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Tips for preparing for braces

December 17th, 2014

Tips-for-preparing-for-braces

Getting braces isn’t easy. It will require some adjustments, not only to your teeth but to many aspects of your lifestyle. Mentally preparing for braces will help reduce anxiety before and during the initial stages of wearing braces. We’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind in order to ease the process.

Remember: braces are a commitment
Whether you are going with traditional braces or new technology like Invisalign, braces are a commitment both for parents and for children. They will require time, energy, and money. Help your child understand the commitment that is being made before you move forward. Talk him or her the hygiene commitments, the need to keep appointments, and how certain foods should be cut out of diets. Finally, be sure to sit down and discuss with your child that braces don't just magically take care of themselves.

Educate yourself about all your options
For many parents who had braces when they were kids, there was just one option: metal braces. Now there are all kinds of different options, including ceramic and Invisalign. There are also different treatments as well as payment plans to consider. Be sure to schedule a free consultation with us at (541) 848-6642 to see what will work best for you.

Explain the initial visits
The procedure can seem intimidating, especially if the child has heard stories about discomfort or pain from braces in the past. Parents should take time to explain why the orthodontist is taking so many pictures, x-rays and impressions of the teeth. That way, parents are removing the mystery of the procedure and allowing children to feel relaxed as the initial steps are taken to prepare for the braces.

Encourage children to talk to the orthodontist
An orthodontist is trained to deal with the concerns of their patients. By allowing the orthodontist to answer questions and give explanations, a child will feel more comfortable during the process. The orthodontist can explain the elements of the process that parents might not fully understand or know how to explain in child-appropriate terminology.

Discuss hygiene
Hygiene is a challenge at the beginning, so parents should prepare children for the differences between normal tooth care and working around the braces to properly clean and floss the teeth. By dealing with the concerns, questions and complications before getting the braced put on, children will know the basics and can get started without problems later. Read up on our last blog for more on how to keep your teeth clean with braces.

Talk about social concerns
Getting braces might be seen as a rite of passage, but some children become worried about the reaction of friends, classmates and other individuals related to social activities. Parents should discuss the social concerns with children and explain the purpose of braces to help with potential self-esteem issues. Braces are not always viewed as a positive when a child feels self-conscious about changing appearances.

Be ready to help
Your children will need help with their braces. They will need help flossing, tightening things, even brushing and dealing with pokey wires and brackets that rub on sensitive gums. Prepare yourself to be okay with the "hands on." And let your kids know that you will always be there to help.

Preparing a child for braces is not always easy, but it can reduce feelings of anxiety or worry associated with the procedure. The more parents work on preparation, the better a child will feel during and after the process is completed. Above all, remember that it will all be worth it once we reveal your beautiful new smile at the end!

What foods can I eat with braces this Thanksgiving?

November 14th, 2014

What-foods-can-I-eat-with-braces-this-Thanksgiving
First off, we’d like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for our family, friends, coworkers, and patients--and the delicious food we’re about to consume. And you can be thankful that you don’t have to hold back this year because of your braces! Most Thanksgiving staples are ok to eat, but there are a few that you should avoid.

Braces-friendly foods:

  • Turkey and Ham – you can actually eat the mainstay foods of the holiday! Just cut the meat into smaller, more manageable pieces and avoid eating it off the bone.
  • Corn – as long as it is not on the cob
  • Potatoes – sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes are fine as long as they’re soft
  • Dressing – as long as there’s nothing crunchy in it
  • Green beans – when they’re cooked nice and soft
  • Casserole – as long as it’s not crunchy
  • Desserts – make sure it’s not crunchy and that you brush your teeth really well afterwards

Foods to avoid:

  • Popcorn – biting into a hard kernel can damage your braces
  • Chips – another Thanksgiving snack you should avoid
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews, and the like should be avoided for the same reasons as popcorn
  • Caramel – this will stick to your braces
  • Basically any hard, crunchy or sticky foods

We hope this will help you get through the holiday without any orthodontic emergencies, while still enjoying the food you look forward to eating all year! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (541) 848-6642. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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!

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