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When it Comes to Braces, Not All Oral Care Products are Created Equal

November 13, 2014

Kids across Edmonton are preparing to return to school by stocking up on stylish new outfits and accessories, but smiles need to be readied, too! To help students make a dazzling debut with a gorgeous smile this year.

Soft bristled toothbrush. Switch to the softer side of things and ditch tough-bristled toothbrushes. Soft bristles reach around and in between brackets better to loosen wedged plaque and food particles. Since brackets tend to shred soft materials, these toothbrushes may have to be replaced more frequently. However, the plaque-fighting benefits will be well worth a few more trips to the convenience store.

Proxy brush. Commonly known by its pseudo-name, the “Christmas tree” brush is engineered to slide under wires and in between brackets to easily grab food particles. The small tufted head of this brush resembles a pipe cleaner (or a Christmas tree) and can be found at most drugstores.

Waxed floss. As previously mentioned, brackets can shred oral care products with ease, so it’s wise to opt for waxed floss. This variety typically snags on wires and brackets less than floss without wax.

Stiff floss. Many oral care brands make floss with a stiffened end to help snake under wires. This product is ideal for orthodontic patients still learning how to properly floss in braces.

Mouthwash. After a thorough routine of brushing and flossing, it’s best to finish up with a good swish of antibacterial mouthwash. This will help loosen and rinse away any remaining plaque caught on appliances, not to mention kill bacteria that causes bad breathe.

Dental care while in braces can be tricky, but there are tons of great products available to make cleaning a bit easier.

With a little help from these tools and the Pure Orthodontics team. Click here to learn all information you need about braces.


How to Combat Gum Disease While in Braces

Orthodontic treatment is one of the greatest investments you can make. Aligned teeth provide countless aesthetic and health perks. However, braces can simultaneously hinder and promote the development of one particular condition.

Seven out of 10 Canadians will suffer from gum disease in their lifetime, but the odds of developing this condition are less likely when teeth are in ideal alignment. This is because gums fit tighter and more properly around straight teeth. A snug-fitting gum line means there’s no pockets where plaque and bacteria can accumulate and trigger infection.

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With that said, your risk of acquiring gum disease is heightened during orthodontic treatment. Braces have a knack for trapping food particles, and removing wedged plaque from appliances usually requires more than the typical brushing routine. The bacteria associated with lingering plaque can easily initiate gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. For many patients, shifting teeth will exacerbate a pre-existing case of gum disease.

“I always recommend patients come into Pure Orthodontics with generally good oral health,” says West Edmonton orthodontist Dr. Amer Hussain. “When teeth and gums are in poor condition, it complicates treatment and makes achieving the best possible result difficult.”

Whether you’re contemplating orthodontics or you’re in the midst of treatment, the best way to inhibit the onset of gum disease is to implement good oral hygiene practices. With a soft bristled toothbrush, brush the teeth, gum line and appliances using a gentle circular motion twice daily. Use waxed or orthodontic floss and mouth rinse every day. Afterward, be sure to inspect teeth for any left behind food particles.

“It all comes back to good dental hygiene,” says Dr. Hussain. “When teeth and gums are clean and healthy, a countless number of conditions can be avoided. It also simplifies the treatment process for us.”

When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of orthodontic treatment, the best option is clear. In the long term, aligned teeth will reduce your risk of gum disease, as well as tooth decay and TMJ disorders. Putting a little extra effort into your dental hygiene routine during a brief treatment period is undoubtedly worth the outcome of an aligned, healthy and gorgeous grin.

To learn more about the health benefits of Invisalign and braces in West Edmonton, give us a call. Dr. Hussain and the Pure Orthodontics team are eager to address any concerns and give you the straight and healthy smile you deserve.


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Avoid Landing on Our Naughty List This Season

December 28, 2013

In West Edmonton, orthodontist Dr. Amer Hussain is no Santa Claus, but he does encourage patients to stay off his naughty list.

Because an “orthodontist on the shelf” would be a little too strange, we at Pure Orthodontics have supplied a list of major no-no’s for orthodontic patients. If you abide by these guidelines, your spot on our “nice list” is secured. Your teeth will enjoy a trauma-free aligning experience, too.

  1. Don’t chew ice. This is a good rule for everyone, not just those in orthodontic treatment. Chewing ice can crack and chip teeth, slash gums and increase tooth sensitivity. For braces patients, ice is capable of wreaking havoc on brackets and arch wires. That’s no good, since broken braces don’t straighten teeth very well.
  2. Don’t skip brushing. Braces provide a perfect little spot for plaque to accumulate and hide. That’s why it’s important to brush teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush (these reach between brackets better) for two minutes after every meal. Clean, healthy teeth tend to streamline the treatment process.
  3. Don’t bite things that weren’t meant to be bitten. Fingers, pencils, pens, tape…if it’s not food, don’t even try it. Often habitual, chewing such items can damage wires and necessitate an emergency appointment, not to mention introduce a host of germs to the mouth. Try to refrain from this bad habit.
  4. Don’t eat taffy. Ever.
  5. Don’t eat carelessly. We understand tearing apart tough breads, slicing the corn off the cob and slowly chewing meat grows to be annoying, but a bit of discipline will help you achieve an aligned, healthy and beautiful smile sooner. Think about what you eat, and don’t hesitate to cut food into smaller, bite size pieces.
  6. Don’t use unwaxed floss. Unwaxed varieties easily shred on brackets, which makes for a frustrating dental hygiene routine. Purchase waxed or orthodontic floss, instead. Carefully weave under arch wires and gently wiggle between teeth.
  7. Don’t miss out. There are tons of great braces-friendly treats just waiting to be enjoyed this time of year. Feel free to indulge in soft, freshly baked cookies, ice cream, soft brownies and hot chocolate. A nice cold glass of eggnog may even help soothe soreness caused by your braces. Just be sure to thoroughly brush teeth afterward.
  8. Don’t give up. Whether it’s with braces or Invisalign, orthodontic treatment is one of the best investments you can make. Properly aligned teeth and jaw bones are healthier, improve facial aesthetics, reduce stress on the jaw joint. A slightly prolonged dental hygiene routine and a short time without sticky candies will be well worth it.

It’s our pleasure to give aligned, healthy and beautiful teeth.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from the Pure Orthodontics team!