Posts for: August, 2016
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Find out how professional teeth whitening could turn dull smiles vibrant again.
It can be challenging to always keep your smile looking its whitest. Maybe you use whitening toothpaste everyday, or you stay away from sodas and other stain-causing drinks, but you still find yourself dealing with yellowing and stains. If this is the case then it’s time you talked to our Hampton, NH family dentist, Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko, about the benefits of professional teeth whitening.
Is Teeth Whitening Really Safe?
First and foremost, because it’s often on so many people’s minds, we want you to know that professional teeth whitening is completely safe and hasn’t been linked to any health problems. Of course, it’s important to note that professional teeth whitening is the safest way to get a whiter smile.
However, those who abuse whitening products or don’t follow instructions may experience increased sensitivity. To prevent tooth sensitivity, it’s often best that people consider getting teeth whitening from our Hampton dentist. She has received extensive training in cosmetic dentistry to give you the ultimate whitening experience.
Just How Effective is Teeth Whitening?
This will depend on the type of teeth whitening you choose and the type of dental stains you have. External stains caused by aging, foods, drinks and even smoking often respond best to teeth whitening, while internal stains caused by trauma, excessive fluoride use or certain medications will not respond as effectively.
If you choose to whiten your smile yourself with over-the-counter products, you won’t get fast or significant results. You may notice that after several weeks of consistent use that your smile is a touch whiter, but if you are really looking to get your smile several shades whiter quickly, it’s time to talk to us about our professional whitening systems.
Our in-office whitening system can transform smiles, making them several shades whiter in just one hour. If you need to revamp your smile before an interview or big event, this is often the best way to go. However, you can also talk to us about our at-home professional whitening system. It won’t get your smile whiter in one hour, but it can get smiles visibly whiter within a couple weeks of use. Plus, this system is stronger and more reliable than any whitening products that you might find at your local drugstore.
Teeth whitening is an amazing way to get your smile more radiant and to say goodbye to surface stains. If you are looking for a cosmetic procedure that will do just that then it’s time you turned to our Hampton, NH cosmetic dentist at Smiles by the Sea Family Dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!
We often don't realize how important something is until it's gone. Like saliva: you're usually not aware that it's cleaning the mouth, neutralizing mouth acid or helping with digestion. But that could change if your saliva flow drops below normal: your health may soon suffer with your mouth taking the brunt.
In particular, reduced saliva flow increases your risk for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Both diseases are linked to oral bacteria. While many of the myriad strains in the mouth are beneficial, a few bacteria can infect and inflame gum tissues. Bacteria also produce acid, which can soften and erode enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to decay.
Saliva inhibits bacteria in a number of ways. It first clears the mouth of leftover food so not as much stays behind to form bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth. You still need to brush and floss daily to remove plaque, but it's less effective without saliva's cleansing action. Saliva also contains antibodies that destroy disease-causing bacteria and other organisms, which keeps their populations in the mouth low.
One of saliva's most important functions, though, is buffering acid. The mouth's ideal pH level is neutral, but many foods we eat can cause it to become more acidic.Â Even a slight acidic rise after eating can soften the minerals in enamel. But saliva goes to work immediately and usually restores normal pH within a half hour to an hour. It also aids in re-mineralizing the enamel.
For these reasons, it's important for you to find out the cause of chronic dry mouth and treat it. If it's a side effect of your medication, talk to your doctor about an alternative, or drink more water before and after you take your dose. Certain products can also stimulate saliva flow, like chewing gum with xylitol, an alcohol-based sweetener that has dental health-protecting properties too.
Although you often don't notice this unsung bodily fluid swishing in your mouth, it's important that you take care of it. Keeping your saliva flowing will help ensure better oral health.
If you would like more information on the importance of saliva to health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saliva: How it is used to Diagnose Disease.”