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Back to School with Braces

It is time to say goodbye to another B.C. summer and head back to the classroom for the start of a new school year. Although this year will be very different than any other, the key to success both in and out of the classroom is to establish a routine. Your regular visits to the orthodontist will also be different but, like school, a well thought out routine is the best way for you to get the most out of your braces.

Here are some invaluable tips on how to start the school year with your braces off right.

Pack a Care Kit

Just like finding success with the right school supplies, having success with your braces also requires the right supplies. When packing your backpack in the morning for school, be sure to include a brace care kit. Your brace care kit should include the following items:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush that you can use after each snack or meal.
  • Your choice of toothpaste.
  • Waxed dental floss.
  • Dental or brace wax.
  • Lip balm.

All these items should be packed in an easy to access kit that can be used at any time during the school day.

Stay Hydrated

Not only is staying hydrated an important part of being and staying healthy, it is also a great way to ensure that no food particles are sticking to your teeth or braces. Also, by choosing water as your drink of choice, you are eliminating, or strictly limiting, sugary drinks such as pop or juice, both of which can badly damage your teeth and cause decay.

If you do decide to have a sugary drink for a treat, try to use a straw to keep the sugar as far away from your teeth as possible and always remember to brush your teeth after finishing your drink.

Keep Snacks Brace Friendly

By now, you are surely aware of what foods are and are not brace friendly. Generally speaking, you want to avoid crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods. They should not be a part of your school lunch. Any of these types of foods can damage wires or brackets resulting in an emergency trip to your orthodontist. Check out the school’s cafeteria menu or even better, pack your own healthy, brace friendly lunch. Again, remember to brush and floss your teeth after each snack and meal.

By following these simple yet effective back to school tips, you will be well on your way to attaining that beautiful smile and getting the most out of your braces. If you have any questions or would like more information on any of these or other tips, please don’t hesitate to call me today. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

From everyone at Mountain Orthodontics, we hope you have a great school year?

Help – My Braces Hurt

Young woman with hands up at mouth and mouth open

Kids Portraits, Young Adult, Boy, Cheerful, Happy, Smiling, HappyThe end result of your treatment is a beautiful smile and straight teeth. To get to this end goal, your teeth need to be adjusted and moved. This process can cause some discomfort and soreness. Usually, this discomfort will subside after the first week, but what do you do during this initial stage of discomfort? Here are some tips on how to deal with this discomfort.

Eat Soft Foods

The best advice – eat soft foods. During the first week of your brace adjustment make sure to stick to soft foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also break your food into smaller pieces to make chewing easier and less painful. Some of the more popular foods that you may enjoy during the discomfort stage of your braces include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Smoothies
  • Pasta
  • Soups

Don’t Touch

Try not to touch your braces when they are sore as this will only make matters worse. Do not bend your wires or try to loosen them to alleviate your discomfort, this can result in either a broken wire or moving the wire too far out of place and making your last brace adjustment ineffective.

Use Your Wax

Brace wax is a lifesaver during this stage. Focus and apply the wax to the braces or wire in any area of your mouth which feels sensitive. Make sure to use the wax regularly and apply it for a long period of time to allow that part of your mouth to toughen up and fully heal. Brace wax is soft and is edible, so there is no need to worry about it when you are eating. Make sure to keep your wax with you for emergency pokey wires.

Stay Occupied and Active

The best way to deal with brace discomfort is to stay occupied and keep your mind focused on other things. This uncomfortable period will pass and is only temporary, so stay busy. Put some extra focus into your extracurricular activities or your schooling and see how much faster this time passes. Braces should not interfere with your daily routine.

These simple tips should alleviate the soreness and discomfort that is associated with brace adjustments. You may also use an over the counter pain reliever. It is important to keep in mind that all of these adjustments will give you a straight and beautiful smile. If you would like any other tips about how to deal with your brace discomfort or would like to know more about orthodontic treatment and how it can benefit you, please stop by or call today.

Summer – The Best Season for Braces

Kids Portraits, Young Adult, Boy, Cheerful, Happy, Smiling, Happy

Kids Portraits, Young Adult, Boy, Cheerful, Happy, Smiling, HappyThe long sunny days can only mean one thing – summer is finally here.  Not only is summer synonymous with outdoor adventures and activities it is also an easy season to get your child in for orthodontic appointments and, if necessary, braces.

School’s Out

The end of school means more free time and fewer scheduled appointments, academics, and sporting events.  A less rigorous schedule allows for flexibility to accommodate the longer appointment that is needed for putting the braces on.

It’s nice to have the freedom and flexibility of getting these appointments completed before the more rigid fall school schedule begins.

Time to Adjust

Although orthodontic procedures and technologies have come a long way there is still a period of adjustment, a learning curve, that comes with new braces.  This period often includes:

  • Getting used to eating and drinking with braces;
  • Appropriate cleaning techniques;
  • Discomfort and pressure because the teeth are moving.

Having the summer months to adjust to the new braces will make this adjustment period far easier and, by the time school is back in session, your child’s braces will just be a natural extension of themselves.

If you would like more information please contact me today.  I look forward to working with you soon.

How to Prevent Gum Disease While in Braces

Healthy woman teeth and a dentist mouth mirror

Healthy woman teeth and a dentist mouth mirror

Braces can make it more difficult to maintain ideal oral hygiene, which in turn can lead to gum disease and cavities. Here are some tips on how to prevent gum disease during your orthodontic treatment.

Proper Dental Hygiene

There is no magic bullet when it comes to preventing gum disease. Instead, I tell my patients that the best way to prevent gum disease is by following a proper dental routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least 2 times a day, flossing your teeth regularly, and rinsing your mouth with and antimicrobial mouthwash such as Listerine. Proper brushing and flossing techniques take time to learn with braces. It is important to angle your toothbrush so that all surfaces of your teeth are cleaned – including under the wire and by your gums. Flossing takes time but it is a very important step!

When it comes to choosing a toothbrush and toothpaste, it is recommended that you:

  1. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and gently brush your teeth and gums in a circular motion at least 2 times per day.
  2. Make sure that your toothpaste is non-abrasive and contains ingredients that decrease harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease.
  3. Remember to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months to ensure its effectiveness.

A well-established brushing routine is only part of an effective dental hygiene routine. Proper flossing is as important as brushing to prevent gum disease. When flossing, make sure to:

  1. Gently floss between each tooth to remove food particles and plaque.
  2. Floss daily if possible to prevent gum disease.

The final part of proper dental hygiene is to use a mouthwash to rinse all food particles from your mouth. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill the germs and bacteria that can harm your gums. An antimicrobial mouthwash will also protect your mouth for up to 12 hours after use, so make sure to make rinsing with mouthwash a part of your dental hygiene routine.

Going that Extra Mile

Braces add another layer of upkeep to any dental hygiene routine. Keep in mind however that the end goal of any orthodontic treatment is to leave you with straight teeth, a great bite, and a beautiful smile. Proper dental hygiene is the best way to prevent gum disease. By following these steps and adhering to a routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing you should be well on your way to healthy gums and a beautiful smile.

Tips for Loving Your Braces this Valentine’s Day

alentines day. Candy heart and red ribbon

alentines day. Candy heart and red ribbonThat special day is upon us once again – Valentine’s Day. Regardless of whether you have a significant other or not, you can still celebrate this special day – especially if you have braces. I would like to offer you these tips to show your braces some love this Valentine’s Day.

Look at the Total Picture

It is important to keep in mind that your braces are only going to be on for a limited period of time.

Make sure that you stay on track with your treatment and remember to:

  • Follow all instructions from your orthodontist if you are using traditional braces or clear trays.
  • Wear your elastics for the proper amount of time and change them regularly.
  • Report problems or broken braces to your orthodontist immediately.

Keep in mind:

The end goal is a beautiful, straight smile, so be excited and embrace the process.

Take Care of your Teeth

The more care and time you take with your dental hygiene routine, the smoother your treatment will be. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth will also ensure that your teeth are healthy and cavity free, so when your braces come off, your smile is clean and shining.

Remember:

Always use a soft bristle toothbrush, so you do not damage your enamel or the braces and use fluoridated toothpaste to guard against cavities or tooth decay.

Find the Right Treats

Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a treat or two, just be selective and kind to your braces. Avoid anything that is sticky or crunchy as they can damage your braces and slow down the entire orthodontic process. The last thing you want is an emergency appointment to fix a broken bracket. Instead, stick to cakes or even chocolate, just make sure to thoroughly brush your teeth afterwards.

Express Yourself

Get creative with your rubber bands. Choose rubber bands that reflect the holiday – red or pink in this case. This creativity doesn’t need to stop just because there is no holiday in the near future, you can also show your stylish side by matching your rubber bands with your friends or even your school colours – the possibilities are endless.

Make sure to smile and embrace the process as your beautiful smile is something that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. As you are enjoying this special day, remember to follow these tips and take the time to show your braces some extra love – both of you deserve it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!