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Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

healthy food

LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 29, 2017

The goal of wearing braces is simple: to straighten your teeth and give you a picture perfect smile. They have amazing benefits, but they can also come with their disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that people who wear metal alignment devices are more than likely prohibited from eating some foods. Remembering all of the different foods to avoid can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, here is an FAQ of the main foods you should avoid when wearing braces.

FAQ

Can I Chew Gum with Braces?

This is a given for most people who wear teeth alignment devices. Many people who chew gum while having these devices in their mouth are subject to spending hours upon hours picking the gums out of the metal pieces. Not only is this process annoying, any missed pieces of gum can lodge itself between the metal and teeth and prevent proper cleaning of certain areas of the teeth, making your teeth more susceptible to an increased amount of germs in the mouth. Chewing gum and Invisalign also do not work well together as the gum will stick to the aligners. Chewing gum with metal in your mouth will not make your orthodontist happy.

Can I Eat Apples with Braces?

Apples are extremely healthy and were at one point even said to be good for dental health. However, whole apples are not ideal for people who require teeth straighteners as they are too hard on the teeth. Consider the following alterations to make apples safer to eat:

  • Coring and dicing –  The smaller the apple chunks, the less likely that damage will be done to your teeth.
  • Shaving the apple
  • Bake the apples – Ideal for a sweet, healthy apple treat.

No matter which way you choose to eat the apple, always enjoy your apple by eating it in the safest way possible.

Can I Eat Beef Jerky with Braces?

Beef Jerky is a simple, favorite snack among many people, however, they are just not a good snack for people who wear teeth alignment devices. Simply put, the texture is just too rough on the teeth for them to be safe. Eating beef jerky can cause bands to snap, leading to unwanted visits to the orthodontist.

Can I Eat Caramel or Chewy Candy with Braces?

Along the same principle of avoiding bubble gum, it is advised that one who wears metal aligners on his or her teeth should avoid eating caramel or chewy candies as well. Like gum, these foods can get extremely messy and annoying to clean out. The sugar in these treats can also become very sticky and difficult to brush away.

Can I Eat Popcorn with Braces?

Going to the movies just got a little less exciting. Those who wear metal aligners are advised not to eat popcorn. Although the white, puffy parts of the popcorn don’t seem to pose too much of a threat, there are parts of a cooked popcorn kernel that do pose a threat are difficult to avoid. The “shelling” (as some would like to call them) of a popcorn kernel can easily get stuck between the wire and the brackets and it is nearly impossible to remove. Also, on the off chance that you accidentally chew one of the uncooked popcorn kernels that normally appear in every batch, you could risk breaking the wire. Therefore, this is a snack you may be better off avoiding.

Can I Eat Meat on the Bone with Braces?

The meat itself is actually great to eat with metal aligners; it is the actual bone that becomes problematic. The bone in meat is another hard surface to avoid as chewing on it could potentially cause damage to the wires on your teeth. When eating meat on the bone, remember to remove the meat off of the bone and dispose of the bone for safer consumption.

Can I Eat Raw Vegetables with Braces?

This is not an excuse to throw away the veggies. One may find it extremely confusing to think that vegetables can be dangerous to a demographic of people, but yes, raw vegetables are dangerous to the teeth of people who wear metal aligners. This is essentially because of the hard texture of raw vegetables; it can be damaging to the wire on one’s teeth. To make these vegetables safer, consider boiling or baking them first to make them a little softer.

Can I Eat Hard Cookies with Braces?

You may not be surprised by this entry considering that most foods with such a high sugar content prove to be dangerous for people who were metal teeth aligners. However, cookies are actually safe to eat, as long as they are not hard. Soften your cookies by dipping them in milk. Not only are you making better decisions for your dental health this way, you are also indulging in a classic treat!

Can I Eat Pizza Crust with Braces?

This may not be disappointing if you happen to be one of the many people who tend to discard the pizza crust after eating the pizza. Still the fact remains: pizza crust is one of the many things that can potentially damage metal teeth alignment devices. Pizza crust is very chewy, which can lead to bent wires and popped brackets.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

children on beach

What Happens After [Invisalign]Treatment Is Completed?

When it’s time for your children to have their teeth straightened, there are several options to consider. One of the most popular of which is the Invisalign treatment. This treatment is a technologically-advanced form of teeth straightening that allows your child to wear clear, plastic aligners as opposed to metal brackets, making for a much more appealing look. You might wonder about what comes after wearing these aligners for months or years, as there are several guidelines you’ll need to follow in order to keep your teeth straight once you stop wearing the aligners.

Read more

Dental apparatus

Why Should I Feel Confident About Invisalign?

invisalign differenceWhy Should I Feel Confident About Invisalign?

A nice smile can mean the world to someone. It has the power to brighten the spirits of others, and it can even help improve self-esteem. There is a prerequisite though. You have to love your smile so that you can genuinely smile without feeling self-conscious. An orthodontist can help improve your smile, and one option available is Invisalign.

What can Invisalign do for You?

Yes, Invisalign is relatively new compared to other orthodontic devices designed to help correct smile issues. It might seem impossible that two aligners can actually improve your smile like braces can, but it is true. There is a lot that Invisalign can help with, and the following are a few examples worth noting:

Reduce Infection Risk

Those who have misaligned teeth or uneven bites can have their teeth straightened. Of course, one way to do this is with braces, but there are a number of other techniques that can be used such as Invisalign.

The reason you do not want to ignore this issue, even if it does not bother you much, is because misaligned teeth puts you at risk of other issues. For example, with misaligned teeth, there are normally a few areas where bacteria can hide. This means you are more likely to get cavities or even develop gum disease because your teeth are not aligned correctly.

Furthermore, people dealing with misaligned teeth may also be prone to infection. Teeth that are not aligned correctly can sometimes injure the mouth. The bacteria in the mouth can colonize the injury, which is how an infection can occur. You do not need additional worries in your life when all you have to do is correct this particular problem using the expertise of your orthodontist.

Deal With Misjudgment

Another thing that should be pointed out is that misaligned teeth can also cause others to misjudge you. Everyone knows how important first impressions are. Well, the state of your smile has a lot to do with first impressions, and misaligned teeth are not associated with positive attributes.

A person might subconsciously think you are not successful or that you do not care about yourself. Some people may judge your smile and think that you are not an ideal romantic partner, and others may pass you over should you be up for a job or promotion.


In short, a bad smile can actually curb your path in life, which is another reason dealing with your misalignment is vital. This is also the reason why the specialists at Papandreas Orthodontics will help you in any way that they can to ensure that your smile says exactly what you want it to say with Invisalign.

Why Should You Trust Invisalign?

So, now you know how important it is to deal with issues such as misalignments, but you are unsure about Invisalign. You know that braces work because you have seen the results, but you also do not want to wear those bulky things.

It’s okay, the specialists at this center know that getting braces as an adult is not ideal. One of the most popular alternatives to adult braces is Invisalign. This is a cutting-edge orthodontic device that is designed to help correct misalignments. The main reason some people have a hard time to trust Invisalign is that they do not know what it is or how it works.

In a nutshell, the device is made up of two aligners that are meant to sit on your teeth like mouthguards.

Now, the Invisalign aligners are not as bulky as mouthguards, and they are pretty much invisible. This means they are comfortable and unnoticeable. You can have the smile you always dreamed of without telling anyone you are having work done.

It is important to note a few things about Invisalign so that you go into this with eyes wide open. For one, they use pressure to align your teeth, and you will feel the pressure. It can feel uncomfortable, especially at the beginning, but most users get used to this after a few days or weeks of use.

You will also need to come in to see your orthodontist every few weeks for a new set of aligners to continue correcting the misalignment. Your orthodontist is going to measure your progress and design a new set of aligners based on this evaluation, which is what makes these visits vital. Most of the time, the Invisalign corrective process takes about a year or two to be complete.

The aligners that make Invisalin work are specifically designed for you, which requires an experienced hand and what makes an orthodontist like Dr. Papandreas ideal since he has 25 years of experience.

Just as a side note, this orthodontist is also part of the 1 percent of Invisalign Providers, so you know you are getting quality should you trust his orthodontic center. This is probably why the community of North Royalton in Ohio and surrounding areas have trusted his services for years.

Hopefully, some of these points help you understand why an orthodontic corrective device like Invisalign is important and why you can trust it. Of course, the good people at Papandreas Orthodontics are willing to talk to you more about Invisalign and answer any question that you may have about this device. Be sure to give them a call or visit so that you can further discuss this option. Do not be afraid to take this step towards the smile that you have always wanted.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

smile

I Don’t Have any Dental Problem: Should I Still Visit an [Orthodontist]?

beautiful smileI Don’t Have any Dental Problem: Should I Still Visit an Orthodontist?

You brush your teeth twice a day, floss faithfully, and even mix up those DIY remedies made of baking soda to remove plaque and keep the gums healthy. You are on top of your oral health game. Why would you need to visit an orthodontist? Aren’t orthodontists specialists who deal with facial and dental irregularities? You don’t have any crooked, misaligned, or protruding teeth.

However, no matter how much you feel like you’ve got your dental health in check and you don’t need to see a specialist, this is not always the case. This is especially true if you are in your twenties or thirties headed towards the fourth floor. So many changes occur in your body during this years, and some of them are dental-related. Visiting an orthodontist regularly for checkups can help you maintain a beautiful smile over the years. Here are some of the reasons why visiting an orthodontist is not an option.

You don’t have a dental problem yet

Yes, you heard it right. You may think that you’ve got things under control, but dental issues ted to creep up on you. For example, you will never see plaque developing until you notice the unsightly black substance on your teeth, and your toothbrush won’t do much to help you then. Similarly, dental problems such as overcrowding and spacing of the teeth may occur without you noticing. However, a specialist can quickly identify this during a check-up and provide the necessary treatment. It will cost you less to treat a minor issue of overcrowding as compared to when the problem has escalated to a point where your jaw hurts due to a bad bite.

You assume everything is okay

Dental issues that have to do with alignment and the jaw can go by undetected by the ordinary eye. However, they come with symptoms that you cannot ignore. For example, an under or over-bite can cause tension in the jaw, and this will result in tension headaches and neck pain. You may be stocking up on Tylenol assuming that your headache is as a result of stress at work, but it is due to misalignment of the teeth. An orthodontist can detect even the slightest under or overbite and provide treatment to correct it. This may include recommending dental braces, headgears, or facemasks. So, if you have some chronic unexplainable headaches, a visit to the orthodontics clinic may be your savior.

The mouth ages as you age

The structure and health of your teeth at 20 years is not the same as when you are 40. Teeth undergo normal wear and tear which can damage the surface of the enamel and cause problems with your bite. Similarly, as a woman, you undergo many hormonal changes from your twenties towards your thirties and forties, and these changes can affect your dental health. If you are a mom or are expectant, you know that teeth also tend to require a lot of calcium during pregnancy yet not many people pay attention to this need. The result is that your teeth may be weak and vulnerable to wear. Visiting a specialist can help you to get treatment and useful tips that will enable you to navigate the stages of womanhood without compromising on your dental health.

Health risks increase with age

Let’s be honest; people tend to develop all sorts of diseases as they hit their forties towards their golden years. At this point, diabetes, blood pressure, gum disease, oral cancer, dry mouth (due to medication), and other conditions become common. Heck, people even start losing their teeth as they age. Luckily, most of the dental issues that people are at risk of as they age can be avoided by making regular visits to an orthodontist. A checkup of your gums, teeth alignment, bite, and jaw can give the specialist insight into your oral health. They can also identify any problems such as caries and gum disease before they grow out of proportion.

You get to correct harmful habits

Everyone has a bad habit that they find it hard to shake off. When it comes to the teeth, there are those who clench their jaw when stressed, some grind the teeth habitually, and others bite into ice and use their teeth as beer openers. Whichever bad habit you have, it will soon cause significant dental issues. Clenching and teeth grinding can cause TMJ syndrome, wear the enamel, and cause an underbite.

Incorrect use of the teeth can lead to breaking, and this comes with excruciating pain. An orthodontist helps to keep you in check and ensure that you shake off the bad dental habits. This is because they can identify a problem with your teeth and connect it to a bad habit. If you grind the teeth, you can get a mouth guard or mouth split to discourage you from the behavior.

As a woman, taking care of your oral health is not an option but a necessity. Visiting an orthodontist can help you stay on top of any underlying dental issues and get treatment early. Visit Papandreas Orthodontics or call the office to schedule an appointment and take control of your dental health.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

teeth

What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It?

handsome teenagerWhat Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It?

Several Health Problems Can Cause Jaw Joint Pain

When you have chronic or intermittent jaw pain, it can disrupt your life. Discomfort in the jaw can occur at any age, but it primarily affects adults after normal wear and tear has damaged one or both of the jaw’s joints. Adults often have additional health problems such as arthritis that can affect their facial joints, or they may have had injuries to the face and neck that are affecting the jaw’s joints. It is important to determine if the pain in the jaw is caused by an infection from a tooth or from impacted wisdom teeth. If you have an infection in a tooth, then treatment with antibiotics or a root canal can eliminate the pain felt in the jaw. Alternatively, if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth, then it is possible to have these teeth removed, and your level of pain will dissipate within a few weeks.

What Is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

In some cases, an orthodontist will diagnose you with temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This condition leads to pain in the jaw, and the pain can spread to nearby regions such as the neck or shoulders. There are several symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, including:

  • Migraines – especially in the morning
  • Earaches – caused by pressure from the swollen jaw joint
  • Sinus congestion – the inflammation from the jaw spreads into the face
  • Ringing in the ears – unusual sounds from nerve damage in the auditory canal
  • Clicking sounds – the jaw joints pop or crackle
  • Inability to open the mouth – the jaw’s joints stiffen
  • Muscle spasms – muscle contractions in the face, neck and shoulders

You may have one or more symptom from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and the signs of the condition can change occasionally.

What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

Researchers are still trying to understand the various reasons for someone to have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and it has several causes that include:

  • Genetics or abnormalities of the jawbone, teeth, and face
  • Injuries from whiplash in a vehicular accident or from playing sports
  • Poor body posture while sitting, walking, reclining or standing
  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Sinus problems that lead to mouth breathing
  • Muscle tension from emotional stress
  • Chewing hard foods or objects

With medical images or an orthodontic examination, it is possible to understand if you clench or grind your teeth. An orthodontist will notice abnormal wear and tear on the biting surfaces of teeth, or you may have chipped the dental enamel.

An Examination At an Orthodontic Office Is Essential

In order to diagnose temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you need a complete examination to determine if you have other underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or a sinus infection. By visiting an orthodontist, you can have X-rays of your teeth to determine if you have a bad bite. With computer software, it is possible for an orthodontist to see how the parts of your mouth function while you are talking, chewing or yawning. A misalignment of the teeth is one of the main causes of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, but fortunately, you can repair crooked teeth with clear plastic Invisalign aligners or by wearing some type of braces.

How To Cope With Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

After learning that you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you can begin to use these techniques to reduce your discomfort:

  • Learn how to relax the facial and jaw muscles
  • Pain relievers or muscle relaxants
  • Meditation to reduce anxiety
  • Keeping your teeth from touching
  • Avoiding resting your chin on your hand
  • Eating soft foods or taking small bites of food
  • Night guard or splint devices to prevent bruxism
  • Ice packs or heat therapy
  • Sleeping in the proper position
  • Using a humidifier to prevent a dry mouth or sinuses
  • Preventing stress that causes teeth clenching
  • Losing weight
  • Don’t chew gum or hard candies

Orthodontic Treatment Can Correct a Bad Bite

If you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, then the goal of orthodontic treatment is to correct your bad bite to relieve the pressure inside your mouth. Orthodontic treatment can last for several months to five years, depending on the severity of your malocclusions. Mild misalignments are repaired with clear plastic aligners that are removed from the mouth while you are eating food, drinking beverages or brushing your teeth. You would wear up to 30 different sets of Invisalign aligners that are made to shift your teeth gently into the correct positions.

Visit Our Orthodontic Facility In Ohio

However, when you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you probably have moderate to severe malocclusions that will require some type of braces. Today, it is possible to wear traditional metal brackets or wires, but there are also braces made with color-matching brackets and clear wires. When you don’t want anyone seeing your brackets and wires, you can have lingual devices that are placed on the backs of your teeth. In addition, you may need to have the roof of your mouth expanded with a metal palatal expander, or you might need to wear headgear to apply pressure to some of your teeth. Headgear is typically worn at night or when you are at home so that no one will know that you are using the device to straighten your teeth. If you live in North Royalton, Ohio, then you can visit Papandreas Orthodontics by calling us today at 440-582-8585 to schedule an appointment and learn more about straightening your teeth with Invisalign aligners or braces.

Invisalign Brunswick

If you Don’t Want Traditional Metal [Braces], What Are the Other Options?

beautiful smile

If you Don’t Want Traditional Metal Braces, What Are the Other Options?

When it comes to getting your child’s teeth corrected, you certainly have options. This means you don’t have to settle for the traditional metal braces of the past and can seek out an alternative solution. By coming here, you’ve already taken the first step toward finding a suitable method of treatment for your beloved son or daughter. Here are a few, terrific alternatives to traditional metal braces you may want to consider.

Why Invisalign is a Good Choice

Invisalign has become more popular over recent years. For this method, clear plastic is placed over the teeth. Unlike metal braces, these ones are transparent and incredibly hard to see. So, how does it work? First, your child’s aligners will be set in place, by a skilled orthodontist. After that, he’ll be expected to put a new set on each week, and this will continue on for several months.

During this time, the aligners work to move your child’s teeth in any direction they need to go. For example, there may be some that need a gentle push up, while the others need to be pushed down. In some cases, the teeth might even need to be rotated, and invisalign is fully capable of accomplishing that.

Typically, this method lasts for twelve months. By that time, results should be apparent. Upon completion of Invisalign, your child can stop performing his weekly routine and start enjoying the incredible transformation of his teeth, as well as his smile.

Once you’ve compared Invisalign to traditional metal braces, you may very well decide that going this route is better for your child. The fact that the aligners aren’t noticeable to others is one, excellent reason. This means you won’t have to worry about your child getting teased or picked on at school or other places, where his peers are bound to pick up on any sudden change in his appearance. With metal braces, there’s simply no way to hide them.

Also, metal braces are placed on the teeth and remain there, until the treatment plan has been completed in a few years. Unfortunately, time isn’t understood well by the young ones, and this can be truly frightening for your child. If he doesn’t usually adjust well to changes in his routine, this is even more problematic. Knowing how long he’ll have to keep them on for is bound to cause him a lot of anxiety.

Since the aligners are changed every week for invisalign, there’s more perceived flexibility. Knowing that each set will come off on a weekly basis can help your child feel more in control of his situation and give him a sense of relief.

What Makes Incognito Braces Special

Because Incognito Braces are placed behind the teeth, this has proven to be a unique option. What’s great about these braces is that they’re practically invisible, and they can’t easily be detected by those around you. Incognito braces apply constant pressure to your child’s teeth. This makes them slowly adjust over time.

Eventually, you’ll notice that your child’s teeth are straight and gorgeous. Crooked teeth will be a thing of the past. Any gap he had between them will be resolved, as well.

You can expect your child to have to wear his incognito braces anywhere from one to three years. Once his orthodontist is able to verify that the job’s been done, he’ll remove them promptly and give your child retainers to wear in place of them. These will work to keep his teeth set in their new location.

Due to their hidden location behind the teeth, Incognito Braces are a great alternative to traditional metal braces. If your child will have his school photo taken in a couple of months, you’ll definitely want to consider these ones. He’ll thank you for it, once he’s a grown adult.

What Makes Damon Braces Appealing

When it comes to choosing between Damon Braces and metal braces, the former may prove to be the better choice. These braces are:

  • Less noticeable
  • Known to work faster
  • Not as uncomfortable
  • Known to have less places for potential bacteria growth

Since Damon Braces work significantly faster than traditional metal braces, you can expect your child to wear them for less than two years. In one study, a person was shown to be able to complete his treatment about seven months earlier than he would have if he had chosen traditional metal braces. Because Damon Braces are clear and more comfortable than the traditional, metal ones, you may decide that it’s a good fit for your child.

As you can see, there are a few different ways to go about getting straight and healthy teeth. By taking a close look at the options available to you, you can gain a better understanding of what each one entails. This will ultimately help you determine the method of treatment that’s best for your child and his own needs.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

 

confident woman with hair style

Can Invisalign Help Straighten Teeth? (and Boost Self-Confidence)

How can Invisalign help straighten teeth and boost self-confidence. Invisalign is an amazing way to help you change your smile. This is a system many people prefer to use instead of braces. It’s a system that allows you to change the shape and position of your teeth and smile by working behind the scenes to align everything in the correct location.

Read more

Invisalign - Types of Appliances

How to Care for Braces During [Pregnancy]

pregnant woman

LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 27, 2018

How to Care for Braces During Pregnancy

Pregnancy affects your body from top to toes, and that includes your teeth. Whether you are already wearing braces when you become pregnant (you did know that adults can get braces?) or start your orthodontic treatment during your pregnancy, it’s important to take proper care of your braces and oral health. Here are some of the most important issues about caring for your braces and teeth when you’re pregnant, courtesy of Dr. Samuel Papandreas, of Papandreas Orthodontics in North Royalton, Ohio.

FAQ

How does Pregnancy effect Oral Health?

The shifting hormonal levels of pregnancy cause a number of changes that can affect your oral health. You may develop dry mouth or inadequate saliva production, bad breath or even loose teeth. Morning sickness can expose your teeth to stomach acids and increase enamel wear. Pregnancy can increase the chances of developing gum disease (gingivitis) and infections (periodontitis). Your eating habits may change and many pregnant women develop food cravings; certain foods can be a problem when you have braces. Hormonal changes can affect tooth movement and if you gain considerable weight, it may change the shape of your gums, mouth or face, which may necessitate more frequent adjustments to your braces.

When should you see an orthodontist if you are pregnant?

Ideally, you should see your regular dentist either before you become pregnant or as soon as you know you are pregnant. There is no risk in having dental X-rays at that stage, as the dentist can use special lead shielding to protect your baby. Make sure to tell both your regular dentist and your orthodontist about your pregnancy. You can have your teeth cleaned by the hygienist as you normally would, and it’s best to have a professional cleaning prior to getting metal braces put on. If you choose the clear plastic aligners called Invisalign, cleaning is no problem as the aligners are removable.

How should you take care of your teeth when you are pregnant?

Just as you did before your pregnancy, you should floss daily and brush twice a day. With metal and ceramic braces, you’ll need to take extra care to clean not only the tooth surfaces but to ensure you don’t have bits of food trapped in wires or around brackets. Some women find that a regular tooth brush is all they need, while others find a waterpik is more effective. You’ll need to take extra care in flossing as well. When wearing braces, you might find that floss in a metal or plastic holder is easier to use than a piece of floss wrapped around your fingers.

What can you eat when you are pregnant?

When you’re pregnant, you really are eating for two. A healthy diet increases your chances of having a healthy baby and decreases the chances you will have nutrition-related problems. With metal and ceramic braces, you need to eliminate some foods entirely. Popcorn and hard candies, for example, increase the risk of breaking a wire or bracket. Any kind of sugary treat increases the risk of tooth decay, which can be more of an issue during pregnancy because your immune system is affected by shifting hormones. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice or baked goods have less nutritional value and leave a film on your teeth and braces. Choose high-quality proteins, fruits, vegetables, calcium rich dairy foods, whole grains and healthy fats like olive oil – good for your braces, baby and you.

What should you keep an eye out for?

Since you are at higher risk for certain dental problems during pregnancy, it’s important to pay close attention to your oral health. You may find your teeth become more sensitive to temperature during pregnancy; this isn’t usually a major problem. If you’ve been wearing braces for a while once you become pregnant, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s “normal.” If you seem to be having more pain after an adjustment or your teeth start to hurt in between adjustments, it could mean your pregnancy is affecting tooth movement. Food cravings may be a sign that you need more nutrients. Cravings for nuts – which can break wires and brackets – could mean you need more iron, folate or vitamin B12. Healthy gums don’t usually bleed, nor are they puffy and reddened. These symptoms could be signs of gingivitis. Some women develop “pregnancy tumors.” These are swellings on the gums that look like raspberries; they typically occur in the second trimester. They are not cancer and usually go away after delivery, but may bleed easily. Tell your orthodontist about any of these symptoms as soon as you notice them.


Wearing braces during pregnancy is not all that different from wearing braces at any other time in your life. As far as timing, you can start your orthodontic treatments just before or during your pregnancy. You might also want to consider that it’s better to be dealing with orthodontic appointments while you’re pregnant than when you’re chasing an active toddler. If you pay attention to potential problems, follow good oral hygiene practices and eat a healthy diet, you are unlikely to have any problems. Of course, you can always contact us for any problems or questions you may have.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

You can contact a practitioner like Papandreas Orthodontics to get some work done on your teeth. The office specializes in procedures such as braces, Invisalign, corrective appliances and more. You can schedule an appointment and see if the specialists recommend braces, Invisalign or something different that can make your life better. You have two choices for contact.

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers, and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your  dental bite.

How to Care for Braces During Pregnancy

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

Why Does the Orthodontist Need to X-ray?

Orthodontic procedures are complex procedures that require a great deal of care and precision. They are intricate processes that may affect you as a client for many years. For that reason, the specialist has to gather as much information as possible about you before he begins the treatment.

Read more

teeth

Why Teenage Patients Have More TMJ Problems in the Springtime

springtimeWhy Teenage Patients Have More TMJ Problems in the Springtime

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that makes it possible to move your jaws up, down, and sideways. It connects the jaws with the bone of the skull. Every year in spring, doctors experience a surge in the cases of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, particularly from teenagers. This condition has many causes, one of which is arthritis. However, for students, the disorder results from the stress experienced in this season.

How Does Stress Cause TMJ Problems

When people are stressed, they are more likely to clench and grind their teeth. Usually, this is done subconsciously, even when they are asleep. Clenching and grinding of teeth put a lot of pressure on the joints and facial muscles. Clenching your jaws can eventually cause the misalignment of their joints, and this can lead to pain and a lot of discomfort.

Teenagers who show signs of TMJ problems don’t always have a serious condition. Many times, they simply have a problem with the muscles located behind the molars, meaning the actual joints do not degenerate at all. The TMJ joint is located in front of the ears, so if they experience pain in the molars, the problem is connected to the muscles.

What Are the Symptoms of the Condition?

If your children show these symptoms, they are likely to be suffering from TMJ disorder:

  • Pain in the jaw joint, neck, face, shoulders, and ears. The teenager will experience the pain when they speak or attempt to open their mouths.
  • Locking of the jaws, either when open or closed
  • Exhaustion of the facial muscles
  • Misalignment of the jaws, meaning the top and bottom teeth may not fit into each other perfectly

The teenager might also make some clicking or grating sounds when they open or shut their mouths. This is not necessarily painful. The face may also swell. Toothaches, headaches, mild tinnitus, and pain in the shoulders are also common in such patients.

If your children show these symptoms, you should take them to an orthodontist for examination and treatment.

How Can You Prevent TMJ Disorders in Spring?

The first step in controlling the problem is finding out its exact cause. You should identify the causes of stress in your teenage child. Students in this age range are usually anxious about exams, prom, and securing jobs for summer. Older teenagers are stressed out by the fact that they will soon leave home for college. Once you identify the exact cause of stress in your teenage child, you should offer parental support to reduce their anxiety.


The child should also be aware that they are clenching their jaws. This usually happens subconsciously. Once they notice it, they are more likely to reduce the clenching and grinding of jaws. Keeping the teeth separated most of the time can help to prevent them from clenching and grinding. They can also learn to keep the tongue between the teeth often. If the child clenches the jaws while asleep, you can get dental mouth guards to prevent this from happening.

A good posture can also help to prevent the problem. You should make sure your child never holds the phone between the shoulder and ear as this can affect the jaws.

How is TMJ Problem Managed?

It is important to go for a professional examination since the problem may not exactly be linked to the jaw. Also, the problem may not be caused by stress, meaning the management of the disorder will have to be done differently. In many cases, TMJ disorders that result from stress are not treated with braces or Invisalign.

Certain forms of physical therapy can be used to help with the problem. A simple exercise would be to contract the muscles. They should do a minimum of 3 sets of 10 reps in order to relax the sore muscles of the jaw. Alternatively, they can make a fist and rest their elbows on their knees. Then, they should rest the chin on the fist and apply pressure on the jaws. This should be done with the mouth open.

The problem can be managed with some painkillers such as Advil. You can also apply a hot pack to the jaw area in order to relieve the pain. Another alternative is to gently massage the affected area in order to relax the facial muscles. Relaxation techniques such as Yoga can also help to calm the nerves and relieve stress.

Unfortunately, people who experience TMJ rarely get rid of the problem completely. It might subside once they relax, but will recur in case of adversity. Managing stress is the best way to control TMJ disorders.

If the problem persists after spring, you should visit an orthodontist for treatment. The orthodontist may suggest options such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, ultrasound, trigger-point injections, radio wave therapy, and low-level laser therapy. If the case is beyond these treatment options, you can also opt for surgery. The types of surgery done for TMJ disorder are arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery.

Conclusion

Spring is a stressful period for teenagers. They have to deal with exams, prom, and other events in their lives. This stress usually makes them clench and grind their jaws, and this leads to problems with the TMJ joint. It is important to talk to your child in order to find out the cause of their stress. If the problem gets serious, you should take them to an orthodontist for examination and treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

***

14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585