Oral Health

 

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

March 8th, 2019

Great dental hygiene is essential while in orthodontic treatment. This includes brushing the surface of the teeth as well as flossing to get in between the teeth and along the gums. Brushing can be a little more difficult if you have braces so be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his assistants about the best methods to keep your teeth clean.

At Barden Orthodontics we recommend patients use an electronic toothbrush. Electronic toothbrushes have a special orthodontic brush head specifically designed for use with braces (ask us at the front desk if you need a replacement head). Patients should brush, using fluoride toothpaste, for at least 2 minutes, after each meal. Carry a travel toothbrush so that you can brush while on the go! If you can’t brush right after each meal, then you should rinse with water to dilute any sugar and remove food particles from your teeth. The most important time of day to brush your teeth and braces is at night, before you go to bed, so that the food doesn’t stick to your teeth all night long.

If you are being treated with clear aligners, such as Invisalign, be sure to remove the aligners when you eat and then brush your teeth before putting them back in your mouth.  Brush the aligners clean each night.  

Don’t forget to clean in between your teeth! Every night you should floss or use an interproximal brush to clean under the arch wires and clean between your teeth. Brushing often misses these tight spaces where plaque likes to build up and cavities can develop. When you floss be sure to clean along and under the gum line. With practice, flossing with braces gets easier.

Finally, rinse with a fluoride-based mouthwash to maximize fluoride protection on your teeth.

Parents of our younger patients (about age 12 or younger) should monitor their child’s brushing and double check to make sure that the teeth are clean. A good tip-- use a mouth rinse that has been designed to show food particles left behind after brushing. This way children (and their parents!) can see which areas might be getting missed and adjust their brushing.

Good dental hygiene takes time and effort – especially with braces. However, failure to properly care for your teeth can result in plaque build up, cavities and white spots, and gum disease. Your brushing and flossing effort is worth it to ensure that you have beautiful, healthy teeth.

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about brushing and flossing. We love healthy smiles!

 

Resolutions for a Beautiful Smile

January 3rd, 2019

The start of the year is a great time to renew your commitment to maintaining your beautiful, healthy smile with great dental hygiene.

You have chosen to get orthodontic treatment because you value having a beautiful, healthy smile.  Dr. Barden and his team are working with you to improve your teeth positioning and jaw alignment.  To ensure a beautiful smile you will also need to do your part -- it is important that you follow all instructions about wearing your appliances and rubber bands. It is also important that you have excellent dental hygiene to keep your teeth clean and cavity free.  Below are some of our top tips for a healthy smile!

New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

  • Follow the 2-2 rule.  Brush your teeth 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time. Use a timer to make sure you don’t cut the time short.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss, or use an interdental brush, to clean in between your teeth. Floss every day!
  • Rinse with a mouthwash designed to show missed food particles.  This way you are sure to get everything clean and improve your brushing skills!
  • Visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning every 6 months, or more regularly as directed by the doctor.
  • Choose healthy foods and beverages.  Limit sugary foods and snacks to special treats and then brush after eating!

Remember to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about what you can do to keep your teeth healthy and clean to ensure a smile that you will love for a lifetime!

Everyone at Barden Orthodontics wishes you the best in the New Year. We hope this year is filled with lots of love, good cheer, and happy, healthy smiles!

Holiday Treats and Healthy Teeth

December 7th, 2018

Dr. Barden and his team love this time of year! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s there are so many reasons to celebrate with family and friends. And, yes, we LOVE the many delicious, holiday treats!

We get it – holiday treats are delicious! The holidays are a time when we cook our favorite desserts and share them with family and friends. Just remember - if you have braces avoid sticky candy (such as caramel), nuts, and hard candies or appetizers that could break your orthodontic appliances and bend the wires. If you have Invisalign aligners you will be happy to learn you can eat whatever you want because you can remove your aligners while you eat. Just be sure to brush before putting the aligners back on.

In order to keep teeth healthy while also enjoying the many delicious holiday treats we suggest the following things:

• Everything in moderation – some treats and sweets are fine but be cautious about the amount of sugary foods that you eat.
• Don’t snack on sweets all day – that just extends the amount of time for the sugar to be on your teeth. Pick your time to eat the sweets and then brush your teeth clean!
• Pick sweets that are not sticky. Chocolate is a better choice as it is easier to rinse from your teeth.
• Take a travel toothbrush with you! After eating the sweets be sure to give your teeth a brush to remove the sugar
• Forgot your toothbrush? Drink some water to rinse your teeth and dilute the sugar.
• Be sure to brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time! Floss and use a fluoride rinse at night to be sure you have a sparkling, clean smile!

The holidays are a great time to schedule your 6 month check up and cleaning with your dentist. They can also work with you to whiten your teeth if you want to have an extra bright smile for those holiday photos.

Happy Holidays to everyone from Barden Orthodontics. We wish you all a season filled with love, friendship, and good cheer.

A Great Partnership for a Beautiful Smile

November 7th, 2018

A Healthy Smile requires a Partnership between You, your Orthodontist, and your Dentist.

Did you know all orthodontists are dentists, but only 6% of dentists are orthodontists? Becoming an orthodontist requires 2 to 3 years of training in addition to dental school. Dr. Barden is an orthodontist who specializes in the movement of teeth and dentofacial development. Dr. Barden will provide the expertise and a treatment plan to straighten your teeth and align your jaws.

While in Dr. Barden’s care he will work in close cooperation with you and your family dentist to ensure the development of a healthy, beautiful smile.

Why do you need to continue seeing your general dentist while in the care of Dr. Barden? Your family dentist will continue to monitor that your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy. Dental hygiene is especially important during orthodontic treatment as it can be more difficult to keep teeth clean while in braces.

What is the patient’s role?
• It is essential that patients (you!) follow your dentist’s instructions on how to keep your teeth clean and visit every six months for a dental cleaning (or more often as instructed).
• You must also follow Dr Barden’s instructions and wear your appliances and bands as instructed so that your teeth and jaws move in the way desired and on schedule.
• It is important that you avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage your orthodontic appliances. Broken brackets and bent wires will slow down treatment progress.

Working together results a healthy, beautiful smile that you will have for a lifetime!
If you have questions be sure to ask Dr. Barden or his staff.

Post-Braces Care: Wear your retainer!

September 6th, 2018

Many patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?

What is a retainer?

As the name implies, a retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before treatment was administered; they "retain" your smile and bite. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent. Some retainers are made of plastic and metal (known as Hawley retainers) and others are all plastic or all metal. Some retainers can even be bonded to the back of your teeth!

How long do I need to wear it?

If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Douglas Barden, you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.

The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Douglas Barden will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.

Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)

Research has shown that there is no “permanent” position for your teeth to remain in. In fact, some studies say upward of 70% of patients will see a change to their bite and tooth alignment as they get older. This applies to people who have had orthodontic treatment and those who have not. Of course, some people's teeth never seem to shift—you can consider them the lucky ones, as most people's teeth do.

And this is precisely where retainers come in. The only way to ensure your teeth stay in alignment long-term is by wearing your retainers. If you have any questions about retainers or your treatment plan, please ask any member of our Milwaukee, WI staff.

Summertime Beverages and your Teeth!

July 6th, 2018

It’s Hot, Sunny, and you are Thirsty!

Summertime means lots of sun and enjoying outside activities. All of this time in the sun gets you thirsty! Before you grab something to drink-- stop and think about your teeth! Coffee and tea can stain your teeth. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and vitamin waters often contain a lot of sugar and acid. This can result in tooth decay. Even diet or “sugar free” sodas contain acid that also attacks your teeth enamel. Ongoing acid on your teeth weakens the enamel and can result in cavities.

What can you do to reduce tooth decay? Drink soda, sport drinks, and flavored waters in moderation. Even juice contains a lot of sugar and should be consumed in limited amounts. Don’t sip for extended periods of time as the ongoing sipping prolongs the time for the sugar and acid attacks on your teeth. After drinking sweet drinks, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar.

Plain tap water is an even better choice!! It has no sugar, no acid, and no calories! In many communities the tap water has fluoride to help protect your teeth. Plus, if you use a refillable water bottle you are helping to protect the environment!

Remember: healthy teeth require healthy food and beverage choices, regular brushing and flossing, and regular checkups with your dentist. The reward is a beautiful, cavity free, smile!

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about brushing and flossing with braces or retainers!

We hope everyone is having a great summer!!

Importance of Oral Hygiene with Braces

June 27th, 2017

 

Proper oral hygiene techniques are always worthwhile, but they are especially crucial when you’re wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces. When you don’t maintain an effective oral hygiene routine, you can be more susceptible to gum disease as well as tooth decay, cavities, decalcification, discoloration, and/or staining of the teeth.

Braces themselves don’t cause these issues, but since they create spaces that are difficult to clean, they provide extra sources of food (dental plaque and food debris) for the bacteria that do. Bacteria create a biofilm on the surface of a tooth that can spread if not addressed. That bacteria food can only be removed by a mechanical action: brushing and flossing your teeth!

Here’s a list of smart hygiene steps to follow for the duration of your braces treatment:

Proper tooth brushing technique: Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly (for a total of about two minutes), but not too hard. Point the head of the toothbrush at the gum line and brush just hard enough so that you feel slight pressure against the gums. Use a soft, small-headed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush if you’d like. Try your best always to clean on and around every tooth, bracket, and wire in your mouth!

Flossing: Braces can make flossing a chore, but it’s an essential adjunct to proper tooth brushing. Make sure to floss between all your teeth and brackets. Dr. Douglas Barden can provide you with braces floss threaders and interproximal toothbrushes (small brushes used to clean areas under wires and between brackets) to make the task easier. You might also consider purchasing an oral irrigator that uses a stream of water to blast food particles and debris from between teeth and gums.

Rinse with water: This may sound slight, but it’s a good idea, especially if you aren’t able to brush. Rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day helps to dislodge the decay-causing food particles that become lodged in braces.

Hygiene away from home: It’s a good idea to have a kit with a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, mirror, and small water cup on hand at school or work. That way, you’ll be sure to have all the tools you need to keep your mouth clean.

Regular professional cleanings: As always, it’s best to visit your dentist regularly to verify everything in your mouth is in order and your oral hygiene routine is effective. Twice a year is sufficient, unless the dentist recommends more frequent visits.

It's vital to keep your teeth and gums clean during your braces treatment, and that requires your care and attention. If feel like you need help with any of the techniques above, a member of our Milwaukee, WI team can demonstrate them for you!

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