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dental flossProfessionals often say that brushing isn’t enough. If you want to be, you also should learn how to floss. Now the question is, do you brush first or floss first?

Should You Brush or Floss First?

The truth is, the order doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you do them both properly and after every meal, especially if you had something sweet and sugary.

Brushing Properly

Most of us were taught how to brush our teeth ever since we were kids. However, as an adult, are you sure you are doing it right? There are several things you have to remember when you are brushing your teeth to get optimal results:

Flossing

Even when you have brushed your teeth, you can’t guarantee there aren’t leftover food particles in your mouth. To prevent any cavities, floss daily. If you find it difficult to use good old floss, there are interdental floss that is much easier to use.

Use the dental floss in between your teeth as these are the areas that your brush won’t be able to reach and often where debris is left. If you want to guarantee clean teeth, you can always visit your dentist for teeth cleaning.

If you have braces, it is of utmost importance that you take good care of your oral health. Tooth and gum problems can hinder the development of your teeth alignment. You should also try to avoid any dental emergencies when you have braces. These include extreme tooth decay, extreme gum issues, and even broken teeth.

How To Avoid Dental Emergencies

dental emergenciesDaily Routine

The best way to do all these things is to be more extra careful with your everyday routine. Eating sweet and starchy foods should be avoided while wearing braces because these foods promote cavities. It can also be a little difficult to brush your teeth now that you have braces, but it’s very important to stick to your brushing habits. Bits of sugar and food may stay on your brackets even after you brush, so make sure to brush carefully. Flossing your teeth will help.

Activities

If you’re an active person or you join sports, the chance of getting an injury increases. Apart from being mindful of your surroundings, it’s also best to wear mouth guards whenever possible.

Lastly, be sure you still visit your dentist once in a while. They will be able to provide first-aid if necessary.

If you want to get your braces off as soon as possible, here are 6 steps you should follow.

  1. get your braces off fasterThe best tip is to follow your orthodontist’s treatment plan and instructions. Your orthodontist knows approximately how long it will take for your teeth to straighten out. In addition, your orthodontist has careful instructions that you should follow to get the best smile possible. If you have any questions, call your orthodontist’s office.
  2. Do not do things that could ruin how the braces work or take the brackets off. To avoid this, avoid eating hard types of foods. You might have to say no to corn on the cob or biting into an apple for a while. However, there are ways to still enjoy these foods without putting your braces at risk.
  3. Take a break from eating sugary and starchy foods while you have braces. These foods can cause cavities and several other teeth issues. Tooth decay and gum problems can hinder the effectiveness of your braces.
  4. If you play sports, it is especially important to protect your braces. Wearing mouth guards will help. Make sure to check whether your mouth guard fits over your braces well.
  5. Go to your dentist regularly. You should still have your teeth cleaned regularly, especially when you think a bracket is off. You can also avoid more severe dental problems with regular check-ups.
  6. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and do not go to bed without brushing. Doing so can destroy your teeth and create problems wherein your braces won’t be able to work correctly.

With just a little patience and forming good habits, you will be well on your way to getting your braces off in no time!

If you have braces, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you stay injury-free and keep on track with your progress.

Tips For Playing Sports With Braces

mouthguard for braces protectionHere are five tips for playing sports with braces:

  1. Use a mouth guard. Mouth guards are created to guarantee that your teeth stay safe, especially in contact sports such as football. It’s also recommended that you wear your mouth guard while playing sports where you have higher chances of getting hit in the face, such as in basketball and soccer. You will quickly get used to the feeling of wearing a mouth guard during sports, and it’s definitely well worth it to ensure that your teeth stay safe!
  2. Use a mouth guard that fits your particular needs. Some mouth guards may not fit your braces, so you might want to consider having it customized to make it as comfortable as possible.
  3. Your mouth guard may be a little uncomfortable to wear at first. To get used to the feeling of having one in your mouth, wear it around the house and during practice so that by the time your sports game comes around, you don’t even notice it’s there.
  4. To make your mouth guard more fun to wear, you can have it customized and designed so it will fit your team’s color or even your favorite shows or professional teams. There are also flavored mouth guards with common flavors such as bubblegum and strawberry.
  5. If you’re not wearing your mouth guard and your teeth get injured, go to the emergency room to get checked out. First-aid is better than no aid at all.

Taking care of your teeth is one step to being a healthier and more confident person. While we can’t avoid accidents, especially in sports, we can find ways to protect ourselves when these accidents happen.

The common causes of tooth loss include injury and illness, but sometimes can be due to poor oral health. Thankfully, we live in a time where technology and innovation have allowed us to replace the missing tooth.

Here are some of the most popular and preferred options for replacing missing teeth.

1 – Temporary Denture

Also called a flipper, this offers a short-term solution to a missing tooth. It is called such because you can flip it in and out easily. It is often used while waiting for a future, more permanent restoration procedure. The surrounding teeth stay intact with a flipper.

2 – Partial Denture

This can be used to replace one or two lost teeth and is removable. It is usually worn during the day and then taken out before bedtime and soaked into a cleaning solution. It will need metal clasps to stay on and these might be visible when you speak or smile.

3 – Bridge

This is applied if the gap of a missing tooth is between two good teeth. It is a fixed solution that is cemented into one of the teeth to create a more permanent fixture. The good tooth is cut down and that is where the bridge will be attached. It can replace one or two teeth, sometimes more if there is ample support.

4 – Dental Implant

This is a permanent procedure that will you feeling like you have a new natural tooth. The implant takes the place of the actual root and heals into the bone. The process takes a few months to be completed but the benefits are long term. However, it can be expensive.

Of course, having a missing tooth doesn’t always mean that you have to replace it. Sometimes, the best option is to do nothing, especially if it’s not really a bother. The density of one’s jawbone deteriorates the longer it takes you get a replacement.

Benefits Of Straight TeethThere are plenty of advantages to having straight teeth beyond having a picture-perfect smile. Sure, having properly aligned pearly whites work wonders on one’s self-esteem and confidence. Straight teeth are not just visually attractive, but they are also good for your overall health.

Straight Teeth Prevent Tooth and Gum Problems

Because they are easier to clean, straight teeth reduce your chances of developing periodontal problems. Debris that remain in the crevices trigger bacterial growth and eventually lead to infection. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and with poor hygiene habits, you may experience inflammation, damage, and tooth loss.

An Aligned Bite Reduces Stress On The Jaw

Straight teeth decrease your risk of jaw problems. When your teeth are crooked or if you have a bad bite, the temporomandibular joints are compromised and irritated whenever you chew, talk, or do anything that involves opening and closing your mouth. At first you will experience mild pain, which can escalate into severe headaches. This is why orthodontists often recommend having braces installed.

Straight Teeth Stay On Longer

Because straight teeth are not exposed to pressure and are cleaned better, they naturally become healthier — and healthy teeth stay on the gum longer. With crookedness, your teeth become more exposed to wear and start to weaken.

The health benefits of having straight teeth are undeniable. This is the reason why investing in braces and alignment procedures is well worth it.

summer orthodontic treatmentPatients new to braces will need ample time to recover and adjust to the new appliance and this is why the summer break is the best time to bust them out. Orthodontists recommend that patients be readily available for any adjustments and consultations that may be required at least during the first few months. Since most new braces wearers are students, summertime is convenient.

It’s Easier To Create A Care Schedule

Setting dental visits and assessment schedules is easier in the summer because patients often have more free time and flexibility in their schedules. In addition, most families go on vacation during this time so there are more open appointment times at the office.

There’s Plenty Of Time To Adjust

Placing braces or any teeth alignment appliances takes a couple hours. This longer appointment is usually easier to work into a summer schedule. Plus, acclimating to the new lifestyle and getting used to a new oral hygiene process can be a challenge. Patients will have an easier time adjusting to their new braces if they are able to be at home relaxing and don’t have to go to school.

Fewer School Commitments

There are fewer sporting and zero school commitments in the summer. That means no homework or extra-curricular activities to consider when scheduling orthodontic appointments.

Orthodontic treatment is more than just getting a nice smile. It is a long-term commitment to achieving healthy teeth, bite, bones, and gums. It is recommend that children be evaluated for possible braces as early as 7 years old. For many people, there is no better time to start treatment than during the summer!

orthodontic retainerThe process of correcting your teeth’s alignment does not end when the braces come off. A retainer will be fitted to your teeth for the purpose of reinforcing the newly created position. This is to make sure that things continue to stay in place long after the wires are removed.

What to Expect

During the first few months after your braces come off, it’s highly recommended that you wear your retainers 24/7. The only time they should be removed is before you drink, eat, or brush. You can choose to have a plastic retainer made if you want to conceal its appearance.

Depending on your orthodontist’s observations of how your teeth are responding to the fact that the braces are out, you will eventually be required to wear a retainer only when you sleep for at least a year. You can then start wearing them only three to four times a week. Dentists do not recommend that you get rid of the retainers completely in order to make sure all the hard work from the braces will be worth it.

Maintenance of Braces

While there are removable and fixed retainers, it is important to point out that they will be a permanent part of your life. The only difference is that you may be allowed to wear them less frequently. If you use a fixed retainer, doctors will require you to keep it in for a few years (or decades). Again, it all depends on your orthodontist’s assessment. If appearance is a concern, you can opt for a lingual retainer, which is placed behind your teeth and will not be immediately visible.

braces careJust because you’re on a vacation doesn’t mean your braces care regimen should take a break, too! On the contrary, because you will likely be exposed to different foods and drinks while you’re on vacation, it is important to be extra meticulous with your cleaning routine. Remember that braces are not something you can ignore — even for just a day.

The change in your schedule while on vacation could mean you might not be able to give enough attention to your braces. Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure your braces and mouth stay healthy and clean while you’re on vacation.

What Your Travel Kit Should Contain

Surely brushing is part of your daily life with braces – even when you’re on vacation. One of the most important things you should bring for the sake of your braces is a travel kit. It can just be a small pouch that fits inside your everyday bag. The point is, it should have the basic supplies and tools you need to get the gunk out of your teeth and wires.

Your basic kit should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threaders or wax floss, extra elastics, orthodontic wax, and a small mirror.  

Brush And Floss Daily

Stick to your usual regimen of cleaning and flossing. Brushing normally should happen at least twice a day and flossing once a day at the least. If you fall asleep at the end of an activity-packed day, make sure to floss immediately when you wake up the next day.

Watch What You Eat

There are certain types of food and beverages that can affect your braces. Needless to say, try to avoid super sticky and hard foods so you don’t break the elastics and dislocate your wires. You also don’t want the trouble of having to spend so much time taking food out of your braces.

Bring your orthodontist’s phone number with you when you’re out of town just in case of any emergencies. Better yet, scope the Internet for orthodontists in the area prior to traveling so you know where to go in case of an emergency.

TMJTMJ, which is short for Temporal Mandibular Joint disorder, is a joint condition that is commonly associated with either hearing a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth or pain while doing so. It is a fairly common issue that is often left undiagnosed because most of the symptoms are minor and manageable. However, when the pain escalates to a level that one can no longer bear, people often seek medical help and confirm the diagnosis.

What Causes TMJ?

The real cause of TMJ is unknown, but studies have found that there are certain physical manifestations that contribute to the disorder. These include jaw arthritis, injuries to the area or on the muscles of the neck and head, too much pressure on the joint from aggressive grinding or teeth clenching, and even stress. The temporal mandibular joint is in place to help us chew and talk. If the joint slides out of place or had experienced pressure or impact, TMJ can happen.

Treating TMJ is more of a management issue than finding a cure. Jaw surgery is only recommended if there is a structural problem or unbearable discomfort. More often, TMJ is addressed with resting, stress management exercises, mouth exercises, hot and cold compress, orthodontic appliances (such as a mouthguard), and pain medications.

Do Braces Cause TMJ?

Research has shown that there is no direct link between TMJ and braces. The same can be said for any other orthodontic treatment. In fact, one of the most recommended treatments for the condition is actually the installation of braces. This is because proper teeth alignment can provide serious relief and can correct any misaligned bones or joints in the mouth area.

If you believe you are suffering from TMJ, it is best to consult an orthodontist first to get properly diagnosed. Once the problem is diagnosed, your orthodontist might recommend appliances such as a mouthguard and braces in order to provide lasting relief.