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How to Maintain Your Braces

Metal Braces

How to Maintain Your Braces

Braces are something that many people use to get a more beautiful, straighter smile. But while braces are designed to provide minimal hassle to the wearer on their journey to the smile of their dreams, you can’t exactly continue to live your life as you did before your braces went on. Braces require upkeep and care if you want them to perform to their highest efficiency.

But what exactly do you need to do differently when wearing braces? What is the correct way to maintain your braces?

Oral Hygiene and Your Braces

We all know that oral hygiene is important. Proper brushing and flossing keeps bacteria in the mouth to a minimum and can prevent tooth decay or gum disease. But when you have braces, the need for proper oral hygiene habits can increase.

Braces provide more spaces and crevices for food to get stuck in. They can make it more difficult for our toothbrush to reach the area around or gums and flossing can be a hassle with the metal bars in the way. Furthermore, the metal of the braces can cause a bleaching reaction on the teeth if not properly taken care of. If you want your braces to be removed to reveal a beautiful smile, you’ll need to properly clean your teeth, the area between your braces, and the gaps between your teeth.

Although proper oral hygiene habits can be slightly difficult with braces, they are still incredibly important – possibly even more so. Talk with your orthodontist about the best way to clean between your braces or if they have special tools to help remove all the unwanted food and bacteria.

Listen to Your Orthodontist

With each visit to your orthodontist, you will probably be given more or a new set of instructions on how to maintain your braces. This may include the use of rubber bands or other additional items created to help give you the results you’re after.

Take your orthodontist’s instructions seriously and follow through with everything you are told. While the extra step of care may seem unnecessary to you, it is a crucial step to ensuring your braces are doing their job and that they are staying on schedule.

Your orthodontist may also give you advice on how to better take care of your braces, such as new ways to clean them or recommendations for getting in hard to reach areas. While you may think your orthodontist is just being overly precautious because it is their job, they do know best.

Follow a Braces-Friendly Diet

Maintaining your braces can also come from eating a diet that won’t do damage to your teeth or the braces themselves. This usually means avoiding things that are high in sugar, high in acidity, or extremely sticky or tacky items that may pull some of your braces right from your teeth – a problem that is a hassle for everyone involved.

High sugar foods, such as sodas and candy, increase your risk of developing tooth decay. While sugar should be avoided with or without braces, because your braces make it more difficult to efficiently clean your teeth, you’re more likely to leave bits of sugar behind. If the sugar is not properly removed, your teeth may experience the consequences.

Highly acidic foods can damage your tooth enamel. Like sugar, your braces can make it difficult to remove the food completely from your teeth. While you have your braces on, it is best to stick to foods with low acidity, including bananas, milk, water, and eggs.

Choose a Mouth Guard

Playing a high contact sport with braces can cause damage to your braces, teeth, and mouth if you’re not properly protected. If you should be hit in the mouth by a ball or other player, you could break your braces, cut your mouth on the metal of the braces, or even cause damage to your teeth.

The use of a mouth guard can help protect you and your braces from any flying balls or flailing limbs. While a mouth guard purchased at a sports store would be better than nothing, a custom made mouth guard from your orthodontist can provide the best level of protection and comfort.

Not all sports would require a mouth guard. If you are involved in low contact sports such as swimming, cross country, or certain track events, you may not need a mouth guard even if you have braces. However, players of high impact sports, including football, soccer, and hockey should definitely use a mouth guard for protection.

Your braces are there to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of having, but in order to get there, you need to put in the work to maintain them and keep your teeth healthy. With proper cleaning, protection, and care, you can have your braces removed on time to reveal a beautiful and healthy smile underneath.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006

orthodontic treatment

I Don’t Have Any Dental Problem: Should I Still Visit an Orthodontist?

smileIt is normal for individuals to visit doctors for preventative measures or to keep tabs on their general health. However, most people only visit an orthodontic clinic once they develop a problem. Very few families have insurance covering visits to these specialists. Consequently, both children and adults keep developing issues necessitating the need for their services. Understanding the scope of their work is critical in sourcing their services without any dental problems. Orthodontists are experts in the growth and development of jaws. It means they handle dental issues before and after growth in young children.

There are several oral problems children face as their teeth develop. Numerous problems are experienced during the transition from the first set of teeth to the permanent teeth. The second set of teeth is stronger and larger. The jaw takes longer when trying to adjust to the new set of teeth.

Some of the problems experienced include:

• Overbite
• Cross bite
• Open bite
• Spaced teeth
• Protrusion
• Crowding
• Mid-lines misaligned

An under bite is a jaw-related issue that occurs when the lower jaw extends out. The lower front tooth ends up sitting in front of the upper front teeth. Overbites can be uncomfortable when the lower tooth bites into the hard palette. The problem is a result of the upper front teeth extending out over the lower teeth. Bite problems eventually interfere with chewing mechanisms of food. Just like any other teeth problems, they also affect the aesthetics of the face.

Roles of an orthodontist

• Straighten crooked teeth
• Fix overbite and under bite problems
• Recommend treatments for dental -jaw problems
• Fix braces and Invisalign for both children and adults.

According to the jaw and teeth experts, these problems can be corrected in young children before the teeth grow. The experts can identify a pending problem and recommend treatment or corrective measures. An orthodontist is also capable of fixing the issue after the growth of teeth. However, it is always easier before the growth. Such preventative measures will protect your child from social teasing. Girls especially become very conscious once they reach puberty. A perfect dental formula is a requirement in beauty pageants, which girls love to participate.

What do braces fix?

Braces are used to fix teeth problems such as protruding and overcrowding. They need adjusting after every few months since the teeth moves back in place, leaving them loose. Booking regular appointments with orthodontists should be a priority. Adjusting the braces may not be a problem, but it is necessary for the proper growth of the teeth. One of their services is to correct wrongly fixed aligners which may be at times loose or too tight.

Invisalign is also common for people who do not want conspicuous metal on their teeth. They are made of a clear material that stains with time or on the intake of certain foods. Unlike other teeth aligner methods, they are changed more frequently. Orthodontic clinics offer such services to ensure the aesthetic value is maintained.

Waiting too long

Most people take long too long before their teeth are corrected. Some seek dental services early, but it is never effective. Treating dental issues such as bites requires a dental history. Orthodontists prepare such history and customize treatments based on the records and needs. General treatments are useful only to some extent, despite similar problems. Variables such as jaw strength and sensitivity require specialized treatment.

Some dental problems occur in adults due to foods they consume and injuries. The first treatment for an injured jaw is focused on correcting the damage. Later on, the jaw requires therapy to retain full use. The therapy doesn’t treat the problem but works to strengthen the jaw. Orthodontics looks at the extent of the damage and recommends the therapy procedure to be used.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common problem in orthodontics. Most people are yet to understand clearly the responsibility that comes with aligners. The mouth stores a lot of bacteria which breaks down any food left in between the teeth. In the case of aligners, food left in between causes accumulation of plaque. Aligners require a particular cleaning process. It takes special tooth brushes to clean in between the brackets. Clear aligners, on the other hand, should always be removed before any meal. Proper dental hygiene can prevent such tooth decay. Children should be supervised during cleaning to ensure the cleaning is thorough.

It might be impossible to clean in between the teeth with a toothbrush. There are orthodontic floss threaders efficient for flossing with teeth aligners. Such floss is made of wax making it easy to slide in between teeth. Standard floss in most cases gets entangled between brackets and wires.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006

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4 Steps to Dealing With an Orthodontic Emergency

laughWhen you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you put a lot of time, energy, and effort into keeping your smile looking great. Whether you’ve chosen Invisalign or a traditional metal option, you want your teeth to look their best when they finally come off. Not only that, however, you want your smile back as soon as possible–which means that when you have problems, you need your orthodontist to fix them quickly! If you’re experiencing an orthodontic emergency, there are several steps that you should take quickly.

1. Define Emergency.

True orthodontic emergencies don’t occur very often. Even the most severe “emergencies”–broken appliances, brackets, etc–can typically be fixed with a visit to the orthodontist during the next available business hours. Make sure, before you call your office in a panic, that you know whether or not you’re really dealing with an emergency. It’s also important to know what requires immediate attention and what can wait until you can get into the office.

2. See If It Can Be Fixed

In many cases, you can fix problems for yourself–or at least manage a temporary fix that will hold you until you can get in for an appointment. For example, if you have a loose wire that is poking or causing discomfort, you may be able to use a q-tip or pencil eraser to gently tuck it back into place. A wire that has come loose often be gently replaced with a pair of tweezers; if you’re having trouble getting it to hold or it has sharp edges that are causing discomfort, try using orthodontic wax to secure the wire temporarily and provide relief.

If a bracket has come loose, it can be gently set back in place or removed entirely until an appointment can be made. The tiny rubber bands, or ligatures, that hold wires in place on brackets can also be replaced with tweezers if they come off. If the missing ligature has been lost completely, simply leave the wire alone until an appointment can be made. Larger missing or damaged pieces should be left in place until an orthodontic appointment can be made. It’s important, however, to avoid swallowing broken pieces if at all possible. If this does occur, it’s no reason to panic! Simply make sure the airway isn’t obstructed and that the piece isn’t hung in the throat.

In many cases, the individual with the problem may not be able to fix it on their own. Having an extra set of hands and a set of eyes that doesn’t have to look in the mirror is often the best way to get a problem fixed and braces back to normal. Applying wax or Oragel, however, can typically be fixed by the individual with the problem.

3. Look for Solutions to Problems

Some soreness is normal and expected when you’re wearing braces, especially after you’ve first had them put on or tightened. This isn’t an emergency; it’s a normal part of getting the smile you’ve always dreamed of. From invisalign to traditional metal options, getting your smile fixed is sometimes uncomfortable. The end result, however, is well worth it!

If you’re getting sores in your mouth as a result of brackets rubbing, try placing orthodontic wax over the brackets or wires in the sore spots. They’ll continue to work on your teeth, but won’t cause the same damage to the inside of your cheeks, your tongue, or your lips while you’re healing. You can also use a topical anesthetic like Oragel to temporarily relieve discomfort. Be sure that you’re carefully following the instructions on the package, and discontinue use once your mouth has healed.

Food stuck in brackets or stuck under wires is an embarrassing problem that everyone with braces experiences at least once, but it’s not an emergency! A special brush or dental floss with a knot tied in it is usually enough to get the food out of the way. Be careful flossing or brushing around delicate or loose appliances or brackets so that you don’t cause further damage.

4. Don’t Forget to Call the Office

If you’re experiencing any problem or have doubts about what to do, always call your orthodontist’s office at the first opportunity to make sure that they don’t need you to come in earlier than your next scheduled appointment. Over time, you’ll learn what issues require only a quick fix on your part and which ones are going to require a call. In the meantime, however, never hesitate to put a call in to the office. They’ve heard it all, seen it all, and have a pretty good idea of how to manage most orthodontic problems and concerns. The receptionist may be able to give you all the advice you need, but if not, the doctor will return your call as soon as possible.

Orthodontic problems are a normal part of wearing brackets and wires to help fix your teeth. There are, however, several things that you can do to prevent them. First and foremost, avoid the crunchy foods listed on the list that was given to you when you first started your treatment. They’re on the “avoid this food” list for a reason! Second, make sure that you always wear a mouth guard when playing sports. While this is recommended to all individuals engaged in contact sports in order to protect the teeth, it’s even more critical for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. Finally, try to avoid poking at your orthodontic appliances with your tongue. While they may be uncomfortable, poking at them can cause them to bend or break, which prevents them from completing the treatment that you need to receive.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006

Do Braces Make the Roots of Your Teeth Shorter? 1

Do Braces Make the Roots of Your Teeth Shorter?

makeupPeople are often concerned about root shortening (root resorption) when it comes to braces and Invisalign. With the use of modern orthodontic techniques, it is highly unlikely for a patient to experience any significant root resorption.

The Basics of Resorption

Research shows that for orthodontic patients, only 2% of them will finish treatment with root resorption that the eye can detect on an xray. Other studies indicate that some people are genetically more prone to root shortening. Other contributing factors can be a very long time in braces, pushing the teeth too hard, or trying to push the teeth too fast in the absence of acceleration techniques. Fortunately, a tooth can often withstand a significant amount of root resorption without having any long term symptoms. The literature reports that a root can lose as much as half of its length without having any impact on the person. Even people genetically predisposed to root shortening typically don’t lose more than 1/4 of the root length. That means that even though it is visible on the xrays, it is not a medical problem.

To minimize the incidence of root resorption, Drs Gorton & Schmohl focus on optimizing the treatment timing for each patient, to avoid having the braces on too long, they use the latest technology in gentle wires to move the teeth to keep the forces gentle, and they only move teeth more quickly if they have changed the surrounding environment with proven acceleration techniques such as Acceledent, Biolux, and/or PROPEL / microperforation. At the time of this writing, board certified Drs Jasmine Gorton and Bill Schmohl are the only orthodontic practice in the area offering all 3 of these innovative techniques to improve efficiency without increasing the concern about root resorption (as evidenced in our before and after records).

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006

Summer Toothbrush Contest

Beyond Differences

beyond differences

An Orthodontist Who Cares about Preventing Social Isolation

Social isolation often begins in middle school and continues in high school because adolescents are prone to developing cliques that exclude others. While teachers may combat this behavior in classrooms with group activities that require cooperative teamwork, students still exclude others in locations such as the school cafeteria or activities after school. Beyond Differences located in San Francisco is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to educating the public about the detrimental effects of social isolation and offer ways to stop the behavior during the sensitive adolescent years. Anyone can donate to Beyond Differences, and the organization already has an important sponsor located in Larkspur, Calif. Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics has two orthodontists who want to promote including others in all activities to create a feeling of camaraderie.

Beyond Differences Focuses on Stopping Social Isolation

Beyond Differences has three ways to prevent social isolation in middle and high school environments, including:

• No One Eats Alone – designed to encourage socializing during lunch
• Be Kind Online – discouraging unkind behavior online
• Be the One – a pledge and commitment to not exclude others

Beyond Difference dispenses its important message with an online website, videos and publications that are suitable for teachers, students and parents who want to implement and follow the suggestions made by the organization. Anyone interested in preventing social isolation in schools can request curriculum designed for teaching lessons or newsletters for parents and the general public. All lessons begin by helping people understand what social isolation is and how it affects anyone who is perceived as different from others. Some of the issues covered concern including classmates who have mental or physical challenges.

The orthodontists working at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics are happy to sponsor Beyond Differences because many of their patients are teenagers struggling with social isolation. The adolescent patients visiting this orthodontic facility frequently need to wear headgear, retainers or braces to correct abnormalities of their facial or mouth’s structure. Conditions such as cleft lip or palate can cause deformities of the mouth that require many years of orthodontic treatment in order to repair the positions of teeth so that an individual can speak properly, chew food and have a beautiful smile. In many cases, an individual undergoing orthodontic treatment is ostracized by their peers because they look different.

 

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a thousand reasons to smile 2

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a thousand reasons to smile

smile quotes

Life is hard. Why make it more difficult by being ashamed to smile because of crooked teeth? Science has shown that simply the act of smiling can trigger the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitters. That’s powerful. On the contrary, your negative thoughts about your own smile and appearance will depress your mood and suppress positive emotions.

Dentist vs. Orthodontist

Maybe you’ve never considered that an orthodontist could help you with your emotions. In contrast to a dentist, an orthodontist is a specialist in the realignment of teeth. The thought of braces may call to mind the embarrassing, clunky design of the past, but technology has advanced. Invisalign braces are virtually invisible since they are made of clear plastic.

Health Benefits

Other reasons to consider Invisalign are the health benefits. Crooked teeth can be difficult to floss, making them more prone to decay, not to mention that lack of flossing can affect both your oral and your heart health. As the years go by, misaligned teeth can cause other difficulties since the teeth may not meet together properly as you bite and can become damaged. Your jaw can also be adversely affected by your bite.

Confident Demeanor

Aside from the health benefits, you may simply long for a great smile. When you feel confident about your teeth, you will smile more and your mood will be lifted. Even a job interview can be affected if you’re presenting a happy, confident demeanor. Your children will gain confidence from a positive, smiling parent.

The reasons you’ve given yourself for not investing in braces just don’t apply anymore when you consider Invisalign. They are truly a revolution in the industry. Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics for more information about changing your smile and your life so that you truly have a thousand reasons to smile.

Why a Smile is More than Just a Universal Welcome 3

Why a Smile is More than Just a Universal Welcome

SQ4-Gorton-&-Schmohl-Orthodontics

It has been said throughout the ages that the eyes are windows to the soul. If they are, then your smile is the universal greeting that transcends languages and customs — as everyone can understand what a smile is, when they see one.

That is why it is important to treat your smile with the utmost care. It affects everything, from your chances of acquiring a new job to what your friends and family think of you, but most importantly it influences how you think about yourself.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consult with your local Marin County orthodontist about beautifying your smile.

1. Your Smile Makes You Feel Better About Yourself

The process of smiling has numerous outcomes that affect how you think about yourself. The simple act of smiling releases dopamine into the brain and increases the amount of blood that flows to your brain, both of which support that fluttery feeling of feel-good happiness.

The effect of smiling goes past that. By being able and willing to smile, you’ll feel better about your own self-image. This can simply be the cure to prevent things like depression.

2. Your Smile Affects How Others See You

Smiling is considered the trait of a happy individual. People feel more open when they’re interacting with someone who smiles.

If you are in a position where you need to greet people, it gives the feeling that you are cordial and friendly to talk to. This is a great advantage for you if you are trying to do everything, from acing that job interview or to doing something like selling a used car.

3. Smiling Helps to Cheer Up Those Around You

Another popular proverb holds that smiling is contagious. While laughing is known as the best way to cheer people up, it is evident that a simple smile is the next best way to make a person happy.

This means that smiling can soothe a troubling day. A great tool to have and flaunt.

Don’t Let Your Smile Be Something You Have to Hide

Your smile is an invaluable part of both your health and your social well-being. It’s not something that you should neglect, as even orthodontic costs can be negotiated so that whatever needs your smile has, can be met.

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to get in touch with a local, friendly Larkspur orthodontist.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics 900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California
94939 415-459-8006