Posts for: March, 2017
There are a few things you need to do — and not do — while wearing braces: avoid hard or sticky foods, for example, or wear protection during sports to avoid injury. There's one important thing, though, that should be at the top of your list — extra attention to daily brushing and flossing.
The fact is your risk for developing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease increases during orthodontic treatment. This is because the braces make it more difficult to reach a number of locations around teeth with a toothbrush or floss. Bacterial plaque, the source for these dental diseases, can subsequently build up in these areas.
Teen-aged orthodontic patients are even more susceptible to dental disease than adults. Because their permanent teeth are relatively young they have less resistance to decay than adults with more mature teeth. Hormonal changes during puberty also contribute to greater gum disease vulnerability.
There are some things you can do while wearing braces to avoid these problems. Be sure you're eating a nutritious diet and avoid sugary snacks or acidic foods and beverages (especially sports or energy drinks).Â This will deprive bacteria of one of their favorite food sources, and the minerals in healthy food will contribute to strong enamel.
More importantly, take your time and thoroughly brush and floss all tooth surfaces (above and below the braces wire). To help you do this more efficiently, consider using a specialized toothbrush designed to maneuver around the braces. You might also try a floss threader or a water irrigator to remove plaque between teeth. The latter device uses a pressurized water spray rather than floss to loosen and wash away plaque between teeth.
Even with these efforts, there's still a chance of infection. So, if you notice swollen, red or bleeding gums, or any other problems with your teeth, visit us as soon as possible for an examination. The sooner we detect and treat dental disease while you're wearing braces, the less the impact on your future smile.
If you would like more information on taking care of teeth while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Chipped, cracked or discolored teeth don't have to ruin your smile. Porcelain veneers offer a simple way to conceal these and other types of dental imperfections. Dr. Kern Agader, your dentist in Kapolei, HI and serving the Makakilo and Ewa Beach, HI areas, explains why you'll want to consider this innovative cosmetic dentistry option.
A smile-changing solution
Could your smile use a little work? When you don't want to undergo extensive dental treatment just to improve small flaws, veneers offer the ideal solution. The thin shells are made of porcelain, a translucent material that resembles tooth enamel. They're cemented on to the front surfaces of your teeth and can last 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced.
Can veneers improve my smile?
One of the most attractive features of veneers is their versatility. They're equally effective in concealing discolorations as they are lengthening teeth shortened by wear and tear or nightly teeth grinding.
Do you have a tiny chip in a tooth? Chips and cracks are one of the most common reasons people choose veneers. Adding a veneer not only improves your appearance but also prevents bacteria from invading your tooth through the small opening created by the chip or crack.
You would think that all of your teeth would look the same, but sometimes, there's a tooth or two that just looks a little odd. It might be a little crooked or pointed or may have a strange shape. Adding a veneer can transform that problem tooth and dramatically alter your smile.
Gaps in teeth can detract from your appearance, plus they tend to trap pieces of food. Veneers can be designed to cover slight spaces between teeth and offer an easy way to handle the problem.
Veneers are very helpful in concealing discolorations, but they're also a good choice if you're looking for an alternative to teeth whitening treatment in the Kapolei, Makakilo and Ewa Beach area. Teeth often become dull due to the foods and beverages you consume. Although your teeth will be noticeably lighter after whitening, if you continue to eat and drink coffee, tea, wine and berries, the stains will soon return. Since veneers are very resistant to staining, indulging in a morning cup of coffee won't be a problem.
Ready to find out if porcelain veneers are right for you? Call Dr. Kern Agader, your dentist in Kapolei, HI and serving the Makakilo and Ewa Beach, HI areas at (808) 674-8895 to schedule an appointment.
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”