Archive for December 2014

‘Tis the Season!

‘Tis the Season!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the first day of Winter is just around the corner! We are in the thick of the holiday season, and that typically means eating larger meals, accompanied by endless snacking. No matter which holiday you celebrate, we all have certain treats and snacks we associate with this time of year. But orthodontic patients need to remember to adhere to the list of what they can and can’t eat, paying particular attention to those items in the “NO” zone to ensure they don’t create an unnecessary orthodontic emergency.

We get it; holiday treats are delicious. They are the best. They are super hard to avoid! And while all our patients know we are always here for them, we know you’d rather be enjoying holiday parties and sing-a-longs instead of coming in for an impromptu visit. So here is a friendly reminder that for patients with standard braces, hard and sticky foods can pull and tug on the brackets and wires, damaging them, and even injuring the mouth. Ouch!

Try to avoid the following:

• Candy canes – Even the folks without braces know that there’s no graceful way to bite into these offenders. Use these for decorations, and save your braces.
• Nuts and snack mixes containing nuts, pretzels, or popcorn – These rascals can not only pull on your wires, but they can also wedge between your teeth and make flossing a nightmare.
• Peanut brittle, pecan pie, and other sticky desserts – We preach moderation when it comes to sugar, but super sticky and hard desserts such as peanut brittle should be avoided altogether if you wear braces. Pecan pie is sticky, and has hard nuts that can damage the wires and brackets of your braces. Just say NO!
• Vegetable platters – Veggie platters are always around, and they are certainly a great alternative to all of their sugary neighbors on the table. However, keep in mind that hard, raw vegetables can damage your braces. If you’re going to indulge, be sure to cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
Use your best judgment when searching for a braces-friendly holiday treat. Anything that is too hard, sticky, or a mess in general, can cause damage to your braces, and even your mouth.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of great holiday foods you can safely enjoy in braces.

• Break out the turkey and the ham! They can be safely eaten while wearing braces, but we do suggest avoiding a turkey leg!
• Cooked vegetables, such as mashed potatoes, are also a safe bet. And for dessert, you don’t have to avoid pumpkin pie! You can also indulge in custards and other pudding-based desserts and pies.

This holiday season, don’t undo all of your hard work and progress you’ve achieved by indulging in foods that can harm your braces. If you have any questions, give our office a call and we will be happy to provide a list of foods you should avoid.
As always, if you experience any damage to your braces, call our office immediately to determine if a visit is necessary. If a wire comes loose, simply place some orthodontic wax on the end of the wire to avoid it poking the inside of your mouth until you can get to our office.

We wish all of our wonderful patients the utmost joy and peace with their families and friends, and opportunities to make memories that last for years to come!

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Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is sometimes needed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. It is used to correct a wide variety of abnormalities of a patient’s jaw and teeth. The primary purpose is to correct functional problems, but it may also significantly improve the patient’s appearance.

Some common reasons for orthognathic surgery are:

  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Protruding jaw
  • Open bite (upper and lower teeth don’t overlap properly)
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep problems
  • TMJ pain (jaw joint pain)
  • Restoring facial injuries

When treating a teenager, knowing when to start orthodontic treatment in preparation for orthognathic surgery can be a bit precarious. It is important to know when to get started. If the teenager is still growing and orthodontic treatment is initiated too soon, the patient will either need to stay in braces until his or her growth is complete and they are ready for surgery, or the braces may have to be completely removed and then placed again after growth is complete. Unfortunately, neither of these options is favorable since it requires longer time in treatment, which we typically want to avoid if possible. Our orthodontist aims to complete treatment in a timely manner because not only is it healthier for the teeth and gums, but you are able to start enjoying your lifetime of smiles!

If you have been told that you need jaw surgery, or you are considering orthognathic surgery, give us a call today to schedule your initial consultation. Our orthodontist will explain our treatment plan so that you understand all the details, and you will be kept informed every step of the way!

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