Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Braces and Food- What Foods to Avoid

The holidays are a time of celebrations with friends and family and lots of good food. Temptations abound at holiday parties where bowls of mixed nuts, candies and chips are on every table. While it may be difficult to resist these temptations and pass on the chips and dip, it’s necessary if you want to avoid broken brackets and the poking wires that often accompany them.  This doesn’t mean however, that you can’t enjoy a very delicious holiday dinner with family and friends, it just means that you have to make careful selections when hitting the buffet table.
The following foods should be avoided if you don’t want to break a bracket:
·         Hard Candy – avoid all hard candy, including candy canes, lifesavers, Tic Tacs, breath mints, etc, because even if you think that you can resist the temptation to bite into it, chances are, you won’t.
·         Chewy Candy – avoid chewy candy of any kind, including Gummy Bears, licorice, caramels, Starburst, Taffy, etc, because they will stick to your teeth and if your bracket doesn’t break when you are eating it, chances are it will break when you are trying to get all the soft gooey stuff from between your teeth and from around the brackets.
·         Hard Gum or Gum with a Candy Shell – examples of the types of gum that should be avoided include Bazooka, Chicklets, Dentyne Ice, Gumballs, etc.
·         Nuts – doesn’t matter what type they are, pass them up now and avoid the broken brackets and extra visits to the orthodontist later to fix them.
·         Hard tacos, pretzels, popcorn or thick chips like Doritos – Just Say NO!!
·         Corn on the Cob - Cut if off and you should be okay.
·         Toasted Bagel, Pizza Crust or Hard Crusty Rolls – Opt for the soft rolls and you should be okay, but everything else needs to be avoided.
·         Chunky Ice Cream – This delicious treat has many hidden gems that can cause broken brackets.
·         Ice Cubes – It’s okay to have them in your drink, but not in your mouth! That includes ice chips too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When Are Two Phases of Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visits an orthodontist by the age of seven in order to determine if the child has any developmental problems with their jaw and teeth? It is at this time that the doctor determines if it is necessary to begin Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment, in order to prevent bigger problems with the patient's teeth and bite in the future.

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment may or may not include braces. In some cases, a spring aligner, head gear or a palatal expander may be used exclusively, while at other times, it is necessary to get braces to help move the teeth into position so that the permanent teeth can come in more easily.

Phase 1 is almost always followed with a Phase 2, after all of the adult teeth have come in. Often many parents assume that they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find out that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures, such as surgical exposures to expose permanent teeth that can not erupt due to the position of other teeth blocking its' path. Unfortunately, in some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. With proper timing, children may not have to endure years of embarrassment.

Below are some of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment.
Early treatment provides the opportunity to:
  • Guide the growth of the young jaw bones creating a better environment for those new emerging permanent teeth.
  • Guide incoming teeth into optimal positions.
  • Regulate the width of the jaws.
  • Lower the risk of trauma to prominent front teeth .
  • Correct harmful sucking habits.
  • Reduce the likelihood of teeth becoming stuck or impacted under the gums .
  • Preserve or gain space for arriving permanent teeth .
  • Allow easier correction if found early.
Crowded and rotated teeth can break easily and can trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue. Without treatment many problems become worse. Finally, crooked teeth detract from your smile which is one of the more important facial features. You only have one chance to make that first impression, so make a great one with a great smile!

To find out what Dr. Eder recommends for your smile, please call our office and schedule your Free Consultation today! (561) 737-8776.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene with Braces

Oral hygiene is very important for everyone, but it is often difficult to get children with braces to understand the importance of keeping their teeth and gums clean. In our office we reward good oral hygiene with our Willy’s Wooden Nickels Reward Program. When patients come in for their appointment and they have good oral hygiene and no broken brackets, we give them a wooden nickel that they save and turn in for cool prizes when they get their braces off!

Once a patient gets braces it is important that they take a little extra time and effort in keeping their teeth clean, so when their braces come off and their teeth are straight, they have sparkling pearly white teeth to show off. By taking good care of your teeth now, you'll get the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment.
One of the ways that we help our patients maintain good oral hygiene, is by providing them with a Rota-dent Toothbrush when they get their braces on. The Rota-dent toothbrush is specially made for people with braces. It has 2 interchangeable heads, a flat one to get the surface of the teeth and under the gumline and second one with a pointed head to get underneath the wires and around the brackets.  The Rota-Dent electric toothbrush is a "patented microfilament brush" that has finer bristles than a manual toothbrush. The bristles are soft and thin enough to reach deep under the gum line where pockets form and bacteria gathers, causing plaque buildup and gingivitis. By using the Rota-dent on a consistent basis along with flossing, patients can reduce their chances of developing cavities, gingivitis or decalcification of the teeth.
Flossing can also prove to be especially challenging to someone with braces, so it is important to know the correct and best way to floss between the teeth when there are brackets and wires in the way. 
  •          When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what's called a floss threader. The floss threader allows you to get dental floss underneath your archwire easily.
  •          Cut off about 12-14 inches of floss and loop it through your threader, then run the threader under your archwire between two brackets, and, holding one end of the floss, gently pull the threader off. 
  •      Loop the ends of the floss around your index fingers, forming a "C," and gently floss between your teeth as you normally would. Make sure to carefully clean along your gumline on both sides. When finished between two teeth, just pull the floss through, re-thread the floss through the loop, and repeat the process between your next pair of teeth.
It's also a good idea to get into the habit of flossing at night before you go to bed, so you won't be rushed. Flossing with braces on may be challenging at first, but with a little practice, it will become easier and faster with time.