Attention Coffee Lovers: How to Minimize Staining from Your Morning Joe While in Braces

Check Out These Easy Steps You Can Take to Prevent Coffee from Staining Your Teeth!

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Do you love coffee, but worry about your beloved morning habit staining your teeth while in braces? As most patients know, whitening kits are a no-go while in braces, but thankfully there are a few ways to minimize the staining that can come from coffee.

  1. Drink your coffee through a straw. While most people save straws for cold drinks, straws serve as an excellent tool to minimize coffee’s contact with teeth. Less contact with your teeth = less staining. Pretty simple, right? Many coffee stirrers can work as straws and are made to resist high temperatures. Consider ordering some from your favorite office retailer to keep around the house until your braces come off.
  2. Drink water or rinse with water immediately after drinking coffee. When you drink coffee and do nothing, the coffee is allowed to sit on the surface of your teeth, and the longer the contact, the more likely you are to develop stains. Water will help to rinse away the lingering coffee and lessen the risk of staining.
  3. Brush your teeth afterwards. Do you make a habit of drinking coffee after you complete your morning oral hygiene routine? Consider switching it up and brush your teeth right before you head out the door. Not only will brushing your teeth immediately after your morning coffee help to minimize staining, it will eliminate the dreaded coffee breath too.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly. Dental cleanings help polish unsightly coffee staining away. To ensure you do not forget about scheduling your cleanings, try scheduling your next visit after each dental cleaning to stay on schedule, and check with your dentist to see if they offer text, email or phone call reminders so you do not miss an appointment.

See? You can still enjoy coffee while in braces without worrying too much about staining if you continue using an excellent oral hygiene routine and following the steps above. So, feel free to lounge with that latte or grab that macchiato to go!

Back-to-School Braces Basics

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

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.

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!

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.

 

 

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

Brace Yourself!

What to expect in your first few days in braces.

So you are getting your braces on. Congratulations! Getting braces is an exciting experience, and as you ponder what colors you will choose on your big day and what your friends will think of your new smile, you might also ponder what it will feel like to have braces. After all, you will have something attached to your teeth that was not there before!

The process of getting braces is very easy. All you have to do is sit back and relax as the orthodontist and the assistant place the individual brackets and the wire on your teeth. After your braces are on, the assistant will teach you how to maintain your new smile with special techniques for brushing and flossing. They even give you a tool kit with everything you need to keep your teeth sparkling clean.

On the first day of having braces, it will feel funny, and you might have to adjust your lips a little as they can’t rest in their usual position on your teeth. Your teeth will most likely feel a bit tight as the wire is already hard at work, gently moving your teeth to a better position.

After the first day, you will feel the impact of having braces a little more, and the discomfort will probably be the greatest at this point. The inside of your lips and cheeks are used to having the smooth surface of your teeth to move around on, and now, all of a sudden, there are raised objects on your teeth that your lips have to navigate around. Sometimes this can cause small sores, which might be uncomfortable. Your mouth heals very fast, however, and once it gets used to the braces, generally within a week or less, the sores will go away. You can use a variety of tricks such as salt water rinses and wax to treat this discomfort.

Tooth soreness is also common when you first get your braces. While in braces, you now have a wire that is working to guide your teeth to their proper positions. Teeth are stubborn and have been in their places for a long time, so they are not eager to move. This means that your teeth will probably be a little sore, and you will want to stick to soft foods for a few days after getting your braces put on. Use your preferred, regular pain-killer such as Advil, Tylenol or Aleve to help reduce soreness.

Your first week in braces is definitely a transition period as your teeth are undergoing a big change. While you might experience some discomfort for the first week, do not worry. It is far from permanent, and is never severe enough to make you miss school, work or other activities. Once your mouth gets used to the braces, you will be amazed at how easy orthodontic treatment is.

Your Orthodontic Exam

What to Expect on Your Very First Visit to Our Office.

For some patients, the idea of an orthodontic exam is a little overwhelming as they have either no idea, or a limited idea, of what to expect when they walk through an orthodontists’ front door. What many patients do not realize, is that at Walker Dixon Orthodontics we make the exam experience painless and easy.

Patients and their families will first be greeted by our treatment coordinator who will take them on a tour of our office, ensuring that no area of our office is cloaked in mystery. Patients will then be treated to their own photo-shoot which will be turned into a gallery. This is followed by a couple of diagnostic x-rays. These images and x-rays will be shared with patients’ dentists and are a necessary part of the doctor’s decision whether or not to recommend treatment for a patient.

After the photos and x-rays are taken, the orthodontist will review them and will then conduct an oral examination of the patient, and they will explain what they see. From there, the doctor will then make a treatment recommendation. Not all patients will even require treatment, or some might have to wait a while for more dental development to occur before moving ahead with braces. Those patients who are ready and do need treatment will be presented with a treatment plan as well as treatment cost. Patients and parents will also have ample opportunity to get all of their questions answered directly by the doctor during the exam as well.

The entire exam should take just around an hour to complete, and by the exam’s conclusion, patients will have in-depth knowledge of their orthodontic situation and a plan going forward. For more information regarding exams, orthodontics in general or to schedule an exam, please call our office at 317-570-0011 for our Fishers location or 317-849-0110 for our Shadeland location.