July 28th, 2015
You and your braces will become good friends over the coming months or years, so it’s important to get your relationship off to a good start. Consider the following recommendations to prevent rocky times ahead:
- Floss, floss, floss. Yes, it’s a pain to floss around your braces, but it's the best way to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. Ask Dr. Felix Gen and our staff for floss threaders to make the chore easier. Just a few minutes per day will ensure that you don’t face significant dental health issues when the braces come off.
- Avoid sticky or hard foods. It’s tough to forgo toffee, caramel, gum, and other favorite sticky treats, but your braces will thank you. Sticky or hard foods can break a bracket or wire, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Chew with your back teeth. If you’re used to taking large bites with your front teeth, it might be time to switch your eating habits. Taking a large bite of food with your front teeth can leave your braces vulnerable to damage. Instead, cut large foods into pieces and use your back teeth to chew. This is especially important with corn on the cob, which should always be cut from the cob.
- Wear rubber bands and headgear. Rubber bands, headgear, and other orthodontic appliances may seem annoying, but failing to comply with wearing them can increase the length of your treatment by months. Wear them now to avoid problems in the future.
July 21st, 2015
The Dr. Gen Orthodontics team knows that oral hygiene is important, whether you have braces on your teeth or not. But if you are a person who wears braces, caring for your teeth and gums can become somewhat challenging. Without daily oral hygiene practices, you may become prone to cavities and tooth decay during your time in braces.
Naturally, you know that brushing your teeth each morning and night, as well as after you eat, will help keep your mouth healthy and clean during the months you wear braces. But flossing is also an important part of your hygiene routine. Flossing with braces can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Dr. Felix Gen, your general dentist, or your dental hygienist can help you become more comfortable and adept at flossing your teeth during the months you wear braces.
Flossing Tips for Those with Braces
- Use Tools Provided by Our Office. A floss threader is a small, plastic needle that will help you floss between the wires and your teeth. Thread a 12-to-18-inch piece of floss onto the needle, and use the needle to get the floss easily behind the wires.
- Flossing Under the Wires. Once the floss is behind the wires, use your hands to manipulate the floss. Move it up and down along the wires to remove food particles.
- Flossing Between Your Teeth. Floss between your teeth as you normally would without braces. Move the floss up and down between your teeth, using a clean section of floss for each tooth.
- After You Finish Flossing. Your orthodontist may have suggested that you use a water pik or proxy brush after you finish brushing. Either of these tools will help remove any loosened food particles to ensure that your teeth and braces are clean.
Continue Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Good oral hygiene habits you use while wearing braces will help you achieve the beautiful smile you and the Dr. Gen Orthodontics team have been working toward. Once your braces are off, it may be tempting to slack off on the brushing and flossing. Don’t let yourself fall into any habits that will have a negative impact on your oral health or the attractive smile you waited for throughout the months you wore braces. See your general dentist for regular cleanings, and continue to brush and floss your teeth each day.
July 14th, 2015
You may have noticed that kids seem to be getting braces and other orthodontic care a lot earlier these days. There was a time, only a decade or two ago, when braces were mainly seen on teenagers, but that is beginning to change. If you’re wondering when to bring your child to our Mayfield Heights, OH office for an orthodontic evaluation, the answer actually has several parts.
The Telltale Signs
If your child has a very crowded set of adult teeth coming in, or if the permanent front teeth came in very early, these are signs that your child should see Dr. Felix Gen, regardless of age.
The Dental Age
Barring signs of trouble or early adult teeth as mentioned above, the time that your child needs to be seen for initial orthodontic evaluation depends not so much upon your child’s actual age, but on what is known as a “dental age.”
The dental age of the patient might be entirely different from his or her actual chronological age; for example, an eight-year-old could have a dental age of 13. It is part of Dr. Felix Gen and our staff’s job to determine the dental age and then make appropriate recommendations for the resolution of orthodontic issues if they are emerging.
The Official Recommended Age
The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that kids should see an orthodontist for the first time between the ages of seven and nine. Even if the child does not have all his or her permanent teeth, the teeth growth pattern can usually be predicted quite effectively by an orthodontist.
This allows for a proactive response to emerging problems, and this is the reason that some younger children are now getting orthodontic devices earlier in life. If a young child has serious orthodontic issues emerging, Dr. Felix Gen can usually address the problems immediately and then follow up with another round of treatment when the child has all the adult teeth.
July 7th, 2015
The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better time for Dr. Felix Gen and our team to ask our patients about their summer!
Whether you visited our nation’s capital, went on a camping trip, or just stayed in Mayfield Heights, OH and relaxed, we want to know how you’re all spending your summer! Please feel free to share your summer plans and experiences with us below or on our Facebook page as summer rolls on!