Toothpaste for Braces in Massachusetts

New braces — new rules. Adjusting to braces can be a trying time for children and teens. Worrying about the best toothpaste for braces shouldn’t take up too much of your thoughts. You’ve probably already been using fluoride toothpaste, but if it is also a whitening toothpaste you’ll need something different.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene During Braces Treatment

You’re already aware of the importance of normal oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups should always be a priority. With braces, the importance increases. Due to the brackets and wires, food particles have many more places to hide.

First, let’s explain the hardware. The orthodontist affixes brackets to teeth using a bonding agent. Then the archwire threads through each bracket. The doctor tightens the wire to create tension, which is what moves the teeth into alignment. The archwire is held in place using tiny rubber bands (elastics).

All of that extra gear in the mouth creates extra hiding places for plaque, food particles, and general ickiness. Not keeping your braces clean can promote and accelerate tooth decay.

The food that remains under the archwire and around the brackets can also damage the surface of tooth enamel. This may cause permanent staining, leaving visible lines, spots, or unsightly patches on the teeth. We’ll give you some tips on how to brush with braces shortly.

Selecting a Good Toothpaste for Braces

Fluoride is an important part of dental care. In some instances, you may even have a separate fluoride treatment to use after brushing. When selecting a good toothpaste for braces, select one that includes fluoride.

The difference between gel toothpaste and regular toothpaste is mostly a matter of personal taste. There are a gazillion different flavors and textures to choose from. Toothpaste manufacturers use flavors such as strawberry and bubble gum to entice children to brush longer. Whatever flavor you choose, it should be something that appeals to you.

While flavoring makes brushing more pleasant, other additives may cause harm during your treatment. Specifically, whitening agents. Many kinds of toothpaste tout a whiter smile just from using their product. Although that is a nice option without braces, it can be detrimental to a person wearing braces.

A handy checklist when shopping for a good toothpaste for braces:

  • Contains fluoride
  • Contains tartar control properties
  • Is American Dental Association (ADA) approved
  • Is a flavor/taste that you like
  • DOES NOT contain whitening agents

Using a whitening toothpaste with braces will, of course, help keep your teeth whiter. However, when the brackets are taken off, you will be left with tiny discolored squares on your teeth.

Ouch — Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Getting braces is not without discomfort. On occasion, patients may desire to use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. If discomfort following adjustments sticks around longer than a week it may be helpful to add a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Make sure to select one that is ADA-approved and free of whitening agents.

Tips for Brushing and Flossing with Braces

When you got your braces, a technician gave you quick instructions on how to brush effectively. Likely you may have felt overwhelmed, tired, and had a little bit of a sore mouth. With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks that will help.

First things first — assemble your tools:

  • Toothbrush
  • Floss and floss threader
  • Interdental brushes
  • Non-whitening, ADA-approved toothpaste

We are presenting brushing first, but if your normal routine is to floss first, stick with that.

Brushing

Start by rinsing your mouth with plain water. Swish the water thoroughly to remove loose food. Holding your toothbrush at about a 45-degree angle begin brushing. There are four sections of your mouth (top-right, top-left, bottom-right, and bottom-left). Spend at least 30 seconds on each section, overlapping in the front.

Using a side-to-side stroke above and below your braces is best, overlapping to include the archwire and brackets. Use small circular motions on and around each bracket to loosen stubborn food particles. Don’t forget the backs of the teeth and the top, chewing surfaces of your molars.

Using the interdental brush, brush along both sides, top, and bottom of all your brackets. These brushes are small enough to fit under the archwire and work great to dislodge hiding food particles. Once you have finished brushing and rinsing, it is time to floss.

Flossing

Normal flossing is pretty straightforward. Once you have braces, though, threading the floss under the archwire to reach the gumline can be frustrating. Floss threaders are designed to make this process much easier. They work sort of like a sewing needle threader. You can purchase floss threaders at any retail store that sells floss and toothbrushes.

To use a floss threader:

  • Start with 12 to 18 inches of clean floss
  • Thread about 5 inches through the loop on the floss threader
  • Insert the tool under your archwire and into a gap between the teeth you will be flossing
  • Remove the threader, leaving the floss in place, and floss normally
  • Be sure to floss to the gum line and around all your teeth
  • Repeat for each gap until you have flossed between and around all your teeth
  • Throw away the used floss threader

You may also use a water flossing device if you have one, but manual flossing is more effective at removing plaque.

Final Notes About Toothpaste for Braces

Brushing and flossing are more important with braces. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every 3 to 4 months or if it becomes frayed. Use fluoride toothpaste without whitening agents. You can add a fluoride mouth rinse too for an even fresher mouth.

Be sure to continue your regular dental checkups and routine cleanings. Your dentist will work around your braces to care for your teeth.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Smiles in Framingham office at 508-872-0555. Also, call if you experience any problems with your appliance. Braces aren’t always fun, but sticking to a good oral care routine and taking care of your braces will help make sure you finish with no delays.

Don’t forget to stop by our social media pages on Instagram and Facebook for more information.

What are the Benefits of Smiling and Laughing?

What are the benefits of smiling and laughing? According to numerous studies, there are all kinds of benefits to both. With routine dental and orthodontic care, you can be proud to show your smile. Thus, you can reap the benefits that come with more smiles, which naturally tend to lead to more laughter.

Smiles in Framingham loves helping people of all ages smile in Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and surrounding towns.

A Genuine Smile  

Some of the earliest smile studies date back to the 1800s and French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne. His work led to the phrase,¬†“Duchenne smile,”¬†an authentic, genuine smile. When you smile genuinely, the muscles around the eyes called the orbicularis oculi contract. Since we can’t control these muscles at will, it’s hard to fake a genuine smile.

If you see a Duchenne smile, it means that person is probably genuinely expressing happiness or contentment. Sometimes, a smile or laugh can take over our bodies, usually making for a positive memory (Unless it involves an embarrassing or awkward situation).

More recently, researchers focused on how people smile when engaging socially.

Conscious Smiling and Laughter

When we are in social situations, consciously smiling and laughing may be ways to facilitate positive communication. For example, it can tell others we like and respect them and help create a bond as part of the same group.

Smiling is a universal welcome and laughter is universal across human cultures. When we are with others, we are far more likely to laugh.

“Studies have shown that people are more likely to laugh in response to a video clip with canned laughter than to one without a laugh track, and that people are 30 times more likely to laugh in the presence of others than alone,” reports the¬†Association for Psychological Science.

By smiling on purpose, you may mirror others’ behavior and appear approachable. Of course, people are adept at detecting a fake smile¬†from an early age,¬†so there is a fine line. The more genuinely you smile, the more you may be perceived as truly prosocial. Similarly, people can usually detect if people they hear laughing are friends or strangers.

Strengthening Camaraderie and Social Bonds

In our friendships and relationships, more smiles and laughter can lead to stronger ties. Studies indicate that more time spent laughing together is associated with more support, better relationship quality, and closeness.

Incredible Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

By smiling more, research suggests you may live longer, age better, and enjoy life more. Notably, this includes both subconscious or are conscious smiles. So, there really is a benefit to smiling even when you don’t necessarily want to. By smiling, you can “trick your brain” into believing you are happy.

Similarly, you can encourage others to smile and laugh, passing on the contagious feeling.

According to NBC News, 

“Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress,¬†boost your immune system¬†and possibly even prolong your life.”

According to Forbes, smiling more often can also translate to more success and happiness professionally.

Smiling Releases Endorphins and Neuropeptides

By smiling, it tells our bodies to release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. So, it can help us reduce stress and depression, strengthening our immune system. 

“Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression,” says neurologist Dr. Isha Gupta. “Low levels of dopamine are also associated with depression.”

Also, smiling tells the brain to release tiny molecules called neuropeptides which help fight off stress.

More Health and Happiness 

As an added benefit, smiling can lower our heart rate and lower blood pressure. Over time, it can change the way you think and feel, too, helping you avoid feeling burned out. Even smiling at yourself in the mirror can help reduce feeling tense or anxious.

Similarly, laughter helps stimulate circulation and the organs and enhance oxygen intake, which can help you relax. Studies of people with a strong sense of humor suggest they tend to be much less susceptible to heart disease (for women) and infection (both men and women).

Humorously, Scientific American reported:

“The gender differences could be due to a slight decline in humor scores as the men aged, the authors suggest.”

Notably, learning to laugh more at yourself can also help one’s outlook, whatever the age.

We love seeing our patients smile more than ever at Smiles in Framingham as they enjoy improved oral health. With more smiles come more laughter and the many benefits that come with them for a lifetime.

 Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

 

How to Clean My 3M Clear Aligners

This time, we look at “How to clean my 3M Clear Aligners” in the¬†Smiles in Framingham blog.¬†In our previous post, we looked at¬†how to clean retainers,¬†a similar process.

Dr. Himelhoch and the team are proud to offer top orthodontic treatment with high-quality 3M Clarity Advanced Clear Aligners, our number one choice. EM aligners are guaranteed to give you a great result while using a comfortable product. 

First, we’ll take a quick look at advanced 3M Clarity Aligners.

What Are 3M Clear Aligners?

Clarity Aligners are nearly¬†invisible clear aligners¬†for orthodontic treatment. Like another brand,¬†Invisalign,¬†a series of aligners is customized to your unique smile. Then, you’ll wear each aligner in the series as your teeth very gradually shift. Over time, your teeth move to their ideal positions, and it’s time to reveal your new beautiful smile.

Using the 3MTM Treatment Tracking app, you can monitor your progress. Also, you can track how long you’ve worn your aligners and share your progress with selfies if you like.

Smiles in Framingham provides 3M Clarity and Invisalign and will discuss the differences and options with you before treatment.

How to Clean My 3M Clear Aligners

To keep your 3M Clarity Aligners clean, be sure to remove them before you eat or drink something other than cool water. If left in place, particles of food become trapped against your teeth, which promotes tooth decay.

Also, be sure not to expose your aligners to hot liquids, which can warp them. Likewise, please avoid placing them in hot environments, such as a car windshield.

When it’s time to enjoy a meal, take out your aligners and put them in their case. Next, put the case in your pocket or purse, wherever you won’t forget it. After enjoying your meal, it’s best to brush or at least rinse your teeth well with water. Wherever possible, it’s also a good time to clean your aligners.¬†

We recommend carrying a travel-size soft toothbrush to clean your aligners on the go.

Here’s¬†what you need:

  • Cool tap water
  • A soft toothbrush
  • That’s it!

 

Cleaning steps: Use your soft toothbrush and brush your aligners with cool water. 

As you can see, keeping your 3M Clarity Aligners clean is as simple as it gets. Daily, also rinse your case with warm soapy water and pat it dry with a towel.

See more below:

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners or Mouthwash

Although it can be tempting, avoid using toothpaste to clean your aligners. Due to its abrasive qualities, toothpaste can scuff up the surface of your aligners or retainer.

Similarly, avoid using denture cleaner or mouthwash to soak your aligners, and never put them in a dishwasher or microwave. 

As an alternative to denture cleaner, you may use a product¬†such as Fresh Guard¬†made for cleaning retainers. Soaking for a few minutes is all that’s required. Then, rinse the aligners and start wearing them again.

Notably, your aligners are designed for temporary use, usually a couple of weeks. So, they are somewhat delicate and should be treated accordingly. 

Improving Your 3M Clear Aligners Experience

As you can see, the process for “How to clean my 3M Clear Aligners” couldn’t be easier.¬†

By keeping aligners clean, you will have a better experience and reach the goal faster. Also, you will ensure the aligners remain discreet so you can feel confident throughout treatment.

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

How to Clean My Retainers

Today, we look at “How to clean my retainers.” When you complete orthodontic treatment,¬†retainers¬†ensure that your teeth stay in place. Otherwise, teeth may relapse, shifting back to their original position.

By wearing your retainer at all times, (except when eating, brushing, or playing sports), you will continue to enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime.

Like Invisalign, retainers need regular cleaning. If not, then a coating of bacteria can build up on the surfaces. Besides being unsightly, it can also contribute to bad breath and tooth decay.

Also, like Invisalign, it’s possible to misplace a retainer when you take it out. Therefore, always place your retainer in its protective case where you’ll remember it. On this case, write your name and phone number. By doing the same thing every time, you will be much less likely to lose your retainer.

In the event of losing or breaking your retainer, please call Smiles in Framingham immediately. Unfortunately, teeth can begin to shift again if you don’t keep a retainer in place. A tooth’s mobility is why orthodontists can move teeth to their ideal positions.

Eventually, teeth will stay put, but it usually takes¬†six months¬†to a year after orthodontic treatment. Thus, it varies by person, and¬†Dr. Himelhoch will discuss how long you’ll need a retainer with you. Please, call Dr. Himelhoch’s office if you are having any trouble with how your retainer fits in your mouth.

Now, let’s look at “how to clean my retainer.” Again, the process is much like Invisalign aligners and very easy.

For more, see our information about retainers here.

How to Clean My Retainers

We’ll look at three types of retainers that require slightly different cleaning: Removable, Clear, and Vivera retainers.

Removable Retainers

Using a soft toothbrush reserved for cleaning your retainer, brush your retainer in lukewarm water. Whenever you brush, please take out your retainer and brush it as well.

Keep in mind; toothpaste can scuff up the surface of retainers. Instead, clear liquid soap (with no alcohol) will clean without being abrasive.

Important: Never use hot water because it can warp retainers or Invisalign.

Next, each day soak your retainer for 5-10 minutes in denture cleaner or Fresh Guard. 

How to Clean My Retainers: Clear 

Cleaning your clear retainers is exactly like cleaning removable retainers. However, when you soak them each day, we recommend Fresh Guard for only 5 minutes at a time. By sticking to this plan, your retainer will last longer.

Again, remember never to use hot water to clean, or you may warp retainers or Invisalign.

How to Clean My Retainers:

Vivera 

When you brush your teeth, you may use a soft toothbrush and lukewarm or cold water to clean your retainer.

Like clear retainers, we recommend soaking your¬†Vivera retainer¬†in Fresh Guard for 5 minutes daily. In this case, you may use lukewarm or cold tap water. Please, don’t use hot water that may warp retainers or Invisalign.

Please, avoid using denture cleaner or mouthwash for retainers. Notably, these products will dull the surface and make them more visible. Similarly, toothpaste can tend to scuff the surfaces.

How to Clean My Retainers:

Bonded 

For some people, a bonded retainer that stays in the mouth is required. In such cases, please see Smile in Framingham’s¬†videos here¬†for how to clean using dental Super Floss and a floss threader.

See more in our video from Instagram below:

Retain Your Gorgeous Smile!

As you can see, the process for “how to clean my retainers” is easy. By keeping retainers clean, you will help maintain your oral health and avoid bad breath. Best of all, you’ll help retain your gorgeous, healthy smile for a lifetime.

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

How Often Should a Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

How often should a child see a pediatric dentist? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a check-up every six months is recommended.

With routine check-ups, your pediatric dentist can help prevent cavities and address any other oral health problems. 

After a check-up, your pediatric dentist will evaluate your child’s oral health and schedule follow-up visits to keep them smiling and healthy.¬†

Dr. Himelhoch has years of experience providing children from Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas with the best pediatric dental care possible.

First Pediatric Dentist Visit at the First Birthday

When the first tooth comes in, it’s time for a child’s first visit with a pediatric dentist. Generally, the first tooth comes in between 6 and 12 months of age. So, the¬†AAPD recommends¬†visiting when the first tooth appears or no later than¬†his/her first birthday.

As a board-certified pediatric dentist and orthodontist, Dr. Himelhoch received years of specialized training. During this time, she focused on the unique needs of infants, toddlers, and teenagers. 

Due to her specialized training and experience, Dr. Himelhoch can provide the best care for kids, including those with special needs and behavioral challenges.

At your first visit, we’ll focus on creating a¬†wonderfully positive experience¬†for parent and child. A fun, educational experience helps create the foundation for a lifetime of better oral health habits.

Early Detection, Prevention, and Treatment 

With routine check-ups, Dr. Himelhoch and the team can detect any early signs of oral health issues. Then, they can prevent them from worsening with effective and gentle treatments, such as dental sealants or restorative dentistry.

With pediatric dental care, your child can avoid problems that worsen over time.

By the time they reach age seven, Dr. Himelhoch can advise the best orthodontic treatment. If your child received routine pediatric dental check-ups, they have a big advantage. Generally, routine care will help prevent the need for more extensive and costly treatments later in life.

Short, Sweet, Pleasant Experiences

At Smiles in Framingham, we love our young patients and always strive to create enjoyable and fun experiences.

For younger children, the appointments are usually very¬†short and sweet.¬†During visits, we will evaluate dental development and check for any decay. If there are any problems, we’ll discuss all the available options. Then, we’ll help determine the right treatment plan for you.

Always, we seek to encourage kids and create a calm, comforting environment. Our office is designed with kids in mind, and we love making kids feel special.

We Look Forward to Helping Your Family

Today, Smiles in Framingham is¬†taking every precaution¬†to keep everyone safe while providing routine dental and orthodontic care. To learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep everyone safe, please see¬†our recent post here.¬†

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

When Should My Child First See a Pediatric Dentist?

When should my child first see a pediatric dentist? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, AAPD, it’s around a child’s¬†first birthday.¬†More specifically, it’s when a child’s first tooth appears.

When choosing a dentist for young kids, a pediatric dentist is preferable because they have years of specialty training following dental school.

Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

At Smiles in Framingham, we are unique because Dr. Deborah Himelhoch is board-certified in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics with over 37 years of experience. This rare combination means that the whole family can get the best dental and orthodontic care in one friendly Framingham, MA location.

Why See a Pediatric Dentist So Early?

When the first tooth emerges, the chances for tooth decay begin. Smiles in Framingham make sure baby teeth stay healthy and protected. For example, pediatric patients may benefit from dental sealants that prevent food and plaque from building up on baby teeth.

The AAPD notes that baby teeth help children speak clearly as well as chew food naturally. As teeth come in, they create a position for permanent teeth to follow later. So, ensuring baby teeth are healthy has long-term benefits.

By starting early, your child will have the best chance to avoid oral health issues. Also, regular visits will help kids learn the importance of good oral health habits. So, getting started can ensure a lifetime of better health and beautiful smiles.

How Often Should Kids See Their Pediatric Dentist?

The frequency of visits depends on your child’s personal oral health. However, the AAPD suggests check-ups about every six months. With routine visits, we will prevent cavities, check on sealants, and recommend any necessary repair where needed.

We will always keep our eyes open for any potential problems during check-ups, catching them before they can worsen.

Dr. Himelhoch’s advanced training in behavioral and care needs for kids means she can assist kids with special needs. Also, we’ll help parents with recommendations for the best ways to care for kid’s oral health at home. See¬†more here.

Keeping Kids Comfortable and Calm

Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children and love to make children feel special. Generally, kids are calm, comfortable, and confident during their visits at Smiles in Framingham. We love kids and helping them enjoy their visits as much as possible.

In cases where kids are anxious, we provide safe sedation dentistry for children from Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

Pediatric dentists have comprehensive specialty training and can offer other sedation methods for your child. However, each child is unique, so we tailor care to each child’s unique needs. See more about¬†Nitrous Oxide,¬†perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry.¬†

When Should Kids See an Orthodontist?

As noted, Dr. Himelhoch is also a board-certified top orthodontist. So, by getting kids started at Smiles in Framingham, your child also has access to top-quality orthodontic care. 

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children visit the orthodontist¬†no later than age 7.¬†Thus, very young kids won’t require orthodontic care until later in life.

By age 7, the first adult molars have usually grown in, although it varies by individual. Then, Dr. Himelhoch can begin addressing any early signs of malocclusions, misaligned teeth, or jaws. Aligning the teeth and jaws is the specialty of orthodontists. Like pediatric dentistry, becoming an orthodontist requires years of additional education and training past dental school.

By getting an early start on orthodontic care, you can avoid problems chewing food, speech impediments, and TMJ jaw problems. Even better, kid’s smiles will be as beautiful as they are healthy.¬†

Today, Smiles in Framingham is¬†taking every precaution¬†to keep everyone safe while providing routine dental and orthodontic care. To learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep everyone safe, please see¬†our recent post here.¬†

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest content and updates.

Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

Why Do Teeth Shift with Age?

This time in our blog, we answer the question, “Why do teeth shift with age?” Although we often think of teeth as firmly rooted and stationary, they are not. As we age, many changes in our mouths can cause teeth to shift.¬†

Generally, a minor shift is a natural process and may not pose a problem. However, larger shifts can lead to serious¬†oral health concerns.¬†Let’s take a closer look. First, we’ll look at how teeth stay in place.

How Teeth Are Held in Place

Many people believe that teeth are held in place by the bone and gum tissue, but this is not accurate. They are always somewhat mobile and attached by a flexible, important ligament.

The¬†periodontal ligament¬†(PDL) fastens teeth to the jaw with connective tissue and collagen. Light yellow minerals and collagen on the outside of the tooth’s roots,¬†called cementum, interlocks with root dentin and helps to secure the ligament.¬†¬†

When you chew food, clench, or grind your teeth (bruxism), the periodontal ligament absorbs excess pressure. Fortunately, the PDL makes it relatively easy to extract a tooth if necessary. With no direct bone-to-bone connection, your jawbone isn’t damaged.

Teeth Shift Naturally

Throughout life, teeth shift naturally and more with age. Through the process of mesial drift, they tend to move gradually toward the front of the mouth and lips as we age.

Through normal daily chewing, friction grinds down tooth enamel, which can eventually create gaps. Often, acid erosion breaks down the enamel, and sometimes an injury damages teeth. As a result, teeth may shift more.

Crooked and Crowded Teeth

Most people aren’t born with a perfect smile. As many as¬†nine in ten¬†people¬†have teeth that are at least slightly misaligned. Such misalignments are called malocclusions ( or a bad bite) and often involve crowded or crooked teeth.¬†

In such cases, it’s harder for anyone to adequately clean between the misaligned teeth. Unfortunately, without orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth, decay and disease are more likely over time.

The longer malocclusions remain untreated, the more related problems may develop. That’s why getting braces¬†or Invisalign¬†is much more than cosmetic. In fact, such orthodontic care can improve your health and keep teeth from shifting with age.

Grinding Teeth Can Loosen Them

Sometimes, excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching can enlarge the PDL, allowing the tooth to become relatively loose. Then, teeth can shift, and the more space around the tooth, the more it may move. If you grind your teeth, it can damage surrounding bone and gum tissue. 

Also, bruxism often leads to problems with the temporomandibular joint in the jaws. As people age, the damages caused by bruxism tend to accumulate. However, an orthodontist can help. Please, give us a call if you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night or have TMJ symptoms.

Tooth Loss Causes Big Shifts

Teeth can shift more when a tooth is lost, leading to malocclusions. Notably, as many as 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Worse, as many as 30 percent of adults between 65-74 years old have no natural teeth at all.

In cases of missing teeth, treatment can prevent your teeth from shifting in ways that harm your oral health. If gaps between teeth remain, the underlying bone can recede, causing negative changes to your appearance and health.

If you have missing teeth,¬†restorative dentistry¬†and orthodontic treatment ensure your teeth don’t shift into the gap. Please, check out our¬†Smile Gallery¬†for examples of smile transformations, even for those with considerable gaps.

Periodontal Disease 

Importantly, periodontal disease (gum disease) can damage the periodontal ligament PDL and the underlying bone. By avoiding gum disease, you can help keep your teeth from shifting. However, as people age, they are more likely to experience gum disease. By age 30, 47.2% of adults have periodontal disease, and 70.1% of adults over 65 are affected.

Bacteria that cause periodontal disease form plaque and then tartar below the gum line. It’s a big reason why seeing a dentist for routine cleanings is so important.

Keeping Teeth in Place

Orthodontists take advantage of the way teeth move to help guide them to their ideal positions over time. With treatment like braces and Invisalign, we can correct malocclusions and improve your overall health in the process. 

Following successful treatment, your smile will look fantastic! However, for a time, your teeth remain prone to moving. Therefore, everyone wears a retainer to keep teeth permanently in place.

We’ll discuss retainers and how long you may need to wear them following your treatment. By sticking to the plan, you can enjoy better health and a perfect smile for life.¬†

We hope this helps with the question, “Why do teeth shift with age?” Although teeth shift with age, an orthodontist helps make sure your smile always looks and feels amazing.

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Take a¬†free virtual consultation here.¬†It’s quick and easy, with no obligation to start until you’re ready.

Find out if you’re a candidate for Invisalign or braces, and learn how long treatment would take. Plus, get answers to any questions you may have.

Then, schedule¬†your first in-person visit¬†when you’re ready. It’s that easy!

At Smiles in Framingham, we help the Framingham community and the surrounding areas:

  • Southborough
  • Ashland
  • Wayland
  • Natick
  • Marlborough
  • Hopkinton
  • Holliston

 

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

“When should my child see an orthodontist?” In general, the answer is by age seven.¬†

Notably, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children visit the orthodontist no later¬†than age seven.¬†Why this number? Because that’s when their first adult molars have grown. However, if you notice something that concerns you, it’s a good idea to¬†check with an orthodontist,¬†even if it’s earlier than age seven.

In cases where a child hasn’t seen an orthodontist by age eight, it’s not too late for a check-up.

Before the age of seven, kids should see a family dentist for routine cleanings and to ensure oral health. As the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends, kids’ dental visits should start around¬†their first birthday.

Dr. Deborah A. Himelhoch, DDS MS, MMSc, is a board-certified orthodontist with over 37 years of experience. She’s a board-certified orthodontist and also board-certified in¬†pediatric dentistry.¬†Thus, kids and people of all ages can get the best care at Smiles in Framingham.

Giving Kids the Best Start for Beautiful, Healthy Smiles

An orthodontist will assess your child’s smile for any red flags that could suggest early treatment. In many cases, it won’t be necessary. However, if there are signs of potential bite problems, you can catch them before they worsen.¬†

Thus, early intervention can mean you can avoid larger problems later in life. Also, early treatment can mean you can avoid larger expenses and potential health issues down the road. Therefore, seeing an orthodontist gives your kids the best start for a healthy, beautiful smile.

As an added benefit, starting early with dental and orthodontic care develops lifelong habits for better oral health. Dr. Himelhoch has extensive experience and training to handle kids’ unique health and behavioral needs. (including special needs)

Always, our caring team strives to make visits comfortable, educational, and even fun for kids and parents.

For parents, please see the information here for what to expect.

Avoiding Potentially Serious Health Issues

Orthodontists are smile specialists that ensure a pretty smile and a functional bite. By getting started, you can avoid potentially serious health concerns.

An orthodontist can help kids avoid:

  1. problems chewing food
  2. painful bite or jaw pain
  3. speech impediments
  4. tooth decay and loss
  5. gum disease and related problems
  6. changes to appearance
  7. jaw problems and related issues

Plus, an orthodontist can reduce the need for tooth removal, make room for crowded teeth, and ensure proper jaw growth.

Later in life, it can mean the time spent wearing braces is shorter and less expensive.

See What Our Patients are Saying

Choosing an orthodontist is an important decision. So, we encourage you to see what our patients are¬†saying in our reviews.¬†We’re proud of our many 5-star reviews and awards! Our community has consistently voted us the best orthodontist¬†for a decade.

Also, please check out¬†our Smile Gallery¬†for examples of the smiles we’ve helped transform. Remember, it’s never too late to get started, and today more adults are getting the smiles they always wanted.

Now, you know, “When should my child see an orthodontist?” To find out more, call us anytime at¬†508-872-0555. We look forward to showing you why we’re the best orthodontist and pediatric dentist in Framingham.

Or, schedule a consultation here. Parents are always encouraged to join their kids, and your child should experience no discomfort during their visit. For more of what to expect on your first visit, click here.

 

Why Choose an Orthodontist in Framingham?

Why choose an orthodontist in Framingham? In short, orthodontists have years of experience, tools, and knowledge to create beautiful smiles. By choosing an orthodontist, you can avoid setbacks and get faster, comfortable treatment. Using the latest technologies, orthodontists offer spectacular results and help patients stay within budget. 

By pursuing orthodontic care, you can improve your health and gain newfound confidence. As you smile more, you can see far-reaching benefits over a lifetime. Therefore, choosing the best orthodontist in Framingham can be a life-changing decision.

At Smiles in Framingham, you have access to a board-certified orthodontist with over 37 years of experience. However, Dr. Deborah A. Himelhoch, DDS MS, MMSc, is also board-certified in pediatric dentistry. Therefore, your whole family can enjoy the best care in a caring, friendly environment. For a decade, the Framingham community has voted Dr. Himelhoch the best orthodontist.

An Orthodontist is a Smile Specialist

When it comes to your smile, you deserve a smile specialist with years of training, experience, and education. As the American Association of Orthodontists points out, orthodontists are specialists in treatments to ensure the proper alignment of teeth and jaws.

All orthodontists must complete advanced studies at an accredited two-to-three-year orthodontic residency program. Using their knowledge and the best tools available, they create beautiful, healthy smiles for people of all ages. Most orthodontists will begin seeing kids around age seven. As noted, Dr. Himelhoch is uniquely qualified to see young kids to adults of any age.

Today, more adults are choosing to get started with orthodontic treatment. Remember, it’s not too late, and the benefits can be life-changing. Not only can you avoid many oral health issues, but you can begin to feel more confident and smile more!

See more in the video below:

What Our Patients Say

You don’t have to take our word for it. Our patients say Smiles in Framingham is the best orthodontist around for a decade. Over the years, we’ve helped generations of families in the area improve their health and get the smiles of their dreams.

Please, check out our Reviews for examples of what our patients are saying.

For example, here’s a recent review from Google:

“I greatly appreciate Dr. Himelhoch’s patience and kindness. She makes what can be a stressful experience a good one. She doesn’t just rush through the visit and move on to the next but takes an active interest in her patients. Thanks, Dr. Himelhoch!”

It’s reviews like this that make us smile, and we are committed to providing an exceptional experience for all of our patients.

Find out more about our friendly, experienced team on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Your Smile is Worth It

Often, people wonder if their smiles can look perfect. Please, check out our Patient Results for a few examples. As you can see, we can transform smiles completely. So, chances are, you can have the smile of your dreams by choosing Smiles in Framingham.

Today, orthodontic care is more discreet, faster, more comfortable, and affordable. As more people stay at home, it’s a great time to get started. What better way to go into a new year than with a new smile to show as we return to social gatherings again?

Why Choose an Orthodontist in Framingham?

Why choose an orthodontist in Framingham? By choosing the best, you get the best experience and a perfect smile to show for life. Today, it’s easier than ever to get started, and you don’t have to leave home.

Take a¬†free virtual consultation here.¬†It’s quick and easy, with no obligation to start until you’re ready.

Find out if you’re a candidate for Invisalign or braces, and learn how long treatment would take. Plus, get answers to any questions you may have.

Then, schedule¬†your first in-person visit¬†when you’re ready. It’s that easy!

At Smiles in Framingham, we help the Framingham community and the surrounding areas:

  • Southborough
  • Ashland
  • Wayland
  • Natick
  • Marlborough
  • Hopkinton
  • Holliston

Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Mouthwash Tips for Kids

In this post, we’ll look at mouthwash tips for kids. In our previous post, we looked at¬†teeth brushing tips for kids.

Smiles in Framingham provides the best pediatric dental services in Framingham in the surrounding areas.¬†Dr. Deborah A. Himelhoch, DDS MS, MMSc, is a board-certified orthodontist with over 37 years of experience. She’s a board-certified orthodontist and also board-certified in pediatric dentistry. Thus, the whole family can enjoy top-quality award-winning care in our family-friendly, comfortable office.

From the time the first tooth arrives, it’s time to start caring for them. Therefore, plan on bringing your child to the dentist¬†before their first birthday.¬†Doing so will help lead to a lifetime of good habits, better health, and beautiful smiles.

Mouthwash Designed for Kids

As with toothbrushes, there are also mouthwash products designed just for kids. The colorful graphics, cartoons, and colors keep kids interested and make it fun. However, mouthwash isn’t¬†generally recommended¬†for kids younger than age six. Otherwise, they may swallow it, which can be a problem.

Before using mouthwash, it’s a good idea to consult with your pediatric dentist. Dr. Himelhoch and our staff will be happy to help.

Fluoride and Fluorosis

Until the age of around six, kids are likely to swallow toothpaste or mouthwash. Thus, use only a tiny amount of toothpaste for kids and always with parental supervision. Notably, this begins when the first teeth emerge. Generally, kids older than six will have no problems spitting out the toothpaste. At the age of six, you can generally introduce mouthwash with close supervision.

Although fluoride is highly effective in preventing tooth decay, swallowing can be a problem for kids during the teeth-forming years. During this time, swallowing fluoride can cause dental fluorosis and damage to tooth enamel. 

If young kids regularly consume fluoride, white or brown spots can appear on their teeth. These spots are unsightly but harmless.

In severe and moderate cases, the tooth enamel can be noticeably spotted or pitted, but this is rare. 

See more information about fluorosis from Delta Dental below:

Teaching Kids to Spit Out Mouthwash

Around age six, it’s time to teach kids about mouthwash and how to spit it out. Often, it can be tempting to swallow it, so it’s essential they learn not to. To start, try asking your child to¬†rinse with water¬†and spit it out in the sink. Once you’re confident they can do this, introduce a mouthwash designed for kids.¬†

Until age twelve, adults should supervise kids when they use mouthwash. 

Making it a Game

As with brushing teeth, it’s good to make the daily routine fun to encourage kids.¬†Colgate recommends¬†using a stopwatch and timing kids for a minute while they swish around the mouthwash without swallowing. Then, yell, “Go!” or “Spit!” when it’s time to spit it out.¬†

The mouthwash game can be the final part of the daily routine after brushing and flossing.

Enhance Brushing and Flossing

When teaching kids age six and older about mouthwash, be sure they know it’s no substitute for brushing and flossing. However, a fluoride mouthwash can freshen breath, help prevent cavities, and reach areas they might have missed.¬†

For older kids with braces, mouthwash can be particularly valuable. During this time, it’s harder to clean thoroughly around teeth. So, mouthwash can help reach areas difficult to get to and loosen particles of food.

We hope these mouthwash tips for kids have been helpful. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

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Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surround

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