Please introduce us to you and your family.
Hi! My name is Nithya Chalikonda Estes. I am an Orthodontist and mother to two young daughters, Layla (3.5) and Amara (2), and one rescue pup (Naya). I am originally from Pennsylvania, where I completed dental school and met my now husband, Kyle. While completing my Orthodontic residency training in New York City, we fell in love with Fairfield County and made CT our home. These days we spend much of our time keeping up with our busy toddlers and getting to know this growing community and everything it has to offer.
How did you choose the town of Ridgefield for your new business, Ridgefield Orthodontics? Please include location.
The town of Ridgefield has always had a great sense of community, inclusivity, and local support. I had the opportunity to drive through Ridgefield every day while commuting to a previous job in Danbury. I always thought it was such a cute town with a great dynamic. As I met more people from the area, a common theme expressed was pride for their town–which I love. When I was ready to open my own private orthodontic practice, I felt sure that Ridgefield was the town for me. My vision has always been to establish a practice that was rooted in community, where I had the opportunity to get to know the patient families and to grow alongside them. We found our location at 38B Grove Street, and thought it would be the perfect spot. There are several other medical/dental offices in the building that the town frequents, so it seemed fitting to open alongside them.
How did you discover your career path in orthodontics?
Growing up, my grandfather and uncle practiced orthodontics in India- I’m sure it had some influence- I spent a lot of time in the clinic during visits to India when I was very young! However, I didn’t realize until later in my dental school career that orthodontics was my true interest and passion. I actually practiced general dentistry for a few years before returning back to school to specialize in orthodontics. Orthodontics proves the perfect mix of implementing engineering and artistry to help create beautiful, healthy smiles. An added bonus is creating a lasting relationship with patients during their treatment- I especially love seeing how kids grow up and blossom during our time with them!
Tell us about your work and the services that you offer to your patients?
Orthodontics is such a rewarding field to me- I work hard to help patients achieve their dream smile and I love to see the confidence and excitement it creates post-treatment. I offer traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual braces (these go behind the teeth so are truly hidden) and clear aligner treatment. Depending on a patient’s concerns and presentation, we work together to find the treatment modality that best suits them. I want to make sure we get the best result in the most effective and comfortable manner.
How do you come to your decisions about whether a patient should proceed with traditional braces vs. clear aligners?
This is a great question! Clear aligners have come a long way and can often treat the same range of cases that traditional braces are used for. However, there are several factors that go into this decision. The first being, which treatment will work best for a particular case- I take into several factors, including the bite, the position of the teeth, and what our final goals are. Second is what will work best in the patient’s hands? Clear aligners are wonderful because they are aesthetic and come with no food restrictions (all the sticky, chewy things you want!); however a patient has to be prepared to incorporate it into their lifestyle- a few more trips to the bathroom to brush between meals before putting the aligners back in, since they need to be in 20-22 hours a day, etc. On the other hand, braces are always on the teeth- this reduces the chance of falling behind on treatment, but comes with increased food restrictions and a greater difficulty keeping things clean. There is a lot to consider, but I always guide patients (and parents) through so we can figure out the most ideal treatment together.
What piece(s) of advice would you give to parents seeking to make decisions about their children’s oral treatment options?
The first and most important thing is to establish good home care with your kids at a young age. Explain and demonstrate how and why to brush daily and take care of their teeth- we only get one adult set! As a toddler mom, I see first hand how difficult this can sometimes be and have developed some techniques to help parents and children keep consistent. Coming to see us around age seven or eight is advised so we can also monitor growth of your child and their adult teeth. An important aspect of orthodontics is that there are often several ways to address treatment and it’s important to make sure to understand all options. We work hard to make sure the treatment selected is the best treatment option for each child and their family. Orthodontics can be done at any age but it is often most efficient and easiest when patients are younger. We offer complimentary consultations so feel free to come by with any questions or concerns and I would love to talk through them with you!
Please provide our audience with information about your OPENING- Hooray!
We are open and excited to meet the community!! You can call us at 203-403-0059 or visit our website to book a consultation. We can’t wait to get to know everyone and to help you or your child achieve that dream smile 🙂