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Do I Have Gum Disease?

What is gum disease? 

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. The culprit for this disease is usually poor brushing and flossing habits. These poor habits allow plaque – a sticky film of bacteria – to build up on the teeth and harden. If the disease worsens, it can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss.

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria help to form plaque on our teeth. Brushing and flossing help to get rid of plaque. The plaque that is not removed by these practices hardens and forms “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. This tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. 

There are risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant. Other risk factors include hormonal changes in women, diabetes, and medications that lessen the flow of saliva.

If you think you may be suffering from gum disease, here are some symptoms to look for:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

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Date Night with Braces

Braces are a source of low self-confidence in many teens. This makes the dating scene seem daunting and heightens nerves all around. Never fear! There’s no reason your orthodontic treatment should hamper your romantic life. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, dating with braces is possible and still just as fun. Here are a few of our tips and suggestions for a painless date with your braces and your beau. 

 

Can You Drink with Braces?

For adults tackling the dating scene with braces, whether enjoying a glass of wine is allowed is a question many ask. Alcohol isn’t something you think of as being full of sugar, but many drinks have deceptively high sugar content. This excess sugar is attractive to bacteria, and those bacteria leave behind enamel-eating acids. Alcohol has a high acid content as well. Mixed drinks made of soda or fruit juices typically have the most acid. If left on the teeth too long, acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, making you prone to disease-causing bacteria. 

So how can you safely drink alcohol with braces? First and foremost, drink water as well throughout the night. While this is good practice when drinking in general, consuming water along with your alcoholic drink of choice washes the sugar and acid off the surface of your teeth as you drink. Secondly, slowly sipping your drink isn’t the way to go. Frequent small drinks allow more contact between the acidic alcohol and your enamel. 

And when you return home, don’t forget to keep up your oral health routine. Flossing and brushing after alcohol are essential for your dental health. 

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Are Braces Causing Your Canker Sores?

Canker sores are flat white sores that appear in your mouth and can last for a week or more. What causes these small mouth ulcers is unknown. Fortunately, canker sores are not often a serious issue, but they sure can be annoying! However, they are quite easy to prevent, especially once you understand what triggers them.

In This Post, We’ll Cover

  • What Causes Canker Sores?
  • Do Braces Cause Canker Sores?
  • How to Prevent Canker Sores
  • How to Get Rid of Canker Sores

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Busting Invisalign Myths

It can be a scary experience when you are given a referral to see an orthodontist or consider improving your smile. Braces are grounds for embarrassment for the self-conscious teen and the up-and-coming professional. Having a mouth full of metal to clean, eat, and live around can be daunting.

The option that many may overlook when searching for orthodontic treatment is Invisalign, the nearly invisible alternative to braces. Some people may write this treatment option off due to price or success rate – but we’re here to bust those Invisalign myths! 

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Adult Orthodontics

With all the effort put towards eating right, staying fit, and otherwise taking care of themselves, there is no reason why adults should not investigate having beautiful teeth! There are many benefits to getting braces at any age. Everyone wants a straight and gorgeous smile and the positives do not stop with appearance. When teeth are crowded or badly positioned, it can lead to serious problems in the future. A poor bite can affect the function of the teeth and can even lead to tooth loss and gum disease. Don’t wait any longer for the smile you deserve! There is no better time than the present to schedule a complimentary exam. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in four patients is an adult. With so many options available in modern orthodontics, there’s no reason to put off a beautiful smile. There are many new treatment options available to reduce treatment time and discomfort. 

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How a Little Sunshine Helps Our Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment

Who doesn’t love to catch some rays? Well here’s some good news for you sunshine lovers – a little sunshine actually HELPS your teeth during orthodontic treatment. A little sunshine has been found to improve mood, our immune functions, and catalyzes vitamin D production in our bodies. Keep reading for some advice on how sunshine can help your teeth from Dr. Joseph Porter at Porter Orthodontics.

While in braces, healthy teeth and gums are of vital importance. Vitamin D actually helps to support oral health in two ways:

  • It helps our bodies to absorb and utilize calcium

Vitamin D has several major functions. One of its major functions is moderating other vitamins and minerals – including calcium. Calcium is crucial because it fortifies our teeth and supports jaw and bone strength. Several studies have shown greater cavity risk for people who live in regions with little sunlight – sometimes as much as double the risk.

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