Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment

Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic TreatmentDid you know that over 30 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with diabetes? As the number rises in our country, awareness is vital to the prevention and management of this disease. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and we would like to join orthodontists across the country in spreading vital information about how diabetes can affect your oral health and influence orthodontic treatment.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition where bacterial growth within the mouth results in an infection of the surrounding and supporting soft tissue of teeth. One of the most common causes of gum disease is the build-up of plaque that hardens into tartar which can only be removed by professionals. This buildup irritates the gums causing them to become swollen, red, and recede. As they recede higher, the infection continues to spread and can lead to eventual tooth and bone loss.

There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen or red gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. There is no bone or tissue damage at this stage and teeth are often firmly rooted in place. This stage is reversible with dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and is the result of gingivitis being left untreated. During this stage, the inner layers of gum and bone have receded from your teeth and formed pockets. These pockets allow for food and bacteria to grow inside leading to further infection. Common symptoms of periodontitis include sensitive teeth, receding gums, the shifting or loss of teeth, and bad breath. If left untreated, the infection can further spread into the bone and jaw area. Periodontitis requires professional treatment and possible surgical options.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Gum disease is often caused by plaque buildup and though there is no difference in buildup between those with diabetes and those without, diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections, increasing their risk of developing gum disease. For this reason, patients must practice good oral hygiene practices.

Additionally, gum disease can lead to an elevation in blood sugar levels that may cause complications for diabetic patients. High blood sugar levels can also encourage plaque buildup furthering the development of gum disease and making it harder for patients to control their blood sugar levels and gum disease.

Patients diagnosed with diabetes are also more susceptible to tooth decay, thrush, and dry mouth. Fortunately, these conditions and diseases can be prevented and managed if you maintain a healthy dental regimen while managing your diabetes.

What does that mean if you need orthodontic care?

Depending on the severity of your condition, orthodontic treatment may or may not be possible. In moderate to severe cases, gum disease can cause your teeth to shift into undesirable positions during treatment. In other cases, the inflammation of gums may cause bleeding and sores due to friction against the appliances during treatment which can lead to infection. These complications may cause treatment to stop early to avoid increasing patient risk of infection.

However, that doesn’t mean that if you are diabetic and have gum disease you are unable to receive orthodontic care. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your teeth to determine the best course of treatment. If necessary, we will start by getting your gum disease under control. Once both your gum disease and blood sugar levels are stable, we can begin orthodontic treatment. In some cases, we may recommend aligners as opposed to traditional braces as aligners are removable allowing patients to eat, drink, and clean their teeth easily even with mild cases of gingivitis. Aligner therapy can be a great alternative to patients in maintaining good oral health even with gum disease.

For more information on gum disease and orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

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Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving with Invisalign Braces

Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving with Invisalign BracesWe fit teens and adults with Invisalign clear braces. Adults love the idea of getting straighter teeth without the hassle and discomfort of wires and rubber. Teens love the aesthetics of the transparent aligners, which are invisible.

The treatment can take 12 to 18 months and the cost is comparable to fitting regular braces. The advantages, aside from convenience and cosmetics, are that the aligners are removable. You take them out at mealtime and eat normally.

With so much delicious food around during Thanksgiving and the holidays ahead, Invisalign wearers might be tempted to snack and nibble between meals without removing their aligners. The best advice, however, is to always remove your aligners when eating for numerous reasons.

3 Reasons To Remove Your Invisalign Braces Before Eating

1. You could damage your aligners. They are molded from thin plastic. Bite down on that candy cane or almond and you could crack, bend, or punch a hole in your aligner.
2. Your aligners don’t come with spares. Ruin or break one, and it’s back to Bracify 3D Orthodontics for a refit.
3. Trying to eat food while wearing Invisalign is awkward. Even if the snack is soft and gooey, it will likely stick over and around your aligners. It likely will not be an enjoyable experience, and you will have to remove the aligners to clean them anyway.

Suggestions for Holiday Eating with Invisalign Braces

Snack Less
You don’t have to drastically change your eating habits with Invisalign. On the other hand, since you need to remove your aligners each time you eat, you might find it more convenient to pass up frequent, light eating in favor of less frequent, heavier meals. Instead of reaching for that peppermint candy cane or hard sugar cookie, wait until mealtime. You’ll have a better appetite, and you’ll pass up all those empty calories. You will also spare your teeth from contact with all that sugar.

Eat Softer Foods
If Thanksgiving and the holidays occur during a time when you have just switched to a new set of aligners, the new fit might cause your teeth to be a bit tender. Pass up the turkey drumstick and have a slice of tender white meat. Load up on the mashed potatoes and stuffing, and enjoy a dollop of chocolate pudding for dessert.

Minimize Eating Discomfort
When it is time to start using a new set of aligners, we recommend putting them in at bedtime. Your teeth will have several hours to adjust to the new fit, and you’ll be ready to enjoy that holiday meal. You also might want to take an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication an hour before eating to relieve any tenderness.

Invisalign is your best choice

Invisalign treatment will straighten your teeth and restore your smile. Bracify 3D Orthodontics have the skills and experience to help you towards that goal.

Have a question or want to know more about Invisalign treatment? Click here to go to our contact page.

National Orthodontic Health Month

National Orthodontic Health MonthFor many, the month of October means the beginning of fall, the start of football, and preparing for the upcoming holidays. However, at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, we know that October also stands for National Orthodontic Health Month. This month, we want to talk to you about the importance and benefits of orthodontic care and ways to protect your smile this month.

During October, orthodontic offices across the nation work together to celebrate healthy smiles and educate their communities about the benefits and importance of orthodontic treatment. A healthy smile is for everyone, and you are never too young or old to start your journey towards obtaining a beautiful smile.

This October, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has teamed up with the national organization Stand for the Silent to fight against bullying. This year’s theme is #bullyingbites as 7/10 people admit to being self-conscious of their teeth as it has been a common target for bullies over the years.

Signs and Symptoms

Common warning signs that you or a loved one may need orthodontic care can include the following:

  • Clicking or popping of the jaw joints
  • Crossbite, overbite, and protruding teeth
  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Speech problems
  • Teeth that don’t come together

The Importance of Orthodontic Care

The AAO recommends parents and caregivers bring their children to the orthodontist between the ages of 7-8 for their first examination. During this time, children undergo major growth spurts that can affect the development of their teeth and jaws. By visiting the orthodontist early on, your child’s growth can be monitored, and our team can determine if early treatment is necessary. Early treatment can prevent conditions from worsening and lower the risk for more complex and costly procedures.

Orthodontic care does more than straighten misaligned teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. An improper bite or misaligned teeth can result in an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss as well as affect your jaw’s ability to function properly.

Though many imagine orthodontic care to be mostly for children and teenagers as their bones and teeth are still developing and adjusting, orthodontic care is for everyone regardless of age. In fact, many adults seek treatment to correct long-standing problems or fix changes that may have occurred later in life.

Halloween Tips

Though we may spend the month celebrating healthy smiles in October, we know many of our patients may be getting ready to celebrate Halloween at the end of the month. We have a few tips and recommendations to help you navigate the holiday so that you can keep your smile happy and healthy.

If you have orthodontic appliances such as braces or a retainer, be mindful of sticky, crunchy, chewy, and hard snacks and candies. Treats such as caramel, gummies, taffy, gum, and jellybeans may damage or become stuck in between your appliances. We also recommend patients be wary of hard treats like Jolly Ranchers, nuts, chips, and popcorn that put pressure on your appliances causing them to break, damage brackets or bands, or injure the soft tissues in your mouth.

With all the excitement during the fun-filled night, please remember to brush and floss. You should take extra care during this sugary month by drinking plenty of water, brushing twice a day, and flossing before bed. For more information on orthodontic care and how to keep your teeth healthy this month, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today!.

Are Braces Right for Me?

Are Braces Right for MeAbout three out of four people could benefit from braces, but not everyone opts for this corrective dental intervention. This is unfortunate since the benefits of braces can be dramatic and last a lifetime.

Every person’s mouth and every set of teeth are different. So it stands to reason that sometimes, a person’s teeth don’t come in right, or just don’t fit along the gum line neatly. In fact, it’s quite common for patients of all ages to come to (insert Dr’s name) for braces, in order to align their teeth properly, beautify their smiles, and to create proper alignment. However, beyond a perfect smile, braces provide numerous other benefits.

Reasons to Get Braces

Braces Can Prevent Tooth Decay
Misaligned teeth are a bit like misaligned tires. They can wear down more quickly with normal use. When teeth are not aligned properly, upper and lower teeth can rub together in ways that wear down the tooth enamel quickly. When optimal tooth alignment is achieved, the teeth will last longer and tooth decay will be a much less prevalent problem.

Braces Can Help To Prevent Heart Disease
When malocclusions (misaligned teeth) are not remedied- as we pointed out- the teeth will sustain undue damage which can be avoided and lead to degraded oral health. One of the most life-threatening problems that can arise from poor oral health is heart disease. Heart disease can be caused when excess plaque on the teeth and gums finds its way into sores in the mouth that result from an unhealthy dentition. When this happens, plaque can find its way into the bloodstream where it can contribute to the clogging of the arteries.

Braces Can Avoid Health Complications
Heart disease is not the only health problem that can stem from malocclusions. Overbite, underbite, and other misalignments of the teeth can cause a whole range of problems with mild to severe consequences. Headaches, earaches, difficulty or discomfort while chewing and biting, speech impediments, and even painful disorders of the jaw can result. When these problems are caused by malocclusion, braces can almost always remedy them.

Better Confidence and Self Esteem With Braces
Of course, straighter teeth make a more beautiful and healthy smile- and that’s something that can improve our private and professional lives in many ways.

Types of Low-Visibility Braces

Many people avoid getting braces because they feel it will negatively affect their appearance. But there are low visibility options available, among others.

Invisible Braces
Invisible braces are clear and very hard to spot if you aren’t looking for them. They are transparent aligners that straighten the teeth just like normal braces.

Lingual Braces
This type of braces are very similar to traditional braces, but they are mounted on the back side of the teeth. They are completely hidden.

Ceramic Braces
Like invisible and ordinary braces, ceramic braces are mounted on the front of the teeth. The difference is that they are the same color as tooth enamel and are harder to see.

With all these reasons and all these options- it just doesn’t make sense to avoid what could be a life-changing procedure. If you are interested in transforming your smile and improving your teeth’s alignment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today!

Keep Your Teeth Healthy While Wearing Braces

Keep Your Teeth Healthy While Wearing Braces

Step Up Your Game

Questionable dental hygiene practices need to be benched. When you wear braces, cleaning teeth and gums properly takes on extra importance. Brushing and flossing should be done a minimum of twice a day, but it is a good idea to clean teeth after meals to prevent build-up around the brackets. Brushing more frequently does not mean brushing more aggressively. In fact, being gentle is important, so wires and brackets are not damaged.

Choose a soft-bristled brush, a fluoride toothpaste, and rinse. We recommend brushing after each meal to dislodge food particles. Floss gently by threading the floss between the wire and teeth, working it back and forth slowly.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Before brushing it is wise to rinse the mouth with water to remove that first layer of debris left on teeth after meals. Make sure you have at least a soft-bristled brush and floss with you at all times. Angle the brush, so the bristles reach under the wire and clean as close to the brackets as possible. End the night with a fluoride rinse to strengthen enamel and help prevent decay.

Things To Avoid While Wearing Braces

As much as you may miss your sweet treats, that radiant smile will be worth it on reveal day. Drs. Birth, Stewart, & Fletcher will provide a list of foods to avoid. If you are unsure about a food or treat, ask yourself if it is sticky, chewy, or hard? Sticky sweets tend to get stuck in brackets and under wires. Hard, crunchy food like pretzels, or even ice cubes, have the potential to break wires and dislodge or break brackets. It is wise to avoid chewing on the ends of pencils or pens. Even nail biters can cause inadvertent damage to braces.

Dental Hygiene On The Go

Create a mini dental hygiene kit to take on the go. Include a soft-bristled travel toothbrush and a mini tube of fluoride toothpaste. Make it a habit to visit the restroom after each snack and meal to do a quick rinse and brush. Spending a few minutes to remove food particles from teeth surfaces goes a long way in preventing staining and decay.

Protect Your Investment

Braces should not be a deterrent to participation in sports. A number of different mouth guards are available that protect braces, teeth, and the inside of the mouth from damage. The American Dental Association recommends the use of mouth guards on both top and bottom teeth.

Visit The Dentist

Besides regular visits to the orthodontist, you should still visit the regular dentist for cleaning and check-ups twice a year. The dentist can help identify areas you need to strengthen in your dental hygiene routine. For example, if plaque has begun to build-up between teeth, a lesson in proper flossing techniques is in order. Bracify 3D Orthodontics enjoy helping our patients maximize the benefits of braces with diligent dental hygiene.

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