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Whitening Teeth with Braces

September 25th, 2018

Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!

Toothpaste

The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. And, whether you have metal or ceramic braces, the brackets used are bonded to your teeth. Any part of your tooth covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste. Ask our office if you are thinking of using one of these products. We will be happy to recommend the best toothpastes to use while your braces are in place.

Whitening Strips and Trays

Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with whitening gel. But neither strips nor tray solutions will whiten any area covered by brackets. When your braces come off, there might be noticeable differences in color on each tooth. Strips are difficult to apply with braces, and trays need to be custom-designed to fit your braces and make sure they don’t disturb your orthodontic work. One size most definitely does not fit all! Finally, these whitening agents can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, especially around the time of adjustments. Many manufacturers do not recommend using their products while you have braces. Please talk to us if you are thinking of using them.

Professional Whitening

A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Whether this treatment is appropriate while you have braces is something we are happy to discuss.

The best way to keep your teeth bright is to keep up your regular dental routine! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever now, because plaque builds up around brackets. Avoid foods that stain teeth and rinse or brush after every meal and snack. Dr. Doleac will show you the best way to take care of your teeth while your braces are on—and that includes the best way to keep them white and bright. Talk to us about the perfect time to whiten your beautiful smile during your next visit to our Portland, Beaverton, or Sacappoose, OR office. And if you have to wait a few extra days for the smile you’ve been working toward, truly, the wait will be worth it!

Magic Smiles Orthodontics is Ready for Fall

September 24th, 2018

The time has come for pumpkin everything. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin scented candles, pumpkin patches, and, of course,  our very own annual pumpkin carving contest!

 

We are so lucky to have wonderful dentists that we partner with to participate in our contest. Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page so you can vote for your favorite pumpkin in the next few weeks! There’s nothing like a little friendly competition. It’s also a great way to get some fall themed decor around the office which happens to overlap with one of our favorite upcoming holidays: Halloween!

 

Other exciting things happening this month include celebrating our assistant Jordan’s birthday, our Invisalign tune-up deal, and participating in St. Therese’s jog-a-thon. You can find us there next month passing out drinks, snacks, and goodies. We love participating in community events so if you have any events going on be sure to let us know because we’d love to attend. We recently just finished up our annual “Big Screen on the Green” event at Glendoveer and had a great time hanging out with the families in our community.

 

Let’s face it, fall isn’t fall without some comforting, seasonal snacks. S’mores popcorn balls are one of our favorite snacks to indulge in! They make for a great little dessert or a snack to munch on while watching a movie. You can find the recipe below. We hope you’ll enjoy them and we hope to see you all before the end of 2018.

 

If you do end up making these treats, don’t hesitate to snap a photo and tag us in it! We’d love to see how yours turn out.

 

S’mores Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

1 bag natural microwave popcorn
1/4 c. butter
10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. Golden Grahams cereal
1 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

 

Instructions:

  1. Pop popcorn according to package directions; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and continue to cook it until it begins to turn golden brown.
  3. Add in the marshmallows and stir until they are melted.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add popcorn and Golden Grahams, and fold into marshmallow mixture.
  6. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, lightly spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop about one cup of the popcorn mixture and smoosh it into a ball with the mixture.
  7. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, and gently press them into the popcorn ball.
  8. Place the popcorn balls on a sheet of waxed paper, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat to cool. Enjoy!

Invisalign Teen®: What Parents Should Know

September 18th, 2018

Parents want the best for their teens and often ask us about the perks of Invisalign Teen clear aligners compared to traditional braces. Invisalign treatment is a style of braces that skips the usual metal and wires, and uses a clear, thermoplastic material to create removable aligners instead.

Aligners are custom-made for each patient and replaced every two weeks to attain gradually straighter teeth.

Is Invisalign treatment as effective?

As long as your child wears the aligners as directed, the answer is yes: they are just as effective as traditional braces. A small blue spot on the back of each aligner will fade after two weeks of proper wear. This enables Dr. Doleac to tell whether the child is wearing the aligners.

Can Invisalign aligners be removed?

The recommended amount of time to wear Invisalign aligners is at least 20 hours a day. They can be removed for up to four hours per day to eat, brush teeth, play sports, or play musical instruments. This makes brushing and flossing easier and helps maintain good oral hygiene!

How long does treatment take and what is the cost?

Each patient is different. Dr. Doleac can determine how many months your child may expect to wear the series of aligners after a consultation.

Typically, your teen will wear Invisalign clear aligners about as long as traditional braces The cost is also similar to that of other traditional braces; however, there is no set fee. The cost will depend on your child’s unique orthodontic needs.

Overall Success

Invisalign Teen treatment has had remarkable success, and patients love having straighter teeth without the embarrassment of metal braces. As your son or daughter becomes more confident, the patient will actually be more likely to keep up with the treatment and complete it sooner.

Speak with Dr. Doleac today to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign Teen treatment. Give our Portland, Beaverton, or Sacappoose, OR office a call!

 

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush

September 11th, 2018

Did you know your toothbrush could be covered with almost ten million germs? We know … it’s gross! That’s why you should know how to store your toothbrush properly, and when it’s time to replace it.

If you need to brush up on your toothbrush care knowledge, we’ve got you covered so brushing will always leave you feeling squeaky clean.

Keeping a Clean Toothbrush

Your mouth is home to hundreds of types of microorganisms, so it’s normal for some of them to hang onto your toothbrush after you’ve used it. Rinsing your brush thoroughly with water after each use can get rid of leftover toothpaste and food particles that cling to the bristles. Some dentists suggest soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash every now and then can help reduce the amount of bacteria further.

Store your toothbrush in a cool, open environment away from the toilet or trash bin to avoid airborne germs. Closed containers should be avoided because they provide a warm, wet habitat that bacteria love to grow in.

If you have multiple people sharing one sink, an upright holder with different sections will keep everyone’s brushes separated and avoid cross contamination. In addition, we would hope this is a no-brainer, but please don’t share toothbrushes!

Microwaves and dishwashers are not suitable tools for cleaning a toothbrush, because brushes aren’t built to last through this kind of treatment. If you want a really clean toothbrush, your best option is simply to buy a new one.

Replacing Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner depending on individual circumstances. Dr. Doleac and our team agree. If you have braces, tend to brush too strongly, or the bristles become frayed, it’s time for a new brush.

Children will also need replacement brushes more frequently than adults. If you or your child has been sick, you should replace the toothbrush immediately to avoid re-exposing yourself to illness.

Worn-out brushes are not only unsanitary, they don’t do a good job cleaning teeth. Bristles that are worn out and dull won’t scrape away plaque and bacteria as well as a fresh toothbrush can.

 

Though the idea of ten million germs can be worrisome, if you take a few small precautions, you may ensure your toothbrush stays in good shape. And the cleaner the toothbrush, the cleaner the smile!

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