kids braces, Orthodontic, orthodontic specialist, Uncategorized

How to Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

Braces, whether they are clear or metal, are intricate devices made by orthodontic specialists that make it easy for food and bacteria to get trapped in your mouth. This makes it especially important to maintain proper oral hygiene while you are wearing braces. Here is some advice from your orthodontist in Frankston.

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Why Good Oral Hygiene Matters

Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, many of which are good bacteria that help start the process of breaking down food for absorption in the digestive tract. However, it is important to clean your mouth and teeth regularly to keep the bacteria under control. Without regular brushing and flossing, the bacteria and leftover particles of food in your mouth cause a number of serious issues, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, which can have a negative impact on your overall health and well being.

How to Maintain Your Oral Hygiene While Wearing Braces

  • Brush – It’s best to brush your teeth after every main meal and before you go to bed, so at least 3 times a day. Brush gently and thoroughly, taking your time to clean out all the little nooks and crannies. You can use an electric or manual toothbrush, and remember to replace it more frequently as the braces tend to wear down the bristles quickly.

    Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against the top of your brackets, then brush with a small, circular motion along the top of your teeth. Then brush the inside of your top teeth. Repeat on the bottom arch.

  • Toothpaste – Use a fluoride enriched toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth. Avoid whitening toothpastes as they can’t whiten the part of the tooth covered by the bracket, so your teeth can look spotty when your braces are removed.
  • Floss – There are specific types of floss that are easier to use with braces, and you can use those interdental brushes instead of floss if you find it easier. You should still floss once a day, or if you can feel food is caught between your teeth.
  • Inspect – Take a look at your braces to see if any brackets or wires are loose or wobbly. If you spot any issues, make an appointment with your orthodontist in Frankston for a repair.

While you have braces, it’s important to keep up with your visits to the dentist. You should see your dentist every 6 months in addition to your regular appointments with your orthodontist in Frankston. Remember, orthodontic specialists can quickly see if you have been maintaining your oral hygiene, as plaque builds up quickly around the brackets of your braces.

Get Answers to All Your Oral Hygiene Questions – Chat to Orthodontic Specialists Today

Looking for an orthodontist in Frankston? Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne is a friendly, welcoming clinic specialising in braces and clear aligners for kids and adults. If you have any questions about braces or other orthodontic treatments, contact us today and book an appointment.

kids braces, Orthodontic, orthodontic specialist, Uncategorized

Tips for Managing Orthodontic Issues at Home

Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne is open to assist you, with all staff following strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of patients and staff. However, we’d like to share a few tips with you for coping with common orthodontic issues at home regarding metal braces. Remember, if you are unsure of what to do or if you can get an appointment for an issue with your braces, call us on the phone for a quick chat.

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Create a First Aid Kit for Your Braces

This can be considered your emergency kit for metal braces, and it should contain items you can get from your orthodontist and pharmacy:

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton Buds
  • Salt
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpicks
  • Toothbrush (preferably an interproximal toothbrush)
  • An over-the-counter topical aesthetic

Mouth Sores and Irritation

Mouth sores aren’t caused by braces, but can be exacerbated by metal braces when they occur, which can be very painful. Use a topical aesthetic ointment for oral use, applying it to the affected area as needed using a sterile cotton Q-tip. It should resolve itself in a few days.

A Loose Wire

Small wires in your metal braces can become lose over time, especially if you have had to miss appointments due to COVID-19. If any part of the wire band has come loose, it’s best to call Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne and make an appointment as soon as you can to prevent discomfort and keep your treatment on track.

A Loose O-Ring

These little plastic or wire loops hold the orthodontic wire in place around each bracket (where the braces attach to each tooth). They can come loose over time and, if you have wire ones, cause sores and irritation. If you have a plastic o-ring, you can usually pull it back into position using clean tweezers. If it is a metal wire, bend it until it is no longer scratching your cheek or lips. If you are still experiencing an issue or you are worried your metal braces have become loose, cap it with orthodontic wax to prevent injury to your mouth and book an appointment at Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne to have it repaired or replaced.

Visit Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne for Metal Braces and Repairs Today

Orthodontic Specialists of Melbourne offers a professional, welcoming and hygienic space for all your orthodontic needs. Located in Frankston, our talented team is ready to help kids and adults with their metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign, creating smiles to last a lifetime!

Orthodontic, Uncategorized

Will Thumb Sucking Lead to Orthodontic Problems?

For babies and toddlers, thumb sucking is a common and natural habit that generally falls away between the ages of 2 and 4. Children reflexively put their fingers and thumbs in their mouths when they feel tired, hungry, bored or restless, and it’s considered a normal part of childhood development. If the habit is still very strong around 5-6 years old, however, it can lead to tooth and oral health issues that may require early orthodontic treatment, including kids braces. Here’s some advice from an orthodontist in Frankston.

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Orthodontic problems that can be caused by thumb sucking

  • Teeth misalignment: One of the most common side effects of this habit is a misalignment of the front teeth due to pressure exerted by the thumb or finger. Most commonly, the upper teeth often start to protrude, but the bottom front teeth can be affected too. This can be corrected with kids braces.
  • Speech impediment: A child’s pronunciation and speaking abilities can be affected by teeth misalignment, and a lisp (on “s” and “z” sounds) can occur when the front teeth are in a buck-tooth position. This is a critical area of childhood development and speech therapy along with early orthodontic treatment is often required to correct the speech impediment.
  • Jaw malformation: This is a less common but still serious orthodontic issue where the shape and fit of the jaw is affected. The upper jaw may narrow, causing it to fit incorrectly into the lower jaw, or a cross-bite can occur. These issues will require early orthodontic treatment to prevent them from becoming worse as your child grows and affecting the shape of his or her face, causing discomfort when chewing and eating, and breathing through the mouth rather than nose.

How to help your child break the habit

If you are concerned that your child’s thumb sucking is becoming a bad habit (especially as their exposure to germs increases) and want to avoid getting kids braces, you can try the following advice from an orthodontist in Frankston to encourage healthier habits.

  • Positive reinforcement: Remind them gently to take their thumb out of their mouth, asking positively rather than using a punishment. You can also supply any kind of positive reinforcement your child responds to, like a hug and a high-five or a treat. You can also build up to a reward – no thumb-sucking for a whole day means ice cream!
  • Sour tastes: Thumb sucking is often almost unconsciously done, so a sharp-tasting reminder can help a child stop that reflex action. Naile-biting fluid, lemon juice or anything else that’s safe for kids’ consumption but not pleasant-tasting will work well.

Get advice today from a leading orthodontist in Frankston

If you’re worried about your child’s habit and concerned that it’s having an impact on his or her teeth, it’s best to speak to your orthodontist in Frankston. With a full assessment and information about early orthodontic treatment, kids braces and advice on building good oral health habits, you’ll get complete peace of mind.

 

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Tips to Keep Your Teeth Straight After Orthodontic Treatment

Ask any orthodontic specialists in your area and they’ll all say the same thing – teeth have long memories. Without the right care after your metal braces or clear aligners are removed, your teeth will slowly try move back into their old position even years later – and that’s the last thing you’ll want after investing in orthodontic treatment! Here are some tips to help keep your teeth straight and your smile perfect.

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Wear Your Retainer

After having metal braces or other orthodontics in your mouth for months or even years, the last thing many patients want to hear is that they’ll need to wear a retainer – but it’s the most important thing you can do to keep your teeth straight.

After a patient’s metal braces are removed or their set of clear aligners is complete, orthodontic specialists will create a custom retainer that perfectly fits their teeth and gently holds them in their correct position. How long you’ll have to wear your retainer will be determined by your orthodontist, but it often starts with wearing it all the time (except while eating) and then progresses to you wearing it for a certain number of hours per day or overnight.

Types of Retainer

There are two types of retainer that orthodontic specialists will recommend according to your treatment plan.

  • Permanent retainer – This is a thin wire made of stainless steel that is glued to the back of your front teeth. This makes it completely invisible and it’s a very effective way of supporting your new smile. You’ll have to be careful about cleaning around the area, but it’s very comfortable once your tongue gets used to it – and you won’t have to worry about taking your retainer out, cleaning it and so forth.
  • Removable retainer – These look a lot like clear aligners, and they are worn in a very similar way. You keep them on at all times except while eating and they are fairly invisible, so they usually go unnoticed by other people and in photographs. You have to remember to put them in for the required amount of time each day and, if you aren’t wearing them enough, the retainer won’t fit properly, and it will be uncomfortable.

Have Regular Dental Check-ups

You should visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental check-up and cleaning. They’ll ensure that your retainer (if it’s a permanent one) is still firmly fixed and clean, and they can let you know if there’s any sign of shifting. If your wisdom teeth haven’t emerged yet, your dentist can track these and remove them if needed, as these can cause your teeth to shift. 

You’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into getting the smile you deserve, so it’s important to keep it in great shape and good health! If you want to find out more about what happens after your metal braces come off or you finish with your clear aligners, make an appointment with your local orthodontic specialists today.

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How Long Does It Take for Clear Aligners to Work?

Clear aligners like Invisalign have grown in popularity over the years and it’s not hard to see why. Unlike metal braces, you can remove them to eat or for social occasions, and they’re nearly invisible so they look more natural too. One of the questions that are frequently asked about this orthodontic solution is how long they take to work – here’s the answer, from your local orthodontic specialists.

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Treatment Time Varies from Case to Case

Unfortunately, there is no way to give a clear answer without having a consultation with orthodontic specialists. This is because the length of time you’ll wear clear aligners is determined by your specific case. Factors that determine treatment time include:

  • How much your teeth will have to move to get into their correct position
  • The orthodontic issues that you have (overbite, underbite, misaligned teeth, gaps, etc.)
  • How long it takes for your teeth to respond to the treatment (adult teeth tend to move more slowly than children’s teeth, and movement times can also carry from person to person)
  • How strict you are about wearing your Invisalign clear aligners (they have to be worn 22 hours a day and not sticking to this rule can mean a longer treatment time).

Am I a Candidate for Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners like Invisalign are not designed for very complex cases. Severe orthodontic issues will need metal braces from orthodontic specialists, as these are far more powerful and effective at moving and repositioning teeth. However, Invisalign can be used for the following (these are guidelines only):

  • Closing a gap – The maximum gap size that clear aligners can handle is 6mm and this may take around 24 months of treatment.
  • Crowded teeth – Mild crowding can be treated with clear aligners in 6-12 months. Invisalign can also treat more severe cases of crowding, but this isn’t always the case.
  • Overbite – Invisalign can treat overbites that fall into a 5-25% range.
  • Underbite – Clear aligners can treat some cases of underbite and can also be used in combination with oral surgery to correct this issue.
  • Crossbite – Some types of crossbite can be treated with clear aligners if they are not severe or complex cases.

As you can see, clear aligners can be effective, but only if they are used in particular cases – they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. If you want to find out if they are right for you and if they’ll get you the great, healthy smile you deserve, it’s best to speak to orthodontic specialists and get a professional assessment.