There are many more reasons to follow an orthodontist or family dentist’s recommendation for braces than there are not. These are medical doctors who took the Hippocratic oath and provide recommendations and suggestions based on the best interests of their patients. Braces can be applied at any time of someone’s life but the best time to get them is when a kid is in their childhood or adolescence. When one’s permanent teeth are growing in and their smile is taking shape, the matter can be effectively dealt with in a proactive fashion before teeth have the time to grow in out of alignment. Specific malocclusions can be identified pretty early in one’s life; that is what orthodontics is all about.
There has been a lot of guess-work that has gone into this industry over the course of human history and it was not until the 1900s that teeth were being straightened out and malocclusions were being corrected with any amount of precision. In fact, in terms of braces methodology, it was discovered that not much changed for thousands of years after the examination of ancient Egyptian mummified remains showed crude metal bands wrapped around the base of their teeth. This was more or less the method used until dental adhesive was perfected and could be used to glue brackets directly to the face of patient’s teeth. It may be hard to believe for people who were born after the 60s and got braces in the 70s, but stainless steel metal bands were fashioned around individual teeth until the dental adhesive became available in the 70s.
Stainless steel became the metal of choice in the orthodontics industry in the 1950s and before that all kinds of precious metals were typically used to accomplish the same thing. Stainless steel is strong, easy to shape and affordable whereas precious metals like gold, silver, brass and platinum were less so and harder to work with and maintain. The metal bands that were used to wrap around people teeth often left cavities behind because it was easy for food particles to get stuck in patient’s teeth during the usual two to three-year braces process. Bracket designs have been evolving since the 1930s but it was not until the 70s when dental adhesive became available that they were actually able to be used to their full potential. Many designs and patents were taken out on bracket designs but the most significant development was the self-litigating bracket.
The self-litigating bracket is made out of stainless steel, ceramic or clear plastic and what makes it special is that it is designed with a convenient trap-door mechanism that closes around the inter-connected wiring after an orthodontist makes the required adjustments. Plastic and ceramic designs became popular because of the apparent growing desire to make braces less conspicuous for adults. Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign or lingual braces so when traditional braces are the only way to produce the best results, brackets made out of clear plastic or ceramic make the process less conspicuous. Invisalign and lingual braces are becoming more common with adults as time goes on, but everyone’s orthodontic situation is very unique and many are not eligible for these treatments.
Invisalign is a method that was made available to the public in the year 2000 as a way to straighten teeth without anyone being able to see it. 3-D printing and mapping and digital imaging technology all culminated to make this all possible by producing a series of clear, strong plastic ‘aligners’ or trays to shift teeth into a more aligned position. Results can be experienced in a fraction of the time of braces because on average only 8-12 aligners are required and they only work for 2-3 weeks each. People who get braces are usually in for the long-haul for about two years. so those who are looking for an invisible way to straighten their teeth with a short turn-around are normally pretty excited about Invisalign.
Lingual braces are like traditional braces, only they are applied to the backside surface of the patient’s teeth. This is the only braces method that is truly non-detectable because when the brackets are applied to the back of teeth, they are completely hidden from view. Ceramic braces and clear braces do make them less noticeable but by no means are they invisible. So, those who want the results that only braces can provide but cannot stand the idea of people being able to see brackets and wiring in their mouth, lingual braces is a wonderful choice and they can be applied by an orthodontist with specialized knowledge of them.
Any business who wants to make a good impression on their prospective customers should treat their website like they are going to be judged based on it, because they will. The last thing that you want to have to find out about is why your bounce-rate is so terrible because people leave your website as soon as they click on it. The ‘back’ navigational button in any browser is the most used button in part, because there are a lot of bad websites out there that draw people in and send them packing almost immediately because they do not find what they are looking for. A good web developer understands not only how to get qualified people who are actually looking for your products, services and/or information to your website, but they also know how to immediately engage them with a welcoming website. There are a lot of ways to go wrong and only so many ways to do it right, and here are some things that should be second nature to your web designer:
1. Simple Navigation – Your website should be simple, not complicated, disorganized or appear to be cluttered. The most important information should be on the home page and it should accomplish two things. First of all, the verbiage should be concise and let them know that they have arrived at the right place. Second of all, whatever they read should encourage them to want to look at the rest of your website. When they do start to look around they should be able to easily click on one of the four or five main headers at the top of the screen. Some common and effective headers are, ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Location’, ‘Products’, ‘Services’ and ‘Pricing’ (if applicable). Navigating back to the homepage should be easy as well.
2. Link Your Company Logo to the Homepage – Your company logo is your calling card and an important part of branding. It should appear on every internal page (preferably in the same spot) on your website and your visitors should be able to click on it knowing that it is going to return them to the homepage. This is smart website design because it not only creates repetition, but it also provides a simple way to get back to the main page where they can then navigate to any other part of the website without having to click on the ‘back’ browser button. You will find that most well-designed informational websites will employ this action.
3. Do Not Allow Pop-ups – Pop ups are counter-productive to any webpage viewing experience no matter what the site, no matter who the visitor is. You do not want your visitor’s attention to be detracted by anything during their time on your website because you want them to be reading information that you want them to read, not some unrelated advertisement that appears out of nowhere and interrupts what they are trying to do. There are some clever ‘internet marketers’ who claim they can make you money off of your site and pop-ups is how they do it, but who would want their visitors getting distracted or guided to another website for any reason?
4. Do Not Take Any Unnecessary Chances – There is a time and place to impress your customer and it is when they call you on the phone after the can easily find your website and your contact information on it. A digital marketing agency that thinks they can win a customer over on behalf of their clients by somehow making their website more fun than others by using a childish font or trying to appeal to a prospective customer’s sense of humor is missing the point and they are experimenting with your money. Informational company websites should be strictly business and be designed in a way that indicates that they value their prospective customer’s time and will treat them as such.
Your website is a chance to express who you are but what you do is a more important point to get across. Of course some clever copywriters at the web development company are going to paint you in a positive light but providing helpful, concise information regarding the products and services that your company provides in a visually conducive way should be the main focus of the website designer. In industries with stiff competition it’s the people who make the difference, but in order to get people to experience that difference they are going to have to go through your website and feel good about it before anything else.
You are ready to wear braces (or you are bracing yourself for it, pardon the pun), but do you know much about braces? Chances are you don’t know that much information, and you are reading this essay in order to learn more. We first have to learn about what an orthodontist does. A good orthodontist will be one licensed by the American Association of Orthodontists. The AAO is a professional organization that creates rules and guidelines that orthodontists will have to abide by based on cleanliness and ethical grounds. Orthodontists are specialists in tooth and jaw alignment.
- Metal braces:
These braces are made of steel, and you already know what these look like since you have seen kids wear these while you were in school. These are the most common type of braces, for several reasons. They are extremely effective in treatment for almost all types of cases, from the mild to the more severe, which makes them malleable. They are also the most cost-friendly option among the various ones provided by the orthodontist’s office, with prices starting at $3,000 for the whole treatment. Application and tightening of the steel braces, although slightly uncomfortable, is easy to apply and it is also easy to take off by the orthodontist. Braces are used through glueing the bracket to the teeth, and the wires attached to them are used to tighten the teeth as it guides them to proper alignment. But considering the way these look, this is not the greatest option for kids who are very self-conscious and anxious or adults who need to look more professional.
- Clear braces:
These work pretty much the exact same way as the metal braces, except they are not made of steel. They are made of a different kind of material that makes them look clear. Ceramic braces are a type of clear braces that are made of a ceramic alloy, and this blends with the teeth much better than the metal ones do. These are not completely unnoticeable, however, but it’s very obvious that they do not attract a lot of attention like metal braces do. Prices for these start at around $4,000, so this makes them cost efficient even if they are a little bit more expensive than the metal braces.
- Lingual braces:
These braces are attached to the back of the teeth, which is why they are sometimes called hidden braces. These are better suited for professional adults who need to undergo teeth alignment treatment but in a discreet way. Considering that there is a stigma to wearing braces as a child or a teen, it is especially so with an adult because they would be deemed that they are too old to wear any braces. Any adult who wants to keep up a clean, professional appearance for clients and bosses though may want to consider using lingual braces for their treatment. Lingual braces are uncomfortable to wear, however, and the application process is also unpleasant. They are also less effective than other braces, because they are not suitable for patients with severe dental cases. These are the most expensive type of traditional bracket and wire braces available, with prices starting at $8,000.
Otherwise known as Invisalign, these braces are the most advanced we have so far when it come to orthodontic technology. A mold is created of the patient’s teeth, and the computer scans it, designs an aligner, and then it is printed through a 3-D printer as a clear, plastic mold that is meant to slowly manipulate the teeth into alignment. They wear like a mouth guard, which makes this the most comfortable method available. This is another good option for both adults and for teenagers who are very wary over the idea of wearing normal braces because of the way they look. They are called invisible braces because they look invisible. You have to pay for a new aligner every two weeks, and how many you need will depend on your treatment, and since every new aligner will have to be paid for by you, the final cost of your treatment will pretty much depend on your current situation.
Another note to think about: oftentimes, the orthodontist will add a retainer towards the end of your treatment. What this is, is a custom-fitted wire to your mouth that holds your teeth in place. This acts as a supplement to your treatment, since sometimes you may something to hold them in place as the teeth get adjusted to their new aligned position. If the orthodontist thinks you need a retainer, not to worry – it means you are almost done and you get that smile you have been wanting!
Many Americans are eating healthier and treating themselves better and those factors combined with the advancement and increased availability of quality healthcare, people’s life expectancy is increasing. This means that in order to enjoy a long and prosperous retirement, one has to prepare themselves far in advance. Working and saving money does not do the trick anymore; smart investments are needed now in order to build a proper retirement fund that can be counted on to get someone through 40 or more years of their lives. People who retire around the age of 60 and live to be 100 have almost half of their lives to save up for, and most people do not start saving until they are in their 20s or 30s.
401K retirement plans have become a popular way for people to save for their retirements because they can do so before taxes are taken out. The annual contribution limit is $17,500 and most companies who offer this kind of retirement plan to their employees match a certain percentage. Anyone who is concerned about saving for their retirement who can afford to personally contribute a portion of their salary that is equal to the percentage that their employer is willing to match should definitely do that because otherwise, it is like tossing money down the drain. Any employer who reaches at least 100 eligible participants for their plan are required to hire a CPA firm to perform an audit of their retirement plan.
401K audits are mandatory for employers who administer large plans because it is very important that their employees retirement savings are protected and they are not being taken advantage of. Many companies who offer these plans obviously have good intentions because they do not have to, but at some point it became clear that too many of them did not fully understand their fiduciary duties and take this responsibility as seriously as they should have. Timely employee payments must be made, accounts must be stated fairly, all employees must have access to the plan, and the plan should be valued accurately and fairly. This all may sound like jargon to a laymen, but these are important matters that a 401K audit is designed to assess.
Many companies who reach the 100 eligible participant threshold decide to hire one of the big four CPA firms to perform the mandatory audit. Over 95% of large corporations that are publicly traded use one of the major international CPA firms to perform this audit because they are priced and designed to handle very large accounts. It does not matter what firm is chosen to perform the audit as long as the audit is performed by a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Sometimes a company will choose a local CPA firm to perform the audit because they are more reasonably priced or because they take a more personalized approach. Whatever the case may be, the information obtained from the audit is included with form 5500 that is submitted to the Internal Revenue Service for processing along with a company’s other important tax documentation.
A CPA accounting firm does not have to be the biggest and best in order to perform a thorough audit. Any CPA has proven by passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination that they are more than capable of utilizing their resources and figuring out what is required for an audit like this. Most 401K auditors though have a lot of experience, specifically with 401K retirement accounts and often they also are well-versed in mutual and hedge fund audits too. There is a very strict set of guidelines that an auditor uses through the audit process in order for them to produce an objective opinion about how the plan is performing and if any of the companies practices need to be improved upon for any reason.
Although it is considered mandatory for a 401K plan with a 100 or more eligible participants to have an audit performed, many companies would choose to do it periodically anyway just to make sure that everything is copacetic with their plan. The financial burden of an audit falls on the company who is having it performed whether it is of their own volition or not; however this cost may be peanuts compared to what an audit could reveal about a company’s internal processes or the performance of their plans that ultimately could improve their bottom line. They say that you have to spend money to make money but in this case, a company may have to spend money to help them and their employees save money.
When you look at photos of celebrities or models or politicians, you will see the same thing: white, straight teeth. It is so common that it may seem like everyone has beautiful teeth except for you, and considering all the competition between your peers who also have straight teeth, you may feel like you will not be able to make a good first impression. Or you may feel completely unattractive because your smile isn’t something that others want to see. It’s a terrible position to be in, but orthodontic treatment is advancing and with it, come many options to wear braces. First off, you don’t have to worry about wearing braces because there are more discreet options that can help you achieve the beautiful smile that you have been wanting for a while. Also, if it comes to the point that you will have to wear braces at the front of your teeth for any number of reasons – due to low budget or because of the severity of your case – take comfort in the fact that your orthodontic treatment will be temporary for a few months, and then you can spend the rest of your lifetime with the comfort of knowing that you will have a more attractive smile. When you are ready to get braces, you will have to make an appointment with an orthodontist first of all to talk about the different options that are available for your particular needs.
When it comes to choosing between a myriad of braces, it will mostly depend on the small details of your case. You don’t have to make the choice to wear the embarrassing looking metal ones, but it may be a good idea that you learn about the way they work so you can understand the rest. Here is the list:
First off, there are metal braces. These are the obnoxious looking ones that will make you feel as if everyone is paying attention to the fact that you have braces on. They are made of steel, which is essential to the way they work as they help in the giving proper alignment to your teeth. The system that they work on consists of two parts: brackets, which are glued to the front of your teeth, and wires, which connect them all and are the tool that orthodontics use in order to tighten the braces throughout time as the treatment continues. These metal braces are highly effective in treating all kinds of orthodontic cases, which makes them extremely versatile. For those on a budget, these are least expensive as well, which is why they are so common, but not popular.
Secondly, there are also clear braces, which is essentially by its very nature of its mechanism a copy of metal braces. They work the same way, down to their brackets and their wires, except that they are not made of steel. They are made of different materials that make them clear and see through, or of a ceramic alloy which allows them blend well with your teeth. They should give an illusion that they are not there. These are not completely unnoticeable however, but they do avoid getting so much attention that normal metal braces seem to get.
Third, there are also lingual braces for patients who are really adamant about the privacy and discreet necessities of wearing braces that no one can see. What makes lingual braces popular is because these are among the most unnoticeable type of braces, which is why they have another name: hidden braces. They are put on behind the teeth, away from public vision, which will give you the privacy of dealing with the orthodontic treatment on your own without having to have anybody else know. It sounds magnificent, but there are some setbacks to this method. First of all, they are not comfortable (just think about where they are in the mouth, wedged into the roof of your mouth). Secondly, not everyone is eligible to wear them. Normal braces are variable and malleable to the dental case that is applied, but lingual braces aren’t, so you will need to have the right orthodontic case for this option to work for you.
Fourth, you have invisible braces, and they are among the most popular. They are plastic molds that are specifically designed to the shape of the patient’s mouth, and they attach to the teeth much like a mouth guard, so there is no need for wires or glue. A computer software program designs them after taking a scan of a mold of your teeth. Think of Invisalign, as this is the most well-known example of what invisible braces are. However, these are so much more costly in comparison to the other treatment methods, so it is up to you to make sure that you have the budget to use this treatment option.
Finding the right home loan can seem like a daunting task but if you are in the position that most first time home buyers are, it is most likely pretty simple. Most people buying a home plan to be home owners for the rest of their lives which means that they are most often looking for a house with an affordable 30 year fixed-rate mortgage. This is a predictable scenario for someone with a job, a career and a family but those who have chosen a different path can use their first real estate purchase as a way to build future wealth. Just about anyone in this country who has built any sizable amount of wealth has done so with the help of smart real estate investments, starting with choosing the right home loan for their first house. Often, because they or even a family man or woman who is not starting with a lot of money, they do not have much for a down payment so they seek out loans that require the least amount in order to qualify. What they find in most cases are FHA loans and because they are backed by the federal government, FHA-approved lenders can approve and fund loans with a less stringent qualification process.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government entity whose main focus is to make home loan opportunities available to working Americans who want to be home owners. The FHA guarantees these loans in order to provide an incentive for lenders to want to fund these loans because they are taking a mitigated risk were otherwise, they are completely responsible for loans they fund if the borrower were to ever go into default and not be able to continue paying the loan. The Veterans Administration (VA) also has a lending program where they do the same thing that the FHA does in terms of guaranteeing the loans, but there are many differences between the two starting with who qualifies. Both programs offer some form of assistance if the borrower were to ever experience a financial hardship and have difficulty paying the loan. The VA will assign a representative to deal with the lender personally regarding the matter and those with an FHA loan may be able to get a forbearance approved where their loan is modified or a portion of is deferred without interest to give the borrower an opportunity to regain control of the situation.
Only active military personnel, veterans and their widowed spouses (if the killed during active duty), military reservists and those who served in the National Guard are eligible for VA loans. Anyone with a 580 credit score, a decent debt to income ratio and access to a 3.5% down payment are qualified for an FHA loan because there are no military qualifications whatsoever. Unlike FHA loans though, VA loans do not require a down payment at all. These are some of the only home loans available to anyone that do not require a down payment, which is quite remarkable considering that conventional loans are going to demand anywhere between 10-25% for a down payment. For this reason alone, FHA and VA loans are great for people who do not have access to tens of thousands of dollars for a home. VA loans do require that a 2.25% funding fee is paid though in order to qualify for the loan. It should be noted that the 3.5% down payment that is required for an FHA loan can be provided as a gift from one of the borrower’s family members, employer or a state down payment assistance program.
For those who qualify for the VA loan program, there is another benefit that often makes this loan the best possible one for them. VA mortgage loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is a huge help because for anyone who gets a home loan these days whether it is a conventional loan or one given under the FHA guidelines, if a 20% down payment is not provided then PMI has to be paid on an annual basis. PMI is normally rolled into the borrower’s monthly mortgage payment but even on a house that costs as little as $200,000, it adds $200 a month to the payment. Over the course of a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage this will turn into $72,000. That is a lot of cash that most people would rather keep in their pockets to spend on other things that they want or need in their lives. Getting the right loan is important, because it can keep a lot of money in the pockets of borrowers during the course of their home loan that can help them with their other expenses in life.