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How to Care for Your ClearCorrect™ Aligners

October 10th, 2018

Taking care of your ClearCorrect aligners is very easy. It’s actually one of the reasons ClearCorrect has quickly become of the most desired treatments for those who need braces at our Santa Maria office. There are some simple guidelines for caring for them, and as long as you go by them you will have no complaints.

  • Don’t eat or drink while wearing your aligners. The aligners are made out of a thin plastic material and eating can damage them. If they are damaged it can affect your treatment as well as cost additional money to get replacement aligners. The food can also accumulate in the aligners and cause cavities.
  • Don’t chew gum because it will stick to the aligners and can be an aggravation to remove.
  • After eating always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
  • Brush your aligners with a toothbrush every day to keep them clean and to make sure that the inside that is against your teeth all day are clean as well. Rinse them with warm water.

Patients love the fact that their aligners are able to be removed to care for them, and this is a big plus for orthodontic treatment. It reduces the time to get ready and go to bed each day, and is less annoying than dealing with traditional braces because there are no rubber bands and brackets to deal with.

For best results while using ClearCorrect always keep your appointments with Dr. Kalfred Chun. Call our Santa Maria office today to see if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment. You will not be disappointed!

Fall Holiday Guide for Braces

October 3rd, 2018

If this is your child’s first holiday season with braces, here are some tips on how to help children get the most enjoyment from these celebrations without compromising their braces or leaving them feeling left out of the festivities.

Halloween

When you think dental health, “Halloween” is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Halloween can be tricky, but with some planning and intervention, you can make sure your child doesn’t miss out on the treats that make the holiday a favorite.

Braces present other challenges besides dealing with the scary amount of sugar in every trick-or-treat bag. Certain treats can be a challenge to clean from braces, and can even cause broken brackets and wires. How to avoid these frightful results?

  • Go through your child’s treat bag when you get home after neighborhood trick-or-treating. Anything which can damage braces, such as regular gum, candy with nuts or caramel, or hard or chewy candies should be discarded. Perhaps you and your child can choose a selection of soft candy such as plain chocolate and peanut butter cups to trade for those tricky treats. Your child’s favorite soft fruits, cupcakes, and cookies could also be safe substitutes.
  • Party time? Candy apples, bowls of candy corn, and popcorn balls are favorite treats at Halloween parties, but very bad for braces. Help your child recognize what should be avoided before attending, and suggest safe options like soft cupcakes.
  • Finally, even safe treats will leave more sugar than normal in your child’s mouth and therefore more potential for plaque build-up. Brush and floss more often, if needed, and rinse regularly with water.

Talk candy guidelines over in advance with your child. If you’d like, Dr. Kalfred Chun can recommend safe alternatives. With your help, Halloween won’t be a fearsome experience for you or your trick-or-treater.

Thanksgiving

Now, this is a holiday to be thankful for! Almost all of your traditional favorites are perfect for family members with braces.

  • Appetizers: Offer soft food options such as silky cheeses and deviled eggs instead of crunchy vegetables, chips, and nuts.
  • Dinner: Turkey is a required dish on many tables, and no need to miss out! Just make sure pieces are bite-size and off the bone. Creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and jellied cranberry sauce are also braces-friendly traditions. Any cooked vegetable should be fine, but do cut the corn from the cob first. Dressing is a great side dish if your child avoids any crunchy tops and edges, as are soft, nut-free rolls and muffins.
  • Dessert: Pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and apple pie with ice cream are all safe (and delicious) choices. Leave the pecan pie, caramel sauce, and anything nutty or chewy off your child’s menu. And remember to brush and floss carefully after the feast!

If you are concerned that following the usual food guidelines might be a little more difficult during this time of year, talk to us. Dr. Kalfred Chun and our team are happy to suggest ways to make your child’s first holidays with braces memorable for all the right reasons. The last thing you’ll want is an emergency visit to our Santa Maria office!

Caring for Your Smile after ClearCorrect™ Treatment

September 26th, 2018

After patients complete their ClearCorrect treatment at our Santa Maria office, many will be given retainers to wear at night to prevent their teeth from moving. This is done after all treatment with any type of braces. There are two types of retainers available from Dr. Kalfred Chun: removable and permanent.

Removable Retainers

If you are given the option of having a clear removable retainer to use, it will most likely only need to be worn at bedtime. They are the easiest and most preferred and are able to be removed to brush your teeth, floss, eat, and drink.

Permanent Retainers

If you are not a good candidate for a clear removable retainer you will be given the option of having a permanent metal retainer placed behind your teeth. Permanent retainers are made from a thin metal wire that is attached to your teeth. This type of retainer is the perfect option for those who will not be disciplined enough to wear their removable retainer or keep track of where it is. Once this retainer is placed in the mouth it will provide protection from your teeth shifting for years.

In order to retain the alignment of your teeth and protect all of the orthodontic work you have had completed, speak with Dr. Kalfred Chun about which form of retainer would be best for your individual dental needs.

My teeth don't line up any more. Why?

September 19th, 2018

If your teeth don't line up like they used to any more, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, often called TMD. This is a term that can actually be applied to any condition that occurs because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is inflamed.

The temporomandibular joint is essentially the hinge that holds your lower jaw to your skull, and when it is inflamed or damaged in any way, it can be extremely painful. You have two temporomandibular joint, one on each side of your jaw, and it is typical to experience TMD in both sides at the same time.

Shifting of the Teeth

The reason that your teeth may not line up as they once did is that the ball and socket joints are often out of alignment and, as mentioned above, often very inflamed as a result. In order to correct the problem, Dr. Kalfred Chun may prescribe dental orthotics such as a lower jaw splint.

Sometimes, the wisdom teeth can play a role in the shifting of the teeth as well. If shifting wisdom teeth is combined with TMD, it may be necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed. Dental splints may follow if your teeth don't shift back to their proper positions on their own.

TMD is certainly a difficult thing to deal with, so if you experience your teeth shifting, scheduling an appointment at our Santa Maria office is the smartest course. We want to help you get your smile back, so give us a call anytime.

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