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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

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.