Adult Braces

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.


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.


Orthodontic Emergencies

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First of all, you need to know that the best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to learn how to take good care of your braces properly between your appointments with your orthodontist.  However, emergencies are emergencies and they can happen to anyone.

Common orthodontic emergencies include broken brackets (braces), poking wires, lost or broken retainers, mouth sores, and mouth injuries sustained playing sports, which often happens when you don’t wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontic appliances.

Brush and Floss Every Day

Taking care of your braces is very important if you want to avoid any orthodontic emergencies. It will help you to maintain your braces. Sometimes, some food particles get stuck and result in the development of plaque between your teeth. You can avoid this situation by brushing and flossing after every meal. This will help your braces to stay in great shape and will also help to reduce the risks of emergencies.

Playing Sports

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. Getting hit on the mouth or jaw can be a very painful experience, more so as an orthodontic patient as your teeth are already undergoing change and the impact could set back progress made with your orthodontist. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing sports such as hockey, rugby, ringuette, football and others. A mouthguard is a simple item that can save you the pain, time, and money that comes with orthodontic emergencies because of sports.

Food

It’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Orthodontics appliances may become disconnected or damaged by eating hard, sticky candy or food, or playing with your braces.  While your orthodontic treatment seems like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, sticky foods can break the brackets of your braces and hard foods can bend the wires. If a band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don’t connect any elastics to it! If the piece has come off, save it, otherwise you can cover it with orthodontic wax to prevent it from irritating the inside of your mouth.

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor, although they may still cause discomfort or irritation. Usually you can soothe the immediate cause of the discomfort with wax and call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so that we have sufficient time to get you taken care of. Waiting to call to get your appliances repaired could increase the length of your treatment!

If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact your dentist or the Ottawa dental emergency line at (613) 523-4185.


National Orthodontic Health Month

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It’s October, a special month that brings us candies, ghosts and witches. October also is the National Orthodontic Health Month. Let’s take advantage of this month to remember how it’s important to take care of our orthodontic health and how taking care of your braces ensures you a healthy smile and healthy teeth.

Taking care of your teeth can get more difficult once you get braces. Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. This is produced by the bacteria that react with the food in your mouth to produce an acid, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth. This is why it’s important to keep your braces and your mouth clean. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and orthodontic appliances clean:
• To remove plaque, you should brush around all parts of your dental braces and all of the surfaces of your teeth. Ideally, you should brush after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away, rinse your mouth well with water.
• Using fluoridated toothpaste or adding a fluoride rinse to your routine can help prevent white spots (decalcification) and decay. It’s also important to continue your regular dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment.
• Whether manual or electric, a toothbrush with soft bristles and a compact head is best for cleaning teeth with braces. Always remember to remove elastics before brushing so hooks and wires are not disturbed.
• Avoid sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods because they can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky and chewy foods like caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits can stick to braces and be difficult to remove. Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets. Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.

Generally speaking, soft foods are best for brace wearers. Candies that melt in your mouth tend to be gentlest on braces. Orthodontic patients can enjoy chocolates (such as chocolate kisses and M&Ms), gelatin, ice cream, peanut butter cups, powdered candy and more.

In honor of ‪National Orthodontic Health Month‬‬‬, we will be buying your‪ Halloween‬‬‬ candy back from you! Come to our office on November 2nd from 7:00am to 5:00pm and we will buy your candy! For every pound, we will give you 1$ and also donate 1$ to the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa. Also, for every pound you will receive 1 ballot to be entered into a draw to win a new iPad mini!

Beware of those nasty cavities that sugar can cause during the ‎Halloween‬ season. It is important to brush and floss every day! ‪‬‬


When to See an Orthodontist

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You’ve been thinking about orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone else in your family? You are probably wondering: When is the right time to see an orthodontist? It’s an excellent question, and we have the answer to it. 

First reason why you should see an orthodontist: If you have any question about the alignment of your teeth, or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is painfully obvious. If you have trouble biting, chewing or speaking, or some of your teeth are clearly protruding, crowded or misplaced, an orthodontist can surely treat the problem to help you regain a healthy smile.

Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may also be signs that an orthodontic treatment is needed. If your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, you may need an appointment with an orthodontist.

Did you know that teeth that meet abnormally can even cause a facial imbalance (asymmetry)? No worries, this is a problem that can often be corrected by orthodontic treatment.

ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN

We recommend a first orthodontic examination by the age of 7 for two very good reasons. At that age, not everyone has the same facial and teeth development so it takes an expert to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem, or if it’s just a normal developmental variation. At that time, an orthodontist can also predict whether or not there will be adequate room in the mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth.

An early exam can help to prevent serious problems. Many conditions are far easier to treat if they’re caught at an early stage. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct a serious condition.

If you notice any of the symptoms below, it may be time to visit an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
  • Speech difficulty
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of
proportion to the rest of the face)
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Inability to comfortably close lips

Even if most patients may not require treatment at 7 years old, an orthodontist will normally monitor a child growth and development from that point on to ensure that he or she is on the right track. Sometimes, it is only the matter of removing a baby tooth at the right time that can make the whole difference and allow the permanent teeth to come in the proper position.

ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS

You know when your child needs an orthodontic exam. Now, how about you? Are you afraid of smiling because your smile isn’t as perfect as you want it to be? Know that orthodontic exams are not only for kids. We can help you get the smile you always dreamed of.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Plus, it’s now possible to have “Hidden” braces. Different type and brands exist and they all have their strength. From Incognito, Harmony to Forestadent 2D, there are so many options! You don’t want braces even if they are inside? There is always Invisalign as another solution. This is a series of aligners that you wear and change every 2 weeks to align your teeth.

So if you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure that there are solutions and options so no one will know that you are “secretly” improving your smile unless you tell them!

Remember that a nice smile isn’t just about the look. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and less subject to abnormal wear. A healthy smile keeps you from having trouble eating and speaking.

It is time for you to “Discover your smile!


Top 5 Myths About Orthodontics

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A beautiful smile can be something very important for some people. With the progress of the technology, braces have become more common than ever. With the introduction of clear, colored and behind the teeth treatments, there is no better time to visit an orthodontist. Many people have opinions about orthodontists based on false information, and we’re here to debunk those myths! Here are the top 5 myths about orthodontics.

Myth #1 – I’m too old for orthodontics
A nice smile is important no matter what your age is. It’s never too late to perfect your smile so there is no age limit for orthodontic treatment! If you have any issues with your teeth or would like a straighter looking smile, never hesitate to reach for what you want!

Myth #2 – Orthodontics treatments take too long
Our treatments average out to 1 year. The amount of time depends on your age, your problem and the treatment technique that need to be used for you. Many other factors can also influence the time of your treatment but remember that the time can often be reduced with excellent patient cooperation. In the cases where treatment requires a few years, remember that it’s a short amount of time compared to a lifetime of beautiful looking teeth.

Myth #3 – Orthodontics can be painful
There is a big difference between discomfort and pain. Orthodontics has come a long way to minimize patient discomfort and it’s normal to feel discomfort during the first days. After a few days, the discomfort is short-lived after each adjustment appointment. Another thing to look out for with braces is discomfort due to the metal aspects of the braces. This can be greatly reduced with oral wax.

Myth #4 – A general dentist can do the same things than an orthodontist
Your family dentist is really good at what he’s doing but remember that an orthodontist has 2 or 3 years minimum of specialized training beyond dental school. An Orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function of the mouth.

Our orthodontics specialist is Dr. Andrea Picard, a bilingual specialist who has been practicing in Ottawa since 2007. She is an active member of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Orthodontics, Canadian Dental Association, Ontario Association of Orthodontists, Ontario Dental Association as well as the Ottawa Dental Society.

Myth #5 – Traditional, metal braces are the only option.
Advances in orthodontic technology have rendered improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. At Wellington Village, we offer traditional metal braces, self-ligating metal braces, ceramic braces and invisible braces (Invisalign or hidden braces behind the teeth.)

Traditional-Metal-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Self-Ligating-Metal-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Clear-Ceramic-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg        Clear-Aligners-cropped-150x150.jpg        Hidden-Braces-cropped-150x150.jpg

When you’re ready to take the next step toward orthodontic treatment, please contact us at (613) 722-8500 and get ready to discover your smile!