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How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Braces

blog-featured-image-sweet-tooth-with-bracesYou’re in between meals and craving something sweet, but you just started orthodontic treatment and know that many of your favorite foods should now be avoided. Is there anything sweet you can eat? The short answer is yes! Orthodontist Dr. Carlyn Phucas and the staff at Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics are here to explain the truth about sugar and how to satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your braces.

The Truth About Sugar

Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and is off-limits during orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth healthy and strong. Whether you’re in braces or not, it is important to note that candy made of lots of sugar should always be avoided, especially during orthodontic treatment. Failure to do so could mean more dental work after your braces come off.

There is a common misconception that the type of sugar that you consume makes a difference in the overall effect on the teeth. This idea is false – texture and concentration matter immensely. The stickier the candy the more minutes it sits on your teeth the more likely the teeth are to decay or decal off, causing permanent stains. If eating a high sugar content food, the faster they are cleaned off the teeth by saliva, water or a toothbrush, the less risk there is. Once braces are on, sugar has many places to hide and the longer it’s left to sit on the teeth and braces, the more damage it causes.Read More

How to Enjoy Summer BBQ Season with Braces

blog-featured-image-summer-bbq-with-bracesSummer is here! That means outdoor barbecues with family and friends will be abundant. Whether celebrating a national holiday, graduation or attending a simple gathering, summer barbecues are a common summertime activity meant for everyone to enjoy. So how do you enjoy a summer BBQ while wearing braces? Fear not, we’ll break down the foods you should avoid and the foods you can enjoy while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid During a BBQ

Orthodontist Dr. Carlyn Phucas at Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics recommends avoiding the following common barbecue foods:

  • Raw Veggies: By now everyone understands the importance of eating vegetables. However, consuming raw veggies while wearing braces could cause more harm than good. To avoid damaging your brackets or archwires, cut veggies into small, bite-size pieces and chew using your back teeth. Another option is to drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper onto the veggies, wrap them in aluminum foil, and cook them on the grill. 
  • Corn on the Cob: While eating corn straight off the cob is not good for braces, corn removed from the cob is fine to eat. Eat the kernels as a side by themselves or add them to a salad.
  • Tough Meat: Avoid tough or stringy meats – stick to tender meats and be sure to eat them slowly.

Foods to Enjoy During a BBQ

Don’t let the list of foods above discourage you from attending an upcoming barbecue. There are still plenty of foods you can eat that won’t interrupt your orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the delicious foods you can still enjoy:

  • Popsicles: We recommend making your own with fresh fruit and juice.
  • Soft Fruits: melons, grapes, and kiwis are perfect summertime fruits to enjoy even with braces. Eat them by themselves or altogether in a tasty fruit salad.
  • Cheeses: Believe it or not, cheese is a great source of calcium for your teeth.
  • Tender Meats: As long as the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone, enjoy!
  • Cooked Beans
  • Soft Breads
  • Soft-Baked Cookies and Lightweight Crackers

At Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics, we want you to enjoy your summer. For questions about eating with braces or to schedule an appointment, contact our office. Happy grilling!

Rubber Bands for Braces, Explained

blog-featured-image-elastics-for-bracesWhether you’ve had orthodontic treatment or not, you’ve seen people wearing elastics or rubber bands as part of the process. But do you know what they’re used for? To help give you a better idea of why rubber bands are used with metal or clear braces, we’ll explain what they are, why they’re used, and how to take care of them during treatment.

What are Rubber Bands?

In short, rubber bands are used to help move your teeth along the archwire to aid in tooth movement for your particular treatment plan. There are many different ways to wear rubber bands and how long you wear them is determined by your orthodontist. Dr. Carlyn Phucas of Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics will instruct you on exactly how to wear your rubber bands and when and how often to change them based on your personalized treatment plan. Since your rubber bands lose their elasticity with use, patients are normally instructed to replaced them at least once a day, especially after eating and brushing. Read More

How to Keep Your Invisalign Aligners Clean

You’ve gotten your clear aligners and it’s time to begin your journey to a healthier, straight smile with Invisalign. Just as your oral hygiene routine would change with braces, you will need to adopt a new routine with Invisalign. This includes stocking up on a few more hygiene products and supplies to maintain your new lifestyle. To make things easier, we’ve listed all the things you’ll need to keep your Invisalign clear aligners clean.

Get Another Toothbrush

Dr. Carlyn Phucas at Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics recommends that you have two toothbrushes: one for your teeth and one for your Invisalign clear aligners. This is due to the fact that your Invisalign aligners do not need the same tough bristles used to scrub teeth clean. A softer bristled toothbrush is all you will need to clean the aligners as to not damage them. Having two different toothbrushes also reduces the risk of staining the aligners with leftover food particles from brushing your teeth. Read More