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Azita Naghavi Khan, D.D.S.

Sabeeh Khan, D.D.S.

Summer Braces

Summer Braces

Summer Braces

Braces are a big commitment, most patients wear them for several months up to a few years. So it’s important to enjoy the time that you have them by making the most of your color options. Braces can be tough, but they can also be fun and creative. Here are some ideas to turn your summer braces into a summer fashion accessory destined to win compliments.

What Options are Available?

In the early days of braces, the color choices were very limited, with sometimes only a handful of options available. Fortunately, many orthodontists now have a full rainbow of color options to choose from, including various shades of many colors, so you can really get creative. Just imagine how much fun you could have by mixing and matching colors!

How do I Choose the Right Braces Colors?

Choosing the right colors for your braces is a lot like picking out an outfit. Which colors are your favorites and may match with favorite clothing items or accessories you like to wear? Which colors bring out the color of your eyes, brighten your teeth, or highlight your freckles, skin tone or hair color? All of these questions can be helpful to lead you to the color option that is right for you, because what’s right for you is what makes you feel your happiest and best.

Thankfully, when you choose braces colors, you aren’t stuck with them for the life of the braces, only until the next adjustment. So don’t be afraid to experiment!

Inspirational Color Ideas

If you’re feeling nervous about mixing and matching braces colors for the first time or simply want to freshen up your style with something new, we’ve got you covered with some inspirational ideas.

If you’re playing a sport or attending a game to support your favorite team, choosing colors to match the team colors can be a great idea to show your commitment to team spirit. Or if you’re headed out on vacation, choosing colors to match the colors of the destination’s flag can be another fun idea. You could even choose colors to show your support for a cause that’s close to your heart.

You may even want to select colors based on the season. For example, if you were invited to a holiday party, selecting holiday colors can also be another festive way to celebrate. Your summer braces don’t have to match your fall or winter braces, so feel free to mix it up!

It may also be helpful to match the colors to your skin tone, just as you would when choosing an outfit. If you don’t like wearing a certain color shirt, you probably won’t like how it looks on your teeth either. If a favorite shirt highlights your skin tone, take note of what color it is and consider using that color next time you choose your braces colors.

Another tip when choosing colors is to consider the shade of your teeth. Most people’s teeth aren’t white, but a shade or two closer to cream color. Darker or more vibrant colors can make your teeth appear brighter and whiter, as opposed to lighter colors.

Your orthodontist may also help you find a new favorite combination by sharing popular color choices that others have come up with so you can build on their creativity and make your own unique signature style for your summer braces.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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What Braces Are Like at First

What Braces Are Like at First

Getting braces can feel like an intimidating step to take, but it might help to know that you’re not alone in your anxiety. Lots of people feel nervous about getting braces so it’s totally normal. That also means that the challenges you may face with braces are not uncommon, lots of people are in the same boat! To help ease your nerves and make things go more smoothly, let’s discuss what braces are like at first and how to overcome some of the challenges that come with them.

Eating and Drinking

Your first week with braces will likely be the most challenging, they are a lot to get used to! Stocking up on foods that don’t require a lot of chewing like yogurts, soups, puddings, smoothies and soft pastas can help to make the transition easier while your mouth adjusts.

Once you’re adjusted to braces, it’ll feel more comfortable to eat and drink what you normally do, but it’s still a good idea to steer clear of very sticky or crunchy foods, extra chewy foods or foods you need to bite into, like corn on the cob, to protect your braces from damage.

Talking with Braces

Talking with braces at the beginning can feel like you’re trying to talk with, well, a mouthful of metal wires and brackets! The easiest way to get used to what braces are like at first is to take it easy. Don’t expect too much from yourself for the first week or two. Take a well-deserved rest and marathon that TV show you’ve been wanting to catch up on or that book your favorite book list recommended. Soon, braces will feel normal, but for now there’s no rush to adjust to something when it simply takes a bit of time for your body to get used to it.

Dealing with Discomfort

What braces are like at first can make you wonder about being stuck with them for months, but they will get more comfortable in just a short time! In the meantime, if you’re experiencing any discomfort, don’t hesitate to call your orthodontist and ask questions. Your orthodontist has probably worked with lots of people experiencing exactly what you’re feeling and most likely has several tips and solutions on hand to make things easier and more comfortable for you. They may recommend dental wax to cover any brackets causing irritation or a mild over the counter numbing gel or pain reliever to help those first few days go a bit easier.

Your New Smile!

All the anxiety about what braces are like at first can cloud the thought of what it will be like to enjoy your new smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment journey. It will all feel worth it, though, so hang in there! You’re doing great, you got this!

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Keeping Your Breath Fresh With Braces

Keeping Your Breath Fresh With Braces

If you have braces, you probably already know that they can make oral hygiene a little more complicated and time consuming. First impressions are already nerve wracking and bad breath is an important concern many people have. Braces may compound all of that so here are a few ideas for keeping your breath fresh with braces.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Understanding what causes bad breath can go a long way towards keeping your breath fresh with braces. Most of the time, bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria content can grow out of balance in the mouth when adequate oral hygiene isn’t practiced regularly.

If your breath is frequently smelling less than fresh, it’s important to address it because bad breath is often a sign that there is extra bacteria lingering in the mouth which can lead to other problems as well such as cavities, gum disease or infection.

How Do I Fight Bad Breath?

Keeping your teeth clean is the number one way of keeping your breath fresh with braces. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing daily to remove food debris and plaque is usually all that is needed to maintain fresh breath.

If you’ve done this and your breath still doesn’t seem to stay fresh, be sure to focus on any difficult to clean areas that may harbor bacteria-containing plaque. For example, in between teeth, around the brackets or attachments of your braces or other orthodontic appliances, and along your gum line.

When to See a Dentist

It’s important to know when to visit your dentist to ensure good oral health. Professional cleanings are usually recommended every 6 months for those who practice good oral hygiene at home, so if it’s been more than 6 months since your last cleaning or you’re noticing signs that there may be bacteria or plaque buildup, such as bad breath, it’s important to see your dentist to ensure that it doesn’t cause other problems.

Braces can make oral hygiene extra challenging and professional dental cleanings are crucial especially when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re experiencing recurring bad breath, don’t ignore it or mask it with a mint. Make an appointment with your dentist and get to the source of the problem.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist

If you care a lot about your smile, you want to take the best possible care of it. So, what do all these different kinds of dentists do? And how do you know which one to see and when? Here is what you need to know about the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist and when may it be helpful to see each of them.

What’s the Difference?

The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist may not be obvious at first because they both deal with issues involving the mouth. But the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist has to do with how and what they treat in the mouth.

Dentists’ specialty is caring for the health of the teeth, gums and jaw. A dentist should typically be seen about every 6 months for an exam and x-rays to check on the health of the different parts of your teeth as well as your gums. A dentist’s office is also where you’ll get professional cleanings done to help keep your smile healthy and bright.

An orthodontist is who you’ll see if you want a specialist that can help with straightening your teeth or correcting your bite. There’s no set age or timing when someone should see an orthodontist for the first time. For children, some don’t see an orthodontist until age 12 or 13, while some go as young as age 5 or 6. It’s usually a good idea to take your child to the orthodontist when their adult or permanent teeth begin to come in, typically around age 7. For adults, any time is a good time to see an orthodontist if you have questions or concerns about the alignment of your teeth or bite or want to improve the appearance of your smile.

Which One is Right for You?

Seeing an orthodontist doesn’t mean you won’t need to see a dentist, and vice versa. The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist may mean that being seen by one may not necessarily take care of the same needs as the other.

Orthodontists and dentists have very different specialties and work together to help their patients achieve the healthy and beautiful smiles they deserve. If you begin orthodontic treatment, it’s actually more important than ever to continue to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings to ensure that your teeth remain healthy, clean and strong to achieve the greatest results possible. And likewise, if you’re seeing a dentist regularly, it is a good idea to talk to an orthodontist about how addressing any overcrowding or bite issues can make it easier to care for your teeth and improve the overall health of your mouth.

Make an Appointment Today

If you’re unsure about whether you need orthodontic treatment or not, it’s a great first step to call an orthodontist and schedule a consultation. An orthodontist can examine your teeth and jaw and talk with you to help you decide if orthodontic treatment is necessary or right for you and what that treatment will look like. Your best smile is in your future and both your dentist and orthodontist are here for you to help make it possible.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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How to Care for Your Braces

How to Care for Your Braces

Getting braces is an exciting step and a great way to improve your smile, but it’s important to know that it can take a little extra time and effort to care for your teeth while you have braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment is crucial, though, because it can help prevent damage to your teeth and braces and ensure that you see your best end result. Taking proper care of your braces may also help prevent unnecessary delays that could prolong your orthodontic treatment. If you’re wondering how to care for your braces, here are some ways that you can care for them, and tools that might make things easier.

What’s New

Caring for your teeth with braces is a lot like caring for your teeth before braces, except that braces add a lot of new surfaces to clean. The addition of braces also means the addition of many tiny new places where plaque can accumulate or food can become stuck which can lead to tooth decay. It’s important to focus extra attention on these new and sometimes difficult areas in order to avoid permanent staining or other serious problems in your future.

Brush, Floss and Mouthwash

Just like without braces, the basics of how to care for your braces is to brush 3 times a day or after each meal, floss and use mouthwash daily. The tools you may need to use, however, might change.

Your dentist may provide you with a special brush with bristles that are indented to better fit around your braces and reach the surfaces of your teeth when you brush. Or you might want to try an electric toothbrush to help with dislodging food or plaque that may hide in the hard to reach crevices between your teeth and around your new braces. Make sure to check with your dentist to ensure that whichever toothbrush you choose is safe for use with your braces and any other orthodontic appliances you might have.

It may also be helpful to use a small tool called a threader for your floss to help you more easily thread the floss under your braces and in between your teeth. You may also find floss with a built in threader at one end of each pre-cut strand or a dental pick which looks like a small pointed brush that can reach small places that a regular-sized toothbrush can not.

Choose Foods That Are Safe

When talking about how to care for your braces, it’s also important to consider what you eat because certain foods can potentially damage your braces which can require an extra visit for repair and prolonged treatment times. Foods to avoid include sticky, crunchy or chewy foods, especially if you need to bite into them like corn on the cob or whole fruit.

Call if You Need Help!

It might sound complicated and difficult to learn how to care for your braces, but don’t feel discouraged. You’ll soon get the hang of it, and it will be well worth your effort when you get them off and see the finished result! And remember, you can always call your orthodontist to ask questions or make an appointment and ask your orthodontist to demonstrate how to care for your braces if you’re unsure of something. Your orthodontist is here for you to help you achieve your best and healthiest smile!

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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