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How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Braces

blog-featured-image-sweet-tooth-with-bracesYou’re in between meals and craving something sweet, but you just started orthodontic treatment and know that many of your favorite foods should now be avoided. Is there anything sweet you can eat? The short answer is yes! Dr. Christy Fortney and the staff at Hidden Valley Orthodontics are here to explain the truth about sugar and how to satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your braces.

The Truth About Sugar

Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and is off-limits during orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth healthy and strong. Whether you’re in braces or not, it is important to note that candy made of lots of sugar should always be avoided, especially during orthodontic treatment. Failure to do so could mean more dental work after your braces come off.

There is a common misconception that the type of sugar that you consume makes a difference in the overall effect on the teeth. This idea is false – texture and concentration matter immensely. The stickier the candy the more minutes it sits on your teeth the more likely the teeth are to decay or decal off, causing permanent stains. If eating a high sugar content food, the faster they are cleaned off the teeth by saliva, water or a toothbrush, the less risk there is. Once braces are on, sugar has many places to hide and the longer it’s left to sit on the teeth and braces, the more damage it causes.Read More

Elastics for Braces, Explained.

blog-featured-image-elastics-for-bracesWhether you’ve had orthodontic treatment or not, you’ve seen people wearing elastics or rubber bands as part of the process. But do you know what they’re used for? To help give you a better idea of why rubber bands are used with metal or clear braces, we’ll explain what they are, why they’re used, and how to take care of them during treatment.

What are Rubber Bands?

In short, rubber bands are used to help move your teeth along the archwire to aid in tooth movement for your particular treatment plan. There are many different ways to wear rubber bands and how long you wear them is determined by your orthodontist. Dr. Christy Fortney at Hidden Valley Orthodontics will instruct you on exactly how to wear your rubber bands and when and how often to change them based on your personalized treatment plan. Since your rubber bands lose their elasticity with use, patients are normally instructed to replace them at least once a day, especially after eating and brushing.Read More

Wisdom Teeth After Braces, Explained

blog-featured-image-wisdom-teeth-after-bracesYou’ve been patiently waiting for your orthodontic treatment to come to an end and your braces to come off. You followed all the oral hygiene instructions during and after treatment, but now your wisdom teeth are starting to come in. Will they ruin your new smile?

At Hidden Valley Orthodontics, we get this question a lot and rightfully so. With the typical timeline for orthodontic treatment being between about 18 and 36 months, we understand that it would be very disappointing for all that hard work to go to waste. In some very rare cases, the eruption of wisdom teeth can shift the teeth and ruin past orthodontic treatment, but again, this is rare. This is why it is important to maintain a relationship with an orthodontist, like Dr. Christy Fortney, even after treatment has ended. Once your wisdom teeth do come in, it can be determined if they need to be removed or not. Read More

Do Your Gums Bleed When Flossing?

woman holding side of her face in painIt’s the start of a new day and you’re going through the motions of your morning routine. As you begin flossing, you notice your gums start to bleed in some areas. Is this normal?

While bleeding gums from flossing does not mean your mouth isn’t clean, it can be a sign that you aren’t flossing enough. According to Colgate, “It’s fairly common for gums to bleed when you first begin flossing between teeth, and as long as the bleeding stops quickly, it’s not usually considered a problem.” In other words, continue to floss daily and the bleeding should stop over time.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Several factors can cause gums to bleed. To help narrow down why you may be experiencing bleeding gums, consider the following reasons:Read More

What to Expect in Your First Week With Braces

young adult girl smiling in bracesYou’re getting your braces put on for the first time and you’re not sure what to expect. One thing is for sure; your oral hygiene practices will definitely change. To help prepare you for what’s in store and make the most of your orthodontic treatment, we at Hidden Valley Orthodontics explain what you can expect from your first week in braces:

Placement Day

On the day your braces are put on, the process should be relatively painless. In the hours following placement, you may notice that it will take you longer than usual to finish meals as you get used to wearing and chewing with braces. Stick to softer foods (like soups, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, shakes, etc.) for the first few days while your teeth and mouth adjust. You may also experience slight discomfort or soreness as the teeth begin to move.Read More

What To Ask At An Orthodontic Consultation

Dentist showing patient her x-rayOrthodontic consultations are often times a complimentary introduction for orthodontists, like Dr. Christy Fortney, to get to know you and your oral health concerns. The best thing you can do to make the most of your consultation is to prepare a list of questions beforehand. To help you get started, we’ve come up with a list of common questions answered during our complimentary smile exams.

How Long Will My Treatment Take?

It is important to first note that orthodontic treatment is not a “one size fits all” approach to straightening teeth. At Hidden Valley Orthodontics, we develop orthodontic treatment plans based on the individual needs of each patient to ensure they get the best results. Be sure to ask the orthodontist for an estimate of how long your treatment will take as the length may vary depending on how complex your situation is. Read More