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Posts for tag: Braces

October 27, 2016
Tags: Braces   healthy smile  

Learn how to properly care for your braces so you won’t have to deal with broken wires or fallen-off brackets.

Once you get your braces, you finally realize why it’s so important to care for them. Even though they may look rough and tough, metal bracesbraces can still become broken or damaged. Damaged braces aren’t effective, which may lengthen your treatment. From the office of our Portage, MI orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Kwong, here are some useful tips for how to care for your braces and maintain good oral health.

If You’ve Just Gotten Braces…

It will take time for your mouth to adjust to your braces so you may feel a bit sore for the first few days. Take it easy and adopt a soft-food diets until the discomfort subsides. Cut food into easy-to-chew pieces and stick to foods that are easy to eat.

What You Can and Can’t Eat

Even once the discomfort of just getting braces goes away you will have some dietary restrictions for the length of your treatment. This is because there are certain foods that can bend wires, break brackets and even loosen the cement that attaches brackets to teeth. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy or that contain a lot of sugar. Foods to avoid are:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Bagels
  • Pizza crust
  • Hard breads
  • Carrots, whole apples or raw vegetables (cut into smaller pieces)
  • Popcorn
  • Ice
  • Hard pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Hard candies
  • Chewing gum
  • Gummy candies
  • Caramels and taffy

Avoid Bad Habits

If you are an avid pen cap chewer or you bite your nails these are all habits that you will need to be aware of and prevent if you want to protect your braces. Talk to our orthodontic dentist in Portage about ways to break these habits.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

While everyone should brush twice a day it’s important that you brush even more often when you have braces. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will be gentle enough on your braces, and brush your teeth immediately after every meal. Bring a travel toothbrush with you if you are heading to school or work to make it easier for you to brush on the go.

Make sure you are also flossing every day. Use a threader floss to help get in between teeth while wearing braces so you can remove plaque and food particles and prevent decay.

If you have questions about how to care for your braces don’t hesitate to call Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Dr. Kwong is happy to answer any and all questions regarding braces, whether you are considering getting braces or you are currently wearing them.

February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces  

You could actually prevent certain dental problems just by getting orthodontics.

There are so many reasons your Portage, MI orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Kwong, may recommend orthodontic treatment. Some of the most common reasons include:Braces

  • To correct certain malocclusions (bad bites) such as an overbite or underbite
  • Crooked teeth or teeth that stick out
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth or spaces between teeth
  • Jaws that do not line up properly

While you already know that braces can improve your smile’s aesthetics, did you know that they could also improve your oral health? That’s right! Getting braces could actually reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease and prevent problems that could result in tooth loss.

An abnormal bite can put too much pressure on certain teeth, which may cause excessive wear on healthy tooth enamel. Over time, this wear and tear on your teeth may result in cracked or fractured teeth. Before your tooth needs a dental crown, maybe it’s time you considered getting braces in Portage.

Also, an abnormal bite can affect speaking or chewing. If you find that your misaligned smile is making it difficult to eat all the foods you would like, you may also be missing out on some nutrients that you need. Before this takes a toll on your health it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of braces.

Also, crooked teeth or overlapping teeth make it difficult to thoroughly brush in all those nooks and crannies, which can result in leaving food and plaque behind. Over time plaque turns to tartar, which your toothbrush won’t be able to remove (only your Portage dentist will be able to with a thorough dental cleaning). If tartar isn’t removed, this can result in gum disease and cavities. Before this happens, it’s time to consider whether braces are right for you.

With all the advancements in dental technology, you now have more options than ever to get a straighter smile. Traditional braces are a great way to fix even the most complex dental issues, but there are also porcelain braces that boast tooth-colored wires and brackets and nearly invisible braces like Invisalign that teens and adults can benefit from.

You’ll never know if braces are right for you unless you come into our Portage, MI orthodontic office for a consultation. Let Kwong Orthodontics straighten out your smile once and for all.

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C.
February 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces  

If you're one of the many Americans today who has braces, you know that accommodating them inside your mouth takes real care and a sharp eye. After all, putting anything in your mouth that could damage the integrity of your braces could spell disaster for their immediate and long-term effectiveness.

At Kwong Orthodontics, you'll find the expert preventive care you need from trusted orthodontists like Dr. Thomas Kwong himself toBraces ensure that your braces are in tip-top shape from the start. After all, having the knowledge you need to avoid having the wrong stuff for your braces in your mouth and its accompanying potential pitfalls is always better than correctional care after you've already bitten off more than you can chew (or your braces can handle, more accurately...).

Check out five common foods you should avoid if you have braces below:

  • Popcorn
  • Hard and/or sticky candy
  • Hard pretzels
  • Ice
  • Gum

Also, don't chew on things like writing utensils (pens, pencils) or your fingernails, because chewing on these hard surfaces can break or damage your braces. Also, maintaining proper dental hygiene is pertinent to your braces' continued long-term achievement, making brushing (and flossing!) a must-have in your daily dental routine.

Once your braces have been placed, one of the expert orthodontic professionals at Kwong Orthodontics will be more specific about the best way you can care for your braces without neglecting surrounding tooth structures, such as your gums, so that you can continue on the path to optimal dental wellness!

For more information on what to avoid if you want your braces to stay as effective as possible, give Dr. Kwong a call today at (269) 366-0882 so a treatment plan can be set up that's specific to your dental needs. After all, personalized dental care is something that's always sought after at Kwong Orthodontics here in Portage, MI!

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C.
December 09, 2014
Tags: Braces   retainers  

orthodontist Portage, MIFind out why it’s so important to wear your retainer after orthodontic treatment in Portage.

If you’ve just gotten your braces off then congratulations! You probably couldn’t be happier to have a straighter smile and to finally say goodbye to your braces; however, you may be a little less than thrilled to find out you have to wear your retainer, but this is a crucial step to maintaining that beautiful new smile that you worked so hard to get.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve worn traditional metal braces or Invisalign, when anyone opts for orthodontic treatment they must wear retainers even after their treatment is over. The purpose of wearing braces is to shift your teeth into their proper alignment; however, as we age our teeth begin to move forward and inward. This means that unless we have something like a retainer to keep teeth in place, they will most likely shift right back to their original position after your braces are removed.

That’s why we may recommend that you wear your retainers for at least 12 hours a day immediately after having your braces removed; however, this will depend on the severity of your dental condition, you age and whether we need the retainers to help finalize your smile’s alignment or just maintain it.

After about six months, patients can switch to only wearing their retainers at night. Wearing your braces while you are sleeping is vitally important to maintaining your straight smile and we recommend you do this every night for the next year.

After you’ve worn your retainer for a full year, we will most likely tell you that you only have to wear it for a few nights each week (on average, most patients wear their retainer about three to five times a week).

While some patients are surprised to hear that they need to wear their retainers forever, we promise that orthodontics isn’t suppose to feel like punishment. If you want to have a beautiful and consistently straight smile then you need to wear your retainer. Luckily, nighttime wear isn’t a big deal and most patients find it easy to adjust to wearing their retainers while they sleep.

However, retainers don’t last forever. This means that you will need to get your retainers replaced at some point. Most last anywhere from two to 10 years depending on how well you care for them. When you come in for your routine dental visit, your Portage orthodontist can tell you if it’s time to get a new one.

If you have any questions about your retainer or your oral health post-braces, call your Portage orthodontist today. Also, you’ll want to still see your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning and exam to make sure your smile still looks its best. If it’s time to schedule your next visit with your Portage dentist, call our office today.

By Kwong Orthodontics
September 23, 2014
Tags: Braces  

braces removed The day has finally come to take your braces off. It’s definitely an exciting day, but you may be wondering about the exact process of getting them off. It’s actually a fairly straightforward procedure that can be completed in under an hour. Portage orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics performs braces removal for all his orthodontics patients—both children and adults when the time is right.

The Removal Process

You’ll usually know in advance that your braces are coming off. Dr. Kwong will tell you at the final adjustment appointment that it’s time, so that you can start celebrating. At the removal appointment, Dr. Kwong uses special orthodontic instruments to carefully remove each bracket and the glue that kept them affixed to each tooth. It is usually a procedure free from discomfort though you’ll likely have to keep your mouth open throughout the appointment.

Polishing and Cleaning

Once the brackets are off, Dr. Kwong polishes and cleans the teeth thoroughly to remove any excess residue from the tooth. This process is similar to getting a standard cleaning every six months and usually lasts just 10 minutes. If you’ve taken good care of your teeth while wearing the braces, such as brushing and flossing regularly, you should have a pearly even-colored smile.  After the braces are removed and teeth cleaned, radiographs and final photos are taken as a final step in the removal process. 

The Retainer

You will have impressions taken the same day as you get your braces off and will be delivered a clear retainer later in the afternoon. It’s crucial that you continue to wear the retainer every night while sleeping to keep your teeth in their new and improved position.
Having your braces removed and seeing your beautiful new smile by Dr. Kwong will likely be one of the happiest visits at our office.