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6 steps to keeping your mouth healthy while wearing braces

October 13th, 2014

6-steps-to-keeping-your-mouth-healthy-while-wearing-braces

Take a look in the mirror at your new braces. The brackets and wires have nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces. Putting some extra attention into your teeth and gums will prevent tooth decay and staining, so you’ll have the smile you always dreamed of once your braces are off.

Use an interdental toothbrush
A regular toothbrush just doesn’t cut it when you are wearing braces. Using an interdental toothbrush will allow you to effectively clean behind your braces. This type of brush has bristles that are shaped like a Christmas tree that can get in there and remove food residue in the braces and on the teeth. We also recommend using a WaterPik, which uses highly pressurized pulsating water to help get all of those hard-to-reach places.

Improve your brushing technique
1) Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.
2) Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don't miss any teeth.
3) Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires.

Brush (and floss!) after every meal
Braces block food from naturally escaping your teeth after eating, so it’s important that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but trust us, when you get your braces off it will all be worth it.

Don’t forget the mouth rinse
Even after properly brushing and flossing, there are probably some food particles in your braces. A fluoride mouth rinse is the best way to ensure that every bit of food is removed after meals. If you don’t have mouth rinse available, just use water--it’s better than nothing!

Eat right
Prevention is definitely the best medicine when it comes to avoiding tooth decay. If you can nix decay-causing sugary foods from the outset, you’ll spend less time trying to treat problems in the future. Acidic foods and drinks can also damage tooth enamel when consumed frequently or when sipped over extended periods of time. Soda is especially hard on teeth because it not only contains acidic flavor additives, but it also includes 10–12 teaspoons of sugar, which further increases your chance of developing cavities.

Get Regular Checkups
Visit your dentist regularly while you are wearing braces--typically every 3-6 months--to ensure that little problems don’t turn into big ones.

Your braces are working hard to straighten your teeth, but they do make it a little more difficult to keep your mouth clean. Making these simple alterations to your daily routine can ensure that you get the best results possible. Give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have: (541) 848-6642.

The benefits of braces (besides straight teeth)

September 5th, 2014

Key points:

  • Beyond just having straight teeth, braces can give you both oral and cosmetic health benefits
  • Straight teeth contribute to a nicer smile, which helps boost self-esteem and a more positive self-image which can greatly affect an individual’s quality of life socially and professionally.

The-benefits-of-braces

Having straight teeth may be an obvious goal in orthodontics, but health factors such as the ability to properly clean and maintain teeth and gums should also play an important role in your decision to receive orthodontic treatment. Preventing future oral health problems now means your child won’t have to spend time and money correcting these issues later. Read on for the lesser-known benefits of braces besides having straight teeth!

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. This can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It can also place you at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease during your lifetime, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, COPD, low birth weight/pre-term babies.

→ With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing and decreased risk of disease.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration.

→ Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth allowing for clearer speech and giving a major confidence-booster!

Bone Erosion

Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders can occur from stress on the jaw joint when a person’s bite is off. More serious TMJ symptoms can include earaches, headaches, jaw pain, clicking or popping in the jaw joint, neck and shoulder pain and difficulty in biting or chewing.

→ With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment. Additionally, when one’s bite is properly aligned, unnecessary wear or grinding of the teeth is prevented.

Digestion

Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. Digestion is one of the most vital roles your body performs and poor digestive health carries many health risks. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should.

→ With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing. For your body’s sake, health starts at the mouth.

Increased Confidence

Correcting overbite, underbite, or overcrowding can help build confidence. Reducing pain and discomfort associated with these conditions can help you get a better night’s sleep, eat healthier foods (hopefully), and feel less stressed during the day.

→ Not only will you have a great smile, you will want to smile more often!

Want to learn more about what Dr. Struble and the team can do for your smile? Schedule a complimentary consultation!

Parent tips for Surviving Braces

August 5th, 2014

Braces aren’t easy for your child to deal with. But if you make the most of your child’s braces, and they’ll be rewarded with a show-stopping grin! And we’ll be there every step of the way.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Parent-tips-for-Surviving-Braces

Ask an orthodontist
Parents can’t always tell when kids need dental work. Even if their teeth look straight, they can be crowded and bites can be off—causing issues in the future. Your dentist can recommend a good orthodontist. And the best part is, we provide free consultations.

Start in grade school
Now orthodontia for kids happens in phases. For example, they might start with a retainer in 5th grade so permanent teeth actually grow in straighter, or they might need braces twice. Being prepared can only help!

Save money
The cost of your orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your child’s individual needs and treatment plan. We will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget, and assist you with what to expect before beginning treatment. Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans.

Smile
Kids in braces are self-conscious. Let them know they’re not alone. Show them your old photos and laugh at yourself. Tell them they look gorgeous and keep them smiling big.

Tylenol for tightenings
It's just like taking your kids for shots when they were babies—Tylenol or ibuprofen BEFORE the appointment. Be aware that their jaw might be sore and that headaches might last for a day or two.

Brushing and flossing
Remind your child to brush 2 times daily or after eating. Use a soft-bristled brush for the tops and bottoms of brackets and a proxabrush for in- between braces. It is also important to floss 1-2 times daily. Thread under archwire and between teeth. Use a floss threader if needed.

Mouthguards are your friends
Especially when playing sports. You can buy generic or ask for a custom fit mouthguard to prevent injuries and protect your child’s expensive appliance.

It’s worth it
The price and commitment of braces is worth the investmentit in order to steer clear of physical issues and self-consciousness later in life. Your child might not thank you now, but they’ll certainly appreciate it later!

We want your child’s experience with braces to be as seamless as possible. Call us at 541-848-6642 for more tips or schedule a complimentary consultation with us!

Dr. Struble's Favorite Things to Do In Bend!

July 7th, 2014

Favorite-Things-to-Do-In-Bend

Blair Struble has lived in Bend for over 20 years now, making her a true local. She shares many of her favorite stops around Bend, from high-desert lakes to seasonal farmer’s markets.

What is your favorite place to get a smoothie?
I love the Sambazon smoothie at Emerald City Smoothies. They are so refreshing on a hot, sunny, Central Oregon day!

Where do you like to go jogging?
I love to get outdoors in the summer. I live on the south side of Bend very close to the south river trail access. My dog Boss and I love to take walks and jogs down along the river. The scenery is so beautiful down there and my dog loves to cool off in the river. I don't run as much anymore because I have found a new passion in mountain biking. I love riding the Phil's trailhead west of Bend!

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in Bend?
My daughter Taylor loves the High Desert Museum. She enjoys the "Backpack Explorers" day camps. She loves feeding fish to the otters and learning about the burrowing owls native to Central Oregon. We also love checking out all the great parks in our community!

Is there anything in Bend that you want to do that you haven't tried yet?
I would love to get up to Elk Lake to check out the summer concerts on the lake. There are always so many things I want to do each summer, just not enough time to accomplish them all! We also try to get to as many summer festivals as we can, because they’re fun and my kids love the entertainment.

What is your favorite thing about summer in Bend?
The city is just bustling with activity. I love that any day (year round even!) you can find a fun activity. We love the farmer's markets, street fairs, and festivals. I also love the 4th of July Pet Parade. I grew up going to that parade every year and it’s been so much fun to watch it grow from a tiny little hometown parade to an activity that people and pets of all ages participate in. We love taking our girls (Taylor and Tennyson) down there in our Red Radio Flyer and walking our dog Boss in the parade.

How has Bend changed since you grew up here? How has it stayed the same?
Bend has changed drastically, but I love the great things that growth has brought to our area. There is so much more recreation and development of outdoor opportunities. We have so many fabulous restaurant and shopping options now that we never had when I was growing up. However, I love that it still has a great small hometown feel and that everyone is so friendly and active here. I still feel like I can walk downtown and see friendly faces everywhere. I truly believe there is no place better than Bend, Oregon and I hope my kids feel the same after they grow up here.

Where is your favorite place to get dessert?
I will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart for Goody's. I grew up going to that soda fountain and I love their Oreo Cookie Shakes made with their homemade ice cream. Definitely a local's favorite!

What's the best place to watch the sunset from?
We have this small little hidden away place in our neighborhood called "Sunset Hill." It is aptly named because it has breathtaking views of not only the Deschutes River but also of our beautiful and majestic mountains. It is definitely the best place I know to watch the sunset but only a few people in the neighborhood know how to get there, so I'm keeping that one secret!

Struble Orthodontics is your local expert in orthodontic care. Call or click to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Struble at 541-848-6642.

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