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Summer is a great time to consider orthodontic treatment for children of school age, as summer vacation offers greater flexibility and a chance to adapt to orthodontic appliances. However, summer days are often less structured than days during the school year, so there are certain challenges that may be presented. Vacations and events that are out of the ordinary may throw patients off from their regular routine, so it is important to consider how these things will effect orthodontic treatment.
1. Braces Care
When travelling to new places, it is easy to forget things like toothbrushes and dental floss that are pertinent to braces care. Leaving food debris, acid, and sugar on the teeth overnight or throughout the day can make the teeth much harder to clean, however. When travelling, it may be helpful to make a checklist of things to bring so that you don’t forget. Making a habit of brushing teeth first thing in the morning and after each meal may also help you to keep your routine regular so that your teeth don’t suffer.
2. Orthodontic Appointments
When travelling and attending events, it is easy to overlook orthodontic appointments. Missing appointments can prolong the amount of time that treatment takes, however. If you know that you will be out of town or very busy for a week or longer, make sure to talk to your orthodontist about the time that you will be away so that you can schedule your appointments in advance or otherwise schedule around your plans.
3. Retainer Care
When you have already had your braces removed, it is easy to let yourself slack off on your orthodontic care, especially through summer trips and travels. However, failing to wear your retainer at night or as scheduled may allow your teeth to begin moving back to their original positions, undoing all of the hard work that your braces did. Make sure that you take your retainer with you throughout your travels, maybe keeping it in a special place so that it doesn’t become damaged or get left behind.
4. Food and Beverages
Summer parties are a lot of fun, but there are often many offerings that may not be the best for patients with braces. Soda, corn on the cob, and sweet treats can get stuck between the teeth and braces, possibly causing decay or demineralization. Remember the advice that your orthodontist gave you and be sure to steer clear of foods that may negatively affect your teeth and your smile. There are plenty of tasty options that are okay with braces, so be sure to put your orthodontic care first.
If you’re looking for some new pearly whites this summer, call us at 407-447-9060.
Many jaw and tooth problems can be corrected with braces or other orthodontic tools and procedures. However, more severe complications may require orthodontic surgery to correct. Also called orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery, orthodontic surgery can be useful in correcting conditions that are caused by congenital deformities, injuries, and developmental issues.
Orthodontic Surgery Indications
Jaw, ear, and head pain can all be indicators of abnormalities in the jaw structure that may require surgery to correct. If regular jaw functions such as eating, breathing, or speaking cause pain or are difficult, these factors may also indicate the need for orthodontic surgery. These issues should be discussed with an orthodontist in order to determine the need for surgery and pinpoint the exact cause. Orthodontists may not perform the diagnostic tests necessary to catch certain conditions if not alerted to these pain sensations.
In some cases, there may be visible indications that surgery is necessary. A receding chin or dominant overbite may indicate skeletal malformations that require surgery to correct. Correcting these conditions can help to boost confidence and can have emotional benefits as well as medical and cosmetic benefits.
Diagnosing Conditions Requiring Surgery
Assessing the need for orthodontic surgery is not always simple or straight forward. Collaboration between an orthodontist, dentist, and an oral surgeon is often the best approach, as braces may be required to successfully complete the correction, and other factors such as tooth health may come into play. Diagnostic tests such as x-rays may be used to determine the extent of the problem and identify the most effective surgical and procedural options.
Orthodontic Surgery Considerations
Depending on the condition that will be corrected using surgery, patients and orthodontists may have to take certain factors into consideration prior to surgery. These factors include subsequent or preliminary surgeries and procedures that may be necessary and patient appearance following surgery. There is software available that can allow patients to view projected results of orthodontic surgery, and this may help to determine whether braces or cosmetic surgery will be needed following surgery. Patients may also need to consider overall cost factors and plan accordingly for all eventualities. If orthodontic surgery is undergone and follow-up procedures are avoided, the desired results may not be achieved.
Conditions Corrected Using Orthodontic Surgery
There are many different conditions that can be corrected using orthodontic surgery, including but not limited to:
Tooth decay and abscess
Certain types of oral cancer
Braces can help to correct alignment and bite issues. This can effectively improve appearance and eliminate certain painful or inhibiting conditions, as well as improving dental and overall health. However, if braces are not properly cared for, it can result in tooth decay and staining. This can be frustrating for those that have spent time and money trying to attain a beautiful smile.
Braces Daily Care
Daily care such as brushing teeth and flossing become especially important when braces are involved. Braces can trap food and sugars against the teeth, which can speed the rate of plague build-up and foster decay. Those wearing braces should brush and floss after eating any food or drinking any beverage other than water in order to keep teeth clean and free of build up. This will help prevent braces problems and further complications with orthodontic treatment.
Special Equipment for Braces Care
A specialized toothbrush called an interdental toothbrush can be purchased to effectively clean behind braces. The head of the toothbrush contains a small, flexible metal rod surrounded by short bristles that is capable of moving between teeth and braces as well as the gaps between teeth. This brush can remove particles which are stuck on teeth better than flossing or brushing alone. A water pic may also help to remove plague and food particles from teeth, keeping teeth healthier while braces are worn.
Eating for Success
When braces are first installed, it is important to eat soft foods in order to reduce mouth soreness and adjust to the feel of the braces. After adjusting to the braces, it is possible to eat foods that are harder or crunchy, but it is recommended that these foods be broken up or cut into pieces. Eating corn on the cob, meat off the bone, or a whole apple may pull and damage braces, which may cause pain.
Avoid Sticky Foods and Sweets
Sticky or chewy foods such as taffy and hard candy may pull on braces and cause mouth pain. These foods may also become stuck to the teeth, and can be very difficult to remove. Both sticky foods and sweets should be avoided to prevent tooth decay and difficulties with braces care. Sucking on highly acidic foods such as lemons should also be avoided, as these may cause lasting damage to enamel.
Regularly Visit Professionals
Attending regular check-ups for dental care and orthodontic adjustments will help to ensure clean healthy teeth that are being corrected at a proper pace with braces. Dental cleanings will remove stains and plague before damage is permanently set, and dentists will often provide helpful tips to make braces care easier or more effective. Orthodontists will check braces for any loosening or damage, correct any issues, and tighten or adjust braces in order to progress correction of conditions.