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How to Clean Your Braces

May 2nd, 2017

Girl with braces brushing her teethYour smile—it’s what people typically notice first when looking at you. It’s also something that you’ve worked hard to perfect if you have braces. To keep your smile looking good and feeling healthy, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, and that means properly cleaning your braces. In fact, brace-wearers are prone to more dental problems—like gingivitis and cavities—than non-brace-wearers. While it may seem too challenging or time-consuming to properly maintain your braces at home, it’s really rather easy.


Using a toothbrush, whether you choose the typical brush or an electric one, is the standard way to keep your teeth and braces clean. With braces, it’s best to opt for a brush with soft bristles and a compact head. When it’s time to brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line, and use a back and forth motion. Brace-wearers should always remove elastics before brushing and sure to brush the top, bottom, and front of the brackets to remove all of the plaque and food debris. And when brushing, be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste to decrease the risk of tooth decay.


Because food can easily get trapped in between teeth and under wires, it’s important to floss every day. There are a number of options available depending on what type of cleaning tool you prefer, from soft picks to regular dental floss.

Oral Irrigation Systems

Oral irrigation systems are also a great way to keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean. The specialized systems can be purchased at most drugstores, and they work by spraying water through a device to flush the teeth and braces—especially in hard to reach spots. But be sure to keep in mind that while oral irrigation systems are a great addition to your home oral hygiene routine, it should never replace brushing or flossing.

These few simple at-home steps can be the difference between a healthy, beautiful smile and significant dental problems. To find out more about how to properly clean your braces or to discuss the areas in which you could use some help, give Dr. Bennett a call today.


The Great Big List of Braces Friendly Foods

April 8th, 2017

Contrary to popular belief you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods while wearing braces, the key as with most things is to enjoy in moderation.  It is very important that orthodontic appliances are properly cared for during treatment.  Broken brackets can cause unnecessary appointments and will lengthen treatment time, and well no body wants that.

So To help you avoid any unnecessary problems we have compiled a list of some of our favorite braces-friendly snacks and recipes.

To begin though here is a short list of items you should avoid indulging while wearing your braces:

Hard, sticky foods such as: Ice, & hard candies. (jolly ranchers)

Popcorn, nuts, taffy, caramel, pizza crust, and anything you feel could easily get tangled in your new smile gear.  A helpful tip to avoid extra cleaning and problems is to cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces before attempting to eat.

Now for the good stuff that you can enjoy without worrying about damaging your braces. We will start with one of our personal favorites - Donuts - minus the nuts or sprinkles.

This next sweet treat is perfect for the holiday season.  Mini-Reeses Peanut Buttercup Cups Easy to make and perfectly sized. Find the full recipe and instructions on here.

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One of our favorite healthy braces-friendly snacks are Pizza Stone Zucchini Fries.  These delicious fries combine healthy and easy to eat zucchini slices with seasoned bread crumbs and baked for a light crunch.  Combine with your favorite marinara dipping sauce and you have a delicious and nutritious snack that will play nice with your smile gear.   The full cooking instructions can be found here. 

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As weather continues to cool there is nothing better than enjoying a great big bowl of delicious soup.  We found a version that takes the best part of a chicken pot pie and makes it braces friendly.  This is an ideal meal for someone having a sore mouth kind of day.  Soft, warm, and easy to eat. Full recipe here. 

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This delicious broccoli shells cheese is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any dinner table and best of all it places nice with your smile gear.  Easy to prepare, budget easy, braces friendly and delicious, what more can you ask for.  Check out the full recipe here. 


When snack time calls these Orange Creamsicle Yogurt Bites are the perfect answer.   With a can of your favorite yogurt and a box of jello you are on your way to a cool, delicious, and protein packed snack.  These are perfect for those sore mouth moments. Find the full recipe here.


Some other foods yummy that are braces-friendly include:

- Smoothies also great for sore mouth days as the cold can help take edge off of the discomfort.

- Mash potatoes are classically good and easy to eat with no risk of damaging your braces.

- Bananas are a perfectly soft and easy snack to grab on the go.

- Fresh fish such as salmon or tilapia that has been baked is always a winning braces-friendly dish.

- Don’t forget to eat your veggies like sautéed squash, steamed greens, or thoroughly cooked carrots.

- Pancakes are also perfectly soft for sore mouth days. ( just go easy on the syrup)

- Most all pastas are braces-friendly just be sure to slice into bite-sized portions to avoid getting it stuck in your smile gear.

- Non-chunky salsa ( or hummus) and tortilla chips can be a great snack that would leave your braces a mess.

- Grits - warm, soft, delicious and easy to eat make them a perfect meal for sore mouth days.

- Any type of soft bread that does not have seeds, nuts, or pieces of whole grains. If you like whole-wheat bread, look for one that has a smooth texture. Tear off the crust if necessary.

There are so many delicious foods you can still enjoy when wearing braces, for even more tasty recipes take a look at our Pinterest board. The most important thing to ensure proper care of your braces is to always thoroughly clean after eating.  Check out our great tips to help you keep your smile looking its best.


Does my child need braces?

April 5th, 2017

Smiling boy with bracesSo you think your little one may need braces, but how can you be sure? Here are a few signs that your child may need braces:

-Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all

-Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth

-Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth

-Jaws that shift or make sounds

-Difficulty with chewing or biting

The majority of orthodontic problems are genetic, meaning you inherited your space or bite problems. Others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental decay, accidents, or poor nutrition. Another common reason is not enough room in the jaws for the teeth, so they become crowded or crooked.


 What age should my child be evaluated for orthodontic care?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment.  Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7.  At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but a complimentary consultation can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

The most common time for orthodontic treatment occurs between the ages of 11 and 15.  By the age of 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps and bite issues can easily be detected.  These problems will rarely correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.  Today’s braces are more comfortable than the ones you may have worn as a child and miles more efficient, resulting in fewer check-up trips and wear time.

We invite you to come explore your child's options for orthodontic treatment with us at no charge.  Call us to schedule your free evaluation with Dr. Bennett, and start improving their smile today!



Clear Ortho Options

March 28th, 2017

When thinking about braces, many people probably picture traditional braces with metal brackets and wires. But there are actually numerous other options that can help straighten your teeth without being so noticeable. Todd Bennett Orthodontics offers a variety of clear braces that are sure to make you smile.


Clarity ADVANCED Ceramic Braces

In addition to being comfortable, Clarity ADVANCED Ceramic Braces can go virtually noticeable. The small brackets are made from a translucent ceramic material that will blend with the color of your teeth, yet work just like metal braces. In addition, they will resist staining and discoloration, giving children and adults alike plenty of confidence to smile.



For those seriously concerned about the appearance of braces, look no further than Incognito braces. Incognito braces are placed on the back of the teeth, making them practically impossible to see. The braces are completely customized for each and ever patient, thus contouring to your teeth better, which makes them more comfortable and perhaps even more effective than traditional braces.

In addition to being a secret easy to keep—no one will even know you have braces unless you decide to tell them—Incognito is backed by the latest technology, so procedures are faster, cleaner and more comfortable.



Another clear and customized option is Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear aligner system that’s custom-made for each patient. The aligners are made from a smooth, comfortable and clear plastic that is made to fit snugly over the teeth. The aligners work by gradually moving your teeth into the correct spots. Typically, aligners are changed out every week or every other week—depending on the plan mapped out by you and your doctor—and doing so is easy: there are no brackets or wires, so taking off and putting on is quick and easy.

When it comes to orthodontic care, the choice is clear. Give Dr. Bennett a call today to find out more about which option works best for you.


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