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Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics | Orthodontist in Monroe LA

Orthodontist 71201

Braces can be life-changing for people who would benefit from a straighter smile. Here are answers to your most common questions about orthodontics

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

Straight teeth can improve the way you bite, chew, and even speak. Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean. They collect less plaque and promote healthier gums. A straight smile can also contribute to self-confidence at almost every age. 

When should I consider braces?

Primary reasons for getting braces include teeth crowding and spacing issues, an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, and jaw misalignment.

Will braces hurt?

Although wearing braces usually doesn’t hurt, you may feel slight discomfort the first few days after getting them or immediately after periodic adjustments. Your teeth are simply adjusting to the pressure needed to move them into an optimal position. 

Can adults benefit from orthodontics?

Yes. Adults account for one in four new orthodontic cases, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Teeth can be treated at any age to create a healthy, straight smile. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children.

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

The AAO recommends that children get an initial evaluation at age seven. If you bring your child to our orthodontic practice, our doctor will monitor their bite and begin treatment later if it’s needed. 

Do I need to brush my teeth more often when I get braces? 

When you have braces, it is important to brush your teeth after every meal, if possible, to prevent food from getting stuck between teeth or in the hardware. It is also vital to floss frequently. Rinse vigorously with water when you’re on the go and can’t brush.  

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

It depends on the individual. Teeth must be moved very slowly to avoid damaging the roots. However, you can keep the process on track by following our doctor’s instructions. If you are required to wear rubber bands, for example, make sure to wear them as directed by our 71201 orthodontist.

How often should I visit my general dentist while I have braces?

When you are wearing traditional braces, it is easier for food to get stuck in places where your toothbrush can’t reach; so even with good oral hygiene at home, it is important to keep up with general dentist appointments as directed. 

Will having braces interfere with playing sports or a musical instrument?

Not at all. Braces will not stop you or your child from participating in either activity. However, if you are playing a contact or ball sport, talk to our orthodontist to get fitted for a [protective mouthguard.If you have more questions about traditional braces, clear aligners, or other forms of orthodontic care, please give our Monroe, LA orthodontics office a call.

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

6 Ways to Combat Bad Breath | Orthodontist Monroe

Clear Aligners in Ruston

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, can be caused by something you ate or drank, or from a health problem. While foul breath related to food resolves on its own, a chronic problem requires more investigation by your dentist. Fortunately, there are solutions.

Halitosis that is not caused by food is often related to bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are frequently found on the back of the tongue and thrive when your mouth is dry. They can also accumulate on orthodontic appliances. Here are ways to keep your breath sweet. 

Be Rigorous About Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth twice a day and after a spicy meal. Clean between your teeth using dental floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner at least once each day or after a meal if you feel food particles lodged in your teeth. Those particles can break down and cause unpleasant odors and tastes.

Brush or Scrape Your Tongue

Even after brushing and flossing, bacteria can remain on your tongue. Talk to our orthodontist in Monroe, LA about using a tongue scraper or toothbrush to gently remove tongue film when you brush. Aim for the back of the tongue.  

Keep Orthodontic Appliances Clean

If you wear conventional braces, carefully clean brackets and beneath wires each day to remove food particles after you eat. Removable devices such as aligners, mouth guards, and retainers need to be rinsed after meals. We can also recommend a special cleanser. It’s important to prevent invisible bacteria buildup on these appliances.   

Stay Hydrated

Dry mouths allow bacteria to thrive. By drinking plenty of water, you can help prevent bacteria growth and reduce the risk of bad breath.

 Sugar-Free Mints and Lozenges

The ADA recommends chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating to boost saliva production. However, gum is off-limits when you have braces. Instead, look for sugar-free mints or lozenges. Just be sure to suck them and not crunch. Keeping your mouth moist slows or prevents bacteria growth, minimizing your chances of bad breath. 

Keep Up with Dental Appointments

In addition to your orthodontic checkups, maintain routine hygiene appointments and examinations. If you are still experiencing signs of halitosis, we can check for underlying causes. Some cases have underlying medical causes unrelated to oral health, and we might recommend a visit to your physician.For more information about halitosis with orthodontic treatment, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA.

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

Medications That Can Affect Your Oral Health | Ruston LA Clear Aligners

Suspicious man reading the leaflet of a pill sitting on a couch at home Orthodontist in Monroe LA

If you have braces, you know how important it is to take extra care of your oral health. This is even more critical if you also take medications. 

Nearly half of all Americans take prescriptions for a medical condition, and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health.

Here are a few side effects of common medications and supplements. 

Gum Tissue Enlargement

Overgrowth or enlargement of gingival (gum) tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. These include anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, and calcium channel blockers. Patients taking these medications must pay special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation.

Dry Mouth

Some medications reduce saliva production, including certain antidepressants, muscle relaxants, diuretics, antacids, decongestants, and antihistamines. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.

Abnormal Bleeding

Blood-thinning medications may lead to excessive bleeding during treatment for periodontal conditions. Tell our Bastrop LA Orthodontist if you are taking this kind of medication or a blood-thinning supplement before scheduling treatment.

Soft Tissue Reactions

Inflammation, oral sores, or soft tissue discoloration can be a side-effect of some medicines. These include minocycline to treat acne, some oral contraceptives, chemotherapy medications, immunosuppressive agents, and certain blood pressure medicines. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen to alleviate your discomfort.

Fungal Infection

Oral candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect people who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler. Other medications that cause oral yeast infections include antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapy drugs.  

Tooth Decay

You already know to avoid sugary foods while wearing braces, but did you know that many medications contain sugar to improve flavor? This is especially true for children’s medications. When sweet liquids, chewables, and lozenges are used over time, the sugar left on the teeth can increase the risk of tooth decay. Whenever possible, choose capsules or sugar-free versions of medications, or rinse well after taking sweetened medicines. 

If you have concerns about the effects of medications while wearing braces, contact our Monroe Orthodontist for advice. 

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
Url: http://caplesrobinsonortho.com/
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

The Benefits of a Retainer After Orthodontic Treatment | Bastrop Clear Aligners

Young woman resting and laughing outdoors in the city Monroe Clear Aligners

Most orthodontic treatment consists of traditional braces or aligners. Both move teeth slowly into new positions to correct misalignment. This ensures both a straight smile and an even bite. However, once braces have been removed or the last aligner used, you will most likely need an orthodontic retainer. 

It is vital to follow through with the retention phase to maintain your newly straight smile. Proper retainer use will yield the results you have waiting a long time to achieve.   

How Orthodontic Retainers Work

The process of shifting teeth with braces involves the subtle building and breakdown of bone in the jaw. Once your teeth have been moved into their final place, bone must harden around them to keep them in position. Your retainer does that job.   

Types of Retainers

Here are three types of retainers that orthodontists typically recommended:

  • Traditional retainers – This removable appliance is made of acrylic and a wire arch that sits on the front side of the teeth.
  • Clear retainers – This is a removable, clear plastic tray that fits over the teeth.
  • Bonded retainer – Also called a permanent retainer, this is a fixed wire bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth. It may be worn for months or years.

Our Orthodontist Monroe will provide the best retainer option for your orthodontic treatment plan. If yours is removable, be sure to wear it as directed. Keep in mind that your teeth have been in active treatment for months, or perhaps years. Wearing your retainer right after treatment for the designated amount of time is critical to successful treatment.  

Caring for Your Retainer

Regular cleaning is an important part of retainer care. When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Bacteria can build up on it just as they do on teeth, making the appliance less hygienic and possibly affecting the fit.

Clean your removable retainer with a wet toothbrush. Thoroughly rinse it with water before placing it back in your mouth. If it is removable, disinfect it regularly by soaking it in a cleansing solution our Ruston LA Orthodontist will recommend. 

Bonded retainers need to be handled like braces. That means twice-daily brushing and flossing in a way that thoroughly cleans all interdental surfaces.  

For more information about your retainer, or if yours gets lost, contact our Monroe LA Orthodontics office

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
Url: http://caplesrobinsonortho.com/
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

The Safest Way to Eat with Braces | Ruston Orthodontist

Orthodontist Ruston

Wearing traditional braces calls for making some changes to the way you eat. What you consume and what you avoid will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment and after. Here are some types of foods to steer clear of when you are wearing braces, and tips to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.

Eating Hard Foods with Orthodontics

Eating harder foods can be harmful during orthodontic treatment because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. Try to avoid them after you have had your wires changed, since teeth are most tender at this stage.

Here are foods to avoid and careful ways to eat solids:

  • Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes but never bite them. Cubes and chips can easily dislodge orthodontics.
  • Before eating meaty foods like ribs or chicken wings, carefully check for and remove the bones. This prevents you from accidentally chewing on a bone and dislocating a bracket.
  • Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet, and you should continue to eat them. However, instead of biting into apples, peaches or pears, cut them into small pieces first.
  • If you enjoy eating peanuts, almonds, or cashews, consider grinding them and adding the nut meal to cereals and yogurt.
  • Avoid eating corn on the cob; instead, cut the kernels off to help prevent damage to your braces.

Sticky and Sweet Foods

Sticky foods are one of the worst things you can eat while you are wearing braces. They can get stuck to your teeth and hardware and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Another reason to avoid things like taffy and sugary gum is that they promote tooth decay. 

If you must have a sweet treat, here are a few tips:

  • If you enjoy eating candy, try sucking on pieces instead of chewing them. Stick to sugarless candies. If you do indulge in sugary treats, be sure to rinse your mouth with water to avoid plaque buildup on your teeth. Brush and floss as soon as possible.
  • Avoid chewing gum. Whether regular or sugar-free, it can stick to braces and may be difficult to get off. It can also loosen wires and brackets.

It is best to eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoiding soda, candy, and other sugary and acidic foods can help prevent tooth decay and keep you healthier overall. Contact our Orthodontist in Monroe office for more helpful information on life with braces or to schedule an appointment.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
Url: http://caplesrobinsonortho.com/
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

First Aid for Broken Braces | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Orthodontist in Monroe

Orthodontic braces come with an adjustment period as teeth begin to move into their optimal positions. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor discomfort from the braces themselves. Left unaddressed, some of these issues can lead to larger problems. 

The majority of problems with braces can be avoided or remedied by practicing proper oral care at home. However, if the issue persists, it might be time to make an appointment with our Orthodontist in Monroe, LA team.

Soreness or Irritation from Braces

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, continuous contact with your braces might exacerbate the problem, leading to increased discomfort and longer healing times.

If your braces continue to irritate your mouth, here are a few steps you can take to quickly address it:

  • Be sure to exercise proper oral care to limit the chance of food or debris contributing to the irritation 
  • Drink plenty of water, as a dry mouth will only worsen the irritated areas 
  • Use orthodontic wax to cover any parts of your braces that are poking or causing irritation
  • If the problem continues, schedule an examination with our Monroe Orthodontist office today to see how we can help

Damaged Orthodontic Wires or Brackets 

Although braces are built to withstand daily wear and tear, there is 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 of your tooth. While neither of these is a particularly serious issue, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible to have the problem 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 mouthguard 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 any major irritation or damage. 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 Orthodontist Monroe office.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
Url: http://caplesrobinsonortho.com/
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Flossing Your Teeth | Orthodontist in 71201

Orthodontist 71201

Wearing braces means you need to double up on efforts to keep your mouth clean. That means brushing twice a day or after meals, as well as flossing. That last step stumps some people when they first get outfitted with traditional braces, but it doesn’t have to. 

Removing food particles and plaque between teeth requires some adjustments while wearing braces. The wires, brackets, and bands can be trickier to get in between, but it can be done with some patience, extra time, and some simple tips.

  • Use the right amount of floss.  Too much or too little can make flossing more difficult. The American Dental Association recommends using 12 to 18 inches of floss. Ideally, our dentist in 71201 recommends that you should use a clean section in between each tooth.
  • Experiment with different kinds of floss. Waxed floss and dental tape slip between teeth more easily than the unwaxed variety, making it less likely that you will damage your wires. Both options are also less likely to shred and leave pieces of floss stuck in your orthodontics. Waxed floss works best for tight teeth while tape is generally easier to use in wider spaces.
  • Use a floss threader. This inexpensive dental tool resembles a tiny lasso and works like a (dull) sewing needle and thread. It lets you pull the floss through the teeth above the wires. This allows you to floss between your teeth at the gum line, which is important for maintaining healthy gums. Floss threaders are available at the drugstore, supermarket or online. They are meant to be disposable, so use a new one each time you floss.
  • Look into other interdental cleaners. Water flossers can help blast away food particles around brackets and between teeth, while interdental brushes can help remove debris when flossing is not convenient. While dental floss is your best defense against tooth decay, our team can talk to you about these adjuncts to proper oral hygiene with braces.  
  • Help younger children with their flossing. Flossing successfully, especially with braces, requires a degree of manual dexterity that younger wearers may not have. Time, practice, and help from an adult are the best solutions. Impress on kids the importance of cleaning every tooth surface to avoid tooth decay and gum problems while they are wearing braces.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits while wearing braces will help ensure that when the orthodontics come off, the wearer will have the beautiful and healthy smile they have always wanted. We welcome your questions and are happy to help demonstrate good oral hygiene with braces for your child. Contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA to learn more.

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

Unexpected Uses for Toothpaste | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Orthodontist 71201

Toothpaste does a great job of keeping your teeth clean but there are many other, unexpected uses that you might not have considered. The same ingredients that help polish teeth can also prove to be a real helper around the house. Here are a few toothpaste tips shared by our orthodontist in 71201 that go beyond keeping your smile bright and mouth healthy. 

Dry out pimples. This is a time-honored trick that is even used by Hollywood stars. Apply toothpaste to pimples before bedtime and wash the dried paste off in the morning. This will dry out the affected area and speed up the healing process.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time waiting for the mirror to clear up and streamline your morning routine.

Relieve irritation from bug bites and stings. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to bee stings and insect bites to stop the itching and decrease swelling. The toothpaste dries out the wound and helps it heal more quickly.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub toothpaste on a damp cloth gently on a marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove most types of wall paint.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave it on overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them with a very soft toothbrush, some toothpaste, and water.

Remove scuffs from shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require another round or two.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. If you have any old CDs or DVDs that you want to preserve or convert to digital, toothpaste can rub out shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating, rub gently, and rinse. Repeat if needed.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products, and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife or your finger to remove the excess. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also use touch up paint right over the toothpaste.

It doesn’t matter whether you use toothpaste with fluoride or without, but the mild abrasives and drying action of white pastes usually work better than tooth gel. Give some of these ideas a try, and at your next appointment at our orthodontics office in Monroe, AL be sure to let us know the unusual ways you used toothpaste.

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

6 Fascinating Facts About Your Toothbrush | Orthodontist Monroe LA

71201 orthodontist

Most of us don’t give our toothbrush much thought, but we should. From its fascinating origin to its dirty little secrets, here are six fascinating facts about your toothbrush. 

  1. Where Did Modern Toothbrushes Originate?

It is believed that the first modern toothbrush was invented by a prisoner in England. Sometime around 1780, William Addis created a toothbrush from bone and used swine bristles for the brush. The first electric toothbrush in the U.S. was the Broxodont, manufactured by Squibb in 1960. 

  1. Ancient Toothbrushes

Long before Mr. Addis invented what we know as the toothbrush, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Chinese crafted tools for teeth-cleaning, including chew sticks that were fashioned from split twigs with a frayed end. It’s believed the Chinese invented the first handled toothbrush, fashioned from bone or bamboo with boar bristles, in the 13th century. 

  1. What are Toothbrush Bristles Made of?

Boar bristles were used until the late 1930s, when Dupont de Nemours introduced the nylon bristles we use today. The first toothbrush of this kind was named Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. 

  1. Thank a Soldier for Modern Tooth Brushing Habits 

GIs coming home from World War II carried their fastidious tooth-brushing habits back home, and helped spark the daily oral hygiene trend that we know today. 

  1. What Color is Your Toothbrush?

Blue is the most common color for manual toothbrushes. The second most popular color is red.

  1. A Home for Bacteria

The average toothbrush carries more than 100 million bacteria. Most are found in your mouth, which is why you don’t get sick. However, you could catch an illness if you don’t change toothbrushes regularly. It is easy to disinfect them. Ask our 71201 orthodontist how. 

Now that you are a toothbrush expert, spread the word about the importance of regular brushing. Be sure to brush for two minutes twice each day. The American Dental Association recommends that you change your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every few months and more often if you have a weakened immune system or have been sick recently. 

For more dental care tips, or to schedule your next visit to our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA, please contact us.

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

Am I Too Old for Braces? | Orthodontist 71201

Monroe LA Orthodontist

Many adults who never had orthodontics but needed them as kids are self-conscious of their smiles; yet they wonder if they are too old for braces. The answer is most likely no. 

Straight teeth can help you bite, chew and, in some cases, speak properly. They also contribute to overall oral health. Properly aligned teeth and jaws may alleviate or prevent some physical health problems, too. Of course, an attractive smile can also have a positive mental health impact, boosting your social life and self-esteem.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

In most cases, yes! Many adults seek orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and maintain good oral health. Teeth can be adjusted at any age to create a healthy, straight new smile. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children.

Benefits of adult braces

When teeth are properly aligned, they are easier to keep clean and therefore less prone to decay and gum disease. Straight teeth collect less plaque. Bacteria in plaque feed on the carbohydrates that we eat and drink. These bacteria excrete acids that cause decay. Plaque can also increase the  risk of periodontal disease. Why not straighten teeth to lower your risk?  

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

Adults and children of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. For children, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends a first visit to an orthodontist around the age of seven. There, the orthodontist can look for any potential issues that may be addressed now or as the child grows. Some orthodontists report seeing patients in their 80s and 90s!

What conditions can braces address in adults?

As an adult, you are no doubt used to your bite. That overbite might prevent you from eating, say, corn on the cob, but you’re long accustomed to cutting the kernels off. That crossbite might make it tough to floss, but you’ve resigned yourself to a less than clean mouth. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the teeth you’ve always dreamed of in a few months? 

It’s not too late to get braces if you live with these conditions: 

  • Crowding
  • Spacing issues 
  • Overbite 
  • Crossbite
  • Under-bite
  • Jaw misalignment

Will braces hurt?

Although braces don’t hurt, in the first couple days after initial fittings and adjustments you may feel a slight discomfort. This feeling is temporary and means that your teeth are being gently and slowly moved into the right place.

If I have braces, do I need to brush my teeth more often?

When you have orthodontics, it is important to brush your teeth around four or five times a day. This means brushing after every meal if possible, to prevent food from getting stuck. You should also floss after meals using special floss threaders and other appliances. It can be a tricky process at first, but you can certainly master it more easily than a child. 

How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of treatment can depend on many different variables. However, there are things you can do to make sure the process goes as quickly as possible. If you are required to wear rubber bands, for example, make sure to follow the instructions you receive. It is important to note that orthodontics can’t be rushed, or you risk permanent damage to the tooth nerves.

How often should I visit my regular dentist while I have braces?

It is particularly important to keep up with your general dentist appointments when you have braces. With orthodontics, it is easier for food to build up in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. This means going to see your general dentist regularly for a checkup every six months — or as directed — to ensure your teeth stay clean and decay-free.

Will having braces interfere with playing sports or playing a musical instrument?

No, braces will not prevent you from participating in activities such as playing sports or musical instruments, although it may take a little getting used to at first. However, if you are playing a sport, talk to our orthodontist in 71201 to see if you should wear a mouthguard.

Finally getting the smile you have always wanted is easier than you think. Conventional braces and invisible aligners can make a big difference in your life at any age. Contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA to discuss our options.

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