July 5th, 2019
When you start wearing braces, it can become a challenge to clean certain areas of your mouth. If these areas are neglected for long periods of time, though, decay and stains can form on your teeth.
Your mouth will require extra attention while you have your braces on. This can include using a special toothbrush to reach those spots, flossing every day, getting fluoride treatments, avoiding certain foods, and making sure to visit your dentist. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to prevent decay during treatment.
When you get your braces on, Dr. Mark Garlington will give you an interdental toothbrush that can be used to get to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. The brush has bristles that can easily remove food residue stuck between the wires in your mouth. We may also suggest using a WaterPik, which pulses a pressurized stream of water to remove excess food particles.
Brushing and flossing every day should always be a part of your oral health regimen, but this becomes especially crucial when you have braces. If food gets stuck between braces and sits on your teeth, decay and staining will start to occur. Dr. Mark Garlington and our team recommend flossing at least once a day, and brushing and using mouthwash after every meal as long as you have braces.
If you don’t have the time, make sure at least to swish your mouth really well with water after you eat. It’s especially important to follow these steps after consuming sugary foods or beverages. It’s best to avoid sweets altogether when you have braces.
Making sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning can also help to prevent any decay from damaging your teeth while your teeth are encased in braces. Your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that’s built up since your last cleaning.
Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy during orthodontic care with braces. Follow these tips and you’ll keep your teeth beautiful and healthy for the day your new smile is finally revealed!
June 28th, 2019
Many people undergo orthodontic treatment during childhood, adolescence, and even into adulthood. Wearing orthodontic appliances like braces is sure to produce a beautiful smile. Though orthodontic treatments at Dr. Mark Garlington Orthodontics are designed to accommodate your lifestyle, chances are you will need to make some dietary modifications to prevent damage to your braces and prolong orthodontic treatment.
The First Few Days with Braces
The first few days wearing braces may be the most restrictive. During this time, the adhesive is still curing, which means you will need to consume only soft foods. This probably will not be a problem, however, as your teeth may be tender or sensitive while adjusting to the appliances.
Orthodontic Dietary Restrictions
You can eat most foods normally the way you did without braces. However, some foods can damage orthodontic appliances or cause them to come loose. Examples of foods you will need to avoid include:
- Chewy foods like taffy, chewing gum, beef jerky, and bagels
- Hard foods like peanuts, ice chips, and hard candy
- Crunchy foods like chips, apples, and carrots
How to Continue to Eat the Foods You Love Most
Keep in mind that you may still be able to enjoy some of the foods you love by making certain modifications to the way you eat them. For example, steaming or roasting carrots makes them softer and easier to consume with braces. Similarly, you can remove corn from the cob, or cut up produce like apples and pears to avoid biting into them. Other tips include grinding nuts into your yogurt or dipping hard cookies into milk to soften them. If you must eat hard candies, simply suck on them instead of biting into them.
If you have any question whether a food is safe to eat during your treatment with Dr. Mark Garlington Orthodontics, we encourage you to err on the side of caution. Of course, you can always contact our Long Beach, California office with any questions you have about your diet and the foods that should be avoided during treatment. By following our dietary instructions and protecting your orthodontic appliances from damage, you will be back to chewing gum in no time.
June 21st, 2019
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children should start at around age seven. Dr. Mark Garlington can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs early on to see if orthodontic treatment is recommended for your son or daughter.
Below, we answer common questions parents may have about the benefits of early childhood orthodontics.
What does early orthodontic treatment mean?
Early orthodontic treatment usually begins when a child is eight or nine years old. Typically known as Phase One, the goal here is to correct bite problems such as an underbite, as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. This phase also helps make room in the mouth for teeth to grow properly, with the aim of preventing teeth crowding and extractions later on.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
The characteristics and behavior below can help determine whether your little one needs early treatment.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Late loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- The child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- The jaw shifts when the child opens or closes the mouth
- The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
Jaw bones do not harden until children reach their late teens. Because children’s bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces are easier and often faster than they would be for adults.
Early treatment at our Long Beach, California office can enable your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, and surgery in adulthood. Talk with Dr. Mark Garlington today to see if your child should receive early orthodontic treatment.
June 14th, 2019
If you’re thinking about investing in braces, there are a few things you should take into consideration. It’s normal for adult teeth to come in crooked, which is why braces are a common solution for teens and adults who desire a beautiful smile.
Your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment if crooked teeth begin to affect your or your child’s oral health. But many factors go into whether braces would be right for you or your child, or not.
Modern orthodontic treatments offer numerous options for the typical issues people face, such as crooked teeth or jaw alignment problems. Malocclusion, otherwise known as having a bad bite, is common in patients with crooked teeth.
Braces can be worn for a short period of time to correct uneven jaw alignment, which may be the cause of an underbite or overbite in patients. A retainer is worn afterward to keep the newly straightened teeth in place.
Now that one in five braces wearers is an adult, grownups have a variety of braces options. Braces are typically left on for at least one year to straighten teeth effectively. Options can include regular metal braces, clear braces, or Invisalign® aligners.
If you’re an adult and would prefer a discreet treatment, clear braces or Invisalign retainers are your best options. Dr. Mark Garlington will be able to provide you with a recommended best route of treatment depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and what your budget is. Before getting braces, it’s worth learning about all the methods of treatment available at Dr. Mark Garlington Orthodontics.
Be sure to contact your insurance company before your appointment to see if orthodontic treatments are covered; otherwise, you may want to plan to pay for out-of-pocket costs. If you have questions regarding the types of treatment we provide for our patients, call our Long Beach, California office for more information.