boy having bite test

What Are Retainers?

Boy wearing red eyeglasses and having a bite test

When the time comes for your kids to shed off their braces, it’s exciting to see their new set of better-aligned teeth. However, it’s also time to think about the next step to complete the process: retainers.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of wearing retainers? Are retainers really expensive? What should you expect after the retainers are fitted? All these are natural questions that most parents have. This article will detail everything you need to know about retainers. Read more

Foods that are Safe for Braces

Foods that are safe for braces
Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. However, Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

Foood and Braces

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.

A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our team at Childers Orthodontics will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:

  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peas
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta

Foods to Avoid

Anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:

  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)

Considerations

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? The Childers Orthodontics staff is always ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment plan prescribed for you by Dr. Kyle Childers!

Foods that are Safe for Braces

Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces During Orthodontic Treatment

Braces 1

Five Tips for Your Braces

After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment. Today, our team at Childers Orthodontics thought we would provide you with five tips you need to know to ensure you undergo successful treatment at our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office.

Flossing

Flossing twice a day or after every meal can help you clean areas between teeth and other places a toothbrush can miss. We also recommend using a floss threader, which can be used to help you navigate safely around your braces and brackets. It is vital to floss twice a day, preferably after lunch and before bedtime to keep gum disease and tooth decay at bay.

Brushing

Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime using fluoride toothpaste and gentle, soft strokes. We recommend using an interdental toothbrush, which can help you clean the hard-to-reach areas under wires better than an ordinary toothbrush.

Using Elastics

This phase of orthodontic treatment requires cooperation and consistency on your part. If your orthodontist has prescribed elastics, make sure they are worn at all times, except when eating meals or brushing teeth. It’s important that you wear the correct size elastics and have extras in case they are misplaced. By failing to wear your elastics for even one day, you run the risk your teeth moving back toward their original position.

Addressing Damage to Your Braces

In case your appliances are damaged, we ask that you call our team at Childers Orthodontics immediately to set up an appointment.

Eat Friendly Foods

When undergoing treatment, there are certain foods you must avoid. Foods that are hard, sticky, chewy or sour can add months to your treatment time. These includes gum, caramels, taco shells, nuts, ice, chips or hard candies.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!

Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces During Orthodontic Treatment

How do I take care of my lingual braces?

lingual braces
Patients at Childers Orthodontics often wonder if lingual braces require the same amount of care as regular braces. The only real difference between lingual braces and traditional braces is the location of the brackets: lingual brackets are mounted on the back of your teeth. This mounting technique means that your braces completely hidden! However, you need to take special care of your lingual braces to prevent damage to the brackets and wires.

Caring of Lingual Braces

Wearing lingual braces requires more caution when you eat hard or crunchy foods, which should be avoided whenever necessary. Applying excess pressure when you chew can cause brackets to break loose. This is more likely to happen if your upper front teeth overhang your lower teeth. You should also avoid foods that become caught in the brackets.

Brushing and flossing

Flossing can be done with a combination of regular dental floss and an inter-dental or wire brush. Floss threaders can also be used to get floss under the wires of your braces; ask our team for one at your next appointment with Dr. Kyle Childers. You should always brush and floss after every meal because there is a greater chance of food particles becoming stuck in your braces. You can also use a mouth wash to reduce bacteria and fight plaque. As always, keep your regular dental hygiene appointments at our convenient Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office to make sure that no problems develop while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Many individuals have a natural habit of rubbing their tongue along the inside of their teeth, especially when a change has occurred in their mouth. This can cause soreness or small abrasions on your tongue. While they should subside within a few weeks, the use of dental wax can be helpful.

Please ask Dr. Kyle Childers and our team any questions you may have about your new braces and how to care for them and your teeth. The better care you take off your teeth and braces now, the better your outcome will be when your orthodontic work is complete!

How do I take care of my lingual braces?

Together, We Keep Your Orthodontic Treatment Moving Smoothly

Orthodontic Treatment
Have you ever asked us, “How long until my braces come off?!” Well, we hope you know that we don’t mind that question one bit, and we’re not surprised when you occasionally ask it. We hear that question often! We know that you’re eager to see your new smile. We are too!

We Have A Plan, But There Are Variables…

We map out a very specific treatment plan for each of you, complete with its own timeline. Because every one of our valued patients is different, we’ve learned to be flexible.

People have different biological responses and some people’s teeth may move faster or slower than others’. Some patients are more sensitive to changes in their mouth too. Whatever the condition, we want all of you to be completely comfortable during your treatment. The pacing of your treatment may be influenced by your comfort level.

There are Things You Can Do

Luckily, a lot of the power is in YOUR hands. By following these guidelines, you can avoid unnecessary setbacks and help ensure that your orthodontic treatment goes smoothly.

  • Be consistent in keeping your appointments. Try not to postpone or cancel!
  • Be on time to appointments. This gives us time to do everything we planned.
  • Be diligent about wearing rubber bands, attachable appliances, etc.
  • Avoid damage to your braces by following our food guidelines and wearing mouth protection during sports.
  • Take good care of your teeth! Gum disease or restorative dental work can slow down orthodontic treatment.

Taking Care Of Your Braces Is Important

Here are a few awesome tips!

Stay On Target

Remember that you’re on your way to a straight, beautiful, and healthy smile. Stay on track with your good habits, and you’ll be there in no time. We promise to do our part to move your orthodontic treatment along efficiently. If you have any questions about your treatment time, just let us know or visit our office at Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL for more information.

Together, We Keep Your Orthodontic Treatment Moving Smoothly.

Your 5 Step Guide to Preventing Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

5 step guide to preventing tooth decay 

5 step guide to preventing tooth decay

If you’re wearing braces, then you know they are working hard to straighten your teeth. However, those hard-working braces are also preventing you from easily cleaning your teeth. It is essential that you put some extra attention into preventing tooth decay while wearing your braces. When your braces are finally removed by Dr. Kyle Childers, you want a beautiful, white smile, not decayed or stained teeth. Here, we’ve listed the five best ways to ensure you have the smile you’ve always dreamed of once your braces are gone.

Use a special toothbrush

A regular toothbrush just doesn’t cut it when you are wearing braces. You also need to use an interdental toothbrush so that you can effectively clean behind the braces. According to HealthGuidance.org, this type of brush has bristles that are shaped like a Christmas tree that can remove food residue in the braces and on the teeth. We also recommend using a WaterPik, with its highly pressurized pulsating water, to help get all of those hard-to-reach places.

Brush after every meal

Since braces block food from naturally escaping your teeth after eating, it’s important that you take the time to brush and floss after every meal. The less time food has to sit on your teeth, the less likely it is to cause decay. This may seem like an inconvenience, but trust us, when you get your braces off, you will be very glad you brushed after every meal.

Don’t forget the mouth rinse

Even after properly brushing and flossing, there are probably some food particles in your braces. A fluoride mouth rinse is the best way to ensure that every bit of food is removed after meals. If you do not have a mouth rinse available, we suggest using water — it’s better than nothing.

Avoid Sweets

Prevention is definitely the best medicine when it comes to avoiding tooth decay. If you can nix decay-causing sugary foods from the outset, we promise you’ll spend less time trying to treat problems in the future.

Get regular check-ups

Visit your dentist regularly while you are wearing braces. Our office recommends a thorough cleaning every three to six months. Let our Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL office know if you have questions about your oral health while in braces. Our entire team at Childers Orthodontics is here to make sure your teeth are as beautifully straight as they are healthy!

Your 5 Step Guide to Preventing Tooth Decay While Wearing Braces

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

I chopped my hair off.

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets.

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

Eat Braces-Safe Foods

Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque, which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, and popcorn can also bend or break your braces. On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

Proper Brushing

You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.

Ask About Special Cleaning Tools

There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

Regular Teeth Cleaning

It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.To know more about good oral hygiene, visit our offices at Benton, Harrisburg and Herrin, IL.

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

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Top ten tips for keeping your Braces sparklin’ clean!

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth, and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you’ll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. One tooth at a time.

When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles.

Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth.

While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean.

While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared.

The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts.

If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places.

Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you.

Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros.

It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office – we’d love to help!

We hope this helps. And remember to give our team at Benton, Harrisburg or Herrin, IL a call if you ever have any questions!

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!