Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month with Abra Dental
At Abra Dental, we believe orthodontic health is something to celebrate year-round. However, there is no better time to start prioritizing your orthodontic health than during National Orthodontic Health Month in October. To help you celebrate with us, we want to share some orthodontic essentials that will help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining.
When Should You See an Orthodontist?
While keeping up with orthodontic appointments is essential for maintaining peak oral health, you might be wondering when you should start seeing an orthodontist in the first place. It is never too late to improve your smile, but it is recommended that you first see an orthodontist as soon as orthodontic issues arise, typically by age seven. Common reasons to see an orthodontist include:
- Crowded teeth
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Misaligned teeth
- Jaw pain
- Protruding teeth
- Crossbite, underbite and overbite
Even if you or your child do not seem to have any oral health issues, an orthodontist will be able to spot any problems that could become more significant later on. Additionally, early treatment tends to make for a quicker and more seamless orthodontic journey. This is because our mouths are constantly growing and changing as we age, so it is easier to correct orthodontic problems while bones and teeth are still developing.
How Orthodontics Work to Improve Your Overall Oral Health
Brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash are all great habits for maintaining optimal oral health. However, this is just one aspect of taking care of your teeth and gums. Orthodontics provides an extra level of protection against gum disease and tooth decay by reducing the number of places where plaque can build up and making your teeth easier to clean.
Moreover, orthodontics can help improve your bite, which in turn helps you chew food more effectively and reduces the risk of jaw pain. Incorporating orthodontics into your oral health care plan is essential for keeping your smile healthy and strong. If you or your child are looking for a well-rounded approach to oral health, scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist is a great place to start.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Braces and Aligners
Having braces or wearing an aligner requires maintenance and care to ensure they remain clean and in good condition. Therefore, developing a daily routine that includes taking extra steps to care for your braces or retainer is crucial. Here are some tips for keeping your orthodontic appliances and teeth in mint condition:
Brush After Every Meal
Braces are prone to trapping food and bacteria, so it is critical to brush your teeth after every meal. If you are not able to brush your teeth right after eating, at the very least, rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash. Carrying a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste with you is a great way to ensure you are always prepared. Investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for cleaning around braces without damaging them. Be sure to brush gently and spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth thoroughly.
Floss and Clean Your Dental Appliances Daily
In addition to brushing your teeth, you should also floss at least once a day. This will help remove any food or bacteria that might be stuck in your braces. Initially, flossing with braces may be tricky and time-consuming, but with a bit of practice, you will get the hang of it in no time. There are also things like water flossers and interdental brushes that are designed specifically for cleaning those hard-to-reach places around your braces. As for aligners, it is important to brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle soap to demove any debris that may have accumulated on them during the day.
Avoid Chewy and Sticky Foods
Once you get braces, you will need to be mindful of the foods you eat. Chewy and sticky foods may damage your braces or even cause them to become loose. Therefore, avoiding things like gum, hard candy, caramel, beef jerky and taffy is best. Cutting food into smaller pieces and being careful when chewing may also help reduce the risk of damaging your braces. If you are unsure whether or not a certain food is safe to eat with braces, be sure to ask your orthodontist. They will be able to provide you with a list of food to avoid as well as some helpful tips for eating with braces.
Take Your Aligner Out When Eating
Furthermore, if you have a removable aligner, it is necessary to take it out when eating. This will reduce the risk of damaging your aligner or getting food stuck in it. Be sure to brush your teeth and rinse your aligner before putting it back in your mouth. It may be easy to forget to take your aligner out, so be diligent about it and set a reminder for yourself if needed. When you are not using your aligner, keeping it in a case is one of the best ways to prevent it from getting lost or damaged.
Do Not Try To Fix Your Braces
There may be times when a bracket comes loose or a wire sticks out of your braces. When this happens, it is important to resist the urge to try and fix it yourself. This could result in further damage. Instead, book an appointment with your orthodontist right away so they can fix it for you. If a wire is poking you, using orthodontic wax may provide relief until you are able to see your orthodontist. If a bracket comes loose, be sure to save it and bring it with you to your orthodontist appointment.
Choose Abra Dental This National Orthodontic Health Month
During this National Orthodontic Health Month, make your oral health a priority and choose Abra Dental for all your orthodontic needs. Whether you need assistance maintaining your current orthodontic treatment or are considering getting braces, Abra Dental has you covered. We offer a variety of dental services to meet the needs of you and your entire family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Together we can achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile you can be proud of.