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New Year, New Smile

January 25th, 2017

Smiling woman For many, a new year comes with new resolutions. And why not? A new year is a great time to create resolutions—especially those that can improve your health. For brace wearers, one of those resolutions should be to start making better oral hygiene decisions. Here are a few suggestions to help you reach your goal for a healthy new year.

Brush and Floss

One of the easiest, and most obvious, ways to improve your oral hygiene is daily brushing and flossing. To remove bacterial plaque, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes and floss once per day. And when brushing, be sure to use fluoridated toothpaste and an appropriately sized toothbrush. Proper daily brushing and flossing can help prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Healthier Eating

Another important way to improve oral hygiene is making healthier food and beverage choices. Brace wearers should always avoid sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy and hard or crunchy foods like popcorn and pretzels. But keep in mind that other foods and beverages loaded with carbs and acids increase the chances of tooth decay. If you are going to consume those types of items, be sure to brush your teeth after consuming them.

Say No to Tobacco

If you’re a smoker or if you use smokeless tobacco, quitting could significantly improve your oral hygiene and overall health in general.

Schedule Dental Visits

Routine visits to the dentist can help prevent oral disease and even catch existing problems early before they become a big problem. Dental appointments should occur every six months. These timeframes allow your dentist and hygienists to best monitor your oral health and create your specific oral health care plan. And if you’ve been putting off dental work needed—such as crowns, implants, or fillings—going ahead and scheduling these required procedures now could significantly improve your oral health.

Even if you don’t currently wear braces, anyone can make a new year’s resolution to improve your oral hygiene. And if you’ve been thinking about getting braces, there’s no better time than 2017 to take the leap. If you do, you’ll be enjoying a bright new smile in 2018!

 

 

Brace Yourself for the Holidays

December 14th, 2016

Holly berriesThe holidays are here, and for most, thoughts are all about gifts, food, and enjoying time with friends and family. But if you have braces, you’re also thinking—and probably worried—about how to enjoy fun holiday treats without damaging your braces. Here’s the good news, brace-wearers: with a little bit of thought and planning, you’re sure to enjoy festive and delicious dishes that will most certainly keep you in the holiday spirit.

Foods to Avoid

Sweets are in abundance this kind of year, and the sugary, chewy, and sticky options are certainly more than tempting. For those with braces, it’s best to avoid sticky foods like caramel, gum, taffy, jelly beans, and toffee. Hard and crunchy foods like candy canes, popcorn, nuts, pretzels, and peanut brittle are also discouraged.

To keep some healthy foods on your plate, use simple ways to make them easier on your teeth and braces. For example, shred a raw carrot to add to a salad or slice an apple into thin pieces. If possible, stick with cooked fruits and vegetables, which are softer and much gentler.

Foods to Focus On

While it may seem like the list of “bad” foods is too entirely long, there are actually plenty of tempting treats on which to feast. Brace-wearers can enjoy main dishes like turkey, ham, pot roast, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and cranberry sauce. Fulfill your sweet tooth with items like pumpkin pie, cheesecake, jello, milkshakes, hot chocolate, and eggnog.

Regardless of the holiday foods being consumed, always remember to enjoy them in small portions (if sweet and sugary) and brush your teeth twice a day.

Prep for Emergencies

Even when being careful, sometimes orthodontic emergencies still occur. If this happens and you’re away for the holidays, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. But in the meantime, here are a few simple fixes to help you get through a holiday dilemma:

  • To fix a poking wire, use a pencil eraser or the end of a match stick to push it down. Or, put wax on it to relieve the discomfort.
  • If a bracket or band is loose, leave it in place and put wax on it.
  • If a wire is loose, use tweezers to try to put it back in place. If that doesn’t work—and wax doesn’t help—try using a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire. Be sure to clip the wire only behind the last tooth to which it’s securely fastened. To help ease discomfort, put wax on it.
  • Keep a brace hygiene kit with you at all times. The kit should include: toothpicks, floss picks, travel toothbrush and paste, mouth rinse, orthodontic wax, and mirror.

 

Thankful for Our Terrific Staff

November 24th, 2016

The Todd Bennett orthodontic team constantly strives to give patients the best orthodontic care available. Our group of highly trained and skilled professionals consistently develop relationships with all the people who's smiles we help craft. The usual process of patient care allows for our patients to become familiar with only some of our staff. However, the final product we deliver to each of our patients is a result of teamwork throughout the office. We are very thankful for each of our caring team members.

Here is a fun chance for you to become familiar with all of our staff members!

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Name: Sharon

Hometown: Fairhope, AL

Position at TBO: Assistant

Favorite Quote: Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The staff I work with.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Dr. Pepper, my husband, and sunscreen.

What’s the background image on your phone? A picture of my husband and I with our three dogs.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Channing Tatum.

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Name: Kate

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Front desk (In-house marketing)

Favorite Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Getting to know patients well enough to where I know who they are when they walk in. They become friends, not just patients

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Water, chips, and queso fundito from the bike shop.

What’s the background image on your phone? My family’s South Carolina lake house view.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Kirsten Dunst.

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Name: Sheila Slaton

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Treatment Coordinator

Favorite Quote: “I yam what I yam.” -Popeye

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Meeting new patients, spending time getting to know them and their orthodontic needs, and then seeing them through their transformation.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island?

-Backpack with flashlight, lighter, sunscreen, hammer, nails, duck tape, and sunglasses.

-My Family.

-Zac Brown Band.

What’s the background image on your phone? My kids.

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Name: Carrie Dunn

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Position at TBO: Chairside Assistant

Favorite Quote: “When at first you fail, try again.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Experiencing someone’s TX from start to finish.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Potatoes, my husband and my child.

What’s the background image on your phone? The standard iPhone background.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Keira Knightly

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Name: Carmen Anderson

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Orthodontist

Favorite Quote: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Seeing the confidence our patients gain with their new smiles.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Sunscreen, water, and chips and salsa.

What’s the background image on your phone? My husband and I.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Will Ferrell.

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Name: Jessica Dickson

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Position at TBO: Clinical Assistant

Favorite Quote: “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” - Aristotle

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The relationship with my work family and the relationship with my patients.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island?

-My boyfriend, Jake.

-My son, Daniel.

-My cat, Oscar.

What’s the background image on your phone? My boyfriend and I.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Kit Harington (aka - Jon Snow)

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Name: Jessica Bunch

Hometown: Saraland, AL

Position at TBO: Financial Coordinator

Favorite Quote: “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: Transforming Smiles.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Matches, knife and fishing net.

What’s the background image on your phone? The ocean.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Adam Levine.

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Name: Jennifer Harden

Hometown: Semmes, AL

Position at TBO: Chairside Assistant

Favorite Quote: “The only way to love great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job: The excitement of completion and before and after pictures.

What are the three things would you bring with you on a deserted island? Sunscreen, hammock, and my daughter.

What’s the background image on your phone? Black and white mandala.

What celebrity would you like to put braces on? Johnny Depp.

 

 

 

 

In the Game with Braces

October 3rd, 2016

Smiling girl with braces playing tennisA common misconception among youth and adults alike is that you can’t play sports with braces. But the truth is that you don’t have to sacrifice sports if you are a braces wearer. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get in the game as long as you take the proper safety precautions.

 

Mouth Guard
One of the top safety precautions to take as a brace wearer when playing sports is using a mouth guard. In fact, according to studies by the American Dental Association, mouth guards have been proven to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries.

If you’re a brace wearer, a mouth guard should be worn at all times while playing any sport—not just contact sports. There are mouth guards specifically designed for use with braces. Braces mouth guards offer a little more room than conventional mouth guards, which allows a better fit for the braces, teeth, and gums. These special mouth guards provide the same level of protection as a “regular” mouth guard. For a more custom fit for your mouth, braces mouth guards can be custom-made through the orthodontics’ office. While this option is more expensive, it does offer the most comfort for the wearer.

 

Beyond Mouth Guards
Protecting your teeth and gums goes beyond just wearing a mouth guard. While brace wearers can participate in most any sport, there are a few exceptions, such as boxing and wrestling, they should not partake in since the risk of getting hit in the mouth is so high. A hard hit can cause damage not just to your teeth and gums, but also to the inside of your cheek and tongue. If you do experience a hard hit to the mouth and feel like something is wrong, it’s important to stop play immediately and call your orthodontist.

Another potential issue is that even while wearing a mouth guard during play, you can still break brackets on your braces. While this shouldn’t cause you to stop play, it is important to call your orthodontist soon thereafter to replace the broken bracket so that your progress isn’t hindered.

If you have specific questions about how to best care for your teeth and braces while playing sports, give us a call today. Dr. Bennett can help you find the best solution to fit your individual need.

 

 
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