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Your Fort Collins, Colorado Orthodontist

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The blog of Taft Hill Orthodontics gives Dr. T.C. Hardy an opportunity to keep current and prospective patients updated on the latest in orthodontic treatment. A graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Hardy has published and presented his research both nationally and internationally. Here, Dr. Hardy speaks about common questions and concerns regarding issues such as ceramic braces, treatments for teenagers and adults, Invisalign®, and other orthodontic treatments – as well as issues about general oral health. If you would like more information about any of the topics covered below, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

It’s normal to get anxious at the thought of acquiring braces. However, if you have an idea of what to expect, then you wouldn’t feel that scared. Here are some of the things that you can expect when getting clear braces:

  • Expect slight pain a few hours after installation. After the clear braces are placed on the patient’s teeth, it is expected that mild pain can be felt. This pain will last for at least a couple of days. The pain can also occur after the re-adjustment procedure. Nothing to worry about because you can always take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain.
  • There is a possibility of having sores on the lips and gums for the first few days. The reason why the mouth may develop sores is because the mouth is still adjusting from the wires and brackets that are installed on it. To help ease the pain, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Patients can also apply dental wax to their mouth to prevent it from getting irritated.
  • The teeth might feel a little loose. It’s normal to feel like your teeth are a little bit loose because they are being shifted into position. In order for the teeth to move, they need to be loosened up. Don’t worry because once they’re in the right position, and the braces have been removed, your teeth will be back to normal – sturdy as ever.
  • There will be restrictions on your diet. During the first few days, the patient is required to eat only soft foods. An example of these are mashed potatoes, cheese, lunchmeat, and yogurt. In addition, sandwiches are not recommended because although they are soft, they are quite sticky and can be difficult to chew at times.
  • Avoid eating foods that could get stuck in your braces. An example of these are popcorn, caramel, and soft candies. Furthermore, hard-to-chew foods like carrots and nuts should also be avoided because they could damage the braces.
  • Patients are expected to see their dentist regularly for checkups. Once the braces have been installed, your dentist will tell you to visit him or her every 8 to 10 weeks. Doing this will ensure that the patient’s teeth are properly adjusted. Plus, regular checkups will prevent dental issues from turning into a bigger problem. During your visits, you can ask your dentist about any concerns that you may have. If you’re feeling any pain, you can also report it to your doctor. Moreover, make sure to stock up on dental wax, rubber bands, and cleaning tools while you are there. It’s good to buy a couple of the essentials so you won’t run out of them.
  • No restrictions on regular activities. A common misconception most people have is that when you’re wearing braces, you are restricted in doing certain activities and that includes sports. The truth is, you can still play sports as you normally do. Just remember to use a mouth guard to protect it from getting damaged. Additionally, if you’re playing a musical instrument, more specifically, those wind-type instruments like a saxophone, clarinet or a tuba, then you might need some time to get used to the feeling of having braces in your mouth.
  • You need to wear your braces for at least one to two years. The standard treatment duration for both traditional and clear braces is at least one to two years. If the treatment is minimal, patients can expect to have it removed much faster. However, if the patient’s condition is complicated, then it’ll take some time before the dentist can take it off. The treatment can last up to two years.
  • The procedure is completely painless. The entire procedure of getting clear braces is practically painless. In fact, you can expect to go out of the clinic with no pain or discomfort. That is all thanks to the anesthesia used during the treatment.
  • Expect a Great Smile. Once the treatment is over, you can expect excellent results. You’ll be confident and happy. Plus, you’ll definitely love your new look without the braces. It’s not surprising if you’ll look much younger than you did before you had your braces.

Schedule an Appointment with us.

Invisalign is a great way of straightening the teeth of the patient invisibly and subtly. This is the primary reason why it is chosen above the other orthodontic treatments. However, the invisible nature of Invisalign is not only the factor that makes it most popular among the other treatments.

When patients who have undergone this treatment were asked about it, they mentioned these five given reasons:


Nobody can deny the fact that Invisalign is much more comfortable to wear than the traditional metal braces.  Metal braces get rubbed with the cheeks and the lips that often causes sores and can even scrape of the mouth’s surface.

Several remedies are good to solve this issue. Dental wax can be used to cushion it from the mouth’s tissues or you can have a painkiller if there is a lot of discomforts. Although, it is much better if it doesn’t happen in the first place. Invisalign does not have the metallic wires that can scrape off the mouth. Discover more about what is involved with the Invisalign Aligners.


As mentioned above, most of the patients prefer this treatment because it is not visible to the eyes. Patients are often made fun of for wearing the metal braces on the teeth. Using the Invisalign makes it harder for people to tell if something is worn on the teeth. Hence, you can get rid of the unappealing traditional metallic braces.

No Eating Issues

You have to be more conscious of eating while wearing the metallic braces as there is always a chance of them breaking or causing pain. You get limited to eat soft-textured foods. These restrictions annoy people like they are being punished.

With the use of Invisalign, there is no such issue and you can eat whatever you want. These aligners can be removed instantly and you can eat anything and wear them back after cleaning the teeth.

Stay in Sports

Most of the people who are active in sports avoid the much needed orthodontic treatment. There is always some acquaintance we know that got their mouth ripped while playing a sport because of them wearing the metallic braces.

Wearing Invisalign is a great option as you can keep them aside in their case while playing on the field. Because of this comfortability, you can participate in more games without any issues.

Have a Better Oral Hygiene

People who use traditional braces do not like them as they need to be cleaned, which  is a great task in itself. Due to the braces, more food particles get stuck in the teeth which with time turns into the cavities. When the braces are removed, there are chances of teeth accumulating plaque, stains, and even the possibility of gingivitis arises.

With the use of Invisalign, no such problem is there as they can be removed whenever required. Also, no special brushes are required to clean them. You can just brush naturally with them.

There are several other reasons why they are preferred over traditional braces. Invisalign is a great option to save yourself from the embarrassment of wearing metallic braces. Also, if you hate spending time on maintenance, Invisalign is a good choice because it does not require much maintenance.

What are TADS?

Posted on: July 29, 2019

Temporary anchorage devices, or TADS, are put in place by your orthodontist to anchor mini implants and other appliances. TAD orthodontics are used in certain cases to move teeth into a straighter position when braces alone are not enough to do the job, leading to a much more efficient orthodontic treatment. The titanium, screw-like device can be combined with braces, or it can be used as a possible alternative to headgear for some patients. TADs help the orthodontist to apply just the right amount of pressure in the right direction to move teeth into the desired position.

How TADS Work

A TAD is used in situations where a solid anchor is required to achieve proper teeth movement and can also be used for patients who are missing permanent teeth. TADS are anchored to the jawbone and usually remain in place until removed by the orthodontist. Before surgery, you’ll meet with a maxillofacial surgeon, who will work in tandem with your orthodontist to achieve the best possible result. The surgery is performed in the oral surgeon’s office using a general anesthetic. Any post-operative discomfort can be handled with an over the counter pain medication, and patients can resume normal activities the same day.

Why Taft Hill Orthodontics?

The team at Taft Hill Orthodontics is friendly and helpful, and we’d love to help you smile! We offer affordable pricing and will happily work with you and your budget. Dr. T.C. Hardy is an orthodontist in Fort Collins, CO that specializes in both traditional and ceramic braces, along with offering his patients advanced alternatives to traditional orthodontics. Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Hardy is the recipient of The Everett Shapiro Award in Orthodontics, as well as the Dr. Harold Berk Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in Research. Dr. Hardy is an active member of several industry organizations, has published and presented his research both nationally and internationally, and is very involved in his local community.

If you don’t currently have an orthodontist and are searching for an experienced, caring team to help you perfect your smile, give our office a call at (970) 344-4295 or complete a free online consultation from the convenience of your own home.

Benefits of Invisalign

Posted on: June 24, 2019

When it comes to straightening teeth, there are far more options than there used to be. One method you may have

heard of is Invisalign. How exactly does this work, and what can it do for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Interested in getting started with Invisalign from our Fort Collins office today? Contact us now!

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Benefits of Invisalign

Instead of traditional braces that are firmly affixed to your teeth until treatment is finished, Invisalign consists of clear, almost undetectable aligners that are customized to fit over your teeth. Because they are so unobtrusive in appearance, they are an aesthetically pleasing choice for braces. Most people will never even notice that you’re wearing them.

These clear braces are easy to take off when you eat, so you don’t have to give up foods to prevent damage to your braces. You also remove them to floss and brush your teeth, which makes it easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Although they are gentle as they move teeth into place, you’ll see results faster. They also require fewer trips to the orthodontist, making it more simple to fit treatment into your busy schedule.

Invisalign Works for Every Age

Although adults appreciate this discrete method for straightening their teeth, Invisalign works well for any age. Younger patients often struggle more with keeping their teeth clean with traditional braces, so that can be an important benefit for them.

However, Invisalign is more expensive than other forms of braces, so parents are more likely to opt for traditional braces for their kids. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what will work best for your family and your budget.

Choose Dr. TC Hardy as Your Fort Collins Orthodontist

Dr. TC Hardy is a skilled, experienced orthodontist working in the Fort Collins area. He and his friendly staff provide patients the most advanced and effective orthodontic care in a fun, encouraging atmosphere. They are happy to work with any budget to provide the best, most affordable options to help you love your smile.

For more information, schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation today.


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Summer is here, and with it comes the freedom to complete tasks you’ve been putting off. Is scheduling an appointment for your children’s orthodontic treatment one of those tasks? Summer is

Orthodontic Treatment Children Fort Collins

the time when children are out of school, and your days may be a little more flexible. It is also a good time to start a project like correcting dental problems with braces, as the kids have time away from school to get used to wearing them and learn how to incorporate the changes they bring.

Contact Taft Hill Orthodontics in Fort Collins to schedule an appointment today!

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What Are Your Kid’s Option for Braces?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment such as braces, there are several options – you can go for traditional braces, Invisalign, or lingual (“hidden”) braces. You will need to discuss the various options and their applications with your orthodontist to determine which course of treatment best fits your budget, dental needs, and lifestyle.

Here are some things to consider when deciding which type of braces is best for you or your children:

Traditional braces are worn on the outside of the teeth and usually represent the best cost savings. The upside to traditional braces is that the orthodontist has easy access to apply the brackets and wires and make any changes or adjustments necessary. The downside is that they are very visible, which may cause some people to become self-conscious about their smile while they are wearing the braces.

Invisalign braces use a different method to move the teeth. With this form of correction, the patient wears a clear plastic form over the teeth that is much less detectable than traditional braces because it is transparent. This is a more costly form of dental problem correction and carries with it the responsibility to keep track of the appliance(s) if they should be removed for any reason, such as when eating, to brush the teeth, or at other times.

Lingual braces are also known as “hidden braces” as they are applied on the inside of the teeth and are therefore less visible when talking, smiling, or eating. The upside is that this form of braces causes less self-consciousness in some people because it is less detectable. The downside is that adjustments are more difficult for the orthodontist, and these braces can cause the tongue to become irritated during the initial adjustment period, or after adjustments are made.

 Stop Searching for Kids Braces Near You, and Contact Us Today!

If you’re interested in braces of any type this summer, ask your orthodontist which type of braces are right for you. If you don’t currently have an orthodontist and are searching for an experienced, caring team to help you perfect your smile, give our Fort Collins office a call at (970) 344-4295 and make an appointment with us today. The team at Taft Hill Orthodontics in would love to make you smile! To save time and money, you can also fill out our free online consultation form, and a team will get back with you on recommendations and next steps.


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What Are Lingual Braces?

Posted on: April 23, 2019

Advances in dental technology through the years have made many dental procedures faster, less invasive, and more comfortable for the dental patient. One such advance in the world of dental appliances allows patients the opportunity to wear braces that are, for all intents and purposes, virtually invisible. Traditional braces are applied using standard brackets and wires applied to the outside (front side) of the teeth. Lingual braces, however, are applied to the inside (back side) of the teeth, making them almost impossible to detect. These hidden braces or “inside braces” were first introduced back in the 1970s and have undergone several design modifications and improvements throughout the ensuing decades that have made these braces behind the teeth more comfortable, practical, and effective in correcting teeth and bite problems. Compared to the early designs, current “inside braces” are highly advanced. While hidden braces are focused on improving the aesthetics, traditional braces are sometimes seen as a more affordable braces option.

How are lingual braces different from traditional braces?

In addition to being tucked away on the back side of the teeth and thereby almost totally hidden from view, lingual braces are applied to the patient’s teeth using a different technique than traditional braces. Whereas “regular” braces are applied to the teeth one bracket at a time using stock metal brackets, the brackets that hold hidden braces in place are custom fit to the inside of each tooth and are all cemented in place at the same time. A custom-fit tooth tray holds the brackets in place until the cement attaching them to each tooth has set, then the tray is removed. Once the brackets are cemented in place, wires and elastics are applied and adjusted by the orthodontist in essentially the same manner as with traditional braces. If you are

Are braces behind the teeth as effective as wearing regular braces?

Traditional braces generally tend to take one to two years to achieve the desired results. The length of time required for lingual braces to achieve similar results is virtually the same as traditional braces in most cases. These hidden braces can be more effective than “invisible” clear plastic forms that fit over the teeth to correct problems and misalignments, as patient compliance is not as much of a factor.

Can anyone wear hidden braces?

These non-traditional braces are best worn by teenagers and adults who have all their adult teeth. As long as each tooth is large enough to provide the orthodontist sufficient room to glue the individual brackets on the inside of the teeth, these braces can be worn by almost anyone. If there is a deep overbite, however, braces behind the teeth may not be a viable option due to the risk of the bite exerting too much pressure on the brackets and causing them to become detached from the teeth too easily.

If you are still asking yourself “what are lingual braces?” then give Taft Hill Orthodontics in Fort Collins a call at (970)344-4295 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.


When people think about the age limit for braces and when they should start investing in their child’s first set, they often picture a young teen. However, once a child’s permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7 or 8, an appointment with an orthodontist is an excellent idea. While that may seem young, early orthodontic treatment is good for growing children in many ways.

Our Fort Collins office offers various options for braces aside from the traditional metal such as our hidden braces, and we do this for all ages including adults. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, contact us today at

Make Plans

If your child does need braces, getting a treatment plan in place early makes the process easier. It helps kids know what they can expect, and for parents, knowing the steps prepares them to work with the orthodontist. When treatment starts at the best time for the child, the process is simpler and more effective.

Prevent Complications

With early awareness of issues, your orthodontist can take preventative measures. When permanent teeth are crowded as they come in, it causes extra problems. Not enough space can damage teeth or their roots. Sometimes, because of these complications, adult teeth even must be pulled. Early orthodontic care reduces this risk. It is always easier to prevent problems than to fix them. That’s why the braces age limit is earlier than you think!

Monitor Development

Orthodontists care for more than just the teeth. The bones of the face and jaw are also important for a healthy bite. Expert attention to the growth and development of the entire structure is vital. An orthodontist can spot a need for early intervention, preventing more issues down the road.

Establish A Comfortable Relationship

Getting to know their orthodontist early helps reduce kids’ fears over time. If your child needs braces, it eases tension to spend some time with a friendly orthodontist before treatment begins. Braces don’t need to be scary.

If you’re thinking it might be time for braces for your children, contact us at (970) 344-4295 to set up an appointment. Dr. T.C. Hardy and the expert team at Taft Orthodontics in Fort Collins are ready to give your child the best experience and a beautiful smile.


Welcome to the 7 & Up Kids Club

Posted on: February 25, 2019

Orthodontists are commonly known for treating pre-teens and teenagers. However, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children seven and up get evaluated for orthodontic treatment.

This may surprise many parents who think that seven is too young to start thinking about orthodontic treatment. Parents may also think that they have to wait for their children to lose all their baby teeth to seek orthodontic treatment. This is not true. 

There are many reasons for you to have your child examined by and an orthodontist, like Dr. Hardy, before they enter their pre-teen years. Children seven and up can see major benefits from getting evaluated when younger.

 Dr. Hardy in Fort Collins can detect subtle problems with your child’s jaw growth and emerging teeth, even with some baby teeth still present. In some cases Dr. Hardy may recommend early treatment for your child. This may make treatment later less complicated and time consuming.

Other benefits of having children seven and up examined for orthodontic treatment include correcting harmful dental habits, reducing  the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth and improving the way the lips meet. This all leads to happy and healthy teeth!

Having children seven and up be evaluated by an orthodontist gives your child the best opportunity for a bright and healthy smile later in life.

We here at Taft Hill Orthodontics in Fort Collins will be raising awareness for the 7 & Up Kids Club now through April. During your next appointment guess how many bubbles are in our seven and up bottle located at our front desk. Guess the correct amount of bubbles and get a chance to win a hoverboard!

Contact us at (970) 344-4295 to schedule your next appointment so that you have a chance to guess and win!

Dr. Hardy and all of us here at Taft Hill Orthodontics are looking forward to seeing you!



Everyone knows Oral hygiene is important but keeping good oral hygiene while in braces can be quite difficult. The biggest struggle is plaque! Plaque is caused by the sugars in food-producing acids which can discolor teeth and make gums irritable. When gums are irritated they swell and if bad enough can start to grow over the braces which can cause moderate pain. Keeping plaque under control will help make the process of braces much easier and maintainable.

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miami-orthodontist-decalcification-with-bracesBrushing and flossing regularly is key to keeping a nice healthy smile! I am sure growing up you have been told always brush your teeth twice a day. With braces, It is highly recommended to brush after eating a meal. While in braces food can get stuck in the wires and brackets without your knowledge of knowing it. Foods that are left sitting in the braces that are acidic or full of sugar can result in decay (cavities).


We know flossing is difficult enough but flossing while in braces can be even harder! Luckily there are many alternatives to flossing while in braces. Hand held flossers also known as platypus flossers are specifically designed to fit under your wire for easy access. The water Pik is a major flossing technique while in braces and is more effective than floss itself. The great thing about a water Pik is even when your braces are removed it is still a better more effective way of flossing that generic string.showimage





Small things to keep in mind to help take care of your braces if you are away from home:

Cary around a travel size tooth brush or micro brush

Use water like it is mouth wash. Swish around in your mouth and spit. You will most likely see what you had for breakfast, lunch of dinner come out! Eww!

If you know you wont be able to brush for a long amount of time, Decrease your sugar, sweets and soda intake. Though

a small and sometimes hard thing to do, your teeth with thank you!!20043-group








Posted on: December 30, 2016

What is AcceleDent?

AcceleDent Aura is an FDA-cleared medical device designed for faster orthodontic treatment. It is used for 20 minutes daily at home during orthodontic treatment. And yes it works with both traditional and clear aligner braces!

  • It’s fast! Clinically proven to move teeth up to 50% faster. Who can say no to that?
    • Micropulses from the device are used to gently accelerate the movement of your teeth. Part of how orthodontics works is by remodeling the bone surrounding your teeth. With AcceleDent this remodeling process is sped up by the vibrations  (micropulses).
  • It’s Safe! FDA approved and only sold by your Orthodontist.
    • Thousands of patients world wide have been prescribed an AcceleDent device
  • It’s not painful! AcceleDent patients have reported reduced soreness especially right after adjustments. It helps your orthodontic treatment go smoother than normal.
  • Safe acceleration of the bone remodeling process complements conventional orthodontic treatment.
  • Clinically proven to move teeth up to 50% faster.

The best part… It only has 3 pieces! the Activator, the mouth piece and the charging unit. It’s very small and portable! Did we mention it only takes 20 minutes a day? Patients have reported using it in the car as they drive to or home from work, while watching TV, doing homework, cooking, cleaning and so much more!  It does not take any time “away” from your daily lives.

activator-only     mouthpiece-only





There is so much more to be learned about this product! Follow the link below for further details, videos and statistics.

Watch AcceleDent in action Use & Care Videos.