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Richmond, VA Orthodontist | How to Take Care of Your Retainer

23228 Orthodontist

Are you someone who goes days or even weeks without cleaning your retainer? Retainers contain the same bacteria that grows on your teeth. Not cleaning your retainer daily is virtually the same as not brushing your teeth for days. If you want to practice proper oral hygiene, take note of these tips for proper retainer care.

Brush Your Retainer with Toothpaste

While brushing your teeth at night, remember to brush your retainer as well. Make this a habit and it won’t feel like an extra step. Use a soft-bristled brush and non-whitening toothpaste. Using a soft toothbrush and avoiding abrasive toothpastes is important because repeated scrubbing can scratch the surface of the retainer acrylic which leaves areas for bacteria to grow.

Don’t Just Wash with Water

Using water alone won’t fight bacteria. Water can reduce bacteria growth throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar will do a more effective job. Mix one part vinegar to three parts water in a cup and soak your retainer in the mixture for about 15 minutes, followed by a gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda helps restore the pH balance in retainers while also whitening them. Create a thick paste by using half water and half baking soda. The finished product should resemble a light toothpaste and can be applied to your toothbrush. Scrub the retainer gently for a safe disinfectant.

Use Mouthwash to Fight Off Bacteria

Only use a mouthwash to clean your retainer if you have verified that the mouthwash is non-alcoholic, since alcohol can damage the retainer acrylic. The best mouthwash to use would be a clear one to avoid staining your retainer. Soak your retainer in the mouthwash for an hour, then remove and scrub gently with a soft toothbrush. This not only fights plaque and bacteria, but also prevents deposits from forming.

Using Store Bought Retainer Cleaner

Stores sell cleaners specifically made for retainers, reinforcing that they need to be cleaned. Your dentist can recommend cleaners, and if you choose to use one, make sure to follow the instructions on the package.

Take care of your oral health by also taking care of your retainer. Built up bacteria in retainers can lead to other health issues, so make sure you get into the habit of cleaning your retainer every night when you brush your teeth using one of the methods we recommend above.

To schedule your next visit to our office, contact our team.

4106 E Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 672-3030

Orthodontist in Richmond, VA | The Benefits of Adult Orthodontics

Orthodontist in 23228

The benefits of orthodontics are no longer just for children and teens. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. There are many reasons why more adults are receiving orthodontic treatment to improve their overall lives.

Wide Variety of Options

Orthodontics have evolved beyond traditional braces. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, is an option that resembles a mouth guard without the use of metal or wires. Invisalign® offers faster treatment times with a better fit to move your teeth more precisely. Even traditional braces have changed. They are now designed much smaller and less noticeable than in the past.

Long-Term Oral Health

Crooked and overcrowded teeth can lead to significant complications. Without straight teeth, you have a higher chance of plaque building up between your teeth. This can lead to gingivitis and potentially worsen into gum disease. With orthodontics, you can also avoid tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of the tooth enamel, and TMJ/TMD pain. Orthodontic treatment can improve your life beyond your smile.

Confidence in Your Smile

If you never had braces or your teeth have since shifted back, adult orthodontics can transform your smile. It is never too late to straighten your teeth. You will be able to smile in photos and talk to others without being self-conscious. Research has shown that a smile is one of the first things we notice about others when we meet someone new. Make the right impression with a straight, healthy, and beautiful smile.

There are benefits to receiving orthodontic care that more adults are now opting towards. Treatment can boost your confidence and promote oral health with virtually invisible options.

 Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.

4106 E Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 672-3030

Orthodontist in Richmond VA | Living with Braces: Potential Issues to Consider

Orthodontist Richmond VA

adult orthodontics in richmond vaBraces are a common rite of passage for many people, and, thankfully, they have become more comfortable over the years. People generally have few problems with their braces outside of the expected minor discomfort. However, depending on your lifestyle, there are potential risks to consider. Below are some common issues that you might experience and tips on how to avoid them.

Mouth Injuries

Most people know the importance of wearing a mouth guard when participating in high impact sports such as football or hockey. However, when you have braces, even a fall from running can pose a threat to your lips. Ask our doctor about getting a mouthguard for all physical activity as it will act as a safeguard and protect your lips from potential damage.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

When you have braces, it’s important to still practice good oral hygiene. Since flossing and careful brushing require greater effort, it can be easy to slack off in these areas. However, doing so will only further complicate your treatment and damage your teeth. There are plenty of tools at your disposal designed to help you clean around braces, from pre-threaded floss to pressurized water tools. If you’re having difficulty adapting your regular routine, ask the orthodontist about different options that can help.

Activity-Related Issues

There are some inconveniences that can arise when trying to add braces into your day-to-day routine. Certain musicians for example might experience discomfort when getting used to playing with braces. People who sing or do extensive public speaking might have some minor issues with pronunciation or discomfort caused by your lips rubbing against the metal. Most of these issues will fix themselves as you get used to living with braces. However if the discomfort persists, ask your orthodontist about the different relief options you have.

Most individuals who have braces do not have any long-term complications throughout their treatment. However, there are smaller issues that can arise when you are first adjusting to your braces that can become a big annoyance if left unaddressed. By knowing what to expect and raising any concerns or issues you might have with your orthodontist, you will be much more prepared to tackle these small issues. Contact our office today to schedule your next visit.

4106 E. Parham Road
RichmondVA 23228
(804) 672-3030

 

Orthodontist in Richmond VA | Braces or Invisalign®: What’s Right For Me?

Dentist Richmond

Orthodontist Richmond, VAWhether its for purely cosmetic reasons or to correct a misaligned bite, many people seek orthodontic treatment to help improve their smile. Braces and Invisalign® are both popular options used for straightening teeth. Though both can be incredibly effective, each has their own unique strengths that can help determine which is better for your particular needs.

Benefits of Braces

Braces are a time-tested method for correcting problems with tooth alignment. As braces have become more comfortable, they are now much less inconvenient to wear. Whether you want fun colors or a more subtle look, braces are a good solution for patients of all ages. Since braces are completely customizable to the needs of your teeth, they are often the best solution for more complex cases where teeth need to be dramatically realigned to create a better bite.

Benefits of Invisalign®

Invisalign® is a newer, less invasive approach to orthodontic care. Unlike braces, which are permanently fixed on your teeth for the duration of treatment, Invisalign® uses a series of custom-made trays to help slowly shift your teeth into a more optimal smile. Invisalign® is a great solution for those needing less intensive treatment. Being able to remove the trays when eating and brushing your teeth reduces the inconvenience of treatment and makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.

Which is Right For Me?

As we have seen, both braces and Invisalign® offer great solutions. The best way figure out what will help you the most is to speak with our team. We will give you a full evaluation of what your mouth needs and help you decide the best treatment plan accordingly. To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

4106 E. Parham Road
RichmondVA 23228
(804) 672-3030

Richmond, VA Orthodontist | Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Orthodontist in Richmond

Orthodontist in 23228

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines.

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger.

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar.

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our team suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks.

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health.

To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

4106 E. Parham Road
RichmondVA 23228
(804) 672-3030

Richmond, VA Orthodontist | When Should My Child Get Braces?

Orthodontist in Richmond

adult orthodontics in richmond vaBraces can help create a straight, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Ideally, any corrections to the bite, jaw, or mouth structure should be performed during adolescence while the mouth is still forming. Here’s what you need to know before your child begins treatment with braces.

Why Get Braces?

Braces are used to correct improper bites. If you child has an overbite or underbite, braces may be recommended along with another orthodontic appliance to shift the jaw. Additionally, braces are used to correct gaps between teeth as well as teeth that are growing in a crooked position.

The Importance of Starting Early

Braces are more effective in younger patients because the jaw structure is still malleable. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of orthodontic treatment cases typically begin between the ages of 8 and 14. Your child’s particular course of treatment is going to be dependent on a number of factors including mouth structure and the progress of erupting adult teeth.

Braces Can Improve Your Child’s Life

It may be difficult for your child to imagine an extended period of time without being able to eat sticky, gummy foods or chew bubblegum, however there are numerous benefits to your child’s overall health and well-being that can be achieved with braces. By straightening teeth and closing gaps, your child’s gum health will be improved. Braces can prevent dental complications later in life such as the need for more advanced corrective procedures. Your child’s confidence will also be boosted once they see the results of a straight, beautiful smile.

We invite you and your child to discuss the benefits of having braces with our team. During your appointment, we will provide a complete examination and make a recommendation for a treatment plan that will work best for your child.

To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

Richmond Orthodontist | Your Guide to Eating with Braces

Orthodontics in Richmond, VA

adult orthodontics in richmond vaWhile undergoing orthodontic treatment, careful consideration should be taken when eating. It is possible to damage your braces from certain types of foods leading to a potentially painful and expensive experience. We’ve put together this short guide to help you decide which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.

Don’t Eat These Foods

Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are the enemy of braces. Avoid any candy or food that could become stuck in your braces. This includes taffy and chewing gum. Stay away from popcorn, as the kernels can become lodged between your brackets. Hard, crunchy foods should also be avoided. This includes foods such as nuts.

Use Caution When Eating These

You don’t have to completely give up your favorite foods with braces, just use caution. For example, corn should be removed off the cob before eating. If you are a chicken wings or ribs lover, be sure the bones have been removed before digging in to eat. Don’t let your braces become an excuse for avoiding fruits. Never bite directly into apples and pears, but slice them into smaller pieces.

Add These to Your Diet

Most meats and grains are safe for braces, if you eat bite-sized pieces. Additionally, soft fruits such as bananas and peaches can be added to your diet. Soft, easy to chew foods are going to be your safest options. This includes meals such as mashed potatoes, soups and yogurts.

Eating with braces can be a challenge, but our team is here to help you determine the best food choices while undergoing orthodontic treatment. You should still eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Follow our team’s directions to ensure your braces achieve their desired results. What food do you think you will treat yourself to after your treatment is completed?

To schedule your orthodontic visit, please contact our team.

Richmond Orthodontist | Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Orthodontist in Richmond, VA

Orthodontist in 23228What makes teeth sensitive?

If the idea of biting into an ice cream sandwich makes you cringe, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is often caused by movement of fluid in the dentin – the soft inner tissue beneath the enamel of your tooth. This motion irritates the tooth nerve, creating a tingling sensation and sometimes pain.

Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is when the tiny tubes of fluid in the dentin become exposed. This can happen due to tooth wear, receding gums, or damage to the tooth. When this occurs, pain is caused by eating or drinking foods that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic, and even through contact or exposure to air.

Whitening and orthodontic treatment may cause temporary teeth sensitivity. In most cases, this type will disappear within a week or two. In severe cases of tooth sensitivity, the tooth nerve itself may be exposed, causing severe pain and irritation and requiring immediate treatment.

What can you do about the sensitivity?

If you are suffering from sensitivity in your teeth, tell your hygienist or dentist at your next dental visit. They may need to screen for more serious underlying causes that could need treatment. They will also be able to recommend your best method of managing your discomfort.

Is tooth sensitivity preventable?

Some forms of sensitivity are preventable. Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes and do not brush aggressively. This can cause higher levels of tooth wear that lead to sensitivity. If you participate in sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from trauma. Chipped and cracked teeth often become sensitive.

Once serious underlying issues have been ruled out, you can help to manage mildly sensitive teeth with special toothpastes that are designed to decrease your sensitivity. If these do not provide sufficient relief, ask whether a prescription product may be needed.

If you have sensitivity in your teeth, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can help.

Richmond Orthodontist | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Orthodontist in Richmond, VA

Orthodontist in 23228An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.

Richmond Dentist | Relief for Common Braces Issues

Dentist in Richmond

Dentist in RichmondBraces are a safe, effective way to correct the alignment of your teeth. For some orthodontic patients, minor irritation or other issues can occur. For your reference, we’ve compiled a guide to understanding how to best handle a few issues you might experience.

I Am Experiencing Discomfort with My Braces

Minor discomfort for the first few days after placement or adjustment is normal. We advise sticking to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods. You may find it helpful to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If discomfort continues beyond the first week, contact our office for guidance.

Food Is Caught Between My Teeth

It may take some time to adjust to eating with your braces. If food gets caught between your teeth, try using floss. Creating a small knot in the floss might make it more effective at catching the lodged piece of food. Small toothbrushes or interdental cleaners may also be an effective way to clean out the gaps between your teeth and in brackets. A toothpick may also work, but use extra caution when working around the wires of your braces.

My Braces Are Irritating My Mouth

Wires and brackets can rub against your lips or inner cheeks causing discomfort. In these instances, use non-medicinal relief wax to cover the problematic area. This can make eating and talking more comfortable. The wax is harmless if accidentally swallowed.

A Wire Is Sticking Out

Though not common, wires can shift and protrude into your mouth. Attempt to push the wire back into place against your teeth using a cotton swab or even a clean pencil eraser. Make sure to let us know about the issue during your next visit.

A Bracket, Wire, or Band is Loose

Any loosening of your braces should be examined by our team. Loosening of the appliance may occur from eating hard, crunchy foods or from playing contact sports. Your best defenses are avoiding troublesome foods and wearing a mouth guard if you are playing sports. If any part of your braces is removed, please save it and bring it with you to our office.

Adjusting to braces can take some time. Always have non-medicinal relief wax on hand in case your braces become an irritant. If your braces are loose or parts are falling off, please contact us immediately. The best way to keep your braces secure is to avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods. Don’t forget to brush thoroughly after each meal to clean out any food particles that may have become lodged between your teeth.

For questions about your braces, please contact our office.