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Do I Need To Visit My Dentist While In Orthodontic Treatment?

September 27th, 2017

So, you just got your braces on, and you’re wondering why you should continue visiting your general dentist since you’re seeing Dr. Linaker every other month. Patients always ask us if they should continue to see their dentist while in orthodontic treatment. In short, the answer is yes.
Today, we thought we would share a few reasons why it’s crucial to keep up with your regular visits with your dentist in addition to coming in for your regular adjustments at Linaker Orthodontics.
One of the best reasons to visit your dentist while you undergo orthodontic treatment is to remove plaque and tartar. Having braces provides additional nooks and crannies in which food particles and bacteria can hide. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances which can lead to cavities. Having your teeth professionally cleaned can help ensure most, if not all, plaque and tartar is removed. Even if you are undergoing clear aligner treatment, dental checkups and cleanings are equally as important.
The next reason to visit a dentist is to help protect your teeth from decalcification, or the loss of calcium in your teeth. A potentially serious condition in which white spots on your tooth surfaces, decalcification is irreversible and if left untreated, can lead to cavities. Decalcification is preventable; patients who cut down on sugary sweets and acidic foods, practice good oral hygiene, and visit their dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.
The final reason we recommend visiting your dentist while you have braces is this: cavities can prolong your treatment. If you are interested in completing your orthodontic treatment on time and without any delays, visiting your dentist every six months or as recommended can go a long way toward making that a realistic goal. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.
Making sure to visit your dentist will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces come off. If you do not have a general dentist and would like a recommendation on finding one in the Tucson, Oro Valley or Marana area, please give us a call or let us know at your next adjustment appointment!

To all of our Easter Bunnies: A Few Tips for Braces Friendly Easter Treats

April 10th, 2017

Easter is always a special time of year. It’s a holiday that all ages enjoy together. One thing that is symbolic with Easter is the eye-appealing baskets that are usually chock-full of sweets, treats, and goodies galore. But for the person who has braces, there are some treats that should be left out of the Easter basket. Some of the treats you put into the baskets can lead to discomfort, or even a trip to the orthodontist. The good news is that steering clear of those treats is not difficult, and your child will still end up with a really great Easter basket!

Tasty Treats
There are some treats that are off limits when it comes to wearing braces, and you will want to avoid those for sure. When you put the treats into the Easter basket just think for a moment if they are foods that are particularly hard or sticky. This means you will want to bypass the jelly beans, which may be a tradition in the baskets, but can cause problems with braces. Sticky or chewy foods can be especially difficult for people who have braces. When it comes to choosing what will go in the basket, here are a few safe options to consider:

Most kids are going to want some chocolate in their Easter basket. Heck, most adults want some, too! Be sure to avoid any chocolates that are hard or may be filled with things like chewy caramel. Opt for those chocolates that are soft and will melt in the mouth. There are usually small balls of chocolate available every Easter. Other options include Hershey kisses and peanut butter cups. Another tip to keep in mind about selecting chocolate is that dark chocolate is a healthier option. Dark chocolate, which comes in many varieties, contains riboflavin and antioxidants that provide health benefits for the teeth and gums.

Most kids love fruit, so putting some in their Easter basket should be a great treat. Think about those fruits that are soft and will make an ideal addition to the basket, such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries. All of these are soft, easy to eat when you have braces, and they are healthy. In addition to containing vitamins, strawberries are also an astringent and act as a natural tooth whitener.

While marshmallows can be a little sticky, they are also soft and shouldn’t be a problem because they dissolve in water. Putting a few of the traditional marshmallow Peeps in the Easter basket is fine for your kids, but it would be wise to have them brush their teeth after eating them.

Hard-boiled eggs
Because this traditional Easter food is so soft, it should not pose a problem for those with braces. Decorated hardboiled eggs will make a nice addition to any basket.

Pop a few iced sugar cookies into that basket and your kids will love you even more. Whether you make them at home yourself or you buy some from the store, this will be a tasty treat that won’t be a pain. Brownies No kids can resist brownies. You can find some in stores or bakeries that are decorated for Easter, or you can make them yourself. If you make them yourself consider getting creative with making them healthier. There are plenty of recipes online for turning ordinary brownies into ones made with black beans. While they may sound odd, they have become popular and the kids seem to like them, too.

Other foods
There are a lot of foods that you can add to your child’s Easter basket, keeping their age in mind of course. Think of things like bottled smoothies, pudding cups, and grapes. There are snack packs of crackers, chips, and graham crackers. You can even find a few varieties of soft cereal bars, such as those by Kashi, Udi’s, or Nutri-Grain that are perfectly braces-safe.

Of course you can always opt for non-food items in your Easter baskets as well, which often go over even better that food treats.

Happy Easter and Happy Basket Stuffing from our Family to Yours!

(Adapted from Dustin S Burleson, DDS)

Some Tips for Eating Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

November 21st, 2016

Here at Linaker Orthodontics, we’re very thankful and we love our family and food, so Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. We thought we’d share some tips for enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with braces.

As always, cut your foods up into small bites, this not only makes chewing with braces easier but is also healthier than taking larger bites. Be sure to cut the meat off of the turkey leg! It may be tempting to chomp into that great big delicious leg of dark turkey meat that your Mom or Grandma has painstakingly spent hours preparing for you family feast – but your braces may come loose if you bite too close to the bone. We know Thanksgiving only comes around once a year and sometimes you just can’t help yourself from being tempted, but please use caution! Most other traditional foods, such as sweet potatoes, dressing and green bean casserole are soft and easy to eat with or without braces. (OK, now our mouths are watering.)

Make sure to be careful with Pecan Pie and any hard candies or cookies that may catch your eye for dessert – biting into one of these delectable morsels may also bend your wires or cause a bracket to come loose. Go for something soft & delicious like a slice of pumpkin or apple pie with an extra scoop of ice cream or whip cream…yeah that is just what the doctor ordered!

Remember to brush and floss after every meal. If you’re like us that means you’ll be brushing a lot because we eat all day long.

Please know how thankful we are for each and every member of our Linaker Orthodontics Family!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

October 4th, 2016

October is National Orthodontic Health month and we think it's no coincidence - for Linaker Orthodontics it's a perfect time to remind our patients with braces to put some thought into the treats you enjoy this Halloween. We want our patients in braces to enjoy the holiday and not feel that they are missing out. They can choose among the many treats that are brace-friendly, avoiding ones that are hard, sticky, gummy or chewy. Brace-friendly ones include soft, nut free candies, soft candy bars, peppermint patties, and peanut butter cups. There are lots more that will keep your braces safe and still let you enjoy the holiday! Remember the beautiful smile that is in your future will be much sweeter than the momentary pleasure from candy that damages your braces or your teeth.

For everyone, a gentle reminder that sugar, when left on the teeth creates a perfect breeding ground for damage to your teeth and gums, including cavities! Brushing and flossing continues to be an important habit that is even more critical when your intake of sugary foods increases. For those in braces, this means brushing carefully around all the brackets and wires and concentrating on areas where the teeth meet the gums and where the braces attach to the teeth!

Orthodontic Health month is also an opportunity for us to remind everyone of the positive impact orthodontic care can have. Regardless of your age, orthodontics can improve how you look and also have a positive impact on your health. If you have crowded teeth, having braces can improve your ability to keep everything clean, reduce periodontal problems and tooth wear. If you experience pain or discomfort from TMJ, orthodontics can offer long term relief. Orthodontics can also have a positive impact on your confidence; no more hiding your smile or feeling less than fabulous! There are many other benefits to orthodontic care and we're happy to talk to you about the benefits you or your child can have from orthodontic care.

At Linaker Orthodontics we have many treatment options including metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. Your complimentary consultation will give you an opportunity to see our office, meet our team, and find out all about your treatment options and our affordable treatment plans. We have two convenient locations in the Tucson area. Call our office to schedule your initial exam and consultation today!