Ho Ho Ho-Oh No! Preventing Breakage to Your Braces over the Holidays.

While Halloween is the holiday known the most for its candy, the Christmas season also presents hazards to braces-wearers. Knowing what is safe to eat and what to avoid can save patients (and their parents) the hassle of an emergency visit during the already hectic holiday season.

What to Avoid:

Candy Canes, Ribbon Candy, Peanut Brittle and Taffy

No candy is more iconic to Christmas than the candy cane. While delicious and festive with its enticing red and white striping, candy canes are hard and sticky which could result in the loss of brackets, the breaking of wires and the potential of pulling wires free from brackets. Ribbon candy is thinner than candy canes, but it is still considered in the hard and sticky family of candies and should be avoided to prevent breaking brackets and wires, and peanut brittle should be avoided at all costs due to being exceptionally hard and full of hidden peanuts which can result in unexpected damage to braces. Saltwater Taffy is a common treat around the holidays, but due to its extremely sticky texture, it is not a good choice as it can pull wires and brackets loose from teeth, and not to mention its just a challenge to eat!

You Can Still Enjoy:

The good news is, while hard and sticky Christmas candies are not good for patients in braces, there are plenty of other holiday treats that are a good choice! Soft Christmas cookies, pies and chocolate candies are all safe options for those in braces. Holiday dinners are almost always full of safe options as well, so patients can feel free to eat as much turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce as they desire!

Remember, if something breaks on your braces over this holiday season, there is no reason to panic as there are very few true orthodontic emergencies. Call your orthodontist if you experience a problem and they can get you scheduled within an appropriate time frame to come in for a repair.

We at Walker Dixon Orthodontics want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Ho Ho Ho-Oh No! Preventing Breakage to Your Braces over the Holidays.

While Halloween is the holiday known the most for its candy, the Christmas season also presents hazards to braces-wearers. Knowing what is safe to eat and what to avoid can save patients (and their parents) the hassle of an emergency visit during the already hectic holiday season.

What to Avoid:

Candy Canes, Ribbon Candy, Peanut Brittle and Taffy

No candy is more iconic to Christmas than the candy cane. While delicious and festive with its enticing red and white striping, candy canes are hard and sticky which could result in the loss of brackets, the breaking of wires and the potential of pulling wires free from brackets. Ribbon candy is thinner than candy canes, but it is still considered in the hard and sticky family of candies and should be avoided to prevent breaking brackets and wires, and peanut brittle should be avoided at all costs due to being exceptionally hard and full of hidden peanuts which can result in unexpected damage to braces. Saltwater Taffy is a common treat around the holidays, but due to its extremely sticky texture, it is not a good choice as it can pull wires and brackets loose from teeth, and not to mention its just a challenge to eat!

You Can Still Enjoy:

The good news is, while hard and sticky Christmas candies are not good for patients in braces, there are plenty of other holiday treats that are a good choice! Soft Christmas cookies, pies and chocolate candies are all safe options for those in braces. Holiday dinners are almost always full of safe options as well, so patients can feel free to eat as much turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce as they desire!

Remember, if something breaks on your braces over this holiday season, there is no reason to panic as there are very few true orthodontic emergencies. Call your orthodontist if you experience a problem and they can get you scheduled within an appropriate time frame to come in for a repair.

We at Walker Dixon Orthodontics want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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!

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!

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.

 

 

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.

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