Are Your Child’s Teeth Protected During Practice?

Protecting your child’s teeth while they are engaged in sports is simpler than you might think!

Advertisements

For many of our patients, sports activities are a favorite pastime. However, participating in sports activities puts patients’ teeth at an increased risk of damage. Some patients are unaware that mouth guards are still required for sports activities while they are in braces. At Walker-Dixon Orthodontics, we strongly encourage patients who participate in sports to use a braces-safe mouth guard for all sports practices and games.

A typical boil-and-wear mouth guard is not an option for patients in braces as they will not fit properly, and they will stop necessary tooth movement if worn. Instead of the traditional boil-and-wear mouth guard, patients should purchase a braces-safe mouth guard, such as the Shock Doctor brand mouth guards.

These mouth guards work differently as they are not boiled and have extra space to ensure they do not adhere to the braces’ brackets. Since they are not boiled, the wearer might have to bite down to keep the mouth guard in place, but otherwise, these mouth guards work just as well as the traditional variety. There are even strapless and strapped versions to suit whatever sport patients play. To clean them, patients only have to use dish soap and warm water, and if needed, patients can trim the material to make it fit more comfortably.

Braces-safe mouth guards are available at your ordinary sports gear stores, or you can visit our office to purchase a Shock Doctor mouth guard, which we sell at cost to our patients.

For more information regarding braces-safe mouth guards, orthodontics in general or to set up a new patient exam, call our office! The Fishers office can be reached at 317-570-0011, or for our Indianapolis office: 317-849-0110.

 

 

Is Your Child’s Brushing Making the Grade?

Oral hygiene is incredibly important while in braces. Braces and other orthodontic appliances create additional hiding spots for food and plaque. If allowed to sit on teeth for an extended period of time, this food and plaque can result in swollen gums and even cavities. We at Walker Dixon Orthodontics believe so strongly in our patients maintaining great oral hygiene practices that we grade our patients’ oral hygiene at each visit, and always inform both the parent and the patient when oral hygiene is excellent and when it needs a little extra work.

Sometimes, a patient is unsure how to practice great oral hygiene. This can be due to the patient’s age. Younger patients have had less practice than older patients, or they strive for independence, and thus, do not want to ask for their parents for assistance. In other instances, patients simply forget due to a busy schedule filled with academics and athletics.

So, you may be wondering, how do I explain what good brushing looks like to my child who is either in braces, or will be in braces at some point in the future? Below, we have provided some guidelines to make it easier for you:

  1. Time: Children should spend at least 2 minutes brushing. Tip: to help ensure your child is brushing for a long enough time, try using an egg timer or find a fun 2 minute-long song to brush to.
  2. Technique: It is common for patients to brush just the front, lower surface of their teeth. Instruct your child to brush gently, but thoroughly along the gum-line as this is where food collects often. Also, stress the importance of brushing the back of the teeth as well. This is a commonly forgotten zone.
  3. Frequency: Brushing should occur at least twice a day for everyone (once in the morning and once at night before bed), though an additional brush after lunch is required for patients in braces. After lunch brushing prevents food from being trapped against the teeth and gums all afternoon.
  4. Flossing: Flossing is important for everyone, but it becomes especially critical for those in braces. Instruct your child in braces to floss after every meal. They can use floss threaders, or for a speedier flossing solution, pick up some orthodontic flossers such as Plackers.
  5. Rinsing: While not required, we always recommend patients use a fluoride rinse daily. This extra boost of fluoride is a great preventative measure for those in braces. Using a rinse nightly before bed can help reduce the risk of cavities and white marks while in braces. We recommend Phos Flur by Colgate, and sell it in our office at cost to our patients, though other fluoride rinses will work as well.

Following the above guidelines should result in an “A” grade for your child at their next appointment, and we encourage any parent or patient who has questions regarding hygiene to call our office or to ask in person at their visit. We are so committed to creating enthusiasm for great oral health, we even offer points in our rewards system to patients who put in the effort to maintain a healthy smile.
For questions regarding oral hygiene, orthodontics in general or to set up an exam, please call our office. For our Fishers office: 317-570-0011, or for our Indianapolis location: 317-849-0110.

Protecting Your Retainer

This week, we have decided to revisit an older topic presented on the blog. While this article was originally posted last year, retainers are constantly lost and damaged, so we thought it might be good to re-blog and share this article for those who might have missed it at its original publication.

Walker Dixon Orthodontics

Since your retainer is a lifetime commitment, you will have your retainer a long time. As such, it is important to know how to care for your retainer. This care includes identifying potential hazards to your retainer and preventing damage or loss. Luckily, keeping your retainer safe is easy and requires just a little extra effort. A lost or damaged retainer will have to be replaced, which costs you (or your parents) extra money and time.

A common source of damage to retainers is the dog. Since your retainer is in your mouth, it smells of your saliva, which as gross as it sounds to us, is highly appealing to your beloved pet. Dogs will do just about anything to get to a retainer, from climbing up on the counter or even chewing through retainer cases to get to it. You might find the remains of your retainer after your dog…

View original post 250 more words

Emergency Care: Bracket Has Come Off

Houston, We Have a Problem:
When something with your braces is just not quite right…

Your braces are a system made up of a lot of little parts that work together to make lots of little movements to your teeth. Since there are a lot of parts that move, and they are attached to your mouth, which also moves, it is likely that you might have some part of your braces that breaks, falls off, or just does something flat out weird.

Today, we are going to explore one of the different things that can go wrong while you have your braces, and what you should do. Some problems you might be able to fix on your own (or with a little help from mom and dad), but other problems might be a little more complex. For those, you will definitely want to ask your orthodontist to lend a hand.

Loose Bracket:

So you had a bracket come loose from your tooth. The tell-tale wiggle of a loose bracket is easily noticeable, and might be annoying to you. However, there is no reason to panic or worry if you have a bracket that has decided to break free. For this problem, your orthodontist will have to be involved as you can’t re-bond (what orthodontists call re-attaching a bracket) a bracket to your tooth on your own!

While having a piece of your braces come loose might seem like a big deal, this is not an orthodontic emergency. Having a bracket come loose causes no pain or bleeding, and as long as the rest of your brackets are still attached, there is no rush to get in to your orthodontist to have it re-bonded. In fact, when you call your orthodontist, they will even tell you it is okay to have a bracket off for up to a month and will usually just reattach it at your next regular visit.

In the meantime, here are some ideas to minimize any irritation caused by having a bracket off. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, you can attempt to slide it off if it is the back bracket, or if it is in between other, still attached brackets, you can use wax to keep it from moving around. When using orthodontic wax, make sure to dry the area where you intend to place the wax thoroughly. Paper towel works well for getting an area dry enough. Take a pea-sized amount of wax and roll it into a ball. Press the ball firmly over the loose bracket. The bracket should be stuck in place and no longer able to slide around on the wire.

Remember, having a bracket off is not a true emergency, and wont cause a delay in your orthodontic treatment if you get it re-bonded within a month. If your next appointment is over a month away, and you have a loose bracket, just call your orthodontist and get scheduled to have it repaired. Otherwise, a courtesy call to your orthodontist to just let them know you have one off is great as they will will know they just need to take a few extra minutes with you at your next regularly scheduled appointment.

For any questions regarding orthodontic emergencies, braces in general or to schedule an initial exam, call our office. For our Fishers location, call 317-570-0011, or for our Shadeland office, call 317-849-0110.

What are Your Teeth Worth?

Just how much are those pearly whites you leave under the pillow worth? Did you know that the economy, and where you live may play a part in how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves? Check out this cool article complete with a chart to see if the Tooth Fairy is meeting the National Average in your household.

Looks like the Tooth Fairy tightened her money bag after an all-time high payout in 2016. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy’s cash gifts dropped to an average of $4.13. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy’s overall direction, […]

via TOOTH FAIRY — venitism

Tooth Sensitivity and You

Tooth sensitivity is common and treatable. Read on to learn more about this condition and what you can do to prevent it.

Does the thought of taking a bite of ice cream or taking a sip of ice cold water cause you to cringe? If so, you may have sensitive teeth! Luckily, tooth sensitivity can be treated.

Sensitivity in teeth can be caused by a variety of factors. Cavities, worn fillings, gum recession and worn tooth enamel are some of the most common causes. These problems affect your enamel and allow heat, cold and acidity to reach the nerves inside your teeth causing discomfort for you!

Consult your dentist if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, and he or she can analyze your sensitivity and come up with a treatment plan which may include fluoride treatments to strengthen enamel, fillings on teeth where cavities are causing sensitivity, or gum grafting for sensitivity caused by recession.

Prior to consulting your dentist at your regular appointment, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your tooth sensitivity at home. Try switching your toothpaste to a desensitizing variety such as Sensodyne and Pronamel which help to block sensation to the nerves in teeth and also can help with strengthening enamel. Also, avoid acidic foods and drinks such as soda, coffee, tomatoes and lemons. These can weaken and erode enamel making sensitivity worse over time.

Prevention of sensitivity is simple, and if you already experience tooth sensitivity, you will want to create a plan to avoid additional sensitivity in other teeth. You can prevent tooth sensitivity by avoiding acidic foods and beverages and maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine that includes regular brushing, flossing and the use of a fluoride rinse.

Does Your Child Suck Their Thumb? What You Need to Know.

All you need to know about the hazards thumb-sucking presents for your child, and what you can do to curb the habit.

Thumb sucking is a very common habit for children, but what can seem like an innocent enough habit can present a number of dangers to your child’s health. So, as a parent, you might wonder when should you intervene, and how do you help to curtail your child’s thumb-sucking habit? This great article by Surfside Dental outlines the risks associated with thumb-sucking and also presents possible paths you can take to help your child stop their habit.

Should I Stop My Child From Thumb-Sucking? Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex for babies. This is a habit that can be seen even among infants in the womb. Babies suck their thumbs to feel happy and secure. This habit also helps induce sleep and as such, babies and toddlers often suck their thumbs before bedtime. […]

via Should I Stop My Child From Thumb-Sucking? — Surfside Kids Dental Blog | Sacramento Pediatric Dentist | Elk Grove Pediatric Dentist