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Surviving Date Night with Braces

blog-featured-image-date-night-with-bracesDate night can be a nerve-wracking experience. From what to wear, where to go, what to talk about, the numerous variables of date night can wreak havoc on what should be a fun experience. You don’t want your braces to be another source of worry on this evening, and they don’t have to be!

With a few simple tips from Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan of the McAllen Orthodontic Group, you can flash your beautiful smile at your date as many times as you want without being worried about leftovers being hidden in your brackets.

At a Nice Restaurant – Stick to Soft Foods

While mood lighting can help hide a lot of things, it can’t get rid of food in your teeth. Stick to soft, tender foods so you can smile with confidence all night long. Pasta, mashed potatoes, soups, and other softer options are easy to eat and are less likely to have little bits that stick around in wires and brackets. Read More

4 Dieting Tips to Keep Your Smile Healthy

blog-featured-image-tips-for-healthy-smileJust like the rest of your body, your mouth and teeth need to be well-nourished and taken care of in order to keep your smile radiant. Orthodontists Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan of the McAllen Orthodontic Group has four tips for keeping the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve!

Brush and Floss

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush. It also recommends flossing daily in between teeth to keep plaque at bay. Flossing, while boring and annoying, is pertinent to oral health. Did you know not flossing is linked to heart disease? YIKES!Read More

Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports

blog-featured-image-mouthguards-for-bracesGetting braces doesn’t mean giving up the sports you love! Luckily, braces will not keep you from any sport or physical activity. However, the price you pay for a beautiful smile is taking a little extra care of your mouth while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Play Safe, Play All Season

In general, it is not uncommon for an athlete to experience injuries to the mouth and jaw area. Ever taken a soccer ball to the face? A fixed orthodontic appliance, such as braces, does increase your risk of oral injuries. Common oral injuries include lacerations to the cheeks, lips, and tongue, chipped or broken teeth, TMJ, and root fractures.

Have no fear, you can easily protect your teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports by investing in a mouthguard. While it is suggested that braces patients invest in an orthodontic model, a basic mouthguard will provide more protection than nothing at all.Read More

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! Orthodontists Dr. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan 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

Elastics 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. John A. Gerling and Dr. Joseph Ryan of the McAllen Orthodontic Group 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 replace them at least once a day, especially after eating and brushing.Read More

How to Keep Your Invisalign Aligners Clean

blog-feature-image-Keeping-Invisalign-Aligners-CleanYou’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. John A. Gerling DDS MSD and Dr. Joseph Ryan at McAllen Orthodontic Group recommend 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