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What to Expect in Your First Week With Braces

young adult girl smiling in bracesYou’re getting your braces put on for the first time and you’re not sure what to expect. One thing is for sure; your oral hygiene practices will definitely change. To help prepare you for what’s in store and make the most of your orthodontic treatment, we at Southern Maine Orthodontics explain what you can expect from your first week in braces:

Placement Day

On the day your braces are put on, the process should be relatively painless. In the hours following placement, you may notice that it will take you longer than usual to finish meals as you get used to wearing and chewing with braces. Stick to softer foods (like soups, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, shakes, etc.) for the first few days while your teeth and mouth adjust. You may also experience slight discomfort or soreness as the teeth begin to move.Read More

Top 3 Best Drinks For Your Teeth

green and herbal teasIn a previous post, we discussed some of the drinks that have a negative effect on the teeth. This included soda, fruit juices, and coffee. While it may seem like water is your only beverage option, fear not. There are a few drinks still available to quench your thirst without affecting your orthodontic treatment.

Milk

Not only can it help build strong bones, but milk is a great source of calcium. Calcium helps to repair and maintain tooth enamel to keep your teeth strong. Lactose intolerant? Don’t worry. Calcium-fortified soy milk is a great alternative to getting the same benefits as regular milk. However, it is important to keep in mind that milk also contains sugar which, if left on the teeth for too long, can cause tooth decay.Read More

What To Ask At An Orthodontic Consultation

Dentist and patient looking at a dental x-ray.Orthodontic consultations are often times a complimentary introduction for orthodontists, like Dr. Chris Murphy, to get to know you and your oral health concerns. The best thing you can do to make the most of your consultation is to prepare a list of questions beforehand. To help you get started, we’ve come up with a list of common questions answered during our complimentary smile exams.

How Long Will My Treatment Take?

It is important to first note that orthodontic treatment is not a “one size fits all” approach to straightening teeth. At Southern Maine Orthodontics, we develop orthodontic treatment plans based on the individual needs of each patient to ensure they get the best results. Be sure to ask the orthodontist for an estimate of how long your treatment will take as the length may vary depending on how complex your situation is. Read More

Are You Too Old For Braces?

adult man in braces smilingWhen you think of braces, who do you picture wearing them? If you’re like most Americans, children and teens come to mind. If you’re unhappy with your smile, you probably think you missed your chance for straight teeth, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to advances in technology, orthodontic treatment for adults has become more common while producing excellent results. So much so, The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) found that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18.

With Age Comes New Changes

As we age, our bodies change. This is especially true for our teeth. For a variety of reasons, including injury, tooth loss, teeth grinding, loss of enamel, or natural growth, our teeth begin to shift towards the front of our mouths as we age. As a result, our teeth can become crooked and overcrowded. In some cases, patients may experience jaw pain or have difficulty properly cleaning their teeth. Read More

Orthodontic Treatment: One Phase Or Two?

preteen girl with braces smiling and holding a drinkDid you know that orthodontic treatment is not just for teens and adults? In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that by the age of 7, children should have an initial orthodontic consultation. These comprehensive consultations determine whether or not a child’s teeth are developing properly or if early orthodontic treatment is or will be needed in the future.

Phase 1 vs Phase 2 Orthodontics

The typical process for Phase 1 orthodontic treatment involves a patient being fitted for their appliance (braces for example) which is worn until their teeth move into their proper positions. Some patients may require extractions or surgery prior to beginning treatment. Once the teeth are properly aligned, the patient wears a retainer to keep the teeth from shifting back. Read More

Your Favorite Late Night Snack Could Lead to Tooth Loss

girl eating popcorn while using laptopIt’s 11 pm and, while you should be in bed, you’re standing in front of the fridge trying to decide a snack of choice before calling it a night. You know this isn’t the best life choice for your waistline, but did you know that it’s also bad for your oral health – especially your braces. Your orthodontic treatment increases the potential to leave food behind on the teeth after eating.

Late Night Snacking Can Lead to Tooth Loss

A 2010 study in Denmark discovered a relationship between midnight snacking and tooth loss. Over a six-year period, a group of over 2,000 adults (8% labeled “nocturnal eaters”) were found to have significantly increased their chances of tooth loss from repeated midnight snacking. Read More