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How Do You Floss With Braces?

Let’s face it, braces are one of the most revolutionary dental inventions ever created. These simple gadgets are incredibly effective at treating a wide range of dental issues including misaligned teeth, overcrowding teeth, and bite problems. With advances in technology, modern braces have become fashionable and trendy for teenagers and adults alike.

Despite the huge benefits that braces offer, they, unfortunately, make brushing teeth a lot harder. This is because food particles are likely to lodge themselves between the wires. If proper dental hygiene is not observed, this can lead to the build-up of bacteria and potentially cause dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

The good news is that it is still possible to maintain high levels of dental hygiene and keep your teeth clean even while wearing braces.

Why Is Flossing Important When Wearing Braces?

Braces are held together by wires known as brackets, which take up a lot of space around the teeth. Not only do these wires trap food particles when you eat but they also make it a lot harder to access certain parts of the teeth using regular brushing techniques.

If the food particles are left for long, they can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque and dramatically increase the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. For this reason, it is always recommended to floss your teeth at least once a day. This helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean, while also preventing discoloration.

How To Floss Your Teeth With Braces

Flossing is arguably the most challenging part when it comes to cleaning teeth that have braces. However, having the right tools such as a sturdy floss threader and a waxed floss can make the process a lot easier.

You only need to:

What is the Ideal Age For Braces?

For many parents, braces only enter the conversation when the child’s teeth are clearly misaligned, overcrowded, or overly spaced. However, waiting for this long means that the treatment will take more time and money than if you had discovered the problems at their early stages. 

Ideally, you should take your child for an orthodontic evaluation yearly from the time they hit 7 years until their teenage years. This ensures that any budding problems with the teeth or bite are identified and corrected when the kid is still young. The orthodontist may also prescribe routines and medications to prevent other conditions in the future. 


When Should a Child Start Wearing Braces?

Generally, the best age to get started with braces is between 11 and 14 years. At these ages, the child’s permanent teeth will be fully grown but their mouth and jawlines will still be developing, which makes it easy for the braces to correct the teeth alignment, fix spaces, and strengthen the bite. 


What to Know About Braces

If advised to wear braces, your child’s oral care routine will also need to change for the better to avoid interfering with the braces. In particular, the child will need to brush at least twice a day. If possible, they should also integrate flossing and mouthwash into their routines to ensure they completely get rid of anything that can harbor bacteria.

The orthodontist may also require the child to avoid foods that can damage the braces or interfere with their working. And contrary to the popular view that only junk snacks, gummy bears, and candy are bad for developing teeth, even erstwhile healthy foods like carrots are not advisable to take when one is wearing braces.

When is it Time to Replace a Toothbrush?

For many people, changing toothbrushes is not a priority like it is to restock the fridge, buy new skincare products or empty the trash. It's something that only crosses our mind when the old toothbrush completely wears off. 

But that’s not how things should be! Good dental health starts with using a clean and relatively new toothbrush. You also need to brush at least twice a day. If you’re confused about what “relatively new” means, below is our informed analysis of how often you need to replace your toothbrush.

When to Change Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. The association based their advice on various studies that showed toothbrush bristles started degenerating after 3 months, which means they start becoming ineffective in getting rid of plaque and food particles in the teeth. 

Moreover, toothbrush bristles can attract and harbor germs and bacteria, which can threaten your dental health. This buildup, and the health issues it can cause, may prompt you to change your toothbrush even before the recommended time. For instance, you are advised to replace your toothbrush if you happen to get a sore throat or any other bacterial infection, even if you’ve only been using it for a week. This simple act helps to avoid re-infection.

Why Dental Fillings are Important

According to figures from the National Institute of Health, over 78% of people are likely to experience tooth decay before their 17th birthday. This can be attributed to poor oral hygiene and dental health. 

Failure to observe good oral health and hygiene practices increases the likelihood of losing the enamel, which is a thin and hard outer surface that protects the nerve endings from infection and injury 

When the enamel gets eroded by bacteria, your teeth become vulnerable to decay. The buildup of plaque can gradually eat away the surface of your teeth, thus causing cavities, which manifest as holes in the teeth. Unless this is remedied early, food particles and sugars can lodge inside these holes and create a conducive environment for bacteria, which will further damage your teeth. 

So, How do Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are artificial materials used to fill up cavities in teeth to restore their health and function. Some of the commonly used materials for dental filling include porcelain, plastic, gold, composite resins, and silver amalgams. 

Before a dental filling procedure is done, your dentist has to conduct an assessment of your dental health to determine the extent of tooth decay. This helps them decide whether a dental filling is required. Once the assessment is complete, they will then get rid of any plaque, bacteria, and food debris from the affected teeth before performing the filling procedure. After the filling has been put in place, the dentist will then apply an adhesive to prevent it from coming out. 

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Permanent Teeth

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Nothing is as cute as the missing front teeth of a child. The huge gap between the teeth is indicative of a major milestone that every child must pass through as they grow. This change in a child’s dental formula shows that he or she is ready to develop permanent teeth that will last for their lives.

So what should you expect with the next teething phase? Well, let’s find out more!

How many teeth do we have?

Primary teeth or milk teeth refer to the first teeth that erupt through the gums when a baby is about 6 months to 3 years old. The teeth begin to develop inside the gums even before the baby is born, but they erupt a few months or years after birth.

Primary teeth are divided into two parts; 10 teeth on top, and 10 at the bottom. As soon as your child reaches 5 years or 6 years old, the milk teeth will start to fall off as permanent teeth begin to form. Your child will then end up with 16 teeth on top and 16 on the bottom to form thirty two teeth in total.

When do permanent teeth come in?

Permanent teeth typically erupt in the same manner as primary teeth, but at different ages. The first to erupt are the lower central incisors (front bottom teeth), followed by the front top teeth before the back molars begin to pop out.

In most cases, the first teeth to come out are usually replacements of the first primary teeth to fall out. However, dental damage caused by poor oral hygiene, medical conditions or accidents to the face, jaw or mouth may rearrange the order in which the permanent teeth will start to erupt.

Preventing Children From Having Crooked Teeth

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Crooked teeth can affect children's appearance and oral health. Teeth that are not straight can affect speech, make it difficult to brush and floss, and increase the risk of developing problems with their oral health (gum disease, tooth decay).

When it comes to crooked teeth developing, genetics may play a part. It is important that you know what signs you should look out for, taking action if you see anything to go to the dentist. Check out these four ways to help maintain your child's teeth and gums and keep them healthy.

1. Break bad habits.

Toddlers may have a tendency to suck on their thumbs, but breaking this habit is important. Continued sucking could damage front teeth, the gums, and the roof of the mouth, particularly past the age of three. Bottle feeding and sucking pacifiers past a point are also not good for developing teeth.

Research helpful tips for any bad habits your child has, from not wanting to brush to sucking their thumb, so you can break the habit early and reduce the chance of it having a negative impact.

2. Teach them oral hygiene.

Your child needs to care for their oral hygiene. Teaching them how to care for the gums and teeth will keep them healthy now and prepare them for good habits to protect them later. When their first tooth develops, make an appointment for them at the dentist.

The dentist will look at their teeth and confirm that it's all going well or voice concerns. They can also give tips on age appropriate oral hygiene practices and what you should be doing at home. Brush with your kids and make it a fun event. Make sure they know to brush in the morning for two minutes and again at night and be there too! Play music or get them electric brushes to make it more enjoyable.

3. Respond to tooth loss.