Monday, July 25, 2011

Fluoride During Orthodontic Treatment

There are many ways you can protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at Davis Orthodontics. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment? Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.

Fluoride used in the dentist office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask us how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.

When choosing your own fluoride product, be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!

You probably would think that after 11 years of higher education to become an orthodontist, I would be done with going to school. Well, not really! I take several continuing education courses every year to keep informed on the latest techniques in orthodontics. I just got back from a 4 day lecture series in Torrey Pines put on by the American Board of Orthodontics. There were 8 prominent expert lecturers speaking on several interesting topics and trends in the orthodontic profession. This lecture series was only for those orthodontists that have taken the extra effort to become board certified, which comprises only about 25% of orthodontists practicing today. So I'm living proof that you can still teach an old dog new tricks! My lifelong goal is to never stop learning! Thanks to all my patients and referring dentists for all of your support!
Dr. Allen Davis

Monday, July 11, 2011

Foods to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment

There are a variety of foods Dr. Davis wants you to avoid while you’re wearing braces. Some foods can occasionally damage braces, but certain foods can bend the wires or even break the brackets on your braces. If you’re wearing braces, you should avoid starch, sugar and gummy foods, as these foods can be difficult to remove during brushing. Foods that are high in sugar and starch tend to cause plaque, cavities and even tooth decay.

Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables such as carrots and celery. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

Foods you should avoid include:
• Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
• Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
• Sticky foods: caramels, gum
• Hard foods: nuts, candy
• Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Also, chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

If you have any questions on which foods you should be avoiding and why, we invite you to give Davis Orthodontics a call or ask our staff during your next visit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Brush with Braces

Proper brushing with braces is crucial to avoiding dental decay and problems with the gums. Here are a few points to remember:

* Use a fluoride toothpaste recommended by your dentist or one that bears the approval seal of the American Dental Association. Do not use whitening toothpaste.

* Brush teeth within minutes of completing each meal and right before bed. Brushing away food residue that can stain the braces and your teeth. Staining may not be obvious until after the braces are removed.

* Angle the toothbrush to 45 degrees and move it back and forth with short gentle strokes. Brush the front, back and top of each tooth. Also brush your tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth.

* Be careful when brushing around the dental braces. Start from the top and brush down. Brush gently to avoid bending or snapping wires and brackets.

Here's a helpful video:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is finally here! This Independence Day the United States of America will be turning 235 years old! It’s a day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and also a time for every American to pay homage to our soldiers, past and present, who have placed themselves in harm’s way so that we may continue to enjoy our freedom. For many, Independence Day is a day of fireworks, picnics, playing at the lake or spending quality time with family. Whatever you plan to do, Dr  Davis and his staff hope you have a fun and safe holiday!