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Orthodontic Treatment and Pain Relief
Though braces and other orthodontic appliances are more comfortable and durable than ever, that does not make them pain-free. There is no denying that treatment, such as braces, canRead More
Dangers of “Do It Yourself” Orthodontic Treatment
As we enter the holiday season, we know everyone is trying to put their best self forward preparing to gather around with loved ones. A good-looking smile with evenRead More
How To Navigate Thanksgiving With Orthodontic Treatment
Thanksgiving 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 holidayRead More
Orthodontics and Halloween
Trick 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 ofRead More
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Orthodontic Treatment and Pain Relief
Though braces and other orthodontic appliances are more comfortable and durable than ever, that does not make them pain-free. There is no denying that treatment, such as braces, can be uncomfortable, especially after a tightening. The movement of teeth can cause a sore mouth that can last for days as braces apply pressure to the teeth, not to mention the physical rubbing of metal against your mouth’s soft tissues.
Understandably, one of the biggest concerns about orthodontics is the pain and discomfort associated with treatment. However, rest assured, you won’t be in constant pain. The discomfort will primarily be felt after they are first installed and also when appliances are tightened.
Your mouth will need time to adjust to treatment; in the meantime, our orthodontists will do their best to provide patients with ways to alleviate aches and pains. Here are our tips and advice on how to relieve pain from orthodontic treatment.
Over-the-counter medication can help you manage the discomfort. If you anticipate pain during or after your appointment, consider taking medication an hour before to help you feel less pain. Make sure to read the instructions and follow the dosage carefully. If pain or discomfort continues, contact your orthodontist.
Oral Numbing Gel
A simple way to get some relief is to rub an oral anesthetic or numbing gel onto your teeth and gums. You can use a cotton swab or your finger to apply it. This will desensitize your teeth and gums to help alleviate your pain, though the taste may be momentarily unpleasant.
Your orthodontist will most likely send you home with orthodontic wax, which can help protect the inside of your mouth, such as your cheeks, lips, and gums from chafing. It is a non-toxic wax that can be applied with your finger, however, remember to take it off before you brush your teeth and reapply it afterward.
A warm salt-water rinse will help you to combat any pain you may feel. Irritation from metal rubbing against your cheeks, lips, gums, may lead to sores. The warm water will soothe swollen gums, and the salt will help to relieve irritation and prevent any infection that might develop. You can purchase salt-water rinse mixtures at the store or make your own at home. Gargle and swish for at least one minute before spitting out the mixture.
Ice can help reduce swelling while providing a numbing effect on your mouth. A cold compress, ice pack, or gel pack, can be handy during aftercare, just apply it to the outside of your mouth for relief.
Adjusting Your Diet
With orthodontic appliances, adjustments to your diet are often required. Avoiding foods that will irritate or damage your appliances such as hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky foods will help you on the road to pain prevention. Follow the guidelines of what is acceptable to eat and drink with your treatment and avoid foods that can displace your hardware.
Maintaining Dental Hygiene
Taking care of your teeth is always important, even if dental appliances such as braces make it more difficult. Follow your dentist’s instructions on how to clean both your appliances and the areas around them. Keeping both your teeth and braces clean will help you to avoid tooth decay and irritation, which will only add to any pain and discomfort you may feel. By maintaining a good dental hygiene regime, you are guaranteeing yourself a happy and healthy smile.
Massage Your Gums
Massaging your gums can provide some comfort and relief. Rub your gums in a circular motion with your fingers or a cube of ice, and this will help relax your swollen gums and relieve pressure.
First-time appliances or newly tightened braces will be painful, but it is temporary. Unfortunately, the pain only subsides after your mouth has adjusted to the hardware or a tightening. Keep in mind your overall goal of a healthier, beautiful smile. The pain or discomfort should only last a few days while your new smile will be with you always, as long as you maintain proper care.
Orthodontic appliances such as braces are one of the most effective ways of improving your smile not only on the outside but the inside as well. Wearing braces can be painful, but should not be long-lasting or unbearable. If you experience persistent pain that cannot be addressed with any of the tips provided, please schedule an appointment with our office so that we can assist you immediately. For more information on pain relief for orthodontic treatment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.
Dangers of “Do It Yourself” Orthodontic Treatment
As we enter the holiday season, we know everyone is trying to put their best self forward preparing to gather around with loved ones. A good-looking smile with even teeth can be a major confidence booster and helps to make a lasting impression on others whether on a date, reunion, or even interview.
Each year millions and even billions of dollars are spent on products to help people achieve that beautiful smile. These days there are dozens of products and methods spreading across the internet claiming they can get your teeth to “pearlfection”. There are even some who have resulted in making their own concoctions of dental care to save on money.
Please heed our warning, when it comes to dental care, doing it on your own can have dangerous and disastrous results.
Recent videos and posts of how to perform “do-it-yourself” or DIY dental procedures have become more popular and resulted in a rise of patients suffering from DIY procedures gone wrong. These are problematic trends that can have serious consequences.
We’d like to warn you about some of these dangers in hopes that you will see through the false promises they give. Instead, save yourself the trouble and toothache of DIY treatments and come to us for your dental needs.
An internet trend that has come to our attention is the increasing videos and articles on how to make your own braces. While we understand that many people consider braces a rite of passage and trendy look, it is important to note that orthodontic treatment is a dental procedure and not something one should take into his or her own hands.
What are they?
To make these DIY braces, people fasten household items to their teeth to move their teeth to where they think they should be. Some of these items include rubber bands, dental floss, hair ties, paperclips, and earring backs.
A popular method of DIY orthodontic treatment is to use clear hair ties to close a gap or straighten teeth.
The idea is to wrap these ties around the misaligned teeth and after an indeterminate amount of time (daily or nightly wear), the gaps are supposed to close and straighten your bite. A small pack of these hair ties costs around $5 and some people who claim to see results in as little as 45 days. The appeal of DIY braces can be awfully attractive, but it is truly a case of you get what you pay for–and you should beware!
Straightening your teeth isn’t just about closing gaps; braces help align the upper and lower teeth to reduce pressure on your jaw and keep your teeth from wearing on each other over time.
What are the effects of DIY orthodontics?
The shape of teeth vary greatly as each mouth is unique. It can be easy for those rubber bands and ties to slide into soft tissue. Once embedded into your gums they can be difficult and nearly impossible to remove without professional help.
If left untreated, it will continue to move further into your gum line causing nerve damage as it makes its way towards the root of your tooth. This process will cause the crowns of your teeth to extrude as the roots are slowly killed and the tooth becomes loose and falls out. The loss of teeth and nerve damage are common complications that we see from DIY orthodontics but are not the only things to worry about. Other complications include:
- Choking on makeshift brackets such as earring backs
- Metal clips such as paper clips and other metals can become toxic if left in the mouth for extended periods
- The snapping of bands directly onto your teeth can crack your enamel. Enamel loss is permanent.
- The gums can become infected, resulting in serious and often expensive treatment
- Crooked smiles due to teeth being moved at the wrong angle.
- Pain and lacerations from bands sinking into soft tissue
- Long term issues and pain from moving teeth too quickly.
Quality dental care is not quick, easy or inexpensive. Creating the perfect smile is a practice that requires education, training, experience, and skill to know how to properly and safely move teeth.
Mail-Order dentistry or “teledentistry” is now on the rise. Instead of going to a dentist or orthodontist, there are now direct to consumer companies that will supply you with orthodontic appliances. These companies will often send an at-home impression kit for you to make your own impressions and mail them back to the company for evaluation. The company will then decide if you meet their criteria and once approved the aligners are made and sent back with instructions on how to correct your teeth at home.
These products are significantly cheaper making them appear to be more convenient to consumers. However, the criteria for the company’s acceptance does not take into account clients who might suffer from oral health issues such as gum disease and dental decay. These conditions often cause the misalignment of teeth and cannot be corrected with mail-order productions.
Mail-Order companies have the goal of making money by selling you products that should be supervised by qualified oral health professionals and are willing to compromise consumer health and safety for the sake of profit.
Dangers of Mail-Order Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontists do more than just straighten your teeth. They identify and treat oral health concerns before considering treatment. This is why a comprehensive exam is performed before recommending any form of orthodontic treatment. With mail-order companies, other issues that the consumer might have can easily be overlooked as they can’t be seen with a simple impression kit.
Some dangers of these products are:
- Poorly fitted products – A one-size-fits-all aligner or impression mold done without a professional evaluation can lead to poorly fitted aligners that may result in the loss of teeth, damage/infection of gums, inability to open/close jaw, and often teeth are left worse after receiving mail-order treatment.
- Lack of supervision – There is no supervision with mail-order companies. Your teeth might move faster or slower than anticipated which is why orthodontic treatment requires frequent check-ups to see your progress throughout treatment. Without a dentist or orthodontist supervising you, issues will go unnoticed and may lead to further problems.
- Aligners aren’t always the right choice – Aligners are not the ultimate solution to uneven or misaligned smiles. Your mouth is unique and different treatments may be required for you to achieve your perfect smile.
It is important to remember that orthodontic treatment is a medical service, not a simple product or device to buy easily. Dental health professionals are here to decide what treatment plan will work best for you. Though these options can be tempting on the wallet, often consumers find themselves spending more money in the long-run when they come in for treatment to fix issues created by mail-order or DIY products.
Your teeth will thank you for putting your trust in dental professionals when it comes to achieving your perfect smile. Bring your questions and desires with you during your next Bracify 3D Orthodontics appointment and we will be sure to help you. Together, we will make a safe plan on how to achieve your best smile.
How To Navigate Thanksgiving With Orthodontic Treatment
Thanksgiving 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.
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.
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.
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
Trick 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
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.