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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

The Top 3 Best Drinks For Your Teeth

green and herbal teasIn a previous post, we discussed some of the drinks that have a negative effect on the teeth. This included soda, fruit juices, and coffee. While it may seem like water is your only beverage option, fear not. There are a few drinks still available to quench your thirst without affecting your orthodontic treatment.

Milk

Not only can it help build strong bones, but milk is a great source of calcium. Calcium helps to repair and maintain tooth enamel to keep your teeth strong. Lactose intolerant? Don’t worry. Calcium-fortified soy milk is a great alternative to getting the same benefits as regular milk. However, it is important to keep in mind that milk also contains sugar which, if left on the teeth for too long, can cause tooth decay.Read More

Orthodontic Treatment: One Phase Or Two?

preteen with braces holding drinkDid you know that orthodontic treatment is not just for teens and adults? In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that by the age of 7, children should have an initial orthodontic consultation. These comprehensive consultations determine whether or not a child’s teeth are developing properly or if early orthodontic treatment is or will be needed in the future.

Phase 1 vs Phase 2 Orthodontics

The typical process for Phase 1 orthodontic treatment involves a patient being fitted for their appliance (braces for example) which is worn until their teeth move into their proper positions. Some patients may require extractions or surgery prior to beginning treatment. Once the teeth are properly aligned, the patient wears a retainer to keep the teeth from shifting back. Read More

Are You Too Old For Braces?

Portrait of a happy patient with braces on the teeth, sitting in the dental chair, in the background a young doctor dentistWhen you think of braces, who do you picture wearing them? If you’re like most Americans, children and teens come to mind. If you’re unhappy with your smile, you probably think you missed your chance for straight teeth, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to advances in technology, orthodontic treatment for adults has become more common while producing excellent results. So much so, The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) found that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18.

With Age Comes New Changes

As we age, our bodies change. This is especially true for our teeth. For a variety of reasons, including injury, tooth loss, teeth grinding, loss of enamel, or natural growth, our teeth begin to shift towards the front of our mouths as we age. As a result, our teeth can become crooked and overcrowded. In some cases, patients may experience jaw pain or have difficulty properly cleaning their teeth. Read More