September 19th, 2018
A bright, beautiful smile is often achieved with braces. The time you spend wearing braces is an investment in the good health and appearance of your smile. However, Dr. Matthew Fortna and our staff know that having braces on your teeth can pose challenges. Many of these challenges are commonly faced by all who wear braces, such as flossing, getting food stuck in your braces, and bad breath.
Today, let’s address bad breath and what to do about it. There’s no reason you have to shy away from conversation for fear that you’ve got bad breath.
Fresh Breath Tips for Braces Wearers
- Eat a Healthy Diet. Unhealthy foods that are laden with sugar can contribute to bad breath. Stick with healthy produce, protein, grains, and dairy found on the list of foods your orthodontist says are safe to eat with braces.
- Drink Non-Sugary Beverages. Likewise, steer clear of sugary sodas and juices for the same reason. They contribute to bad breath.
- Stay Hydrated. A mouth that’s continually dry can lead to bad breath by inhibiting your production of saliva. Regular production of saliva removes bacteria and excess food from your mouth, both of which cause bad breath.
- Brush Often. Brush your teeth and tongue first thing in the morning, after each meal and snack, and before you go to bed, to remove food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Don’t Forget to Floss. Flossing with braces might seem tricky, but it is a necessity. Ask Dr. Matthew Fortna to show you the best way to floss effectively with braces.
- Mouthwash Use. Use the mouthwash recommended by Dr. Matthew Fortna. For the best results, swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds.
- Get Regular Cleanings. Regular dental exams and cleanings are more important when you have braces. Cavities can delay your treatment progress, so be sure to visit your dentist every six months.
Practice Good Hygiene Daily
Good oral hygiene practices are important every day, whether you wear braces or not. But they become even more important during the months you wear braces. In addition to your regular orthodontic checkups, see your general dentist for cleanings and exams.
Together, you and our Fredonia team will keep your mouth healthy and fresh during and after your orthodontic treatment.
September 12th, 2018
A great smile can go a long way. Scientific research suggests that people who smile are perceived as more attractive and confident than those who don’t flash their pearly whites. When it comes time to invest in orthodontics to improve your beautiful smile, choosing the best option can be daunting. Comparing Invisalign to traditional braces is a great way to determine what orthodontics make most sense for your unique smile.
How is Invisalign different?
Unlike traditional braces, in which brackets are affixed onto each tooth and connected by wires Invisalign corrects orthodontic problems using a set of clear trays. These trays are specially formed to fit your teeth, allowing you to wear them 24/7.
One of the primary advantages of Invisalign is that the clear trays are nearly invisible. Particularly for adults self-conscious about appearing professional with traditional braces, Invisalign can correct orthodontic issues without capturing the notice of others. Their nearly invisible appearance is one of the topmost reasons that orthodontic patients choose Invisalign.
Complexity of the Orthodontic Problem
Invisalign works well for people who have relatively minor problems, such as crooked teeth or small gaps between teeth. For more complex problems, particularly issues with bite or vertical problems (i.e., one tooth being significantly higher than another), traditional braces may be better at pulling teeth into alignment.
Eating and Drinking
Invisalign trays are removable, meaning that you cannot eat or drink while wearing them. Unlike traditional braces, however, you are not limited in the foods you may eat. Chewy, sticky, or hard foods may be eaten, provided that you brush your teeth before reinserting the Invisalign trays.
In the end, only you can weigh the pros and cons of Invisalign versus traditional braces. Consult with Dr. Matthew Fortna to understand how these orthodontic interventions may work for your unique situation.
September 5th, 2018
Going back to school is already an exciting (and sometimes nerve-racking) time so we don't want your braces adding to that. Our Fredonia team has compiled some helpful tips to make the process as easy and fun as possible.
1. Make sure you pack or purchase braces-friendly lunches
Try to avoid overly crunchy foods (think carrots, celery, hard crackers) especially if your teeth are sore from having your braces tightened. But you shouldn't stop eating healthful foods that fall in this category. For instance apples can be sliced into wedges or carrots can be cut into coins.
You should also avoid sticky foods like candy or gum that can and will stick in your braces like glue! Softer foods are easier on your teeth and braces, so aim to make a good portion of your lunch on the softer side.
2. Have a braces kit in your backpack or locker
Having some useful items on hand at school when you need them is one of the most helpful things you can do. Pack some wax for sores or tenderness, floss and/or flossing tools made for braces, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a small cup for rinsing, a small mirror to check for trapped food, and some lip balm if your lips tend to chap. With these tools on hand, you'll avoid most if not all braces-related nuisances!
3. Know that you're not alone
If you're feeling self-conscious about your braces, don't. Be proud of them! There are many other people your age who have braces, and if they don't have them now, they probably will in the future. Relax and know that you're on the path to a straighter and healthier smile.
If you have any questions about making your transition into "braceshood," just ask Dr. Matthew Fortna or any member of our Fredonia team! We're here to help make your braces experience (and your smile) the best it can be.
September 5th, 2018
When you think of orthodontic treatment, you may automatically assume that it only relates to older children and teens with alignment and spacing issues. But this isn’t the case: Orthodontic treatment at Family Orthodontics offers many benefits when applied at a young age.
By considering orthodontic treatment at a younger age, Dr. Matthew Fortna and our staff are able to identify your child’s alignment issues early on, and are able to intervene in order to provide treatment as the teeth begin to develop. It is important to start dental care early, not only for proper dental health and the cosmetic benefits, but to improve a child’s overall health as well.
The Benefits of Straighter Teeth
Besides the cosmetic benefits, there are multiple advantages to starting orthodontic treatment at a young age:
- It can reduce the extent of orthodontic treatment needed later.
- With early treatment, the pediatric dentist helps guide the teeth into their right position to prevent the removal of teeth and improve an overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
- Straighter teeth are easier to clean and better for preventing tooth decay.
- As a benefit to you, the parent, your child’s orthodontic expenses will be much lower with early treatment.
- Lastly, much early treatment is covered by dental insurance.
Stages of Orthodontic Treatment
Multiple stages are included in early orthodontic treatment, with three stages in all:
The first stage is early treatment that starts around age two or three, and continues until the child is around six years old. This stage deals with preventive measures, such as avoiding bad habits that lead to crooked teeth and creating a plan for the future based on how the teeth are growing in.
During stage two, when the child is six to 12 years old, the first permanent teeth erupt and the dentist looks at possible early treatment for misalignment or bite issues.
Finally, stage three occurs during adolescence to correct any further problems with permanent teeth.
Dr. Matthew Fortna and our staff are able to see how the teeth first erupt and know right away whether or not your child will need to have braces later on. Early treatment means fewer procedures, cleaner teeth, and less expense.