Posts for: March, 2019
Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.
But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.
The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.
Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.
There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.
Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.
It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.
If you would like more information on best hygiene practices while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”
Have you heard of Invisalign? It's the customized system of clear acrylic aligners which correct a variety of orthodontic issues. Comfortable, removable, and best of all, effective, Invisalign appliances improve dental alignment and smile appearance in a quick and discreet way. If you're looking for an alternative to metal or ceramic braces, Invisalign could be right for you! Dr. Ashley Lloyd offers Invisalign in her Raleigh, NC, practice—read below to get all the details!
How Invisalign Works
Your smile is like no one else's. It expresses your feelings and personality, but unfortunately, smile problems are uniquely yours, too. If you suffer from overbite, underbite, crowding, gaps, or other issues, you likely need orthodontic correction. Many teens and adults, however, avoid traditional braces because of their obvious appearance, dietary restrictions, hygiene complexities, and oral discomforts.
Luckily, Invisalign aligners can correct your alignment and bite issues easily and discreetly. Formed from biocompatible acrylic, your series of 18 to 20 aligner pairs will move your teeth into proper positions gradually over time. Dr. Lloyd takes special scans to evaluate and form treatment plans for her Invisalign patients, after which the Invisalign lab uses computer design software to fabricate the appliances.
Worn for about two weeks each, the aligner pairs produce remarkable results in about half the time metal or ceramic braces take. As Dr. Lloyd's Invislaign patient, you'll visit her Raleigh, NC, office about once a month so she can check your progress and deliver your next aligner pairs in the treatment sequence. When your treatment ends, you'll wear a customized retainer to keep your new smile permanently well-aligned.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Besides being invisible, removable, and smooth, your Invisalign aligners feature numerous benefits, including:
- Ease of care: Just take out your aligners and brush and floss as you have always done. Afterward, simply clean your aligners with a mild soap or toothpaste and replace.
- Versatility: Invisalign works to correct many mild-to-moderate smile alignment issues.
- Healthier teeth and gums: Plaque accumulates easily around conventional braces with their archwires and brackets. Not so with Invisalign appliances!
- Compliance is easy: Just wear your aligners for the prescribed 20 to 22 hours a day, and your treatment will stay on track.
Get that new smile
You can with Invisalign clear aligners from Dr. Ashley Lloyd. Call her Raleigh, NC, office today at (919) 828-1001 for your personalized Invisalign consultation.
As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce
We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.
Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.
Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.
Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.
What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.
If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”