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Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean. Areas on the enamel surface may begin to lose minerals (the early stage of tooth decay), leaving unsightly white spots. These white spots, or decalcification, are permanent stain marks around your braces. Lines and spots from decalcification remain on your teeth for life, so the best way to avoid them is to not let them develop at all. You may also develop inflamed, bleeding gums (gingivitis) which can be extremely painful. Gingivitis and the early stages of tooth decay can be reversed by taking extra care with your cleaning and diet. If left untreated, they can lead to bigger problems that will require treatment and have life-long effects. Neglecting your oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment can lead to serious oral health problems, cause unsightly staining on your teeth, or force you to spend additional time in braces. Dental hygienists play a unique role in treatment when it comes to orthodontics. Many times patients will have their treatment interrupted or stopped due to many failed attempts to improve poor oral hygiene. By going the extra step, your general dentist and hygienist can help prevent negative outcomes and experiences.

Do I need to see my regular dentist while I have braces? YES!

Submitted by Ellis Family Dentistry

Wearing braces is a rite of passage for many children and teens. But increasingly in recent years, adults are also seeking orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth, fix their bites and improve their smiles. Orthodontic treatment is an important investment in one’s future, but it comes along with a number of dental hygiene concerns since home care (brushing and flossing) becomes more difficult while wearing braces. The good news is that the dental team can play a big role in helping patients keep their teeth and gums healthy during this period. Even though you are seeing an orthodontist regularly, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to see your regular dentist — in fact, it’s just as important as ever, if not more! When a patient starts orthodontic treatment, the general dentist and hygienist enter a co-treatment relationship with the orthodontic team treating the patient. While the orthodontist is focused on improving the patient’s bite and alignment, the dentist and hygienist will make sure teeth stay healthy with thorough examinations, cleanings and preventive care. Orthodontic treatment is a team effort where everyone — the orthodontist, the patient, and the general dentist office — has an important role to play. Everyone helping with your orthodontic care wants you to have the best results possible. While you are wearing braces, it is essential that you take care of your teeth and gums. Your teeth and smile will be straighter and healthier with braces. Your braces cannot damage your teeth, but poor oral hygiene certainly can. Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. This means your risk of tooth decay and gum problems may be higher while you are wearing braces. You need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth everyday and to your diet.

While you are having orthodontic treatment, you need to continue to have regular check-ups with your family dental professional to ensure little problems don’t become big ones. Keeping plaque under control, especially while in orthodontics, is one of the most effective means of maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums. There are three general ways to do it: through diet, daily maintenance, and regular professional care. Taken all together, they are your teeth’s best defense! *Reference: Colgate.com

New Patients Welcome!

* Preventative, Restorative, Cosmetic & Comprehensive Dental Care for Adults and Children * Most Insurances Accepted * Digital X-rays with 80% less Radiation * CEREC Crowns-in-a Day * Full Mouth Reconstructions * Simple & Surgical Extractions * Root Canals * Tooth Replacement with Implants Bridges, Dentures and Partials * Implant Placement Surgery and Final Result all in one place! * Implant Supported Dentures * Periodontal (Gum) Treatment * Invisalign (clear braces) * Teeth Whitening * Beautiful State-of-the-Art Office

Jonathan H. Ellis, DDS David L. Ellis, DDS Jessica A. Dombroski, DDS Family Owned Dental Office Serving Hopewell and Surrounding Area Since 1978!

(804) 458-6733 3416 Woodlawn St., Hopewell

www.EllisSmiles.com

Tri-Cities Health & Wellness - Winter 2017 | 7

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