Ottawa Blog for Braces, Invisalign and Orthodontic Treatments

How To Take Care of Your Teeth And Why?

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Some basic elements

If you want your mouth and teeth to be healthy and your smile always glowing, it is essential to maintain good daily hygiene: brushing teeth and using dental floss. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and evening or after each meal. If you maintain good hygiene of the mouth, you will avoid the risks of oral problems such as:

  • cavities,
  • gingivitis,
  • halitosis (bad breath),
  • and so on.

We will give you some tips for you to start creating good habits:

  • how to choose a toothbrush,
  • how to brush your teeth,
  • how to floss and why do a professional cleaning at the dentist.

This information will allow you to keep your smile bright for as long as possible.

Why have good oral hygiene?

You must maintain good oral hygiene for various reasons. A nice smile and fresh breath are always appreciated by everyone we meet.

Some people think that the best solution is to use toothpicks and fresheners for the mouth such as “TicTac”, chewing gum, mouthwash, and so on. Unfortunately, theses only mask underlying issues.

A more serious but less obvious problem related to our gums and teeth is plaque. Dental plaque is composed of microscopic food residues and bacteria. Bacteria develop with these residues and with saliva or certain foods (such as sugar). They produce acids and other chemicals that will affect your teeth and gums and perhaps lead to caries and gingivitis.

If left unchecked, the dental plaque hardens and produces tartar. It’s difficult to remove tartar by brushing your teeth It should be cleaned by a dental hygienist. Plaque and tartar can inflame the gums leading to gingivitis.

Your defense tool: the toothbrush

The toothbrush is the first tool you should use to defend yourself against these diseases and oral infection. But to be effective, it must be of good quality and used properly. If you use a toothbrush that worn down, it will not do its job. It is therefore necessary that your toothbrush meet these criteria:

  • The head must be compact and rounded so that it can reach all surfaces of all teeth;
  • It should have an ergonomic handle so that it fits comfortably in your hand;
  • The bristles of the brush should be soft or extra flexible so as not to damage the tooth enamel and gums;
  • If the tip of the toothbrush has deformed bristles or if there is a whitish deposit at the base of the bristles, you should replace the toothbrush;

Dentists recommend replacing the toothbrush every 3 months.


Never Too Late to Have the Smile You Always Dreamed Of

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Tired of hiding your smile due to crooked teeth, stained teeth or misaligned teeth. If you’re an adult who’s unhappy with your smile, here’s good news. Braces are just as effective for older people as they are for the young.

Many adults believe that they missed their chance of having straight teeth if they didn’t get child hood braces.  Today with products like Invisalign, many adults are getting a second chance at having a great smile.

On the other hand, you may wonder if correcting your smile now is worth the time and expense. After all, you’ve lived with your crooked teeth this long. The answer is, resoundingly, yes. Bad alignment and related orthodontic issues can lead to health problems as you age. Correcting your smile is about much more than enhancing your appearance.

Some reasons why you should consider braces despite your age:

1. You will have healthier teeth and gums.

Sometimes crowding is so severe that toothbrush bristles can’t reach every part of every tooth. And, at times, the teeth can fit together so tightly that it is almost impossible to slide a piece of floss between each tooth. The result is a buildup of plaque, tartar and bacteria – all of which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Straight teeth are easier to clean. Plaque your toothbrush cannot reach contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. And gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause tooth and bone loss and a host of broader health issues. Many adults are surprised in their later years to lose sound teeth because of unhealthy gums and bones.

2. No more pain due to malocclusion.

Malocclusion is what happens when your teeth does not fit together properly. This can happen because of a difference in size between your upper and lower jaws, the size and shape of your teeth, and how your adult teeth grew into your mouth. Over time teeth can shift, especially if you’ve lost teeth. If that’s the case, opposing and neighboring teeth shift to fill in the gaps. Malocclusion – whatever its cause – can lead to tooth, jaw, head, and neck pain.

3. Snoring or sleep apnea may be reduced. 

Extensive overbite, where your top teeth protrude – the traditional “buck teeth” – can cause your airway to become blocked while you sleep. A partially blocked airway can lead to snoring. If it’s totally blocked, you could experience sleep apnea, which continually disrupts your rest. Sleep apnea is associated with several health issues, including heart problems.

Whatever your age, you can have a perfect smile. If you want more information, call us at (613) 722-8500 for a consultation or a complete exam. We will discuss your options to help find a treatment plan that is right for you.


National Oral Health Month

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ZahnspangeEven if October is the month that brings us Ghosts and Trick or Treaters, it’s also the perfect time to focus on Orthodontic Health – as October is National Orthodontic Health Month. It’s the perfect time to share important information regarding orthodontic treatment and how to take care of your orthodontic braces.  Making sure your orthodontic braces and appliances stay clean not only impacts your oral health but also contributes to the movement of teeth during orthodontic treatment.

Why is good oral hygiene with braces so important? Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. Food can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth.

How should teeth and braces be cleaned? You should brush after every meal and use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss (available at drug stores) at least once a day to clean between braces and under wires. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure all food particles are gone. If you don’t have your toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.

What food should be avoided? Keep in mind that while wearing braces, you need to be mindful that some foods can loosen, bend, or break your orthodontic appliances. The following foods should be avoided: hard, sticky candy, corn on the cob, popcorn, nuts, and hard foods like taco shells and chips. Chewing gum and ice can also cause problems. Cutting hard foods like raw carrots and apples into small bites prevents damage.

Hard foods are another no-no. Even otherwise healthy foods, such as raw apples and carrots, can be problematic because their hard texture can damage the wires. To eat crunchy foods, cut them into small, bite-size pieces.

What can you eat? When you wear braces, you need to be more aware of what you eat. Eating too many sugary and starchy foods can cause plaque to build up around the brackets, which can cause staining of the teeth, causing cavities or leading to gum disease. You should especially avoid sticky and chewy foods, such as dried fruits, caramel, taffy, corn on the cob and chewing gum, all of which can become stuck and be hard to remove from braces.

During the Halloween season, brushing and flossing your teeth is even more important due to the fact that teeth usually receive more exposure to sweets and sugars that can cause cavities. During this month of sticky, crunchy, hard, chewy and sweet treats it’s important to remember keep your orthodontic braces and appliances clean! You may think that not brushing might not have an effect, but it does! Teeth and braces that are covered in plaque and sticky residues cause increased inflammation in the mouth which makes it harder for teeth to move!


The Element (Itero)

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There is something new at Wellington Village Orthodontics! Our office is always looking for ways to make this process less invasive, more reliable, and easier for you. In an effort to bring this process up to speed, we’re proud to announce we’ve acquired an iTero®Element™ Intraoral Scanner. This device will eliminate the need for those old school, messy impressions, and will provide the most accurate and detailed look into your treatment needs.

The iTero Intraoral Scanner is synonymous with high precision. Now, iTero®Element™ is engineered to deliver everything that doctors love about iTero scanners in a compact footprint with even bigger capabilities. iTero®Element™ is designed to put the latest technology at your fingertips and make intraoral scanning fun.

This new scanner will help our patients visualize how their teeth may look at the end of Invisalign treatment.

Why is the iTero Scanner important to my treatment?

The iTero Element scanner works by scanning each of your teeth and the layout of your gums and mouth. The whole process only takes 10-15 minutes and quickly provides an extremely accurate, 3-D view of your mouth. Once the scan is complete, we can view the images together, and even see a simulation of your braces or Invisalign treatment. The data can then be sent wirelessly to Invisalign or to a number of other orthodontic labs with the click of a button.

Now, with this new technology, we do a digital scan of your mouth, send the data wirelessly to the lab, where they then print a 3-D, stereo lithographic model, create the appliance, and have it back to us in about a week. This helps save YOU time! We’ve also noticed the models we’re getting back are much more accurate and the appliances we create are fitting better than ever.

This new scanner also allows us to consult about any underlying problems that are found prior to braces treatment, and allows patients a complete 360° view of what I’m seeing. Capturing up to 6,000 images per second, it’s easy to see just how beneficial this tool is to our staff in providing a clear view to map out your braces treatment!

To learn more about Wellington Village Orthodontics or if braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with our staff. We’ll take time to answer any questions you may have and map out a treatment plan just for you.


Summer Friendly Foods

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Having braces doesn’t mean you can’t eat this summer! Those with braces don’t have to miss out on all the great traditional summer foods. There are healthy and great alternatives for those with braces who miss out on some of the crunchy and sticky options that are usually eaten during these warm summer months.

If you have braces, watermelon will be your best friend this summer. It is a refreshing and healthy treat that can be enjoyed at almost any time of day. As opposed to some of the other summer fruits and vegetables, watermelon is safe to eat with braces. While apples, carrot sticks, and corn all can be potentially dangerous to your braces when biting in, watermelon’s juicy flesh makes it a more ideal choice. Be sure to cut it into small pieces beforehand to make it even easier to chew. It’s an easy fruit to incorporate into your everyday meals to enjoy a great treat that won’t damage your orthodontic work.

As we all know, BBQs are the best part about summer. But if you have braces or have some friends that wear braces you might have to rethink your food choices. Instead of eating a steak, consider a hamburger, a hot dog or even a chicken salad instead. These foods will be less tough, making it much easier to chew. Those with braces will have to worry less about the damage that may be delivered from barbeque foods. In addition to this, hamburgers and hot dogs are considerably cheaper than other options, making them ideal choices for your family barbeque.

While some sugary foods themselves can be damaging to your braces, it is often times the biting motion and the consistency of the food together that causes the bulk of the problem. Get all your favorite fruits mixed into your smoothie that might have otherwise damaged your teeth. In addition to this, a fruit smoothie will be a healthy alternative to sugary drinks such as soda when you are trying to stay cool.

Don’t let your braces get you down this summer. There are a number of foods that can still be eaten and enjoyed all through this fun and exciting season. Choose those foods you love best with the least amount of sugar and sticky consistency to keep your braces strong throughout the orthodontic process.


Can I Use Mouthwash Instead of Flossing?

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It is essential to remember that no mouthwash is a replacement for the regular oral care routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. While mouthwash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand. So, even if you are using mouthwash on a daily basis, you still need to follow your complete oral care routine to maintain good dental health.

Mouthwashes can help in preventing cavities, bad breath and gingivitis when used with brushing and flossing. Some oral rinses may be able to soften up plaque and kill microorganisms but neither of these effects is fractionally as effective as flossing. Only mechanical debridement (scrubbing and scraping) can adequately remove dental plaque from a tooth’s surface. So, you still need to floss on a regular basis!

Types of floss

Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.

Flossing is what removes the plaque accumulation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, the acidity produced by the bacteria in it will start causing decalcifications and cavities underneath. The gums around the teeth will also get irritated and this is when gum disease can start.

Floss is designed to help you to get to those hard-to-reach places, allowing you to clean the areas that can’t be reached by the toothbrush. This habit helps you get to the surfaces that are located between the teeth and near the gum line.

One common misconception is that you can use mouthwash instead of flossing. The truth is that mouthwash might help to reduce the bacteria present in your mouth, but it won’t be able to get rid of biofilm (white and pasty looking) that can accumulate on the teeth.

If you use mouthwash, then it is important to make sure that you are also flossing on a regular basis. Mouthwash is not a sufficient alternative to flossing.


What is New at Wellington Village Orthodontics?

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SureSmile® Orthodontic Technology

You’re getting braces? You’re excited about having that great smile? You may be nervous about wearing the wires and brackets. Well, there is a new, technologically advanced orthodontic system that makes straightening your teeth a lot more precise and more accurate compared to conventional orthodontic treatment. It’s called SureSmile.

The SureSmile treatment starts by taking a detailed 3-D computer model of your teeth, allowing Dr Picard to plan individual tooth movements throughout your entire “braces experience.” The SureSmile specialized robots customize individual braces arch wires to match your treatment plan and to get the best result. This new technology enables your orthodontist to create more accurate treatment plans designed to move your teeth to their correct position more efficiently than ever before.

Benefits of the SureSmile Technology

  • High quality results – Precision – Teeth move directly to their prescribed positions
  • Less overall discomfort – SureSmile treatment plans reduces pain from braces by decreasing the number of wire adjustments
  • Fewer office visits – The SureSmile technology improves orthodontic efficiency and accuracy

 

How it works

First Step: Advanced Orthodontic Imaging

At Wellington Village Orthodontics, we are using the Element scanner, the newest ITero scanner! This technology helps the orthodontist to create a 3-D computer model of your bite by using an advanced imaging technology to scan your teeth.

This procedure is the beginning of your SureSmile treatment.

Second Step: Prescriptive Treatment Planning

Now that your 3-D model is ready, your orthodontist can now see how your teeth fit together from any angle. The planning software of this treatment provides virtual simulation tools that allow your orthodontist to determine the final position of your teeth.

Third Step: Robotic Accuracy

Once your treatment plan is decided, the SureSmile technology directs a robot to bend a shape memory alloy arch wire according to your customized prescription. This wire is designed to deliver the gentle forces needed to move your teeth consistently and more directly to their desired finishing position.


Malocclusions – Problems to Watch

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A malocclusion is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close. Malocclusions may benefit from early diagnosis in order to be taking care of by an orthodontic specialist at an early stage.

Source: American Association of Orthodontists

What Causes Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is usually an inherited condition. This means it can be passed down from one generation to the next.

There are some conditions or habits that may change the shape and structure of the jaw. These include:

  • cleft lip and palate
  • frequent use of a pacifier after the age of 3
  • prolonged use of bottle feeding in early childhood
  • thumb sucking in early childhood
  • injuries that result in the misalignment of the jaw
  • tumors in the mouth or jaw
  • abnormally shaped or impacted teeth
  • poor dental care that results in improperly fitting dental fillings, crowns, or braces

What Are the Symptoms of a Malocclusion?

Depending on the classification of malocclusion, the symptoms of the disorder may be subtle or severe.

Typical symptoms of malocclusion include:

  • improper alignment of the teeth
  • alteration in the appearance of the face
  • frequent biting of the inner cheeks or tongue
  • discomfort when chewing or biting
  • speech problems, including the development of a lisp
  • breathing through the mouth rather than the nose

 

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

Reasons for an early examination:

  • The posterior occlusion is established when the first molars erupt.
  • Incisors have begun to erupt and problems can be detected
  • A timely evaluation will lead to significant treatment benefits

 

Our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.


How to Floss With Braces

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Taking care of your teeth while you have braces is not always an easy thing. Be prepared to spend three times as long on your oral care while you have braces on your teeth. Don’t worry; this time is worth it because you will get an amazing smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment. Flossing and taking care of your oral hygiene is a big part of your treatment. Daily flossing is especially important during the time that you wear braces because you’re more likely to have food particles trapped in the braces, bands and wires, which could increase your risk of a cavity if the food contains sugars.

Use The Right Tool

Using floss on teeth with braces can be difficult and very frustrating. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in nearly any store that sells toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is indispensable when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gum line.

Non-wax floss is more likely to catch on braces and leave behind shreds of floss. When flossing with braces, it is best to use waxed floss with a floss threader, which will slip between each tooth without catching more easily.

Steps To Follow When Flossing With Braces

Although flossing with braces is tricky, you can get the hang of it with practice if you follow these steps:

  • Use waxed floss, dental tape or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces
  • Use enough. About 18 inches of floss should suffice
  • Thread it carefully. Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth
  • Be sure not to snap the floss-simply move it up and down gently against the side of each tooth

 

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy now is an investment in your future.  It enables you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment and starts you toward a brighter smile that can last for a lifetime.


Dos and Don’ts: Holiday Sweet Treats

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But just because you have braces, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festive food that the holidays bring! There are plenty of options out there for those who enjoy their sweets around this time of year. Here are couples of do’s and don’ts for the holiday goodies. If you want to avoid any orthodontic emergencies always keep in mind that hard candies are not good for you and your braces.

CANDY CANES

We’ll be honest…candy canes or any other hard candies are an orthodontist’s nightmare. They’re sugary, sticky and they can break your braces. Our advice: steer clear! Why not opt for some chocolate as a sweet but slightly less hazardous alternative?

CHRISTMAS BROWNIES

Brownies are soft, chocolatey, and delicious which makes them perfect for a holiday treat. You can try to make this classic recipe festive by turning them into little Christmas Trees. Brownies are not harmful for your braces and they taste amazingly good. They are a friendly-braces option!

PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM

Ice cream is a safe bet when it comes to braces, and making a peppermint flavoured batch is sure to wow your kids and their friends around Christmas time (or adults with braces for that matter). Remember, if you do choose to use real candy canes to put in your ice cream, please crush them up finely, as they are still hard candies that can get stuck in braces.

SOFT CHEWY CANDIES

While wearing braces, it is best to stay away from hard sticky candies. It is best to choose softer, melt in your mouth candies. Chocolate is also a great choice since it melts really quickly.

Avoid caramel, candy apples, taffy, nuts and bubble-gum. They will pull at the brackets and make it difficult to clean. Very chewy bread will do the same thing, so be sure and avoid any foods and candy that you find sticking in your brackets.

Make sure when eating any sugary food with braces that you practice proper dental hygiene. When you have braces, exposing your teeth to high sugar content without brushing it away right after can lead to unsightly stains or tooth decay. To avoid this, be consistent with brushing and try limiting your sugar intake throughout the day.