Dental Tips Blog

May
25

How Braces Affect Your Gums: The Good and the Bad

Posted in Braces

What should you do to keep your gums healthy while wearing braces?

Brush, Brush, Brush!

Your dentist and orthodontist can’t stress enough how important it is to brush your teeth frequently! Brackets are quick to collect plaque and food debris. You need to brush from all angles to make sure your orthodontia stays bacteria-free.

Some patients love to use a powered toothbrush or water flosser to blast away gum-irritating debris. It’s recommended to brush after each meal when wearing braces.

If you don’t brush (and floss and rinse) properly with braces, your gums will quickly react. All that gunk will cause them to get puffy and red. You might notice your gums swelling to the point that they start growing over the brackets. That’s a sign you need a dental checkup.

Braces and Gum Recession

Yes, braces have been known to cause a little gum recession, in some areas. It could be the result of tension on the teeth as they move into proper position. Or it could be your gums’ response to the presence of a bracket and dental plaque.

Your dentist or orthodontist can help you fight and slow down gum recession by giving you some helpful tips.

How Braces Help Your Gums

Crooked teeth are notorious for trapping gum disease-causing germs. It’s very hard to properly clean out those areas between overlapping teeth. By straightening out your teeth, you make it easier to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This reduces your chances for developing periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that results in tooth loss.

How are your gums handling braces? Visit your local dentist for a gum evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

Aug
10

How Am I Supposed to Floss While Wearing Braces?

Posted in Bonding

“Floss, floss, floss” may be all you hear at every single dental appointment!

But how do you floss when the spaces between your teeth are blocked off with a wire?

It may take a little more effort, but with the right tools and a little determination, you can successfully floss your way to a healthier smile. Even while in braces! In fact, flossing is especially important while you’re in braces.

Floss Threaders

Floss threaders are slim, flexible, plastic, needle-like aids. They have a large eye, or loop, at one end through which you thread regular floss. Use the needle part to pull the regular floss in behind the wire. Now you should be able to use the floss as usual, gently moving it up and down against the side of each tooth.

Orthodontic Flosser

One company makes a unique disposable flosser. This plastic pick has an end that scoots right under the wire so you can move the flosser around to clean. This eliminates messy strings and threading!

Water Flosser

A device that uses water to clean is becoming more popular among those who wear braces as well as those who don’t. The flosser cuts out the need to buy floss often and get you hands tangled up in floss. It’s also fantastic for blasting sticky plaque away from around the brackets.

The best flossing device is the one you’ll use! If you’re wearing braces right now, go ahead and experiment with a variety of flossing aids. The one that you find easiest and most comfortable will encourage you to get your daily flossing in. Great hygiene while wearing braces will make sure your smile shines when they come off. At your next appointment, ask your dentist for more suggestions!

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Apr
25

Caring For the Mouth with Braces

Posted in Braces

Braces are a means to an end – you want a straight and beautiful smile, and braces are the way to get it. However, braces alone won’t give you a beautiful smile; how you care for your mouth while wearing braces also determines the outcome. Oral hygiene is extremely important for those who have braces on their teeth. Food and plaque get trapped in the tiny spaces between the braces and the wires. When these substances are not removed, they can cause decay and enamel stains on the teeth. Caring for the mouth with braces takes a little more effort, but the end result is one that is worth showing off.

When wearing braces, it is best that you brush your teeth after every meal. Yes, this means carrying a tooth brush and tooth paste with you to school or to the office! By brushing after every meal, you will cut down on the particles left behind in the brackets and wires. You also need to use a floss threader at least once a day to thoroughly clean between the brackets and under the wires. Removing as much plaque and particles from the mouth will help prevent any damage to the teeth and gums while wearing braces. Your dentist or orthodontist will do a more thorough cleaning at each visit, but it will be extremely helpful to you and your doctor if you practice your fair share of oral hygiene at home. Avoiding foods that are likely to become trapped in the braces, such as popcorn, nuts, candy, and beef jerky is also beneficial to caring for your mouth.

Caring for the mouth with braces is very similar to caring for a mouth without braces, but it does require just a bit more effort. But if you are making the investment in braces to enhance your smile, putting a bit more effort into caring for your mouth should be an easy choice. Maintaining optimal oral health will help to ensure that after wearing braces for months and months, your teeth will be ready to show off!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Brett Gluck, DMD, MS, PC

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Nov
6

Foods to Avoid When You Have Traditional Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Orthodontics can completely change the way your smile looks, increasing dental health, boosting self-confidence, and changing the way other people look at you. However, traditional braces do require a bit of extra attention since you’re wearing them for an extended period of time. One of the important factors to keep in mind is the type of food that you should avoid. Eating the wrong foods when you’re wearing traditional braces can cause brackets to fall off or appliances to break.

Acidic foods like lemons for example, can loosen the cement, which bonds your bracket to the tooth. Drinking acidic drinks like soda from time to time should be done through a straw, to prevent excess acid levels directly on the orthodontic appliances.

Sticky foods, which typically include candies like taffy, bubble gum, or caramel, can literally pull your orthodontic appliances directly off of your teeth (including some dental restorations.) Look for substitutes to these items to curb your cravings for sweet, sticky treats.

Harder items like nuts, jerky, apples or corn on the cob may also break your orthodontics. Try cutting your food up into small pieces (apples, carrots, or meat), cooking them until they are very tender, or simply avoiding them.

If you’ve had an appliance slip out of place or break due to something you’ve eaten, it’s important to get in touch with your orthodontic provider or dentist within a day or two to have it corrected. Waiting too long to repair a broken bracket can cause teeth to move irregularly or cause injury. Being careless with your treatment will only cause it to last longer than it originally should have, and may incur costs related to repeatedly replacing equipment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Brett Gluck, DMD, MS, PC

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