December 7th, 2017
It’s useful to know some of the common problems that can arise when you get braces. Even if you take great care of your braces and teeth, you might not be able to avoid certain issues or side effects that accompany braces. But don’t worry: These are all common problems that can be taken care of by following some simple advice.
If you just had your braces put on, you may notice some general soreness in your mouth. Your teeth are starting to adjust to having to shift, so they may ache, and your jaw might feel tender at first. This will subside once your mouth becomes used to the new appliance in residence.
You may experience soreness on your tongue or mouth, which may be a sign of a canker sore. Canker sores are common when braces rub against your mouth. You can use ointments to relieve pain and numb the area that’s been irritated. Canker sores are commonly caused by broken wires or loose bands on your braces.
- Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
- Loose bands: These must be secured in place by Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis. Try to save the band for repair.
- Protruding or broken wires: Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, clean your mouth with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
- Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned by Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and possibly replaced.
You should avoid certain foods that could cause major damage to your braces. No matter what you eat, make the effort to cut your food into small pieces that can be chewed easily. This will prevent chunks of it from getting lodged between brackets.
Avoiding hard and chewy foods is also wise. Some foods can break your hardware: for example, popcorn, nuts, apples, gum, taffy, and hard candies. Avoiding any foods that easily got stuck in your teeth when you didn’t have braces is a good rule to follow.
The appliances in your mouth are bound to attract food particles and make it easier for plaque to build up. By making sure you brush and floss carefully every day, you can prevent stains and cavities from developing over time. Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team recommend brushing and making sure that food isn’t lodged between your braces after every meal.
Having braces can be very exciting, but it can also be challenging at first. Watching for these common issues during your first few weeks can prevent problems down the road. If you experience a lot of pain from your braces, contact our Midland, MI office and we can try to resolve any issues.
Braces can sometimes be a pain, but they’re well worth it once your new smile gets revealed!
November 30th, 2017
Although using mouthwash is certainly not the equal of brushing and flossing, it does have benefits for your dental hygiene. If you use mouthwash regularly, you should find out which type is best suited for your needs. Here are some things to think about the next time you’re at the store.
The first item to weigh is why you want to use mouthwash. If the reason involves a high risk for cavities, you should focus on a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Make sure to double-check the label, because some mouthwashes do not necessarily include fluoride.
If you’re looking for a mouthwash to fight gingivitis, select an oral rinse with antibacterial properties. Make sure to read labels and avoid picking one that contains alcohol. Antibacterial mouthwash would also be best for a patient who has periodontal disease.
Another option is prescription mouthwash. These should be discussed with Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and/or your pharmacist in order to avoid negative side effects. Pay close attention to the directions regarding how much to use and for how long. Keep in mind that some brands may lose their effectiveness if you use them on an ongoing basis.
For children, you can find a mouthwash that changes the color of plaque on their teeth. This is a fun way to help them understand how well they are brushing, and what areas they need to focus on. It can even be a tool for adults who have trouble reaching certain areas of their mouth.
While mouthwash is generally considered as a safe means to improve your oral health, you need to keep certain things in mind. Avoid using any mouthwash that has alcohol in it. If you are using a strong one, it can reduce your sense of taste over time. Be wary of a mouthwash that claims it can loosen plaque; this is not accurate and can mislead consumers.
We hope these simple suggestions will help you the next time you’re at the store. Make sure you pick the right mouthwash to keep that healthy smile! Feel free to contact Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis at our Midland, MI with any questions you may have.
November 23rd, 2017
Here is some surprising yet worthwhile advice you might be hearing for the first time: Brushing after a meal can be incredibly bad for your teeth if you do it after eating certain foods.
Enamel is an extremely hard mineral on the exterior of each of your teeth. It’s actually the hardest substance in the human body: It’s even stronger than your bones! Its only weakness is that acids in the food we eat can easily destroy enamel.
Healthy teeth thrive in an environment that has the proper pH balance. That ensures your mouth doesn’t start the process of demineralization. That’s what happens when alkaline turns into acid, which attacks and softens the enamel on the surface of your teeth. Pores and fissures form, and that’s when the harmful bacteria go to work.
Our mouth’s pH level fluctuates depending on what we eat throughout the day. Examples of the most common highly acidic foods include citrus fruits, soda, and sugary foods. Highly acidic foods tip the balance of pH in your mouth from a healthy alkaline to a dangerous acid.
Can brushing your teeth immediately after a meal lead to even more damage? The answer is yes!
Eating highly acidic foods causes your teeth to be more susceptible. If you brush your teeth when they have been weakened by acids, even more destruction can happen to your enamel. Your toothbrush’s bristles will actually wear away some of your enamel. So it’s healthier to wait at least an hour after eating or snacking to brush.
Good preventive measures to take instead of brushing after you eat include:
- Rinsing or drinking water
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Consuming dairy or non-acidic foods to conclude your meal
These practices help produce saliva, which in turn restores a healthy pH level in your mouth and coats the teeth with minerals they need.
Once you’ve allowed time for your mouth to be restored to a healthy pH level, you may brush your teeth as you normally would. Keep in mind that acidic foods can weaken the enamel on your teeth and take the right measures to prevent spiking pH levels.
Most important, don’t forget to wait to brush at least one hour after you eat!
Still have questions? Call our Midland, MI office and schedule an appointment with Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis.
November 16th, 2017
As we all know, or should by now, the key to maintaining great oral health is keeping up with a daily plan of flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash. These three practices in combination will help you avoid tooth decay and keep bacterial infections at bay.
At Davis & Davis Orthodontics, we’ve noticed that it’s usually not the toothbrush or floss that people have trouble picking, but the mouthwash.
Depending on the ingredients, different mouthwashes will have different effects on your oral health. Here are some ideas to take under consideration when you’re trying to decide which type of mouthwash will best fit your needs.
- If gum health is your concern, antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce bacteria near the gum line.
- If you drink a lot of bottled water, you may want to consider a fluoride rinse to make sure your teeth develop the level of strength they need.
- Generally, any mouthwash will combat bad breath, but some are especially designed to do so.
- Opt for products that are ADA approved, to ensure you aren’t exposing your teeth to harmful chemicals.
- If you experience an uncomfortable, burning sensation when you use a wash, stop it and try another!
Still have questions about mouthwash? Feel free to ask Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis during your next visit to our Midland, MI office! We’re always happy to answer your questions. Happy rinsing!