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What can happen if you don’t brush as directed with braces?

What can happen if you don't brush as directed with braces?So you have decided to get braces, CONGRATS! Your new smile will be ready before you know it, that is, if you take care of your teeth while you have your braces on. We all know that we should brush our teeth twice a day and floss regularly, but did you know that having braces requires some additional maintenance?

Plaque and Germs

Traditional braces add to the amount of surface area in your mouth which means there is more space for tooth decaying, acid-producing bacteria and plaque to stick to. Food particles can get stuck between the wire and your teeth, so not only do you need to brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, but you also need to make sure that your braces stay clean throughout the day. Your orthodontist can recommend additional tools and special flossers designed to help you clean around your braces to help you keep the germs at bay. In addition, having food stuck in your braces, especially in the hard to reach or see places toward the back of your mouth, can cause bad breath as well as tooth decay, so carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you everywhere so you can brush after every meal.

Gum Disease

Inflamed gums are another potential complication from improper oral hygiene with braces. Due to the increased risk of bacteria build-up, your gums could become inflamed as a result of that bacteria. This can lead to the beginning stages of gum disease called gingivitis, so don’t forget that toothbrush!

Discoloration

The longer food and bacteria stay on your teeth, the more discolored your teeth may become. Dark-colored sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine can all stain your teeth over time. Braces are affixed to your teeth with brackets that are glued to the sides of your teeth. The bracket covers a small area of each tooth, essentially protecting it from the discoloring effect of these drinks. If you do not brush after drinking dark-colored liquids, when you get your braces removed, it is not uncommon to have the small areas where the brackets were to be a different color than the rest of your teeth. Most of the time this can be corrected with tooth whitening treatments, but that is an additional expense that can potentially be avoided or minimized with regular brushing.

You have made an investment in your smile, protect that investment by taking care of your braces and your teeth with proper oral hygiene habits.

How much do braces cost?

how much do braces costPerhaps the biggest question most patients or their parents have is how much do braces cost. In some cases, private insurance may cover part of it, but in most cases, private insurance will not. Cost is a large factor to consider when deciding if braces are right for you or your child. So how much do braces cost? It depends on several factors.

How much work the patient needs.

The more severe a patents case is, the more orthodontic work will be required, thus costs may increase. The severity of the case will determine how frequently they will need to visit the orthodontist and over how long a time period.  In more severe cases, headgear or other additional treatments may be required.

What type of braces the patient wants or needs.

Invisalign is a relatively new method of straightening teeth, however, it isn’t right for everyone. (Read more about that here). Traditional metal braces have been around for decades and in general, can be a little less expensive. According to CostHelper.com, the average cost of metal braces in the U.S. is $4,937 without dental insurance and $3,407 with dental insurance.  Align Technology, the medical device company that makes Invisalign braces, estimates treatment costs range from $3,500 to $8,000, or an average of $5,600 nationally without insurance.

Financing Options

Most orthodontists offer to finance, whether through a third-party medical credit service or directly with monthly payments. Although financing can include additional fees or interest charges, they provide a way to spread the cost of braces over a year or more, making braces much more affordable for most patients. A good orthodontist will explain all your options during your consultation so that you can make the right decision for your situation.

Although cost is a very important factor in determining whether braces are right for you or your child, remember that you are investing in a lifetime of self-confidence.  Financing can help spread the cost over time so make an appointment with Dr. Jay Waguespack at one of his three office locations to find out more.

Common Issues Due to Early or Late Baby Tooth Loss

Common Issues Due to Early or Late Baby Tooth LossLosing that first tooth is a milestone in every child’s life; however, did you know that when and how a child loses their baby teeth can affect their orthodontic needs later on?

Losing baby teeth too soon, too late or in the wrong order can cause the new adult teeth to come in in the wrong position. The severity of this misalignment will determine the extent to which they will need orthodontic treatment in their teens.

One of the most common issues caused by losing baby teeth too early is crowding. Baby teeth preserve space for adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, that space can be lost and cause the adult teeth to come in crooked. Alternatively, if baby teeth are lost too late, the underlying adult teeth can become crowded, and may not be able to push out the baby teeth. It’s important to note that pulling baby teeth may not correct this kind of crowding.

Another issue that can arise when baby teeth are lost late is that the adult teeth can erupt before the baby teeth are gone. This results in two rows of teeth. In most cases this corrects itself over time; however, it is important to take your child to the dentist every 6 months so your dentist can monitor your child’s progress.

Late tooth loss could be a sign of a missing adult tooth. Baby teeth need adult teeth to push them out. If an adult tooth is missing there is nothing to loosen the baby tooth and start the process. Congenital missing teeth affects 1% of the population. If you are worried that your child may be missing an adult tooth, contact your dentist for an x-ray. If your child has a missing adult tooth your dentist may recommend preserving the baby tooth, replace the missing tooth with an implant or depending on where the missing tooth is and how noticeable it is, close the space with braces.

It is important to remember that every child is different and will lose their baby teeth at their own pace. Most cases resolve themselves over time; however, if you are concerned about your child’s teeth visit your dentist. They can take x-rays, examine your child’s teeth, diagnose if there is an issue, and develop a treatment plan if necessary.

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

is invisalign right for meInvisalign is a relatively new advancement in orthodontics that can help patients straighten their teeth without visible metal braces. While this may sound like the best thing since sliced bread, it isn’t always right for every patient.

While Invisalign is a great option for most people, there are some cases where Invisalign is not the best course of treatment. For those in need of severe orthodontic treatment, such as to fix a large overbite, more advanced orthodontic treatment may be necessary. However, if your case is relatively mild, Invisalign has been shown to help correct overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth.

Another factor to consider before choosing Invisalign, or similar treatments, is age. While Invisalign is ok to use in older teenagers and adults, it is not recommended for children and younger teenagers. This is mainly due to the fact that their teeth and mouth are still growing.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before choosing Invisalign is how dedicated you are to following the rules. Invisalign’s main draw for most people is, that aside from being clear and relatively unnoticeable, Invisalign braces can be removed. This is great if you have a special event to attend, a company dinner or social gathering, however remembering to put them back in and to wear them for the prescribed length of time per day is vital to success. As with traditional metal braces, once your treatment plan is complete, you will need to wear a retainer regularly to prevent your teeth shifting back to their original positions.

If you are unsure if you are a candidate for Invisalign braces, a good place to start is to take Invisalign’s short online smile assessment.  If the online assessment says that you may be a candidate, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay for a thorough evaluation of your case.

Why is thumb sucking harmful for teeth?

Most children suck their thumbs at some point in their life.  While most grow out of the habit around 6 or 7 months of age, most stop on their own before they start preschool. However, a small percentage of children continue sucking their thumbs beyond age four.

For infants, thumb or finger sucking is perfectly normal.  Infants have a natural sucking reflex which can be observed in the womb. This sucking reflex not only helps your infant eat, but it also provides a level of comfort and can help your child feel secure.

why is thumb sucking harmful to teethThe American Dental Association recommends that children stop sucking their thumbs by age four to prevent any long term negative effects to their oral development. Aside from the potential for teasing from classmates and the risk of illness from putting dirty thumbs into their mouths, the dangers of thumb sucking can have long-lasting negative consequences for their dental health. Children who suck their thumbs past the age of four risks affecting the correct development of their mouth and jaw.  This damage can change the future placement of permanent teeth, which can require extensive orthodontic treatment to correct when they are older.

One of the most common consequences of extended thumb sucking is an open bite. An open bite is where the front teeth do not come together. The technical term for this condition is a malocclusion. Malocclusion is when misaligned teeth are visible when the mouth is closed, which is often due to the top and bottom front teeth protruding forward.

Another common complication of thumb sucking is an overbite. Similar to malocclusion, overbite is when the front teeth protrude forward. An overbite is different from an open bite in that an overbite is limited to the top front teeth.

Children who suck their thumbs are also at risk for skin issues. When exposed to moisture from the mouth, skin on the thumbs can become vulnerable to injury and infection. The pressure from sucking on the thumb can cause the thumbnail to become warped, cause ingrowing of the nail or peeling.

Some children who suck their thumbs can also experience speech issues. Thumb sucking can alter the formation of the jaw, palate, and teeth, which can lead to lisping and other speech impediments.

To minimize these issues, the ADA recommends a few tactics to parents to help your child stop sucking their thumb:

•             Praise a child for not sucking, instead of reprimanding for doing it.

•             Because sucking can result from feeling insecure, address the “cause of the anxiety and comfort the child.”

•             Provide rewards when a child avoids sucking.

•             Ask a dentist to help during a regular checkup or special visit by encouraging the child and explaining what may happen to the teeth if the child’s habit continues.

If you have any concerns about your child’s thumb-sucking habit, take them to see a dentist sooner rather than later. Taking infants and young children to the dentist for regular dental check-ups can help get them used to going to the dentist and prevent any anxiety as well as identify any concerns early.

Brushing with Braces

If you’re considering braces or are new to them, you may be wondering the best way to maintain your oral hygiene.  This is probably especially true since wearing braces requires more frequent brushing than before you had them.

Swish to Start

Before you begin brushing, rinse your mouth with water.  This will help loosen food and debris stuck in all the nooks and crevices of your braces and teeth.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Use the same technique you would without braces–angle your brush at a 45-degree angle and start brushing at the gumline.  Once the gumline has been cleaned, move down to the top of the brackets, being sure to angle downward to reach all the way around each bracket.  Once the tops of all the brackets have been brushed, repeat the process for the bottom by angling the brush upward.  Be sure to brush the back of your teeth and the interior surface (facing the tongue).

Between the Teeth

Don’t forget to clean between your teeth, too!  Flossing can be a bit trickier with the braces, so many patients find that using a floss threader makes this process easier.

Swish to Finish

Following the steps of brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to do a final rinse.  This will help sweep away any remaining debris or particles.  Mouthwash will help your whole mouth feel fresher and cleaner.

Contact our office to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your orthodontic care, or to schedule your next visit.  In the meantime, keep up the good hygiene habits!

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

Orthodontist in Lafayette

We all know the importance of making a great first impression. Whether you’re going into a job interview or about to go on your first date with someone new, you want to have the confidence that comes with a great smile. After years of wear and tear however, a lot of people end up with teeth that they’re not completely proud to show off. If you feel unhappy with the way your smile looks, don’t worry; there are plenty of options that can help.

Figuring out the best ways to improve your smile can be a daunting task, but our dental team is here to help, offering a range of services dedicated to helping you look and feel your best.

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile

1.    Teeth Whitening

2.    Dental Crowns

3.    Veneers

4.    Tooth Bonding

5.    Braces or Invisalign®

6.    Dental Implants

7.    Brushing and Flossing

8.    Regular Dental Visits

There are a myriad of ways you can improve your smile. Whether you decide to pursue a more in-depth treatment at our clinic or simply want advice on how to improve your oral health routine at home, our dentists are happy to help. Our highly trained team offers all the state of the art services necessary to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining bright.

It’s clear that there are a lot of treatments available for anyone looking to improve their smile. With options for any budget, there’s no reason to wait to begin your journey towards a better smile. To schedule a professional cleaning or to speak with someone about a personalized treatment plan, contact our office today!

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200, Lafayette, LA 70508

REFERENCES:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ways-to-improve-smile

https://findadentist.ada.org/

Orthodontist in Lafayette | Say Cheese!

70508 Orthodontist

It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our pediatric dental office.

Resource: https://www.sciencedaily.com

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200, Lafayette, LA 70508

Orthodontist in Lafayette | 3 Ways Gummy Vitamins Can Impact Your Child’s Oral Health

Orthodontist Near Me

Multivitamins are an excellent way to help children and adults receive nutrients that their diet lacks. For parents of picky eaters, this can be especially helpful. However, not all vitamins are created equally. Chewable, gummy vitamins are often marketed to children but carry risks to your child’s oral health. Here are three ways gummy vitamins affect your child’s oral health.

1. Gummy Vitamins Stick to Your Child’s Teeth

Like gummy candy, particles of gummy vitamins can easily stick to your child’s teeth. Bacteria that causes decay feeds on sugars and food matters left on your teeth. Because they can be harder to clean by brushing, the risk of developing decay increases. If your child takes a gummy multivitamin, encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly shortly after consuming one. Our dentist also suggests scheduling your child’s next visit to ensure a professional and thorough cleaning.

2. Gummy Vitamins Contain Sugar

Compared to pills and harder, chewable multivitamins, gummy vitamins generally contain more sugar. Ingredients such as gelatin and sucrose are often found in gummy vitamins. Sugar feeds bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay.

3. Don’t Confuse Them For Candy

Candy contributes to tooth decay because the sticky, sweet, sugary contents cling to teeth, promoting decay. Gummy vitamins are similar because they share several key ingredients with gummy candies. It is vitally important that your child never confuses a multivitamin for a candy. Consuming more vitamins than the suggested amount can lead to serious health complications.

Multivitamins can help balance a diet that does not include key nutrients. While gummy vitamins are often a great way for children to be excited to take a vitamin, consider the risks they pose to your child’s oral health. If your child does regularly take a gummy multivitamin, have them brush their teeth after taking one. Taking a vitamin before brushing your teeth prior to bedtime is one way to ensure your child’s teeth remain clean.

We advise you to consult your child’s pediatrician for information regarding which multivitamin supplements are best for your child. Children should receive at least two dental examinations per year, with additional visits needed for those with a high risk of developing decay or other oral health complications.

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

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200
Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 233-3677

Orthodontist in Abbeville | Are You Using the Right Mouthwash?

Abbeville Orthodontist

While it should never be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your at-home oral healthcare routine. Here’s what you need to know in order to pick the best mouthwash for your needs. For more information, or for a personalized recommendation on the best mouthwash for you, contact our team today!

Choosing the Right Mouthwash

Though there are plenty of brands and varieties of mouthwash available, most fall into one of two general categories as recognized by the ADA: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes treat symptoms only, such temporarily masking bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes aim to treat the cause of an issue. Fluoridated anti-cavity mouthwashes are designed to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and prevent cavities. Anti-bacterial and antiseptic mouthwashes kill odor and disease-causing bacteria in your mouth, with antiseptic options typically having a higher alcohol content. We can help you better understand the difference and find the mouthwash that’s right for your particular needs.

Should I Use Mouthwash?

If you maintain a proper oral care routine at home and visit your dentist at least twice yearly, you might not need to use mouthwash. However, depending on the unique needs of your teeth, it might be beneficial to talk to our dentist about working a specialized mouthwash into your routine.

Though mouthwash is not an acceptable substitute for regular brushing and flossing, it can be a helpful tool to keep your mouth fresh and clean throughout the day. Swishing mouthwash after eating can help dislodge any food that might be stuck in your teeth and mask any odor that might be lingering on your breath.

Tips for Your Mouthwash Routine

Generally, you want to use mouthwash after flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth. Swish the mouthwash around for 30-60 seconds and avoid rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes afterwards to give the mouthwash time to work.

Side Effects of Mouthwash

When used properly, there are minimal risks associated with mouthwash. Many mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation in your mouth. If the sensitivity continues long after use or increases over time, ask our dentist about different alcohol-free options. For children, it is important that you supervise their brushing routine, as swallowing mouthwash can be dangerous.

Mouthwash can be a useful tool for anyone. Whether you’re looking to fight bad breath or help protect your mouth from tooth decay or gum disease, the wide array of mouthwashes available means there’s an option for everyone. Talk to our team during your next visit to learn more about the benefits of working mouthwash into your oral care routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our dental team today!

2639 North Dr.
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 893-2125