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Dental Care during Braces

Posted on: February 12, 2018

Young girl with braces receiving dental care

An orthodontist has been to dental school and is skilled enough to spot gum and teeth problems. However, seeing an orthodontist is not enough to keep your teeth healthy. During your time receiving braces, it’s also important to keep seeing a dentist for cleanings, exams and dental treatments. Learn why dental care and oral hygiene is important during your time with braces and how it can help you have a better smile after your braces!

 

Caring for Metal Braces

Your dental care during braces will depend on the type of braces you receive. If you choose metal braces, brackets and wires in your mouth make it easier for food particles to get stuck. This quickly leads to dental issues if proper care is not taken. You have to be meticulous about cleaning away plaque and stuck food particles so that you avoid tooth decay and demineralization of your tooth enamel. You do this by:

  • Brushing after every meal. Your braces easily trap food particles every single time you eat. Brushing after each meal can prevent staining and reduce the potential for bacteria buildup. When brushing, make sure you have a regular, soft-bristle brush. Brush down from the top, then up from the bottom on each tooth that has a bracket.
  • Using a threadable floss or floss threader. You will quickly notice that you can’t floss the conventional way with metal braces because the archwire is in the way. If you use a floss threader, thread regular floss through the eye of the threader like you would a sewing needle and thread. Or, using threadable floss, insert the small or pointed end in between your teeth, pulling it through. Once in place between your teeth, you can floss the two teeth on either side of where you have inserted the floss, taking care not to apply force or pressure against the archwire. Repeat between all teeth.
  • Using a proxabrush. This is a small brush that looks like a Christmas tree. Place the proxabrush between two brackets, below the archwire, brushing up and down. After several strokes, repeat this motion by inserting the brush from the opposite side (either down from the top or up from the bottom).

 

young girl receiving dental care with braces

Dental Care with Other Braces

There are other types of braces besides metal braces. At our office, we also offer Invisalign, lingual braces and ceramic braces.

  • Ceramic braces – Care for ceramic braces is the same as for traditional metal braces. This is because the design of these braces are the exact same, except they are made out of white, ceramic material.
  • Lingual braces – These braces consist of brackets and wires that are placed on the tongue-side of your teeth (meaning behind the teeth). You will have to be more careful with brushing and flossing your teeth, as you won’t be able to see the brackets and wires as well. However, cleaning is very similar to how you would clean metal braces. With flossing, floss threaders will become your best friend, and you’ll want to be meticulous with this because food can get stuck more often with the braces being inside your mouth by your tongue.
  • Invisalign – This orthodontic appliance is completely different than the other options you have. Invisalign is a series of transparent aligners that you switch out every week. The benefit of these aligners is that you can easily remove them, and brush and floss your teeth like normal. No brackets, wires or lengthy flossing session. When you take the aligners out, rinse them to get the saliva off of them. Then soak them in a retainer/braces cleaner. An example is Retainer Brite or denture cleaner.

 

Do You Need to See a Dentist?

Did you know that an orthodontist must complete dental school. In order to practice orthodontics, they need to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree followed by 4 years of dental school. After that time, an orthodontist will continue 2-3 years of additional training and schooling to practice orthodontics. Therefore, an orthodontist knows what a dentist knows when it comes to your oral health. However, one point that we want to stress is that you need to continue seeing the dentist during your time with braces.

 

An orthodontist is skilled at treating issues with your oral health, however, an orthodontist is in charge of correcting bite and alignment. A dentist is the one that will need to correct problems with tooth decay and gum disease. Even though an orthodontist has received the same training, their profession is to not to fill cavities or do root canals unless their practice does both. During your time with braces, you must continue receiving dental care from a dentist. Braces raise your risk for tooth decay and gum disease

 

dentist cleaning a child's braces

Dental Care during Your Time with Braces

Your dental care during braces will depend on the type of braces you receive. Many patients choose traditional metal braces for straightening their teeth. No matter what orthodontic option you choose, it is particularly important to maintain great dental care through attention to proper oral hygiene. If you don’t know what that proper hygiene routine looks like, we can help you. As always, if you have any questions about braces care or maintenance, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help you reach your goals and to keep your mouth healthy. For help caring for your braces, or if you are finding certain oral hygiene tasks difficult, call Belmar Orthodontics at (303) 225-9016!

 

The Importance of a Beautiful Smile

Posted on: November 15, 2017

beautiful smile

At Belmar Orthodontics, our success is depends on your success. Part of achieving that success is having a beautiful smile. Studies show that a straighter, more beautiful smile can help you to become more successful and be perceived as such by others. A more beautiful smile can help your self-esteem, your social standing, and can open opportunities to you that you otherwise would not have had. However, a great smile is something that takes dedication and special care throughout your life. We can help you know how to care for your smile to keep it dazzling. We can also provide you state-of-the-art treatment and services that can provide you a beautiful smile as well as patient education for keeping that smile healthy for life. Learn more about how a more beautiful smile can benefit you and how you can achieve it!

 

Healthy Smiles Take Work

To have a beautiful smile, you have to take special care of your teeth. You do this through proper oral health hygiene practices, which includes brushing and flossing your teeth every single day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Notice how we said “at least”. This means that you can brush and floss your teeth even more than those recommended amount of times each day. In fact, brushing and flossing after every meal can significantly reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. We also said you must practice this routine “every day”. This is the part that takes work.

 

To keep your body healthy, you must have solid, healthy habits that take up a part of your every day. To keep a healthy body you must take time to eat right and to exercise. In order to have healthy eyes, you need to visit your eye doctor. To keep your teeth healthy, you have to take time to clean them as well as visit your dentist. How often? We recommend going to the dentist at least twice a year, if not more. For your orthodontic work, you will come into the office every 4-6 weeks. These appointments are very important to determine if your bite and alignment is healthy and in correct position. It is also very important to ensure you don’t have tooth decay forming, as braces are more prone to causing cavities because the teeth are harder to clean with brackets. A healthy smile takes work, but it is well worth the benefits your reap.

 

The Importance of a Beautiful Smile

Not only are healthy smiles great for you, but they are also more beautiful not only for you, but for others. A beautiful smile can impact the level of self-esteem you have as well as confidence. In fact, studies show that those who have a straighter, more beautiful smile tend to be more confident. They also are perceived as more confident and successful by their peers. For example, Invisalign conducted a study about the importance of straightening teeth and what it did for those who did it.

 

For adults, a straighter smile made them appear more successful to others. In many cases, it also helped them be more confident so that they actually were more successful. Between studying people with straight smiles versus those with crooked smiles, the ones with straight smiles were perceived as smarter and in 75% of cases, more trustworthy. People also perceived them as having more dates and as more attractive. Those with a straighter, more beautiful smile were also more likely to get a job (almost twice as likely as someone with a crooked smile). Studies conclude that a more beautiful smile works wonders for you in every aspect of your life!

 

How About Children?

Having straighter teeth and a beautiful smile is not only important for adults, but it makes an impact on a child’s life as well. In studies, children that had better smiles had a boost of confidence that helped them be more confident in their studies and with others. Teenagers also have this boost of confidence. In modern times, child orthodontics is becoming much more popular. Child orthodontics seeks to correct orthodontic issues present in childhood that would become much more severe later on in life.

 

We recommend that children see the orthodontist between ages 7 and 8. This is a time when bite and alignment issues manifest and when they can most easily be corrected. A child’s jaw is still forming and many of the baby teeth are falling out to make room for the adult teeth. With child orthodontics, we can correct bite and alignment so it is even. We can also monitor how the permanent teeth are coming into the mouth. This time period is one where many pre-teens have their teeth grow in. We need to make sure those teeth come in straight so that those teens can enjoy a beautiful smile that is straight, and that it is one they can carry with them throughout adulthood.

 

Get a Better Smile Today

Orthodontics can work wonders for the confidence, self-esteem and oral health of children, teens and adults alike. Some patients will only need treatment for a short time while others will need straightening treatment for 18-24 months. This investment is well worth your time for what a beautiful smile does for you personally and socially. If you would like to learn more about your orthodontic options and schedule your consultation today, call Belmar Orthodontics at (303) 225-9016!

 

Are Your Teeth Cleaning Habits Good Enough?

Posted on: October 12, 2017

cleaning habits

Braces can keep your teeth straighter, making them more beautiful and attractive. However, if your teeth cleaning habits are poor, your smile will take a hit. How well you take care of your teeth before and during braces will be an indication of how your smile will be after your orthodontic care has come to an end. If you don’t brush and floss the teeth enough, you might damage your smile and weaken your enamel. You must step up your cleaning routine during braces to make sure your smile isn’t full of cavities and oral health problems at the end of your care. We can give you the proper recommendations and guidelines to ensure you keep your smile healthy and strong during your time with braces and throughout life.

 

Brushing With and Without Braces

The American Dental Association recommends brushing and flossing the teeth at least twice a day to keep your mouth healthy and to lower your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. We go beyond that twice-a-day recommendation and suggest that you brush your teeth after every meal. Because your braces can easily attract and trap food particles, brushing after each meal can help prevent staining and reduce the potential for bacteria buildup.

 

You should use a soft-bristled brush and use one that’s size fits your mouth well. For teeth without braces, the ADA recommends brushing the teeth at a 45 degree angle. Brush each individual tooth, making sure to go all the way up to the gumline. You use a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritating the gums and eroding your tooth enamel. With braces, you want to brush down from the top, then up from the bottom on each tooth with a bracket. This will help dislodge food particles that have become trapped inside the brackets, which is extremely easy to do. Brushing your teeth multiple times a day is one of the best cleaning habits for avoiding decay.

 

Flossing the Teeth

We recommend flossing your teeth at least once a day. However, that’s for patients that don’t have braces. When you have braces, it’s even more important to floss each and every tooth. It’s also much more time consuming, but the effort you put into your teeth cleaning habits will pay off in the long run. A toothbrush and mouthwash simply can’t get in between the teeth like floss can, so if you skip flossing, you could have food sit and decay your teeth.

 

You will have to use threadable floss or a floss threader to accomplish this feat with brackets. If you use a floss threader for your teeth, think of your cleaning habits like you’re sewing. You floss the eye of the threader through your teeth and below the archwire. Then you floss the space, pull it out and thread once more. Make sure you don’t apply force or pressure against the archwire as you do this. For some patients, it may take about 10 minutes to floss, but it’s worth taking the time to avoid tooth decay.

 

Caring for Braces

Caring for your teeth becomes trickier with braces. You will find that you have to devote some extra time to caring for your braces, as you know have about 32 teeth that all have brackets that can collect food. During your time with braces, it is particularly important to maintain good oral health through attention to proper oral hygiene and cleaning habits. If you don’t, you could have your braces removed only to find that many of your teeth have areas of tooth decay. You could also be left with demineralization that leaves marks on all your teeth where the brackets were.

 

When it comes to caring for your braces, it’s not only important to clear away food particles that are on the teeth, but to be careful of what foods you put into your mouth. To avoid damage to your braces and your teeth during orthodontic treatment, you want to avoid hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar. This means you should avoid eating foods such as hard candy, chips, ice, apples, nuts, popcorn, carrots, corn on the cob, gum, caramel, taffy, licorice, gummies, and similar foods. Prevention is always key for avoid oral health issues!

 

Proper Teeth Cleaning Habits

If you’re going to spend 18-24 months straightening your teeth, you might as well keep those teeth healthy so they look nice at the end of your treatment. Brush your teeth every single day, multiple times a day. Floss as well and be meticulous with your cleaning habits. The better care you take of your braces while they’re on, the more you’ll enjoy your smile when they come off. If you would like help with your cleaning habits or tips, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!

How Braces Improve Dental Health

Posted on: September 8, 2017

dental health

Did you know that braces can improve your dental health? Dental and orthodontic care go hand-in-hand. Many dentists have training to spot problems with bite and alignment. These problems can be corrected with proper orthodontic care, and should be corrected early-on before children have grown. Receiving braces as a child can correct problems that become severe later in life. Receiving braces as an adolescent and even as an adult can greatly improve your oral health, as it decreases your chances for tooth decay and even gum disease. Straighter teeth are teeth that are easier to clean and easier to take care of. Learn how investing in braces can improve your dental health today!

 

Braces Improve Dental Health

DId you know that orthodontists also attend dental school? Orthodontists go through 4 years of undergraduate school, then move on to 4 years of dental school. Afterwards, they must complete and additional 2-3 years of special training to perform orthodontics. Orthodontists are skilled at not only making your teeth straighter, but also helping you to improve your dental health. Dr. Hardy understands how the teeth work and that straighter teeth are teeth that have a reduced risk for cavities and problems with gum disease.

 

When the teeth are crooked, it can make it much harder to clean between each tooth thoroughly each day. To keep a healthy mouth, every single day counts and plaque must be removed with frequent brushing and flossing. What if the crookedness of the teeth prevent your toothbrush or floss from reaching certain areas? Those areas will be prone to, and will probably start to develop, tooth decay and/or problems with the gums. In contrast, when the teeth have been properly aligned with orthodontic care, cleaning them becomes a simple task. A toothbrush can easily reach all the surfaces and floss can get in between each tooth. That gives you a much better chance at having great oral health.

 

What Else Can Braces Do?

Braces are highly beneficial for not only straightening your pearly whites, but also for correcting bite and alignment problems that so many children have. Between the ages of 7 and 8, a child should see an orthodontist and get their bite assessed. We look to see if your bite and teeth line up correctly. If they don’t, you may have one of the following: openbite, crossbite, overbite, underbite, malocclusion, etc. All of these problems can make chewing, speaking, biting, etc., difficult. If a smile is left untreated, problems that were minor become severe over time and require more extensive procedures. However, braces are a perfect method for fixing these problems at an early age, saving you time, money and your health.

 

Common Oral Health Problems

We mentioned that braces can help your dental health by lowering your risk for oral health issues. The two most common oral health problems are tooth decay and gum disease. You may know tooth decay by one of its other names: dental caries or cavities. Tooth decay is the erosion of the tooth enamel over time. Almost every patient has had some form of tooth decay in their life. However, tooth decay–or cavities–are 100% preventable if you have a habit of taking care of your teeth.

 

Tooth decay is caused by plaque—a sticky film made from sugars in the foods you eat mixed with bacteria. This plaque sits on the teeth and erodes the tooth enamel. Over time, that plaque can eventually weaken a tooth and get inside, where it will start to cause decay. The teeth aren’t the only ones that are affected by plaque. Plaque also attacks the gums, causing them to become swollen, red, and irritated. You may even see your gums bleed easier. When the gums continue to become inflamed, they will eventually recede from the teeth, causing the teeth to fall out. Thankfully, both tooth decay and gum disease are avoidable. Straighter teeth can help make brushing easier, and thus help decrease your chances for either condition.

 

Your Dental Health

When it comes to the teeth, you only have one set. You want to do all you can to keep your dental health intact. Straightening your teeth with braces can help you, plus, you’ll receive all the benefits a better smile can give you. So what are you waiting for? Schedule your appointment with Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

 

child orthodontics

Advancements in adult and child orthodontics have triggered a rise in adults seeking treatment for oral challenges they have had for years. When deciding to pursue orthodontic treatment, understanding the differences between adult and child orthodontics can help you decide what type of treatment is right for you. Everyone should want their best smile. Feeling confident about your teeth and smile is essential for healthy self-esteem and confidence. You can achieve both of those benefits with braces.

 

Benefits of Braces

For years, braces have helped millions of people receive a more beautiful smile. About 4 million Americans on average each year are wearing braces. You may think that braces are mostly for teenagers, but you may be surprised to know that about 25% of braces wearers are actually adults. A large portion of those 4 million are also children. Braces benefit people of all ages and it’s never too late to get your own set. Why are braces so important? Straighter teeth keep the mouth in proper alignment and help even out the pressure placed on the jaw each time you talk, bite, eat and more. When the teeth are straighter, they are easier to clean, especially to floss in between the teeth. This is why people with straighter teeth have a reduced risk for oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

 

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

The biggest oral health problems are tooth decay and gum disease. These problems come from lack of good oral hygiene habits. If you skip on brushing and flossing the teeth (or not doing them enough) you may start to have problems. When food sits on the teeth, the sugars from the food you ate (or drank) mix with bacteria in the mouth. This mixture creates a sticky acidic substance called plaque. That plaque works hard to erode your tooth enamel. If it sits on the teeth long enough without being cleaned through brushing or flossing, it will seep into the center of your tooth, called the pulp. This is where that acidic plaque will start to decay your tooth. If left untreated, the problem can become severe. Tooth decay is the most wide-spread childhood disease.

 

Gum disease is similar to tooth decay, but it has to do with the gums. Plaque is not your friend in this case either. When it sits on the teeth for too long, it can irritate the gums. You may notice your gums begin to turn more red and they may become inflamed. Over time, if good oral hygiene habits are not established, the gums will begin to recede from the teeth. This can eventually cause the teeth to begin falling out. About 64.7 million American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. That’s not even including the number for children! Even though tooth decay and gum disease are so wide-spread, they can both be prevented by brushing and flossing several times a day and by establishing and keeping good oral hygiene habits.

Child Orthodontics

One area we specialize in is child orthodontics. A large portion of the people that wear braces are children. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between ages 7 and 8. Having an examination early-on helps prevent the progression of orthodontic issues that may be present. In children, we can detect certain orthodontic problems—such as underbite or crossbite—that are present. These problems can be fixed with child orthodontics and other bite and alignment problems such as overbite, openbite and malocclusion. The jaw is still forming in children, so performing child orthodontics at this age can help easily correct problems that are harder to deal with as an adult. Even if your child does not show any signs or symptoms of orthodontic complications, you can still benefit from child orthodontics. Some benefits include:

  • Monitoring the facial and jaw development
  • Observing the progress of incoming teeth
  • Guiding incoming teeth into their proper positions
  • Reducing the risk of impacted teeth
  • Decreasing the risk for permanent tooth extractions
  • Detecting hidden dental issues

 

Adult Orthodontics

Adult and child orthodontics are very similar. However, it often takes longer to correct bite and alignment problems in adults than it does children or teenagers. This is because the jaw and mouth has stopped growing by adulthood. If bite or alignment problems are severe, an adult may have to look into receiving surgery to correct the problem. Adults also have a few more options when it comes to what kind of braces they would like. Adults and teenagers have the option to choose these types of braces besides traditional metal braces:

  • Lingual Braces – These are also known as “Incognito” braces. They are a hidden braces apparatus on the tongue-side of your teeth. Worn on the inside, no one will even know you are wearing braces.
  • Invisalign Transparent Aligners – This is a series of removable transparent aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. They can be removed for activities such as eating, drinking, sports and more. Because they are transparent, they are also a secret way for adults and teenagers to discreetly straighten their teeth.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Made of ceramic material, these braces fit in with the color of your natural teeth. Ceramic material helps reduce the risk for demineralization and staining.

 

Your New Smile

Whether you are an adult or child, it’s never too late to improve your smile! For people of all ages, a straight smile boosts confidence and self esteem. For adults, that new smile of yours could help you land a job. Studies have also shown that straighter smiles make you appear more confident, successful, attractive and even more trustworthy to others. The benefits of braces are just too good to pass up! If you would like a new smile today, call our Belmar Orthodontics office at (303) 225-9016!

oral hygiene

Millions of Americans don’t practice good oral hygiene, which is the #1 reason teeth decay and fall out. Good oral hygiene coupled with good nutrition can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay and even bad breath. It will also help us to be able to straighten your teeth without damage and provide you with a more brilliant, beautiful smile. There are many tips for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Many of these tips have to do with nutrition and overall good oral hygiene. Good nutrition can aid in better health for you and for your teeth. We want all of our patients to be able to achieve a healthy mouth, but the first steps begin before you even come to our office. At Belmar Orthodontics, learn more about good oral hygiene and how orthodontic care can help you!

 

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Sometimes, the basics are the hardest to do because they seem so simple. You skip brushing one night, then you do it again, and soon it starts to become a habit. When it comes to braces, we see patients skip on the basics here and there all the time. Why? This is most likely because braces take a little bit longer to care for than teeth without braces. Skipping on proper brushing and flossing can seriously damage and erode the tooth enamel.

 

The Prevalence of Decay

We recommend brushing and flossing at least twice a day, if not more. After every meal would be ideal, but not everyone makes a habit of doing that. What happens when you don’t brush and floss the teeth properly? You develop dental caries. The American Dental Association reports that 91% of adults 20 years old and older have had dental caries. 27% had untreated tooth decay. What does this mean? It means that 91% of people have had cavities and 27% had untreated cavities that will continue decaying. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that dental caries is the most prevalent chronic disease in the United States in both children and adults. The sad part? It’s completely preventable.

 

Tooth decay occurs when proper oral hygiene practices are not followed. When we eat and drink, bacteria in the mouth mixes with sugar to make acidic plaque. That plaque coats your teeth and over time, erodes the hard tooth enamel. Inside the tooth is a soft, pulpy center that contains nerves and sensitive parts of the tooth. When hygiene practices are skipped, that plaque will erode the teeth enough to break down the enamel and seep into the soft, pulpy center. It will then have a heyday and cause as much decay as it possibly can. Mild tooth decay will result in fillings for cavities. Severe tooth decay will result in a root canal or a dental extraction.  The great part about all of this? Tooth decay is completely preventable! All you have to do is take care of your oral health!

 

Be Extra Careful with Braces

Braces make cleaning the teeth slightly more tricky, but definitely not impossible! With braces, you generally have brackets that are glued to each tooth. A wire connects those brackets on the upper and lower jaws. Brackets and wires in your mouth make it easier for food particles to get stuck. This leads to other dental issues if proper care is not taken. Here are some tips to help prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush after every meal. Brushing will help prevent staining and will reduce the potential for bacteria buildup. Food can easily become trapped in the brackets and can erode the tooth enamel around the brackets. Make sure to use a soft brush to brush down from the top, then up from the bottom on each bracket and tooth.
  • Use a floss threader. You can’t skip flossing when it comes to braces as it’s even more important now than ever. Tooth decay often happens between the teeth with braces. Using a floss threader will allow you to insert the floss through the teeth and above or below the wire. This allows you to clean effectively in between each tooth. Do this several times a day!
  • Avoid certain foods. Hard foods are a no-no with braces and can break brackets or become stuck in the teeth. Avoid hard candy, chips, ice, apples, crusty bread, nuts, popcorn, corn on the cob, carrots and any other hard candies. Avoid chewy candies or foods such as caramel, toffee, taffy, starbursts, licorice, tootsie rolls, gummy bears and more. For a more comprehensive list of food items, you can always call our office.

 

Over 64 million Americans suffer from gum disease, tooth loss and tooth decay. Poor dental hygiene and tooth decay make orthodontic care that much harder to perform. The point is to get your smile straight and beautiful without making it weaker. Our orthodontic techniques are effective and strong when it comes to getting your teeth in proper position. We want all our patients to have beautiful, straight and strong smiles. It’s vital that you follow proper oral hygiene practices every single day and that you double your efforts while wearing braces. If you need help with your oral hygiene routine or braces maintenance, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016.

Oral Health

Good oral health during orthodontic treatment requires dedication to high oral health standards and instructions given to you by your orthodontist to safeguard your oral health and treatment outcomes. Orthodontic treatment can increase your risk for oral conditions because the orthodontic apparatus can complicate hygiene efforts. Brackets and wires can block areas you need to brush or floss. Braces can more easily trap food particles allowing the particles to wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. These conditions can quickly give rise to gingivitis, gum swelling, bleeding, bone loss and eventual tooth loss. The good news is, by applying the orthodontic tools available to you for your hygiene efforts and committing to regular visits to your dentist for in-office cleanings, your oral health during orthodontic treatment can stay intact.

Your Role in Your Results

Dr. Hardy is dedicated to providing you premium services, products and results, but need your cooperation for your orthodontic treatment to go smoothly.  Your role in safeguarding your oral health during treatment is pivotal for your best outcome. Patients that dedicate themselves to being active participants in the orthodontic treatment process can enjoy many positive benefits throughout treatment.  You may not realize how much your efforts impact your results and orthodontic experience, but they do. Common problems with braces can be avoided with your efforts.  Consider these six ways that your smile will benefit through dedication to keeping high oral hygiene standards. Your efforts:

  • Reduce demineralization:  Demineralization can occur on the tooth, under the bracket, if you aren’t protecting the tooth enamel from plaque and tartar accumulation. Plaque acids rob your teeth of the important nutrients they need to fight bacteria and cavities.  Food that gets trapped under your bracket turns acidic and eats away at the tooth structure and material.  Demineralization of your teeth can leave long-lasting, white scarring on your teeth. Demineralization is difficult to reverse once the tooth enamel has been damaged.
  • Accelerate treatment time/results:  Dedication to good oral hygiene can help your treatment move along consistently without any slow-downs due to decay, broken brackets, or gum disease. Teeth that are not treated with care can develop decay that must be treated and that can slow your treatment results.
  • Cut down on treatment costs:  Delayed treatment means more visits to our office. More visits to our office means less time saved by you and more dollars you are having to spend on revisits, new materials and associated treatment fees.
  • Promote at more positive, pain-free experience:  Good oral hygiene practices help to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment process.  Healthy teeth are symptom-free allowing you to enjoy your braces without distracting aches and pains brought on by decay or sensitivity.
  • Receive a brighter, whiter outcome: Patients that strive to brush after every meal, floss daily, use mouthwash when necessary and keep their regular dental check-ups and cleanings fight the effects of demineralization and enjoy whiter, brighter teeth post-treatment.  If you are going to spend the time improving your smile with braces, don’t settle for less that your very best outcome by choosing to skimp on your oral care, daily duties.
  • Safeguard your total body wellness: Bacteria accumulation and tooth decay in your mouth can easily travel to your other body systems making you feel less than your best and inviting serious diseases and conditions that have been linked to gum disease such as: heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Prevention Strategies for Better Oral Health

Now that you have learned a little about things you can do to help improve your experience and outcomes with orthodontic treatment, consider adding the following preventive strategies for optimum oral health:

  • Schedule Regular Dental Visits: Your dentist and hygienists are trained to spot problems right when they start. By keeping your 6-month check-ups, they can identify problems when they are small so you can make the necessary lifestyle adjustments and receive the treatment you need to stop tooth decay in its tracks.
  • Deep Cleanings: Dentists and hygienists are experts at cleaning teeth with braces.  Brackets, archwires and other orthodontic appliances do not intimidate them!  They can clean around them safely without threatening the integrity of your orthodontic appliance.  Get those braces/teeth cleaned regularly!
  • Regular flossing: Some patients get frustrated with the added steps that flossing can require for non-Invisalign patients. Don’t give up!  Before you know it, you will have mastered this new skill. If you are feeling like you are failing with your flossing efforts, let a member of our Belmar Orthodontics team know so we can help you. Floss threaders and water flossers can be great tools for helping you floss your teeth with ease. Flossing is NOT an optional oral care step with braces. Remember, your toothbrush only cleans two sides of your tooth. Floss gets the other two sides (the area between your teeth) and helps to remove food and bacteria from gum pockets that surround your teeth.
  • Pay attention to warning signs:  As a good orthodontics patient, pay attention to the warning signs that your body may send you.  If you find that you have a tooth (or teeth) that are sensitive to warm, cold or sweet foods let your dentist know. Also, be on the lookout for tooth discoloration, toothaches, and/or bleeding gums.  All of these can be signs that your mouth is fighting tooth decay and needs attention from your dentist.

Call for an Oral Health Consultation

If you have oral health questions, or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation at Belmar Orthodontics, please call our office at 303-225-9016 or complete the form below and a member of our staff will contact you via phone or email. Whether you are interested in child orthodontics, adult orthodontics, Invisalign®, or other options, we are committed to providing our patients with personalized care in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Dr. Hardy is committed to strong, open communication and create a custom-tailored treatment plan for each unique patient.  Choosing an orthodontist is a vital component to obtaining the smile you or your child deserves. As an active member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Hardy uses his experience working with both children and adults to help his patients achieve straighter teeth and a smile that instills confidence and pride!

 

Oral Health LakewoodMany of our patients are surprised to learn just how connected their oral health is to their overall body health and wellness. Some health conditions directly affect the health of your mouth. Sometimes it’s the illness that affects mouth health, and sometimes it’s a treatment. Dr. Hardy at Belmar Orthodontics in Lakewood can preserve your oral health in spite of other challenges you may be dealing with.  Let us know of any health conditions you have so we can better treat you. Certain health conditions will require extra oral health care steps to prevent problems. Taking good care of your teeth and gums by proper oral hygiene habits is an essential part of preventing tooth and tissue decay.  You may need to see a member of our team more frequently for checkups and cleanings while you are facing a health issue that affects your teeth. Our team is here to support and care for your oral health and encourage total body health.

 

More than Just Your Teeth

Your mouth reveals much more than just the health of your teeth.  It also gives important clues about your overall health to your dentist or orthodontist.  Oral health professionals are trained to be able to spot other symptoms and signs in your mouth related to disease and conditions that can manifest symptoms in your mouth. Health-related conditions that  can show up your mouth include:

  • diabetes
  • oral cancer
  • temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • thyroid problems
  • iron deficiency/anemia
  • leukemia
  • eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia)

 

Getting You the Care You Need

When you become part of the Belmar Orthodontics family, Dr. Hardy is committed to offering you the best care he can–both for your oral health needs and overall health needs.  It is important that you are open with us about current and past medical history so we can ensure that you get appropriate and needed treatment in a timely and effective manner.  During your initial consult with Dr. Hardydiscuss with him any current health issues that you are combating so he can make needed adjustments to your care. Radiation, chemotherapy, blood thinners, and other prescription drugs can all affect how we administer treatment.  If at anytime, your health changes, call our office so we can be aware and make necessary changes.

 

Obtaining Your Beautiful Smile Is a Team Effort

As an invested patient, you are working hard to obtain a beautiful, healthy smile.  Belmar Orthodontics is invested in helping you obtain this goal, but just because you have an orthodontist on board doesn’t mean that you don’t need to continue to involve your dentist in your oral health care treatment and goals.  Your dentist, orthodontist, and their staff members are all committed to helping you reach your goals. They all have a unique role to play.  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) refers to this as a team effort.  Remember that each member of your team must be included for you to achieve your best results. “Achieving healthy, beautiful smiles is a team effort that involves the orthodontist, the family dentist, the patient (and the parents, if the patient is young) and, as needed, other dental specialists.  The orthodontist provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the techniques to straighten teeth and align the jaws.  The family dentist helps make sure that teeth and gums stay clean and healthy.  The patient must cooperate by following the dentist’s and the orthodontist’s instructions carefully so that the teeth and jaws move in the way desired and on the prescribed schedule.”

 

What to Do If You Have a Disease Affecting Your Oral Health

One of the biggest things you can do to combat the damaging effects of a disease that impacts your oral health is to enlist the help of your oral health care team (orthodontist, dentist and staff) from the very beginning.  Prevention is key to stopping oral health problems before they can gain momentum. Patients that are at increased risk for decay, tissue weakness, mouth sores, bone loss, dry mouth, infections, and bleeding need thorough, frequent care.  There are a couple of preventative actions that are especially important to practice if you have a disease that affects your oral health:

 

Deep Cleanings

Deep cleanings (also known as scaling and root planing) may not be your favorite procedure when you visit your dentist, however, it is usually the best periodontal treatment defense for reversing gum disease when found in its early stages. Gum health is not a low-priority issue.  Periodontal disease not only impacts the looks and health of your smile, but your overall health as well.  Gums protect the roots of your teeth and stop dangerous bacteria from entering your bloodstream.  Deep cleanings are an vital part of keeping your mouth strong when other health conditions weaken it.

Daily Personal Oral Hygiene Attention

Commit now to regular brushing and flossing.  Patients that have diseases or conditions that put them more at risk for problems usually need to see their orthodontist and dentist more frequently to make sure their mouths are staying healthy.  Learn and incorporate proper oral hygiene habits and practices so you have the reassurance that you are doing your part to keep yourself healthy.

 

Call for an Oral Health Consultation

Belmar Orthodontics understands that abnormal physical health conditions can be stressful and wear you out physically and mentally.  Keeping your mouth healthy and not adding any new physical trials to what you are already facing is what our preventive care and attention is all about.  Seek our help early so we can establish preventive strategies with your dentist so we can keep you and your mouth healthy.  We are here to help! Please call our Lakewood office today if you are suffering from a disease that affects your oral health at 303.225.9016.  Together, we are stronger.