Brushing with Braces

If you’re considering braces or are new to them, you may be wondering the best way to maintain your oral hygiene.  This is probably especially true since wearing braces requires more frequent brushing than before you had them.

Swish to Start

Before you begin brushing, rinse your mouth with water.  This will help loosen food and debris stuck in all the nooks and crevices of your braces and teeth.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Use the same technique you would without braces–angle your brush at a 45-degree angle and start brushing at the gumline.  Once the gumline has been cleaned, move down to the top of the brackets, being sure to angle downward to reach all the way around each bracket.  Once the tops of all the brackets have been brushed, repeat the process for the bottom by angling the brush upward.  Be sure to brush the back of your teeth and the interior surface (facing the tongue).

Between the Teeth

Don’t forget to clean between your teeth, too!  Flossing can be a bit trickier with the braces, so many patients find that using a floss threader makes this process easier.

Swish to Finish

Following the steps of brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to do a final rinse.  This will help sweep away any remaining debris or particles.  Mouthwash will help your whole mouth feel fresher and cleaner.

Contact our office to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your orthodontic care, or to schedule your next visit.  In the meantime, keep up the good hygiene habits!

Orthodontist in Monroe | Say Cheese!

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It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our dental office.

Resource: https://www.sciencedaily.com

2210 Forsythe Ave., Monroe, LA 71201

Orthodontist in Monroe | The Downsides of Crooked Teeth

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If 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.

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone:(318) 325-9655

Monroe Orthodontist | Understanding Your Jaw Pain

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Are you having trouble chewing or talking? If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your jaw, we recommend coming in to our office. There are numerous possible causes of facial and jaw pain and our doctor can work with you to determine the best course of treatment.

What Causes Jaw and Facial Pain?

Pain and discomfort in your jaw can be dental related, but it can also be caused by other medical conditions. Sinus infections and arthritis are potential culprits. However, your pain could be caused by a toothache, infection, excessive grinding of your teeth, tooth decay, periodontal disease, or TMJD.

I’ve Heard of TMJ – What is it?

The jaw is connected to your skull by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It acts as a hinge and can be found in front of your ears. In temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), the joint doesn’t move in the way it is supposed to. This can lead to pain or restricted jaw movements. Someone might complain about difficulty chewing, yawning, and talking. You might hear a clicking sound when your jaw moves. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJD.

What We Can Do

If you come into our office with jaw and facial pain, we will provide you a thorough examination. Treatments can vary depending on what is determined to be the primary source of your discomfort. Periodontal treatment, root canal therapy, and tooth removal are sometimes solutions to consider. A filling may be suggested for pain caused by tooth decay. For problems resulting from arthritis or TMJD, exercises and anti-inflammatory medications may be a consideration. If you grind your teeth, a guard may be recommended to protect your teeth.

Solving Your Jaw and Facial Pain

Step one in determining a course of treatment is to determine the source of your jaw or facial pain. Talk to our doctor about the specifics surrounding your discomfort. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office can help prevent future pain caused by decay or infection. Having our professional, experienced team regularly examine your mouth is one way you can stay healthy. Diagnosing jaw and facial pain can be difficult due to the number of potential causes. Our dental professionals are well prepared to effectively diagnose and treat your condition.

For more questions about jaw pain, or to schedule anappointment, contact our office.

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone:(318) 325-9655

71201 Orthodontist | Non-Cosmetic Benefits of Braces

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When most people consider the benefits of getting braces, they tend to focus on cosmetic improvements. A better smile is an obvious benefit to orthodontic treatment, but there are plenty more improvements than what you’ll see on the surface.

Whether you have an overbite, an underbite, or your teeth simply don’t meet properly when you close your mouth, braces can be an effective solution. The benefits of a proper bite are innumerable, and treating the problem can help minimize discomfort dramatically. Braces are an investment in the future of your oral health, as addressing potential issues early could help save you years of pain and oral complications. Common benefits of braces include:

  • Corrected Jaw Alignment
  • Reduced Teeth Grinding
  • Reduced Jaw Pain
  • Improved Bite Strength
  • Reduced Speech Impediments
  • And More!

Even if you don’t chronically grind and clench your teeth, having a bite that is not properly aligned will inevitably cause wear as your teeth will be rubbing against each other in ways they ought not. Another common side effect is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain that can develop in your jaw. If the joint connecting your jaw to your cheekbone is in pain or if you experience a clicking sensation when chewing, you might have a TMJ issue that braces can help correct.

Whether you’re simply looking for an improved smile, or you’re experiencing any of the above complications, you could greatly benefit from braces. For more information about treatment options, contact our office today!

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: (318) 325-9655

Orthodontist in Monroe | 5 Weird and Interesting Dental Facts

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Did you know your oral health can impact your overall health? We’ve compiled a list of 5 tidbits about your teeth and oral health.

Say Cheese

Cheese has been found to promote dental health by helping prevent tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese help neutralizes acid in the mouth. Acid can create dental erosion, which can cause decay that may require filling. Cheese creates a protective film around teeth and helps remineralize the enamel.

Keep Smiling

Your smile can make a difference. Studies have found that 50% of people consider a smile the first facial feature they notice. One study found that 88% of us remember people with beautiful smiles whenever we meet new people. This means attractive smiles are key to being more noticeable and remembered.

Toothbrush Time

Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months. You should get a new toothbrush after recovering from any sort of viral infection, flu, or cold. You are more likely to be re-infected if these bacteria implant themselves on the bristles.

You’re Unique

In your lifetime, you only get two sets of teeth— baby teeth and permanent teeth. It is important to take proper care of your permanent teeth. Did you know that no two people have precisely the same set of teeth? Your teeth are as unique as a fingerprint. This is the reason teeth are used by investigators for identification. Your tongue also has a unique print, though it is not commonly recorded.

F.Y.I on Floss

Floss is a lot more useful than you may think. If you skip out on your daily flossing, you can miss cleaning up to 40% of your tooth surfaces. Flossing can also help prevent gum disease by removing plaque near the gum line. Floss has other alternative creative uses. The next time you are looking for a fun holiday project, grab some dental floss and a handful of cereal to string for the tree. Floss works well for repairing a bead necklace too!

Bonus Fact: Health professionals are rated among the most trusted people in the U.S so make sure to call our dentist and make an appointment today!

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: (318) 325-9655

Monroe, LA Orthodontist | 6 Ways to Get Your Calcium

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orthodontist monroeCalcium is an important mineral for building strong, healthy teeth. Not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in dairy, which is often a prime source for calcium. There are a wide variety of options available to get the calcium you need. Here are six options rich in calcium:

 

Canned Seafood

Canned seafood, such as sardines and salmon, can be an excellent source of calcium. These inexpensive options contain more calcium than their fresh counterparts. Canned seafood has small, soft, edible bones that are generally unnoticeable but can be a great way to add calcium to a salad or another dish.

 

Alternative Milk Products

Soy, rice, and almond milks offer added calcium and can be used as a milk substitute in many dishes. Experiment with different varieties to determine which flavor you like the most for each use. Try one of these milk alternatives on cereal or use in a cooked dish. Soy, rice, and almond milks are available in a variety of flavors, including plain, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and other options.

 

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are a prime source of calcium. Collard greens, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, kale, okra, and broccoli are all great choices for adding calcium to your diet.

 

Milk

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium. One cup of cow’s milk can potentially contain a quarter of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Cow’s milk is also a cheap option, as it is generally priced below alternative options like almond milk. Additional benefits provided are good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.

 

Yogurt

Most yogurts are high in calcium. The highest source of calcium from yogurt comes from the low-fat variety, while Greek yogurt has a lower amount of calcium than regular yogurt.

 

Cheese

A lot of cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the highest amount of calcium among cheeses. Softer varieties of cheese generally have less calcium than others. Aged and hard cheeses typically contain less lactose, making them easier to eat for people with dairy restrictions.

 

Calcium is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you have trouble digesting dairy, don’t let that stop you from consuming your recommended amount of daily calcium.

 

Contact our office to schedule your visit today.

 

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
2210 Forsythe Ave., Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 325-9655

71201 Orthodontist | Retaining Your Smile

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Most comprehensive orthodontic treatment will involve the use of braces or aligners. In either case, your treatment involves minor movement of your teeth to correct misalignment. This ensures both a straight smile and an even bite.

However, braces are not the only stage needed for a permanent orthodontic solution. Once your braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention in order to to maintain your newly straight smile after treatment. Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer, so be sure to continue following up with our doctor for treatment even after your braces have been removed.

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.

Our orthodontist will provide you with the best retainer option that is suited for your orthodontic treatment plan. All retainers should be worn as often as instructed to do so. Keep in mind that your teeth have been in active treatment for months or even years. Wearing your retainer right after treatment is crucial and it should be worn for the appropriate amount of time each day as instructed.

Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Regardless of whether it’s made of acrylic and wire or thermoplastic, the process of cleaning your device should be the same.

When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Bacteria and plaque also pose a significant threat to the life of your retainer. Bacteria can build up on it, just like they do on your teeth, making the apparatus less hygienic and affecting the fit. For theses reasons, regular cleaning is vital for retainer care.

When cleaning your retainer, you can brush it with a wet toothbrush. You will also need to disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a cleansing solution. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with cold or room temperature water before placing it back in your mouth.

For more information about your retainer, please contact our office.

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: (318) 325-9655

Monroe, LA Orthodontist | Orthodontics in Ancient Times

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Did you know that dentistry dates back to around 400-300 BC? Hippocrates and Aristotle actually contemplated ways to straighten teeth and fix certain dental conditions. Archaeologists have found numerous mummies with what appears to be metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Researchers believe this is the first sign of ancient orthodontics put in use in attempt to straighten teeth.

Another ancient form of early orthodontics was using a “catgut”, which is a cord made of natural fibers from animal intestines. They were used in a similar fashion as wires used with braces are today – to close gaps in between teeth.

The Etruscans, a powerful and wealthy ancient civilization in Italy, actually buried their dead with dental appliances in order to maintain space and prevent collapse of the teeth for use in the afterlife. One Roman tomb was found with teeth bound by gold wire called a “ligature wire” – a small elastic wire that is used to affix the arch wire to the bracket. Even Cleopatra, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Egypt, was documented as wearing a pair of these gold brackets.

The earliest form of treatment in attempts to straighten teeth are documented to have been simple finger pressure. However, since preservation of teeth and documentation was sub-par during ancient times, most of the early research comes from the 17th century when dentistry had already begun making great advancements.

Enjoy the benefits of modern orthodontic care. Contact our office for your consultation.

2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: (318) 325-9655

Orthodontist in Monroe | Brushing with Braces

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When you have braces, brushing your teeth becomes even more important – and more challenging – than ever before. To ensure your teeth remain clean and healthy, try these helpful tips for effective brushing when you have braces:

  1. Use a soft toothbrush. When you have braces, you can face increased risk of developing periodontal disease. The best way to protect yourself is to brush carefully between your braces and gums. However, a stiff brush may damage your gum tissue and raise your chance of infections.
  2. Debris first. Start with a wet toothbrush, but no toothpaste. Use the brush to remove debris that can be trapped in and around your brackets and wires. This can be easier to accomplish when toothpaste foam is not blocking your view.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste. Toothpaste provides a deep clean, freshens breath, and the added fluoride helps protect teeth from decay.
  4. Start at the gumline at a 45-degree angle. Scrub your teeth gently to clean all surfaces. Clean your braces carefully.
  5. Brush for 2 minutes. Most people believe they brush a full two minutes, but when timed, find they generally brush about ¼ of that time. Use a timer to ensure you spend a full 30 seconds on each quarter of your teeth.
  6. Brush often. Braces can trap food debris and bacteria, which can increase your risk of discoloration, decay, and infection. Though twice daily brushing is generally sufficient for most people, braces-wearers should try to brush after every mean whenever possible. When you do not have the opportunity to brush, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after eating to help remove as many food particles as possible.
  7. Follow up. By itself, brushing is not enough to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Be sure to follow brushing with careful use of floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner. See your dentist for exams and professional cleanings as directed.

Braces can give you a straighter, healthier smile, but they require some added care and attention. For more tips on keeping your teeth and braces clean during your orthodontic treatment, contact our office.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
2210 Forsythe Ave., Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 325-9655