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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dry Mouth with Orthodontics

One of the most common pieces of advice for people suffering from dry mouth is to chew sugar-free gum, but that’s not an option for people with braces. At Ross Orthodontics, we’re sensitive to our patients’ difficulty with dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) and want to help them find solutions.


Dry mouth is a common side-effect of medication but can also result from braces interfering with saliva flow or saliva being used up combatting irritation. Many people also get orthodontics as a way of correcting malocclusions that contribute to dry mouth by causing breathing difficulty. All of these people can benefit from the use of throat moisturizers, some of which are available cheaply over-the-counter and the stronger of which can be prescribed. They also benefit from the use of humidifiers in the bedroom and office, or any room they have to spend a lot of time in. While it is obvious that people with dry mouth need to stay hydrated, not everybody is aware that alcoholic, sugary, and caffeinated drinks actually contribute to dryness and should be reduced if the patient is in frequent discomfort. One thing that is never advisable is chewing ice; this habit can cause chipped teeth and wreck orthodontic devices.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit SmilesbyRoss.com. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Keeping Retainers Clean

Keeping retainers and aligners clean is another part of oral hygiene people have to adapt to while undergoing orthodontic work. At Ross Orthodontics, we want our patients to get the most benefit out of our aesthetically-pleasing Invisalign products, which is why we’re educating them on proper maintenance.


Anytime you remove your retainer is an opportunity to rinse it. It is easier to brush away plaque when a retainer is wet, and a retainer should also be rinsed before being put back in. However, retainers should only be cleaned with room-temperature or cool water—hot water can distort their shape, requiring them to be replaced. Retainers need to be brushed at least once a day. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush (not the same one you use on your teeth) and brushing thoroughly, but gently; otherwise, you may scratch the plastic surface, creating a space that is easier for bacteria to colonize.


Toothpastes designed for enamel therapy may contain gritty minerals which can cause scratches since teeth have natural protective films that artificial devices lack. On the other hand, toothpastes that are made specifically for dentures work well on retainers. Remember that the protective case needs to be cleaned regularly as well and that the cleaner your mouth is before you put your retainer in, the fewer opportunities there will be for plaque to build on it.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit SmilesbyRoss.com. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Orthodontic Retention

Every patient is excited to see their new smile when braces come off.  When you’ve worked and waited for something so long it’s easy to get caught up in the results.  It’s still important to retain the new position of the teeth.  There are a few different ways this is accomplished and will vary depending on the patient.


Fixed retainers are wires permanently bonded to the back of either the upper or lower front teeth.  This is usually done very soon after the braces have been removed, and while it isn’t needed for very long after braces treatment and can be removed, it isn’t harmful to keep it longer. Traditional removable retainers include wires that can be adjusted if the teeth require additional movement, and an acrylic base that fits into the roof of the mouth.  The newest kind of retainer available is an aligner-style retainer.  These are removable clear plastic retainers made from a mold of the newly aligned teeth and resemble invisible braces aligners like Invisalign.  Your dentist can tell you what retainer is the best for your continued treatment plan.


To learn more about retainers and all the services we provide, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Are Braces Painful?

Orthodontic braces are often a long process, and while they transform teeth and smiles, there is some pain and discomfort along the way.  Patients will typically feel some discomfort with a brand new set of braces and directly after a tightening.  These are both normal occurrences and you can ease the pain while getting to your perfect smile!   


With a new set of braces, the insides of cheeks and lips will rub against the brackets and wires.  The soft tissue will toughen as your mouth gets accustomed to the braces, but at first it can create sore spots.  Dental wax is a great defense against this.  Just a small piece can cover the edge of a bracket and relieve any chafing.  After a set of braces is tightened a patient will also feel some pain and soreness.  Eating soft foods right after a tightening can ease discomfort and if the pain continues, over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil and Motrin are helpful.  Small periods of discomfort after a tightening are normal, but if you experience any extreme or long-lasting discomfort you should contact us.


To learn more about orthodontic care and all the services we provide, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bruxism and Orthodontics

Grinding your teeth may seem like it isn’t an issue, but it just might be. Also known as bruxism, teeth clenching and grinding can lead to broken teeth, damaged tooth enamel, and frequent headaches. It’s common that those who are suffering from bruxism may not even be aware of it. If you have bruxism and haven’t received orthodontic treatment, braces may help treat the problem. Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS has plenty of options for patients to choose from.


If you’ve caught yourself in the act of grinding your teeth, consider discussing orthodontic options with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS. Invisalign not only straightens teeth, but the clear aligners can help protect teeth from becoming worn down during use. If you already have braces and still find yourself experiencing jaw discomfort due to clenching, talk to us so we can help you find relief.


If you experience facial pain or other symptoms of bruxism, please give us a call to discuss treatment options. To learn about services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Consequences of Thumb Sucking

At Ross Orthodontics, we often see children whose parents and primary dentist are concerned about how their teeth are coming in. One of the most frequent problems is an open bite, in which the incisors are pushed outward. This problem can be genetic but is usually caused by thumb sucking.


Many parents may be alarmed to hear this since thumb sucking is such a common behavior. Before the age of five, there is not much to worry about. Very young children’s facial bones have not completely solidified and can bounce back from suction. But once the permanent teeth start coming in, thumb sucking (or sucking on anything else) can permanently push the teeth forward.


Efforts to break the habit work best when the child feels included in solving the problem. However, thumb sucking is sometimes done as a way of relieving chronic stress. In these cases, even if the child does abandon thumb sucking, they may take to thrusting their tongue against their incisors instead, which has the same result. It may be necessary to consult with a child psychologist about fixing this problem. In the meantime, there are orthodontic devices which can discourage pushing the tongue forward.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit SmilesbyRoss.com. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Friday, October 6, 2017

How Long Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?

Treatment at Ross Orthodontics is meant to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth for our patients, but teeth require constant maintenance. Once a patient’s teeth have been guided into place, they will probably need to wear a retainer.


Exactly how long or often a retainer is needed varies a lot by individual. Typically, gap teeth require the longest use of retainers, but almost everybody needs to wear a retainer for nearly twenty-four hours a day during the first few weeks after their braces are removed. Most people need to wear them for twenty-four hours a day for a year (except when eating or playing sports), and people often need to wear them in their sleep for a period as long as they were undergoing orthodontics. Ultimately, while few people need to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives, everyone who has undergone orthodontics should have a well-fitted retainer which they wear sometimes. Retainers should be snug, but if you are unsure whether yours is a good fit, bring it to us.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit SmilesbyRoss.com. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Dry Mouth with Orthodontics

One of the most common pieces of advice for people suffering from dry mouth is to chew sugar-free gum, but that’s not an option for people w...