Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

So you’ve finally gotten your braces— now how exactly do you keep these things clean? At Sturbridge Orthodontics, we know your treatment is far from over once you get your braces. Today, we’ll lay out a comprehensive guide with tips for keeping your braces clean.

Unpacking the Components

Metal and ceramic braces comprise several essential components. It’s crucial to grasp their functions for practicing adequate care.

  • Brackets: These are affixed to your teeth and crafted from either metal or ceramic material, as determined during our consultation.
  • Wires: These wires serve as the mechanism for exerting force to realign your teeth, and they interconnect the entire structure.
  • Bands: These aid in securing the wires to the brackets. When you observe individuals with colorful braces, you’re actually noticing colorful bands.

How to Clean Your Braces

Dr. Sabelis, like all orthodontists, advises patients with braces to maintain a kit containing essential tools for cleaning their braces at certain intervals throughout the day. These kits typically include items such as:

  • Soft-Bristle Toothbrush
  • Orthodontic Wax
  • Floss Threader
  • Fluoride Mouthwash
  • Compact Mirror
  • Interdental Brush

Now that we’ve discussed the necessary tools, let’s review how to effectively utilize them! While completing every step on this list may not be feasible for every cleaning session, adhering to these guidelines remains crucial. The primary objective of cleaning is to eradicate bacteria, the primary culprit behind decay when left unchecked.

  • Start with a Rinse: Start the cleaning process by rinsing with water to eliminate any loose debris.
  • Brush Thoroughly: Utilize the same brush to meticulously clean between brackets and wires. Glide the brush in and out between each bracket to remove food particles and plaque.
  • Clean Between Brackets: Utilize the same brush to meticulously clean between brackets and wires. Glide the brush in and out between each bracket to remove food particles and plaque.
  • Floss with Threader/Orthodontic Floss: Carefully thread the floss through the brackets and wires using a floss threader or orthodontic floss. Floss between each tooth for thorough cleaning.
  • Water Flosser: Consider integrating a water flosser into your routine for effective debris removal from hard-to-reach areas. Water flossers are particularly beneficial for individuals with braces, as they efficiently cover extensive areas.
  • Fluoride Mouthwash: Conclude your oral care regimen by gargling with fluoride mouthwash. Choose an alcohol-free variant to prevent irritation. Swish the mouthwash for approximately 30 seconds before spitting it out, ensuring no ingestion.
  • Check for Debris: Use a small mirror to inspect for any remaining debris or areas needing attention.
  • Orthodontic Wax: If brackets or wires cause gum irritation, apply orthodontic wax as a protective barrier against sharp edges.

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

How to Care for Your Braces

However, cleaning is only the beginning! There are numerous additional ways to care for your braces. Adopting positive habits and avoiding negative ones can significantly enhance your overall experience. Let’s discuss some of the beneficial practices:

  • Oral Hygiene: We’re emphasizing this once more for good measure! It’s the cornerstone of caring for any orthodontic appliance, particularly a full set of braces. Failure to maintain proper hygiene can lead to various issues.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Braces represent an investment, and safeguarding them from damage is paramount. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods like popcorn, toffee, or gum, as they can cause damage to your braces’ components and become lodged between them.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Your treatment plan requires scheduled visits to our office for assessment and addressing any concerns. Aim to attend every appointment and continue attending routine cleanings with your general dentist.
  • Follow the Rules: Dr. Sabelis will provide specific care instructions as part of your treatment plan—adhere to these instructions diligently.
  • Wear a Mouthguard: Sports enthusiasts should prioritize additional protection. A custom mouthguard offers optimal tooth protection against impact.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, particularly after consuming sugary or acidic foods, to flush away particles and prevent decay.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: Nutrient-rich foods contribute to overall oral and bodily health.
  • Emergency Kit: Simplify your cleaning essentials to some orthodontic floss, a compact toothbrush and mirror, and orthodontic wax, even when traveling light.

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Service You Can Count On

We take great pride in serving the Sturbridge community and offering braces to patients of all ages. While braces may seem like a significant undertaking, the end results are always worthwhile! You can reach our office at (508) 347-7540 for a free consultation.

Why Invisalign for Teens Is Best

Teenagers and braces often seem to be connected in people’s minds—but there’s another option that often gets overlooked. Sturbridge Orthodontics is excited to tell you why Invisalign for teens is the best!

How They Work

Before we cover what makes Invisalign for teens special, let’s go over what the typical process for treatment looks like. 

  • Initial Consult: Your journey begins with a consultation at our office with Dr. Sabelis or Dr. Tiberii. During this appointment, you’ll discuss your goals and concerns and assess if clear aligner treatment is suitable for you.
  • Digital Scanning:  Utilizing state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, we’ll create a precise digital model of your teeth.
  • Treatment Plan: Based on the digital model, we’ll craft a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and desired results. This plan will outline the necessary teeth movements and determine the number of aligners required.
  • Fabrication: Following your treatment plan, a series of custom-made aligners will be crafted for you. Each aligner is meticulously designed to gradually shift your teeth into their ideal positions.
  • Fitting: At your fitting appointment in our office, you’ll receive your first set of aligners. We’ll ensure they fit comfortably and provide comprehensive instructions on their proper care and usage.
  • Wearing the Aligners: You’ll wear each set of aligners for approximately 1-2 weeks, as prescribed by our team. This allows your teeth to steadily progress towards their desired alignment.
  • Progress Checkups: Throughout your treatment journey, you’ll attend scheduled checkup appointments with us to monitor your progress. Additional aligners will be provided as necessary to continue advancing your treatment.
  • Refinements: In certain cases, refinements may be required to fine-tune your results. If needed, we’ll create additional sets of aligners to address any remaining tooth movements.
  • Retention: Upon completing your treatment, you’ll transition to wearing retainers to maintain the newfound alignment of your teeth and prevent any potential shifting. Consistent retainer wear is vital for long-term success and preserving your smile’s new position.

Benefits of Invisalign for Teens

There are lots of advantages to this method of treatment for teenage patients. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: One of the main reasons that anyone opts for Invisalign is the fact that it’s hard to see—in fact, almost invisible! But for teens, this can be even more meaningful. Social standards can be different and appearance is often important. Gaining self-esteem during this period can be fundamental to overall growth and development.
  • Comfort: Invisalign aligners are custom-fitted to the wearer’s mouth, providing a high level of comfort. Additionally, their removable nature allows for easy removal in uncomfortable or risky situations.
  • Dietary Freedom: Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing patients to enjoy their favorite foods without restrictions. Simply remove the aligners before eating, but remember to maintain proper oral hygiene afterward.
  • Convenient Maintenance: Invisalign aligners can be easily removed for brushing and flossing, simplifying oral care routines. Additionally, they require fewer office visits compared to traditional braces, reducing the need for frequent adjustments.
  • Predictable Results: The use of Invisalign for treatment means that there’s a straightforward, visible method for alignment. The digital technology being used ensures teens can visualize their treatment progress in real time, which can help to provide motivation and encouragement throughout the process.


FAQs

Here are a few other answers that might help out parents and teens alike who are interested in this form of treatment!

Q: Can I still play sports and instruments?
Yes! That’s one of the huge benefits of this method. They can take them out for a little while each day—as long as they still keep them in at least 20-22. 

Q: How long will treatment last?
This depends heavily on the condition of the patient, as well as their own individual goals. On average, it’ll take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, but this timeline can be shorter or longer based on other circumstances.

Q: Will the aligners affect my speech?
Potentially, especially at first! However, practicing speaking typically eradicates this issue over time. Most people adapt quickly within a short period.

Q: Can I whiten my teeth with Invisalign for teens?
Yes, since they’re removable. But be sure to follow any additional guidelines we provide you during whitening treatment.

Why Invisalign for Teens Is Best

Too Cool for School

We hope this blog makes you excited to start this unique form of treatment! Our team is so thrilled to be able to offer this form made especially for teenagers. To schedule your consultation, give our Sturbridge office a call at (508) 347-7540 or book online.

Tips for Invisalign Treatment

Several treatment options are available for aligning your teeth, with one standing out for its subtlety, simplicity, and effectiveness. Today, the Sturbridge Orthodontics team will give you tips for Invisalign treatment.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign serves as a widely favored alternative to traditional braces, which are characterized by brackets and wires. Consisting of clear plastic aligners, Invisalign gradually adjusts your teeth by employing subtly different sets over time. A notable feature is their removability, permitting cleaning between meals. They are typically worn for most hours of the day.

We offer both Invisalign First for kids and Invisalign Teen for adolescents.

The Process

This is a highly bespoke process for everyone in terms of fit, but treatment consists of the same steps for everyone. 

  • Consultation: Dr. Sabelis or Dr. Tiberii will evaluate your dental condition to determine if Invisalign is a suitable treatment option. During this consultation, pricing and the expected duration of the treatment will be discussed.
  • Treatment Plan: If you decide to proceed with Invisalign, the initial step involves taking detailed digital scans of your teeth using advanced 3D imaging technology.
  • Custom Aligners: The 3D digital scans are utilized to create a series of custom-made aligners tailored specifically to your smile. Each subsequent set is crafted to gradually shift your teeth.
  • Wearing Your Aligners: Typically, each set is worn for about two weeks, as directed by our team. You can remove them for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Regular check-ups with our office are essential components of your treatment. During these appointments, we monitor your progress and provide you with the next set of aligners. Additionally, any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan will be made as needed.
  • Treatment Progress: Following our guidelines, you’ll wear your series of aligners for a specified period, which can vary from several months to a couple of years, depending on the condition of your teeth.
  • Completion of Treatment: Upon completing your final set, we will provide you with a retainer to help maintain your results over time.

 

Why Invisalign for Teens Is Best

Tips for Invisalign

Embarking on any orthodontic treatment requires a commitment over time. The outcome largely depends on your diligence with your routine and oral health. Here are some crucial tips to assist you.

  • Follow Wear Guidelines: Adhere to the schedule provided by your doctor, ensuring that the aligners are worn for 20-22 hours a day for optimal results.
  • Consistent Wear Times: Maintain a consistent daily wear time to guarantee the effectiveness of the treatment. Prolonged removal of aligners can impede progress. While it may be tempting to take them out, remember that the goal is to complete your treatment successfully and on time.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Remove aligners before consuming anything other than water to prevent staining. Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting the aligners to uphold good oral hygiene.
  • Aligner Care: Regularly clean your aligners using a soft toothbrush and antimicrobial mouthwash or specialized retainer/aligner cleaning crystals. Avoid using hot water, as it can deform the aligners.
  • Store Aligners Safely: When not in use, store aligners in their protective case to keep track of them and maintain cleanliness.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially when you’re wearing aligners, to prevent dry mouth and reduce the risk of bacterial buildup.
  • Attend Regular Check-Ups: Attend all scheduled check-ups with your general dentist and our team to monitor progress and stay on track with your treatment.
  • Communicate with Your Provider: Effective communication is crucial throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you encounter any issues or concerns during your Invisalign treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our offices. We can offer guidance and make adjustments as needed.

Keep in mind that a successful treatment demands commitment and diligence! Establishing and sticking to a routine will enable your appliance to effectively do its job and guide you to a successful conclusion!

 

A Word of Warning!
Now that we’ve given you these tips, let’s go over a couple of things to avoid doing:

  • Smoking: This obviously applies more to adults and some teens, but quitting smoking during treatment or consistently removing aligners beforehand is strongly recommended, as smoking can significantly stain your aligners—not to mention how it harms you on multiple levels.
  • Neglecting Oral Hygiene: Failing to floss and brush before reinserting your aligners can lead to the formation of bad breath, bacteria, plaque, and cavities. 
  • Ignoring Discomfort: If you encounter discomfort and sharp edges with a set of aligners, make sure to address it promptly. It can lead to soreness and slow down your progress.

Why Invisalign for Teens Is Best

Making the Commitment

With extensive experience in the Invisalign process, we are delighted to assist you throughout your journey. Successful orthodontic treatment involves close collaboration between our patients and our team. Feel free to ask any questions; we are here to help! If you’re considering this fantastic treatment, reach out to our Sturbridge office at (508) 347-7540.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

If you’ve had orthodontic treatment in your life, we’re curious: Can you remember how old you were when you visited an orthodontist for the first time? Orthodontics is for people of all ages, but today, our Sturbridge Orthodontics team wants to tell you why your child needs to see an orthodontist by age seven, if at all possible!

The Magic Number

Typically, a child is referred to us for an initial evaluation by Dr. Sabelis or Dr. Tiberii by their general dentist around age seven. This is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). But there are times when even earlier intervention is necessary if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, for example:

  • Early loss of primary teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Thumb-sucking after age five
  • Pacifier use
  • Spacing
  • Crowding

These are all valid reasons to visit our office! But why is seven such a key number?

A Turning Point

There are actually a number of reasons this age is so heavily emphasized as a deadline of sorts for initial consultation—many of them simply being the timeline on which our bodies develop.

  • Early Detection of Issues: By the age of seven, a child’s permanent teeth are beginning to emerge. This is an ideal stage for us to detect potential orthodontic issues and hopefully catch them before they develop into something more serious.
  • Guidance of Jaw Growth: Our doctors are able to assess the growth of the jaw and identify potential discrepancies. Anatomically speaking, it’s easier to help this manner of issue earlier in life.
  • Spacing: An early evaluation helps in assessing the space available for permanent teeth, showing us crowding or spacing problems.
  • Detection of Habits: Certain habits, like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting, can impact dental development. If we can assess the behaviors early on, we can work with parents to try and absolve them. 
  • Preventative Measures: Addressing early issues prevents the development of more severe conditions. Our goal is always to try and avoid extensive, invasive treatment if we’re able to.
  • Improved Confidence: When a child has early orthodontic treatment, their self-esteem can be positively impacted as they grow up.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

Two-Phase Treatment

Of course, our chosen course of treatment will depend on each individual child—but something called Two-Phase Treatment is an option unique to our youngest patients. This method can be preventative or interceptive.

  • Phase One: This process sets the stage for a full set of braces. Typically, it involves baby teeth, resolving issues with spacing and crowding in the mouth to provide adequate room for alignment. It can also focus on the alignment of the jaw being corrected.
  • Phase Two: Once the mouth has been prepared and all permanent teeth have erupted around ages eleven or twelve, we’ll commence with a long-term appliance like traditional braces or clear aligners. They’ll wear these until we achieve our desired results. 

The key to this process is that transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth, or catching the permanent teeth around when they first appear.

Other FAQs

  • Does every child need braces?
      • No, they all don’t. Many children don’t require our intervention—but many, many do! It’s important to know as soon as possible. As we said, we proudly treat teenagers and adults, as well as pediatric patients. But generally speaking, earlier treatment is easier for all involved. 
  • How long does orthodontic treatment for children typically last?
      • This can vary quite a bit; it depends on the complexity of the case. Treatment will last anywhere from several months to a few years.
  • Do braces hurt?
      • Braces don’t hurt so much as cause some discomfort at first. It’s a big change for kids in particular. Over-the-counter pain relief is often recommended in the earliest stages of braces. There’s also always a possibility of wires being abrasive to gums. Orthodontic wax can help to provide a barrier. 
  • Can children play sports with braces?
      • Yes—but they must wear a mouthguard. Failing to do so puts not only the appliance but also a child’s teeth at risk of damage. If they are dealing with bite issues that involve any sort of protrusion of teeth or the jaw, this is particularly risky.
  • How often should a child visit the orthodontist during treatment?
      • Regular appointments are typically scheduled every four to six weeks for adjustments and progress assessments. We maintain regular communication with all of our patients during their treatment. These aren’t really optional visits; it’s very important that you and your child stick to the schedule so that everything moves along as planned.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

Making Moves

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up the reasoning behind this common guideline! We take such pride in helping set up kids with beautiful smiles. If you’re in the Sturbridge neighborhood and planning orthodontic treatment for your child, we are happy to help! You can reach our office at (508) 347-7540.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

If you’ve had orthodontic treatment in your life, we’re curious: Can you remember how old you were when you visited an orthodontist for the first time? Orthodontics is for people of all ages, but today, our Sturbridge Orthodontics team wants to tell you why your child needs to see an orthodontist by age seven, if at all possible!

The Magic Number

Typically, a child is referred to us for an initial evaluation by Dr. Sabelis or Dr. Tiberii by their general dentist around age seven. This is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). But there are times when even earlier intervention is necessary if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, for example:

  • Early loss of primary teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Thumb-sucking after age five
  • Pacifier use
  • Spacing
  • Crowding

These are all valid reasons to visit our office! But why is seven such a key number?

A Turning Point

There are actually a number of reasons this age is so heavily emphasized as a deadline of sorts for initial consultation—many of them simply being the timeline on which our bodies develop.

  • Early Detection of Issues: By the age of seven, a child’s permanent teeth are beginning to emerge. This is an ideal stage for us to detect potential orthodontic issues and hopefully catch them before they develop into something more serious.
  • Guidance of Jaw Growth: Our doctors are able to assess the growth of the jaw and identify potential discrepancies. Anatomically speaking, it’s easier to help this manner of issue earlier in life.
  • Spacing: An early evaluation helps in assessing the space available for permanent teeth, showing us crowding or spacing problems.
  • Detection of Habits: Certain habits, like thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting, can impact dental development. If we can assess the behaviors early on, we can work with parents to try and absolve them. 
  • Preventative Measures: Addressing early issues prevents the development of more severe conditions. Our goal is always to try and avoid extensive, invasive treatment if we’re able to.
  • Improved Confidence: When a child has early orthodontic treatment, their self-esteem can be positively impacted as they grow up.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

Two-Phase Treatment

Of course, our chosen course of treatment will depend on each individual child—but something called Two-Phase Treatment is an option unique to our youngest patients. This method can be preventative or interceptive. 

  • Phase One: This process sets the stage for a full set of braces. Typically, it involves baby teeth, resolving issues with spacing and crowding in the mouth to provide adequate room for alignment. It can also focus on the alignment of the jaw being corrected.
  • Phase Two: Once the mouth has been prepared and all permanent teeth have erupted around ages eleven or twelve, we’ll commence with a long-term appliance like traditional braces or clear aligners. They’ll wear these until we achieve our desired results. 

The key to this process is that transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth, or catching the permanent teeth around when they first appear.

Other FAQs

  • Does every child need braces?
  • No, they all don’t. Many children don’t require our intervention—but many, many do! It’s important to know as soon as possible. As we said, we proudly treat teenagers and adults, as well as pediatric patients. But generally speaking, earlier treatment is easier for all involved. 
  • How long does orthodontic treatment for children typically last?
      • This can vary quite a bit; it depends on the complexity of the case. Treatment will last anywhere from several months to a few years.
  • Do braces hurt?
      • Braces don’t hurt so much as cause some discomfort at first. It’s a big change for kids in particular. Over-the-counter pain relief is often recommended in the earliest stages of braces. There’s also always a possibility of wires being abrasive to gums. Orthodontic wax can help to provide a barrier. 
  • Can children play sports with braces?
      • Yes—but they must wear a mouthguard. Failing to do so puts not only the appliance but also a child’s teeth at risk of damage. If they are dealing with bite issues that involve any sort of protrusion of teeth or the jaw, this is particularly risky.
  • How often should a child visit the orthodontist during treatment?
    • Regular appointments are typically scheduled every four to six weeks for adjustments and progress assessments. We maintain regular communication with all of our patients during their treatment. These aren’t really optional visits; it’s very important that you and your child stick to the schedule so that everything moves along as planned.

Why Your Child Needs to See An Orthodontist by Age Seven

Making Moves

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up the reasoning behind this common guideline! We take such pride in helping set up kids with beautiful smiles. If you’re in the Sturbridge neighborhood and planning orthodontic treatment for your child, we are happy to help! You can reach our office at (508) 347-7540.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!