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June 19, 2018

HOW TO PREVENT TOOTH DECAY WHILE WEARING BRACES

Now that you have braces, they can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. It is extremely important that you put some extra attention into preventing tooth decay while wearing your braces. When your braces are removed, you want a bright and beautiful smile, not decayed or stained teeth. Here are a few tips to help you keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

Learn Proper Brushing Techniques

Using a soft toothbrush, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. An everyday toothpaste is okay during the day, but be sure to brush with the prescribed fluoride toothpaste at night for best results. Using an oral rinse every day will help, too. Rinsing with mouthwash is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces, as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.

Brush after Every Meal

Since braces block food from simply leaving your teeth after eating, it’s critical that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but when you get your braces off, you will be very happy you brushed after every meal.

Eat Braces-Safe Foods

When you have braces, there are certain foods that you must avoid. For starters, sticky foods such as chewing gum, Starbursts, Skittles, caramel, or any other sticky candies can get stuck in your braces and are troublesome to remove during brushing. Avoid hard foods, too, such as nuts, hard rolls, bagels, hard candies and ice. Those goodies can bend wires or even break a bracket. And while you may love apples, pears, carrots, or corn on the cob, they are hard to bite into and can damage your braces. Crunchy treats can also harm your orthodontic appliances. It’s best to stay away from chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, and pretzels as well. So just what can you eat? We recommend soft foods that are low in enamel-busting acids, such as bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta.

Get Regular Checkups

It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed.

As long as you practice great oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth healthy while you wear braces.

 


May 31, 2018

HOW DO BRACES MOVE YOUR TEETH?

Tooth movement is your body’s everyday response to light pressure applied by braces throughout your course of treatment. Traditional orthodontic treatment consists of attaching braces and brackets onto the teeth. These brackets have small slots and those slots is where we insert orthodontic wires when you first get your braces on, as well as your following adjustment visits. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As treatment progresses, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Therefore, each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit.

Not long ago, orthodontists only had the option of a stainless steel wire. However, today, we have a number of high-tech different wires available in order to move your teeth faster and keep our patients more comfortable.

When you first get your braces, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but it is still strong enough to apply a continuous force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, you will notice we will increase the use of thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an optimal bite.

Each visit to our office for an adjustment, we will swap out the wires in order to keep putting the right amount of pressure on your teeth. It is very important for you to keep your appointments during your treatment. Most appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move at a steady pace. It also allows our office to check your progress and make certain we keep your treatment plan on track.

At some point in treatment, most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands during their treatment. These elastics are usually placed from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, pulling on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an ideal bite and a beautiful smile.

If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to give us a call or ask us during your next appointment!