Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Life After Braces

You have worked hard to improve your smile and now it’s time for those braces to come off. But, you’re not finished yet there is still one more step to having the amazing smile you desire.

Once your braces are removed it is possible for teeth to want to return back to their original positions. To prevent all the hard work of your orthodontist from going down the drain, you must wear your retainer. Retainers, like the name states, retain your teeth in their new positions. How often you have to wear your retainer depends on the directions given to you by the doctor, which also depends on the type of retainer you have.

There are three types of retainers that are often used:

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The Hawley retainer is the most commonly used appliance for post-braces treatment. This retainer is available for both the upper and lower arches. It is often referred to as wire retainer for its design, wires attached to plastic body.

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The Essix is a removable clear retainer. Made from a cast of your teeth, it’s worn to retain the corrected position of teeth. Unlike the wire retainer, this clear retainer allows for total discretion. At first, it must be worn for 24 hours and then it only has to be worn at night.

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The Fixed retainer is a non-adjustable appliance that consists of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. There is an advantage to this non-adjustable retainer. Unlike removable retainers that can be forgotten and lost this fixed retainer doesn't have that issue. Though it cannot be removed it is not permanent and can be broken or detached from your teeth if you are not careful.

Remember, your retainer is an important part of getting the smile you want. So once you've picked the retainer that is right for you, you must wear the retainer as instructed by the Doctor. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Watch What You Eat

Eating healthy is important for your entire, including your teeth.

You’ve heard over and over about the basics of maintain good oral hygiene: brush twice a day, floss daily, visit your dentist twice a year and stay on top of orthodontic appointments. However, in between all of that an important way to keep your mouth healthy you must get foods that help main oral health.

When you eat foods that are not good for your teeth, like sugary foods, you are aiding the production of bacteria formally known as plaque. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed regularly through brushing and flossing.

Here are some foods to add to your diet to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables:
These foods stimulate saliva flow which is the best defense your teeth has against cavities and gum disease.
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Dairy products: cheese, milk, yogurt
The calcium in dairy products helps put back minerals your teeth may have lost due to other foods.
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Black and Green Tea:
Both teas contain polyphenols which can suppress or kill bacteria that could attack the teeth.
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Sugar-less gum:
Chewing gum also helps create a mass production of saliva to defend the teeth.

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Foods with fluoride: This includes drinking water and products you prepare with water like powder sugar-free juices and soups. Commercial prepared poultry, seafood and cereal provide fluoride also

Remember everything that goes into your mouth has an effect on your teeth, just make sure it is a positive effect. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Discomfort Zone

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You’re all set to start your journey to a better smile, but you’re your worried “will getting my braces hurt?” Don’t worry it won’t be painful. Applying braces doesn't hurt. However, the first couple of days after the placement of your braces there may be some discomfort but it won’t last for.

“Why is my mouth sore?”
The soreness comes after the wire is place onto the brackets. This is because your teeth are beginning to move and your teeth are not use to the pressure the arch wire and elastic are causing. As the days progress your teeth will get more and more use to the brace and your soreness will decrease.

Here’s what to expect during your first days in braces:

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First day braces are applied: There should be no pain. You might find that your taking longer to eat meals, you’ll have to get adjusted eating with braces. Also your teeth may be sensitive and it may be harder to chew certain foods, so it is probably best to stick to soft foods and liquids for the first day.

2-3 days after braces are applied: These couple of days can be uncomfortable; this is when the teeth begin their realignment. Your orthodontist will show you how to use dental wax to help alleviate the pain.

5 days after braces are applied: You should be feeling minimal, if any, discomfort at this time. You teeth should be used to your braces making eating much easier. Certain foods may still be a challenge to chew, but going back your normal diet is ok at this point. Remember to avoid those foods on the "What not to eat" list to protect your braces and wires.

Here are a few tips to help you deal with the discomfort:
  • Take over the counter medicine like Tylenol
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
  • Eat soft foods like yogurt and mash potatoes
  • Place heating pad or warm was rag on jaw
  • Avoid acidic drinks; those drinks with acid can irritate a sore mouth
  • Use over the counter oral anesthetic like Orajel
  • Apply wax to any bracket or wire bothering your cheek, tongue or lips

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sugar is Not Always Sweet

It’s time to lose that sweet tooth.

Not only is maintaining proper oral hygiene important to your dental health while having braces, but what you eat is important too. Sugar is the ingredient for all sweet treats, and as good as that sounds it is actually harmful for your teeth. “But it taste so good”, we know, however sugar can cause dental decay which isn't good at all.

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How is sugar harmful?

Sugar particles spark overproduction of acid in our mouths and creating tooth decay. Acid breaks down enamel in teeth causing erosion that can cause pain and cause teeth to become very sensitive. The more sugar in your mouth, the more acid that is produced, the bigger problem you have.

Also when eating lots of sweet treats while having braces you may find that your teeth have white spots, which is a condition called decalcification. When sugar is left on the teeth you can be left with a buildup of grim under your braces, thus causing white spots called decalcification. 

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And those white spots may take a while to fade away. So it is important to limit the sugar in your diet, which includes candy, treats and sugary drinks.

Remember you want healthy teeth after your braces are off, so consume sugar moderately and always brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after the consumption of sugar. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

How Old is Your Toothbrush

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While undergoing orthodontic treatment, it is important to keep the mouth very clean through thorough and frequent oral hygiene, including between-teeth cleaning, and to maintain a healthy and balanced diet…and the toothbrush is your number one oral hygiene accessory.  Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean. But how long should you a keep a toothbrush?

It is recommended that every 3 to 4 months you switch out that old toothbrush for a new fresh one…and if you've been sick, change it even sooner. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your tooth brush have become worn out that is a sign that you need a new toothbrush. For example, people who wear braces should change their toothbrushes frequently because braces break down and fracture bristles and the toothbrushes lose their effectiveness.

It is helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in your household at all times
for easy replacement. So mark those calendars for every 3 to 4 months and think…out with the old and in with the new.

Having trouble keeping your teeth clean with your regular ol’ toothbrush? Did you know there are Orthodontic toothbrushes that have been developed for safe and effective brushing of teeth fitted with orthodontic appliances including braces, brackets, tubes, and wires? These orthodontic Toothbrushes have a unique V-cut bristle design that perfectly adapts to teeth with braces and gently cleans in and around your orthodontic appliances. This special configuration of bristles reaches into the crevices between the gums and the brackets, as well as below the brackets, under the wires, and between the brackets themselves. Orthodontic toothbrush keeps braces, as well as, teeth and gums clean…helping to prevent dental decay and gum diseases.