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white wine damages tooth enamelYour smile is one of your best assets, so you want to keep it healthy and bright. But even if you brush your teeth regularly, use white strips and visit your dentist frequently, it may not be enough to safeguard tooth enamel. Here are common things that can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums and put a severe damper on your smile.

What Causes Damage to Your Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the strong, outer layer of your teeth that is made up of different minerals. Tooth decay occurs when acids in your food react with the minerals in your enamel. You can avoid damage and preserve your smile by avoiding foods that can harm your enamel.

Surprising Food and Drink that can harm your Teeth

White Wine

Don’t let its color mislead you. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and other white wines are very acidic, and this particular acid will slowly damage the enamel of your teeth leaving it vulnerable to stains from other foods and sensitivity to pain. If you can’t give up drinking, pair it with cheese which helps alleviate some of the damage caused by the acids.

Potato Chips

Potato chips may satisfy your salty craving, but this type of snack can cause a lot of issues in your mouth. When you chew chips, they eventually break down into smaller pieces that can get stuck in between the spaces of the teeth. They are made of carbohydrates which are converted to simple sugar by your saliva making them as potentially harmful as candy.

Ice

Many people like to chew on ice and it seems like a harmless habit since it keeps you cool and it has no calories. But chewing ice is dangerous to your teeth. The habit puts a lot of stress on your teeth, causing wear and can even cause a fracture.

Prevention of Enamel Damage

There are many ways to avoid tooth discoloration and decay of your enamel. The best thing to do is restrict the amount of high-acid foods which includes sugary juices and soda in your diet. Another way is to brush and floss frequently after every meal. If you don’t have time to brush, wash your mouth with water or rinse with a mouthwash to help get rid of the leftover food particles. Damage to your enamel is common but is preventable when you know which kind of foods to avoid. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to avoid potential discoloration and decay that can happen to your teeth.

cleaning bracesWhile wearing braces, normal brushing and flossing alone aren’t enough to keep your mouth as clean as it should be. Braces have many sections and good dental hygiene is important to avoid unnecessary problems. With braces, it is crucial to clean your teeth before and after eating. If you can’t brush your teeth at the moment, then use a mouth wash or floss  taking care to remove elastic bands before brushing or flossing. Here are some of the best products to help you with cleaning braces:

Floss Threader

This plastic threader has a loop where you place a string of floss and a stiff point that you put between your teeth at the gum line. Pull the threader all the way through so it places the floss correctly so it is ready to use.

Superfloss

This type of floss refers to a pre-cut string of floss with a plastic threader on the end. This type of floss doesn’t require making a loop which makes it more convenient to use. It also comes with a spongy component for cleaning broader spaces and regular floss for small spaces.

Gum Soft-Picks

These are made of soft, versatile rubble bristles which have a tapered design that fits better into adjoining spaces created by the orthodontic materials.

Water Flossers

Water flossers don’t need traditional floss at all. These devices use water to remove food residues and plaque from the teeth and gums. This method is more efficient that using regular floss and also massages the gum lines.

Electric Toothbrush with Ortho Brush Heads

An electric toothbrush with a circular ortho brush is developed for cleaning braces gently but efficiently. Typical toothbrushes can be too rough on the delicate parts of the braces. Using an ortho brush can safely clean the gum line, brackets and wires in circular motion and can also benefit your gum health.

Orthodontic Relief Wax

These are specially made waxes that create a barrier between the braces and lips. The wax is made of a clear, medical-grade paraffin that covers the sharp edges of the brackets and wires which keeps the mouth more comfortable as you adjust to your new braces.

Retaining a Straight SmilePerhaps one of the most satisfied moments for any brace wearer is the moment when your braces are taken off. It is also the beginning of the next phase of your orthodontic life which is retention. Getting your retainer is one of the most crucial periods of a patient’s treatment plan in keeping that perfect straight smile. Here are some ways to maintain that perfect smile you’ve been dreaming of:

Wear Retainers

After getting your braces off, it is time to adopt a new habit. Your dentist will instruct you when you should wear your retainers. After an initial period of adjustment, you’ll be able to wear retainers at nighttime only. Clean your retainers cautiously and regularly to keep them in great condition.

Take Excellent Care of Your Teeth

The biggest factor causing tooth misalignment is tooth loss. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth drift into the empty space that has been left behind. This creates chaos for your smile and leaves you uncomfortable and with imperfect bites. Taking care of your teeth is the easiest way to safeguard your teeth and keep them strongly attached in your jaw.

Watch for Moving Teeth

Monitoring your teeth is the first defense against dental issues. When you feel that something is wrong, call your dentist or tooth specialist to schedule a checkup immediately. Shifting or moving teeth can be a symptom of a larger problem, and one that should be taken care right away.

Return into the Chair

As part of your regular teeth care, you will need to make regular appointments to check that your braces or retainers still fit and that your teeth have no problems. If you don’t follow your doctor’s recommendations, you could be back in the chair for longer times or may need additional orthodontic treatment.

If you follow these tips, your smile will remain straight, bright and charming just as you want it to be.

Introduction to Orthodontic Braces

braces for adultsOrthodontic braces were commonly associated with young teenagers. But today, a growing number of adults are choosing to have braces to straighten their teeth and correct misaligned jaws or bad bites. Orthodontic braces are adjustable and amazingly successful in realigning teeth. Braces for adults work similarly with other braces regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly lessened in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum diseases. In short, having braces for adults can lead to the same outcome of a beautiful end result but treatment often takes a little bit longer.

Benefits of Orthodontic Braces for Adults

Orthodontic braces can help adults overcome their teeth problems. Distorted or misaligned teeth do not look good, which in many situations lead to poor self-confidence. Aside from bad aesthetics, badly aligned teeth can also cause problems biting, chewing and articulating clearly. In most cases, orthodontists agree that a properly aligned tooth means better health. Properly aligned teeth offer various dental and health advantages such as lower risk of tooth decay, reduced development of periodontal diseases, reduced likelihood of tooth damage and a decrease in digestive disorders.

Types of Orthodontic Braces

The most common type of braces are the traditional metal braces. These braces are strong and do not stain the teeth. They are composed of individual braces which are securely attached to each tooth and come together with an archwire which applies gentle pressure on the teeth. Another type of braces is Invisalign which is favored by most adults since it is easily removable and invisible to onlookers. These braces are clear trays and must be worn for the recommended amount of time every day for the fastest results. Invisalign braces are more convenient and less obtrusive compared to traditional braces but are more expensive and not all patients are potential candidates for these types of braces. Lingual braces are another type of braces which are usually made of metal and fixed on the inner side of the teeth and are therefore not seen when the patient smiles. Lingual braces tend to be costly and, in some situations, can interfere with normal speech.

braces and dental healthHaving teeth correctly aligned surely improves a person’s smile, but they are more than just a cosmetic treatment. If your teeth are misaligned, they can cause a number of health illnesses, some of which you were completely unaware of. Getting braces at whatever age can improve your dental health as it lessens the development of tooth decay and periodontal diseases. Straighter teeth are also easier to clean and easy to take care of. When it comes to your teeth, you only have one set, so you should do all that you can to keep your dental health intact. Straightening your teeth with braces can help. Additionally, you will have all the advantage of a great smile. Here are some reasons how braces can improve your life and overall dental health.

Decay Deterrent

When your teeth overlap one another, the protruding parts create areas for food to collect after eating. Most of the time, these parts cover up the trapped food and cannot be reached when brushing or flossing. This causes plaque to build-up and can severely damage the teeth and its enveloping gum tissues. When teeth are corrected, they allow for easier cleaning and detection of any possible mouth problems.

Correcting the Bite

Often times, our jaw is the cause of the misalignment of teeth. This can create uneven use of one side of the mouth which results in irregular tooth wear. Misaligned jaws can also result in a disease known as TMJ. TMJ causes severe headaches, chewing problems and lock jaws. Having braces and regularly visiting your dentist help guide the jaw back into its correct place.

Satisfaction Means Healthiness

There’s something to be said for the psychological impact of a beautiful smile. When your teeth are properly corrected by your dentist, you’ll feel more satisfied about your appearance and will project that attitude onto others. Great mental health is exceptionally vital in maintaining your overall physical health.

electric toothbrushBrushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. With several types to choose from, it is crucial to make sure you choose the best electric toothbrush for you. They can also range in price from relatively inexpensive to much costlier electric toothbrushes, so it can be hard to know which electric toothbrush to purchase and how much to you should spend. Here are some tips to help you choose the right kind of electric toothbrush for you.

Types of Electric Toothbrush

Rotating

These types of toothbrushes have a group of bristles that turn and rotate. The bristles can be organized in a circle that rotates or individual sets of bristles that can spin. These types are the cheapest you can buy.

Pulsing

Some electric toothbrushes pulsate to make the head move back and forth against teeth while it is rotating. This helps remove plaque and is usually found on more costlier brushes.

Dual Head

As the name implies, these types of toothbrushes combine two heads in one. One section rotates and the other moves from side to side.

Top Electric Toothbrush Features

Here are key features to look for when buying an electric toothbrush:

Brushing timer

This helps guarantee that you brush your teeth for a complete two minutes which is the amount of time dentists recommend we must spend brushing our teeth. Some are automatically timed to stop after two minutes and others beep when it is time to stop.

Pressure Sensors

Severe brushing to remove plaque is not recommended. In fact, brushing your teeth too hard can do more damage than good. Pressure sensors let you know if you are brushing too harshly with either a light or beeping sound.

Replacing the brush head

It is recommended to change electric toothbrush heads once the bristles are worn out. Replacements are costly and worth buying in sets to keep the expense lower. Most electric toothbrushes can be used with a range of various brush heads.

orthodontic evaluationOrthodontists help prevent and treat problems in the jaw and correct crooked teeth that are the result of genetics or emerge in accordance with a child’s habits. The best way to treat orthodontic issues is to have your child assessed by an orthodontist as early as seven years old. Orthodontists are well trained to identify tooth and jaw abnormalities and growth. While the untrained eye might not see these irregularities, an orthodontic evaluation can provide an early diagnosis of teeth and mouth problems.

Common Orthodontic Problems for Children

Children can experience a variety of issues including overcrowding, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and teeth that are too widely separated. While some irregularities are inherited, The majority of orthodontic irregularities are caused by improper nutrition, dental hygiene issues, medical problems such as birth defects, habits such as finger sucking, breathing through the mouth, and loss of baby teeth.

How can an Orthodontist help?

An orthodontist can take a few approaches when treating children. In some situations, irregularities are closely checked and are addressed at a scheduled date. The perfect time to start treatment changes with each child and is based on their diagnosis. Early treatment is advantageous in order to decrease the amount of treatment, shorten the duration of treatment, and prevent more complicated illnesses from emerging. Through early detection, an orthodontist can identify and help stop poor habits to ultimately improve the confidence of the child, guide the development of the jawbone and lessen the possibility of injury due to protruding teeth.

Orthodontic Exam by Age 7

The development from baby teeth to permanent teeth is extremely vital. Baby teeth set the foundation for permanent teeth in their correct positions. This is why it is crucial to have your orthodontist assess your child’s mouth while they still have baby teeth. Your child’s teeth may look straight for now but there may be hidden bite problems that will eventually emerge as they grow and develop their permanent teeth.

More about early orthodontic treatment.

sports drinks and dental problemsIs it dangerous to drink energy and sports drinks while you work out? The link between drinking sports drinks and dental problems may surprise you. Often times, many people seek help and advice from dentists and dietitians to keep their bodies in the best possible shape. Although this advice can be obvious, many of us overlook a vital part of our health which is our teeth.

Dental Issues Caused by Energy Drinks

Most specialists find that the most commonly reported dental issues by people who regularly take energy and sports drink are the following:

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth creates acids that eat away the tooth’s enamel. This will eventually create holes, called cavities, in your teeth as the acid breaks down the parts of your tooth.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a chronic infection and leads to inflammation of the gums. This happens when bacterial plaques develop over time and turn to a rough and porous substance called tartar. The bacterial plaque releases toxins that irritate and contaminate the gums.

Why Energy Drinks Promote Tooth Decay for Drinkers

It may seem peculiar that those that consume energy drinks  are especially prone to have dental health problems. Here are some factors that explain why consuming energy drinks lead to a high risk of dental problems:

Sugar Consumption

Intra-workout supplements, sports and energy drinks and soda are usually used by active and dynamic people to provide energy during exercise. The sugar found in these beverages causes increased saliva and acid production for the oral bacteria which causes a higher risk of  dental problems.

Acidity Concentration

The enamel and dentin of our teeth are exhausted and broken down by acids of a pH lower than 5.5. Most sports drinks have citric acid or malic acid with a pH between 2.4 to 4.5.

Orthodontic Emergency CareAt first, your braces and orthodontic care may take a little longer to get used to. It is not surprising to undergo a little soreness when your braces are first applied or some minor aches as teeth are being shifted to their correct positions. A real orthodontic emergency is rare, but when they do emerge, here are some tips to help you get through it.

A Major Emergency

There are only a few true dental emergencies which include infection or swelling of gums, mouth and face trauma, injury to your teeth and severe discomfort or ache in your face or teeth. If you experience any of these problems, you should seek help from your dentist as soon as possible. Go to an emergency room if your dentist is unavailable. Consult your dentist and trust them because they are trained to handle various dental problems and can provide the necessary treatment that you need based on your condition. Furthermore, severe aches could be a symptom that you have an infection or disease which a dentist or orthodontist is best able to treat.

Minor Orthodontic Emergency Care

Luckily, most orthodontic problems are minor compared to these occurrences, but they may still cause you pain and irritability. Here’s what to do when you encounter these problems:

General Soreness

When you get your braces installed, you may feel a little discomfort in your mouth and your teeth may be sensitive to pressure from biting or chewing for almost a week. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt anymore when you are chewing. If the pain is intolerable, take Aspirin or Ibuprofen or over the counter pain reliever for headaches or similar pain.

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking your mouth, place wax on the offending part.

Loose Bracket

If your band is still attached to its wiring, leave it in place and put wax for comfort. If the band is removed, keep it in a safe place and bring it to your next appointment with your dentist.

Poking Wire

Use a pencil eraser and push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking your mouth.

For more information please go to: Orthodontic emergency care.

prolonged sucking can affect your child's teeth alignmentMost parents are very diligent about caring for their child’s health including their oral health. Thumb sucking or sucking on a pacifier can be a great way to soothe an infant, but it can also lead to serious issues with your child’s teeth.

When is it safe to encourage thumb sucking or pacifier use?

The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that is perfectly acceptable to let your child suck their thumb or pacifier typically up to the age of four. After the age of four, prolonged sucking can affect your child’s teeth and developing jaw,  sometimes resulting in permanent teeth  becoming misaligned.

The pressure from sucking can cause the front teeth to jut out, and your child’s bite will not allow for the upper and lower front teeth to touch. These skeletal changes will begin to affect the alignment of the permanent or secondary teeth so you may need to take steps to discourage sucking.

Tips for discouraging sucking.

Most of the time, children will stop this habit on their own. However, if they do not you can use these tips to encourage sucking habits.

  1. Give infants a pacifier because they are easier to take away.
  2. Use a reward system to track your child’s progress.
  3. Encourage your child and offer praise when they make positive progress.
  4. Consult with your child’s dentist for assistance with stopping the habit.

Overall, most kids will outgrow the habit. But if they do not, you can take steps to encourage them to stop.