Tips For Maintaining Healthy Teeth And Gums With Braces

bracesGood oral hygiene is important for everyone, but those with braces need to pay extra attention to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Wearing braces can present a few challenges, but here are some tips on keeping up on oral care.

Brushing – It’s a bit more challenging to prevent plaque buildup with braces, but it can be done. Be sure to brush after every meal and choose a toothbrush that will clean well around your brackets as well as all the surfaces of your teeth. There are special brushes, proxy brushes, that are made to fit under the wires and clean between each tooth.

Flossing – You might think that flossing is impossible with braces because of the wires, but its not. There is a simple threading tool that is made for this specific reason. You thread the floss under the wires so you can floss between each tooth.

Fluoride – Fluoride is an important addition to your oral hygiene routine with braces. It helps reduce the formation of plaque and helps to strengthen enamel to avoid cavities. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride when brushing.

Foods – Certain foods such as hard sticky candy, popcorn, nuts, and other hard foods should be avoided while wearing braces. These foods can loosen, bend or break your appliances. High acidic foods should be avoided as much as possible as well because they can cause damage to the tooth enamel. Concentrate on lower acidic health foods like bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, apples, watermelon and most vegetables.

Above all, be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your orthodontist. Most likely they will give you some of the tips that are explained above.

Six Tips To Keep Healthy Teeth And Gums With Braces | World Dental

Become An Orthodontist

orthodontistAn orthodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in dentofacial orthopedics and orthodontics. They are qualified to bring teeth, lips and jaws into alignment. They use dental braces and other orthodontic appliances to realign and straighten teeth for functional or cosmetic reasons. You may want a career in orthodontics.  Here are some things to consider.

Orthodontists make an average salary of $200,000. This is much higher than a general dentist.  They are rewarded by helping people and feel good about improving patients smiles.  They are respected members of the community.

There is a lot of schooling and training required to become an orthodontist.  Before  applying to dental school to become a dentist, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree. Next you will be required to complete dental school to become a doctor of dental medicine.  Lastly, you will go to more school to get a post doctorate in orthodontics.  All this schooling usually takes 8 to 12 years.

How To Become An Orthodontist|Mouth And Teeth

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

orthognathic surgeryOrthognathic surgery is often used in addition to orthodontic treatment and is done when there are issues with the jaw and teeth. Some of the problems that can be corrected with orthognathic surgery are: Unbalanced facial appearance, protruding jaw, upper and lower teeth don’t overlap properly, wearing down of teeth, difficulty with chewing or biting, sleeping issues, TMJ issues and restoring facial injuries.

While orthognathic surgery is used in conjunction to orthodontics, it can be a bit tricky to know when the right time to start orthodontics is.  If it is started too soon on a child that is still growing, they may need braces for a while before the surgery and then again after the surgery.  It is very important to discuss all your options with an experienced orthodontist to find out the best treatment plan for you or your child.

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?|Smiles At South Center

Correcting An Overbite

overbiteAn overbite is a misalignment of the teeth and jaw that can cause problems with chewing and can also place excess stress on the jaw and joints. If an overbite is not corrected it can cause tooth enamel to wear down and may cause injury to the teeth and gums.

Most overbites are corrected using orthodontic braces. They are clear or metal brackets that are glued to the teeth.  Wires and bands connect the brackets and they are bent or tightened to move the teeth. Invisalign is another option which uses clear trays that fit over the teeth.  For some patients, there are other appliances that may promote growth of the lower jaw or reposition it to resolve the overbite.

If the overbite is severe enough surgery may be the only method for correction. This will allow the jaw bones to an ideal facial balance and correct your bite. The dentist, oral surgeon and orthodontist will coordinate treatment to help you achieve the best results.

An overbite is considered to be corrected when the upper and lower teeth fit correctly together and biting forces are evenly distributed over all of the teeth. Your teeth, gums and bones will function correctly and you will enjoy a better smile.

Correcting Your Overbite|Your Dental Health Resource

Do It Yourself Dentistry?

Recently you may have heard about certain YouTube videos demonstrating do it yourself dentistry. People claim that they have successfully closed gaps in their teeth using simple $5 elastic bands.  When you think of the great costs of orthodontics, this may seem like a tempting alternative. But orthodontists warn that DIY teeth straightening or gap closing is not only foolish, it can lead to permanent tooth loss.

An article from Catherine Saint Louis of The New York Times tells about a man, David Campbell, who tried to close a gap between his two front teeth by using elastics when he was a child.  As a result, he ultimately lost his two front teeth because of elastic bands working their way under the gum tissue and loosening his teeth.  He now has veneers.

So tempting as it may seem, do it yourself dentistry is probably not a good idea. Check out the full article from The NY Times here: Do-It-Yourself Orthodonture: Don’t Try This at Home –