Orthodontics Portage MI | Take Care of Your Braces So That They Can Take Care of You

So, you’ve invested in a set of braces to beautify your smile. Although most of the work will be done for you by your orthodontist and the braces themselves, you still have a part to play in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful by taking care of your braces on a daily basis. The care that you put into your daily brushing, flushing and flossing will make all the difference for your oral health as well as how beautiful your smile will look once your braces are removed.

What Gets Caught in and Around Your Braces?

Orthodontic hardware can become a breeding ground for germs if not cleaned properly on a daily basis. Although we know them simply as braces, when disassembled into parts they include brackets, bands, wires, springs, screws, and elastics, meaning there are quite a few pieces of hardware that stubborn food particles and germs can reside in. When braces aren’t cleaned properly, the germs can linger and multiply in the various nooks and crannies of your orthodontic hardware. Those germ colonies then develop into plaque biofilm, which presents itself as a chalky patch on the tooth around the braces. If these patches are not properly cleaned off of the tooth, the risk of tooth decay is drastically increased. Sugary and acidic foods increase the chances of developing plaque biofilm around your braces if they are not being cleaned daily and properly.

Cleaning Your Braces at Home

The good news is that keeping your braces clean at home is a quick and easy process when done consistently. For great orthodontic health, remember the BFF acronym – Brush, Flush, and Floss.

Brush: Be sure to put some extra time and care into your brushing with braces. Brush your teeth at different angles to get to those hard-to-reach places between brackets. It may even be beneficial to physically hold your lip up to get every last spot. Remember to remove any elastic or bands before brushing, as they can block your brushing efforts and contribute to the development of plaque biofilm.

Flush: Oral irrigation systems, or simply flushing your mouth with water, are necessary for optimal oral health with braces. Water can dislodge food particles from the various parts of your orthodontic hardware, reducing your risk of developing tooth decay or plaque. At-home oral irrigation systems are specialized tools that push a thin stream of water to flush in between your teeth and are available at local drugstore and retail stores. Oral irrigation systems are recommended but not required for optimal oral health with braces. Simply swishing water in between your teeth after meals and snacks will do the trick, as long as you keep it up regularly.

Floss: Flossing is especially important to keep your braces and mouth clean. Often times a piece of floss or an interdental cleaner is the only tool that can reach in between wires and brackets. It is important to thread floss under the wires of your braces every day in order to stay clean and healthy.

Don’t let the excitement of having your braces removed be overshadowed by dirty or decaying teeth. By learning how to effectively clean your braces, you’ll be sure to end up with a healthy and confident smile.

If you’d like us to show you how it’s done or need to see us for a follow up appointment, contact our office to schedule a visit. We’ll be happy to provide you with any help or support that you may need in order to ensure you have a beautiful new smile by the end of your orthodontic treatment.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: http://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 49002

Portage MI Orthodontist | Malocclusion: More Than Just a Bad Bite

We all know of the aesthetic issues misaligned teeth and jaws can have. However, the issues of malocclusion extend far beyond the aesthetic, negatively influencing both your oral and total body health. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most concerning effects malocclusion can have on your health and explain why orthodontic care is necessary, and potentially lifesaving care.

Hygiene:

When teeth are not aligned properly, it can make it extremely difficult for your toothbrush to reach all the places that it needs to. When this occurs, it allows plaque and tartar to build up on teeth, potentially leading to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and therefore an even worse bite. Beyond the unenviable prospect of losing teeth due to tooth decay or periodontal disease, this condition also leaves your remaining teeth open to decay in a domino like effect. Avoid this fate and get the orthodontic care you need.

Speech:

In addition to proper hygiene, your teeth and jaw can have serious impacts on your ability to speak properly. From speech impediments to proper breathing, a malocclusion can be a serious hindrance on your life.  

Diet:

This may be one of the effects of a misaligned bite you haven’t thought of. When your bite isn’t working the way it should, it can impact your ability to eat the foods you need to remain properly nutritioned. When this happens, patients can start to eat foods they shouldn’t, gaining serious weight, or not eating at all and losing too much weight.

The huge host of health issues that come from malnutrition and the resulting fluctuations in weight are far too innumerable to list out in this short blog, but you can certainly imagine the damaging impacts for yourself. Among the many are high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, and some types of cancer.

The good news is that professional orthodontic care can prevent all of these negative effects from occurring in the first place. Our Portage team is dedicated to giving you the healthiest smile possible so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest. To get the care you need, schedule an appointment with our office today.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: http://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 49002

Portage Orthodontist | The Importance of Post Orthodontic care

When your braces or aligners come off for the last time, the active phase of your treatment has come to an end. This is fantastic news and we’d love to congratulate you. However, if you want your treatment to last, your orthodontic care is not over. The next step is retention.

What is Retention?

Teeth aren’t set rigidly in place. Rather, they’re held by periodontal ligaments that take time to adjust to the new position of your teeth. After you finish with your braces, your teeth still need help to remain in their new position. Without this help, those ligaments will want to move your teeth back into the position they were in before orthodontics. Typically, this help involves wearing an orthodontic appliance called a retainer.

Which Retainer is Best For You?

Each of the three basic retainers available today are best in certain situations for certain needs.

The most common retainer is known as a Hawley retainer. This is probably what you first think of when you hear the word retainer. It involves a thin piece of acrylic molded to fit your mouth and a wire that holds your teeth in position. These retainers are simple, easy to wear and extremely durable.

Another popular retainer is the clear aligner-type. This looks similar to an Invisalign ® tray and is also custom made. Thin, and transparent, this style of retainer is nearly invisible and is easy to put on and take off. While the plastic is durable, it is not as strong as the Hawley retainer and is not recommended for people that grind their teeth.

The last kind of retainer we’ll talk about here today is the fixed retainer. These retainers are not removable and are instead placed in the mouth for years. Put behind the teeth, they are not visible at all and are commonly used for lower front teeth.

Usually, you will only have to wear your retainer 24/7 for 3 to 6 months, although it could be different depending on your individual needs. If you have any questions about post-orthodontic care, contact our team. We will be happy to help you achieve your perfect smile.

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
Url: http://sageorthodontics.com/
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 49002

Portage MI Orthodontist | Will Braces Impact My Speech?

When beginning your orthodontic treatment, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. One that we get all the time is about the effect braces will have on your ability to talk properly. In short, there are a few changes that you may notice for a short time, but these effects are not at all permanent and are not nearly as noticeable as you may think.

When are changes most noticeable?

In the first few days or weeks of your orthodontic treatment there may be temporary changes in how you form words. With the appliance in your mouth and the swelling that occurs because of it, your tongue and mouth will need time to adjust. It is likely that you’ll notice the most difference on your “s” and “th” sounds.

But don’t worry.  

Your tongue and mouth are extraordinarily adaptable. In a short time, they will learn how to function with orthodontics to have you sounding like normal again. However, if you are very worried about the effects, there are some treatment options available to reduce them.

For instance, lingual braces installed on the back of the teeth help to minimize any differences in speech. Plastic aligners such as Invisalign™ are also a great option, as they are perfectly shaped to fit your teeth and create little interference with your tongue.

The only drawbacks to these particular appliances is that they tend to cost more than traditional braces. If your budget is an issue, you still have options. Dental wax can be used on traditional braces to help make speaking slightly easier.

There are also big benefits in the long term that are worth the short struggle.

Straighter teeth play a big role in better speech. When your teeth are misaligned, it can cause lisping, whistling and other major speech impediments. Orthodontic treatment can help correct all of those issues while giving you a healthier, happier smile.

Schedule an appointment with Sage Orthodontics of Portage today and learn more about which orthodontic treatments are the best fit for your lifestyle. We’ll also be sure to answer any other questions you may have.

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 49002

 

Portage MI Orthodontist | Key Tips on Safely Removing Your Child’s Baby Teeth

One of the near-infinite range of small, peculiar challenges young parents face is their child’s baby teeth. When should they come out? Do you need to remove them? And if so, is there a safe, painless way to do so? Let’s take a look at baby teeth and the long, occasionally unpredictable process children go through in losing them.

Baby Teeth

By the time a child is around three years old, he or she usually has a full set of primary teeth. These are also known as baby teeth or milk teeth. Children hold on to these primary teeth for several years before they start to lose them, at around age six. The process of losing baby teeth and gaining a full set of 32 adult pearly white can take years. In fact, some kids don’t have all their permanent teeth until the age of 13. The long timeline for losing primary teeth and gaining permanent ones can sometimes be confusing or even frustrating for parents.

Should You Remove Your Child’s Baby Teeth?

The short answer to whether or not parents should actively participate in removing their child’s primary teeth is no. Baby teeth are meant to fall out by themselves. The roots gradually disintegrate, loosening their hold on the gums. In due time, they should drop off completely. Under most circumstances, there’s no need for a parent to hasten this process. Further, primary teeth are important to the formation of the jawline and also assist permanent teeth coming in properly. Messing with primary teeth unnecessarily could have unintended consequences.

Consult a Dentist if Complications Arise

Most baby teeth should adhere to the natural process of falling out on their own. Primary teeth that don’t seem to be loosening, are causing your child recurring pain, or appear to be triggering an infection are all causes for concern. If for any reason you suspect there’s an issue with one of your children’s baby teeth, it’s best to reach out to our Portage Orthodontist. We know exactly how to safely address whatever’s going on with your child’s teeth and can help get them enjoying being a kid again. Schedule an appointment with Sage Orthodontics of Portage today. 

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 49002

 

Portage MI Orthodontist | The Positive Impact a Straighter Smile Can Have on Your Life

While it may seem like a strange idea, a healthy smile can truly have a monumental impact on our lives. Beyond the obvious health benefits of straighter teeth, investing in your smile can make a difference in how you live day to day. Below are just a few of the ways that a properly aligned smile can have a positive impact on our emotions, our relationships, and our lives.

Confidence

Confidence plays a key role in just about everything we do. It’s on display when we’re at our jobs, socializing with friends, dating, and pursuing our biggest goals in life. In many ways, our level of confidence controls how much we can achieve­.

Having a straight smile improves our appearance—and how we feel about the reflection we see in the mirror every day—significantly enough that it provides a permanent confidence boost.

How Others See You

Having a straighter smile doesn’t just affect how you see yourself. A great deal of research speaks to just how influential teeth are in how other people evaluate your appearance.

According to one study, individuals with straight teeth are 45 percent more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth. Another found that people with straight teeth are nearly 60 percent more likely to be seen as successful than those with crooked or misaligned sets.

Desire to Smile

There’s no denying it: if you’re self-conscious about your teeth, you’re going to be far less willing to smile in public. This apprehensiveness, in turn, affects your overall mood and limits how much you can enjoy yourself in social settings.

On the other hand, people that love to flash their straight teeth are going to smile more often. It’s a drastic conclusion, but it’s possible that having straighter teeth will positively impact your happiness simply by virtue of making you want to smile more.

Our Portage orthodontist knows that the power of a smile is not to be underestimated. Though it’s just a single facial feature, your smile has a staggering level of influence on your life. Make sure that influence is positive and schedule your next appointment with Sage Orthodontics of Portage today.

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 29002

 

Portage MI Orthodontist | Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Malocclusions, or irregularities in the way teeth are positioned in the mouth, are fairly common, and many cases do not require dental intervention. But for those that do, orthodontists have a strong repertoire of appliances to draw from. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common, and their benefits.

Braces

Braces are easily the most well-known and recognizable orthodontic appliance. They’re usually made from stainless steel, titanium, and rubber, and they apply gentle pressure to teeth over time. This pressure gradually nudges the upper and lower sets of teeth into greater alignment. Over the course of anywhere between one to three years, patients will have straighter, better-aligned teeth that are more aesthetically pleasing and less likely to create complications later in life.

Retainers

Orthodontists rely on retainers to keep teeth straight and in place after braces have been removed. They’re a kind of post-treatment that helps cement the gains made by braces and ensure that teeth don’t shift back into misalignment.

Headgear

Headgear is generally reserved for the most serious cases of malocclusions. If someone has either an underbite or an overbite that an orthodontist feels will not be adequately addressed by braces, he or she may consider headgear.

Headgear can manipulate jaws in a more holistic way than braces by pulling a person’s upper or lower sets of teeth back with elastic bands and coils to achieve greater alignment. Adolescents with severe malocclusions like overjet, underbite, and crossbite may be candidates for headgear.

Aligners

As an alternative to traditional braces, aligners are a safe, effective, and discreet option for straightening misaligned teeth. Removable aligners are worn over the teeth and can be removed to allow you to eat, brush, and floss normally during your orthodontic treatment. Made of clear plastic, this appliance is nearly invisible and can be more comfortable than traditional braces.

This is by no means a conclusive list, and to determine the correct solution for your own orthodontic needs it is always important to converse with your Portage orthodontist. To do so, schedule an appointment with Sage Orthodontics of Portage today and achieve a healthier smile. 

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 29002

 

Portage MI Orthodontist | Conventional Braces or Clear Aligners?

Deciding to straighten your teeth is likely a good idea. Not only will it improve the appearance of your smile, but it also helps your teeth and jaw function properly. If you’ve decided that you want orthodontic treatment, the next step is to decide which kind will work best for you. Here we’ll look at some of the benefits of conventional braces and clear aligners in order to get you started on making the right decision.

Conventional Braces:

Is the original still the best option? There are a lot of great things about traditional braces, but not among them is a slim profile. Braces are often clunky and draw attention to themselves. However, as technologies become better, braces have become much more discreet than in the past.

Braces apply a steady pressure to your teeth through a system of brackets and wires. You’ll have to schedule appointments with your doctor to get the wires tightened as the treatment starts to work your teeth into place. The good news is, braces get the job done quickly and efficiently as long as you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Clear Aligners:

Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are removable. They may not be as effective on extreme cases of misalignment, but they work well on mild to moderate cases. Similar to conventional braces, you’ll have to schedule regular appointments with your doctor to ensure everything is progressing smoothly.

In general, clear aligners provide great results. However, your success is directly dependent upon you. The aligners are designed to be removed, but you should still be wearing them as often as possible. If you decide to not wear your aligners as often as you should, the process will be either extended, or your results will suffer. Remove the aligners only when you are eating or brushing your teeth.

If you want to learn more about which of these solutions is right for you, contact our office today. Our Portage Orthodontist will be happy to schedule an appointment with you where you’ll come up with a dental solution that fits your goals and your lifestyle together. We look forward to hearing from you. Contact Sage Orthodontics of Portage today.

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 29002

 

Portage MI Orthodontist | 3 Tips on Retainer Care

So, you’re finally done with braces. Great job! It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve achieved. To make sure that smile lasts, it’s important to wear your retainer. Taking care of your retainer is just as important as taking care of your teeth themselves. With that in mind, here are three of our best tips for retainer care.

1.) Just In Case

There are really only two places that your retainer should ever be: in your mouth, or in its case. Easily damaged, it’s important to store your retainer in a proper case to help it last. When in the case, you can help prevent your retainer from being damaged, thrown away, or eaten by a curious pet. Batman stores his tools in his utility belt when he’s not using them, you should store your oral health tools just as securely.

2.) Keep It Clean 

If not taken care of properly, retainers can become pretty gross pretty quickly. You should always remove your retainer when you eat. Eating with your retainer in means you’re exposing your retainer to the potential for bacteria or plaque build up, or even physical damage caused by food and drinks. Make sure you remove it from your mouth and clean your retainer properly according to your orthodontist’s instructions.

3.) Avoid Harsh Heat and Chemicals

If left in a hot car, or near some other heat source, your retainer can easily become deformed, rendering it useless. Also avoid using products like bleach or alcohol based mouthwash to clean your retainer. It may seem like a great way to keep your retainer clean, but these products can actually damage the plastic.

It’s up to you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. In addition to taking excellent care of your retainer, keep up with your regular hygiene routine and professional cleanings and exams. Schedule your next appointment with Sage Orthodontics of Portage today to make sure your smile stays bright.

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre Ave.
Portage , MI 29002

 

Portage MI Dentist | Even Mummies Wear Braces: A Look at Ancient Orthodontics

It’s natural that your braces may seem annoying, or even painful at times. While they definitely take some getting used to, you should know just how far braces have come since teeth straightening technology began in Ancient Egypt. That’s right, egyptian mummies have been found with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Instead of wire or elastic, the Egyptians used a natural cord made out of animal intestines called catgut to tighten the metal. But that’s far from the strangest technique humans have used to straighten their teeth.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans were also concerned with creating straighter smiles. A Roman writer called Pliny the Elder, who is responsible for the famous line “home is where the heart is,” recommended pushing on teeth with your fingers and filing them down regularly.

In the 18th century, a french man named Pierre Fauchard, often referred to as the Father of Dentistry, began experimenting. Using a giant pair of metal tweezers called forceps, he would realign teeth by hand and tie them together so they would stay in place while healing- all without any modern anesthesia. Thankfully times have changed.

Braces are advancing faster than ever as the use of plastics and 3D printers begins to develop. Technology such as plastic aligners, lingual braces and retainers help straighten teeth with ease, not to mention much less painfully.

While braces may not be your favorite accessory, we want to ensure that you have as comfortable a process as possible. Contact Sage Orthodontics of Portage to schedule your next appointment with our Portage Orthodontist.

 

Sage Orthodontics of Portage
Phone: (269) 327-0760
1700 E. Centre
Portage , MI 49002