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Orthodontist Midlothian | Let’s Get This Straight

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

Braces create a beautiful, straight smile, but how do you maintain these results after treatment? Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer. Retainers help maintain the position of straighten teeth, so be sure to follow up with us for additional treatment after your braces have been removed.  Read the information below to learn more about retainers and how to care for them at home.

Types of Retainers

There are a few different types of retainers that may be recommended to you:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.

Other Ways Retainers Help

Besides maintaining straight teeth, retainers have many other advantages. Straighter teeth are easier to clean which decreases plaque buildup and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. Special types of retainers may help improve breathing and snoring at night. Retainers can also adjust the placement of your child’s tongue, which helps with speech impediments during vocabulary development.

Caring for Retainers

Just like teeth, retainers should be brushed daily with toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the entire area. Be extra careful around the wires so that they don’t bend out of place.

Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Once your braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention in order to maintain your newly straight smile. Retainers may also help with additional problems like speech impediments or trouble breathing.

Call us to schedule an appointment today to see if retainers are the right fit for you or your child.

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

Midlothian Orthodontist

Orthodontist in Midlothian VAAlong with cooler weather and the end of year school break, winter brings the return of cold and flu season. When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.

Brush and floss

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.

Hydrate

When your child is sick, they need plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat dry mouth and congestion.

Watch out for sugars

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.

Disinfect dental appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.

Follow-up

When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office.

Orthodontist in Midlothian | The Perfect Bite

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

Orthodontist in Midlothian VAYou may have been referred to our office by your dentist because you were told your bite needed work. We see many patients referred to us who are sometimes surprised to hear their bite needs work, because they did not notice. Our doctor looks for a few key things when examining your bite.

The View You See

When you look in the mirror, you can see the front of your teeth. What we look for in our office is to see whether your teeth are too long. If you notice your top teeth are covering more than half of your bottom teeth, we call this a deep bite. We also check to see how your teeth are lining up in relation to your lip.

Looking Down

Imagine your mouth wide open. Our doctor will have you open wide to check your teeth’s alignment from the top looking down. An ideal bite will form an arch shape when viewed from above. This is also a good way for us to see if you have gaps between your teeth.

From the Side

It might be hard for you to see your mouth from the side, but it is another important view of your bite that we check in our office. From this view, we can see if your mouth structure needs to be adjusted from an overbite (where your top teeth stick out in front of the lower set) or an underbite (where your lower teeth stick out beyond the top).

Next Steps

Once we’ve evaluated your bite in our office, we can take the next steps in helping you achieve the results you desire. If you have gaps and spaces, we might consider treatment options such as braces  or aligners. To correct under or overbites, we might consider treatments such as expanders.

Your Bite Matters

It is important to have a good bite because misaligned teeth can lead to difficulties while eating and speaking. Extensive jaw discomfort and tooth decay are also other side-effects of having an improper bite. Your oral health is dependent on having a good bite. Our experienced team is ready to assist you with any questions you might have.

For more information on the perfect bite or to schedule an examination, contact our office.

Orthodontist Midlothian | First Aid for Braces

Orthodontist Near Me

When wearing braces, most people may experience occasional minor discomfort. Left unaddressed, some of these issues could lead to larger problems. Most of these issues can be avoided or remedied through practicing proper oral care at home. However, if any of these problems are persistent, it might be time to make an appointment with our team.

Irritation and Soreness

When getting used to braces, a period of minor discomfort is to be expected. The new sensation of the metal on your lips, cheeks, and tongue can sometimes cause irritation or soreness. If you have any existing injuries or sores in your mouth, continual contact with your braces might exacerbate the issue and lead to increased discomfort and longer healing times.

If you’re experiencing discomfort due to your braces irritating your mouth, there are a couple steps you can take to quickly address it. First, be sure to drink plenty of water, as a dry mouth will only worsen the irritated areas. Second, be sure to exercise proper oral care to limit the chance of food or debris contributing to the irritation. Third wax can be used to cover any parts of your braces that are causing irritation. If the issue persists, schedule an examination with our office today to see how we can help.

Damaged Brackets or Wires

Though your braces are built to withstand daily wear and tear, there’s always a slight chance of damage occurring. The most common issues you might experience are a broken or loose wire or a bracket that has come off your tooth. While neither of these are particularly serious issues, you’ll want to schedule an appoint with us as soon as possible to have them corrected. Your braces can’t work properly if damaged.

Mouth Injuries with Braces

There is a risk of increased damage if you sustain a mouth injury while wearing braces. It is recommended that you wear a mouth guard when participating in any sort of physical activity to reduce the risk of damage to your lips. Using non-medicinal wax on the parts of your braces that are particularly irritating can also help protect against injury.

Many people go through their entire orthodontic treatment without encountering any major issues. However, being aware of the potential problems you might have can help you prepare for them. If you experience any pain or discomfort when wearing braces, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Midlothian Orthodontist | What Happens If I Don’t Wear My Retainer?

Midlothian, VA Orthodontist

10The time immediately following the removal of your braces is the most critical for keeping your teeth straight. Wearing a retainer for the time prescribed by our team is the best way to maintain the smile you have worked so hard to achieve. If you neglect to wear your retainer, your teeth may move back into their original position. This is what may happen if you do not wear your retainer after treatment with braces.

After One Week

Your teeth will begin to move back into their initial place as soon as your braces are removed. Everyones teeth shift at different speeds and even the slightest shift can impact how your retainer fits. Wearing your retainer at night is especially crucial in the first week to prevent any relapse.

After One Month

After a month of not using your retainer, you may notice that your bite has changed and your teeth have started to move back into their original position. At this point, you will need to schedule another appointment with our team to get fitted for a different retainer. You may also need to return to wearing your new retainer during the day as well as at night.

After One Year

Going a year without wearing a retainer means that your teeth will have continued to move back to their original position and may even be crooked. The solution may be to restart treatment with braces. By wearing your retainer as instructed, you can prevent this from happening.

Keeping your teeth straight can be as simple as wearing your retainer after getting your braces off. Not wearing your retainer will make you lose the smile you spent time and money on to achieve. While it may take you a while to get into the habit of wearing a retainer, it will be worth it in the long run.

Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Orthodontist Midlothian | Braces and Swollen Gums

Orthodontist 23113

midlothian orthodontistBraces are a safe and effective way to straighten misaligned teeth at any age. However, some patients may encounter minor complications such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, it is important to determine the cause and find an appropriate solution as soon as possible.

Regular oral hygiene may be challenging with braces. Because of this, plaque can build-up and cause gingivitis, leading to red, swollen, bleeding gums. Children and teens are especially prone to this because hormone changes can accelerate gum disease. When this occurs, teeth and gums can be more difficult to clean, further escalating the issue.

Your gums may be sensitive with braces. Hyperplasia or hypertrophy can cause gums to grow larger in reaction to the metal brackets and wires. Gums will often return to normal once orthodontic treatment is completed and your braces are removed.

The pressure of chewing firm foods causes gums to become more irritated and painful. Avoid hard and crunchy foods, such as raw vegetables and popcorn. Habits such as chewing a pen, biting nails, or pressing your tongue against your teeth can all add discomfort, as well.

To mitigate the effects of swollen, inflamed gums, you can try these basic steps:

  • Use an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head for more thorough cleaning.
  • Try a water flosser to remove debris and bacteria between teeth.
  • Floss threader and interproximal brushes can clean under and around wires more effectively than a toothbrush.
  • Ask if a mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobial is advised.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water containing a pinch of salt to soothe inflammation.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco, which increase irritation.

If gum irritation persists, contact our office for a consultation. We will check to see whether there may be another cause for your inflammation and will advise you on the next steps.

To schedule a visit, please contact our team.

313 Schofield Drive
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 464-8711

23113 Orthodontist | Health Alert: The Downsides of Crooked Teeth

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA

midlothian orthodonticsIf you have crooked teeth, you may already be looking into orthodontic solutions to improve your smile. However, did you know straightening your teeth can have benefits beyond increased confidence?

Many people may not realize it, but your oral health plays a large role in your body’s overall health. Poor oral health can put you at a much higher risk of stroke, heart disease, illness, miscarriages, and more. Crooked teeth can impede your ability to take proper care of your mouth, putting you at an increased risk of any number of ailments. Below are some of the most common issues exacerbated by crooked teeth. If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our office today to see how orthodontic care can offer relief.

Gum Disease

Crooked teeth can often be much harder to properly clean than straight teeth. Without regular brushing and flossing, your chance of developing gum disease increases significantly. An untreated buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Swollen and irritated gums can open the door for bacteria to enter your blood stream and trigger inflammation elsewhere in your body and increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and more.

It’s important for everyone to maintain a proper oral care routine and visit their dentist at least twice annually for cleanings and examinations. However, even that may not be enough if your teeth are too crooked to properly clean. We offer a variety of orthodontic solutions to help correct misaligned teeth and make it easier for you to take care of your smile. Visit our office today to learn more!

TMD/TMJ Pain

Crooked teeth or an improper bite may increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). While the most common cause of TMD is the clenching and grinding of teeth, a misaligned bite may be a contributing factor. TMD can cause soreness and discomfort in the jaw, clicking sounds while chewing, headaches, and other facial pain.

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, an evaluation may help you determine if treatment for TMD is necessary. Correcting a misaligned bite can go a long way in alleviating some of the discomfort caused by TMD.

Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the thin, tough shell coating the outside of your teeth that protects them from damage and wear. Though a variety of environmental factors can lead to enamel loss, teeth grinding is another common cause. When your teeth are crooked and your bite does not properly align, the simple acts of speaking and chewing can cause your teeth to grind against each other. When left untreated, this can contribute a degradation in your enamel.

A loss in enamel can lead to tooth discoloration, increased pain and sensitivity, and cracks and chips forming in your teeth. There is a lot you can do at home to protect your enamel, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic or sugary foods, and brushing and flossing regularly. However, your crooked teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Contact our office today to see if orthodontic treatment could be the solution you need.

313 Schofield Drive
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 464-8711

Midlothian, VA Orthodontist | How to Take Care of Your Retainer

23113 Orthodontist

Are you someone who goes days or even weeks without cleaning your retainer? Retainers contain the same bacteria that grows on your teeth. Not cleaning your retainer daily is virtually the same as not brushing your teeth for days. If you want to practice proper oral hygiene, take note of these tips for proper retainer care.

Brush Your Retainer with Toothpaste

While brushing your teeth at night, remember to brush your retainer as well. Make this a habit and it won’t feel like an extra step. Use a soft-bristled brush and non-whitening toothpaste. Using a soft toothbrush and avoiding abrasive toothpastes is important because repeated scrubbing can scratch the surface of the retainer acrylic which leaves areas for bacteria to grow.

Don’t Just Wash with Water

Using water alone won’t fight bacteria. Water can reduce bacteria growth throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar will do a more effective job. Mix one part vinegar to three parts water in a cup and soak your retainer in the mixture for about 15 minutes, followed by a gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda helps restore the pH balance in retainers while also whitening them. Create a thick paste by using half water and half baking soda. The finished product should resemble a light toothpaste and can be applied to your toothbrush. Scrub the retainer gently for a safe disinfectant.

Use Mouthwash to Fight Off Bacteria

Only use a mouthwash to clean your retainer if you have verified that the mouthwash is non-alcoholic, since alcohol can damage the retainer acrylic. The best mouthwash to use would be a clear one to avoid staining your retainer. Soak your retainer in the mouthwash for an hour, then remove and scrub gently with a soft toothbrush. This not only fights plaque and bacteria, but also prevents deposits from forming.

Using Store Bought Retainer Cleaner

Stores sell cleaners specifically made for retainers, reinforcing that they need to be cleaned. Your dentist can recommend cleaners, and if you choose to use one, make sure to follow the instructions on the package.

Take care of your oral health by also taking care of your retainer. Built up bacteria in retainers can lead to other health issues, so make sure you get into the habit of cleaning your retainer every night when you brush your teeth using one of the methods we recommend above.

To schedule your next visit to our office, contact our team.

313 Schofield Drive
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 464-8711

Orthodontist in Midlothian, VA | The Benefits of Adult Orthodontics

Orthodontist 23113

The benefits of orthodontics are no longer just for children and teens. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. There are many reasons why more adults are receiving orthodontic treatment to improve their overall lives.

Wide Variety of Options

Orthodontics have evolved beyond traditional braces. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, is an option that resembles a mouth guard without the use of metal or wires. Invisalign® offers faster treatment times with a better fit to move your teeth more precisely. Even traditional braces have changed. They are now designed much smaller and less noticeable than in the past.

Long-Term Oral Health

Crooked and overcrowded teeth can lead to significant complications. Without straight teeth, you have a higher chance of plaque building up between your teeth. This can lead to gingivitis and potentially worsen into gum disease. With orthodontics, you can also avoid tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of the tooth enamel, and TMJ/TMD pain. Orthodontic treatment can improve your life beyond your smile.

Confidence in Your Smile

If you never had braces or your teeth have since shifted back, adult orthodontics can transform your smile. It is never too late to straighten your teeth. You will be able to smile in photos and talk to others without being self-conscious. Research has shown that a smile is one of the first things we notice about others when we meet someone new. Make the right impression with a straight, healthy, and beautiful smile.

There are benefits to receiving orthodontic care that more adults are now opting towards. Treatment can boost your confidence and promote oral health with virtually invisible options.

Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.

313 Schofield Drive
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 464-8711

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
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 464-8711