Sugar and Orthodontic Treatment
May 27th, 2014
One word no one likes to hear is “cavity!”
For those patients of ours wearing braces, hearing that word is especially problematic, considering that delaying any dental work may result in delaying treatment time.
We often blame candy as the culprit behind tooth decay, but other foods and drinks that kids consume can be just as harmful to their teeth, and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Keeping your teeth or your child’s teeth from decay during treatment starts with a proper diet, and today, our team at Orthodontic Specialists will explain the negative effects that candy and other treats, including peanut butter, raisins, fruit juice, and chewy fruit snacks, have on your child’s teeth as he or she undergoes orthodontic treatment. Keep in mind that half of your child’s sugar intake may be coming from beverages that he or she drinks. A major offender is soda, but be mindful of fruit juices as well.
While sugar is known to sit in your child’s teeth and in between and under brackets and wires after consumption, it is important to know sugar is not the only cavity-causing culprit. Carbohydrates, starches, acids, and any food that is chewy or sticks break down into sugars, and can promote tooth decay.
So, what are the alternatives?
Candy such as dark chocolate, sugar-free gum, or anything that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, is not as harmful for your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. Sugar-free gum or gum that contains xylitol are known to reduce levels of bacteria on teeth.
And if you’re still looking for something to snack on, we recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables. You would also be surprised how much eating a banana or sipping on a glass of water helps you curb snack cravings.
If you’re one of those folks who just can’t stay away from sweets, we encourage you to brush your teeth immediately afterward and swish water in your mouth.
Whatever you eat, Dr. Kevin Ison and our team want you to remember to brush often, floss regularly, and visit your general dentist as your treatment progresses. If you have any questions about sugary foods or drinks, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!
Toothbrushing Mistake No.8: “Not Following up with a Rinse is Very Unhygienic”
January 02nd, 2014
Not following up with a rinse is very unhygienic when it comes to your overall oral health. Bacteria could build up on your toothbrush if you don’t rinse it well after usage. This bacteria can be placed back into your mouth every time you start brushing.
In short, you will be putting old bacteria in your mouth every time you intend to clean your teeth through brushing. It obviously defeats the purpose of brushing which is to make sure that your mouth is clean and free of plaque.
According to Laurence Rifkin (DDS, a dentist in Beverly Hills, California), putting old bacteria in your mouth should be avoided by rinsing your toothbrush well and letting it dry right after using it.
Aside from the fact that is very unhygienic not to rinse your toothbrush well, it can also lead to various digestive problems in the future.Therefore, if you want to have a healthy mouth and body, start by cleaning your toothbrush correctly right after using it.
If you have toothbrush cover, make sure it can let the air pass through to get rid of moisture which is the breeding ground of bacteria. These tips can actually prevent bacteria staying on your tooth brush. So always remember to rinse your toothbrush well right after using.
Toothbrushing Mistake No. 6 “Does Starting in the Same Place Each Time When Brushing Matter?”
November 26th, 2013
Experts say that starting in the same place each time when brushing could have a great impact on your overall oral health. Dr. Richard H. Price, DMD, the consumer advisor for the American Dental Association stressed that most people start in the same part or quadrant of their mouth over and over again.
Starting in the same place each time makes you get lazy, covering the same place every time you’re brushing your teeth. This means that other parts of your mouth and teeth get less effort which may in turn increase cavity build up and tooth decay.
Studies also show that most right handed individuals start at the upper left corner of their mouth when brushing, yet left handed people start at the upper right corner of their mouth. Since the initial effort put into brushing teeth is higher and decreases accordingly as we are about to finish brushing, the last parts of the mouth being cleaned will suffer.
At the end of the brushing cycle the most common areas cleaned include inner surfaces, chewing surfaces, and the back of the teeth. In order to avoid uneven wear out, you need to start brushing on alternate sides of your mouth. This way you can ensure all teeth have equal chances of getting cleaned thoroughly.
Toothbrushing Mistake No.5 “Not Brushing Correctly”
November 14th, 2013
Not brushing correctly is a common mistake for most people. Brushing for the recommended frequency and duration is good but it won’t work unless you are doing it properly. So are there routines to follow when it comes to brushing the teeth?
When cleaning your teeth, there is a certain checklist which needs to be completed. All teeth including gums, tongue, and other parts of the mouth should be cleaned, not just the teeth. First, wet your brush and squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on it.
Gently brush your teeth in a circular or vertical motion but make sure not to brush across your teeth. Then, clean each tooth by working your way around your mouth. It’s easier if you can divide your mouth into four quadrants so you can evenly spend 30 seconds for each of the quadrant.
When brushing your molars, position the brush perpendicular to your teeth so the bristles will be on top of your bottom molars. You can move the brush from the back of your mouth to the front in an in-and-out motion.
Next, brush the inner surfaces of your teeth including the insides of the lower front teeth and upper front teeth. After making sure all of the teeth are brushed, gently brush your tongue. After doing so, rinse your mouth to prevent ingesting the fluoride. You also need to rinse your toothbrush after brushing and have it dry before storing it to prevent bacteria build up.
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