72-back to schoolIt’s that time of year again! The temperature is cooling off, fall sports are underway, and all the kids are headed back to school. At Apt Orthodontics in Herndon and Ashburn VA we want to offer a few helpful tips for going back to school with braces!

Make sure to follow the 2×2 brushing rule: brush your teeth for TWO minutes, TWO times each day! This will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which leads to quicker appointments and healthier teeth. We advise students to bring a water bottle to school. Drinking water throughout the day helps to keep your mouth clean, fight cavities, and prevent bad breath. So bring your favorite water bottle along with you to school and keep sipping!

Another benefit of drinking water throughout the day is that it keeps you from reaching for sports drinks or soft drinks like Coke or Mountain Dew, which are full of acids and sugars that damage both your teeth and your braces. Stick with water and you can’t go wrong.

If you have braces, keep an extra pack of elastics in your backpack. And if you have a locker, it is wise to store some extra rubber bands in there, too. Remember that those elastics are responsible for aligning your teeth and jaws, so not wearing them could result in longer treatment times.

We know you have to eat in order to perform in the classroom, but you’ve got to eat smart! Remember to avoid foods that are hard, or crunchy, or chewy. This means bagels and cereal are bad breakfast choices because they can damage your braces. This can cause discomfort and lengthen your treatment time. Good breakfast foods for kids with braces include yogurt, fruit smoothies, and eggs.

When lunch time rolls around, soup is a great option for kids with braces. Also, softer veggies like cucumbers and peppers can make a great braces-friendly snack. Some patients have tried shredding carrots into thin, soft ribbons – this is OK but could lead to a very orange smile if the carrots get stuck in your braces!

Bananas make a great snack because they are easy on your braces but extremely healthy, being high in potassium and fiber as well as promoting heart and bone health. If you like hard fruits such as apples or pears, you must avoid biting into the raw fruit if you have braces.

You can still eat hard fruits, but you have to cut the fruit into bite-size pieces that can be chewed with the back teeth. Remember that damaging your braces can be painful and increase your treatment time, so take care of your braces!

For dinner, soup is an option again, as well as mashed potatoes or vegetables that are cooked or boiled until they become soft. Quinoa is good choice because it is a nutrient-rich grain that is small enough to not get stuck in an orthodontic appliance such as a palatal expander.

Good luck in school this year and remember to care for your teeth and braces every day!

Is it what can I eat? How do I brush?

No… it's "When do I get my braces off?"

When Do I get my braces off While most patients are always eager to start treatment, they are even more eager to get them off. Even though each patient is given an estimated treatment time wearing braces when they start, patients always hope we can wave our magic wands and complete the process sooner.

It makes sense that a patient may assume they are ahead of schedule when their teeth look straight in a mirror. Unfortunately, orthodontics isn’t just about straight teeth. The ultimate goal of good orthodontic treatment result is a beautiful smile as well as a healthy bite that lasts a lifetime.Read more on What is the most Common Question Asked During Orthodontic Treatment?…

White Marks on Teeth After BracesChalky, opaque-looking white spots on the teeth are not uncommon today. Maybe you have them or perhaps you’ve seen them on the teeth of friends or family. Many things can cause #white spots on the teeth. They can be a factor of nutrition, genetics, an excess of #fluoride intake at a young age, or poor oral hygiene.

When undergoing orthodontic treatment, white spots can develop if plague is allowed to remain “around the brackets and along the gum line” for an extended period of time without proper brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene is critical during treatment. Since the bonding material that glues the bracket to each tooth creates and air tight seal, you seldom see white marks underneath the braces but around the braces and along the gum line after braces are removed. Read more on White Spots After Wearing Braces?…

Different Layers of teethAre you experiencing #tooth sensitivity? Hot or cold temperatures, sweet or sour foods and drinks, and deep cavities or fillings often trigger this problem. Sensitivity is a common dilemma and an estimated 45 million Americans are victims! If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, sensitivity is also not at all uncommon.

#Sensitive teeth normally occurs when the enamel on the outside of the tooth wears away exposing the dentin layer of the tooth. The dentin layer is very porous with tubes that run to the nerve center. When exposed, the tubes react to changes in temperature and different foods.

During #orthodontic treatment, the discomfort a patient experiences is due to pressure that is placed on your teeth by the braces. This level of discomfort varies from patient to patient. The sensitivity is not permanent and will only last a few days. At Apt Orthoodntics, we educate our patients on how to reduce this sensitivity to enhance a more pleasant orthodontic treatment experience. However, if you aren’t wearing #braces, below are some common causes of #tooth sensitivity. Read more on Sensitive Teeth – In Herndon and Ashburn VA- The Root of the Matter…