6 Orthodontic Products to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene with Braces

Getting a fresh new pair of braces is going to bring you one step closer to healthier teeth. A more aligned bite will solve speaking and chewing problems that you may currently face. But a braces treatment also requires you to keep up with an oral hygiene routine that keeps your new smile healthy.

Here’s a Look at the 6 Orthodontic Products You Should Use with Braces:

  1. Electric Toothbrush
  2. You might just need a toothbrush upgrade if you are not already using an electric toothbrush. Maybe you tried using it when you were a lot younger, but never understood the real benefits. An electric toothbrush cleans your mouth a lot more effectively as opposed to a regular toothbrush, especially if you wear braces.

    Braces require angular brushing to clean out debris and bacterial plaque, and the occasional stubborn stains. An electric toothbrush effectively eliminates that fuzzy feel in the mouth. An electric toothbrush also includes settings such as timers, ideal for people who brush incorrectly and not longer than a minute.

  3. Orthopick Flossers
  4. Flossing with braces does not have to be a painful and mind-numbing act. Orthopick flossers are designed to keep your oral hygiene in check when you have braces on. They easily slide between teeth and bracket wires to remove plaque buildup and food particles to keep your smile clean and fresh.

    It makes flossing with braces a breeze and is ideal for both adults and children. The better grip allows you to floss properly and eliminates the damage of bracket wires.

  5. Gum Soft Picks
  6. If you experience teeth sensitivity, then gum soft picks should be a part of your oral hygiene routine. They are designed to reach every little corner surrounding your braces to effectively eliminate plaque buildup and food debris. But note that they work like very soft toothpicks so they should be used in conjunction with flossing.

  7. Wisp
  8. A wisp is a single-use tiny disposable toothbrush that has an inbuilt freshening bead to keep your mouth clean and fresh. It’s discreet enough to be kept in your pocket or purse for times when your teeth need a mid-day teeth rinse.

  9. Fluoride Mouthwash
  10. Giving your mouth a regular water rinse is usually not enough. A fluoride mouthwash supplements daily brushing so that you are protected against tooth decay and cavities. To strengthen the enamel of your teeth and protect your teeth from acid damage, your mouth needs a stronger rinse.

    Use a mouthwash recommended by your dentist and follows the instructions they give you. Swish it gently during the first few weeks of having your braces on and gradually increase the intensity so that clean your mouth well.

  11. Orthodontic Relief Wax
  12. Wearing braces may come with a set of challenges that includes irritation to the gums. To prevent it, orthodontists often recommend using orthodontic wax to relive the irritated gum tissue. Since the wax is not visible, it easily blends with your braces for a clean smile. It flakes away with time and peels off to break down.

Braces often hurt since they are fastened tight onto your teeth. Keeping up with oral hygiene with braces on can be a bit of a hassle, especially if the pain does not subside. The soreness and discomfort may persist after each adjustment.

If the pain is absolutely unbearable, you can resort to over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, or Naproxen. Visit your orthodontist for regular adjustments for braces and you may require professional cleaning for your teeth.

Here at Koch Orthodontics, we care about your oral and your overall health. We want to ensure that you get the best results out of your orthodontic treatment. To request a consultation with an experienced orthodontist in Lawrenceville call (770) 962-950.

World No Tobacco Day: Say No to Smoking with Braces

Smoking cigarettes are as such damaging to your health in a number of ways. But have you wondered what damage it could do to your oral health when you have braces on? Of course, you can smoke, but at Koch Orthodontics, we highly suggest that you avoid smoking with braces.

Every 1 in 5 adult Americans consume tobacco. 65 million adults suffer from gum disease, out of which half them smoke cigarettes. (Source: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034512457373)

Smoking and braces is recipe for disaster, it’s like bringing oil and water together. It simply doesn’t work. One of the biggest drawbacks of smoking with braces is the risk it puts on staining several teeth. You’re also increasing the risk of teeth stains that may not disappear that easily.

After all, who wants yellow teeth right after you have gotten them re-aligned? At Koch Orthodontics, we want you to have clean and bright teeth that are well aligned and ready for a close-up! But this simply can’t happen if you keep smoking.

Here’s a look at the effects of smoking with braces on your orthodontic treatment:

  • Prolonged Treatment Time
  • Smoking has a direct impact on the performance of orthodontic treatment. The nicotine content in a cigarette can develop stains on teeth and is especially if you have a set of clear braces on. In the worst cases, smoking can also prevent the ability of braces to properly align teeth.

    Smoking reduces your mouth’s chance to fight tooth decay simply because of the lack of saliva production. Saliva is especially important to drive out stubborn acid that sticks to out-of-reach spots in the mouth. And also reduces bacteria-generated plaque that often stays in the mouth if not encouraged to leave. This hassle only prolongs treatment time as minor adjustments and regular cleaning will have to be scheduled at regular intervals.

  • Extra Cleaning
  • Smoking will easily discolor your teeth. Your brackets and wires have a good chance of turning from pale to a darker yellow in no time! And it can be especially obvious if your choice of orthodontic treatment is clear braces. Stains from tobacco consumption affect your tooth enamel to a point where the stains cannot simply be removed even with regular brushing.

    Once your brackets are ready to be removed, your teeth have a chance of sustaining a light colored spot that suggests the surrounding area has been stained. The extra cleaning doesn’t can be heavy on your pocket as braces itself isn’t all that cheap an orthodontic treatment.

    But smoking stains on teeth are not the only oral health problem when you consume tobacco. Here’s a look at the other problems that smoking can pose on your teeth.

Other Oral Health Problems:

  • Gum Disease
  • Bacteria and food debris often trigger gum disease. If not removed from teeth, plaque hardens to form tartar or calculus. This buildup irritates the gums that surround the teeth. Smokers may not experience bleeding gums simply because of the lack of blood supply to the gums and this masks their gum disease.

    Smokers have a higher chance of developing gingivitis, strong and chronic pain in the gums, which tastes and smells terrible.

  • Bad Breath
  • Smokers are left with bad breath when smoke particles enter the throat and lungs. A freshly smoked cigarette lets the smell linger in the lungs for hours, which is why smokers sustain a stale scent in their breath.

  • Oral Cancer
  • Smokers make up 75% of people who suffer from oral cancer. Smokers are 35 times more likely to develop oral cancer if you smoke forty cigarettes and drink four alcoholic drinks per day. Oral cancer is more likely to start with the damage of the side of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. And it can be treated with the help of surgery, tooth extractions, and radiotherapy.

  • Cavities
  • Tobacco can result in large cavities around the gum line, making it easier for infections to weaken the tooth. Broken teeth will have to be repaired which is not only expensive but also painful in some cases.

No matter how good your teeth look at the surface, smoking leads to serious oral health problems. In most cases, smoking stains on teeth can be treated with whitening procedures. Tooth decay can be treated with fillings, root canals, and crowns. And gum disease will require deep cleaning.

This World No Tobacco Day, take a step towards better oral health! Encourage everyone you know who smokes to quit smoking to fight serious health problems.

Here at Koch Orthodontics, we care about your oral and overall health. We want to ensure you get the best results from your orthodontic treatment. Book a consultation with an experienced orthodontist in Lawrenceville to fight the ill effects of smoking with braces.

6 Tips to Prevent Gingivitis with Teeth Braces

Everyone wants a beautiful smile with straight teeth and teeth braces are an easy way to achieve a perfect smile. However, maintaining oral hygiene with braces can get challenging. Dental braces make it very difficult to follow a dental hygiene routine. This leads to the accumulation of plaque which eventually paves the way for gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible and if you learn the symptoms and the preventive steps, you can easily avoid gingivitis during your orthodontic treatment.

Possible Causes of Swollen and Bleeding Gums

When you get your dental braces, they need to be adjusted at regular intervals. It is normal to experience some amount of swelling and soreness for a few days. Since your teeth are being moved, it requires the existing bone to dissolve for the formation of new bone. And so, the pressure and tension are a normal part of the orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatments often result in swollen gums; however, if the pain, swelling, and soreness are persistent, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. While lack of oral hygiene due to teeth braces can lead to the formation of plaque and bacteria that cause gingivitis, surges in hormone levels, genetics, excessive use of tobacco, and broken fillings can also lead to the development of gum disease.

The Signs and Symptoms Typically Associated with Gingivitis

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding when brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Tenderness and inflammation in teeth and gums

If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a condition called periodontitis. Over time, this more severe form of gum disease can adversely impact the bone and connective tissues that hold your teeth firmly in place. With the gradual receding of gums, pockets are formed in between the teeth. This leads to serious damage. So, don’t wait until you spot these dangerous dental signs. Always keep a close watch on dental health so it never gets out of hand.

While regular brushing and flossing is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums, other simple things can you can do avoid gingivitis treatment are:

  1. Keep up with your periodic dental hygiene appointments.
  2. Use interdental brushes to clean around the dental braces.
  3. Use an antibacterial mouth rinse that is specifically prescribed for dental braces.
  4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  5. Increase your intake of Vitamin C.
  6. Use the right oral care aids and essentials that are specially formulated for use during orthodontic treatment like water flossers, electric toothbrushes, and waterpik.

Here at Koch Orthodontics, we care about your oral and your overall health. So, we ensure that your teeth braces are customized to give you the best results while keeping you as comfortable as possible. To request a consultation with an experienced orthodontist in Lawrenceville call (770) 962-9560.

All You Need to Know About Self-Ligating Braces

The orthodontic industry has evolved. There are now quite a few advanced treatment options available and one of them is self-ligating braces.

So, what are these self-ligating braces?

The literal meaning of ligating is to tie up. That’s exactly what these braces are all about. These braces work just as the traditional braces, but instead of using rubber bands to secure the wire to each bracket, the self-ligating brackets do that themselves. So, no wires and ties are necessary.

A spring clip on each bracket holds the wire in its place. The clips are then closed to keep the wire securely locked in its place.

Self-ligating braces are of 2 types:

Active Brackets

These braces make use of a thicker wire to apply more pressure to your teeth. This pressure moves your teeth quicker and more efficiently.

Passive Brackets

These braces are usually used in the beginning of the treatment to allow your teeth to get used to braces. They make use of small archwire that allows your teeth to move freely with less friction.

But what makes self-ligating braces so good?

Upsides of Self-Ligating Braces

1. Quicker and Efficient Office Visits

Once you are in the clinic, the orthodontist just needs to open and close the door on the braces. Visits are quicker and more efficient.

2. Less Discomfort

Self-ligating braces do not use the ligating elastic bands, because of which, the wire in the bracket minimizes the friction and the force required to move teeth.

This reduces the discomfort patients might experience. Although, there is less soreness in the mouth, it doesn’t entirely remove it.

Since self-ligating braces are thinner than traditional brackets, they take up less space in your mouth.

As there are no ligatures holding the brackets, there is no fear that the ties will snap or poke inside your mouth.

With traditional braces, the ties may become loose between your orthodontic appointments. This may reduce the pressure they put on your teeth. The pressure is restored when you visit your orthodontist for braces adjustment.

However, self-ligating braces exert the same amount of pressure throughout the treatment and there are no fluctuations in between orthodontic appointments.

3. Reduced Length of Treatment

Self-ligating braces are known to shorten the time taken to straighten the teeth. The total length of treatment may be reduced by 4 to 6 months. This means that you will take significantly less time to achieve a beautiful healthy smile than your first thought.

4. No Food Trapped in the Brackets

The latex material used on elastics and rubber bands in traditional braces trap food, providing a fertile environment for the plaque to build up.

Self-ligating braces eliminate the need for elastics, so there are less chances of food getting trapped. And that means better oral hygiene and less scope for bacteria to thrive.

5. Draws Less Attention

Self-ligating braces come in both metal and clear brackets. So,if you want to make your self-ligating braces less obvious, you can take the less conspicuous route.

Downsides of Self-Ligating Braces

1. High Cost

Self-ligating braces offer an advanced bracket system. So, it may come as no surprise that it is a bit more expensive than traditional braces.

2. Not Really Invisible

You may have an option of clear brackets, but self-ligating braces has a metal wire that is visible.

3. May Cause Irritation

Though self-ligating braces are relatively discomfort-free, you may experience discomfort while you get adjusted to them. Adjustment period can last for several days.

Traditional Vs. Self-Ligating Braces at a Glance

Traditional Braces Self-Ligating Braces
Use archwires, brackets, and rubber bands to straighten and realign crooked teeth. Use specially designed clips to hold the archwires in place instead of rubber bands.
Rubber bands traps food particles, and this can lead to plaque build-upand decay. It is easier to keep your teeth clean because there are no rubber bands.
Braces that are loud and draw a lot of attention. Braces are thinner, smaller and less noticeable.
More friction and pressure on the tooth. Less pressure and friction are placed on the tooth.
Treatment takes longer. Treatment is quicker.

Want to know if you are a right candidate for self-ligating braces? Call Koch Orthodontics today!

Dental Braces Before or After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

A common concern for most parents is whether their child should get dental braces before or after their wisdom tooth extraction. Parents believe that there is a likelihood of a wisdom tooth eruption when their kids get braces early. However, the truth is that wisdom teeth erupt most commonly between the ages of 17 and 25. And there are very few kids with bite problems or crooked teeth who wait until they start a wisdom tooth extraction.

To understand this issue better, let us take a look at the few possible problems that come with wisdom tooth eruption:

  1. Wisdom teeth that have emerged partially are covered with a flap of skin. This flap of skin is more likely to be a breeding ground for infections since food debris can easily be trapped.
  2. In some cases, wisdom teeth have insufficient space to erupt. The teeth are then forced to remain below the surface of the gums which leads to great discomfort.
  3. Wisdom teeth infections can often lead to bigger problems. Tooth decay and painful cysts being two major reasons for discomfort.
  4. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth rubs the inside of your mouth at an awkward angle. This makes it difficult to speak and chew with ease.
  5. Wisdom teeth that have erupted perfectly or partially also increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Do you have an infection?

In some cases of a wisdom tooth eruption, you might notice that your entire right or left upper jaw is swollen and irritated. The pain might intensify by the hour, your head might start hurting and the vision in either of your eyes may appear blurry. Swelling and worsening of pain is a concern for an infection. If you have fevers and your swelling worsens, you should consult your orthodontist immediately. Some patients might even experience difficulty in breathing and pain while swallowing. This could indicate that you may not have an infection, but local inflammation to the tooth protruding through the gums.

How to attend to the pain immediately?

Eating cold food like ice cream and ice water will help ease the discomfort, especially in a situation where you are unable to rush to the doctor immediately. However, if the pain does not subside, you should visit your orthodontist to determine if there indeed is an infection and how it can best be managed.

Should you wait for Wisdom Tooth Extraction before getting Braces?

Wisdom tooth extraction makes the most sense when you want your child to get braces. This is certain because wisdom teeth affect the alignment of your dental braces and what you want to make sure is that the orthodontic treatment is effective. An untreated wisdom tooth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. An appointment for a wisdom tooth extraction does not necessarily have to be scheduled just before you get dental braces. And a lot of parents encourage orthodontic treatments at a younger age, well before wisdom teeth erupt. Seeking the help of an orthodontist and getting an x-ray will help you determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is best suited to you since every person is unique and no two individuals will be recommended with the same treatment.

Book an appointment with an experienced orthodontist in Lawrenceville to help you treat yours or your kid’s wisdom tooth eruption with ease.

Traveling with Braces – 6 ways to make your holiday memorable

It’s almost the start of the holiday season and we all deserve this break! Planning the perfect vacation for you and your family can be tricky. Whether you are traveling to the next town or are jetting off on a cool new destination, the fun and extravaganza of the trip remain the same.

If you or your child has dental braces, traveling may seem painful and complicated. Have you thought of postponing or cancelling your trip because you have an orthodontic treatment lined up? Fret not, because there are just a few things you need to take care of while you travel. Let us walk you through the dos and don’ts of traveling with dental braces.

  1. Pack keeping in mind your Orthodontic Needs
  2. When you start packing for your trip, don’t just pack your toiletries and clothes. Think about what you will need for your teeth and braces while you are away from home. Pack a dental braces kit and carry it with you at all times. This helps you in remaining ready for any dental emergencies that may emerge in the middle of your trip.

  1. Make a list of what You Can and Cannot Eat
  2. One of the biggest reasons why we go on a holiday is for the amazing food that awaits us. But while you travel with braces, you need to be extra careful about the foods that you consume. The last thing you want to deal with is damaging your braces. Here are some foods you should avoid while you are traveling with dental braces.

    • Avoid sugary drinks because their ingredients can cause tooth decay over time. It might even stain ceramic braces, clear aligners or your teeth.
    • As mouth-watering as it may sound, chewy foods like bagels and pizzas should be avoided as they may get stuck in your braces and might break your bracket or wire.
    • Cut fruits and vegetables into small bite-size pieces so that it is not hard for you to chew.
  1. Practice Good Oral Care
  2. When you are traveling with braces, you need to be more conscious of your dental care routine. This includes brushing and flossing regularly after every meal. Since you will be out and about most time of the day, where you will stop by at restaurants and cafes for your meals, carry a small kit with you that stores your toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Make sure you clean your teeth after every meal and drink plenty of water to rinse away any food debris.

  1. Pre-departure check-up
  2. Before you travel, it is a good idea to check with your orthodontist if your dental braces need to be adjusted. If you notice any discomfort that could potentially affect your trip, this is the best time to address those issues.

  1. Travel with your aligners
  2. You may be tempted to travel without your aligners for the perfect selfie or family photo. However, to make sure your treatment stays on track; you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, even when you are traveling.

  1. Be ready in case of a dental emergency
  2. Dental emergencies are occasional, however in an emergency situation, scheduling an emergency visit to the orthodontist is important. Alternatively, you can call your orthodontist to guide you through the pain.

It is also important to understand that you may experience soreness or pain, 3-5 days after you have your braces on. This type of pain usually can be managed with home remedies and medications like Ibuprofen or Tylenol that are commonly consumed.

Have a wonderful vacation do not worry too much. Just remember that traveling with braces requires a little more care and attention, to keep the pain and discomfort at bay.

If you have any queries about traveling with braces, visit your experienced family orthodontist in Lawrenceville if you need your braces to be adjusted and tips on how to keep up with good hygiene.

8 Simple Ways that Parents Can Help their Children deal with their Braces

Every parent whose child has braces needs to know this right now!

Getting braces is usually a part of growing up for a lot of children. Unfortunately getting braces is usually not something that most children look forward to as it has a huge effect on a child’s habits, appearance and can also cause social anxiety. Your child may struggle with his social life and as well as with his day-to-day tasks, especially with his/her new and increased oral cleaning and oral hygiene schedule. It may be hard to see your child struggle with this orthodontic change but it will be well worth the pain as your child will have better oral health and straighter teeth when he/she gets older.

Here are 8 ways to help your children deal with their braces:

  1. Ensure That Your Children Brush After Every Meal and Floss Daily

    Ensure that your children brush their teeth three times a day after each of their meals. You can limit the flossing for the night as it requires precision as well as you being available to actively supervise the process. For those of you that have stubborn children, you can simply tell your children that the longer they don’t clean their teeth the longer their braces will remain which ought to prompt them to keep their teeth clean.

  2. Always Ensure that Your Children Carry Backup Rubber Bands

    If your child’s braces treatment requires them to wear rubber bands, then make sure that your children always carry spare rubber bands with them in case their bands break or have to be replaced at short notice. Don’t worry too much if the bands are causing your child a bit of pain as this is completely normal and will disappear over time.

  3. See Your Orthodontist if Any Brackets or Wires Become Loose

    If your child’s wires or brackets ever become loose or break, take your child to your nearest orthodontist as soon as possible.

  4. Soothe Your Child’s Pain

    If anything happens to be protruding and rubbing up against the inside of your child’s mouth then you can reduce your child’s agony with wet cotton or wax.

  5. Ensure That Your Child Wears his Invisalign Braces at All Times

    If your child wears Invisalign Braces which are easy to remove when performing difficult tasks such as eating or playing sports. Make sure that your children pop their Invisalign aligners back into their mouths after eating though.

  6. Keep the Needed Items in Stock

    Throughout the course of your child’s orthodontic treatment, your child will require special supplies to look after his/her teeth properly. This could range from special toothbrushes, special flossers to oral analgesic to ease up a sore mouth after tightening the braces. Maintaining a stock of these dental care products will let your child know that you care about their wellbeing as well as making the pain more bearable.

  7. Emphasize that the End Result will be Worth It

    Emphasize that the end results of the treatment will be well worth the time and pain with a positive attitude.

  8. Eliminate Bad Food for Braces from Your Home

    Stop storing, buying or cooking sticky, hard-to-eat foods for your home. By eliminating all these foods altogether, you are effectively removing all the temptations of eating these harmful foods from your children. Common foods that cause problems are candy, whole fruits, and vegetable, as well as popcorn. Maintain a decent stock of softer foods though, particularly when your children have just gotten their braces tightened.

Make sure that you and your child visit Dr. Koch, your closest family orthodontist in Lawrenceville to monitor your child’s oral progress as well as getting any new prescriptions or extra medication or treatment that may be required.

Getting Dental Braces: What to Expect Before and After

The exact experience of getting braces varies for every patient depending on the type of braces that are chosen. For instance, if you have chosen traditional braces, it will include metal brackets, wires, elastic rubber bands and bonding glue but if the braces are Invisalign then you will only be wearing customized aligners for roughly 20-22 hours every day. But regardless of what you choose, experiencing anxiety is only natural during the initial phase.

So, here is a list of the most frequently asked questions along with comprehensive answers about teeth braces to ease your stress and give you a clear idea of what you can expect during this extended orthodontic procedure.

Before Getting Dental Braces

Will dental braces hurt?

This is the biggest concern that most teens and even adults have even though the procedure is relatively painless and only takes an hour or two. However, it is also important to know that when the braces start aligning the teeth, it may cause some pain and discomfort. :

But, it can be easily alleviated by:
  • Eating soft foods for the first few days after the braces are put on.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Rinsing the mouth with warm water containing salt.
  • Eating cold foods like ice cream and milkshake as they reduce swelling.
What foods can be eaten after getting braces?

Once you get used to the dental braces, you can consume soft fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy, and meat. However, to ensure oral hygiene hard, chewy and sticky foods should be avoided as they can get stuck in the metal wires and brackets.

What happens during appointments?

You would have to visit the orthodontist several times because the teeth straightening process takes time depending on the type of dental braces you’ve chosen. While invisible braces show a visible difference in a month or two, traditional braces take longer to fix crooked teeth. After the braces are put on, most patients need to go for follow-up appointments every four to six weeks. During these visits, the orthodontist will check the progress of your teeth and if needed, readjust the arch wires to continue the realignment.

How long will the treatment last?

The length of your treatment will depend on several factors, including the severity of the maladjustment, your age, type of teeth braces, and your oral health. Nevertheless, dental braces usually take up to 2 years to show visible results.

What are the don’ts of living with braces?

To ensure that your braces treatment works efficiently, you need to:

  • Be extra careful and gentle when brushing teeth.
  • Use a mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste to remove the plaque left around the braces.
  • Avoid biting into hard and chewy foods like corn on the cob, ice cubes, sticky sweets, pizza crust, bagels and pork crackling.
  • Stay away from soda, juices and beverages that are very high in acid and sugar.

After Getting the Braces Off

What happens after the braces are removed?

Most orthodontic patients are excited to see the results after almost two years of wearing braces. But, while you will definitely see straighter teeth, you should also expect to see a few white spots on your teeth. This happens because certain parts of the teeth were covered by brackets and wires for two years. The enamel tends to undergo natural staining but these spots usually fade out after a short while.

Is it necessary to wear retainers after the braces come off?

After your teeth braces have been removed, you will be required to wear custom retainers to keep the teeth straightening in place. It is very important that you wear these retainers for at least 12 months after the removal of dental braces for sustainable results.

How to care for teeth after the braces are removed?

It is very important that you have an oral hygiene routine in place to make sure your teeth stay clean after every meal even after the braces have been removed. Apart from regular brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse once a day is also essential. The retainer should be disinfected using a retainer cleanser daily or as recommended by your orthodontist. Finally, you need to make sure that keep up with your follow-up dental checkups. Dental checkups ensure that no oral hygiene issues have developed while the dental braces were on so your new smile remains straight and strong!

If you don’t want to take any chances with your orthodontic treatment, you can count on Koch Orthodontics. Instead of traditional dental braces, we use self-ligating braces that are convenient, comfortable and have no ties or bands. To know more about them, call us at (770) 962-9560.

Understanding How Braces Work

    According to the American Association of Orthodontics, approximately 4 million Americans undergo some form of orthodontic treatment at any given time. Therefore, it is not surprising that we have a lot of questions for our orthodontist about braces and orthodontic treatments, before committing to one. However, what many of us forget is to ask how braces work.
    Every day, we rely on a substance that is harder than steel, our teeth. Braces tether your teeth, pulling them together or pushing them apart. With braces, many of us think it’s just straightening your teeth, which is beneficial for self-confidence and self-esteem. But a lot happens when you wear braces. They position your teeth perfectly so that you can have an ideal bite and your teeth function better. The longevity of the teeth is also better, and you have lesser chances of a temporomandibular joint disorder.
    There are different kinds of braces today. There are the traditional braces that many teenagers and adults still choose since it is the most popular option. The more aesthetic options that people are more aware of are the white ceramic braces and clear aligners, which are popular even amongst teenagers. Clear aligners let you live your life normally with no food restrictions that people with braces have, letting you brush and floss like normal. You and your orthodontist can together decide which option would suit you best.
    There are several basic components that in one form or another common to most orthodontic systems. Acting together, they deliver the forces that will efficiently straighten your teeth. Let’s look at the different parts of braces so that you understand better how braces work.

Parts of Braces

  1. Brackets
  2. Brackets are the individual attachments that are bonded to each tooth. They can be metal or a tooth color material.
  1. Orthodontic Bands
  2. Orthodontic bands are metal rings with special attachments that are usually placed around the back of your teeth.
  1. Archwire
  2. The archwire is engaged in each bracket and band and delivers the force that moves the teeth.
  1. Dental Bonding
  2. Dental bonding reshapes a chipped or cracked tooth using tooth-colored composite that helps to achieve a balanced smile.
  1. Elastic Ligatures
  2. The elastic ligatures also referred to as ties or color ties are tiny colorful rubber bands that are attached to brackets and hold the archwire in place.
  1. Orthodontic Separators
  2. Orthodontic spacers are commonly referred to as spacers that are placed between the molars at your second orthodontic appointment before molar bands are applied. They help space your teeth out before you have your molar bands on.

Working of Braces and Improving Your Smile 

    Although today we have different types of braces available, the procedure for getting braces is the same for all.
    Your orthodontist will begin by putting on a cheek retractor that holds the lips and cheeks away from the teeth. There is also tooth surfaces are then sterilized using a cotton applicator that prepares them for the glue. The teeth are then rinsed and dried off after which the brackets are put on one at a time.
    Each bracket has some glue on them and they are put onto each tooth. Each of the teeth has a very specific bracket for it. There are six different types of brackets that are put on the upper arch, while there are five different types of brackets for the lower arch. Then a special light is used that acts as a catalyst to make the glue harden. The bracket is then set and it becomes a permanent fixture on the teeth.
    The next step is putting the archwires onto the braces. The wire is very flexible, but when it hits the body temperature, the wire returns to its original shape. The elastic ligatures are then put on to hold the wire to the braces. As the wire straightens out over time, the crooked teeth become straight. The wire is what puts the pressure on the teeth and causes the teeth to move.


Now since you know the entire process of how braces work, you will be able to sit through a treatment without worrying about how long it is going to take. Visit our Orthodontist in Lawrenceville, GA who can answer more of your questions about dental braces.

4 Tips That Help Prevent Tooth Decay with Braces

You’ve got to be ready to own your oral health, which means knowing the right way to brush, floss, rinse and much more. So that by the time those braces come off, you’ve got a smile you would want to show off.

Here are 4 tips that will help prevent tooth decay while wearing dental braces.

  1. Brushing and Flossing with Braces
  2. Brackets and bands can trap bits of food. If you don’t remove it properly, then bacteria and plaque, which is a sticky gunk can build up on your teeth and gums. It can cause your gums to get red and puffy. Your teeth can get weak, leaving you with white spots that stay on your teeth even after your braces are removed, and that contributes to bad breath.

    Your brush bristles should be angled at approximately 45 degrees upward and downward, making small circular motions while moving the brush forward. You can also use a proxy brush, which is a nylon bristle brush intended to clean in between the teeth. Place it under the archwire in between, and then move it up and down, cleaning the edge of the bracket towards the back. Run a floss threader up between two teeth. Slide the floss back and forth several times to clean the surfaces of your upper and lower teeth. Remember to also clean below the gumline.

  1. Brushing After Every Meal
  2. Practicing good oral hygiene may require you to step out of your regular dental care habits to be more conscious of your brushing habits. Plaque buildup can hide in your brackets and wires which are not easy to remove. The lack of proper dental care with braces can worsen the plaque buildup and cause tooth decay.

  1. Eating Responsibly with Braces
  2. Eating the wrong kinds of food can damage your teeth braces and result in tooth decay. Things like hard nuts, pretzels, jellies, chewing ice are what you should avoid eating. Another good tip is to be sure you cut up your fruits and vegetables into bite size pieces and just put them into your mouth instead of biting into them. Also avoid sticky and chewy foods like caramel chocolates, gummy bears, and gums. These types of foods can and will damage or break your braces which can add time to your treatment, which means you could have your braces on longer than estimated.

    There are also a lot of great things that are okay to eat while wearing dental braces. Softer foods like yogurt, oatmeal, grapes, bananas, fruit bars are okay to eat and are good for you too. But if you have to eat something sweet, you can eat plain chocolate bars, cakes, pies, and cookies. Just remember that a lot of these treats are high in sugar, so you need to brush really well after you eat them.

  1. Visiting Your Orthodontist Regularly
  2. Visiting your orthodontist for regular check-ups is important to make adjustments like tightening your braces. Children are especially prone to cavities and stains during an orthodontic treatment since they are more likely to forget to brush or floss their teeth properly. In such cases, your orthodontist will be able to check the inside of your mouth to prevent any damage from occurring.

Eat right; take care of yourself and your braces. Your Orthodontist in Lawrenceville looks forward to seeing you at your next appointment. Call us today!