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Back to School with Braces

August 24th, 2016

Smiling girl with braces riding a bikeBack to school can be an exciting time for many students. Yet for some students going back to school with braces means serious anxiety. But getting back into the school day routine while managing braces doesn’t have to be daunting. Make your transition to the classroom seamless with these no-fail tips.

Carry a Kit with You

With braces, going to school each day prepared to take care of them is critical. Keep a kit in your backpack or locker with the essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, wax, and extra rubber bands (if your braces require them). Make sure to have a compact mirror as well so you can easily check out your braces if something doesn’t seem right.

Remember to Brush

Your daytime routine is changing, but it’s still important to take time to brush and floss your teeth after lunch. Braces can easily trap bacteria and food decay, so it’s imperative to keep up proper oral hygiene.

 Watch What You Eat

Brace wearers have to take more care in what they eat. Lots of foods—especially those that are sticky or hard—can cause serious damage. Consider bringing your lunch to school instead of risking it with what’s being served in the lunchroom. Also, when it’s time for a snack, go for something like soft fruit, yogurt, or applesauce. That’s much better on braces than candy bars or crunchy foods.

Drink Water

If possible, keep a bottle of water with you. Frequently drinking water will rinse your mouth of food particles and neutralize acids in your mouth. 

Protect Yourself

If you play sports, always wear a mouth guard. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety, an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to his or her teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Not only will a mouth guard protect your teeth and your braces, but it can also help make sure your braces don’t scrape your lips or mouth. And, there are mouth guard options available specifically for athletes with braces.

Still have questions about how to care for your braces at school? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about how you can best manage your oral health and make the school year great.

 

This Summer: Oral Health Care

July 14th, 2016

Charming girl wearing braces with a beautiful candid smileSummertime is synonymous with fun and sun. But did you know that summer activities could cause problems with your oral health care? Favorite summer activities like swimming and cookouts can lead to significant dental issues. But don’t fret: before you cancel your family barbecue, trip to the pool, or much-needed vacation, here are a few things to consider to protect your teeth while still partaking in all of your favorite festivities.

 

Pool Water Problems
Swimming is, of course, a healthy activity and great workout. But, prolonged exposure to pool water can lead to dental erosion, lesions, pits, and even white spots on teeth. The frequent exposure to pool water can also interfere with the braces sticking to your teeth. To protect yourself from these potential problems, make sure your pool water is pH neutral and saturated with hydroxyapatite components. Another way to deter these problems is by drinking fluoridated water regularly.

 

Watch Your Sweet Tooth
Summer activities offer countless opportunities to indulge in sweets: barbecue, ice cream, sweet tea, and all sorts of other sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Not only are these treats risky for those with braces, but also for anyone as the sugar and acid can cause cavities, plaque, and loss of enamel. Instead of snacking on sweets, opt for healthy snacks like fresh vegetables. Reach for a bottle of water instead of a sugary soft drink. If there is no avoiding a sweet treat, limit it to just one time of the day instead of spacing it out throughout the day and be sure to brush after indulging.

 

Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated isn’t important just for being out in the summer heat. Drinking plenty of water can improve oral health too. Good hydration helps the body produce saliva, which is essential in having fresh breath, eliminating food particles, and slowing acid production.
Keep a healthy smile all summer long. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about other ways you can maintain proper oral health care any time of year.

 

Debunking the Myth: Adult Braces

June 29th, 2016

Smiling woman pointing to her bracesWhen you think about braces, the first thing that probably comes to mind is that they are only for children or teens. But the truth is that adult braces are becoming more popular. Today, adults make up a large portion of orthodontic patients. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18.

There are many reasons why more and more adults are making the decision to get braces. A little known fact is that adult teeth still move and shift, just like a child’s, even if the adult had braces when they were younger. So whether you’re an adult thinking about braces for the first time or hoping a second go-around will improve some minor imperfections, here are a few reasons why getting braces as an adult should make you smile.

Boost of Self Esteem

Appearance is always important when it comes to self esteem. And everyone, no matter their age, wants a great smile. It’s one of the first things people notice when they look at you. Taking the opportunity to improve crooked teeth, a strong overbite or underbite, or fixing an improper jaw position provides a definite boost of confidence.

Better Options

There are multiple options for braces today, from regular braces and ceramic braces to lingual braces and clear aligners. That means unlike how it may have been years ago (when wearing braces meant lots of metal and big, attention-grabbing bands), today’s braces can actually go unnoticed by others, causing no reason to be self-conscious or insecure. Many of today’s options are lighter and more comfortable too.

 

Reduce the Risk of Health Issues

Misaligned teeth can affect an adult’s health just as easily as it can a child or teen. Living with misaligned teeth leads to a higher chance of buildup between teeth, which can cause serious periodontal disease or gum disease, as well as tooth decay, gum loss, and TMJ. Misaligned teeth can also bring about other health problems such as headaches, ear pain, and gastrointestinal problems.

It’s never too late to improve your smile. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Bennett today to talk about which orthodontic treatment option is right for you.

DIY Braces: Hurt More Than Help

May 22nd, 2016

Smiling girl with bracesAlthough “Do It Yourself” projects are popular, cost-effective, and rewarding, there is one trending project you do not want to tackle on your own — straightening your teeth. YouTube tutorials featuring teenagers demonstrating how to straighten their teeth with common items such as dental floss, paper clips, and rubber bands are surging in popularity. That’s right — DIY Braces are on the rise, and the results are dangerous and less than desirable. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a consumer alert warning against DIY braces. Take a look at why this practice is extremely dangerous:

  • Change in Tooth Color - Moving teeth on your own can result in cutting off the blood supply, leading to teeth permanently fading to brown or gray in color.

 

  • Inflammation - Loss of blood supply will cause the gums to become painfully inflamed and infected. This can lead to permanent loss of bone and gum tissue.

 

  • Root Damage - Moving teeth incorrectly can cause roots of teeth to become damaged, leading to pain, infection, and loss.

 

  • Tooth Loss - In some cases, DIY braces have even resulted in tooth loss! Read more here about how one person paid $50,000 to replace two front teeth after failing with DIY braces.

 

  • More Expensive - In the long run, the cost of trying to repair damage caused by these DIY methods is often far more than the cost of seeing an orthodontist to straighten your teeth.

 

Orthodontists attend a total of 10-12 years of college, dental school, and residency to learn how to properly align teeth without damaging tooth structure, gums, and bone. This is one DIY you should leave to the pros. Kids, don’t try this at home! Parents, be on the lookout for the above symptoms, and if you’re concerned your child is attempting to straighten his or her teeth on their own, contact an orthodontist immediately!

Call (251)471-8008 today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bennett!  We would be happy to discuss your orthodontic needs and work out a payment plan if necessary.

 
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