Dental Wax: Your Sidekick in Living with Braces

May 1, 2019

Ah, braces. A necessary pain. Braces can be uncomfortable at times, but luckily, that is exactly what dental wax is for. Like a knight in pearly-white armor, dental wax is here to save the day!

What is Dental Wax?

Dental wax is a natural wax, usually made from beeswax, carnauba, or paraffin that you apply to your braces to give them a smoother, more comfortable surface. The wax provides a buffer between the hard metal and your soft mouth. It’s great when your braces feel “scratchy” or when a wire breaks and you need to keep it from stabbing into your mouth while you wait for an orthodontist visit.

Unfortunately, if you accidentally digest even the smallest amount, you’ll need to go to the ER to have it removed from your stomach. Kidding! Only kidding. It wouldn’t make much sense to put a toxic product in your mouth, now, would it? (I’m looking at you, tobacco users). Dental wax is perfectly safe and it’s ok to accidentally swallow some as it wears away. Some waxes may even be flavored with mint or other natural and safe ingredients.

Over time, dental wax will wear away and rub or flake off your braces. That is totally normal, and again, it’s safe to digest. If your braces get uncomfortable, simply apply another layer.

How to Apply It

Before you do anything, wash your hands to avoid putting unwanted germs and bacteria in your mouth. Then, you will want to brush your teeth, specifically focusing on where you want to apply the wax.

The wax itself is solid at room temperature, but you can soften and shape it by squeezing and rolling it around in your hands. You will want to stick with a small amount, maybe the size of a pea. Once the wax is soft enough, simply push it onto the part of the braces where you need it. You could also use your tongue to get it exactly where you want it.

Eating with the wax on can be a little difficult since it may stick to your food. You can remove it before eating, but if you decide to leave it on, be sure to replace any dirty wax after you eat. It wouldn’t do any good to your smile if you had old food stuck to your teeth.

You can use floss to remove the wax as long as you are careful not to damage your braces or gums.

You Can Survive Braces

Life with braces can be a drag sometimes, but it is well worth it. Your orthodontist and dental wax are both there to help. Use the wax as your sidekick to help you survive the day-to-day and always be sure to make an appointment Bracify 3D Orthodontics if you need help or have questions about living with your braces.

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How To Navigate Thanksgiving With Orthodontic Treatment

How To Navigate Thanksgiving With Orthodontic TreatmentThanksgiving is only a few days away, which means it is almost time to gather with loved ones and enjoy a good meal together. As great as the holiday is, we know that it can also be a stressful time, especially if you have orthodontic appliances. If this is your first holiday season with treatment or not, we understand you might be nervous about not being able to enjoy your seasonal favorites, especially after a tricky Halloween. Luckily, when it comes to Thanksgiving most of the traditional foods are safe to eat even with braces.

A general rule of thumb is to avoid placing sticky, hard, or crunchy foods on your holiday plate. Sticky foods tend to get caught in between brackets and teeth, while crunchy and hard foods often increase your chances of damaging wires and brackets.

We know you might be worried about how your dental appliances hold up against the holiday and you don’t want any malfunctions or emergencies, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you navigate this holiday feast.

Starters

Appetizers are typically served while waiting for guests to arrive and help keep you satisfied until everyone is ready to eat. While some appetizers might not be the best for braces, there are still a lot of options for you!

Deviled Eggs, cheese, sliced meats, soft dips with bread, meatballs, and cocktail weenies are great starters to munch on while you wait for the main course.

Steer clear of crunchy chips and potatoes as well as popcorn, nuts, and raw vegetables as these hard and crunchy treats can do damage to your teeth and appliances.

Main Course

The best thing is that most Thanksgiving staples and traditional foods are perfectly brace-friendly foods, so you won’t have to hold back at all!

  • Turkey, Ham, and Meats- Most meats such as turkey and ham are safe foods for your teeth. Just make sure to cut the meat from the bone and into small pieces before digging in. Avoid stringy meat that could potentially get stuck between teeth.
  • Stuffing- Stuffing is typically soft making it a great choice for orthodontic appliances. However, some recipes may call for walnuts or pecans, be sure to ask what is inside before getting a serving and be careful with edge pieces as they might be too crunchy for your braces.
  • Vegetables- Cooked vegetables are always a healthy and happy option for any meal. As long as they are cooked and not raw, you should be in the clear. This even includes mashed potatoes! Due to their soft texture, mashed potatoes are an excellent choice. Enjoy those creamy and fluffy potatoes and put a dollop on us! Do not eat corn on the cob, as this could damage your braces. Instead, remove the kernels from the cob and eat them off your plate.
  • Casseroles- Casseroles can be a great way to combine several brace friendly ingredients into one tasty dish. Whether you want green beans, sweet potato casserole, or anything in between you are safe to do so. Just be sure there are no crunchy or hard foods in the casseroles and watch out for those sticky marshmallows!
  • Bread- Unless there are nuts added into your bread options, you are free to load up on those delicious rolls and muffins.

Dessert

This is where things can become tricky. While dessert may be the best part of any meal, there are some desserts that you should look out for.

Most baked goods such as cookies, pies, and cakes are safe options provided there are no nuts, caramel, and aren’t too crunchy. Jell-O, mousses, and puddings are other great options.

Caramel and sticky sweets or crunchy bark candies and treats can damage your braces and should be avoided.

Whatever you decide to load your plate with this Thanksgiving, be sure as always to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. This will help keep cavities at bay and prevent any other dental problems from creeping up on you. For more information or tips, please contact us at Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Orthodontics and Halloween

Orthodontics and HalloweenTrick or treat! October is here and setting the mood for this year’s holiday season. Many of you are gearing up to prepare for Halloween as a night of fun and celebration. As exciting as the holidays can be, we understand that you may be a little nervous about navigating the holiday if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. It can be hard to find that perfect balance between food restrictions and all the sweets of the season.

With patience, planning, and proper care you can enjoy Halloween without worrying about scheduling an emergency appointment. Follow the same food restrictions, cleaning rules, and you can eat all the sweets you want as long as you choose the right ones! To help you out, we’ve provided you with a handy Halloween survival guide.

Tricks to Avoid

Sticky and chewy candies are ones to avoid as they tend to stick to brackets, bands, and wires. Candies that are sticky, gummy, and chewy can also get stuck in your braces and prove difficult to remove with cleaning tugging on your orthodontics. In some cases, these candies have pulled parts off teeth.

  • Starbursts, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, any kind of taffy, Airheads, jellybeans, gummy bears
  • Gum, caramel, candied/caramel apples, popcorn balls, licorice, candy corn

Hard and crunchy candies are just as bad, these candies can put a lot of pressure on your braces, enough to possible pop brackets off or snap wires. Candies containing nuts are also difficult sweets as they make it very hard to clean especially if they get wedged between your teeth and your appliances.

  • Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, butterscotch candies, lollipops, suckers
  • Peanut brittle, Snickers, Almond Joy, Payday, Baby Ruth

Every time we need to repair or replace parts, it sets the orthodontic process back a step and this adds to your total time in treatment.

Treats to Choose

We know that seems like an extensive list and it seems like you might be on the sidelines, but trust us there are plenty of sweets out there to enjoy!

Soft sweets are safe as they don’t require a lot of chewing and often wash off your teeth fairly easy compared to other options.

  • Soft chocolates such as Hershey bars and kisses
  • Peanut butter cups, peppermint patties, Kit Kats, plain M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Milkyways
  • Cookies, cupcakes, cake, pie, gelatin sweets, ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies

Don’t forget!

With all the excitement on Halloween, it can be easy to skip a brushing session or two. However, you should take extra care during this time, even if the candy is orthodontist approved as the increased amount of sugar can still harm your teeth.

Good oral hygiene will prevent cavities from spoiling your Halloween night. Follow the same cleaning rules and care for your orthodontics. Brush twice a day, drink plenty of water to keep the sugars from sticking to your teeth, and don’t forget to floss before bed.

We hope this reassures you that you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun during Halloween. If you are still unsure, we encourage you to contact us Bracify 3D Orthodontics. We are always happy to assist in any questions or concerns you may have.

6 Ways to Keep Teeth Clean with Braces

6 Ways to Keep Teeth Clean with BracesNow that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean. You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack. Always keep your toothbrush handy. Food particles and plaque can become stuck to the brackets and leave you more at risk of tooth decay. Here are six ways to keep your teeth clean when wearing metal braces.

1. Brushing

Rinse your mouth with water before you begin brushing. This will break up loose food particles and make the rest of the brushing that much easier.

Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Begin at the gum line and brush your teeth at about a 45-degree angle. Then brush the top of the brackets, followed by the bottom of the bracket and the wire. An interdental brush is a great choice for this task because it can more easily reach the tooth surface. Go slow. The goal is to brush every tooth at the gum line and along the brackets so that as much tooth surface as possible is cleaned.

Replace your toothbrush more frequently due to the wear and tear from the braces. A good choice for students is to also carry a travel toothbrush in their backpack to school. Again, be sure to brush after every snack and meal.

2. Flossing

Flossing remains just as important when you wear braces. Using a floss threader can make this task easier. It will take some practice to thread the floss under the main wire. Parents may have to floss for younger children who may lack the coordination to thread the floss beneath the wire.

3. Water Jet

After brushing and flossing, use a water jet to remove any stubborn food particles that are stuck around the braces or between the teeth. We recommend adding an antiseptic dental rinse (Peroxyl) to the water when using the jet.

4. Mouth Rinse

After brushing, use a fluoride rinse. We recommend using your fluoride mouth rinse at least four times a day to prevent minor inflammation of the gums. Antiseptic rinses, such as Peroxide, can also be used as needed for cuts or scrapes from the braces. A fluoride rinse also helps to prevent tooth decay. Remember that rinsing is not a substitute for brushing and flossing.

5. Retainer Care

Keeping your dental retainer clean is just as important. Whenever you are not wearing your retainer, soak it in a mouthwash rinse to keep it fresh and free from bacteria. Your retainer should be cleaned every day.

6. Braces-Friendly Diet

There are certain foods you will want to avoid when wearing braces. Foods and drinks with higher acidic content are not as friendly to your teeth as those with lower acidic content. For example, bananas are better for your teeth than oranges, water and milk are better than soft drinks, and so on. Your orthodontist can provide you with a list of foods that are better for your teeth while you wear braces and those which you should avoid.

Invisalign

If a patient has fully-erupted molars, they are likely a good candidate for the Invisalign® system as an alternative to metal braces. At Bracify 3D Orthodontics, we can create a plastic tray called an aligner that fits over the teeth and works to straighten the teeth over time, just like braces. There are two numerous advantages to Invisalign®. The aligners are practically invisible, so people won’t even know the patient is wearing them. The other great thing is that the aligners are easily removable so you can clean your teeth without brackets or wires getting in the way.

For more information, please book an appointment with Bracify 3D Orthodontics today!

How Long Will You Be in Braces?

How Long Will You Be in Braces?One of the most common questions we get from our patients is “How long will I need to wear my braces?” Unfortunately, there is no set answer, as each case is unique!

However, there are a few important factors that can help determine a timeframe you may be wearing braces for. These factors include your age and the severity of your case, but it’s important to note, estimated times may change depending on progress. Response time to treatment is often unpredictable.

Primary Treatment Times and Factors

The most crucial factor that will help determine how long you’ll be in braces is the severity of your case. Your orthodontist must take into consideration how much room there is for teeth to maneuver, how far your teeth need to move to meet the desired goal, your overall mouth health (including teeth, gum, and bone strength), and of course, how well you follow instructions for care outside of the dental office.

Research shows that the earlier any issues are identified and treated, the shorter the treatment time would be. Braces tend to be worn on average for a period between one and three years for comprehensive treatment. Once you’ve completed your treatment plan, you may be required to wear a retainer or have some other form of follow up treatment. This is usually to aid in maintaining results.

Good Dental Hygiene

Patients who maintain good dental hygiene and follow all instructions provided by their orthodontist may even cut down their time in braces. Good dental hygiene prior to getting braces will usually mean that the teeth, gums, and bones are strong and in good health, which will make the process easier.

Type of Braces

There are a few common options for braces available, including standard metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign. Different types of braces require a different treatment plan and aftercare. This may affect how long you have braces, especially if home care instructions are not followed accurately. It is also possible that there may be damage to braces over time and repairs may be required. In both cases, you may have to wear them for a bit longer.

Your Orthodontist Makes a Difference

Regardless of the severity of your case, choosing Bracify 3D Orthodontics will make all the difference. We have a highly trained, qualified, friendly, and experienced orthodontics team.

We do our best to work with you to ensure that you completely understand your treatment plan. Before starting your treatment, we will teach you how best to adjust to wearing braces and caring for them. To beautifully align your teeth in the shortest time frame possible, book an appointment with Bracify 3D Orthodontics today!

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