Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment

November 1, 2020

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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Do I Need Braces?

Do I Need Braces?You see so many people with gorgeous, stunning teeth – and you have to wonder whether it is because of their lucky genetics or carefully placed orthodontics.

Orthodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions affecting the alignment of the teeth and jaw.

How do you know if you need braces?

Is your smile not as straight as you would like it to be? Some people are simply born with crooked teeth, while others are affected by things like thumb sucking or pacifier usage.

Some issues your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for include crowded teeth, underbite, open bite, crossbite, deep bite, spacing, wisdom teeth, impacted teeth, or missing teeth.

While you may have a normal bite, you may suffer from varying degrees of crowding or spacing, another factor that can lead to misaligned teeth. Crowding is a condition that causes the teeth to overlap, rotate, and in some cases, grow into the incorrect position in the mouth, or in more extreme cases, cause the tooth to become trapped in the bone.

The teeth and jaw relationship begins right from birth, so it’s important to pay close attention to a child’s jaw development. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should be seen for their first orthodontic consultation no later than age 7. By the time a child is seven years of age, it’s usually quite obvious to a dentist/orthodontist if a patient will have orthodontic problems, as most of the adult teeth should be present. This pre-screening process can help the orthodontist recommend preventative measures or advise on future procedures if necessary. Adults can seek treatment at any time, as it is never too late to correct their teeth.

Are there non-cosmetic benefits?

Among the many benefits of braces is the improvement of small breathing passages or difficulty breathing, especially through the nose. Some of the signs that indicate you have difficulties breathing through your nose area are mouth breathing – especially while sleeping, daytime sleepiness, snoring, and more.

In addition, braces can help solve the issues of speech impediments, jaw pain, difficulty chewing or eating, sleep apnea, snoring, grinding or clenching teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Healthy teeth and gums, improved health, relief of breathing issues, and enhanced self-esteem are just a few of the many benefits of correcting your teeth with braces.

To find an orthodontist in your area, you can visit The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) website. Ask around among your family and friends to see who they recommend or see themselves, or book an appointment with Bracify 3D Orthodontics to get their best recommendation.

5 Non-Sugary Halloween Treat Alternatives

5 Non-Sugary Halloween Treat Alternatives Option 2Halloween is just around the corner, which means an endless supply of sugary treats from trick or treating. Kids get a ton of candy from school parties, friends, neighbors, or relatives during Halloween. Sometimes the candy is so much it can last up to thanksgiving or Christmas time! However, the sugar crash is detrimental to you and your child’s teeth and overall health. More people are looking for creative alternatives to sugar to keep their kids from unhealthy sugary treats. Additionally, with the rising number of food allergies, it would be best to avoid traditional candy treats. Your child can develop cavities nearly overnight, and they would have to undergo expensive, painful dental restoration procedures, something that can be easily avoided.

Despite this, it is still important for those passing out treats and your kids to have fun and enjoy the festivities. You can still find a middle ground and enjoy Halloween in plenty of healthier and fun ways without being the Halloween Grinch. Here are non-sugary treats that your kids can enjoy for Halloween.

1. Go for Nonsticky Fruits

You can give your kids healthier alternatives to trick or treating by putting together a fun bag of yummy fruits. But this does not mean you give them dried fruit because it contains high sugar. Consuming large amounts of dry fruits could lead to weight gain, and the fruit can stick between teeth and erode the enamel. Instead of giving your kids sticky fruits, you can swap them with healthier fruits like:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Oranges

You can get creative with the fruits and ask your kids to help you make spooky fruits like bananas, strawberry ghosts, frightful fruit kebabs, or pumpkin oranges. Your kids will have fun helping you be creative with the fruit monsters while keeping your mind at ease, knowing they won’t indulge in the typical cavity-filled Halloween candies.

2. Low Sugar Chocolates and Candies

There are various zero-sugar chocolate companies that sweeten their chocolate bars with natural sweeteners that taste great and are healthier for the teeth. You can also try healthy alternatives to candy treats like Halloween pretzels, peanut butter cups, pudding cups, Goldfish, or other types of sugar-free snacks. You can find a variety of nonsugary treats in your local grocery store or online.

3. Bubbles for Trick or Treaters

Kids love blowing bubbles, and you can incorporate them in goody bags or as one-piece giveaways for the little ones as they come to trick or treat. They are a great way to keep the kids relaxed and distracted from the candy. Bubbles are inexpensive, and you can find various bubble bottles with different Halloween-themed designs like ghouls, ghosts, monsters, vampires, or mummies. Additionally, you can avoid some candies that cause choking hazards, like lollipops, tootsie rolls, and skittles.

4. Stickers

You can get an assortment of Halloween stickers as early as September and fill them up in your candy bowls. There is a variety to choose from, like glow-in-the-dark, scary, or goofy ones. You can buy a selection of them in bulk, and the little ones can select the ones that appeal to them. If you cannot find Halloween stickers, you can go with popular cartoon-themed characters that kids love these days.

5. Chilled Water Bottles

Kids get dehydrated easily from running around to collect their stash of candy. Chewing on sugary treats can make your kids pretty thirsty, and what better way to quench their thirst than with a cool bottle of water. Additionally, water helps to flush out or buffer the acid attack in the teeth brought about by eating candy. It may seem odd to hand out mini water bottles for treats, but parents and kids will highly appreciate them. Keep the mini water bottles in an ice cooler to keep them chilled and refreshing before passing them around. You can also quench their thirst with healthy juices to keep them re-energized.

Tips on Avoiding Sugar During Halloween

Kids learn through observation. If you consume candy in moderation or restrict yourself from overindulging, your kids will do the same. If you practice good habits and show your kids that candy is not something they should value, they will pick up on it and become less interested. You can allow them to eat some candy on Halloween but afterward, let them know the remaining candy can only be eaten at snack time and let them stick to the rules.

Keep your kids full by feeding them their favorite meal to keep them satisfied before going trick or treating. After eating, there is usually more saliva in the mouth, which will come in handy to protect their teeth from an acid attack that occurs after eating candy.

According to studies, kids denied candy completely tend to overindulge when they come across candy more than those who eat some candy regularly. Limit the amount of candy they can eat, and you can occasionally allow them to choose the type they like.

After binging on candy, ask your kids to drink lots of water right away and wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing. This is because the acid in the sugary treats can temporarily weaken your child’s enamel. Therefore, brushing immediately after eating candy puts their teeth at irreparable enamel damage (chipping or breaking).

Here are some candies you should stay away from if you are not planning on avoiding candy altogether during Halloween:

Hard candy: This can break your tooth or harm your jaws when you try to bite on it. Additionally, it is highly concentrated in sugar, and as you suck on it, your teeth are constantly coated with sugar, exposing them to more damage. This greatly increases your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Gummy worms: They are highly acidic and can wear out the enamel leading to tooth sensitivity and other dental issues.

Sticky or chewy candy: These sticks or wedges between teeth increase the risk of cavities.

Conclusion

The best way to stay away from candy is to keep it away from your home. Keep healthier options at home, educate your kids on the importance of avoiding candy, and remind them to continue flossing and brushing daily.

For more information please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics.

Cleaning Your Braces and Teeth Properly

Cleaning Your Braces and Teeth ProperlyTooth care is a crucial part of orthodontic health. Orthodontics uses braces to align the teeth, straighten them and help reposition them. Braces bring in a beautiful smile and must be taken care of to reduce the risk of cavities, plaque buildup, or gum disease that could interfere with your treatment.

Braces act as a physical barrier when cleaning your teeth. Brackets and wires may trap food debris, creating unsightly white spots and making it harder to clean teeth. Plaque stains teeth and wears away tooth enamel leading to tooth decay. Establishing a strict cleaning routine will be worth your while and easier along the way. Here are a few tips on tooth hygiene and care while wearing metal braces.

Brush After Every Meal

Brackets and wires trap food debris, and brushing them frequently is recommended to prevent plaque formation. Brushing thrice daily, an hour after mealtime and before you retire to bed, is essential. Before brushing, ensure you rinse your mouth for about 30 seconds with water to remove any food debris stuck between your braces. It is also good to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush before adding toothpaste to remove any bacteria or debris that might have been left from your previous brushing.

Always carry a toothbrush and toothpaste when traveling. When you don’t have a brush, its’ good to rinse the mouth for 30 seconds with water. Foods like oranges and sports drinks soften the tooth enamel, so one needs to wait 30 -60 minutes before brushing.

Use The Right Toothbrush

Ensure your toothbrush is the right shape and fit for your mouth so that it can easily reach all the corners of your mouth.

A brush with soft bristles is the best to avoid irritation of the gums. Clean the top of the teeth and between the brackets. Avoid using tough bristles since they may loosen the braces. Interdental or spindle brushes help remove food debris between your teeth and the tiny spaces under wires and brackets.

Brush for two minutes at a 45-degree angle with your bristles facing down on the gum lines, using circular motions. It is advisable to swap to an electric toothbrush. Hold your electric toothbrush on each tooth toward the gums, and do not use scrubbing motions; just allow the brush to do its work.

Brush all sides of the mouth, inner and outer sides, go on for two minutes, and do not forget to brush above and below your braces and on your chewing surfaces.

Keep replacing the toothbrush once it shows signs of wear. A worn-out toothbrush might not be able to remove food debris, bacteria, and plaque efficiently. Frayed toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.

Rinse your mouth with water after every meal to remove any food particles stuck in the braces. If you don’t have time to brush after any bite, rinse the mouth for 30 seconds with water to remove food debris.

Avoid Too Much Toothpaste

Use the right toothpaste, like one with fluoride, to keep your teeth strong and prevent plaque accumulation. Since braces make teeth sensitive, use sensitivity-formulated fluoride toothpaste. Too much toothpaste forms paste in the mouth, preventing you from seeing the plaque and debris. First, use a wet toothbrush, then add a small amount of toothpaste (pea size).

Use A Floss Threader or a Waterpik

Tie dental floss to a threader as an easier way to glide through the wires and brackets using slow motion to eliminate plaque and food debris.

Waterpik is a device that shoots a jet or stream of water at your teeth to remove food particles between your teeth. It helps remove food debris and might help reduce bleeding gums, bacteria, and gum disease. It is an easy, quick way to floss. These special tools may help clean the food particles around the brackets and the wires, but they should not replace flossing or brushing.

Use Mouthwash at Night

Reduce tooth decay and protect the enamel by using an anti-cavity fluoride mouthwash. Rinse for one minute, then look in the mirror to see if some places have been left uncleaned. You can also use mouthwash four times a day to help prevent inflammation of the gums and tooth decay and to get rid of bad breath.

Use a mouthwash with chlorhexidine (recommended by dentists) and avoid those containing alcohol since it dries out the mouth and can cause bad breath. Mouthwash should not be substituted for flossing or brushing.

Avoid Certain Foods

Sugary treats like candies and acidic foods like vinegar and citrus fruits damage the teeth. Sticky foods like gum, nuts, popcorn, ice, corn chips, gummy bears, licorice, and caramel are not easy to clean. They can lead to cavities which cause pain and increase sensitivity. Beef jerky, pizza crusts, corn on the cob, apples, and carrots can bend wires or damage your braces.

Since they could damage your brackets, you should also avoid biting or chewing hard objects such as toothpicks, nail-biting, straws, pencils or pens.

Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is essential because it can keep bacteria and cause bad breath. It is important to remove bacteria before they hide in between the metals, wires, and teeth. Brush your tongue and soft palate using gentle back-and-forth scrubbing motions.

Other Alternatives

Gargle with salted water to reduce inflammation, keep your teeth clean and reduce pain and soreness. Salted water can help keep your mouth healthy, especially after your braces are first applied.

In cases where you might forget toothpaste, coconut oil is a good alternative. It has a bacteria-fighting element and also fights tooth decay. Baking soda can also be used by mixing with water to make a paste that helps to clean the teeth.

Attend Dental and Orthopedic Appointments Regularly

Your orthodontist will check on your progress, change elastics and adjust wires, check your teeth and whether anything needs to be done, and you will also have a chance to ask questions. Visit your orthodontist as often as they suggest.

Your dentist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to cavities and keep the teeth free of stains when the braces are finally removed. Visit your dentist at least after every six months.

Keeping your teeth and braces clean and healthy is crucial because it enables you to reap the best results of your orthodontic treatment. Maintaining oral health can keep your teeth healthy and bright after being removed. For more information please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics.

3 Tips for Going Back to School with Braces

3 Tips for Going Back to School with BracesSummer is sadly over, and it is time to get the kids back to school. Summer holidays are the most ideal and convenient time to get your child’s teeth straightened out. The beginning of a new school year can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for students, parents, and teachers. This can be even more overwhelming if you return to school with new braces.

The transition may make you nervous, stressed, and uncomfortable with your new look when talking or eating. Remember, you are not alone whenever you feel conscious about the new braces. If you feel awkward or embarrassed about them, remember that the treatment is just temporary, and when it is done, you will enjoy a straight and beautiful smile for the rest of your life. As time passes, you will get the hang of the new braces. With the help of a few tips, the recent changes to your teeth will seem easy and seamless.

1. Practice The 2×2 Rule and Carry a Brace Kit

The 2×2 rule is a great way to maintain healthy teeth free of cavities and other dental problems by brushing twice daily for two minutes.

It would help if you brushed your teeth before your first meal and then rinse after the first meal. Being consistent with your dental hygiene practices helps straighten your teeth faster and improve your overall dental health. It is essential to brush your teeth after every meal at school. If you feel awkward about brushing your teeth, you can swish with a cleansing mouthwash that your orthodontist can recommend.

Keep a brace kit in your locker or backpack to help take care of your braces easily in school whenever required. The kit should include the following items:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to use after having your lunch.
  • Dental wax and lip balm help soothe irritation caused by braces
  • A mirror to check for any food particles that might be stuck between the braces
  • Extra rubber bands (if elastics are being used in their treatment)
  • A case for removable appliances

2. Hydrate and Avoid Sticky, Crunchy Foods

Water keeps you healthy, hydrated and helps remove food particles from your braces and teeth throughout the day. When thirsty, avoid the temptation of reaching out for a soda that can cause cavities and stain your teeth by taking plenty of water.

Stay clear from sticky, crunchy, raw foods like apples, chips, carrots, or nuts. Additionally, do not chew gum, caramel taffy, and ice. These foods may damage or break your braces which may prolong your treatment. Ask your orthodontic team which foods you can comfortably eat. You can preview the school menu so that you know which days to avoid the foods that are not brace-friendly. If possible, carry a meal from home instead.

3. Wear A Customized Mouth Guard

If you are active in contact sports, wearing a mouth guard is a good idea. This helps protect your brackets and wires from damage and keeps you safe from any mouth, cheek, or gum injuries during P.E, practice, and games.

These back-to-school tips can help keep your braces in tip-top shape and speed up your treatment. Keeping up with your orthodontist appointments when fitted with braces is very important. This allows your orthodontist to check the condition of your teeth and braces while making any necessary changes or adjustments to your treatment. You can ask your parent or guardian to pre-book your appointments so that you stay on top of your appointments and avoid last-minute inconveniences. For more information contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics.

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