LAS VEGAS, NEVADA-Your back-to-school shopping and preparations are underway, and we want to remind you to add properly caring for and protecting your orthodontic appliances to the to do list.
“It’s easy to get swept up in the hectic schedule of classes, homework and extracurricular activities, but our priority is helping you stick to your treatment plan and keep strong, healthy teeth while you’re wearing braces or aligners,” says Dr. David Alpan, an Orthodontist in Las Vegas.
These are some reminders of what to do as you head back to school:
- Keep an extra case for your retainer or aligners in your bag or locker. The majority of retainers and aligners are lost because they were wrapped in a napkin and accidentally thrown away. Invisalign Teen, a very popular orthodontic treatment, has some big benefits, but they can also be drawbacks. The aligners are removable for eating, drinking and dental care. However, because they are clear and light, they can be overlooked in the rush to get to class on time and inadvertently thrown away.”One of the features of Invisalign Teen is that replacement aligners can be re-ordered if lost, but it takes time for them to come in and any time without the aligners means longer treatment time,” says Dr. Alpan, who is also a Los Angeles invisalign expert.
- Put together an oral hygiene kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and wax for mid-day dental care. Having a toothbrush and floss means you won’t be tempted to use anything to pick food out of your teeth or around the brackets like the ones used for Incognito and Damon braces.
- Watch what you’re eating and drinking. For snacks and lunches, stick with the foods that won’t get stuck in the cracks and crevices of your teeth and braces like banana slices, seedless grapes, canned fruit, applesauce and pudding cups, thinly chopped raw vegetables, soups, sandwiches or pasta. Avoid hard, sticky foods that can damage appliances, and you may consider skipping or minimizing sports or energy drinks, soda and sweet tea.”These beverages contain a lot of sugar and acid that creates an environment ripe with cavity- and bad breath-causing bacteria. For patients with fixed braces, these drinks can also lead to the dreaded bull’s eye effect when braces are taken off if dental hygiene is neglected,” says Dr. Alpan as a TMJ dentist in Las Vegas.
- Make sure your mouthguard still fits properly and wear it during all contact sports to protect your teeth, gums, lips and cheeks from damage.
If you have an orthodontic emergency where you have lost or broken any part of your braces, please call (702) 784-0500 for the Las Vegas office or (213) 382-8228 for the Los Angeles office, and we will fit you in as soon as possible.
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