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23/Apr/2019

Easter is just around the corner, and with Easter of course comes lots of chocolate! From Easter eggs to chocolate bars, the day is one big sugar-fest. It’s therefore natural to be concerned about your children’s teeth at Easter. But don’t worry – in this post, we’ll give some tips on how to minimise the damage to your children’s oral health.

1. Stick to the brushing routine

The Easter weekend is the time to indulge in sugary chocolate, but all that sugar can cause plaque and cavities if your children don’t brush their teeth properly. So it’s important that your children stick to their brushing routine throughout the Easter weekend, even amongst all the excitement. That means brushing at least twice a day, ideally once in the morning and once before they go to bed.

2. Don’t let your children graze on chocolate throughout the day

Eating sugar and chocolate is inevitable at Easter time. However, you can minimise the damage to your children’s teeth by limiting their consumption of chocolate to just a specific time of day. For example, you can let your children eat chocolate only in the morning, or after lunch. This is much better than letting your children graze on chocolate all day.

3. Small eggs are better

It’s tempting to get your children the biggest eggs you can find just to see the smile on their faces on Easter morning. But if you’re worried about their teeth, then it’s much better to get smaller eggs instead. Small eggs will still satisfy their chocolate cravings while also doing less damage to their teeth.

Also, try not to get eggs that come with additional treats like chocolate bars or bags of chocolate. The less chocolate that your children eat overall, the better it will be for their teeth.

4. Offer plenty of water

Water is the best drink for your teeth because it’s pH neutral and it doesn’t contain sugar. So make sure your children drink water during the Easter weekend instead of fizzy drinks or fruit juice.

5. Don’t give your children sticky sweets

Chocolate is the main treat associated with Easter, but we’ve also heard of parents giving out toffee and other sticky treats too. These don’t make ideal Easter treats because they can get stuck to your children’s teeth and therefore cause more damage. Opt for softer treats instead, like chocolate.

6. Give dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate

Dark chocolate is a healthier choice than milk and white chocolate because it contains less sugar. So if your kids don’t mind eating dark chocolate, then consider buying them a dark chocolate egg instead of a milk one.

7. Book a dental appointment after Easter

Book a dental appointment for your children after Easter to make sure there are no cavities forming. Even if you don’t do this, make sure your children are visiting the dentist every six months anyway, as recommended by the NHS.

Conclusion

It’s inevitable that your children’s teeth and chocolate will come into contact with each other this Easter, but we’re sure these tips will minimise the damage. Have a great Easter!


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23/Apr/2019

Cavities are a problem that nearly everyone gets at least once in their life. No matter how well you take care of your teeth, it’s likely that at some point, you will get a cavity.

In this month’s blog post, we’ll explain what cavities are and how they form. We’ll also tell you how to minimise your risk of cavities and what to do if you think you have one. So, let’s go!

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole in your enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth. Over time, the hole can get bigger and bigger, eventually causing tooth pain and even an abscess.

What causes cavities?

The cause of cavities is bacteria. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, and some of these bacteria are good while others are harmful. Problems occur when the harmful bacteria gain a foothold in your mouth and create plaque, which is a sticky, acidic substance. The acid in plaque can dissolve your enamel and that’s what causes a cavity.

What are the risk factors for cavities?

You’re much more likely to get cavities if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Poor diet. A diet high in sugar is a major risk factor for cavities. This is because the bad bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and convert it into acids, which in turn dissolve your teeth. For this reason, it’s important to limit the number of sugary foods you eat during the day. Also, try to avoid highly acidic foods as these can directly dissolve your enamel.
  • Poor oral hygiene. It’s important to have a good oral hygiene routine as this is your main defence against cavities. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and seeing a dentist for regular check-ups. It goes without saying that if you fail to maintain an oral hygiene routine then you’ll be at greater risk of cavities.
  • Smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of cavities than non-smokers because cigarettes can make your mouth dry, and a dry mouth is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol also increases your risk of cavities for the same reason as smoking – alcohol dries out your mouth, which makes your mouth a more welcoming environment for bacteria.

Do cavities go away on their own?

Some cavities do go away on their own, but only when they’re very small. Most cavities unfortunately do not go away on their own and will require a dentist to fix them.

How are cavities treated?

The treatment depends on the size of the cavity and how far into the tooth it has reached.

  • A small cavity might not need a filling; instead, it might be possible to treat it with a fluoride treatment. Your dentist will decide if this could work for you.
  • Medium-sized cavities need to be covered with fillings, which are small blobs of resin, porcelain or amalgam.
  • Cavities that have reached the tooth’s pulp might require a root canal, which is where the diseased pulp is removed. The good news is that the rest of the tooth can usually be saved.
  • The most extreme type of cavity is where the cavity reaches the root. In this case, removal of the tooth is usually necessary.

Conclusion

If you think you have a cavity, then do see a dentist as soon as possible. The earlier you receive treatment, the less invasive the treatment will be. And remember to brush your teeth twice a day, as it’s a very important way to minimise your risk of cavities.


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23/Apr/2019

If you’re planning on getting your teeth straightened, then at some point you’ll have to choose: braces or Invisalign? In this post, we’ll look at the differences between these two methods so that you can make an informed choice.

What are braces?

Braces are metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and wires that connect all the brackets together. The wires slowly pull your teeth in the right direction, eventually giving you a straighter smile.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a relatively new technology that uses clear plastic retainers instead of metal brackets and wires. You have to wear the plastic retainers day and night for several months. The retainers are designed to be comfortable though, and what’s more, they’re almost invisible thanks to their transparent design.

How does Invisalign compare to braces?

Now let’s look at the differences between Invisalign and braces to get a better idea of how they compare.

  • Colour. Braces are usually a metallic grey colour, but you can sometimes pay extra to have them painted the same colour as your teeth. Invisalign, on the other hand, are transparent, which means most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
  • Maintenance. If you choose braces, then you’ll need to brush them carefully at least twice a day to keep them clean. If you choose Invisalign, then you’ll need to clean your retainers regularly either by brushing them or by using a special Invisalign cleaning system.
  • Follow up visits. With braces, you’ll need to see your orthodontist about once a month to have your braces readjusted. With Invisalign, you’ll see an orthodontist every four to ten weeks to see how you’re getting on and to get a new set of retainers.

What are the advantages of braces?

  • No temptation to leave them out. Since braces are stuck to your teeth, you won’t have the temptation to leave them out.
  • Effective for complex cases. Braces have higher success rate for complex cases.
  • Easier to take care of. There are no extra cleaning steps involved with braces; just the usual flossing and brushing will do.

What are the disadvantages of braces?

  • Look. Some people feel self-conscious about wearing braces, although you can get them in a colour that matches your teeth.
  • Have to avoid certain foods. Sticky and hard foods, such as toffee, caramel and boiled sweets, should be avoided if you have braces.
  • Possibility of discomfort. The wires and brackets of braces can sometimes be uncomfortable.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

  • Nearly invisible. Thanks to the clear plastic material that Invisalign is made from, people will find it hard to tell that you’re wearing retainers.
  • No difficulty eating. With Invisalign, you can take the retainers out before eating, so you can eat normally.
  • More comfortable than braces. Many people find Invisalign more comfortable than braces because there are no wires involved.

What are the disadvantages of Invisalign?

  • Require more care. Invisalign retainers have to be cleaned several times a day to kill any bacteria.
  • Cost. Typically, Invisalign works out as slightly more expensive than braces.
  • Requires dedication. Invisalign requires dedication because you have to make sure that you wear them for at least 22 hours per day.
  • Have to brush more often. With Invisalign, you have to brush your teeth after every snack or meal to avoid staining you teeth.

Conclusion

So which is better: Invisalign or braces? The answer to that question isn’t clear cut, and will depend on your own personal preference.

We hope that now you’re better informed about the differences between braces and Invisalign. Deciding which one to go for isn’t easy, but whichever you choose, we’re sure you’ll have a lovely straight smile by the end of it!


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23/Apr/2019

We’d like to think that most people are happy with their teeth and that they feel confident when they smile. If you’re one of these people, then that’s great, because you have teeth that you love.

However, some people aren’t scontent with their teeth. This can be for many reasons, but often the reason is that they have teeth that are crooked, stained or missing. Read on if you’re unhappy with your teeth, because in this post we’ll go over ways to improve the appearance of your smile.

1. Braces

If you’re cursed with crooked teeth then it might be time to consider braces. You might already have had braces when you were a teenager, or maybe you haven’t had braces at all yet. Regardless of whether you’ve already experienced them or not, braces are a great way to straighten out your smile. They typically take six month to two years to achieve the final effect (and we promise that it’s worth it). There are even some types of braces nowadays that are practically invisible, so you don’t have to feel self-concious when you wear them. If you’d like to talk about braces with one of our dentists, then simply make an appointment with reception.

2. Teeth whitening

If your teeth are yellow or brown instead of pearly white, then teeth whitening could be the solution. Generally this involves putting a special dental bleach onto your teeth so that they regain their white colour. Don’t try to do this at home though – only dentists are qualified to perform the procedure.

3. Veneers

If your teeth are crooked, chipped or misshapen, then veneers might be the answer. Veneers are small, thin pieces of porcelain that fit on the fronts of your teeth, thereby giving people the illusion that you have a perfect set of gnashers. It must be said though that veneers aren’t for everyone – for one thing, they require the permanent removal of a small layer of your teeth. However, if you’re sure that veneers are for you, then they could provide an easy and affordable way to get a Hollywood smile.

4. Implants

If you’re missing one or two teeth, then an implant is likely to be the best solution. Implants are basically fake teeth that can be permanently fitted into your mouth. You’ll be able to eat, talk and smile normally again – just as if you still had all your own teeth. What’s more, implants can be made to look like your existing teeth, so no-one will be able to tell that they aren’t real.

5. Dentures

If you’re missing several teeth, then consider getting dentures. They’re an affordable way to regain your smile when several teeth are missing. There are two types depending on how many teeth you have left – partial dentures (when only some of your teeth have gone) and complete dentures (when you’re missing all of your teeth).

Conclusion

If you’re not happy with your smile, then you don’t have to suffer in silence. Just book an appointment with us and we’ll be delighted to work with you to find a solution. Whether it’s braces, whitening, veneers or even dentures, there’s always a way to get the winning smile you deserve.


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23/Apr/2019

Did you know that most cavities happen between your teeth and not the fronts or backs of your teeth? That’s why it’s very important to clean the gaps between your teeth.

However, most toothbrushes don’t actually reach between your teeth. Therefore, while brushing is important, it’s not enough. Luckily, we have to floss to help us here. Floss is great at removing bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth so it’s fantastic at preventing cavities.

Keep reading, because in this post, we’ll explain a simple flossing technique that we encourage everybody to do.

How to floss

  1. First, take a good piece of dental floss and wind it up with your index fingers. Don’t wind it too tightly though or you might hurt yourself!
  2. Next, use both thumbs to pinch the floss. You should only leave about one inch of floss to work with at this point. If you leave any more, then you will make it more difficult to floss your teeth. Indeed, one reason why so many people have trouble flossing is that they try to get too much floss in their mouths.
  3. Then, start flossing your upper teeth. Simply choose a place to start from and slide the floss between the two teeth. Then clean the surface of each tooth by sliding the floss up and down. Don’t use a side to side ‘saw’ motion though – it’s better to use an up and down motion.
  4. When you’ve removed all the plaque from a tooth, you’ll hear the floss start to squeak. At this point, work on the next tooth. Then gradually work your way all around your mouth until you’ve done all your upper teeth.
  5. Once you’ve finished flossing your upper teeth, you can move on to your lower teeth. With your lower teeth, it’s actually easier to use your index fingers and middle fingers rather than your index fingers and thumbs. By using your middle fingers, it will makes be easier to manipulate the floss from one tooth to the next.

Overall, it should only take you a couple of minutes to floss all your teeth. But if you’re slow at first, then don’t worry – your technique will improve will practice!

What should I do if my gums bleed when I floss?

If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s normal if it’s your first time flossing. Your gums will get used to the floss after about a week of flossing, after which they won’t bleed anymore.

Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gum disease, so if your gums continue to bleed when you floss, then do see a dentist to get it checked out.

Conclusion

Flossing really makes a big difference in the long term of your dental health and it’s not very difficult to do either. So please do make flossing a part of your regular dental routine, if you haven’t done so already.

If you’d like to talk to use about flossing or about any other dental topic, then just make an appointment with one of our dentists by speaking to our friendly reception team. We look forward to seeing you!


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23/Apr/2019

Cavities and gum disease or two of the most common problems that we see here in our clinic, and both are caused by the cumulation of bacteria in the mouth. For this reason, it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day to fight bacteria and maintain good oral health.

Believe it or not, many techniques exist for brushing your teeth. It’s important to find the technique that works best for you because it might not be the same as what everyone else is using.

In this post, we’ll cover three methods for brushing your teeth: the Bass technique, the Stillman technique and the Charter technique. Read on to find out more!

The Bass technique

This technique focuses on cleaning your gums as much as your teeth. This makes the Bass technique great at preventing gum disease, which is a very common problem, especially in older patients.

To perform the Bass technique, follow these simple steps:

  1. First, put the toothbrush next to your upper teeth.
  2. Point the bristles of the brush upwards towards your gums. The brush should be at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Brush your teeth using a small, gentle circular motion. Make sure to clean under the gumline as this is where gum disease usually occurs.
  4. Once you’ve cleaned one area, move onto the next one. You should be able to clean two to three teeth at a time with the circular motion.
  5. Once you’ve finished cleaning the outside areas of your teeth, move onto the inside areas.
  6. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth as well as your tongue.

The Stillman technique

The Stillman technique is very similar to the Bass technique but it can be more effective for some people.

To perform the Stillman brushing technique, follow the same instructions as the Bass technique except that after making little circles, pull the brush downwards to scrape off any remaining food or plaque on your teeth.

The Charter technique

The Bass technique and the Stillman technique both involve pointing the bristles of the toothbrush upwards towards your gumline. The Charter technique, in contrast, involves pointing the bristles downwards instead.

Dentists often recommend the Charter technique to people with braces and dentures. You might also benefit from the technique if you have gum recession or if you’ve had periodontal surgery.

To perform the Charter technique, follow these instructions:

  1. Place the toothbrush against your upper teeth.
  2. Point the bristles up towards your gums so they’re at a 45-degree angle. As mentioned, unlike the Bass and Stillman techniques, the bristles should be pointing upwards instead of downwards.
  3. Use small, gentle circular strokes to clean your teeth, one area at a time.
  4. Once you’ve finished cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth, move on to the inner surfaces and then finally, the chewing surfaces.

Need more information?

If you’d like to speak to a dentist about these brushing techniques, or indeed about any dental issue, then don’t be shy – make an appointment with us today by simply calling 01282 428435. We look forward to seeing you!


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23/Apr/2019

Bad breath is a touchy subject. Nobody wants to talk about it, but what can you do if you’re suffering from it? The obvious solution is to brush your teeth and chew chewing gum, but sometimes, that may not be enough. Don’t panic though, because there are some proven things you can do to get rid of bad breath, which we’ll cover in this blog post.

1. Maintain good oral hygiene

The first and most important thing to do is to maintain good oral hygiene. (And this won’t just help tackle bad breath, but most dental problems too). The cornerstone of good oral hygiene is brushing. Brush twice a day, once before you go to bed and once one other time during the day. The most important time to brush is before you go to bed, as it ensures there are no bacteria in your mouth while you sleep.

2. Rinse your mouth after every meal

Rinse or gargle after every meal, or even after every snack. This ensures that no food particles are stuck in your mouth.

3. Avoid smelly foods

Try to avoid smelly foods, like garlic and onions, as these can cause temporary bad breath.

4. Use mouthwash

Mouthwashes are a good way to give your mouth an extra clean. They’re available in most supermarkets and chemists.

5. Drink plenty of water

Water is the best drink there is for your teeth. It stimulates your saliva flow and helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause halitosis (that’s what scientists call bad breath). So increase your water intake, as keeping yourself hydrated will help reduce your bad breath.

6. Don’t drink too much coffee

A mug of coffee might seem vitally important in the morning, but did you know that coffee slows down your saliva production and can dry out your mouth? This in turn can lead to bad breath. For that reason, it’s better to drink a cup of tea instead.

7. Clean your dentures

If you have dentures, then you should know that caring for them is as important as caring for your teeth. Make it a habit to clean your dentures every night to get rid of any bacterial build-up.

8. Floss after every meal

Any food particles that get stuck between your teeth for too long can not only lead to bad breath, but also an infection. That’s why flossing is just as important as brushing. So make sure to floss at least once per day.

9. Change your toothbrush often

Time flies, and we may not notice how quickly our toothbrush gets old. An old toothbrush may even be unsafe to use as it can be full of bacteria. So change your toothbrush regularly – every three or four months will do the trick.

What to do if you still have bad breath

If you have bad breath, any you’ve tried all of the above trips, then it might be time to see the doctor. Your doctor can check you out for any diseases that could be causing your halitosis, such as gum disease or a sinus infection.

That’s it for now. See you next time!


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23/Apr/2019

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, especially among young adults. This is because wisdom teeth often grow at odd angles and can impact other teeth. If you’re having a wisdom tooth extracted soon and you need tips about how to recover quickly, then read on, as this is the post for you.

What symptoms can I expect during recovery?

First, let’s go over what symptoms you can expect to experience in the days after the surgery. Common symptoms during recovery are:

  • Swollen and mildly bruised cheeks
  • A sore jaw
  • Pain
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Tingling or numbness of the face (although this symptom is rare)

Do see your dentist quickly if you have any intense pain or excess bleeding, as this is not normal.

What can do to speed up the healing process?

There are plenty of things you can do to heal faster. Here are some general tips to aid your recovery.

  • For the first 36 hours after surgery, use an ice pack on your face to minimise swelling.
  • After the first 36 hours after surgery, use a hot towel to alleviate jaw soreness or stiffness.
  • Eat only soft foods like rice, soup and pasta.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol while you recover, especially during the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Use an extra pillow to support your head while sleeping.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with mouthwash or warm salt water to reduce soreness and inflammation.

I’ve heard it’s important not to dislodge the blood clots?

Yes, that’s true. You see, when you have a wisdom tooth extracted, a blood clot forms at the site of the extraction. This blood clot helps to protect your mouth while your wound heals. If the clot gets dislodge before the wound heals, then healing can be delayed and you might even get a bone infection. The main symptom of a dislodged blood clot is pain, so contact your dentist or surgeon if you develop new pain in the days after your surgery or if your existing pain worsens.

Here are some tips to avoid dislodging the important blood clots after surgery:

  • Don’t use a straw in the first week after the surgery.
  • Don’t eat hard foods.
  • Don’t brush your teeth too hard.
  • Don’t do any strenuous exercise or activity for the first week or so after surgery. See it as your chance to kick back and relax for a while!

Conclusion

We hope that now you feel a little more prepared about how to recover from wisdom tooth surgery. If you’d like to speak to a dentist about your wisdom teeth, or indeed any other dental issue, then please don’t hesitate to make an appointment.


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23/Apr/2019

Do you bite your nails? It’s estimated that around a quarter of adults chew their fingernails. While nail-biting may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually damage your smile. This is because it can wear down your teeth over time and even crack them! In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about nail-biting.

What are the risks of nail-biting?

While nail biting may seem harmless, it’s actually quite bad for your teeth. Here’s five ways that biting your nails can harm your smile.

  • Worn teeth. People who bite their fingernails – or indeed anything else, such as pencils, pens or ice – can gradually wear their teeth down over time, making their teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth. By biting your nails, there’s the risk that you could accidentally chip or crack your teeth. No-one wants that!
  • Tooth loss. The risks of nail-biting are even greater for those who wear braces. This is because braces already put quite a bit of pressure on your teeth, and by biting your nails, you’re applying even more pressure. This can cause root resorption or even tooth loss. You definitely don’t want to lose your teeth after all the effort you’ve gone through to straighten them!
  • Spread of bacteria. You can easily spread bacteria to your mouth by putting your fingers inside. The area under your nails is a surprising hotbed for bacterial activity, and by putting your nails in your mouth, you’re transferring the bacteria to your mouth and teeth.
  • Teeth grinding. Nail biting can even lead to teeth grinding, according to research. A study has found that those who chew on their fingernails are more likely to suffer from teeth grinding later in life. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to its own set of problems, including jaw pain and worn-down teeth.

How can I stop biting my nails?

As with any bad habit, it can be surprisingly difficult to stop. However, quitting is achievable. Here are some things you can do to make it easier to break your habit.

  • Swap a bad habit for a good one. When you feel the need to bite your nails, try playing with an elastic band or a stress ball instead. This will keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
  • Apply bitter tasting nail polish to your nails. Some pharmacists sell a type of lacquer designed to help you stop biting your nails. It tastes awful, so if you apply a bit of it to your nails, you’ll soon learn not to chew them. Don’t worry though – it’s safe to ingest. Not that you’d want to though!
  • Cut your nails short. Having short nails means there will be less for you to bite.
  • Identify why you’re biting your fingernails. Some people bite their nails because they’re bored; others bite them because they’re stressed or anxious. Figuring out what’s triggering you can help you to avoid these situations. Even just understanding your problem better can help you to gain control over it.

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23/Apr/2019

More than 200,000 people every year get braces in the UK, according to the NHS website. Most of these people are teenagers, but nowadays, more adults are getting braces too.

If you’re an adult and you have braces, then you might be wondering what to expect when your braces finally come off. You’ll certainly be looking forward to this day. Your teeth will, of course, be straighter, and you’ll also appreciate the new freedom of no longer having braces attached your teeth. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about life after braces.

The removal procedure

The procedure to take off your braces is fairly straightforward and you won’t have to prepare for it in any way. What’s more, the procedure is typically pain-free. Furthermore, only one dental appointment is needed and you’ll be able to go straight back to work afterwards.

Retainers

After wearing braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night, typically for the rest of your life, to stop your teeth from moving back to their old positions. We’re sorry if you thought that you were done when the braces came off! The good news however is that retainers are comfortable to wear because they’re custom-made. They’re also easy to clean since you only need to brush them with toothpaste.

Retainers last between six months to several years, after which you’ll have to return to the dentist to get a new one.

Teeth whitening

After having braces, many people choose to get their teeth whitened. This is to get a pearly white smile to go with their new straight teeth. If tooth whitening is something you’re interested in, then you should know that there are two options to choose from: in-office whitening and at home whitening.

With in-office whitening, your dentist will cover your teeth with a special bleaching gel. The procedure can be done in just one dental visit.

Or, if you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, then you could try a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient removes stains and can whiten your teeth. However, watch out for tooth sensitivity – this could be a sign that the toothpaste is prematurely wearing away your enamel.

Diet

Once your braces come off, there are certain foods that are safe to eat again. These include chewing gum, popcorn, and hard boiled sweets.

However, don’t go crazy with the sugar: it can lead to cavities, which is something you don’t want, especially after all the effort you made to improve your smile.

Oral hygiene routine

When your braces finally off, you’ll find that brushing and flossing are much easier than before since you’ll no longer have to navigate around your brackets and wires. However, just because it’s easier to keep your teeth clean, it doesn’t mean that you can stop brushing your teeth twice a day. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you’ll have a great smile for decades to come.

Conclusion

Getting your braces taken off is definitely the most exciting part of having braces. By wearing your retainer every night and by practising a good oral hygiene routine, you can keep your teeth healthy and straight for life.


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