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 braces 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
- Pizza crust
- Hard breads
- Carrots, whole apples or raw vegetables (cut into smaller pieces)
- Hard pretzels
- 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.
Not sure what to do if your Invisalign aligner tray cracks? Thomas Kwong, D.D.S., your Portage, MI, orthodontist, explains how to handle the situation.
What should I do if my Invisalign tray cracks?
Depending on the timing and severity of the crack, your orthodontist may recommend one of these options:
Continue wearing the tray
If the crack isn't severe, you may be able to continue wearing the tray without a problem. In some cases, your orthodontist may even be able to repair the crack.
Wear the next tray in the set
If the crack occurs on day 8 or later, your Portage, MI orthodontist may suggest that you begin wearing your next Invisalign aligner tray a little earlier. Should a severe crack occur soon after you begin wearing a new set of trays, you may be advised to wear the previous tray until a new tray can be created for you.
How can I avoid cracks?
Reduce your risk of a cracked Invisalign aligner tray by following these tips:
- Don't chew on your aligner tray. Although the resin used to make the Invisalign aligners is strong, the tray can still crack if you bite or chew on it.
- Vary your removal technique. Removing your aligner tray by pulling on the same place every time can stress the resin and cause cracks.
- Always take your Invisalign aligner trays out before you eat. The trays are not designed to handle the extreme pressure involved in chewing.
- Use your case every time you remove your trays. Prevent damage to your aligner trays by using the provided trays, even if you don't plan to leave your trays out for a long time. It only takes a few seconds for your dog to decide that the tray will make a good toy or for the tray to fall to the floor.
If you crack your Invisalign aligner tray, let Thomas Kwong, D.D.S., your Portage, MI, orthodontist, know by calling (269) 327-4459 during regular office hours. Protect the investment you've made in your smile by checking your aligner trays daily for signs of cracking or damage.
A minor overbite or a few slightly crooked teeth are the types of dental imperfections that can make a smile individual and unique. In fact, with cosmetic dentistry now making it possible for anyone obtain white, straight teeth, a little gap here and there can be a beautiful sign of individuality. However, when the teeth are significantly misaligned, the resulting bite problems may require orthodontics to shift the teeth back into proper alignment.
Get Straighter Teeth in Portage
On the surface, crooked teeth may appear to be a strictly cosmetic problem. But teeth that are severely out of alignment can lead to a series of dental problems, and even cause distortions to facial features in extreme cases. Dr. Thomas Kwong, an orthodontist in Portage, MI recommends scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist for an adult or child experiencing any of the following symptoms of malocclusion (bite problems):
- Frequently biting the lining of the cheeks
- Crowding (not enough room in the mouth for the teeth; new teeth that do no fully erupt)
- Teeth that cut or poke the roof of the mouth or cheek lining
- Difficulty chewing or speaking clearly
Orthodontic correction is most common in childhood, when malocclusion issues first become apparent and are easier to correct. However, it is never too late to visit an orthodontist, and adults can also benefit from tooth alignment with braces or aligner trays. Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist if you or your child are suffering from any of the following bite problems:
- Abnormal eruption
- Excessive spacing
- Open bite
- Overbite/deep bite
- Crossbite - front and back of teeth
Contact an Orthodontist in Portage
Not sure if braces are right for you or your child? For more information, contact Kwong Orthodontics by calling (269) 327 4459 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kwong today.
Getting braces doesn't have to mean that you must give up your favorite sport. Dr. Thomas Kwong, your Portage, MI orthodontist, explains how you can protect your teeth and your braces when you're on the playing field.
Watch that ball!
Balls, sticks, elbows and falls can break wires and brackets and damage your teeth. Unfortunately, sports wouldn't be much fun without those things. Luckily, you don't have to sit on the bench just because you have braces. An orthodontic mouthguard can provide the protection you need to avoid injury.
How is an orthodontic mouthguard different than a regular mouthguard?
Regular mouthguards are made of harder plastic than orthodontic mouthguards. If you do get hit in the mouth, your wires or brackets can break when the mouthguard is pushed against them. Orthodontic mouthguards are made from soft silicone, a material that helps absorb the impact of a blow and protect your braces. These mouthguards also help keep your lips from being pushed into your teeth during a fall or blow. When you get your braces, let your Portage orthodontist know that you'll need this special mouthguard.
Are some types of braces better for sports than others?
Although metal braces are very effective at moving your teeth, some athletes prefer to wear braces that can be removed while they play sports. Invisalign braces are not only removable, but are also clear. Since they're transparent, no one may even know that you're wearing braces. These braces are typically worn for 20 hours every day, but can be removed for special events, like games and practices. If you choose Invisalign, it's still important to wear a mouthguard to prevent injury to your teeth, lips and mouth.
What happens if I have a mouth injury?
Call your orthodontist as soon as possible if you experience an injury during a game or practice. He'll let you know if he thinks you need an emergency appointment.
Interested in learning how braces can improve your smile? Call Dr. Thomas Kwong, your Portage, MI orthodontist, at (269) 327-4459 and schedule an appointment.
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:
- 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.
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