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Sports and Activity Tips: Braces for Teens in Broomfield

November 21, 2018

When it comes to braces for teens in Broomfield, there is no need to avoid playing sports or being active! Students simply need to take a few extra precautionary measures for safety while being active. Getting braces is an adjustment, but a well-worth-it investment for dental health. Use these tips for navigating through student activities and sports when adjusting to new braces. 

Taking Proper Care of Braces

After getting braces, it is imperative that children and teens get accustomed to a proper care routine from day one. By practicing good habits, there will be few issues while wearing them and once they are off. Some best practices for caring for braces include: 
  • Brush, brush brush: Food and other particles can get wedged into places more easily with braces. To remove it, those with braces should brush their teeth after every meal. At minimum, brushing twice a day will work, but after each meal is optimal. Is a disposable toothbrush with toothpaste a good travel choice? Definitely! Students may not be able to control every situation, so having a disposable toothbrush in a backpack is a great way to easily care for teeth without having to carry a primary toothbrush around. They’re especially easy to toss in a gym bag. 
  • Invest in electric toothbrush: When it comes to removing the particles and debris around brackets and the gum line, an electric toothbrush is ideal. It will break apart and blast away particles and plaque for a great smile. 
  • Floss daily: In addition to routine brushing, flossing is equally important. To make flossing easier, wearers can use a floss threader. This will assist with getting the floss around the wires. 
  • Keep all orthodontic appointments: To ensure progress is being made and to address any issues, students should make all of their scheduled orthodontic appointments.  

As a student adjusts to new braces, your orthodontist will be able to give tips and advice on how to care for braces for teens in Broomfield. 

Avoid Injury and Damage with a Mouthguard

Many students that get braces wonder, “Can I still play the sports I used to?” Of course! While a child will need to make some lifestyle changes and adjustments as they work through their progress, by no means do they need to stop being active because of braces. 

The key to safety? A mouthguard. You can speak with your orthodontist to learn about your best options. Today, mouthguards are not bulky and uncomfortable. They can be stored in a small container, making it easy to put in and take out between practices and games. 

When a student uses a special orthodontic mouthguard, it accommodates the mouth and gums for comfort. It provides a soft barrier between the gums and braces so if something makes an impact, the gums will not be cut by the braces. 

Why an Orthodontic Mouthguard? 

You may be wondering, “Can my child use a standard mouthguard for sports? Do I have to get a special one?” Yes—you should speak with your orthodontist about a mouthguard for braces. Studies have shown that students are 50 percent more likely to sustain an injury when an orthodontic mouthguard is not worn. These injuries can become extensive, not only to the gums, but to the jaw. 

When it comes to the type of sport, ideally one should be worn for all. There is a common misconception that a mouthguard only needs to be worn for contact sports. Mouthguards will definitely help reduce or eliminate contact-sport injuries, but also any other accidents during cycling, track and field, and more. 

Traditional mouthguards are not formed in the same way. While it may look larger, which can lead to the assumption it is better, that’s not the case. Traditional mouthguards do not have the specs needed, which in the case of an impact, can lead to injury. Or, they could catch on the braces or damage them—leading to a costly fix. 

The great thing about working with your local orthodontist on a solution is you will find the best guard for the job. They will help you find an affordable option that will keep a student-athlete safe. 

Mouthguard Care Tips

Just as brushing teeth and flossing daily is important, children need to take proper care of their orthodontic mouthguards. When they are not routinely cleaned or cared for, they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. From there, it can cause infections and illnesses that will take a student off the playing field and even out of the classroom. 

To keep a mouthguard clean: 
  • Use a separate toothbrush with hard bristles (different than the one used daily), and brush the mouthguard daily with toothpaste. 
  • After wearing the mouthguard, rinse it with warm water. 
  • Do a more thorough cleaning on a weekly basis. To do this, you can also use a mild liquid dish detergent too and brush. Or, purchase a denture cleaner and drop it in a glass or bowl filled with water. Leave the mouthguard in the container until the cleaner has completely dissolved. 
  • Make sure the mouthguard is completely dry before putting back into its storage container. 
  • Wash the mouthguard case each week with a mild dish detergent. 
  • Take the mouthguard to routine orthodontic appointments. The orthodontist can inspect the mouthguard for any issues and provide tips and guidance for wear. They will be able to guide you on when it needs to be replaced. 
  • Do not leave the mouthguard out in hot places as it can warp or damage it. 

To help children and teens adjust to new braces, Prentice Orthodontics will be there every step of the way. Our team of dedicated staff will ensure all of your questions are answered. Proper care is key, and we will ensure families are equipped with the items and knowledge for success. Our Broomfield office specializes in Phase I and Phase II treatment, adult braces, retention, and Invisalign—making us your go-to for the whole family. Schedule your appointment or contact us with questions at 303-468-7722. 

Tips for Fall Treats and Snacks from Your Orthodontist in Broomfield

November 7, 2018

Fall in Denver is a beautiful time of year. From all the fun festivals and events, to the great outdoors, there is so much to do. With Halloween just around the corner, it is also a time where many people have a stronger craving for sweet treats. This makes it such a crucial time to ensure you are practicing healthy habits. When you enjoy snacks cautiously, you can avoid painful and costly dental or orthodontic problems. Use these tips from your local orthodontist in Broomfield to keep your teeth healthy this fall. 

Basics of Sugar and Teeth 

As tasty as it can be, sugar can lead to tooth decay, but not in the way you may think. In fact, the sugar itself is not the culprit of decay but rather kicks off a reaction. It starts with bacteria, which lives in your mouth. This is normal. Where the downfall of sugar begins is through certain types of bacteria that feed on sugar. When the bacteria eat the sugar, it produces a harmful acid that can strip your teeth of their enamel. This removal of enamel leads to cavities. The worse this gets due to improper care; the more damage is done to the teeth. Now, keep in mind the mouth has extraordinary measures to fight against bad bacteria. However, it cannot fight everything alone. This is why it is extremely important to brush your teeth two to three times per day to help rid the mouth of sugars and other factors that attract certain bacteria. 

General Fall Treats to be Wary Of

Whether you have braces or not, certain sweets can be hard on the teeth. This does not even factor in how sugar attracts different types of bacteria. Here are a few sweets that can be damaging to the teeth that everyone should be cautious of: 
  • Caramel apples: While delicious and rich in nutrients, apples themselves can be quite acidic, stripping out the enamel. When you combine that with caramel rich in sugar that can stick on teeth easily, you could be setting yourself up for a bad situation. 
  • Apple cider: Also acidic, drinking a delicious warm apple cider can hurt your teeth if you do not remove the sugars and acids. 
  • Taffy and chewy candies: Candy that is hard and chewy can damage your teeth in a few ways. First, depending on how hard they are, it can be hard on the teeth to chew them—possibly causing chipping. Second, because they are sticky, particles can stick to your teeth in areas hard to brush, attracting harmful bacteria to feed on the sugar.  

Snacks and Sweets to Avoid with Braces

In addition to the normal dangers of sugar, those with braces must be extra cautious this fall when consuming sweet treats. A few items to avoid include: 
  • Caramel popcorn: Caramel is sticky and the popcorn can lodge in several areas. This mixture of sticky and tough can move or damage wires and brackets. 
  • Candy corn with nuts: Similar to caramel popcorn, candy corn is extremely chewy and could lead to damage of wire or brackets. Certain types of nuts are also hard, creating a combination that can damage the hardware. 
  • Chocolate bars with nuts: Chewy candy bars with nuts can damage and break off brackets or damage wires. 
  • Foods that you bite into: When it comes to braces, it is best to find foods, or cut foods, into bites. Biting into foods, such as apples or corn-on-the-cob, can pull on brackets, cause foods to lodge in places, etc.
  • Hard candies: Brackets can easily break off, wires can bend or snap, and more when introduced to hard candies. 
  • Toffee: Very hard and chewy, toffee can tear off brackets or damage wiring. 

Foods to Enjoy with Braces

Don’t worry, there are plenty of fall foods you can enjoy during the fall. Try swapping out some of the items above with these braces-friendly treats and snacks: 
  • Plain chocolate bars: Enjoy a simple chocolate bar without nuts, hard pieces or anything hard on the teeth. You can also mix things up by eating peanut butter cups or chocolate with other soft mixtures. 
  • Soft cookies: Enjoy a soft chocolate chip, snickerdoodle or other types of soft cookies this fall. Break off pieces and chew them instead of biting into them. 
  • Pumpkin pie: Usually pies without crunchy toppings and pieces inside, such as pumpkin pie, will not damage braces. 

Looking for more ideas for your fall and Halloween gatherings? Try these dental-friendly Halloween treats for those with braces. 

Cleaning and Care

After you consume something sweet, swish some water around in your mouth if you do not have quick access to a toothbrush. This will help to rid some of the sugars from sticking on your teeth. If able, the best thing you can do is quickly brush your teeth. Make sure to brush all around each bracket to rid the area of anything that may stick to it and attract harmful bacteria. You can purchase small brushes to go in between your brackets to help remove anything from sticking. 

Ideally, investing in an electric toothbrush is one of the best ways to care for your teeth with and without braces. Simply hold the brush on each side of each tooth for a few seconds. This will break up plaque and anything hard or sticky on the teeth. Make sure to brush around the gums as well to keep them strong. Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride helps to combat acids produced by bacteria that feed on sugar. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice per day for optimal results. 

Last, be sure to floss daily. This helps remove plaque and particles in between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot get. 

Do you have questions about caring for your teeth this fall, especially when it comes to braces? Read more about the 10 common questions about braces from your orthodontist in Broomfield. From there, schedule an appointment for a free consultation by calling 303-468-7722. Our team looks forward to meeting you!

Helping Your Child Adjust to Early Orthodontic Training in Broomfield

October 24, 2018

For your younger children, braces may not even be on your radar. However, did you know that early orthodontic training in Broomfield can help curb issues fast, often saving you and your family thousands of dollars? When problems are combatted before they really start, it can be a more pleasant experience for a child and better for your wallet. Learn more about considerations to make for your child, when to begin seeing an orthodontist and how to help your child adjust to braces at a young age. 

When to Begin Seeing and Orthodontist for Your Child

Children have 20 “baby teeth” that grow in when they are about six months old. These teeth will come into place and begin to fall out as early as six- to seven-years-old to make room for adult teeth. This phase ends when the child is around 12- to 13-years-old when all of their 28 adult teeth have grown in. Years later, between the ages of 17- and 20-years-old, a majority of people get a third set of molars—also known as “wisdom teeth.” There are four wisdom teeth total that come in. Unfortunately, more than 80 percent of the population have to get their wisdom teeth extracted because there is not enough space. Others have issues with alignment, gum issues or cysts.

As you can see, a person undergoes several changes in a 10-year period, starting as young as six. It is beneficial to see an orthodontist in the early stages to monitor and assess a child’s individual situation.  

What is Early Orthodontic Training? 

There are two types of orthodontic treatment: Phase I and Phase II. A majority of people receive Phase II treatment, which is the installation of braces in middle or high school, once all teeth are in place. During Phase II treatment, an orthodontist will combat existing issues based on how teeth gave come in and any jaw alignment issues. Seeing an orthodontist early can save your family thousands if they determine Phase I treatment is beneficial. 

In the early stages of development, an orthodontist is able to foresee any issues on jaw alignment or how teeth will grow in. Instead of taking a reactive approach, Phase I treatment is a proactive approach. An orthodontist can identify future issues and use braces and other orthodontic treatments to avoid those issues from happening. These cautionary actions can help save thousands in the long run, as well as any pain and discomfort of certain orthodontic treatments. 

Benefits of Seeing and Orthodontist Early and Phase I Treatment

  • Parents or guardians need to consider taking their child to an orthodontist when the child is six- or seven-years-old. By assessing a child’s development, an orthodontist is able to identify any issues that could be problematic, and Phase I treatment can be implemented. Some of the key benefits of this treatment include: 
  • Ability to work with a developing jaw and prevent incorrect issues from occurring
  • Reduce pain and symptoms from misaligned teeth
  • Correct damage from thumb sucking
  • Aid with speech issues due to teeth or jaw alignment
  • Prevent painful, problematic orthodontic issues
  • Save thousands on dental bills by taking a shorter, proactive approach at a younger age
  • Requires less time to wear braces or corrective treatment as opposed to Phase II (six to 18 months versus one to two years)

Ways to Help Your Child Adjust with Changes

Braces are a significant life change in children, but an important one. A struggle some parents and guardians see in children is difficulty with foods they are unable to eat. First, have your child speak independently with the orthodontist to help them understand why certain foods can hinder progress. Next, help them find new foods they can enjoy just as much without the worry of damaging braces. The early days of installing braces are the ideal time to teach them how to eat food with new or tightened braces. Let them have a say in the grocery list each week and pick out foods they are comfortable eating. 

When eating food, cutting large food up into pieces is helpful. For instance, biting into an apple is not a wise choice for a child with braces. However, cutting the apple up into bites can make it easy and manageable. This also helps with chicken, fish, pizza, and other foods. 

For pain, talk to your orthodontist about safe medications they can take for relief. Wax or gum-numbing gel can help provide relief to irritated gums. 

Working with Your Child on Routine Care 

Routine dental care is important for everyone but especially important for those with braces. A great way to get started is with an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes remove food from around the brackets and work to combat plaque, gingivitis, cavities, and more. Electric toothbrushes make care easy, as the child will only need to hold the brush over each tooth for a few seconds. Most new electric toothbrushes have a timer, alerting a person when the optimal two minutes is up. Your child should brush their teeth at least three times a day to help remove debris from around the brackets. 

In addition, flossing throughout the day is important, too. Purchase waxed floss as it is more compatible for those with braces. For younger children, you may have to assist them with flossing until they can catch on. Use caution when flossing around each bracket and invest in small cleaners that you can use around brackets that will not get caught. Talk to your orthodontist about the best types and where you can easily pick them up for your child. A great way to help motivate children to act on their own is through incentives. Create a good-habit chart and as they reach certain milestones, treat them to something they enjoy. 

Are you ready to take the next step? Prentice Orthodontics is your local expert for early orthodontic treatment. Specializing in childcare, our team will help identify any potential problems and create a custom plan. We’ll help you understand the benefits of early orthodontic treatment and how you and your child can have a successful experience. Contact us today at 303-468-7722 to schedule your appointment. 

Tips to Successfully Straighten Teeth with Broomfield Invisalign

October 10, 2018

Invisalign is a popular choice among Americans looking to strengthen their teeth. During the year or so it takes when wearing this form of orthodontic correction, it is important to follow all instructions for success. The benefit of Broomfield Invisalign is how low maintenance it is. With proper care, you will achieve success and be pleased with your results. From wearing your aligners for the appropriate amount of time to care tips, use these care guidelines to ensure you are happy with the results of your Invisalign treatment. 

Wear Aligners for 20-22 Hours Each Day

Invisalign aligners are the key to your orthodontic success. However, in order to be successful, you must wear them for the recommended timeframe of 20 to 22 hours each day. It happens through force, which is why you need to wear them as much as possible. They can be removed to eat, drink, and care for your teeth.  This means you need to pay attention to how long you consume food and beverage to ensure you get your aligners back in. If you have trouble remembering, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to put your aligners back in. 

Follow Instructions

In the grand scheme of dental care, Invisalign works in a short amount of time. After roughly a year, you will have the straight teeth you have always wanted. That being said, it is important to remind yourself of the end goal throughout your Invisalign treatment. Take your orthodontist’s instructions seriously to ensure you have success with your Invisalign. Some of the best practices when using Invisalign include: 
  • Take your aligners out to eat or drink (except for water) to avoid damaging them
  • Clean the aligners regularly
  • Brush and floss often, ideally after each meal if possible
  • When possible, avoid food and beverage that can easily stain
  • Do not drink beverages that are too hot as they can damage the aligners
  • Avoid drinking sugary drinks
  • Do not chew gum with aligners in place

If you have trouble with anything during your time with Invisalign, talk to your orthodontist. They can provide you with tips and tricks for Thornton Invisalign patients that lead to success. 

Practice Speaking

When you first wear your Invisalign aligners, it will feel different. For some patients, it can impact speech. It is simply a learning curve for you to adjust to—especially words using the letter C, D, S, and T. With practice, you will adjust in no time. Once getting your Invisalign aligners, practice! Take some time to read aloud, focusing on words you struggle on to get used to saying them with the aligners in place. It is simply the adjustment in your mouth that will take some time. Don’t worry, you will adjust. Do not let this hinder you from keeping your aligners in 20 to 22 hours each day. You can speak with your orthodontist on tips and tricks to help you adjust, as well. 

Clean Aligners Regularly

Keeping your aligners clean is just as important as your own teeth. When choosing Invisalign, build in some time during your day to caring for them. Your orthodontist will provide you with a full care routine to keep yours clean. One of the most popular ways is to soak your aligners in a denture cleaner each day. This is a great way to remove bacteria and plaque the builds up during the time you wear your aligners. Keep in mind you will need to build time into your day to stay in your 20 to 22-hour window. For others, they brush their aligners to help keep them clean. In addition, be sure to rinse out your aligners throughout the day. Avoid using hot water as it can warp them. 

Toothbrushing Techniques

Keeping your teeth in premier shape both during and after your Invisalign treatment is key. One of the best ways to ensure you are taking great care of your teeth is with an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is one of the best tools to eliminate plaque. The spin motion will eliminate problematic issues, keeping your teeth in great shape. But that’s not all, electric toothbrushes are ideal for your gums, too. With gum disease on the rise, an electric toothbrush will strengthen your gums and remove bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Wondering which to use? Try one of the six best toothbrushes for receding gums, according to a dentist. 

Flossing Regiment

When it comes to regular dental care, flossing is often the last on a person’s priority list. However, it is just as important as brushing. Plaque and tartar build within gums, which can lead to gingivitis, gum disease, bad breath, and other problems. If you currently do not make flossing a priority, it’s a great time to start! When using traditional floss, pull out enough and wrap both ends on your middle fingers. Take the floss in between each of the teeth, gently up and down the tooth and against the gums. Traditional floss is one of the best ways to ensure your gums are in great shape. Avoid using a water flosser in replacement of actually flossing. There are benefits, but it does not get in between each tooth the way floss can. 

Keep Up with Orthodontist Appointments

A great benefit of Invisalign is the need to visit your orthodontist as often as you would with traditional braces. Your orthodontist will set up a schedule, which may have you visiting them around every six weeks. It is important to keep up with your appointments, so your orthodontist can be sure you are advancing on schedule. Your appointments are also your time to ask questions and ensure you are taking the proper measures during your time with Invisalign. 

Are you considering Invisalign to straighten your teeth? Prentice Orthodontics will is your local practice to help you get the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. From teens to adults, we specialize in all areas, allowing you to trust in our work. We have a variety of affordable options, making your dream a reality. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at 303-468-7722. 

Top Things You Didn't Know About Broomfield Braces

September 26, 2018

How much do you know about braces? Braces have been around for centuries to help people combat misalignment issues and more. With each decade, more and more advancements are made, creating an easier experience for those needing correction. So, how much do you know about braces? There are several interesting facts about this orthodontic treatment. From when they were invented and qualifiers, to how self-litigating wires work and needs for braces, check out these top facts you did not know about Broomfield braces. 

Braces Were Invented in The Early 1700s

While some forms of dental correction date back to 300 BC, documentation of orthodontic treatment began in 1728. Pierre Fauchard, a dentist from France, was passionate about dentistry and invented a “Bandeau,” which was a u-shaped device that helped encourage straight teeth. From there, Fauchard and others in the dental industry worked to create methods to help correct alignment issues. Advancements really took off in the 1800s, which is when the wire, elastic bands, and other orthodontic treatments were created. The term “braces” began to be used in the 1900s. 

Dentists and Orthodontists Have Different Specialties

When it comes to your dental health, dentists and orthodontists have different areas they specialize in. Dentists can be thought of as the primary care physician of your oral health. They will conduct your routine exams and cleanings and perform routine maintenance such as cavity fillings, cleanings, root canals, and more. For misalignment issues, jaw problems, and other alignment issues, that is when you or your child would see an orthodontist. An orthodontist will work with you on the misalignment of the jaw, malocclusion (crooked teeth), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and all other issues that require the movement of the teeth. Dentists and orthodontists have different types of education to help give you the best care for your needs. 

Kids Can Be Evaluated by an Orthodontist in Kindergarten

Braces tend to be most commonly used in middle school- and high school-aged children. However, children as young as six or seven can benefit from orthodontic exams and evaluations. During this evaluation, an orthodontist is able to see any signs of potential issues and combat them before problems even start. This early treatment can potentially save parents and guardians thousands of dollars that may have otherwise been spent on more in-depth orthodontic treatment or surgeries. 

Braces and Invisalign Can Be Used Differently

There are different reasons for your orthodontist to use braces over Invisalign. Braces can be used for all orthodontic needs. Braces use a wire and brackets to move teeth into place and incorporate bands to help move the jaw into place. Traditional braces are the only option available to handle issues of the jaw, as there are specific treatments required to transform their shape and move them into place. However, the braces today are much advanced than 30 years ago, and beyond. Brands such as the In-Ovation series include self-litigating brackets, helping to reduce visits to the orthodontist. There are different styles of brackets available that are not as noticeable and easier on the gums. The Invisalign method is great for those looking to fix any crookedness of the teeth. Those able to use this option use a set of aligners custom to a plan that will properly align the teeth. They must be worn at least 22 hours per day and can be removed to eat, drink, and brush teeth. Invisalign is a discreet orthodontic method that is popular with adults but can also be used for teenagers too. Your orthodontist will provide a plan with specific times to switch out aligner sets. Visits to the office are also less frequent using this method, as well. 

Self-Litigating Brackets are the Way of the Future

When it comes to how braces work, it has to do with pressure and a wire is used. Today, self-litigating brackets are commonly used and can be more comfortable than wires used decades ago. Elastic bands and ligatures are not needed, and all are connected using an archwire. This archwire helps to move the teeth into the proper place. Self-litigating brackets also do quite a bit of work, allowing you to visit the orthodontist less frequently. 

More Than Half of Americans Need Braces

If you or your child needs to wear braces, you are not alone. In fact, more than four million Americans each year need to wear braces to correct malocclusion and jaw issues. A quarter of those who need braces is adults. This is why it is helpful for so many options for treatment to be available today. Plus, with advancements, orthodontists are able to proactively find issues in young children or help some of the most difficult of issues in adults. 

Braces Aren’t Needed for Cosmetic Reasons

If you are considering braces, but do not feel it is worth the costs for a cosmetic fix, think again. Braces help correct issues within the mouth that could otherwise cause health issues down the road. When the teeth are not straight, it makes it much more difficult to clean your teeth. Even the most dedicated brushers and flossers struggle. For the jaw, misalignment and other problems can cause TMJ disorders—leaving you with headaches, tensions, a ringing of the ears, and much more. The investment you will spend in braces will go much farther than just a cosmetic fix. 

When it comes to answering all of your orthodontic questions and treatment needs, Prentice Orthodontist is here for all of your needs. The quality and care you will receive from our office will help you or your child comfortably achieve your orthodontic goals—helearlyping you eat and chew better, improve speech, enjoy your smile, and much more. No matter what your questions or reservations are, we will work closely with you to ensure you understand every step of the way, and fill you in on some fun facts, too! Contact us today at 303-468-7722 today to schedule your free consultation. We will work with you or your child closely to help you find the perfect plan of care that will address all of your orthodontic issues.