Minneapolis, St. Paul Orthodontics Blog

So your child just got braces. While you may feel relieved, this is just the first step in a complex and sometimes long process used to correct crooked teeth. And although your trusty orthodontist will provide the heavy lifting during visits to make sure everything’s going along alright, you and your child will also need to be responsible after you leave the office. Aside from avoiding foods that may cause the braces to break, it’s just as important to make sure that the teeth are being cleaned well – as cleaning the teeth may seem to be a bit trickier with braces. Below we highlights some tips -

1.) Brushing – While brushing with braces, the fight against plaque build-up may have just gotten a little tougher. No worries, we’re sure you’re up for the challenge and after all, it’s important to remember that the general rules of brushing still apply. However, to get around the wires that cover the teeth, there is something called a proxabrush toothbrush. What makes it different from your regular tooth brush is that the tip is a bit thinner, allowing the brush to go between the wires where the regular tooth brush won’t fit. This type of brush can really help fight against plaque.

2.) Rinsing – Rinsing is probably something people don’t do enough of. But in the case of braces, taking this simple and easy step can help get rid food particles that would otherwise cause plaque. In this area, talk to your orthodontist over what brand or type of mouth wash he or she may recommend.

3.) Flossing – Take a quick look at braces and think of flossing: At first sight, it may appear that braces wouldn’t allow for this important way to clean the teeth. However, it’s important that people wearing braces keep flossing. Food particles are more likely to get trapped in the braces and around the teeth themselves. To deal with this, consider using something called a floss threader. You can likely find this product at your local convenience store. And while it may now take a little longer to floss, this will definitely let you get the floss string to address those tricky spots.

4.) Visit Your Dentist Regularly – While your orthodontist is the go-to person for all-things braces, your dentist still plays an important role in tooth care. Regularly visiting your dentist is still a good idea during the time that you or your child has braces.

Malocclusions – The Crooked Teeth Dilemma

February 17, 2014 Article Comments Off

What constitutes a great smile in your mind? Perhaps when we think of the idea, we take into account physical features such as dimples, the way the lips arch up higher to the sides of one’s face or of course, a beautiful set of straight teeth. A smile is a show of expression, a sign to anyone in the immediate area that we’re at that one moment in time, expressing joy.  And while a straight set of teeth isn’t necessarily the essential piece to what makes a great smile, having them definitely doesn’t hurt.

So exactly what causes malocclusions and what fixes are available? While the issue of crooked teeth is often considered a hereditary one (teeth either have too much space or too little space in the jaw to develop correctly), it is known that some childhood practices that may seem as innocent such as prolonged use of a pacifier and bottle can be considered culprits as well. Crooked teeth are most commonly addressed with braces.

Is there an exact age when the treatment should begin? There’s no simple answer. As humans, in the same way that each of us looks different, we also develop very differently. The same factor holds true for teeth. However, it’s generally believed that the younger one consults with an orthodontist. This can be contributed to the simple fact that bone tends to be softer when we’re younger; therefore, it’s much easier to move them into the desired alignment.

While malocclusions can be a serious problem, a high number of cases aren’t so severe that they actually necessitate treatment. The best answer? Bring your child to a consultation by your orthodontist at least by the age of seven. As an expert, the orthodontist will be able to carefully examine the child’s teeth to determine exactly when treatment should start.

Benefits of Invisalign

February 6, 2014 Article Comments Off

Choosing to straighten your teeth is a decision that affects both your health and your appearance. Invisalign can help you achieve this goal without putting your life on hold. Gain confidence while you straighten!

Benefits of Invisalign for Adults

Because you can brush and floss normally while using Invisalign, the system has a positive affect on your overall oral health – both while you are straightening your teeth and after. And with the ability to remove the Invisalign appliance while straightening, there are no dietary challenges and fewer office visits.

Benefits of Invisalign for Teens

Braces can be an extra challenge for a teenager. The clear plastic alternative to braces, Invisalign is a straightening system that is virtually invisible. In addition to the other benefits of a removable teeth-straightening option, Invisalign will not affect your young athlete’s or musician’s life the way that standard metal braces would. Giving your teen the confidence of a lifetime of straight teeth without the drawbacks of standard metal braces will be a hit!

Dr. Trudy Bonvino specializes in providing Invisalign for both adults and teens. Set up an Invisalign consultation by contacting us at (952)236-4590. Is Invisalign the right option for your life? Find out at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics.

Closing the Case on Open Bite

August 21, 2013 Article Comments Off

open bite and why it’s important that it be correctedST. PAUL, LAKEVILLE & PRIOR LAKE, MINNESOTA – We would venture to say there isn’t a malocclusion that we haven’t seen and treated here at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics.

But while bite and alignment issues are routine for any adult or pediatric orthodontist, we know that you may not be aware of all the intricacies involved if you or your children have been recommended for orthodontic treatment. For that reason, we occasionally write about a specific type of malocclusion. Today we’re tackling open bite.

An open bite is the term used to describe a bite where the front teeth don’t touch when your jaws are closed and your back teeth are touching.

“As you can imagine, this poses some aesthetic setbacks, but the problems actually go beyond that,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and St. Paul orthodontics expert who offers braces and other orthodontic treatment options for children and adults.

Uncorrected open bites make it difficult for you to chew and swallow appropriately. This type of malocclusion also can cause speech impediments. Over time, open bite can cause the jaw to pop or click.

What causes open bite?
Genetics, thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting (by itself, or secondarily to other poor habits), mouth breathing and using a pacifier for too long can cause children to develop an open bite.

The act of thumb-sucking creates palatal changes. It also alters the nasal septum. The resulting high palate can lead to a lifetime of breathing difficulty. When this happens, a tongue-thrusting habit may begin, which only exacerbates the problem.

When identified early, open bite often can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Otherwise, surgery may be required if the problem is left untreated for too long.

“This is another reason why orthodontists preach the importance of having children evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7,” says St. Paul braces expert Dr. Bonvino.

Open bite is one problem that can successfully be corrected, provided it is identified and treated early. Correcting an open bite while the child is still growing makes it possible for Dr. Bonvino to use the child’s growth to her advantage and incorporate it into treatment.

One key to ensuring open bite doesn’t recur is addressing the reasons why it happened to begin with, Dr. Bonvino says.

“For example, if a child sucks her thumb and doesn’t break the habit, the open bite can recur,” she says.

There are orthodontic appliances that can be used to eliminate the pleasant sensation of thumb- or finger-sucking. Another option is orofacial myofunctional therapy. This is a type of therapy for the head, neck and face, and it involves teaching the patient to chew, breathe and swallow correctly.

Besides correcting a bad bite, let’s not forget that orthodontic treatment to open bite also leads to a pleasing smile. And THAT is something to smile about.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

Childhood Injury Prevention Week is Sept. 1-7

August 10, 2013 News Comments Off

Burnsville Orthodontist Stresses Safety During Injury Prevention WeekLAKEVILLE, BURNSVILLE & MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – Childhood Injury Prevention Week is observed Sept. 1-7 each year, and it presents a perfect opportunity for us to stress the importance of protecting your children from injury while they play sports and engage in other physical activities.

Our adult and children’s orthodontics practice, which attracts patients from Lakeville, Prior Lake, Burnsville and Minneapolis, has always promoted safety to area athletes by serving as a sporting equipment sponsor for many athletic leagues.

“By providing mouth guards to students who need them, there’s really no telling how many injuries we’ve helped prevent through the years,” says orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino. “We’re happy to do it because it promotes something we feel strongly about – oral health – while also giving us an opportunity to be involved in the community.”

During Childhood Injury Prevention Week, we stress to every patient, even those whose treatment involves invisible braces such as Invisalign Teen, the need to wear a properly fitting mouth guard when playing contact sports. For football players, a helmet also helps guard against injuries to the mouth.

“Even if you’re not involved in team sports, there are other risky activities that could result in mouth injuries, such as skateboarding and rollerblading,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Sports accidents are responsible for between 10 percent and 39 percent of dental injuries in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Children between ages 7 and 11 are most susceptible to sports-related oral injuries.

Here are some sobering statistics on dental injuries provided by Share the Care, a dental health initiative in San Diego:

  • More than 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out annually
  • Nearly $500 million is spent on teeth replacement
  • Sporting activities cause the greatest percentage of dental trauma in teens
  • Half of all children younger than 18 will suffer at least one traumatic tooth injury by the time they graduate

In addition to wearing a mouth guard, there are other measures your children can take to help prevention injury. Some are as simple as getting a good night’s sleep.

Adolescent athletes who got at least eight hours of sleep nightly are 68 percent less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less, according to HealthyChildren.org.

We’re eager to answer any questions related to injury prevention that you may have. Just ask at your child’s next appointment, or call our office for more information.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

St. Paul Orthodontist Talks Deep BiteLAKEVILLE, BURNSVILLE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – If an orthodontist has said you need braces, it could be for a variety of reasons. Teeth crowding, crossbites, underbites and deep bites are just a few types of malocclusions that can be successfully treated with orthodontics.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a deep bite, this is a condition that needs to be corrected to prevent additional oral health issues.

Deep bite is one of the most damaging bites, says one of the best Lakeville and St. Paul orthodontists Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who offers braces for children and adults. A deep bite is created when the upper teeth extend over the lower teeth too far. The most severe cases of deep bite can cause the lower teeth to become completely covered by the upper teeth.

This type of bite increases the likelihood of abnormal tooth wear and gum impingements. It can even damage the gum area behind the front upper teeth, and it increases the potential for jaw joints to become strained, which can lead to tempero-mandibular joint problems.

“As you can see, there obviously are lots of benefits to treating this type of malocclusion,” says Dr. Bonvino, whose patients come from neighboring cities of St. Paul. “Orthodontics can preserve teeth and gums by correcting the bite issue.”

Because the issues caused by deep bite can be seen in the dental, skeletal and/or soft tissue of the face, accurate diagnosis is the first step in proper treatment, according to a case report on the subject.

While correcting deep bite can be challenging, it is far from impossible, thanks to technological innovations that provide more effective treatment. Following are some of appliances that we may use to treat overbite.

One appliance used by orthodontists is a trainer – a polyurethane mouthpiece that helps control the soft tissue dysfunction that is harmful to normal development. A trainer alters the lower jaw’s posture and stimulates transverse development. We prescribe this device to be worn for varying lengths of time, depending on each patient’s needs. Some patients may only wear it a few hours per day, while others may need to wear it overnight to get the greatest corrective benefit.

Another tool at our disposal is the orthodontic bite plate. This appliance can be removable or cemented in place for the length of treatment.

Adjustable bite ramps are appliances that include two elements: one that attaches to the tooth, and a ramp element. The tooth-attachment is bonded to the back of your tooth, and the ramp element is hinged or bendable relative to the tooth-attachment.

The ramp creates a desired angle for engaging a corresponding tooth of the opposite dental arch when your mouth is in a closed, resting position, says Dr. Bonvino, a St. Paul Invisalign provider. The connection between the ramp and the corresponding tooth of the opposite dental arch prompts your lower jaw to move forward relative to your upper jaw. Over time, this gradually corrects the deep bite condition.

Acrylic bite planes sometimes are used in conjunction with bite plates to treat deep bite. The new bone must be conditioned to withstand the stresses of chewing by gradually withdrawing the bite plate.

“It is imperative to gradually withdraw the bite plate,” Dr. Bonvino says. “Removing it abruptly before the bone organization has set in can cause the therapy to fail.”

A bite plane features a thick acrylic platform in back of the upper incisors, on which the lower incisors can touch when closing the jaws together, while leaving the back teeth out of the bite pattern.

Other types of orthodontic appliances may also be incorporated into treatment, including traditional metal braces, invisible braces with ceramic or tooth-colored brackets, or lingual braces.

“We evaluate each patient’s unique needs and formulate a treatment plan that we believe will best address those needs,” says Dr. Bonvino, a Farmington orthodontics pro. “It’s rewarding to offer treatment that not only creates a more beautiful smile, but prevents my patient from developing other oral health issues later in life.”

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

LFA Players Kick Off Football Season in Style

July 11, 2013 News Comments Off

orthodontics host of kickoff party
LAKEVILLE, BURNSVILLE & MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We helped the Lakeville Football Association start their season in style June 23 with a huge kickoff party at our Lakeville office.

Hundreds of parents and players attended. In addition to playing in inflatables we had on site and enjoying icees and grilled hot dogs, dozens of players picked up their custom-fitted professional mouth guards.

Our office sponsored this important piece of safety equipment for the association this year.

“This is what community is all about,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, an adult and pediatric orthodontist in St. Paul. “Sponsoring mouth guards for the players helps us promote safety in a very constructive way, and it means one less piece of vital equipment parents must purchase.”

Families who attended had the opportunity to get a lot of preparation for football season squared away in one location. In addition to the mouth guards, members of the booster club were on-hand selling a variety of athletic wear.

“This was the first time we’ve held a kickoff celebration like this, but it won’t be the last,” says Dr. Bonvino, a braces expert in Farmington who studied orthodontics in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. “We got a great response, and families and association members asked us to do this again next year.”

We are committed to taking part in the celebration again next year, because a big part of our practice philosophy is giving back to the community in ways that support Lakeville youth.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the Lakeville Football Association provides boys and girls in the area an opportunity to participate in a variety of football programs. There is a spring Passing League for youth in fourth through seventh grades, a Flag Football League for first and second graders, and a Tackle Football League for third through eighth graders.

The association strives to create a positive, enjoyable experience while children learn fundamental skills, game concepts, teamwork, self-confidence, sportsmanship and respect for others.

Dr. Bonvino Celebrates 19 Years as an Orthodontist

June 18, 2013 News Comments Off

St. Paul pediatric orthodonticsLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – Women were doing some cool things in June 1994. Liselotte Neumann won the Minnesota Ladies Professional Golf Association Golf Classic. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. And Dr. Trudy Bonvino completed her clinical orthodontics residency at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to that, Dr. Bonvino attended the University of Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree before entering the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. She graduated with high distinction and a doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1992.

Since completing her residency and earning a master’s degree in the process, Dr. Bonvino has made it her mission to set high standards in orthodontics.

Why did she choose this field? It could be said that this career path chose her because it combined her two greatest interests: art and science. She knew becoming an orthodontist would enable her to work with children and adults, and the treatment she provided would be beneficial to people from a self-esteem standpoint, as well as from an oral health perspective, she says. Her role as an orthodontist also provides opportunities to educate patients on general dental care, which can help ensure our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Today, this native of the Twin Cities enjoys treating adults and children who come from St. Paul, Minneapolis, Burnsville and other neighboring cities to receive treatment at our locations in Lakeville and Prior Lake.

“It’s been 19 years that I’ve been in practice, so it’s rewarding to look back and know I’ve treated a generation of children, as well as thousands of adults,” says Dr. Bonvino, a St. Paul pediatric orthodontics provider. “And it’s a bit surreal to think that I sometimes find myself treating the children of former patients.”

Our patients consistently give Dr. Bonvino high marks in the “friendly” and “nice” departments. Most of the testimonials on our website include those two descriptors when patients are asked about Dr. Bonvino.

Dr. Bonvino is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the Midwest Society of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, and she serves on the executive committee of the Minneapolis District Dental Society.

Dr. Bonvino and her husband, Chris, have two children and in her spare time, she loves to work in her garden, paint, exercise and cheer for her children as they participate in various activities.

At your next appointment, please join us in congratulating Dr. Bonvino on 19 stellar years as an orthodontist.

Prior Lake pediatric orthodontistLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We get it. The process of taking time off from work, dashing to check your child out of school and getting her to the orthodontist sometimes can take longer than the actual appointment.

We’re sure there are times you might even question the importance of a checkup that lasts 10 minutes or less. That’s the topic we’re tackling today: understanding why these quick observation/revisit appointments are vital to your child’s orthodontic treatment.

We have talked for years about how our adult and pediatric orthodontics practice supports the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation of having kids evaluated by age 7. Doing so enables you and your child to become established with an orthodontist who can create a growth and development monitoring plan that best addresses your child’s needs.

“There are isolated occasions when your child would require treatment at this young age,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, an orthodontist in Burnsville and Prior Lake who offers treatment with multiple types of braces and appliances, including Invisalign. “However, it is more common that your child would be placed on a monitoring program that involves observation/revisit appointments so we can watch as the teeth erupt and determine the best time to begin treatment, should treatment be necessary.”

That’s why we schedule your child for these brief orthodontic observations and revisits periodically. Sometimes we simply need to visually observe your child’s bite and alignment. Other times, we need to take a new set of photographs and/or X-rays. But just because these appointments may be quick and your child spends much less time in the exam chair than you spent getting her there, don’t think they aren’t necessary.

“When we treat young patients, we are careful to plan orthodontic treatment with their growth spurts,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Children grow fast, and using your child’s growth to our advantage frequently enables us to treat conservatively and avoid the need for lengthier, more invasive – and sometimes more expensive – treatments in the future.


The Purpose of Observation/Revisit Appointments
By establishing a baseline at your child’s initial evaluation, it allows Dr. Bonvino to help identify the right timing to begin treatment. Observation/revisit appointments are designed to help us monitor your child’s growth to better time the treatment, or find the ideal time to start treatment.

“Ultimately, these appointments mean your child will have her braces on for a shorter period of time because they enable us to find the ideal time to start treatment,” she says.

This is particularly helpful when significant facial and skeletal corrections must be made. Using your child’s growth to help correct some bite and alignment discrepancies enables us to make treatment more comfortable for her. A good example of this is correcting an underbite. We can correct this type of malocclusion with appliances that help control jaw growth and teeth eruption patterns when the child is young and still growing. Waiting until growth is complete to address underbite can require painful surgery to break the jaw and set it into proper position.

Correcting alignment issues before teeth become calcified in the bone also makes shifts in alignment more comfortable and sometimes easier.

“Remember: we’re moving teeth within the bone and trying to time it right,” Dr. Bonvino, a pediatric orthodontist in Prior Lake, says.

Occasionally, teeth can become impacted. Observation/revisit appointments help ensure teeth are erupting on time biologically. When a tooth has developed and become impacted, that advances the level of treatment needed. On the other hand, if we can identify early on that a tooth is not erupting as it should, we can intervene. We have identified this problem in patients’ canine teeth and removed the baby tooth early to create a path for the potentially impacted canine.

So the next time you compare the time and effort spent getting your child to appointments to the time she spends in the chair, remember the big picture. That time and effort will pay big dividends on her future treatment. And for that, she will thank you.

Football Players Receive Free Mouth Guards

May 29, 2013 News Comments Off

Prior Lake orthodonticsLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND BURNSVILLE, MN – Players in the Lakeville Football Association are getting some assistance from us in the safety department this summer.

We’re giving away free mouth guards to players in an effort to help them protect their teeth while they’re on the field.

Players can come to our Lakeville or Prior Lake orthodontics locations to be fitted for custom mouth guards.

For Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who treats patients from the surrounding communities of Shakopee, Savage and Burnsville, pediatric orthodontics goes beyond just brackets and elastics.

“Whether a child is in active orthodontic treatment or not, we encourage them to keep safety in mind when they’re playing sports,” she says. “A hit to the mouth can damage your brackets and cause serious cuts to the soft tissue in your mouth. But even if you don’t have braces, you can cause damage to your teeth and their alignment. We’re providing mouth guards to protect against these possibilities.”

It is important to note that if you are in Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment, you still need to wear a mouth guard while participating in contact sports because the Invisalign aligners do not offer adequate protection against blows to the mouth.

In addition to protecting the teeth, a mouth guard that fits properly also can protect players from concussion. Just as helmets and pads protect the body, mouth guards provide a cushion for the teeth and prevent the upper and lower jaws from being slammed together during a tackle. For more information on the signs and symptoms of concussions, please visit the Lakeville Football Association’s website.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.