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All Posts in Category: Braces

Braces Friendly Snack Ideas

Braces change the way you eat and certain snacks are better suited to eating when in braces than others. Foods to avoid include raw vegetables like carrots or celery and raw fruit like apples or pears; sweets like chewing gum, and caramels or hard lollies. All of these can damage your new set of braces. However, you still have plenty of choices for fun and healthy foods that will not harm your braces.

 

Healthy Snacks

Fruit is an excellent healthy snack. You just need to avoid biting into hard fruits such as whole apples. You can still eat them if they are cut into smaller pieces or if you choose a softer variety. Citrus fruits are soft to chew and high in vitamin C and calcium. Other soft fruits that won’t cause damage are: bananas, berries, grapes, kiwi fruit and melons. Dairy and whole grain products offer a whole other range of options. Yogurt and cheese go well between meals. A good-old-fashioned peanut butter and jam sandwich or slices of avocado with a bit of sea salt and black pepper on soft toast are all good snack options that don’t require too much chewing.

Sweet Treats

Custards, yoghurt and ice creams provide a sweet and safe snack while you are wearing braces. Just avoid products with nuts! Chocolate and biscuits are ok as long as they aren’t too hard – biscuits dunked in hot Milo or tea are easy on your braces and delicious! It’s still wise to avoid any chewy lollies, sugarless or not, which can stick to and damage the wiring.

Crunchy or Salty Snacks

Not all crunchy foods are bad; you just need to limit the crunch. Walnuts are a softer nut that can normally be eaten safely. Small crackers or potato chips satisfy the need for crunchy and salty. You can also allow pieces to dissolve slightly in your mouth before chewing, to reduce any risk.

Soft muesli bars are also an option. Check the ingredients to ensure they contain no large nut pieces, and brush your teeth afterwards. Otherwise pieces can become stuck in your braces and become very annoying.

What are your favorite snacks while wearing braces?

Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

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My child wears dental braces. Can they still play sport?

Sport is important for a child’s development. It keeps them physically fit and teaches important social skills, too. So, if your child is getting dental braces, can they still play sport? Absolutely!

Dental braces should NOT prevent your child from playing any sport. However, particularly if participating in a contact sport, like rugby or hockey, they should always wear a mouth guard (incidentally, hockey is second only to rugby for sports injuries).

Will any mouth guard do?

We won’t usually make a custom mouth guard for a patient; when their teeth move their mouth guard will eventually no longer fit — we want something that will fit for the duration of a patient’s treatment. We do have some options available, though. Usually we’ll advise a patient to get an off-the-shelf orthodontic mouth guard.

General mouth guards

Please note your child needs an orthodontic mouth guard, not one for wearing without braces. There is a difference.

A general mouth guard is made from thermoplastic. Before use, it needs to be heated in boiling water and then bitten into to make an imprint of the teeth. When wearing dental braces, this type of mouth guard doesn’t work well. This is because teeth will move during the course of orthodontic treatment. A general mouth guard will try to pull the teeth back into their original position, or the mouth guard will eventually no longer fit. Also, general mouth guards fit a bit too well, so if your child gets hit hard in the teeth, the brackets on their braces can get knocked off.

Orthodontic braces

So, we recommend your child wears an orthodontic mouth guard. Orthodontic mouth guards are made from silicone — you don’t have to boil them before use. They have flanges designed to be bitten down on to keep them in position. They also have large rubber flanges that slip under the lips to prevent them from being pushed onto the brackets.

Playing a wind musical instrument

We have several patients who play instruments you have to blow into, like saxophones and trumpets, etc. — some are quite accomplished. Wearing braces won’t scuttle their musical careers; however, it can take about a week to find the “right notes” again.
If your child plays a wind instrument, they may need to put something over their braces. There are special covers available; however, wax, which we also use to protect the mouth, is usually sufficient.

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Turner Lim Orthodontists introduce a new scanner to improve quality & patient experience

Technolgy in orthodontics is always changing. And to stay ahead of the game, we recently invested in a new piece of equipment — a 3M True Definition Scanner.

“So what?” you might say.

Well, as orthodontists, there are two key things that concern us: patient experience and the quality of our work. The new scanner enables us to improve both these things.

Making an impression

If you’re getting braces fitted, we must first take an impression of your teeth — a 3-D model that enables us to measure tooth and bones sizes, etc., and determine the best course of treatment. Until recently this meant creating a mould.

The problem with moulds

It’s fair to say that having a mould taken of your teeth and gums can be messy and uncomfortable. It involves putting a tray filled with a substance called alginate into your mouth.  The alginate feels a bit like cake batter and can sometimes cause a gagging sensation. We hold the tray in place until the alginate sets, which takes about a minute for each of your top and bottom teeth.

Later, we pour plaster into the mould to create a model. Of course, having a physical model means we need somewhere to keep it. At the end of your treatment we’ll usually give it to you as a souvenir. However, we still accumulate quite a few models that need to be disposed of (see phone below).

Moulds

Disposing of old moulds

The 3M True Definition Scanner

Our new scanner replaces the need for moulds — no more gagging! And it, ultimately, enables us to provide better treatment.

Because no moulds are needed, the whole process is much quicker and less messy. We use a scanning wand to take a scan of your teeth and gums, which takes just a few minutes. You’ll even be able to see the images on a screen to get a better understanding of what’s going on.

There is potential for inaccuracies with moulds. Digital impressioning, on the other hand, takes a video of your teeth and gums enabling us to keep a digital record. It’s like looking at a high-definition photograph, and it allows us examine your bite and view your bite from many angles and do lots of measurements. As you can imagine, it’s also much easier to send a digital file to others than a physical model.

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