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Huntersville Orthodontist | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Orthodontist in Huntersville

An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.

Orthodontist Charlotte | 7 Things to Do with Your Child Before Age 7

Charlotte Orthodontist

As you have likely come to realize, children grow up quickly. Make sure you are savoring each moment you have with your child. Here are seven things we suggest doing with your child before they reach age 7.

  1. Make an Artistic Masterpiece

Art projects are always a fun activity. Create art together. Do a finger painting, or draw and color together. Your child’s art masterpieces will be a lasting memory of the time you shared together.

  1. Experience Snow

Do you live in a cold climate where it snows in the winter? Embrace the snow and go sledding or build a snowman. If you live where it is warm, make sure your child experiences the magic of a fresh winter snow before they grow up.

  1. Establish Traditions

Create fun traditions that will transcend time. Your child might be too young to remember one event, but a yearly occurrence is sure to provide for a fun memory when your child grows up. Celebrate half-birthdays or start new traditions with a surprise on Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. Think small. It’s often life’s little moments that are cherished most.

  1. Read Together Each Day

Reading with your child each night is a great way to bond together over a fun story. Reading will also help your child learn and improve their reading skills, not to mention engage their ever-active imaginations.

  1. Teach Your Child About Honesty

Childhood provides an important time for instilling good habits and a sense of morality in our children. One of the most important lessons you can teach your child is to always be honest.

  1. Watch the Clouds

When the weather turns nice, enjoy a lazy afternoon outside looking up at the sky. What does your child see in the clouds? Encourage their imagination.

  1. Bring Your Child in for an Orthodontic Evaluation

It is important for your child to have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they reach age 7. By this time, most children will begin to grow their molars and incisors. The jaw is also still at an age where it can be formed and shaped.

As a parent, you can provide your child with a smile that will last through the years. Embrace each moment you share together, and the smiles that go with them.

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, or would like to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

Orthodontist Huntersville | Sensitive Teeth and Braces

Huntersville Orthodontist

Sensitive teeth may occur for a variety of reasons. Receding gums, tooth decay, exposed tooth roots, and thinning tooth enamel can all cause teeth to become sensitive to temperature, as well as sweet and acidic flavors. However, patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment are at increased risk of developing sensitivity. It is important to consider all the factors involved to determine what actions you should take regarding your braces and sensitive teeth.

 

Tooth sensitivity is a condition that often develops due to receding gums. Symptoms include a sharp pain that worsens with pressure on the exposed tooth or when drinking hot or cold beverages. If you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment such as braces, sensitivity is not uncommon.

 

About 1 in 8 people with braces experience some tooth sensitivity. It is important to know the causes and treatments for this condition. The level of discomfort a patient experiences is due to pressure that is placed on your teeth by the braces and is different from other types of tooth sensitivity because it is not permanent and will only last a few days. This level of discomfort varies from patient to patient.

 

Factors Impacting Sensitivity

There are many factors that can lead to an increase in tooth sensitivity. The most common cause is due to over brushing. By brushing your teeth extremely hard, you can brush away your gum line exposing the sensitive root area. As a gum line recedes, it exposes porous root surfaces, which causes your teeth to become extremely sensitive. This can lead to painful discomfort due to the pressure that is placed on your teeth from the braces. Brushing your teeth and gums in softer, even circles is the best way to keep your gums intact.

 

Another cause of tooth sensitivity resulting from braces is improper brushing or improper dental hygiene. This happens when you fail to remove plaque and buildup. Plaque causes your teeth to weaken, leaving them at a greater risk for sensitivity. For patients with braces, it is very important to practice proper dental hygiene because food can easily get trapped between your teeth and braces, and when that happens bacteria can settle, resulting in decay. This makes you more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. If you think your brushing habits are not working well enough, talk to us for more tips on brushing with braces.

 

Steps You Can Take

There are several things you can do to stop the pain and sensitivity. No matter what is causing the problem, a good dental routine is your best bet. Brushing with a soft brush in an up and down motion vs horizontally can help reduce your risk of developing sensitive teeth. Over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth can help treat the condition. If you do not experience relief from special toothpastes, other treatments provided by our dentist can help. Talk to us about any lingering sensitivity so that we can work together to address the issue and reach a solution.

 

Our dentist will show you the correct tools and methods to use when brushing and caring for your teeth and braces. If your sensitivity is caused by scheduled orthodontic adjustments, it is safe to take over the counter pain relievers. If sensitivity continues for more than a few days or you have severe pain, please contact our office for additional advice and to schedule an appointment.

 

For more helpful tips about managing your braces or dealing with sensitivity, call our office.

Orthodontist in Charlotte | 6 Things You Never Knew About Braces

Orthodontist in Huntersville

Huntersville Orthodontist The desire for straighter teeth goes back thousands of years. We’ve come a long way in improving our smiles. Braces have evolved over time to become more comfortable and efficient. Here are six things you probably never knew about braces.

  1. Ancient Egyptians May Have Wanted Straighter Teeth

Archaeologists have found mummies with cords wound around their teeth, likely to straighten them. What were these ancient braces made from? Animal intestines. Thankfully, our orthodontist has more modern materials to work with!

  1. You’re Not Alone

An estimated 4 million people in the US currently are wearing braces or another device to correct their teeth. That’s a little more than the number of people living in Los Angeles.

  1. Getting Braces is a Little Like Rocket Science

NASA scientists were looking for a flexible material for solar panels and turned to a metal called nitinol 60. As nitinol heats up, it reverts to its original shape. Today, nitinol is used in braces. The heat from your mouth makes the metal return to its original shape, helping guide your teeth to where they should be.

  1. Wear Your Retainer!

Did you know that an estimated 25% of braces wearers neglect to wear their retainer? Many end up needing a second set of braces. Don’t be one of the 25%. Wear your retainer for lasting results and a perfect smile.

  1. Braces Are Older Than America

If you consider 1776 to be the birth year of America, braces have another 48 years on the United States. The first modern braces were developed in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. He used flat metal brackets and connected the teeth using thread.

  1. Busting Braces Myths

You don’t have a greater chance of being struck by lightning when wearing braces. Your braces also can’t interfere with any radio signals. Take some comfort in knowing not everything you’ve heard about braces holds true.

Though braces have been around for hundreds of years, today’s braces are more efficient and comfortable than in the past. Our experienced orthodontic team will help you get the results you desire. If you are ready for your perfect smile, set up a consultation with us today.

For more information about braces or to schedule your orthodontic consultation, please contact our office.

Charlotte Orthodontist | Warning! DIY Braces Pose a Real Danger

Orthodontist Huntersville

Orthodontist HuntersvilleFor some, the cost of braces can be a deterrent. Many might find it an appealing option to consider making their own set of braces. However, this is a frightening trend that can lead to more damage to your teeth and your wallet.

Do It Yourself Braces
You may have seen videos online filled with various alternatives to braces. Rubber bands are a common method. However, this does not provide you with a safe, long-lasting solution for fixing misaligned teeth. Before taking matters into your own hands, schedule an appointment with our office to learn about potential solutions.

What’s the Harm?
Missing teeth, bleeding gums, and serious infections are not the results you hope to see from braces. These are very real risks to those who make their own braces. Blackened, infected gums are not an attractive look, and serious pain is not going to be worth the small savings.

Moving your teeth can cause the blood supply to be blocked, leading to discolored and infected gums. Prolonged damage can even lead to root damage and teeth falling out.

DIY braces can also be a very temporary solution. Your teeth can shift back if you move them too quickly. Not only will it cost you money to make your own braces, but the amount of damage you would do to your teeth will require further professional help, likely in the form of more expensive fixes.

A Reason for the Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) states the practice of moving teeth is a healthcare procedure that requires the professional experience of an orthodontist. Morris N. Poole, DDS, president of the AAO, said “Any time a dental procedure is undertaken by an untrained individual there is a substantial risk for irreparable damage.”

Our office is staffed with a knowledgeable, experienced dental team who work on improving patients’ smiles every day. We pride ourselves on working with you to reach affordable solutions in a safe, professional environment.

Leave it to the Pros
DIY braces pose a significant danger, especially to children and young adults who may have seen examples online. The pain, irreparable damage, and costly fixes are not worth it. When it comes to dental care, leave it to the professionals.

For more information about braces or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

Orthodontist Huntersville | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

Orthodontist in Huntersville

Huntersville OrthodontistAlong with cooler weather and the end of year school break, winter brings the return of cold and flu season. When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.

Brush and floss

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.

Hydrate

When your child is sick, they need plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat dry mouth and congestion.

Watch out for sugars

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.

Disinfect dental appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.

Follow-up

When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office.

Orthodontist Huntersville, NC | First Aid for Braces

first-aid-for-your-bracesThough braces are safe and generally involve little discomfort, there are instances when issues may arise. Here is some information that can be useful if any of these situations occur.

Food Caught Between Teeth
While not an emergency, this can cause discomfort or embarrassment for the patient. A small knot in a piece of dental floss can help to remove food stuck between teeth and braces. Other options that may be effective include a small dental toothbrush or toothpick.

Lost Ligatures
Ligatures include both the small rubber bands and the fine wires that are used with braces. If a rubber band comes off, it should be able to be put back in place using sterile tweezers. For a loose wire, use sterile tweezers to remove it. If a wire ligature is broken or missing, follow up with the orthodontist.

Discomfort
Discomfort for the first day or two following adjustment is normal. It can be helpful during that time to eat only soft foods and to rinse with warm salt water.

Mouth Sores
Some patients may have recurring issues with mouth sores. Though these are not caused by the braces, the braces may irritate the sores, making them more painful and take longer to heal. Generally, pain relief can be achieved using a topical anesthetic, such as Ora-Gel.

Lip or Cheek Irritation

New braces may cause irritation to the lips and cheeks, especially while eating. Non-medicinal relief wax can be used in small amounts to cover the part of the braces that is causing the irritation, providing relief. This wax is harmless if accidentally swallowed.

Protruding Wire
If a wire end is out of place, it can cause irritation to the mouth. Use a pencil eraser or cotton swab to gently push the wire back into place, if possible. Relief wax can also be used to protect the mouth. If the protrusion is severe and the patient cannot get to the orthodontist soon, clip the wire as a last resort.

Loose Brackets
If a bracket has become loose, notify the orthodontist immediately for how to proceed.

A Piece of the Appliance is Swallowed
Though highly rare, it is possible for this to occur. Contact the orthodontist immediately for instructions on how to handle this situation.

For more information on these or other braces issues, or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Charlotte Orthodontist | Eating with Braces

Eating with BracesWhat you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips on what kinds of foods you should avoid and how to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.

Hard Foods

At times, it is difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating hard foods can be harmful during orthodontic treatment because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. Avoid them entirely after you have had your wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
Tips for eating hard foods:

  1. Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet. If you want to eat apples, pears and peaches, do not directly bite into them. Instead, cut them into small pieces before consuming.
  2. If you enjoy eating almonds, cashews or peanuts, consider grinding them and adding it to cereals and yogurt.
  3. While eating chicken wings or ribs, remove the bones before consuming your meal. This prevents you from accidentally chewing on a bone and dislocating a bracket.
  4. While eating corn, remove the kernels from the cob to help prevent damage to your braces.
  5. Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes but never bite them.

Sticky and Sweet Foods

Sticky foods can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sweet, sugary foods are high in sugar and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
Tips for eating sticky and sweet foods:

  1. If you enjoy eating candy, try sucking on them instead of chewing them. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water to avoid sugar buildup on your teeth.
  2. Avoid chewing gum. Gum can stick to braces and may be difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets.

As always, it is best to eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoiding soda, candy, and other sugary and acidic foods can help prevent tooth decay and keep you healthier overall. Contact our office for more helpful information or to schedule an appointment.