Flossing isn’t the most exciting part of your nightly routine, but it’s essential to your oral health. Maintaining that excellent oral health is an integral part of your orthodontic journey! Before we get into how to become an expert braces flosser, here’s some more information about why flossing is so critical in the first place. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth to prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Flossing helps eliminate the accumulation of harmful bacteria and plaque resulting from food particles that get trapped between the teeth and under the gum line. These are places that the toothbrush can’t always reach!
Often the first step of orthodontic treatment is an expander. Expanders, or palatal expanders, are orthodontic appliances that increase the space between the halves of the upper jaw. While that sounds scary and painful, expanders are very common! Many young and growing orthodontic patients have expanders, and they can help make sure you don’t have to undergo surgery later!
One of our most common questions from patients is “What can I eat with my braces?” or “What foods do I have to give up?” and we have a few simple guidelines to share. Getting braces is a big change, and on top of the wires, brackets, or Invisalign trays, there’s a whole new set of habits you must get used to.
Luckily, we’re here to help and answer any questions you may have during treatment! If you keep these in mind, your smile and diet will be happy and healthy!
Parents are usually well-versed in getting their child to the dentist early on. Establishing oral health routines for your toddlers is standard – but what about their first visit to the orthodontist? When should they go? Is my child too young for the orthodontist? Is my child too young for braces? Luckily, all these questions have simple answers. The best age for a first visit to the orthodontist is seven. And, once your orthodontist has performed an initial exam of your child’s mouth, they can accurately and expertly advise a treatment timeline.
Seven: The Lucky Number
Age seven is the magic number for a first orthodontist visit. This is because, at seven, your child’s first set of molars should have come in. This first set of molars erupts between ages six and seven and is the first set of permanent teeth your child will get. These teeth are in the lower jaw and do not replace any baby teeth.
The seven-year molars are a good indicator of future dental issues once they have fully grown in. This allows your orthodontist to get a more accurate picture of your child’s mouth and treatment plan than if they were seen before the molars grew in but give them enough time to address possible issues before it’s too late.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. The culprit for this disease is usually poor brushing and flossing habits. These poor habits allow plaque – a sticky film of bacteria – to build up on the teeth and harden.Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria help to form plaque on our teeth. Brushing and flossing help to get rid of plaque. The plaque that is not removed by these practices hardens and forms “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. This tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. If the disease worsens, it can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss.
There are risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant. Other risk factors include hormonal changes in women, diabetes, and medications that lessen the flow of saliva.
Braces are a source of low self-confidence in many teens. This makes the dating scene seem daunting and heightens nerves all around. Never fear! There’s no reason your orthodontic treatment should hamper your romantic life. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, dating with braces is possible and still just as fun. Here are a few of our tips and suggestions for a painless date with your braces and your beau.
Can You Drink with Braces?
For adults tackling the dating scene with braces, whether enjoying a glass of wine is allowed is a question many ask. Alcohol isn’t something you think of as being full of sugar, but many drinks have deceptively high sugar content. This excess sugar is attractive to bacteria, and those bacteria leave behind enamel-eating acids. Alcohol has a high acid content as well. Mixed drinks made of soda or fruit juices typically have the most acid. If left on the teeth too long, acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, making you prone to disease-causing bacteria.
So how can you safely drink alcohol with braces? First and foremost, drink water as well throughout the night. While this is good practice when drinking in general, consuming water along with your alcoholic drink of choice washes the sugar and acid off the surface of your teeth as you drink. Secondly, slowly sipping your drink isn’t the way to go. Frequent small drinks allow more contact between the acidic alcohol and your enamel.
And when you return home, don’t forget to keep up your oral health routine. Flossing and brushing after alcohol are essential for your dental health.
At Greater Houston Orthodontics, we specialize in discreetand convenient treatment options for adults. Many people don’t realize, but orthodontic treatment is incredibly common amongst adults—in fact 3 out of5 of our patients are over the age of 18. Advancements in orthodontics allows for a lot of patients’ treatment to go unnoticed by others. If you want to improve your smile for a wedding, big event, career advancement, or just to feel your best, you don’t have to put your life on hold to see great results. Here is a rundown of our top three picks for discreet orthodontic treatment options for adults:
Invisalign is nearly invisible and is a top choice among adult patients. No one will notice that you are wearing aligners! People will, however, notice your confidence boost! You can also eat what you please without the fear of food getting stuck or damaging your braces because the aligners are removable. Greater Houston Orthodontics is also a Diamond Plus level provider. Dr. Davoody, Dr. Mehr, Dr. Ioannou, and Dr. Panos have been recognized because of their experience and expertise in working with the Invisalign system.
Lingual braces are just like traditional braces but they are placed behind the teeth in order to hide them. The inside, or reverse side, of the teeth are referred to by orthodontists as the lingual side, hence the name. Greater Houston Orthodontics offers two systems, both Incognito and BRIUS. Lingual braces can correct most orthodontic problems, including misalignments and closing gaps. People who play sports or a wind instrument also opt for lingual braces because their placement will not interfere with performance. Like other braces, they are a fixed appliance. This makes them a great option for patients who prefer a “set it and forget it” approach to ensuring their smile goals stay on track.
Clear ceramic braces are a great option for patients who are considering traditional braces but want to opt for something less noticeable than traditional metal brackets. Ceramic braces utilize tooth colored brackets and clear materials that blend in with your smile. At Greater Houston Orthodontics, we offer the Damon System of clear ceramic braces. Because the system does not require the elastic ties of traditional braces, the brackets will remain clear throughout the entire treatment. Clear Ceramic braces offer many of the same benefits as traditional metal braces and are a popular discreet option for adults.
Want to learn more about your treatment options?
Perfecting your smile is a very individual process, let the professionals at Greater Houston Orthodontics help you find the best fit for you.
To schedule your complimentary consultation, please contact our West University or our Memorial office to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Top quality care from world class doctors:
Dr. Amir Davoody, Dr. Rana Mehr, Dr. Thomais Ioannou and Dr. Panagiotis Kyteasare leading orthodontists in the field specializing in orthodontic treatment for adults. The doctors and team use the most advanced treatments available today to provide the most effective, safe, and comfortable experience for their patients. With two convenient locations in West University and Memorial, we are ready to help you start smiling.
So, why do you keep getting canker sores? Canker sores are flat white sores that appear in your mouth and can last for a week or more. What causes these small mouth ulcers is unknown. Though the exact causes of canker sores in children are unknown, many things can trigger their recurrence. Stress, tissue damage in the mouth, poor nutrition, certain foods, viruses, or bacteria are just some of the potential triggers of an ulcer.