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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.

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:

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 Waterpik 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

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 your 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.

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