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Orthodontics

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What You Should Know About Drinking with Invisalign or Braces

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

friends drinking at a table

Patients at Houston Orthodontic Specialists sometimes ask things like can I drink alcohol with braces or can you drink with Invisalign? The answer varies depending on whether you have traditional braces or clear aligners. With traditional braces, they’re bonded to your teeth and they’re typically made of stainless steel or a ceramic material that resists staining, so you can drink whatever you’d like to a certain extent. With Invisalign, you’ll have to remove your aligners (we’ll get to why shortly) before you drink anything aside from cool or room temperature water.

Drinking and Teeth: The Basics

We all have bacteria in our mouth, some of which is good and some harmful. The harmful bacteria feed off the sugar and starches you eat and drink. When they do this, they release acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and form a sticky substance called plaque. Eventually, this can lead to cavities. This is why it’s best to have drinks like soda, sweetened iced tea, certain cocktails, juice and sports drinks in moderation, whether you’re in orthodontic treatment or not. 

Other drinks, such as coffee, tea and red wine, may not have as much sugar as say, soda, but they can stain the teeth. Again, in order to keep your smile looking bright and fresh, you’ll also want to enjoy these in moderation. Some of the worst drinks for your teeth are actually acidic beverages. The acid in drinks, including orange juice, lemonade and white wine, can weaken the tooth enamel, making you more prone to cavities and staining. Adult beverages like mixed drinks with alcohol and fruit juice have the one-two punch of acidity and sugar. While the occasional alcoholic drink is fine, drinking them regularly, particularly if you’re not keeping up with your oral hygiene routine, can have a negative impact on your smile.

What Should I Consider When Drinking With Braces?

Can you drink coffee with braces? Can you drink soda with braces? What about alcohol? Like we mentioned, there are no restrictions when it comes to beverages when you have clear braces or metal braces. Drinking with braces won’t damage your bracket and wires. That being said, wearing braces does make you more susceptible to plaque build-up because there are extra nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to hide. This is why we usually recommend that our Houston braces patients limit their intake of sugary drinks and acidic beverages, including soda, mixed alcoholic beverages and sports drinks. Getting cavities at any point in your life is no fun, however, getting cavities while you’re in braces, could cause your treatment to go longer than it would have. Plus, teeth move most efficiently in a healthy oral environment.

Beyond sugary drinks, you’ll want to be careful when drinking coffee with braces (that goes for tea, red wine, cranberry juice or anything else dark colored too). These types of beverages can stain your teeth. Since you have brackets covering portions of your teeth, when your braces come off, you could have a two-toned smile depending on how frequently you’re drinking them.

What Can I Drink With Invisalign?

Just like with braces, you can drink whatever you want with Invisalign but only when you’re not wearing your aligners. It’s extremely important to take your aligners out to drink anything aside from plain water. Here’s why:

  • Invisalign aligners are crafted from clear plastic. Drinking coffee with Invisalign or any other hot beverages can cause the plastic to warp. The effectiveness of Invisalign depends on the fit. If the plastic warps and the fit is off, your teeth won’t get the necessary force to achieve the movements your orthodontist programmed into that set of aligners. This can compromise your results or mean you’ll have to wear that tray again.
  • Drinking something sugary or acidic with Invisalign aligners in your mouth or drinking and then immediately putting your aligners back in without rinsing your mouth out, can lead to cavities or erosion of your tooth enamel. The aligners fit snugly against the teeth and will trap the sugar or acid, holding it against your teeth for a longer period of time, potentially causing more damage. It won’t get washed away like it normally would by your saliva. Drinking alcohol with Invisalign or having the occasional glass of soda is fine but only if you’ve taken your aligners out and rinse your mouth out after.
  •  Drinking with Invisalign aligners in your mouth will cause the plastic to stain if you’re having things like coffee, red wine or tea. This kind of defeats the purpose of having virtually invisible treatment since your aligners will be noticeable.

How Can I Prevent Issues from Drinking with Invisalign or Braces?

  •  To keep cavities, staining and other issues at bay, when drinking with Invisalign or braces, follow these tips:
  • Take your Invisalign aligners out and put them in their case before having a drink.
  • Avoid the temptation to sip slowly or nurse a drink over the course of several hours. While, of course, you don’t want to drink too quickly when having an alcoholic beverage, at least when it comes to soda or sports drinks, drink it in one sitting. Otherwise, the remineralization process doesn’t get a chance to spring into action and the acids have more time to damage your teeth.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking water will wash away some of the sugar, acid and plaque. It also stimulates saliva, which is important for neutralizing plaque acids and keeping teeth healthy.
  •  Before putting your aligners back in, if you can, swish some water around in your mouth and then spit it out after having a drink. If you’re out for a night on the town enjoying adult beverages, whether you have braces or Invisalign, occasionally rinsing your mouth out can’t hurt.
  • Don’t skimp on your oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. Floss once a day as well.
  • Remember, everything in moderation. A glass of wine or coffee is perfectly fine but moderation is the key to a healthy smile.

Now that you’re a pro when it comes to beverages and your smile, if you’re interested in Invisalign or braces in Houston, schedule a complimentary consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today!

houston orthodontic specialists doctor with patient wearing braces

8 Tips for Your First Week With Braces

By | Blog, Orthodontics | No Comments

At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re all about using the most up-to-date, high-tech treatment options to ensure your experience in braces or Invisalign® is as quick, effective and painless as possible. While we’ll help you breeze right through treatment and soon you’ll forget you’re even wearing braces, there is an adjustment period. As one of the leading providers of braces in Houston and Bellaire, we’ve got you covered with all of the details you need to know to get acclimated to your new hardware. Here are our tips for your first week with braces.

  1. Get a Head Start on First Day Braces Discomfort

Patients often ask, do braces hurt? The answer is, no, they do not. While you may experience some minor discomfort, you won’t feel any actual braces pain. The sensitivity is mild and goes away in a few days. You can get a jump on this by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever right before your bonding appointment or prior to adjustments. This way, it will kick in by the time any sensitivity begins.

  1.   Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Food and Drinks

We’ll fill you in on what to eat with braces the first week and beyond at your consultation. Your first day with braces or even your first several days, your teeth will be sensitive as we said, so sticking with soft foods and cold drinks is your best bet. Things like mashed potatoes, smoothies, applesauce, soup, pudding, yogurt, ice cream and ice water are great options. Cold beverages have the added bonus of numbing your mouth.

Once you are acclimated to your braces, you can go back to eating most of the foods you love. However, you will want to avoid really hard, sticky or chewy foods like caramel, toffee, popcorn, hard bagels, tough meats, nuts and pizza crust or anything that can damage your braces. You also shouldn’t bite or tear directly into foods like raw apples and carrots or corn on the cob. Instead, strip corn off the cob and cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth. 

Once you’re back into the swing of eating your normal fare, here are some of the best foods we typically recommend to our Houston, TX braces patients: 

o   Soft breads such as sandwich breads, pancakes and tortillas

o   Soft cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy

o   Pasta and grains, including quinoa, rice, couscous, barley and noodles

o   Steamed veggies

o   Fork-tender meats

o   Peanut butter

o   Stew and soup

o   Fruit cups

o   Applesauce

o   Ripe fruits

o   Fish sticks or soft-cooked fish

o   Hummus

o   Egg salad, tuna salad and chicken salad

o   Pudding

o   Tofu

o   Guacamole

o   Beans

o   Cold drinks such as smoothies, milkshakes and ice water

  1. Embrace Salt Water Rinses and Orthodontic Relief Wax

During your first week with braces, you may experience some irritation on the inside of your lips and cheeks. Your mouth will toughen up and after a while, your brackets and wires won’t bother you anymore. During the acclimation period, you can relieve the irritation with a salt water rinse. Add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and swish it around in your mouth before spitting it out. You can repeat this several times during the day as needed. If that doesn’t help, you can also warm up a small piece of orthodontic wax between your fingers and place it on the areas of your braces that are bothering you.

  1.   Become a Pro at Brushing and Flossing with Braces

One of the things that will feel the strangest during your first week with braces is brushing and flossing around the brackets and wires. Just as with everything else, we promise you will quickly get used to it. We’ll show you how to brush and floss correctly but here are some basic tips for braces wearers:

 o   Brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks and before bed for at least three minutes each session using a non-whitening, fluoride toothpaste. If you’re out and about and you forget to bring your toothbrush, simply rinse your mouth out well before eating and then brush as soon as you get home.

 

o   Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and moderate pressure, tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush along the top and bottom of your brackets. Be sure to give your gum line plenty of attention too. Get all of the surfaces of each and every tooth and behind your molars.

 

o   Floss once daily. You may find an orthodontic flosser or a floss threader makes the process a whole lot easier, especially during those first days with braces. Get in between any set of teeth and floss up and down the side of each tooth all the way up to your gums before moving on to the next set of teeth.

 

o   Tools like interproximal brushes can be helpful for brushing around your brackets and under the wires and getting any hard-to-reach places. A waterpik can also be a great tool for reaching into the nooks and crannies and leaving your teeth feeling sparkling clean. You’ll still have to use regular floss along with the waterpik but some of our Houston, TX braces patients really love the tool.

  1.   Don’t Panic if Your Teeth Feel Loose

A little known fact about braces is that your teeth can feel loose during treatment. We know this can cause patients to panic! Don’t worry though; your teeth won’t fall out. It’s actually completely normal. The teeth have to loosen in order to move into their new positions. When your treatment is over, they’ll lock into place.

  1.   Learn How to Handle Braces Emergencies

First, we have to say, a true braces emergency is extremely rare. However there can be some minor discomforts and mishaps. Knowing how to handle them at home can help you feel more confident during those first days in braces and throughout your entire treatment. Here are a few common ones:

o   Soreness – As we mentioned earlier, your teeth can feel sore after you first get your braces on and following adjustments. Again, sticking with soft foods and cold drinks will work wonders. You can also use a saltwater rinse or an over-the-counter pain reliever if you’re still uncomfortable.

 

o   Broken or Loose Braces Bracket – If your braces bracket is still attached to the wire, don’t take it off. Gently push it back to its correct place and then cover it with a small piece of orthodontic wax. If the bracket breaks and comes off of your wire, wrap a piece of tissue around it and take it out of your mouth. Be sure to give our office a call so we can schedule you for an appointment to fix it.

 

o   Poking Wire – Before you leave your bonding appointment, we’ll make sure no wires are poking you. However, sometimes when a bracket is loose or breaks, you can be left with a long piece of wire that pokes into your cheek. If that’s the case, gently use the eraser end of a pencil or a clean cotton swab to push it out of the way and against the nearest tooth. Dry it off with some tissue and then cover it in orthodontic wax before giving us a call.

  1.   Don’t Forget Your Mouthguard

If you are an athlete, wearing a mouthguard is essential when you’re playing sports or doing any physical activity with a risk of injury to the face. It should be part of your routine all of the time but it’s especially important when you’re wearing braces. It will act as a barrier between your braces and the soft tissues of the mouth, preventing lacerations and irritation if you get hit in the face. It will also prevent damage to your braces and reduce the likelihood of losing or damaging your teeth, which can set your treatment back. A custom mouthguard will give you the best fit and superior protection and we can provide you with one at Houston Orthodontic Specialists.

  1. Focus on Those End Results!

On your first day with braces, your appliance will feel a little weird. After all, your tongue and lips aren’t used to sharing space with brackets and wires. You may also feel as if you look different or like your braces are sticking out. We promise, you’ll acclimate to your braces quickly and you’ll barely notice them after a while. If you feel discouraged, focus on the end result and think about how amazing your smile will look when you’re done.

Now that you know what to expect, if you’re interested in braces in Houston or Bellaire, book a consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today! We offer a variety of braces options, including conventional metal and clear braces, self-ligating metal and clear braces and lingual braces. We’re also a Diamond Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen provider. We’ll help you decide on the best option for your needs so you can get a healthy, beautiful smile you love. 

 

girl smiling with braces

Want to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment? Meet Propel®!

By | Blog, Orthodontics | No Comments

Patients are often curious about whether or not they can speed up orthodontic treatment, At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, the answer is, yes you can! We’re a Houston Propel® VPro5™ provider and the technology can improve the fit of your Invisalign aligners, which in turn leads to fewer appointments and refinements. We pride ourselves on embracing proven, safe advances that help our patients see results sooner and with less discomfort and Propel does just that. Here’s everything you need to know about accelerated orthodontics with this revolutionary treatment option.

What is Propel VPro5?

Propel Orthodontics has a line of devices aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler, Dr. Muller and Dr. Bloome offer Propel VPro5.  

Propel VPro5 is a take-home device for patients using Invisalign. The small, portable accessory consists of an activator and a mouthpiece. To use it, you’ll connect the mouthpiece to the oscillator and hit the on-switch to start the vibrations. Then, you’ll bite down on the mouthpiece (it’s hands-free) while wearing your Invisalign aligners as it slowly ramps up in intensity. You’ll use the device for five minutes a day. It will shut off automatically when you finish a session. When you’re done, detach the mouthpiece, rinse it with water and allow it to dry. If the oscillator gets dirty, simply wipe it with a moist cloth. However, don’t submerge it in water.

The high-frequency vibrations the device creates painlessly enhance aligner seating, which is how well your Invisalign aligners fit against your teeth. Aligner seating is the key to effective Invisalign treatment and it ensures the aligners can deliver the proper forces to shift the teeth exactly how we want. The device can make a big difference in just five minutes of use per day and makes treatment more comfortable and faster, while also leading to fewer appointments and refinements and, overall, better results.

How Does Propel Work?

The VPro5 relies on gentle, high-frequency vibrations to essentially shake your aligners into place. Often times with Invisalign, we also use tooth-colored attachments. The vibrations from the VPro5 offer up a super-charged way of getting the aligners to snap perfectly onto the attachments and fit like a glove over your teeth. By having the aligners sit tight against your pearly whites, you get the perfect amount of force, which, in turn, helps teeth shift into place more quickly. Vibration therapy is also associated with decreased discomfort and patients often report less soreness when they switch to a new set of aligners when using Propel VPro5.

Is Propel Safe?

Yes. Propel VPro5 has been cleared by the FDA as a Class I medical device that is safe for use in orthodontics. Studies have shown it can safely and comfortably help you get amazing results. While most patients are a candidate for Propel, every mouth is unique. We’ll let you know if Propel is right for you once we’ve had a chance to evaluate you at your consultation.  

If you’re ready to hit fast forward on your Invisalign treatment with Propel, book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists in Bellaire or West Houston today!

 

I just got my braces off…what happens now?

By | Orthodontics

retainer-blog

Many patients look forward to the end of their treatment with braces and are curious as to the next steps. When it comes to getting your braces off, next comes the retention part of the treatment and getting your retainers.

As a patient, you just spent a lot of time and money on getting the beautiful smile of your dreams. Your orthodontist will most likely recommend you wear your retainers for 24 hours each day for the first several months. This means just about all the time, except when eating or brushing your teeth (don’t forget to brush your retainer if it’s removable). It’s important to wear your retainers as Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler and Bellaire Family Orthodontics recommends, since your teeth are more prone to moving, especially right when you get your braces off. The last thing you want to do is not wear your retainers and lose all the hard work you just went through.

As time goes on, you will be asked to periodically visit your orthodontist for retainer check-up appointments to ensure that everything is staying in place. Once the doctor deems that you’ve been wearing your retainer properly and often, eventually you will probably be instructed to wear your retainer at night.

It’s important to remember that each person’s treatment is different and some patients may be required to wear their retainer more than others. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and you will maintain your beautiful smile for life!

retainer-blog

What type of retainers are available after my Orthodontic treatment in Houston?

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congrats! You just finished a long process to get the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of! Now you may be wondering, what happens next?

You and your Houston orthodontist will discuss your recommended retainer options that will best suit you. Everyone typically has to wear a retainer, but what may work best is different from person to person. There may be several options to choose from, including:

Vivera retainers
These are thick, Invisalign clear retainers, made straight from Invisalign. You probably will not be able to see them, but they will hold your teeth in place. Your Houston Invisalign orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth to have these made.

Essex retainers
These are also clear plastic, removeable retainers. Your Houston orthodontist will have an impression made. They will hold your teeth in place and allow for great oral hygiene!

Permanent retainer
This type of retainer is typically a permanent metal bar that is glued to the back of your teeth. This is a favorite of many because you don’t have to worry about losing the retainer since it is more or less “permanent” in your mouth. Just be sure to use floss threaders when flossing.

Hawley Retainers
These retainers are made of both acrylic and metal and may be the typical retainer you think of that has a metal bar going across your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend you wear this on both your upper and lower teeth.

Whichever retainer is best for you, be rest assured these will hold your beautiful new smile in place!

Back to School Tips for Braces

By | Orthodontics


We can’t believe where the summer has gone, but School is finally here! Bellaire Family Orthodontics is proud to support our local Bellaire and Houston area schools and is the best orthodontist in the area. Making the transition back into the daily routine of school can be a challenge for some, including those students that wear braces. Your transition into school life should go as smooth as possible. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler and our staff has compiled a list of helpful tips for our school age patients.

Keep your Braces Care Kit Handy

All of our patients receive a care kit at the time they get their braces put on. This kit includes floss, a toothbrush, a mirror, wax, timer, and floss threaders. If you are in the process of wearing elastics at this time, it’s a good idea to carry extra elastics inside the kit. You can store your zippered pouch in your locker, backpack or your desk to use when you need it.

Eat Right!

When you have braces, it’s important to eat right to avoid food getting caught in your braces. You should take small bites or event cut your food into smaller pieces. Soft foods are definitely best to eat. Be sure to stay clear of hard foods. These can cause brackets to break and then you will need an emergency orthodontist appointment. If you wear Invisalign, its best to take your aligners out when you eat and make sure you put them in your retainer case for storage. Don’t forget to put them back in after lunch!

Drink Water

By drinking water during the day, you will clean any food that may get lodged in the braces or under the wires. Drinking plenty of water is also good for the overall health of your teeth and your body.

Wear A Mouthguard

If you are a school athlete, it’s important to protect your teeth from injury. Wearing a mouthguard will do just that. It will also protect your braces. Be sure you find the best mouthguard to fit your size mouth.
Contact us for Braces & Invisalign in Houston. We wish all our patients and their families a happy school year and we hope everyone studies hard!

kids swing

Best Age for Orthodontics

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

One of the most common questions that Dr. Vladimir Tabakman and Dr. Melissa Wadler-Bloome hear from parents is, “What age should I bring my child in for a check-up?” The American Association of Orthodontics recommends all children get a check up with an orthodontic specialist at age 7.

In the past, parents were usually told to wait until all of their child’s baby teeth were gone and all of the permanent teeth were in, or to just wait until their dentist told them that it was time to see an orthodontist. However, this has changed over the years.

At early age, orthodontists can already spot problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while baby teeth are still present. Even though your child’s teeth may appear straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated, and will give your orthodontist the chance to correct problems and improve appearance when children’s natural growth processes are in full swing.

Keep in mind that timing is everything and not all kids need early treatment, in fact, most kids don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they’re 9-14 years old. If your child is older than 7, it’s not too late for a check-up. We will continue to observe your child’s progression until they are ready for treatment. You can definitely trust the true orthodontic specialists, Dr. Tabakman and Dr. Wadler-Bloome at Houston Orthodontic Specialists with your family’s precious smiles, and to help you make the right decision for your family. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, or a second opinion. See you at 7!

Young people having fun at the skatepark

Invisalign Teen West Houston

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

You’re a teenager and we know how busy you are. You have sports, after-school activities and hanging out with friends. The reality is that metal braces are not what you want.

For many teenagers, braces are a rite of passage. For many braces are dreaded and feared. At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, we want to give you the smile you want through a brace-free, comfortable and invisible orthodontic procedure, Invisalign Teen®. The product is a set of clear aligners which straightens your teeth without braces. The aligners are virtually invisible and no one will even know that you’re wearing it! Invisalign Teen® allows you to eat whatever you want and keeping your teeth clean is easy. Invisalign Teen® allows Dr. Tabakman to create a beautiful smile for you without braces.

See what teenagers just like you are saying about Invisalign Teen®!
http://www.invisalign.com/Why-Invisalign/Pages/Testimonials.aspx

Call Houston Orthodontic Specialists today to schedule your complimentary consultation to see if Invisalign® is for you!
(281) 752.4222

A boy looking at his slice of watermelon

What can I eat with braces?

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congratulations! You just got your braces on and you’re now officially part of the Houston Orthodontic Specialists family. For the duration of your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Tabakman at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, it is important to follow certain guidelines to make sure that your treatment goes as smoothly as possibly. So you may be asking yourself, what can I eat with braces? It is important to follow Dr. Tabakman’s guidelines of foods to avoid with braces, because chewy and hard foods can break your brackets or wires. We know that it’s hard to avoid your favorite candy or gum. So why do we tell you not to eat these foods?

-Broken brackets can delay your time in brackets by 2 months per broken bracket. This indefinitely leads to wearing your braces longer.
-When a bracket is broken from the tooth, Dr. Tabakman has to take the time to repair that bracket rather than following the original treatment course, which will delay treatment.
-Eating sticky gum or candy will get stuck in the braces also making it very hard to keep your teeth clean which can cause tooth decay.
-Don’t forget to minimize your sugar and soda pop amount with braces. Keeping your teeth clean with braces can be challenging and therefore there is a higher chance for tooth decay. Following Dr. Tabakman’s guidelines will make your time in braces as short and easy as possible.

Here is a little reminder of foods not to eat with braces:

-Gum
-Nuts
-Bagels
-Pizza Crust
-Sugar Daddies
-Now & Laters
-Starburst
-Gummi bears
-Tooties Rolls
-Jerky
-Popcorn
-Hard Pretzels
-Ice
-Caramels
-Toffee

If you have any questions or concerns, just ask Dr. Tabakman at Houston Orthodontic Specialists at your next appointment or email us at: [email protected]

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you’ll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:
brushing_braces-300x200
1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office – we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!