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3 Orthodontic Tips For Cold And Flu Season
November 21, 2017

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WHEN THE COLD AND FLU SEASON HITS, your teeth and braces are probably the last things you’re thinking about as you reach for another tissue! But there ARE some things related to that cold or flu that can affect your oral health.

Since tooth decay and gum disease can be especially risky during orthodontic treatment, we want you to be conscious of these three things:

Tip 1: Avoid Dry Mouth By Staying Hydrated...

Dry mouth increases cavity risk. Most colds come with a very stuffy nose. We respond by breathing through our mouths! Doing so, combined with decreased saliva production during sleep, makes our mouths more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

Tip 2: Keep The Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth...

  • Are you sucking on cough drops all day? Most are loaded with sugar. Opt for sugar-free cough drops if possible. AND, be sure not to bite down on those super-hard drops.
  • Cough syrup is loaded with sugar too. If you take cough syrup, rinse your mouth out before going to bed.
  • Stomach acid is hard on teeth. Sorry to bring this up, but if you experience vomiting, keep your teeth rinsed and clean.

Tip 3: No Matter How Tired…

We know it’s not easy when you’re sick, but don’t skip your normal brushing/flossing routine just because you’re feeling really tired. Your oral health while you’re in braces is just too important to neglect.

A Few More Practical Tips For Staying Healthy

Stay healthy this flu season! Remember to sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often to keep viruses from spreading. If you have any more questions about measures you should take for your orthodontic treatment during cold and flu season, let us know! We want to ensure your treatment stays on track, even if the flu pays a visit to your home this year.

If you’re sick, get feeling better soon! And thanks for your trust in our orthodontic practice.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 



Which Type of Retainer Is Best for You?
October 24, 2017

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ALTHOUGH IT MAY SEEM hard to believe during the process, one day those braces will come off!   Orthodontic treatment doesn’t end after braces, however. To maintain that beautiful new smile you must wear a retainer as directed after braces are removed.

Remember that while braces straighten teeth, retainers KEEP them straight.   They are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment! So, what kinds of retainers do you have to choose after braces?

We Help Find the Retainer That Suits You Best!

Depending on your unique situation, we will recommend the type of retainer that will be best for you and your lifestyle.  Choosing which type of retainer is right for you can depend on how your orthodontic treatment went, your level of oral hygiene, whether or not you grind your teeth, your personal preference, etc.

Retainers Come in Three Basic Types

There are several different types of retainers to choose from. Here are the three most popular!

  1. The Hawley Retainer: This is the most popular type of retainer and definitely the most durable. The Hawley retainer has an acrylic body with a metal wire that goes around the teeth. It is easily removed and can be adjusted if minor tooth movements are necessary.
  2. The Essix Retainer: Another type of removable retainer, the Essix looks more like an Invisalign tray than a traditional retainer. It is made of thin, transparent plastic designed to fit precisely over your teeth. People love the Essix retainer because it is not as visible as the Hawley.
  3. The Fixed Retainer: This virtually invisible retainer consists of a small wire bonded to the tongue side of the lower and sometimes upper front teeth. Since permanent retainers cannot be removed on a regular basis, wearers of this type of retainer need to be consistent in their oral hygiene routine, brushing and flossing regularly.

Whatever retainer is chosen, the most important thing you can do is wear them as directed by your orthodontist and clean them regularly!

Keep Your Smile Straight and Your Bite Perfect

By wearing your retainer, you can make the transition from braces to a permanent, healthy smile! If you have any questions about the kinds of retainers we offer or their maintenance, we will be happy to talk to you about them.  We’re always happy to see our awesome patients!!

 

Image by Flickr user Sara Neff used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



What to Do About Congenitally Missing Teeth
September 26, 2017

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WHILE MOST PEOPLE HAVE thirty-two permanent teeth that develop (including the wisdom teeth) some people’s permanent teeth never grow in at all. These are called congenitally missing teeth—teeth missing from birth—and it’s actually more common than you think!

So, what do you do if you find out you or your child have one or more congenitally missing teeth?

Why Would a Tooth Be Congenitally Missing?

Congenitally missing teeth can run in families, meaning that often it is simply an inherited trait. Certain systemic conditions can also result in missing teeth. Whatever the reason for congenitally missing teeth, the good news is that there are effective ways to treat it.

What Kinds of Treatments Are There for Missing Teeth?

Depending on your personal preference and unique situation, your dentist will recommend one or a combination of these treatments:

  • Orthodontic treatment: Oftentimes gaps left by missing teeth will cause the surrounding teeth to rotate and shift into the empty space, resulting in bad bite and other issues. Orthodontic treatment is often recommended to keep the gap open until treatment to replace the missing tooth is undertaken.
  • Dental bridge: Bridges, often considered the next best option, literally “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Crowns, placed on the two teeth adjacent to the gap, are connected to a false tooth that fills the space left by the missing tooth.
  • Removable partial denture: This appliance consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. The removable denture simply rests on your natural teeth and gums.
  • Dental implants: This is most often the treatment of choice. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. Combined with a crown specifically made to match your teeth, they are the most natural, functional and long-lasting treatment option.

Here’s a look into how dental implants are made:


Your Dream Smile Is Our Goal

If you or your child have congenitally missing teeth, consult with us today about your options. Whatever your decided treatment plan, we’re dedicated to making sure you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of!

Making you smile makes our day!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Image by Flickr user KatieThebeau used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.



Your Child’s Initial Orthodontic Evaluation
August 16, 2017

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PARENTING CAN SOMETIMES FEEL like they are in a time warp: one minute, you’re holding your new baby, the next, they’re getting a driver’s license. Because the time goes by so fast, we tend to want to hold onto our kids’ childhoods. However, when it comes to orthodontic treatment, there's no reason not to plan ahead.

Don’t Wait For An Initial Orthodontic Evaluation

Everyone’s teeth develop differently, so the right age to bring your child in for an initial orthodontic screening can vary. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that parents bring their children in not long after their first pair of adult teeth come in. That usually means somewhere around age seven. But why is it so important to have that initial screening so early, when kids’ mouths typically aren’t ready for orthodontic treatment until sometime between ages nine and fourteen?

The Value Of Early Evaluation

By the time kids get their bottom incisors, the rest of their adult teeth will have begun to form in the gums. At this point, we can get a good idea of how things are going to develop. We can also determine if there are any bad habits contributing to future crowding or jaw alignment problems, such as thumb-sucking and mouth-breathing. If these habits stop early enough, the damage can be minimized or avoided, shortening the amount of time your child will spend in braces later on.

An initial consultation isn’t about fitting braces, it’s about seeing how things are progressing and making plans for the future. These appointments typically involve:

  • Reviewing of your child’s dental and medical history
  • An oral exam, complete with X-Rays, to determine what orthodontic treatment (if any) will be needed later
  • Looking for any skeletal issues such as a narrow palate due to hereditary factors or a habit (i.e. pacifier, thumb sucking)
  • Coming up with a game plan for helping your child achieve a straight, healthy smile

Ever wonder why some of us have crooked teeth in the first place? Watch the video below to find out:

Involve An Orthodontist Early On

Age seven might seem young to take a child in for an orthodontic screening, so some parents might prefer to discuss their child’s orthodontic future with a regular dentist. However, while all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists go through years of additional specialized training after completing dental school. This training is what makes us uniquely qualified to straighten teeth and align your child’s bite. As crucial as it is to take your children (and yourself) to the dentist for regular cleanings, it is also crucial to see an orthodontist when it comes to making sure teeth fit together the way they should.

Invest Early In Your Child’s Healthy Smile

Our practice is dedicated to making sure that our patients get the healthy, straight teeth they deserve, and early evaluations make that process easier for everyone involved. We hope to see you soon so that we can begin planning the future of your child’s beautiful smile!

Our patients are our first priority!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



Soda, Braces, And Your Teeth
July 26, 2017

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What’s In That Drink?

You probably already know that soda is chock full of sugar, but did you know that it’s also highly acidic?  For reference, stomach acid, one of the strongest acids, has a pH of 1.5, whereas water is neutral at a pH of 7.  Soda ranges in acidity from RC Cola with a pH of 2.387 to Mug root beer with a pH of 4.038.  The strong acidity from citric and phosphoric acids is actually the reason for all the sugar—without it, soda would be too sour to drink!

Effects On Teeth

The sugar and acid in soda is an attack on your oral health.  Sugar is bacteria’s favorite food, so you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth a feast when you drink anything full of sugar, which allows them to reproduce faster.  You’ll end up with a higher risk of cavities, not to mention bad breath as a result!

As for the acid, the protective enamel coating your teeth is vulnerable from the first drink of that soda.  Even the least acidic sodas like root beer aren’t safe, because enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5.

You can see how the process works in this video:Plus Braces

 

 

Without braces, it’s not too difficult to clean away most of the residue from soda by sticking to the standard oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. With braces, there are countless additional tiny, hard-to-reach caverns where bacteria can flourish, feasting on the sugar left behind by soda and destroying your tooth enamel.

You may not even be aware of the damage until your braces come off and you find yourself with obvious white stains around where your brackets used to be. For the sake of your teeth (not to mention your overall health), it might be time to cut soda out of your diet.

If You Must…

Giving up soda can be hard, but there are a couple of ways to reduce its effects on your teeth if you can’t quit drinking it entirely:

  • Drink through a straw. When you use a straw, the soda has minimal contact with your teeth. It’s the same reason that drinking through a straw makes it easier to enjoy a cold drink if your teeth are sensitive to low temperatures.
  • Don’t just take little sips! The longer you take to drink something sugary and acidic, the longer your teeth are exposed to enamel-destroying substances.
  • Don’t have a soda by itself; drink it with a meal instead, and follow it up with a drink of water to rinse the soda off your teeth.

Take Care Of  Those Smiles!

We love our patients, and we want all of you to love your smiles when those braces come off!  Don’t let fizzy drinks be your downfall!  If you have any questions about the effects of soda on your teeth, please contact us.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


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