Monthly Archives

June 2020

brushing with braces

Interdental Brushing for People with Braces

By Orthodontics

Proper brushing techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy smile with braces. Read this blog to learn how interdental brushing can improve your oral health.

Orthodontic treatment can make it difficult for a patient to clean his or her teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up around the teeth, brackets, and wires. To counteract this, the orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to brush properly to prevent cavities, gum disease, and dental stains. In addition to using a traditional toothbrush, he may also recommend interdental brushing—another highly effective method for maintaining a healthy smile.

An interdental brush (IDB) is a small, specially designed brush used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. Those without braces use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.

Read this blog to learn how to properly use an interdental brush and how interdental brushing is beneficial for people with braces.

How To Use an Interdental Brush

Before purchasing an IDB, be sure to ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile. Interdental brushes come in various sizes—correlated by color— to benefit all types of smiles.

Orthodontic patients should use the interdental brush one time per day after brushing with a traditional toothbrush.

To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:

  1. Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets
  2. Pass the brush along the orthodontic wire when moving from one tooth to another, continuing to move it up and down
  3. Rinse after each use
  4. Replace the brush when it begins to look worn

The Benefits of Interdental Brushing

Aside from helping patients maintain good oral health, an interdental brush provides several benefits, especially when compared to dental floss.

The advantages of interdental brushing include:

  • Easy use
  • Patient compliance
  • Higher motivation
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Safe to use

Many times, orthodontists instruct patients on how to use dental floss to clean between their teeth and brackets. It can be a complicated process that many patients won’t give a second thought when they leave the orthodontist’s office.

IDBs offer all of the same advantages along with the simplicity of use. Patients with dexterity issues have a greater appreciation for this appliance because there are variations of the brush with a long, bent handle.

brushing with braces

More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Braces offer so many benefits and provide patients with beautiful smiles! However, braces also require proper care and responsibility. To ensure you have the best orthodontic experience, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard food
  • Avoid foods that require biting into
  • Do eat soft foods like dairy, bread, grains, seafood, cooked vegetables, and fruits
  • Rinse with saltwater when you’re mouth feels tender or sore
  • Learn how to fix a loose wire
  • Utilize wax to relieve irritation
  • Wear a mouthguard

If you follow these tips, and other specific instructions from your orthodontist, you’re sure to have a great orthodontic experience. Along with having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, you’ll also have a healthy one!

Contact Our Sacramento Orthodontists Today

At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide excellent, gentle care to patients of all ages. Our goal is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that they can’t wait to show off.

Call our friendly dental team today

two phase orthodontic treatment-o

Children’s Braces: Second Phase Orthodontics

By Children's orthodontics

Two-phase orthodontics can be incredible beneficial for children with orthodontic issues. Learn more about the benefits of children’s braces in this blog.

The goal of first phase orthodontics is to help a child’s jaw develop properly. Second phase orthodontics focuses on creating a smile that’s beautiful and fully functional. This phase of treatment is typically characterized by braces because the child’s adult teeth have almost fully developed.

Second phase orthodontics is much simpler when a patient has previously undergone orthodontic care to correct any jawbone issues. However, many times braces are the first experience a preteen or teenager has with an orthodontist.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of Phase II orthodontics.

two phase orthodontic treatment-o

The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment for Adolescents

The preteen and teenage years are the most common time for second phase orthodontics to begin. When treatment starts early enough, it’s likely that the patient will have their braces off by the time high school begins or before his or her sophomore year of high school.

There are several benefits to completing phase one and two of orthodontic treatment by this time, including:

1.      Improved oral health

Whether your child has crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, braces will do more than just improve his or her appearance. Braces can help reduce the risk of developing oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

Issues of malocclusion make it difficult for anyone to clean their teeth properly and effectively. This means that food and bacteria can easily be caught between the teeth and eat away at the dental enamel and/or soft tissues surrounding the teeth which often leads to cavities and gum disease.

When the teeth are perfectly aligned, brushing and flossing become easier and much more effective so the patient can avoid serious oral health problems.

2.      Better overall health

Braces improve the patient’s bite which makes it easier for patients to properly chew their food. This helps with digestion issues because the food is being broken up into smaller pieces before it moves into the stomach.

Additionally, when the risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease is lessened, so are many overall health issues. Untreated gum disease has been linked to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and hormonal irregularities.

Though these health issues aren’t common in adolescents, parents can help their children avoid these health problems in the future.

3.      Boost in self-esteem

Unfortunately, many preteens and teens struggle with low confidence. This can seem even more detrimental than the aforementioned issues because it affects their mental health and all other aspects of their lives.

When a student enters junior high and high school, there are so many opportunities for him or her that have never been available before. Clubs, sports, speech class, and other activities allow students to explore their interests and passions. Sadly, students who struggle with low self-esteem may never take these opportunities. In addition, poor self-confidence can impact a student’s ability to make friends.

It’s been proven that people with beautiful smiles are more assured and appear to be more likable, successful, and happy. Braces can help your child have the confidence he or she needs to try new things, find new passions, and achieve their goals.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

We know that all parents want the best for their children, and we believe that orthodontic treatment is one of the best things a parent can give!

To meet with our experienced, family-friendly orthodontists, call (916) 924-8970 today.