3 Tips to Alleviate Pain from Dental Braces

It can be a challenge going through the discomforts of orthodontic treatments. To provide assistance, here are 3 tips on how to alleviate pain from dental braces:

Oral Anesthetic
Orajel and Anbesol are a few pain relievers that can be applied directly to your teeth and gums. Use a cotton swab or your finger to apply the numbing gel to the areas of discomfort. The gel may not taste fantastic, but it does help to desensitize the mouth and decrease the pain of shifting teeth. Source: Acceledent

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can offer some relief from the discomfort of braces. Take a dose of acetaminophen (usually two tablets) every four hours. Be sure to eat food with this medication, as it can cause an upset stomach if taken by itself. Drink a full glass of water to wash it down.

  • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure proper dosage
  • You can also take ibuprofen (Advil) instead of Tylenol, although some dentists and orthodontists discourage ibuprofen because it can slow down the process of your teeth moving. At the very least, do not take both kinds of medication – choose one! Source: wikiHow

Having Loose Brackets and Wires Fixed or Adjusted
A more common source of braces pain comes from the metal pieces that can poke gums and rub against the inside of your mouth. According to KidsHealth.org, wires and brackets can sometimes come lose and sit uncomfortably in your mouth; not only is this painful, but it affects the course of braces treatment. Go to your orthodontist to have this problem fixed. The wires can also sometimes be too long at the back of your mouth and poke your gums painfully. If this happens, go to the orthodontist and have them trim the wire, see if you can bend it slightly yourself, or put dental wax over the tip to smooth out the sharp end. Brackets, rubber band hooks and wires can also just rub against your mouth uncomfortably and cause sores. If this happens, cover the offending bracket with dental wax, or put a topical pain reliever such as Anbesol over the sore. Source: LiveStrong

Although you may experience pain from your dental braces, any discomfort will be worth it in the end when you have your braces removed and you’re left with a perfectly aligned smile! If you want to know more about orthodontic treatments, please give us a call or contact us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Benefits of Dental Cleanings

Consistent, regular dental cleanings have a multitude of benefits, such as: removing plaque and tartar deposits, preventing bad breath and boosting overall health.

Below is more information on these 3 benefits of dental cleanings:

Removing Plaque and Tartar Deposits
Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth colored and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in color. Source: DentalFearCentral

Preventing Bad Breath
Dental studies show that about 85 percent of people with persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis have a dental problem that is to blame. Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing bad breath. Regular checkups and cleanings are the best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene. Source: Dentistry.About.com

Boosting Overall Health
Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam. Source: DeltaDentalins

Poor oral hygiene may lead to a variety of dental and medical problems which is why it is important to have regular dental cleanings.  If you have any questions or need further assistance, please give us a call or contact us here.

 

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Tips to Make Flossing with Braces Easier

Flossing can be challenging for people who are wearing braces. Check out these 3 tips to make flossing with braces easier which will help teeth to stay healthy while they’re being straightened.

Use the Right Tool
Using floss on teeth with braces is difficult and frustrating. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in nearly any store that sells toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is indispensable when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gum line. Source: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/sw-281474979036806

Figure out the Proper Flossing Technique
Flossing can be downright impossible on those back molars, so take it slowly. After a while you’ll figure out a technique or two, and it will go faster. (For example, using your finger to guide the floss threader so it doesn’t get stuck under your lips). Ask you orthodontist how often you should floss. Maybe you’ll only have to do it a couple of times a week! And by the way, if you have any small gaps between your molars (or if you develop any gaps in the course of your treatment), be especially diligent about flossing those areas. Foods (especially shreds of meat) get stuck in small gaps very easily, and often aren’t revealed until you floss! Source: http://www.archwired.com/4-Living_with_braces_on_your_teeth.htm

Help Younger Children Floss
Young children that wear braces are not expected to floss on their own as they lack the dexterity required to do it properly. Parents need to do it for them in many cases. This can be quite difficult, especially if a child is unable to sit still. The parent must come up with a way to keep the child occupied, such as sitting where he/she can watch television. Source: http://www.waterflosserhq.com/a-guide-to-flossing-with-braces/

Orthodontic care is important in maintaining a healthy smile. If you want to know more about orthodontic treatments, please give us a call or contact us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Common Myths and Facts of Orthodontic Treatments

There are some common myths associated with braces that discourage many people from getting the dental care they need. In this article we’ll discuss 3 common myths and the corresponding facts about orthodontic treatments.

Myth: Braces are just for kids.
Fact: According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. It’s never too late to correct problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position, or jaw-joint disorders. The biological process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age, although it may take longer for an adult than a child or adolescent. Source: http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/adult/orthodontics/22,DD109

Myth: Braces are the only treatment for alignment issues.
Fact: Braces are still the most common treatment, but alternatives are now available. Invisalign, for example, is quickly becoming one of the most popular orthodontic treatments because it delivers the benefits of braces while being nearly invisible. An orthodontist can help you explore your options. Source: http://happytoothnc.com/top-10-myths-of-orthodontic-treatment/

Myth: Braces are painful and take two years or more for the desired result.
Fact: After the adjustment period, like breaking in a new pair of shoes, braces are comfortable. Some may be worn for months, not years. Source: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/braces/unitek/resources/myths-about-braces/

For more information on the orthodontic treatment options available to you, contact us now or email us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign braces are a great alternative to permanently correct your alignment issues without experiencing many of the drawbacks of traditional braces.  Read on to learn about some benefits of Invisalign braces.

No Food Restrictions
Traditional braces make cleaning your teeth more difficult. The brackets and wires can also become damaged if you hazard to eat hard or sticky foods. Invisalign® mouthpieces, on the other hand, are removable, allowing the patient to continue enjoying the foods they love, and cleaning their teeth afterwards with no more difficulty than they had before undergoing this orthodontic treatment. Invisalign® should be worn at least 22 hours a day – but that gives you an ample two hours each day to enjoy any foods you choose, and subsequently brush and floss all traces of them from your teeth. Source: http://www.docshop.com/education/dental/orthodontics/invisalign

Avoid Pain and Irritation from Metal Wires
The metal wires in traditional braces are notorious for causing pain, discomfort, and mouth sores. And since the treatment is long term, patients are forced to live in discomfort for months. Invisalign straighteners are made of smooth plastic that is carefully molded to your teeth for a comfortable, pain-free fit. Source: http://happytoothnc.com/benefits-invisalign-traditional-braces/

Appearance
Metal braces can cause the appearance of the mouth to be unattractive, as though it is filled with awkward chunks of unsightly metal.  They are noticeable, especially on an adult, and can get food caught in them without the wearer even being aware of it.  Invisalign® clear braces are barely noticeable.  They look very much as though the person wearing them is not wearing braces at all.  They are decidedly more attractive than metal braces. Source: http://www.123dentist.com/5-advantages-of-invisalign-over-traditional-braces/

If you want to know which orthodontic treatments can best suit your needs, contact us now or email us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Things You Should Know About Fluoride

Fluoride can provide several benefits when it comes to orthodontic problems. There are a few important things you should know about fluoride, such as: the benefits of fluoride, fluoride treatments and use of fluoride with children.

Below are 3 things you should know about fluoride:

 

Benefits of Fluoride
Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit. In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel. Source:MouthHealthy

Fluoride Treatments
If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities add fluoride to their public water supplies to help reduce tooth decay. You can find out if your water is fluoridated by calling your local water district, or by having your water analyzed if it comes from a private well. Source: Colgate

Fluoride with Children
Fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s developing teeth. In young children, excess fluoride intake can cause dental fluorosis, typically a harmless cosmetic discoloring or mottling of the enamel, visible as chalky white specks and lines or pitted and brown stained enamel on teeth. Parents should monitor the use of toothpaste, mouth rinses and fluoride supplements in young children to ensure they are not ingesting too much. Check with your dentist on the proper amount of toothpaste to use or the proper dosage of a fluoride supplement. If you are concerned about the fluoride levels in your drinking water, call the local public water department or your water supplier. If the source is a private well, request a fluoride content analysis from your local or county health department to ensure that the fluoride levels are within the proper range. Source: DeltaDentalIns

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Benefits of Water Flossers

Gum disease is a root cause of bad breath and tooth loss. To help prevent gum disease, dental professionals encourage us to floss daily.  There are many different options for flossing, one of which is using a water flosser.

Below are 3 benefits of using a water flosser:

Water Flosser for Teeth

For People with Braces

One benefit of a Waterpik is that it’s gentle on the gums and is less likely to cause bleeding in people with sensitive gums, according to Hayes. A Waterpic is also ideal for people who wear braces — water will get behind the metal wires and flush out food particles. A Waterpik is sometimes recommended for people who have active gum disease because it flushes out bacteria from deep pockets that form when gums pull away from the teeth that floss can’t reach. Source: LiveStrong

For Controlling Gingivitis

A study conducted by the University of Nebraska in 2005 found that water flossers are more than 50 percent more effective at controlling gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that’s often the forerunner of more serious gum disease. Flossers also reduce the risk of bleeding gums during cleaning by up to 93 percent. There’s something else to consider, too. A flossing study of children and young adults with braces found that using a Waterpik was not only more effective at removing food particles and bacteria from orthodontic appliances than string flossing, but the participants enjoyed using the water flosser more than the manual method. Flossing isn’t a very popular personal care activity. Only 13.5 percent of Americans claim they floss daily, and anything that increases a person’s likelihood of flossing regularly equates to less gum disease and fewer cavities. Source: HowStuffWorks

For People with Diabetes

People with diabetes tend to be at greater risk for periodontal disease and often have more severe gingival inflammation. A study on people with diabetes found that those who used the Water Flosser for three months had a 44% better reduction in bleeding and a 41% better reduction in gingivitis over those who did not use the Water Flosser. Source: RDHMag

For more information, contact us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Signs You Need Braces

There are several signs that might indicate that you need an orthodontic treatment such as braces. In this article we’ll discuss 3 of those signs, including: crowded or crooked teeth, space or bite problems and recommendations from a dentist or orthodontist.

Below are 3 signs that you might need braces:

Happy Teen with Braces

Crowded or Crooked Teeth

These are called malocclusions. Warning signs include teeth that look as though they’re sitting sideways, teeth that overlap each other, and teeth that protrude significantly farther than the surrounding teeth. Crowding is the most common issue addressed by braces. To determine whether your teeth are crowded, you can use dental floss. If floss is very difficult to slide between teeth, your teeth may be crowded too closely together. Source: WikiHow

Space Bite Problems

Most orthodontic problems are genetic, meaning you inherited your space or bite problems. Others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental decay, accidents, or poor nutrition. Or there is not enough room in the jaws for the teeth so they become crowed or crooked, or the jaws don’t line up properly. Source: DeltaDental

Dentist or Orthodontist Recommendations

The stimulus to seek orthodontic treatment can come from you or your dentist. Your dentist may recommend braces if he notices conditions in your mouth that are unhealthy. These conditions may include not being able to clean the teeth due to their alignment, abnormal or excessive wear, or inappropriate function. You also may have other dental problems that he could better correct if your teeth were straighter. On the other hand, you may be the one who feels you that you need treatment. Source: RealSelf

If you want to learn more about how we can help with orthodontic treatments, please give us a call or contact us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064

(816) 373-0300

3 Tips On Flossing With Braces

Flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums. This is especially true when you’re wearing braces. Read on to learn some important tips on flossing with braces.

Below are 3 tips on flossing with braces:

Index Finger of Someone Flossing

Image Source: Flickr

Spend Three Times on your Oral Care

Be prepared to spend three times as long on your oral care while you have braces on your teeth. Don’t worry, it’s worth the time-if you don’t pay attention to oral hygiene while your teeth are being realigned, you increase your risk of gum disease. Plus, it can help your teeth look that much better when it’s finally time to get your braces removed. Source: OralB

Use the Right Tool

Using floss on teeth with braces is difficult and frustrating. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in nearly any store that sells toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is indispensable when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gum line. Source: Colgate

Use Waxed Floss if Possible

When you’re flossing with braces, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of metal pieces and corners to catch your floss on. Because of this, you’ll want to use thin wax-coated floss whenever you can. Unwaxed, thread-like floss is much more likely to get stuck to your braces. The amount of floss you should use can vary slightly based on the size of your mouth and your hands. Most dental resources recommend a piece about 12-18 inches long. Source: WikiHow

Hopefully these tips we’ll be able to assist you in keeping your teeth’s health while wearing braces. If you would like to learn more or find out if orthodontic treatment is right for you, please give us a call or contact us here.

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300

3 Ways to Deal With Dental Emergencies

This is a more of a “general dentistry” post then we usually do, but we wanted to share some tips on how to deal with a dental emergency …just in case. Dental emergencies can happen to anyone and it’s important to be prepared. Here are 3 tips on how to handle a dental emergency:

1. Tooth that has been knocked out – Grasp your lost tooth by the crown and rinse its root if it is dirty, avoiding scrubbing the tooth or removing pieces of tissue that may be attached. You can attempt to reinsert the tooth into its socket in your mouth, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to see your dentist quickly. The American Dental Association recommends placing the tooth in milk, which acts as a preservative until you can get to a professional. Source: Everyday Health

2. Injury on soft tissue of the mouth – Injuries inside the mouth include tears or cuts, puncture wounds, and lacerations to the cheek, lips, or tongue. The wound should be cleaned immediately with warm water, and the injured person should be taken directly to an oral surgeon for emergency care. If you can’t get to an oral surgeon, the patient should be taken to the hospital. Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound. Source: Know Your Teeth

3. Chipped or broken teeth – Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible. Source: WebMD

If you have any further questions feel free to contact our office!

Contact:
Lakewood Orthodontics
721 NE Lakewood Blvd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
(816) 373-0300