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Whitening Teeth with Braces

November 15th, 2018

Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!

Toothpaste

The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. And, whether you have metal or ceramic braces, the brackets used are bonded to your teeth. Any part of your tooth covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste. Ask our office if you are thinking of using one of these products. We will be happy to recommend the best toothpastes to use while your braces are in place.

Whitening Strips and Trays

Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with whitening gel. But neither strips nor tray solutions will whiten any area covered by brackets. When your braces come off, there might be noticeable differences in color on each tooth. Strips are difficult to apply with braces, and trays need to be custom-designed to fit your braces and make sure they don’t disturb your orthodontic work. One size most definitely does not fit all! Finally, these whitening agents can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, especially around the time of adjustments. Many manufacturers do not recommend using their products while you have braces. Please talk to us if you are thinking of using them.

Professional Whitening

A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Whether this treatment is appropriate while you have braces is something we are happy to discuss.

The best way to keep your teeth bright is to keep up your regular dental routine! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever now, because plaque builds up around brackets. Avoid foods that stain teeth and rinse or brush after every meal and snack. Dr. Overby will show you the best way to take care of your teeth while your braces are on—and that includes the best way to keep them white and bright. Talk to us about the perfect time to whiten your beautiful smile during your next visit to our Austin, Rochester, or Stewartville, MN office. And if you have to wait a few extra days for the smile you’ve been working toward, truly, the wait will be worth it!

Why Should You Clean Your Tongue

November 14th, 2018

Even if you brush and floss your pearly whites twice or thrice a day, you cannot think of going cavity-free. This is because the bacteria residing on the tongue are not being addressed. Cleaning your tongue is recommended as it is beneficial in fighting bad breath as well as maintaining good dental hygiene. The tongue is a very important structure in your oral cavity and needs to be kept clean from food debris. It is advised to pay maximum attention to cleanliness of your tongue.

Why is cleaning the tongue important?

The tongue is a muscular structure that has tiny bumps on it called as papillae and there are grooves between the papillae. These are the potential areas on the tongue where bacteria can build up. Bacteria, dead skin cells and food particles will settle on the tongue. This gets covered by a very fine layer of mucus which covers the entire tongue. The bacterium that gets trapped on the tongue creates bad breath and a whitish discoloration on the tongue. These bacteria can get deposited on to the gums and teeth, thus increasing the chances of plaque and tartar buildup.

Cleaning of the tongue should be made part of the daily regimen for the following reasons:

  • To remove the bacteria
    Tongue cleaning leads to removal of the bacteria and plaque that leads to gum disease. If this is not cleaned adequately, it can cause illness that can spread to other parts of the body. This improves the overall health of an individual.
  • Removal of bad breath
    The germs that causes bad odour settle on the tongue and produces bad breath in individuals with poor tongue hygiene.

  • Improve overall taste sensation
    By clearing the plaque and mucus layer formed on the tongue, the taste sensation improves. This will help you relish the food that you eat. The taste of food will increase with great intensity.

Techniques to clean tongue

Just as you brush and floss your teeth, it is essential to follow a routine for tongue cleaning. It is best to make tongue cleaning a habit. The ideal time to clean the tongue is once in the morning and once in the evening. During the day, if any foul smell is noticed arising from the mouth then rinsing with mouthwash is advised as it kills the bacteria. This helps in maintaining a fresh smelling breath.

The technique used to clean tongue is important. It can be cleaned by brushing back and forth, side to side and by rinsing your mouth with water. It is important to take care not to over brush the tongue as it can cause a break in the skin of the tongue. The tongue scraper can be used to clean the tongue.

Cleaning your tongue is a very important daily routine that should to be followed. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, tongue cleaning should be cultivated as a habit. This extra level of care which is often overlooked helps you in maintaining good oral hygiene and health.

Source: PerthSmiles.com

Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

November 14th, 2018

Thanksgiving is a holiday to be thankful for! Almost all of your traditional favorites are perfect for family members with braces.

Appetizers: Offer soft food options such as silky cheeses and deviled eggs instead of crunchy vegetables, chips, and nuts.

Dinner: Turkey is a required dish on many tables, and no need to miss out! Just make sure pieces are bite-size and off the bone. Creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and jellied cranberry sauce are also braces-friendly traditions. Any cooked vegetable should be fine, but do cut the corn from the cob first. Dressing is a great side dish if your child avoids any crunchy tops and edges, as are soft, nut-free rolls and muffins.

Dessert: Pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and apple pie with ice cream are all safe (and delicious) choices. Leave the pecan pie, caramel sauce, and anything nutty or chewy off your child’s menu. And remember to brush and floss carefully after the feast!

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Top Five Best Foods for Oral Health

November 8th, 2018

Some foods are just terrible for your teeth — think cookies and candy bars — but there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health. Below, Dr. Overby and our team have covered five of the top foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

1. Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables: Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like “natural toothbrushes,” helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.

2. Kiwis: These little green superstars are packed with vitamin C which is essential for gum health. The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.

3. Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you'll be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!

4. Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms, lentinan, has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone. It may also help prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.

5. Green Tea: Often lauded for its high antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out green tea also benefits your oral health! A Japanese study found men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently. It's believed this is due to the catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may help protect you from free radical damage, but more research needs to be done. Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!

If you have any questions about your oral health, or are looking for even more oral health tips, contact our Austin, Rochester, or Stewartville, MN office!