Thursday, March 23, 2023

Eating With Orthodontic Appliances

Certain dietary habits are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances, as well as increase the risk of dental disease. Dr. Medina’s aim is to achieve treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage, and to minimize the side effects of poor diet choices.

Remember: Teeth move best in a healthy environment and in individuals who maintain excellent overall health. Make sure you choose a well-balanced diet.

When taking care of braces or an orthodontic appliance, softer foods are recommended…especially after an appointment when your mouth may be sore. Generally, if you have to question whether you can eat something with your appliance, it is better to avoid it altogether. Additionally, do not chew on non-food items such as pens, pencils, or fingernails.

Braces are attached to your teeth with a special orthodontic glue or cement that will withstand the normal forces of eating. However, brackets can be dislodged, and wires can be bent or broken after eating certain foods.

Foods and drinks that may cause cavities should be restricted while you are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances. Sticky foods are to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. Between-meal snacks should be confined to foods that lack refined sugar and should be followed by brushing or vigorous rinsing.

While you will have to avoid certain foods if you have orthodontic appliances, there are still plenty of healthy and delicious food options available to you. Some of the best foods to eat if you have orthodontic appliances are:

  • Yogurt 
  • Bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits without pits 
  • Light crackers or cookies 
  • Cheese 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Peanut butter and jelly 
  • Ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and other noodle dishes

Excellent oral hygiene with an orthodontic appliance, like braces or Invisalign clear aligners, is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. The right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss will make it easier to perform proper orthodontic care.

For most situations, common sense will tell you the specific foods to avoid. If you are unsure, please ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members to make sure that a food in question is safe to eat.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Many parents understand the importance of orthodontic treatment for teens to ensure they do not have any cosmetic or oral health concerns due to the alignment of their smile when they grow older, but early orthodontic treatment for your child can also be important.

Early orthodontic treatment, also called phase I treatment, is designed to help young children who still have some or all their primary teeth, which may prevent improper growth and alignment of permanent teeth. The primary goal of early orthodontic treatment is to address skeletal issues with the jaw and alignment before or soon after permanent teeth emerge.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. However, it is important to note that not every child requires early orthodontic treatment, but an early visit can provide Dr. Medina with a better idea of what treatment may be needed at a later age and what can be done during phase I to reduce the need for treatment later.

The best way to determine if your child can benefit from early orthodontic treatment is to consider visiting our office for a consultation, during which we can order dental X-rays and conduct an oral examination to see how the permanent teeth and the jaw are developing.

While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated.

Interceptive orthodontics solves problems while your child’s gums and jawbones are super pliable. These problems include some of the following:

  • Early loss of space preserving baby teeth and subsequent space stealing by other erupting teeth 
  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth 
  • Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side 
  • Very crowded teeth 
  • Facial asymmetry 
  • Extra or missing teeth 
  • Severely protruding teeth 
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all 
  • Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms. Dr. Medina may prescribe a fixed or removable appliance to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes.

Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

To give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile, visit Medina Orthodontics. No referral needed!


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