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5 Reasons to Smile in the Year 2020

blog-featured-image-reasons-to-smile-new-yearThere are a lot of reasons you should be flashing those pearly whites more often – smiling is good for your health! According to Psychology Today, when you smile you activate neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. As we close out the year, it is important to find reasons to smile and be grateful for all the lessons we’ve learned and achievements accomplished. For those who can’t find a reason to smile, Dr. Chris Murphy and Dr. Lisa Peter Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics have five:Read More

Should My Mouthguard Be Custom or Store Bought?

blog-featured-image-custom-store-bought-mouthguardsAnyone participating in a sport should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. This is especially important for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces and wires can damage the mouth if you receive a ball to the face.

Many people ask whether it is necessary to invest in a custom-fit mouthguard or will an over-the-counter one work just as well. To help you make the best decision for your situation, Dr. Chris Murphy and Dr. Lisa Peter Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics has information about each mouthguard. Read More

Will Orthodontic Treatment Cause White Marks on My Teeth

blog-featured-image-white-marks-after-orthodontic-treatmentOnce you’ve completed orthodontic treatment, you just want to enjoy your brand-new smile. However, one thing patients often worry about is having white marks on their teeth following treatment. Luckily, whether you end up with white marks on your teeth after treatment is UP TO YOU! If you take good care of your teeth during treatment, white marks can easily be avoided.

How White Marks Form on the Teeth

The white marks that appear on your teeth during/after orthodontic treatment are called orthodontic white spot lesions (WSLs). These spots are caused by plaque buildup on teeth. Removing plaque from your teeth is incredibly important because the bacteria in plaque produce an acid that begins to dissolve the mineralized surface of a tooth (and ruin the appearance of those pearly whites).Read More

6 Orthodontic Tips for a Sensitive Gag Reflex

blog-featured-image-orthodontic-tips-for-gag-reflexHaving a sensitive gag reflex is nothing to be embarrassed about. Additionally, it is not something that should deter you from seeking orthodontic treatment. Those with a sensitive gag reflex can get frustrated, but it is certainly something that can be worked with while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists, like Dr. Chris Murphy and Dr. Lisa Peter Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics, are trained professionals that can help care for and achieve a beautiful smile. Below are some tips to help patients with a sensitive gag reflex.Read More

Are Your Braces Triggering Your Canker Sores?

blog-featured-image-braces_and-canker-soresA few weeks into orthodontic treatment, you notice a tingling or burning sensation in your mouth. A few days later, canker sores appear. Fortunately, canker sores are not often a serious issue, but they sure can be annoying! These small ulcers can pop up in your mouth and on the inside of your lips and take days to heal. However, they are quite easy to prevent, especially once you understand what triggers them!

Braces and Canker Sores

The unfortunate news is that braces can contribute to canker sores. This mainly happens in patients that are already prone to canker sores. They may experience an increase in sores because the mouth is adjusting to a big change when beginning orthodontic treatment. Braces can irritate oral tissue, which leaves it vulnerable to tiny lesions to form, such as canker sores.

Luckily, avoiding possible triggers and practicing good oral hygiene can help you to avoid or lessen the instances of canker sores.Read More

4 Dieting Tips to Keep Your Smile Healthy

blog-featured-image-tips-for-healthy-smileJust like the rest of your body, your mouth and teeth need to be well-nourished and taken care of in order to keep your smile radiant. Orthodontist Dr. Chris Murphy at Southern Maine Orthodontics has four tips for keeping the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve!

Brush and Floss

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush. It also recommends flossing daily in between teeth to keep plaque at bay. Flossing, while boring and annoying, is pertinent to oral health. Did you know not flossing is linked to heart disease? YIKES!Read More