Cosmetic Vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

SWISH, GARGLE, SPIT – simple, right? Mouthwash is usually seen as an addition to your oral health, the cherry on top of your hygiene routine. But are you using the right kind, and are you using it correctly?

Cosmetic Mouthwashes Mask Bad Breath

Most people think all mouthwashes do the same thing, but there are key differences you need to know! Cosmetic mouthwashes only serve to mask bad breath and leave your mouth with a pleasant taste – like a mint but with fewer calories.

Therapeutic Mouthwashes Attack Plaque

Therapeutic mouthwashes serve clinical purposes, like attacking bacteria and plaque, or strengthening teeth with fluoride. When buying therapeutic mouthwash, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the bottle. Products that feature this logo have been evaluated by experts and meet specific standards for safety and effectiveness.

Read The Instructions

As with any health product, make sure you thoroughly read the instructions – yes, even for mouthwash! Here are some important things to note:
Some products recommend diluting before use. (Again, check the label!)
Most mouthwashes are not recommended for children under seven.
Rinsing right after a meal helps to inhibit bacteria growth and bad breath.
Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using a fluoridated mouthwash. This gives the fluoride more time to strengthen your teeth.

Mouthwash Doesn’t Replace Other Oral Health Habits!

Regular brushing and flossing are far more important than using mouthwash. Mouthwash is not a substitute for the more important dental care habits.

If you have a specific issue, like periodontal disease, chronic bad breath, or tooth sensitivity, talk to us about it! We may recommend a specific therapeutic mouthwash for you. Other times, problems we address with mouthwash can be a sign of a larger issue. If you have any questions, ask us below, or talk with us about it next time you visit.

Thank you for being our patient and friend!

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Protect Your Retainer, Protect Your Smile

PERHAPS IT’S BEEN YEARS SINCE YOU had braces, but suddenly you find yourself concerned about your teeth again. Why? You’ve lost (or don’t wear) your retainer!

Some people lose their retainer and never bother getting a new one. Others know where their retainer is but haven’t worn it for so long, it no longer properly fits.

Whether it’s been weeks or years since you finished orthodontic treatment, if you’ve lost your retainer or it doesn’t fit, you need a new one.

Common Questions About Retainers

“Does my retainer really matter?”

Absolutely! Without a retainer, your bite is unprotected and teeth are prone to shifting. Even years after treatment, a properly fitting retainer helps keep your smile beautiful and healthy. Remember, the cost of a replacement retainer is much less than undergoing orthodontic treatment again!

“Will I need to have a new mold made?”

Probably. Even if your teeth have moved just a little bit, we’ll need to factor that in for your replacement retainer.

“What if I received my original orthodontic treatment elsewhere?”

That’s completely fine. We can evaluate where your teeth are now, regardless of your treatment history. We may need to take some new images and impressions of your teeth. We’re happy to accommodate you!

Wear Your Retainer!

Your retainer is your best friend after orthodontic treatment. Follow our instructions for effective use. And, if you lose your retainer, let us know right away before your teeth start shifting!

If you’ve skipped wearing your retainer for a long time, please come and talk to us. We can evaluate your bite and visit about your options.

Do you know someone else who needs to hear this information? Feel free to share this post!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Making Room For Your Gorgeous New Smile

THINK OF THE LAST TIME you gave up something good to get something even better in the future. During the course of your orthodontic treatment, it’s possible you may need to give up good teeth for a better smile!

Understandably, the thought is a little unsettling. But when you understand the reasons and see the results, you’ll look back and see it was the right decision all along.

Some Teeth Just Don’t Fit

One of the most common issues orthodontic treatment addresses is crowding—when there is not enough space for all the teeth to fit normally, causing them to twist and turn.

Often, braces are enough to rearrange teeth into a healthy dental arch, but in some cases extractions are the best option for beginning to align your teeth. Removing teeth can also be key in solving underbite, overbite, and problems with protrusive teeth.

Pain-Free Extraction, Rapid Recovery

When performed by an experienced specialist, removing a tooth is simple and pain free. If you have any questions about the process, please talk to us!

Making Room For Your Perfect Smile

We understand that the decision to extract a tooth is not one to be taken lightly. We carefully examine dental models, x-rays, photos, and jaw structure to determine the best way to create your beautiful new smile. By considering all treatment options, we find the one that will most efficiently give you the best results in optimal treatment time.

We treasure the trust you have placed in us as your orthodontic specialists. Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

This Smartphone App Makes 2-Minute Brushing Fun!

fbd80f1d-7a19-4d2e-bc7b-beb9463f70b2FEW OF US ARE EVER SEEN WITHOUT our smartphone in hand. We love our devices because they make our lives easier! But did you know that your smartphone can also help you keep good oral hygiene habits?

How Long Do YOU Spend Brushing Your Teeth?

Plaque is soft, but it hides away in nooks and crannies. That’s why it’s important to put in a full two minutes every time you brush your teeth. That’s simply how long it takes to thoroughly clean every corner of your mouth! Brushing harder, for a shorter period of time, isn’t going to get it done.

If Brushing For Two Full Minutes Is Hard…

Those two minutes of brush time will go faster if you’re jamming out to one of your favorite tunes! Brush DJ is a free smartphone app that will play 2 minutes of music from your own music library, shuffling songs each time. It also has a visual display guiding you on where to brush and for how long.

Brush DJ even lets you set reminders to change your toothbrush, floss and keep your regular dental appointments with us.

Of Course, Apps Can’t Do It All

Remember that your smartphone can’t provide the same oral care that our professional team does! Apps provide support, motivation, and encouragement, but nothing compares to the critical one-on-one time with us!

What’s Your Favorite App?

If you’ve used a dental-related app before, let us know which one is your favorite! Tell us in the comment section below. We truly love hearing from you and we’ll pass your suggestion along!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plUxuzEvINg

How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

Esi Blog

IT’S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT to watch out for sugar in our foods while we’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. As our patient, you’ve already been advised about problematic foods for braces. However, learning more about hidden sugars in your diet can help you better protect your teeth against decay.

Sugary Foods Cling To Our Teeth And Braces, And Cause Cavities

When sugar clings to teeth, bacteria feeds off of those sugars, producing an acid byproduct that wears away tooth enamel.

Studies repeatedly find that as sugar consumption increases, so do cavities(even when you’re not wearing braces). The World Health Organization’s 2014 study found that in one population, when daily caloric intake of sugar increased from 0% to 5%, the amount of tooth decay doubled.

Cut Sugar Intake In Half

After the study, The World Health Organization cut their recommendations for sugar consumption in half, from 10% of our daily caloric intake, to 5% (and ideally, less). Currently, the average American gets 12-15% of his or her daily caloriesfrom sugar—and America isn’t even the highest consumer of sugar worldwide!

Beware Of Hidden Sugars

How do you cut back on sugar? In addition to cutting back on sweets, it’s important to be aware of hidden sugars in our diets. Even a “nutritional” food can be packed with sugar! On our food labels, sugar goes by numerous aliases, including:

  • Molasses & Maltose
  • Corn syrup, Malt & Dextrose
  • Sorghum syrup

This list is only a sampling. Keep an eye out for anything ending in “-ose,” “sugar,” or “syrup,” and educate yourself on more alternate names here.

3 More Tips For Cutting Back On Sugar

  1. Read labels, and check for hidden sugars.
  2. Cook more at home so you know exactly what’s going into your food.
  3. Cut back on soft drinks, fruit juices, granola bars, yogurt, and sugary cereal in addition to regular sweets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWzeSbCwwjU

A Healthier Diet = A Healthier Mouth

You don’t need to cut out sugar entirely to have healthy teeth. That’s why brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are so important! If you’re ever feeling unsure about which foods are appropriate while you’re wearing braces, just ask us! We’re passionate about helping you have a healthier, happier lifestyle!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Tom Page used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.