no problem. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride antibacterial mouthwash also helps clean your teeth because it gets into all of the spaces. Floss and rinse one or two times daily.

Cleaning Your Trays

Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. You can use the Invisalign cleaning system, which involves placing the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals. The plastic trays are clean after 15 minutes. You can also ask Dr. Rajasekaran for other ways to clean your trays.

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

At Liberty Orthodontic Centre, 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. Rajasekaran 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 difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

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. Rajasekaran 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. Rajasekaran, please give our team at Liberty Orthodontic Centre a call at our convenient Markham, ON office.

Help! My gums hurt when I floss!

By no stretch is it rare for your gums to hurt during and after flossing. Even some bleeding is to be expected. This is especially true if you have not flossed in a long time. However, if your gums do indeed hurt when you floss, and unbearably so, there are some things you can do.

Be Gentle

Perhaps the most obvious way to combat gum soreness and bleeding is to be gentle. One of the most common occurrences of these gum problems is over-aggressive flossing. In other words, if you are too rough on your gums while flossing, either because you are out of practice or because you are in a hurry, soreness and hurting is to be expected. Instead, try taking your time and be gentle. Also, if you are just starting out, be patient and consistent, your gums will become more conditioned over time.

Use an Alternative Method

If being consistent and gentle does not work, there are other alternative methods of flossing that you can try. You can also try a water floss machine, or what is sometimes called a water pick. The device essentially shoots water into the crevasses between your teeth, and in other areas of your mouth, in order to dislodge food and plaque. These oral instruments also come with different attachments that allow you to reach many of the hard to see and reach areas of your mouth. And lastly, you can always buy floss that is not as abrasive to your gums. There is floss that comes with soft and gentle coatings that will do less harm to your gums while they are adjusting to the good oral hygiene habit you are creating.

Flossing is one of the easiest parts of oral hygiene to overlook. When you first start out, it is common that you may want to stop because of the pain it can initially cause. However, if you try one, or all, of the above mentioned methods, you will give yourself the best chance of being success with your flossing, and it won’t hurt as much.

For more flossing tips, schedule an appointment at our Markham, ON office and askDr. Rajasekaran or a member of our team!