Back-to-School Braces Basics

Read on to see what extras you should include in your child’s backpack this school year.

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It is time for school to begin! Patients in braces should have a few extra things to bring in their backpacks on the first day.

1. Toothbrush and toothpaste: While the school day might be hectic, it is essential that patients take the time after lunch to brush their teeth. Allowing food particles to sit on teeth and on the gum line all afternoon can result in gum swelling and tooth decay not to mention some seriously bad breath!
2. Floss threaders and floss: Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene while in braces, and it helps get to tricky bits of food that brushing might miss.
3. Orthodontic Wax: Nothing is worse than having a wire start to poke or a bracket rubbing all day. Packing some extra orthodontic wax on the first day is a wise move, and you will be so grateful to have it if something on your braces starts causing discomfort. Remember to get the area you plan to apply the wax super dry prior to applying it to ensure it sticks!
4. Mouth sore rinse: While not mandatory, having a small supply of mouth sore rinse such as Peroxyl can come in handy in case something starts rubbing or feels irritated during the school day.
5. Pain reliever: For patients returning to school after an orthodontic appointment, having access to Tylenol, Advil or Aleve is a relief. Check with your school to ensure students are allowed to bring their preferred pain reliever with them. Some schools might require students keep it in the nurse’s office.
6. School excuse: Patients will miss a class or two due to orthodontic appointments during the school year. When this happens, make sure that they get a school excuse from the front desk prior to leaving the office. That way, their absence will be excused. For patients that forget to pick up a school excuse on their way out, don’t worry! Call the office to have one emailed.

While this might seem like a lot to bring on a patient’s first day to school, most of these items can fit into a gallon-sized baggie with plenty of room to spare! If you have questions regarding back-to-school orthodontic care, call our office. For our Fishers office: 317-570-0011 or for our Indianapolis office: 317-849-0110.

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

Easy Ways to Keep Your Teeth White This Holiday Season

Check out this great list of braces-safe ways to keep your teeth white and bright this holiday season.

 

Looking for braces-safe ways to keep your teeth dazzling white this holiday season? Harper CE provides a quick and easy list of 5 ways patients can ensure their teeth stay nice and white without the use of whitening strips/trays which are off-limits to patients in braces.

via Top 5 Tips for Winter White Teeth that Sparkle through the Holidays — HARPER CE NOW!

A Nightmare on Brace Street

A guide to candy and braces repairs over the Halloween season.

‘Tis the season for pumpkins, costumes and, every orthodontists’ nightmare, sticky candy. Sticky, chewy candy adheres to your braces’ brackets and wires, causing brackets to come off and wires to be pulled out of place. This can cause discomfort for you, the brace wearer, and frustration for your parents who might find themselves having to make an extra trip to the orthodontist to fix your braces.

So, this raises the question: What can you do to prevent damage to your braces, but still have fun over Halloween?

The answer is easy. Avoid sticky, chewy and overly hard candies! You can still enjoy softer candies such as chocolate, circus peanuts, sugar-free gum and marshmallows, and if you must eat a hard candy, do not chew or bite on it. However, it is advised to avoid these types of candy altogether. If you find you have a lot of sticky and chewy candies after trick-or-treating, see if your friends and siblings will trade you for things you can have while in braces, or save these candies for later when you get your braces off.

Parents, you can help your child in braces by checking their candy and removing candies that your child cannot have while in treatment. Offer to put them away until braces come off, or to replace them with brace-safe options to ensure they do not feel like they are losing out on Halloween fun. By doing this, you will save yourself the time that will otherwise be spent calling and visiting the orthodontist for repairs.

If you do eat something sticky and you lose a bracket, do not panic. Having a bracket off is not an emergency, and if you have an appointment within a month’s time, you can wait to have it repaired until then. You just might want to call your orthodontist’s office to let them know a bracket is off. They can put a note in for your next appointment and prepare to repair your bracket when you come in.

So, in summary, while this is the season for scares, don’t scare your orthodontist with damage to your braces caused by candy!

For additional questions regarding what you can and can’t eat with braces on, or questions on orthodontics in general, call our office. For our Fishers location, call: 317-570-0011, or for our Indianapolis location, call: 317-849-0110.

Become a Retainer Defender

Taking care of your retainer is easy! Read on to find out how to keep your retainer well-cared for.

After your braces come off, it is important to remember that your responsibility for your orthodontic treatment is not over yet. Retainers are essential to maintaining your perfect smile once braces come off. Your teeth are alive and always want to move, so ensuring you wear your retainer and prevent it from being lost or damaged will ensure you keep your smile perfect.

  1. Keep your retainer in its case: Your retainer is small and might be clear, which means it can be easily lost or overlooked as it can fall into tiny places and also seem invisible. Retainer cases, however, are larger and usually bright in color, ensuring your retainer is not lost or thrown away by accident. *Extra tip: Be sure to fill in the sticker on your retainer with your name, address and phone number so if you lose your retainer and someone else finds it they can easily return it to you!
  2. Leave your retainer at home: If you are just going to spend the night at a friend’s or relative’s house, it might be best to leave your retainer at home. Your retainer might fit a little tighter the next time you put it in, but its better to deal with a night of a tight retainer than have it lost in transit. *Note: If you will be out of town for more than a night or two, take your retainer with you, but be sure to keep it in its case when its not in use!
  3. Contain the retainer in a drawer: This tip is especially useful if you have a dog, as they love to chew on retainers, but keeping your retainer in a drawer when not in use prevents your retainer from being knocked to the floor.
  4. Remember to wear it: Your retainer does no good if it is not worn, and you spent all that time in braces for nothing if you do not maintain your straight smile. Be sure to wear your retainer every night. *Extra tip: For those who struggle to remember, try taping a note to your mirror reminding you to wear your retainer, and get in the habit of putting it in immediately after you brush your teeth for the night.
  5. Keep your retainer clean: Use dish soap and warm water to keep your retainer clean as needed. Do not use overly hot water as this can disfigure your retainer and will result in it losing its perfect fit.

By following the tips above, you are well on your way to ensuring that your retainer lasts a long time. If you find that your retainer has been lost or damaged, be sure to contact your orthodontist quickly to ensure they can get you in quickly to have a new retainer made. Do not wait too long as your teeth might move without the retainer to hold them in place.

For additional questions regarding retainers or orthodontic treatment in general, we would love to hear from you! Please call our Fishers office at 317-570-0011, or our Indianapolis office at 317-849-0110.

A Nightmare on Brace Street

A guide to candy and braces repairs over the Halloween season.

‘Tis the season for pumpkins, costumes and, every orthodontists’ nightmare, sticky candy. Sticky, chewy candy adheres to your braces’ brackets and wires, causing brackets to come off and wires to be pulled out of place. This can cause discomfort for you, the brace wearer, and frustration for your parents who might find themselves having to make an extra trip to the orthodontist to fix your braces.

So, this raises the question: What can you do to prevent damage to your braces, but still have fun over Halloween?

The answer is easy. Avoid sticky, chewy and overly hard candies! For example, tootsie rolls, laffy taffy, jolly ranchers, starbursts and other similar candies. You can still enjoy softer candies such as chocolate, circus peanuts, sugar-free gum and marshmallows, and if you must eat a hard candy, do not chew or bite on it. However, it is advised to avoid these types of candy altogether. If you find you have a lot of sticky and chewy candies after trick-or-treating, see if your friends and siblings will trade you for things you can have while in braces, or save these candies for later when you get your braces off.

Parents, you can help your child in braces by checking their candy and removing candies that your child cannot have while in treatment. Offer to put them away until braces come off, or to replace them with brace-safe options to ensure they do not feel like they are losing out on Halloween fun. By doing this, you will save yourself the time that will otherwise be spent calling and visiting the orthodontist for repairs.

If you do eat something sticky and you lose a bracket, do not panic. Having a bracket off is not an emergency, and if you have an appointment within a month’s time, you can wait to have it repaired until then. You just might want to call your orthodontist’s office to let them know a bracket is off. They can put a note in for your next appointment and prepare to repair your bracket when you come in.

So, in summary, while this is the season for scares, don’t scare your orthodontist with damage to your braces caused by candy!

For additional questions regarding what you can and can’t eat with braces on, or questions on orthodontics in general, call our office. For our Fishers location, call: 317-570-0011, or for our Indianapolis location, call: 317-849-0110.