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Midlothian Orthodontist | Living with Braces: Potential Issues to Consider

Midlothian VA Orthodontist

orthodonitcs in midlothianBraces are a common rite of passage for many people, and, thankfully, they have become more comfortable over the years. People generally have few problems with their braces outside of the expected minor discomfort. However, depending on your lifestyle, there are potential risks to consider. Below are some common issues that you might experience and tips on how to avoid them.

Mouth Injuries

Most people know the importance of wearing a mouth guard when participating in high impact sports such as football or hockey. However, when you have braces, even a fall from running can pose a threat to your lips. Ask our doctor about getting a mouthguard for all physical activity as it will act as a safeguard and protect your lips from potential damage.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

When you have braces, it’s important to still practice good oral hygiene. Since flossing and careful brushing require greater effort, it can be easy to slack off in these areas. However, doing so will only further complicate your treatment and damage your teeth. There are plenty of tools at your disposal designed to help you clean around braces, from pre-threaded floss to pressurized water tools. If you’re having difficulty adapting your regular routine, ask the orthodontist about different options that can help.

Activity-Related Issues

There are some inconveniences that can arise when trying to add braces into your day-to-day routine. Certain musicians for example might experience discomfort when getting used to playing with braces. People who sing or do extensive public speaking might have some minor issues with pronunciation or discomfort caused by your lips rubbing against the metal. Most of these issues will fix themselves as you get used to living with braces. However if the discomfort persists, ask your orthodontist about the different relief options you have.

Most individuals who have braces do not have any long-term complications throughout their treatment. However, there are smaller issues that can arise when you are first adjusting to your braces that can become a big annoyance if left unaddressed. By knowing what to expect and raising any concerns or issues you might have with your orthodontist, you will be much more prepared to tackle these small issues. Contact our office today to schedule your next visit.

313 Schofield Drive
MidlothianVA 23113
(804) 464-8711

Midlothian VA Orthodontist | Braces or Invisalign®: What’s Right For Me?

 Orthodontist in Midlothian VA

 

Orthodontist in Midlothian VAWhether its for purely cosmetic reasons or to correct a misaligned bite, many people seek orthodontic treatment to help improve their smile. Braces and Invisalign® are both popular options used for straightening teeth. Though both can be incredibly effective, each has their own unique strengths that can help determine which is better for your particular needs.

Benefits of Braces

Braces are a time-tested method for correcting problems with tooth alignment. As braces have become more comfortable, they are now much less inconvenient to wear. Whether you want fun colors or a more subtle look, braces are a good solution for patients of all ages. Since braces are completely customizable to the needs of your teeth, they are often the best solution for more complex cases where teeth need to be dramatically realigned to create a better bite.

Benefits of Invisalign®

Invisalign® is a newer, less invasive approach to orthodontic care. Unlike braces, which are permanently fixed on your teeth for the duration of treatment, Invisalign® uses a series of custom-made trays to help slowly shift your teeth into a more optimal smile. Invisalign® is a great solution for those needing less intensive treatment. Being able to remove the trays when eating and brushing your teeth reduces the inconvenience of treatment and makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.

Which is Right For Me?

As we have seen, both braces and Invisalign® offer great solutions. The best way figure out what will help you the most is to speak with our team. We will give you a full evaluation of what your mouth needs and help you decide the best treatment plan accordingly. To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

313 Schofield Drive
MidlothianVA 23113
(804) 464-8711

Orthodontist in Midlothian | Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

Orthodontist in 23113

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines.

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger.

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar.

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our team suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks.

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health.

To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

313 Schofield Drive
MidlothianVA 23113
(804) 464-8711

Orthodontist in Midlothian | When Should My Child Get Braces?

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

orthodonitcs in midlothianBraces can help create a straight, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Ideally, any corrections to the bite, jaw, or mouth structure should be performed during adolescence while the mouth is still forming. Here’s what you need to know before your child begins treatment with braces.

Why Get Braces?

Braces are used to correct improper bites. If you child has an overbite or underbite, braces may be recommended along with another orthodontic appliance to shift the jaw. Additionally, braces are used to correct gaps between teeth as well as teeth that are growing in a crooked position.

The Importance of Starting Early

Braces are more effective in younger patients because the jaw structure is still malleable. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of orthodontic treatment cases typically begin between the ages of 8 and 14. Your child’s particular course of treatment is going to be dependent on a number of factors including mouth structure and the progress of erupting adult teeth.

Braces Can Improve Your Child’s Life

It may be difficult for your child to imagine an extended period of time without being able to eat sticky, gummy foods or chew bubblegum, however there are numerous benefits to your child’s overall health and well-being that can be achieved with braces. By straightening teeth and closing gaps, your child’s gum health will be improved. Braces can prevent dental complications later in life such as the need for more advanced corrective procedures. Your child’s confidence will also be boosted once they see the results of a straight, beautiful smile.

We invite you and your child to discuss the benefits of having braces with our team. During your appointment, we will provide a complete examination and make a recommendation for a treatment plan that will work best for your child.

To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

Midlothian Orthodontist | Your Guide to Eating with Braces

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

orthodonitcs in midlothianWhile undergoing orthodontic treatment, careful consideration should be taken when eating. It is possible to damage your braces from certain types of foods leading to a potentially painful and expensive experience. We’ve put together this short guide to help you decide which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.

Don’t Eat These Foods

Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are the enemy of braces. Avoid any candy or food that could become stuck in your braces. This includes taffy and chewing gum. Stay away from popcorn, as the kernels can become lodged between your brackets. Hard, crunchy foods should also be avoided. This includes foods such as nuts.

Use Caution When Eating These

You don’t have to completely give up your favorite foods with braces, just use caution. For example, corn should be removed off the cob before eating. If you are a chicken wings or ribs lover, be sure the bones have been removed before digging in to eat. Don’t let your braces become an excuse for avoiding fruits. Never bite directly into apples and pears, but slice them into smaller pieces.

Add These to Your Diet

Most meats and grains are safe for braces, if you eat bite-sized pieces. Additionally, soft fruits such as bananas and peaches can be added to your diet. Soft, easy to chew foods are going to be your safest options. This includes meals such as mashed potatoes, soups and yogurts.

Eating with braces can be a challenge, but our team is here to help you determine the best food choices while undergoing orthodontic treatment. You should still eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Follow our team’s directions to ensure your braces achieve their desired results. What food do you think you will treat yourself to after your treatment is completed?

To schedule your orthodontic visit, please contact our team.

Midlothian Orthodontist | Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

Orthodontist in 23113What makes teeth sensitive?

If the idea of biting into an ice cream sandwich makes you cringe, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is often caused by movement of fluid in the dentin – the soft inner tissue beneath the enamel of your tooth. This motion irritates the tooth nerve, creating a tingling sensation and sometimes pain.

Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is when the tiny tubes of fluid in the dentin become exposed. This can happen due to tooth wear, receding gums, or damage to the tooth. When this occurs, pain is caused by eating or drinking foods that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic, and even through contact or exposure to air.

Whitening and orthodontic treatment may cause temporary teeth sensitivity. In most cases, this type will disappear within a week or two. In severe cases of tooth sensitivity, the tooth nerve itself may be exposed, causing severe pain and irritation and requiring immediate treatment.

What can you do about the sensitivity?

If you are suffering from sensitivity in your teeth, tell your hygienist or dentist at your next dental visit. They may need to screen for more serious underlying causes that could need treatment. They will also be able to recommend your best method of managing your discomfort.

Is tooth sensitivity preventable?

Some forms of sensitivity are preventable. Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes and do not brush aggressively. This can cause higher levels of tooth wear that lead to sensitivity. If you participate in sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from trauma. Chipped and cracked teeth often become sensitive.

Once serious underlying issues have been ruled out, you can help to manage mildly sensitive teeth with special toothpastes that are designed to decrease your sensitivity. If these do not provide sufficient relief, ask whether a prescription product may be needed.

If you have sensitivity in your teeth, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can help.

Midlothian Orthodontist | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

Orthodontist in 23113An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.

Midlothian Orthodontist | Relief for Common Braces Issues

Orthodontist in Midlothian

Braces are a safe, effective way to correct the alignment of your teeth. For some orthodontic patients, minor irritation or other issues can occur. For your reference, we’ve compiled a guide to understanding how to best handle a few issues you might experience.

I Am Experiencing Discomfort with My Braces

Minor discomfort for the first few days after placement or adjustment is normal. We advise sticking to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods. You may find it helpful to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If discomfort continues beyond the first week, contact our office for guidance.

Food Is Caught Between My Teeth

It may take some time to adjust to eating with your braces. If food gets caught between your teeth, try using floss. Creating a small knot in the floss might make it more effective at catching the lodged piece of food. Small toothbrushes or interdental cleaners may also be an effective way to clean out the gaps between your teeth and in brackets. A toothpick may also work, but use extra caution when working around the wires of your braces.

My Braces Are Irritating My Mouth

Wires and brackets can rub against your lips or inner cheeks causing discomfort. In these instances, use non-medicinal relief wax to cover the problematic area. This can make eating and talking more comfortable. The wax is harmless if accidentally swallowed.

A Wire Is Sticking Out

Though not common, wires can shift and protrude into your mouth. Attempt to push the wire back into place against your teeth using a cotton swab or even a clean pencil eraser. Make sure to let us know about the issue during your next visit.

A Bracket, Wire, or Band is Loose

Any loosening of your braces should be examined by our team. Loosening of the appliance may occur from eating hard, crunchy foods or from playing contact sports. Your best defenses are avoiding troublesome foods and wearing a mouth guard if you are playing sports. If any part of your braces is removed, please save it and bring it with you to our office.

Adjusting to braces can take some time. Always have non-medicinal relief wax on hand in case your braces become an irritant. If your braces are loose or parts are falling off, please contact us immediately. The best way to keep your braces secure is to avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods. Don’t forget to brush thoroughly after each meal to clean out any food particles that may have become lodged between your teeth.

For questions about your braces, please contact our office.

Midlothian Orthodontist | Caring for Your Retainer: 5 Helpful Tips

Orthodontist in Midlothian

Orthodontist in MidlothianWe understand how easy it can be to forget about your retainer. Once you get used to having one, it can become second nature to regularly care for it. For those who are new to retainers, however, it can be tricky to remember to take care of your new appliance. We’ve assembled a list of five tips to help you get started in the right direction.

  1. Keep It In, Unless…

Your retainer should be worn for the entire day. Without it, your orthodontic treatment results will suffer. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. Do take out your retainer while you eat, clean it, during sports, and as directed by your dentist and our doctor. Otherwise, keep it in!

  1. Use Your Case

Your retainer will come with a case to store it in. When it’s out of your mouth, use the case. We’ve heard many horror stories of patients putting their retainer in a napkin while they eat, only to throw it away by mistake. A replacement retainer can be costly, so treat yours with care.

  1. Clean it Regularly

Your retainer needs to be kept clean. Like your teeth, plaque and bacteria can build up on it, which can be harmful to your teeth. We recommend cleaning your retainer every time you brush. Rinse your retainer with water, then use toothpaste and your toothbrush to give a gentle scrubbing. Rinse it off a final time before putting it back in your mouth.

  1. Be Careful of Sports

Contact sports pose a risk of damaging your retainer. Even non-contact sports may cause you to experience some degree of facial trauma. While playing sports, your retainer should be removed and placed in its protective case. Ask about a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth during these activities.

  1. Visit Us

While receiving orthodontic treatment, we will schedule a series of appointments with you to measure your progress. These visits are important for ensuring your results are maintained. They allow our team to make sure your retainer continues to fit properly, as well.

It may take some time to become comfortable with caring for your retainer. Follow our guide to stay on track. Keeping your retainer clean is just as important as keeping your teeth clean. Don’t forget to remove your retainer while eating, and always use the case to store it when it is not in your mouth.

For more retainer care tips or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.

Orthodontist Midlothian | Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks

Midlothian Orthodontist

Athletes often drink sports drinks during exercise, so it can be easy to believe that these drinks provide important nutrients to help keep you healthy and active. Young adults frequently consume energy drinks to help them stay awake and active for school, work, or play. However, both sports drinks and energy drinks can have profoundly negative impacts on your teeth and your health.

With so many different beverages on the market, it can be difficult to know what classifies a one as a sports drink or energy drink.

Sports drinks, like Gatorade and similar products, were originally created for high-performing athletes. They provide sugar for quick energy and sodium and electrolytes to help stave off dehydration that can occur with intense physical activity. This can be highly useful in the short term, but do not provide any significant health benefit outside this very narrow window of intended use. Even highly active adults are better served by drinking water instead of sugary, acidic sports drinks.

Energy drinks are beverages which generally contain higher levels of caffeine than other sodas. Popular brands such as Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar fall into this category. Energy drinks can lead to increased heart rate and stress on the nervous system. This makes them potentially dangerous in combination with exercise, particularly for those with heart conditions. In addition to the added sugars and acids they contain, Caffeine is also a natural diuretic, so can lead to dehydration, dry mouth, and other complications

The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying teeth in as little as five days. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erode or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay.

More than one third of adolescents, or children between grades 6 and 12, drink a sports drink each week. As a comparison, nearly 15% of children in the same age group drink at least one energy drink each week. Considering their widespread and growing consumption, it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth.

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent the negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and avoid brushing your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems such as sensitivity or frequent cavities, as sugar and acid can make these issues worse.

Exercising is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. When it comes to energy drinks, it is best to avoid or limit your consumption of them all together. Limiting your exposure to sports and energy drinks is one step you can take to improve your oral health. Talk to us about further preventative care for your oral health.

For more helpful tips about keeping your teeth healthy, contact our office.