How to floss with braces

How to floss with braces

April 28, 2020

How to Floss with Braces

At Jacobson & Tsou Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a healthy smile, and our mission is to help our patients achieve one through comprehensive orthodontic treatment. But in addition to the braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic treatments we provide at our Vernon Hills and Chicago offices, the way you care for your teeth at home is vital to the outcome of your treatment. Flossing is a critical part of your oral hygiene regimen, but during treatment with braces, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your flossing routine. That’s why we’re here to help.

Flossing with Braces

There are many changes you’ll need to get used to during treatment with braces, but one of the biggest differences is flossing. No longer can you simply glide the floss down between each tooth without extra effort: now there’s a pesky metal archwire in the way! Don’t worry, though, you can get past it – it’ll just take some extra effort.

To properly floss with braces, you’ll need a device called a floss threader. This essentially a thin plastic loop that’s elongated and straight at one end, almost like a needle. To use it, pull out a length of floss and run it through the ‘eye’ of the needle, then pass the pointed end underneath your archwire and pull it through so that your floss is threaded underneath the archwire. From here, you can floss these teeth normally – and all you have to do is repeat the process for the rest of your teeth.

Contact Your Chicago, IL Orthodontist

Flossing with braces takes longer than normal, but it’s a critical step towards preventing dental decay and is well worth the effort. And if you’re ready to pursue braces or any other form of orthodontic treatment for yourself, we’re here to help you do it! Contact us today to learn more about our office and treatments or to schedule a consultation with us. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve your dream smile!

Direct-to-consumer braces vs. Professional orthodontist

March 8, 2019

If you’ve ever considered using braces to straighten your teeth, you’re most likely familiar with direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment options, such as SmileDirectClub. These companies have exploded in popularity recently—boasting their affordability and less fuss involved. However, not all aspects of direct-to-consumer treatment are good. There are strong, unwavering benefits to completing orthodontic treatment with a certified and experienced orthodontist vs. getting the quick fix of straight-to-order aligners. Here are some things you should consider before clicking “purchase” on a smile kit.

Expert Care in Vernon Hills & Chicago

The field of orthodontics is a professional medical field. To be certified as an orthodontist, doctors must go through rigorous academic study and training to become licensed as a professional in the industry. Your skilled orthodontists in Vernon Hills and Chicago are members of the American Association of Orthodontics, which is a professional association of doctors who have dedicated great time, energy, and effort into transforming smiles. When you’re orthodontic treatment is supervised by a professional orthodontist like Dr. Jacobson, Dr. Tsou, or Dr. Kim, you can be certain that your care is of the highest quality and your results will be equally exceptional.

How Does Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontic Treatment Work?

Many companies such as SmileDirectClub offer an easy, online way to get a new smile. You simply submit an impression and photo of your teeth using the company’s kit, and the company sends you a custom set of aligners every month or so. After completing all sets of aligners to straighten teeth, your smile will be aligned! This may sound too-good-to-be-true. And that’s because, in many cases, it is.
In actuality, there is more to creating a straight, stunning smile than simply moving the teeth. Orthodontic treatment does more than straighten the visible part of your smile. Effective orthodontic treatment takes into consideration your bite, jaw alignment, facial structure, and smile/mouth as a whole—targeting all of these areas to provide you with a smile that is properly aligned and will maximize your oral and dental health as well. If orthodontic treatment is not done correctly, this can actually cause irreversible and costly damage such as misaligned bite, tooth or gum loss, and other issues.
Many direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatments cannot properly assess all features of your oral and dental health and therefore, only work to correct visible issues like crookedness, gaps, or crowded teeth.

Questions to Ask about Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontic Treatment

To help make your decision easier, here are a few questions that are important to ask yourself when considering direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment, such as SmileDirectClub aligners.

  • Will X-rays be taken of your teeth and jaws?
  • Will a clinical examination of your bite, facial profile, jaw alignment, and overall smile be taken to determine the best method for straightening your teeth?
  • What type of treatment is offered by the direct-to-consumer company?
  • How can you know that the type of treatment offered is the best method for your individual needs and smile goals?
  • Are your teeth and gums healthy enough for orthodontic treatment, and has this been determined by your licensed dentist?
  • Will you require any in-person office visits to a licensed dentist or orthodontist during your treatment?
  • Is there a professional dentist or orthodontist involved in the creation and customization of your treatment?
    • Are you provided with or able to research his or her name, practice, education, credentials, etc.?
  • If there is a problem with your orthodontic treatment, who will be taking care of it, and who will be held responsible for it?
  • Are you asked to sign any forms that release the company from liability should an injury or other issue occur?
  • Who will handle any issues such as injury or an emergency, and how will those issues be handled?

Based on these questions, in the end, it should become clear that trusting direct-to-consumer teeth straightening option is not the best choice. Your smile is important after all. Why risk irreversible damage and take shortcuts designed for the masses, not your unique mouth and smile when you could have amazing orthodontic treatment from an orthodontist with skill, experience, and a passion for helping people get the smile they desire?

Contact Your Vernon Hills & Chicago Orthodontists

If you’re looking to improve your confidence by transforming your smile, it is always best to start by scheduling a consultation with one of our Vernon Hills and Chicago orthodontists. At Jacobson & Tsou Orthodontics, we will take accurate images of your teeth and jaw, assess your bite, alignment, and facial structure, and discuss your smile goals with you. Together, we will determine the best possible course of action for your orthodontic treatment. If you’d like to know more or have any questions regarding orthodontic treatment, we welcome you to contact us in our Vernon Hills or Chicago office today. We can’t wait to help you get started!

Oral hygiene in the summer for kids

August 2, 2018

They say one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and this applies to oral hygiene as well. As warmer temperatures arrive, we know kids and families are enjoying longer days, travel plans, less routine, and plenty of ice cream! While we encourage all of these indulgences, let’s discuss ways to maintain a good oral hygiene routine so that guilty pleasures don’t lead to cavities, which can affect your orthodontic treatment.

Set a Bedtime

Possibly the best part of summer, staying up extra late and sleeping in a little longer can do the most damage on proper dental hygiene routines. During the school year, kids establish habits of brushing and flossing before bedtime and upon waking, but when those routines disappear, so will those good habits. This is why your orthodontic and oral care experts at Jacobson & Tsou Orthodontics encourage parents to set a flexible bedtime during the summer so kids continue to care for their teeth. Beyond supporting healthy and strong teeth, a flexible routine in the summer will lead to a smoother transition when school schedules come back into full swing!

Camps, Classes, & Sports

Another way to create a sense of routine in the summer can come from signing your child up for camps that encourage them to explore new interests and hobbies. These activities do not need to take up an entire day or full week, but some structure will provide a sense of normalcy that kids rely upon and thrive on. Of course, setting a healthy balance between activities and free time is important to ensuring kids still enjoy their summer break.

Commitment

Discussing oral hygiene habits during the summer may seem out of the blue, but years of experience teach us that summer break can lead to the breakage of healthy oral hygiene habits. Talking about the subject can help keep it from escaping your kids’ minds. So, on your next camping trip or family getaway, take advantage of the opportunity to teach your child about their lifelong commitment to dental health by packing toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, and committing to routines while on the go. This will protect the health of your child’s teeth and therefore also help their smile results post orthodontic treatment.

Contact Jacobson & Tsou Orthodontics Today!

Keeping a good oral hygiene routine is vital. This is true throughout your life, and through the process becomes more difficult during orthodontic treatment, it still remains important. So this summer, don’t let your kids forget about maintaining the health of the teeth beneath their braces. Help them keep up with great oral hygiene and contact our Chicago or Vernon Hills office for tips and tricks to making oral hygiene with orthodontic treatment easier!

Braces & your oral hygiene routine

June 4, 2018

Braces can make maintaining thorough oral hygiene difficult. However, there are some best practices and special tools you can use to make your oral hygiene routine easy and efficient!

Brushing Basics

Let’s start with the basic brushing tools. Our orthodontists recommend choosing either a soft-bristle brush or a bi-level brush (a toothbrush that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges). Used carefully, an electric toothbrush can also work. But be sure that the electric brush you select is set to a moderate power level whenever you use it, and be mindful of the vibrations. You don’t want the back of your brush to hit your brackets or braces.

Best Practices

Our team of skilled orthodontists advises that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day (preferably after meals) for at least two minutes each time. Remember to brush all teeth surfaces: outside, inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. And be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth, as well as between brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped, causing decay.

Technique

Beginning at the outside surfaces, place the tips of toothbrush bristles flat against teeth then use small circular motions to gently polish them clean. For areas between braces and gums, tilt the brush toward the gum line (down for the bottom teeth, up for the top) while keeping up the circular motions. Next, move on to the chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth, utilizing a firm back-and-forth motion. Finally, finish by carefully brushing the inside surfaces of the teeth the same way you did the outside surfaces.

Special Oral Hygiene Tools

There are several tools that can make your oral hygiene routine simpler. A couple popular options include the interdental toothbrush (or proxabrush) and the Waterpik®. An interdental toothbrush has a small tuft of bristles that stick up like a pipe cleaner. It can be used to clean tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets. Meanwhile the Waterpik® shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which can help dislodge bits of food that become trapped in nooks and crannies.

Healthy Smiles to Last A Lifetime

Every day that you keep your teeth and gums healthy is an investment in your future. Great oral hygiene enables you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment, setting you on a path to a brighter smile. For more information about brushing and flossing, inquiries regarding braces, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Jacobson & Tsou Orthodontics at our Chicago or Vernon Hills location today! We’d love to hear from you!

 

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