July 30, 2018
THINKING OF GETTING BRACES AS AN ADULT
Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more frequently seen these days. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has climbed drastically over the years! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile at any age! A well-balanced mouth and a healthy bite prevent uneven wear to the teeth and also reduces the risk of gum disease. In addition, many adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment because appearance matters so much in our society.
Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
- Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
- Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
- A bad bite that causes the teeth to fit together incorrectly
- The patient is seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Technology has evolved to the point where adult orthodontic care may be accomplished by using different treatment methods, from braces to clear aligners. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit us for a consultation. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!
July 16, 2018
A FEW TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN GOING ON VACATION
If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, we would recommend that you create a dental travel kit so that you are prepared at all times and ready to go. Our office has put together a list of items that would be handy to have with you. They include:
- Travel toothbrush
- Interdental cleaners
- Floss threaders
- Dental floss
- Mini bottle of mouth rinse
- Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
- A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth
We know that vacations are about having fun and we want you to enjoy every minute of your vacation. That is why we strongly advise against eating the following foods in order to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:
- Chewy, sticky, or gummy foods
- Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut your fruit into small pieces before eating)
- Bagels and hard rolls
- Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob instead)
- Hard candies, cookies or pretzels
- All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews
If you run into a situation while you are on vacation, try to contact our office as soon as possible to see if we can help remedy the situation or at least make you comfortable before you can be seen in the office. Please follow these suggestions and you can have a worry-free vacation!
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!