At Dr. Jennings Orthodontics, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Jennings.
Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Jennings if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.
We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!
There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at Dr. Jennings Orthodontics. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment?
Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decays can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.
Fluoride used in the dentist or orthodontist’s office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask your doctor how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.
When choosing your own fluoride product, be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!
We’ve all heard that biting your nails is an awful habit, but you many wonder- really- what’s so bad about it? Recently, Dr. Jennings found an interesting article that discusses how biting your nails affect your teeth and oral health.
Nail biting, also known as Onychophagia, is a common habit among various age groups, including primarily children, teens and young adults. Nail biting is generally triggered by stress and most often decreases with age. That being said, nail biting is unsanitary, unattractive, as well as unhealthy for your teeth!
- It’s unsanitary. Your nails are dirty, almost twice as dirty as your fingers! Hence, biting your nails is just asking for germs and bacteria.
- No good things come to your teeth. Nail biting causes your teeth to constantly be chewing, which is not good for them. This excessive motion wears your teeth down faster than a non-nail biters and puts a large amount of stress on your front teeth- contributing to teeth misalignment.
- Braces don’t love it it either. Braces already put pressure on teeth, nail biting ads unnecessary pressure, further stressing your teeth and weakening their roots.
- It can be costly. Nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over one lifetime, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Yikes!
What can you do about it?
Now that you know how harmful nail biting can be, it’s time to take action to break your nail biting habit. Try to be conscious of your fingernails and to keep them looking good- this will help you resist the temptation. Ask Dr. Jennings or visit the article for tips on how to break a nail biting habit.