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Tips for Managing the Wires on Braces

November 25th, 2019

Are you ready to commit to fixing your bite, but you feel a little nervous? Never fear; devoting the time and upkeep that braces require will pay off with a beautiful smile.

Follow along for tips to effectively managing the wires on braces.

Basics of braces

Once you decide that you’re ready to tackle correcting your bite, it’s time to consider what type of corrective appliance fits your needs best. The most common methods used to fix your misaligned and overcrowded teeth include:

Metal braces

The traditional braces, otherwise known as metal braces, use a combination of metal brackets, wire, and rubber bands to push your teeth into the proper position.

Ceramic braces

If you would like a less noticeable type of braces, ceramic braces fit the bill. They use ceramic instead of metal, with wire and rubber bands.

Invisalign

A clear aligner, like Invisalign, replaces traditional braces with a series of aligners that work to move your teeth into place slowly.

Your orthodontist will carefully examine your teeth to decide which type of orthodontic appliance best fits your situation. Read on to learn more about managing the wires on braces if you opt to use wire braces to improve your smile.

How braces work to transform your smile

Traditional wire braces do a terrific job of correcting misaligned bites. Indeed, many orthodontists rely on them to correct severe misalignments and overcrowded teeth. An additional benefit is that they are typically a less expensive way to achieve a beautiful smile.

You’re most likely familiar enough with braces to know that your new braces will include brackets, wire, and rubber bands. The wire does the bulk of the work by slowly pushing your teeth into proper alignment. Your orthodontist will tighten the wire to move your teeth throughout multiple appointments.

Now that we've given you a speedy introduction to how braces work, let’s move on to how you should care for the wires on braces.

Tips for caring for the wires on braces

As soon as you begin orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to spend time caring for your teeth and gums every single day. After all, you don’t want to go through the whole journey of wearing braces to end up with a mouth filled with cavities and plaque-covered teeth.

We won’t deny that it can be challenging to clean your teeth when you wear braces. However, with effort, you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape while you’re in braces.

Here are some no-nonsense things that you can do to protect your smile while wearing braces:

  • Never forget to remove the rubber bands from your mouth before cleaning, so you have total access to your teeth and gums.
  • Brush your braces at least twice a day. Hold your brush at a forty-five-degree angle while brushing from the top of the wire to the bottom. Pay particular attention to removing food debris.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day with your favorite toothpaste. Aim to brush at a forty-five-degree angle for a minimum of two minutes.
  • Flossing isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but it’s essential if you hope to keep your teeth cavity-free and your gums healthy. Floss once a day with your favorite flosser. Read here about the variety of dental flossing products on the market today.
  • An American Dental Association (ADA) accepted mouthwash is a terrific way to rinse away the tiny crumbs of food that like to get stuck in your braces and between teeth. What’s more, a beneficial mouthwash helps to prevent white spots from forming on your teeth. Here’s more information about choosing a mouth rinse when you wear braces.

Along with all of the above cleaning tips, make it a habit to visit your dentist every six months. Regular appointments help you to remedy problems with your teeth and gums before they turn into significant issues. Your dentist will also give your teeth a thorough cleaning, and you’ll love how fresh your mouth feels after an appointment.

Establishing a total daily cleaning routine is a terrific first step in maintaining overall oral health. The second part of caring for the wires on braces involves eating a healthy diet. Follow along for diet tips that will help to ensure healthy teeth and gums.

Eat a braces-friendly diet

Did you know that what you eat and drink each day can make a dramatic difference in what your smile looks like post-braces? It’s true. You have the power to improve the health and appearance of your teeth and gums by sticking to a braces-friendly diet.

In general, expect your mouth to be a little sore right after you get your braces and after each adjustment. You can give your mouth time to heal by eating soft foods. Examples of foods that won’t irritate your mouth include yogurt, eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta, and well-cooked vegetables.

Stay away from chewy bread, ice cream, hard cheeses, citrus fruits, and spicy food until your mouth is less sensitive.

Once your gums are back to normal, you can move away from a soft-food diet. Dentists recommend that you eat a variety of healthy foods every day. Make sure that you drink multiple cups of water and include nutrient-rich foods in your daily meal plan.

You won’t need to give up delicious food while you wear braces. Indeed, we highly recommend that you treat yourself to a wide assortment of tasty treats. However, you’ll want to avoid things like hard nuts, hard candy, sticky foods, chewing gum, chewy bread, and hard, uncooked vegetables.

Ask your orthodontist for advice on creating satisfying meals that you can count on to keep your teeth and gums secure.

Final thoughts

Lastly, paying close attention to your oral health routine is a vital part of successful orthodontic treatment. Don’t allow the wires on braces to deter you from thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums. A consistent cleaning routine, combined with a braces-friendly eating plan, is a sure way to help achieve your best smile.

Smiles for Life Orthodontics understands the commitment that it takes to undergo orthodontic work successfully. We promise to do our part by giving you the highest quality service in Flower Mound, TX. Contact us today to find out how orthodontics can give you your happiest smile.

How Thumb Sucking Negatively Affects Teeth and What to Do About It

November 15th, 2019

Do you delight in watching your thumb-sucking toddler sleep? Sadly, while a small child with a thumb in their mouth is adorable, this habit can set your child up for years of dental woes. Let’s look at why, after a childhood spent thumb sucking, teeth struggle to show their best smile in adulthood.

Thumb Sucking and Young Children

Is there anything sweeter than watching your infant self-soothe by sucking on their thumb? Who hasn’t breathed a sigh of satisfaction when their cranky toddler finally falls asleep with a thumb in their mouth? The answer is that parents throughout time have rejoiced in the power of thumb sucking to soothe a young child.

However, while the American Dental Association says that there is nothing wrong with a young child sucking on their thumb, there comes an age when it’s time to break the thumb sucking habit. Indeed, it’s essential to break the habit well before the time when a child’s permanent teeth first begin to appear. Keep reading to find out how, through thumb sucking, permanent teeth can end up needing a lifetime of expensive dental care.

Thumb Sucking and Teeth

Thumb sucking is one of those things in life that is fine for an infant and toddler but can become a problem if it persists into the preschool years. A child risks damaging the alignment of incoming permanent teeth if they are still sucking their thumb when permanent teeth start to appear.

Sadly, we often see the results of prolonged childhood thumb sucking on teeth in our orthodontic practice. Too many teenage patients come to us with severely misaligned smiles after a childhood spent with a finger in their mouths. Misalignments in a teenager’s bite often show up as:

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crowded Teeth

Along with the appearance of the teeth, other symptoms of a misaligned bite include such things as difficulty chewing, tooth decay, speech issues, and mouth breathing. Over time, an untreated bite problem can lead to jaw pain and significant wear and tear on the teeth.

Correcting Misaligned Teeth

Unless your child’s misaligned bite is minimal, there’s a strong chance that your dentist will suggest an orthodontic consultation. At the initial consultation, the orthodontist will take complete x-rays and perform an extensive examination to determine if orthodontic correction should take place to correct the problem.

If your orthodontist believes that orthodontic treatment is necessary to fix the misalignment, the treatment options vary according to the severity of the bite’s misalignment. Typical orthodontic treatments to correct a lousy chomper include:

  • Extraction of teeth to reduce overcrowding
  • Invisalign
  • Braces

Braces are an orthodontic treatment of choice for many people who suffer from improperly aligned teeth. One of the terrific benefits of wearing braces to correct a bite problem is that braces can successfully improve even the worst types of bite issues. Read on to learn how to care for your child’s smile while they wear braces.

How to Care for Braces

It can take years to correct misaligned teeth with braces. During that time, your child must protect their teeth and gums from such things as decay and gum disease. We won’t pretend that cleaning the teeth around the metal and wires that come with braces is an easy task, because it’s not.

Although not a simple job, daily oral cleaning is vital to a beautiful smile in the future. You can help your child’s former thumb sucking teeth correction to run more smoothly through adhering to the following oral health steps.

Brush

There is no substitute for brushing teeth a minimum of two times a day for at least thirty seconds at a time. Look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride for total cavity busting power.

Floss

Who enjoys flossing? Don’t forget to pester your child about flossing each day. Flossing is the most sure-fire way to get all of those itty bitty bits of food out from between teeth. Failure to floss can result in cavities and the start of gum disease.

Oral Rinse

Consider adding an oral rinse to your teenager’s daily oral health routine. Rinsing with an effective oral cleaner is an efficient way to wash away any food debris that remains stuck between the teeth and braces after meals. Read here for information about oral rinses and braces.

Diet

We know that it can feel next to impossible to monitor the food intake of the average braces-wearing teenager. Still, it’s worthwhile to try and remind your teen about healthy eating and drinking habits while wearing braces. Here’s an excellent article on food to eat and avoid while wearing braces.

Change Elastics

Your orthodontist will recommend how often to change the elastics that go with braces, and your teenager must follow the advice. The elastics must function correctly to help the metal braces to do their job. Tired rubber bands aren’t taut enough to work effectively.

Fortunately, rubber bands for braces come in many different colors and patterns. You’ll probably find that switching out the elastics might be the one thing about wearing braces that your teen won’t neglect to remember. Read more about how elastics can be a fashion statement here.

It’s Never Too Late

Is it ever too late to fix your smile? Although we’ve focused on teenagers in this article, it’s never too late to improve your bite. We see many adults at our orthodontic practice, and we happily tell them that a beautiful smile is never beyond reach.

As Harvard Medical School notes, you’ll need to work harder to correct your smile with braces than would your sixteen-year-old counterpart. The bones in your jaw finished growing by the time that you reached adulthood, and it’s more challenging to fix an alignment issue completely. Still, with patience and effort, there is a strong chance that you’ll end up with a smile that makes you want to smile.

When it comes to prolonged childhood thumb sucking, teeth tend to end up misaligned. The positive news is that there is help for a misaligned bite. It’s never too late to turn a mouth filled with crowded, ill-matching teeth into a smile that you’ll be delighted to share with the world.

Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics in Flower Mound, TX, for a painless assessment of your orthodontic needs.

10 Terrific Dentist Anxiety Tips That Will Save Your Smile

October 21st, 2019

Does the idea of going to the dentist make you queasy? You’re not alone; dental phobia is a real thing, but it’s possible to overcome it. Keep reading for ten dental anxiety tips that will help to keep your teeth and gums in terrific shape.

Fear of the Dental Chair

Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? It’s possible that as many as twenty percent of Americans worry before an appointment, and many of them avoid regular check-ups due to extreme fear. Unlike phobias that don’t need addressing, routine dental appointments are too vital to your health to skip.

There are many reasons that you might fear the dentist. Perhaps you had a painful experience in the dental chair when you were young. Maybe your dental terror stems from

  • A fear that the dentist will cause you pain
  • Fear of shots and the thought that they might not work
  • Panic when you hear the sound of the drill
  • The nervousness of having someone working in your mouth
  • The embarrassment that you haven’t taken care of your teeth

Whatever the root cause of your fear, the fact remains that your dental health is critical to your overall health.

Downsides of Dental Avoidance

No matter how terrifying going to the dentist might seem, it’s never a smart idea to forget to schedule routine appointments. Inadequate levels of oral hygiene lead to a variety of nasty problems. Examples of what happens when you avoid the dentist include:

  • Bad breath
  • Cavities
  • Plaque and tartar
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum Disease
  • Infected teeth
  • Discolored teeth

Scientists also theorize that there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. It’s possible that the inflammation present in diseased gums spreads into the bloodstream and causes a narrowing of arteries. The evidence of a link between bad gums and the heart is a significant deal since more than one-quarter of all Americans will die from cardiovascular disease.

Even more, researchers also think that gum disease plays a part in developing (1) osteoporosis, (2) lung infections, (3) cancer, and (4) rheumatoid arthritis.

Are you starting to understand why you must put aside your dental phobia? If so, here are ten dentist anxiety tips that will have you in the dental chair before you know it.

10 Dentist Anxiety Tips

dentist anxiety tips

Now, we’re sure that you know that you don’t need to be afraid of the dentist. Still, unreasonable fears can be just as powerful as authentic ones. The terrific thing about phobias is that it’s possible to overcome them.

Follow our ten best dentist anxiety tips to begin moving past your dental fears.

1.  Look for a dental practice that caters to dental phobics.

Trust us; fear of going to the dentist is such a common concern that many dentists take steps to alleviate anxiety. Ask about how the office helps dental cowards when you make your first appointment.

2. Technology for the Win

If possible, choose a dental clinic that offers things like

  • Television
  • Music
  • and a warm blanket.

3. Don’t go to your first visit alone.

You’ll feel more relaxed if you know that someone you love is waiting for you in the lobby.

4. Arrive on time, but not too soon.

The last thing that you want is a long wait before you see the dentist. Bring that magazine that you’ve meant to read with you so that you’ll be too distracted for your imagination to run wild.

5. Use some of these sure-fire relaxation techniques throughout the visit.

You’ll be surprised how much control you have over your anxiety when you find a helpful calming method.

6. Ask your dentist for appropriate sedation options.

Many patients appreciate the calming quality of nitrous oxide and oral sedatives. It might even be possible to snooze your way through a complicated dental procedure.

7. Don’t fall into the trap of being a martyr where discomfort is concerned.

Pain-free dentistry is a reality, and it’s the job of the dentist to make sure that you don’t feel any pain while they’re working in your mouth.

8. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the dentist to explain what they’re doing throughout a procedure. A soothing voice is often enough to help you through dental work.

9. Take Breaks

Stop whenever you need a break. A sensitive dental team will give you time to relax when necessary.

10. Make your next appointment before you leave the office.

You’re more likely to come for a follow-up appointment if you don’t have to contact the office later to schedule it.

Lastly, today’s dental offices are welcoming places that specialize in painlessly keeping your smile bright and healthy. Use our dentist anxiety tips as a safety blanket to guide you through your next dental experience. You’ll enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile in return.

Smiles for Life Orthodontics delivers excellent orthodontic care to patients in Flower Mound, TX. Contact us for our gentle, complete orthodontic services.

5 Reasons Why Flossing is Important

October 15th, 2019

Do you ever ponder why your dentist asks about your flossing habits during every check-up? The reason is that they know that flossing is an essential part of oral health. Follow along for five of the biggest reasons why flossing is important if you want to maintain your smile.

Those In-Between Teeth Spaces

Have you ever thought about how much gunk ends up resting between your teeth after you eat? Restaurant owners know that food sometimes gets stuck between teeth. That’s why you’ll find a handy toothpick holder near the cash register.

The danger to your overall oral health is that you can’t possibly notice all of the little bits of mealtime that find their way between your teeth each day. What’s more, you can brush and brush your teeth and still not entirely clean those in-between your teeth spaces. Even worse, all of the stuff that stays lodged between your teeth can destroy your smile over time.

5 Reasons Why Flossing is Important

why flossing is important

There’s no doubt failing to floss leaves your smile in danger. Consistent flossing helps to remove the gunk and plaque that’s hiding in the tiny, hard-to-see spaces inside your mouth. Although researchers continue to examine the role that flossing plays in your overall dental health, there are some clear benefits to it.

1. Improve Appearance

Do you want to keep a welcoming smile for years into the future? Oral-B notes that regular flossing is a terrific way to improve the overall brightness of your teeth. Combine a bright smile with the appearance of healthy gums, and you have a recipe for a smile that has real staying power.

2. Prevents gum disease

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, plaque on your teeth can lead to gum disease. Research suggests that the bacteria found in plaque causes an inflammatory response that contributes to gum disease. Flossing helps you to avoid problems such as

  • bleeding gums
  • receding gums
  • tooth and bone loss.

3. Reduce your chance of developing heart disease

One of the insidious dangers of gum disease is that it appears to play a part in the development of heart disease. Recent research reveals that you have a twenty percent higher chance of developing heart disease if you have gum disease. One theory is that gum disease spurs on the narrowing of arteries, leading to cardiovascular disease.

4. Stop tooth decay between teeth

Who doesn’t dread the sound of a dental drill? Dentists know that flossing is a crucial step in avoiding cavities. A sliver of sticky candy caught between two teeth can result in cavity-causing plaque within two days. Avoid the sound of a dental drill by flossing your teeth once a day.

5. Freshen your breath

You know how a mouth filled with fresh smelling breath makes you feel ready to greet the world each morning? You can keep the confident vibes flowing by flossing away the trapped little bits of food in your mouth that can cause a real stink. It’s true; a comprehensive oral care routine will reward you with fresh breath.

By the way, who hasn't noticed the tremendous variety of dental floss products on the market today? The terrific benefit to having a choice of flossing products is that you can find one that you will want to use each day. Read here for an informative article about the vast selection of dental floss available today.

Now that you know five of the best reasons to take time to floss, it’s time to put flossing into your daily oral hygiene.

Complete care for your smile

Of course, flossing isn’t enough, by itself, to keep your smile in sparkling shape. No, you’ll need to stick with a complete tooth care routine if you want to protect your smile long-term.

You don’t need to purchase all sorts of pricey gadgets to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Instead, consistent care is the key to ensuring that your smile will remain with you for a lifetime.

Make the following steps part of your oral health program.

Brush

The foundation of any teeth cleaning plan rests on effective brushing. Did you know that many people don’t take enough time to clean their teeth thoroughly? Experts say that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes each time.

Floss

Recent studies recommend flossing before brushing at least once per day. Check out this article on flossing techniques from Colgate. It’s extra essential to floss if you wear braces as it can be challenging to keep the spaces between your teeth clean.

Swish

Consider adding a mild mouthwash to your daily cleaning routine. Remember that swishing with a mouth rinse doesn’t replace the need to floss.

Dentist

Don’t forget to see your dentist for a check-up every six months. Checking in with your dentist twice a year is a smart way to take care of small dental issues before they turn into painful problems. A significant benefit of a dental visit is that the dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove any accumulated plaque.

Orthodontic tips- Do you wear braces?

Flossing while you wear braces is extremely important since little remnants of food can very quickly turn into destructive dental plaque. Rely on your orthodontist for advice on effective flossing techniques.

Healthy diet

The American Dental Association stresses the vital part that nutrition plays in keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. In general, you should aim to drink plenty of water and eat a variety of healthy foods. Limit snacks and sugary foods to special occasions.

Trust us; your smile depends on sticking to healthy oral health habits.

Last thoughts

Lastly, your smile can last a lifetime if you give it proper care. Healthy oral hygiene habits give you the surest opportunity to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. Make sure that you follow our reasons why flossing is important to develop an oral care program that fits your needs.

We want to help you dazzle the world with your most beautiful smile. Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics for complete orthodontic services in Flower Mound, TX.

American Dental Association American Association of Orthodontists Texas Association of Orthodontists Southwestern Society of Orthodontists