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Caring for Your Braces

  • What is a Water Flosser?

    water flosser

    At Reagin Orthodontics we are all about good oral health! Daily brushing and flossing of your teeth as well as maintaining your 6 month visits to your dentist is the cornerstone of good oral health.

    One of the most important areas of your mouth to clean is in-between your teeth and around the tooth/gum junction. These are the first places bacterial plaque will form, and it is also the hardest to keep clean.  Water flossers, like Waterpik™, are a good tool to clean between the teeth and around orthodontic appliances.

    At Reagin Orthodontics we really like the use of water flossers. Here is what we have found:

    Waterpik™ makes several types of water flossers including some just for kids. Personally, we like the countertop Waterpik™ Ultra Water Flosser, since it holds a good amount of liquid and patients find they have more control over the water pressure than the cordless Waterpik™. The Ultra Water Flosser runs about $60, but if you live by a Costco you can get both the Ultra Water Flosser and the Cordless Plus Water Flosser for only $79.

    Water flossers typically come with several attachments and you can try them all out if you like, but the Classic Jet Tip works best. If you have braces the Plaque Seeker and Orthodontic Tips can help you clean around the brackets.

     

  • What to expect at your Initial Orthodontic Consultation

    Consult

    When you meet an orthodontist for an initial consultation, we strongly recommend consideration of the following:

    – What is the practices philosophy? Make sure it lines up with what you are looking for.

    – What is the orthodontist’s level of experience and how long have they been practicing?

    – Does the practice have multiple offices forcing you to go to different office locations for your appointments?

    – Is the orthodontic practice conveniently located close to your home, office or child’s school?

    – Ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients. Are the results to your liking?

    – How varied and advanced are the treatments offered? Revolutionary new technologies such as temporary mini-screws, translucent aligner scanning (such as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen) and self-ligating brackets.

    – Is the orthodontist familiar with the different cutting edge accelerated treatment options such as AcceleDent, Propel, and Wilckodontics?

    – What is the orthodontist’s diagnosis and plan of action for your teeth and how clearly has it been explained to you? Did the orthodontist provide information about alternatives? How practical is the treatment plan in light of your personal, business and social needs?

    – What is the office ambiance like? Specifically, are you (or your child) comfortable with the orthodontist’s chair-side manner? Is the staff friendly, welcoming and quick to address your concerns? Since orthodontic treatment takes an average of two years, with appointments typically every six to eight weeks, it is important to establish a rapport with all of those who will be providing services.

    – Emergencies are unlikely, but just in case, what is the office protocol?

    – What are the financing options? Are their multifamily discounts? Paid in full discounts?

    – Does the fee for treatment include retainers and is there a “Lifetime Guarantee” offered? Make sure to ask.

    – Does the practice focus on educating you (and/or your child) on the care of their braces and/or appliances?

    At Reagin Orthodontics we believe that finding an orthodontist you trust is like forming any important relationship in your life. Do some research, get to know them, ask your friends and trust your instincts!

  • Do I need to floss my teeth with braces?

    flossing_w_braces-federal

    Absolutely! At Reagin Orthodontics we are committed to good oral hygiene and flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you’re wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.

    While we know it’s tough enough to get kids to floss daily but remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease. When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.

    Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don’t forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.

    Dr. Reagin and our team at Reagin Orthodontics will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you’re wearing braces. If you have any questions about flossing or your orthodontic treatment at Reagin Orthodontics please don’t hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!

  • Caring for your Invisalign Trays

    Cleaning Trays

    How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?

    Proper upkeep and good oral hygiene are essential in keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, invisible, and odor free. Although the Invisalign allows for aligners to be easily removed for eating and drinking, failing to properly clean your trays afterwards can result in discoloration and a buildup of bacteria.

    Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you keep your aligners clean and crystal clear:

    DO:

    — Rinse your aligners when you remove them: Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul smelling bacteria.

    — Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners: Proper oral hygiene is key in maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Since Invisalign is form fitted, failing to brush and floss properly can trap harmful particles between your teeth and aligner, increasing your risk for dental issues in the future.

    — Clean your aligners with a clear anti-bacterial soft soap: A clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria.

    — Soak your aligners once a week: Denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options in keeping your trays clear and sanitized.

    TIP: Brush your aligners gently: Vigorous brushing can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Brush carefully!

    DON’T:

    — Eat or drink (anything but water) while wearing Invisalign: Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners and cause them to stink.

    — Use toothpaste to clean your aligners: Many types of toothpaste (especially those with whitening agents) are abrasive and can dull your aligners or create small traps for bacteria to dwell.

    — Use colored soaps: Although anti-bacterial soap is a great way to clean your Invisalign braces, using anything but clear soap can cause your aligners to take on alternative hues and shades.

    — Leave your aligners exposed or unprotected while eating: Aside from an increased risk of misplacing them, leaving your aligners in the open exposes them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.

  • Reagin Orthodontics sponsors toothbrush giveaway

    Toothbrushes

    Dr. Britt Reagin has an offer to which you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, say no. As part of a buildup to “National Gum Care Month” in September, the Summerville orthodontist wants to give you a free Oral-B toothbrush. No strings attached, no pledges to brush and floss at least twice per day, just an opportunity for Dr. Reagin to “put his toothbrushes where his mouth is.”

    In considering how to promote “National Gum Care Month” in September, four glaring statements came to mind and suddenly the “toothbrush exchange” struck him as a worthwhile investment.

    • The ADA recommends that people brush at least twice daily and change toothbrushes every three to four months.

    • Studies show that only 1 in 6 people change their toothbrushes as frequently as once per year.

    • Research shows that crowded teeth contribute to gum disease. Gum disease nearly doubles the risk of heart disease.

    • Proper oral hygiene habits, once established, become permanent. Get your kids started now!

    Aug. 10-13, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., simply visit Reagin Orthodontics at 401 W. 4th North Street to pick up a new Oral-B toothbrush. If you need more than one, such as for your spouse and/or children, bring the old toothbrushes and Dr. Reagin will swap them, too.

    “It may get expensive if this campaign gets traction and all of Summerville shows up,” said Dr. Reagin, “but that’s an investment I’d be very proud to make for the community.”

    As part of the “toothbrush exchange campaign” Dr. Reagin is also going to award two Oral-B Pro 5000 electric toothbrushes, valued at $179 each. To enter to win one of these two toothbrushes, simply visit the practice’s page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ReaginOrthodontics, like the “toothbrush exchange” post, and share it with your friends and family. The winners will be selected from all people that have liked and shared the post in a random drawing on Aug. 14, and announced on the Facebook page that same day.

    Every toothbrush that Dr. Reagin gives away represents, for him, the positive impact that one person can make to the cause of community health.

  • What are Sugar Bugs?

    What are “SugarBugs” and How Do I Get Them To Go Away?

    At Reagin Orthodontics we are committed to good oral hygiene and that means you need to make sure you are getting the sugar bugs off of your teeth. Sugar Bugs or plaque, is a combination of the food you eat with bacteria already found in your mouth.

    Plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. As plaque increases, it becomes gooey white stuff – you can see it and sometimes feel it on your teeth (they feel kind of “fuzzy”). Bacteria (“Sugar Bugs & Starch Slugs”) live in the plaque. Whenever you eat, the sugars and starches in your food cause the bacteria to produce damaging acids that attack your tooth enamel and gums. With time and repeated acid attacks the tooth enamel breaks down, causing cavities, permanent marks and stains on teeth.

    Crowded teeth provide these sugar bugs more places to hide and allow them to do more damage to your overall oral health. Braces or Invisalign can be used to eliminate the crowding and make your teeth easier to clean. The win-win is straight teeth and good hygiene.

    To make sure none of these things happen to your smile, make a habit of brushing and flossing after you eat anything, and keep in mind that straight teeth are the easiest to keep clean!

    For a complimentary consultation call 871-4411. No referral necessary.

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  • Fluoride and Your Orthodontic Treatment

    fluoride and braces

    Most children and adults have experienced a fluoride treatment many times at their dentist’s office prior to their first visit to an orthodontist. Fluoride helps protect teeth from tooth decay. It is most effective when it is used prior to decay forming, but it can also repair decay in the beginning stages.

    Fluoride continues to be beneficial to your teeth while your are in orthodontic treatment. It is one element, that in addition to brushing and flossing after every meal will make that smile of yours even more beautiful when your braces are removed. Fluoride treatments continue to protect against tooth decay while you are in braces and can also aid in preventing white spots, or decalcification, from forming around your braces. While in treatment fluoride mouthwashes, antibacterial rinses and toothpastes may also be added to add additional protection.

    At Reagin Orthodontics, your complete dental health is important us. We will talk to you about how to care for your teeth and braces at each appointment and will recommend additional fluoride and other items as needed along the way.

    Learn more about the benefits of fluoride in our previous posts here and here. You can also find out facts about fluoride from the American Dental Assoication.

  • Is Wearing Your Retainers Really Important?

    wearing retainers

    You have diligently cared for your teeth and braces the entire time you have worn your braces. You are excited that today is the day they will be removed! What’s next you wonder. Now you need to maintain that beautiful smile and that involves wearing retainers.

    Impressions are taken to make molds specifically for your mouth, then retainers are made from those molds to keep your teeth in place. Wearing your retainers and taking care of them is just as important as caring for your braces.

    Follow these guidelines to care for your teeth and retainers:

    Wear your retainers all the time, unless you are told differently by Dr. Reagin

    When you eat, remove your retainers and put them in their case. Do not put them on a lunch tray or in a napkin, that is the way most retainers are lost because they get thrown away!

    Brush your retainers with warm water and toothpaste. Take them out and really brush them. Plaque builds up on them. You want to remove the plaque which will also help to eliminate odors.

    Retainers are breakable so always place them in your retainer case when they are not in your mouth.

    Retainers should not be worn when swimming, should not be put in hot water, left in hot cars or on car dashboards or stuffed in your pockets.

    Caring for your retainers and wearing them regularly will keep you proud of your smile for years to come. If something does happen and you need new retainers, Dr. Reagin can make you a new set, but it is expensive. If you are worried about losing or breaking your retainers it is a good idea to take advantage of the discount we offer all our patients at debonding. You can buy a second set at the same time as your first set for half price. This offer is only available at debonding because the same mold can be used and a new mold does not have to be made.

    To learn more about retainers and caring for them visit our website 

  • What Should You Ask At Your Consultation

    orthodontic consultation

    You scheduled the consultation and today is the day you meet with Dr. Reagin for the exam and evaluation. We’ve talked about what happens at a consultation here, but are you wondering what questions you might want to ask?

    Dr. Reagin and his staff will cover these top five questions during your initial visit.

    Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?

    What must be done to correct the problem?

    Will any teeth need to be removed?

    How long will the treatment take to complete?

    How much will the treatment cost?

    You may want to ask a few additional questions to put you or your child at ease about starting orthodontic treatment. Here are a few questions and answers that you may want to to talk to the team at Reagin Orthodontics about.

    How much discomfort? Everyone always wonders how much it will hurt and that is completely understandable! There is typically not a great deal of pain involved in orthodontic treatment, but there is discomfort. The team at Reagin Orthodontics will suggest ways to minimize discomfort including using wax, pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil,  and more found here.

    How do I brush? It is very important that you brush after each time you have a snack or meal. It is very easy for food to get trapped around braces. Dr. Reagin will show you how to brush and floss with your braces. There are even special brushes and flossers to help.

    How often do adjustments happen?  While it is difficult to say exactly, visits typically happen every 4-8 weeks.

    Are there foods I should avoid during treatment? Yes there are some foods that are better left alone until after you have completed your orthodontic treatment. These include sticky foods, hard raw vegetables and chewing ice. Once you have begun your treatment plan, we will go over this with you in more detail.

    Will my speech change?  Some patients experience a little bit of change to their speech when they first receive braces, but this is typically gone as soon as they adjust to having braces. Which is much quicker than you think it will be!

    We look forward to seeing you at your consultation and will be happy to answer any questions you have!

  • Help, I Have A Braces Emergency!

    braces emergency

    You are having a great evening with you friends and suddenly something doesn’t feel right with your braces. What do you do now? Believe it or not there are lots of things you can do to temporarily relieve any discomfort you may be having until you can get to the office.

    Poking Wire – Use an eraser from a pencil to push the wire down so it isn’t poking into your cheek, gums or lips. Then cover it with wax so it won’t hurt you again until you can see Dr. Reagin.

    Loose Bracket or Band – If the bracket or band is still attached do not pull it off. Put wax over it and call the office. If the bracket comes completely off wrap it in a tissue.

    Loose Wire – Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

    Loose or Damaged Appliance – If you appliance is bothering you, use wax to cover the part that is bothering you.

    It is important that even if you have relieved the pain from a loose wire or bracket that you call and make an appointment as soon as possible. Delaying repair can interfere with the changes Dr. Reagin is making with your treatment. Orthodontic emergencies that require immediate attention are trauma to your mouth or face or loose teeth. Please do not hesitate to call the office if one of these things happens or if you feel you have an emergency.