Neal Smiles Orthodontics Blog Page

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Retainers - Keep Your Teeth Straight, For Life!

Ever wonder why Dr. Michelle Neal recommends retainer wear? After all your hard work to get your teeth straight, you want to keep them straight...for life! View this educational video we found online from the AAO (American Association of Orthodontics).

Be sure to follow the instructions given by Dr. Neal regarding your retainer wear, retainer care and the amount of time to wear your retainer in order to keep your teeth from shifting. Have questions? Be sure to ask us at your next appointment or call our office to speak with one of Dr. Neal's team members at (425) 823-1234.

Keep your teeth straight..for life!


Friday, March 29, 2013

I Got My Braces. Now What?

Congratulations! We're so excited to get started and welcome you to our office! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before your orthodontic treatment began. Here's a few helpful tips from Dr. Michelle Neal. We're excited to help you every step of the way!

How do I keep my teeth clean?
Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why we recommend that you brush after every meal. We also encourage you to use a proxa-brush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. We also recommend the use of ClinPro, a calcium and fluoride paste daily. When your braces are initially placed, you may experience discomfort for up to 3 or 5 days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will experience.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?” We would encourage you to avoid eating sticky, hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can stick to your teeth and brackets, which can damage the braces. It’s critical to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office so we can determine if an appointment is needed. Be sure to visit our website for more emergency help and tips, foods to avoid and patient videos!

How do I maintain my oral health during treatment?
In addition to visiting our office for regular adjustments, you should visit your dentist every six months (or as recommended by your doctor) for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. Dr. Michelle Neal offers extra Neal Notes for visiting your dentist, check out our Neal Notes page for more details!

Questions? Please call our office or leave your comments here! Dr. Michelle Neal and her highly skilled team are here to help you every step of the way! Let us help you achieve the smile you've dreamed of by scheduling a complimentary consultation today!

Michelle Fogg Neal, DDS
(425) 823-1234

Friday, January 25, 2013

Foods that Are Safe for Braces

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, we will periodically change the wires to continue the alignment process. After your adjustment appointments, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods and take medications like Tylenol or Children's Tylenol, Advil or Ibuprofen as needed. Examples include:
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt and Pudding
  • Pancakes, oatmeal and soft cereals for breakfast
  • Pasta
Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable like Invisalign – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:
  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Raw veggies: be sure to slice into smaller sizes to prevent excessive pressure on braces. Also, be sure to cut the corn off the cob.
  • Certain fruits, like apples need to be cut into even smaller slices.
  • Meats: cut all meat off the bone to prevent biting into the bone with front teeth.

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration. It is also advised to continue regular hygiene appointments, so that your oral health is maintained and we have a bright, healthy smile once we complete the orthodontic treatment!

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? Dr. Michelle Neal and her team are ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment! Contact our office at (425) 823-1234 or at info@nealsmiles.com

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