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Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

March 17th, 2013

large_2633332880Everyone knows that brushing your teeth is important to prevent cavities, but do you know how cavities happen? You get cavities when the bacteria naturally living inside your mouth feed on, or ferment, the food debris left on your teeth. This natural process of fermentation produces acid that will demineralize the enamel of your teeth and cause an infection known as dental caries (a cavity).

Even without braces, it’s important to brush your teeth three times per day and floss at least once a day … but it’s especially important with braces because braces can trap extra food (more food for the bacteria = more acid = more cavities). If you don’t do a good job brushing your teeth, you may also get permanent white marks on your teeth, known as white spot lesions. Just like cavities, these are the result of enamel demineralization.

On top of good brushing and flossing habits, it’s very important to see your dentist at least once every 6 months. Your dentist will monitor the health of your teeth, and if any problems should come up, he or she will take care of them before they become bigger problems!

How can I make my teeth less sore after an adjustment?

March 2nd, 2013

Many of us here at Piedmont Orthodontic Associates have had braces, and we know that teeth can be sore for the first few days after an adjustment. Often times eating cereal, a hamburger, or Thanksgiving dinner is replaced with yogurt, ice cream, or apple sauce. Not that these aren’t delicious (especially apple sauce … wait, I mean ice cream), but sometimes we take the ability to eat whatever we want for granted.

However, there are scientific studies that show taking a 400mg dose of ibuprofen (Advil) 2 hours before coming to visit us may significantly decrease chewing discomfort later on in the day.

If you find that your teeth are sore after coming to see us for an adjustment, consider giving this a try and let us know what you think … but always be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle!

Do germs really live on my toothbrush?

February 4th, 2013

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! After recovering from your cold, one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart – keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

Hope this tip helps! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Got Yogurt? Your gums may thank you!

January 28th, 2013

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s… yogurt! It appears that plain, simple yogurt may be the newest superhero in our ongoing battle against gum disease. Researchers at Kyushu University in Japan studied nearly a thousand subjects between the ages of 40 and 79, and found that those with higher intakes of lactic acid foods like yogurt exhibited significantly fewer signs of periodontal (gum) disease. The study concluded that regularly eating yogurt may help keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Gum disease is an infection that occurs in the gums, deep tissues and bones that support your teeth. Without treatment, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Many studies cite gum disease as the primary cause of tooth loss in adults age 35 and over.
The best way to fend off gum disease is to follow the same measures you take to avoid cavities:
• Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
• Floss every day between each tooth and behind your molars
• Have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular schedule
• Avoid smoking and tobacco use
• Maintain a healthy diet (and perhaps add some yogurt!)

It’s very important to be aware of the symptoms of gum disease, since it can often occur without pain or discomfort to signal its presence. Keep a lookout for:
• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position
• Any change in the way partial dentures fit
If you suspect you may suffer from gum disease, make an appointment immediately. We can diagnose the problem and advise you about treatment.

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Spartanburg: 864-585-8709

319 North Pine Street, Suite 5, Spartanburg SC 29302

Roebuck: 864-641-6245

4385 South Church Street Ext., Roebuck SC 29376

Piedmont Orthodontic Associates provides quality orthodontics for children, teens, and adults in Spartanburg, SC and the surrounding areas. Dr. Ernest Gardner, Jr. specializes in orthodontics, offering Invisalign as well as traditional braces. Contact Piedmont Orthodontic Associates to schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation.

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