February 14th, 2017
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. David Henderson 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. David Henderson to show you the best way to floss effectively with braces.
- Mouthwash Use. Use the mouthwash recommended by Dr. David Henderson. 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 Bloomington, IN team will keep your mouth healthy and fresh during and after your orthodontic treatment.
February 7th, 2017
There's something special about customizing the elastics on your braces to fit your unique personality. Once you embrace your braces (no pun intended) you'll realize how many color options and combinations there are to choose from. Although you'll have a fantastic smile afterward, you won't have this level of customizability once your braces come off, that's for sure!
Adding flair to your braces isn't what all patients are looking to do (like those opting for clear aligners or ceramic braces), but it's part of the fun of traditional metal braces! Many of our patients ask Dr. David Henderson to have their elastics match the colors of their favorite sports teams or their school, but how about changing your elastics to match holiday colors?
Here are some options to consider:
- Valentine’s Day – Red and pink
- Easter – Pink, blue, and violet
- Halloween – Orange and black
- Christmas – Red, green, and white
- Saint Patrick’s Day – Green and white
There are a few colors that some people choose to avoid. But if you’re trying to make your teeth stand out in a crowd, the following suggestions need not apply!
- Brown or Green – can be mistaken for food being stuck in your teeth
- Black – might look like a rotten tooth if someone isn't looking hard enough
- White – Some patients think it will make their teeth look whiter, but in fact it can make your teeth appear yellower than they actually are. White elastics can also stain easily.
- Yellow – accentuates the yellowness of your enamel
Since changing the color of your elastics has no effect on the actual orthodontic treatment process, the idea is to have fun and add a personal touch. So, next time you get your elastics changed at our Bloomington, IN office, why not wear your braces boldly and opt for something festive?
January 31st, 2017
As a patient at Henderson Orthodontics, your opinion matters! Dr. David Henderson and our team love hearing what our patients think about our practice and the services we provide, and now we want to know, what do you think we should blog about?
Perhaps there’s a treatment you’ve always wanted to know about, or you’d like to learn about a specific way to improve your health and smile. Whatever your idea, we’d love to hear about it! You can let us know by posting here or on our Facebook page!
January 25th, 2017
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) describe a set of conditions that involve trouble with your jaw and face muscles. They result from a problem in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects the temporal bones, in your skull in front of each ear, to your jaw. The joint enables you to talk, yawn, and chew by letting your mouth move.
TMD can be very painful and interfere with functions such as eating and speaking. This what to watch for and how to try to prevent TMD.
Risk Factors for TMD
You are at higher risk for TMD if you are a women than if you are male. The disorder is most common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Other risk factors for TMJ disorders include the following.
- Arthritis in the area, making movement more difficult
- Excessive tooth grinding, because it increases stress on the joint
- General stress, which can lead you to clench your teeth and strain facial muscles
Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMD can last for just a short while, or for several years. Seeing Dr. David Henderson is important if your symptoms make it impossible for you to eat regularly or if you have unbearable pain or discomfort. The following symptoms can occur on both or one side of your face.
- Aching or very tired facial muscles
- Jaws that are fixed open or shut without you being able to unlock them
- Grating or popping sounds when you chew or close or open your mouth
- Pain in the entire area, including the mouth, jaw, neck, or shoulders, that comes on when you chew or yawn
You can try to prevent TMD by focusing on reducing risk factors. If you grind your teeth at night, ask Dr. David Henderson about wearing a mouthguard. If you are overly stressed, look into ways to better manage your stress and relax your muscles. Another strategy for trying to prevent the development of TMD is to avoid chewing gum, since that puts stress on your jaw.
If you have questions about TMD, don’t hesitate to contact our Bloomington, IN office.