January 20th, 2021
Damon® Smile is a state-of-the-art braces treatment that enables you to get a healthy, straight smile more quickly and comfortably than traditional braces. Studies show Damon Smile requires up to six months less time to complete successful treatment.
However, a question many patients have is...
Why should I get braces?
Apart from the boost in self-esteem that straight teeth can give a person, some people wonder whether braces like Damon Smile are necessary. As Dr. Smith will tell you, braces offer many health benefits as well as aesthetic ones.
When you have evenly spaced teeth and correct bite:
- It’s easier to brush and floss
- There is less tension on the supporting bones and muscles of the mouth and jaw, which reduces stress and headaches
- Chewing is more efficient (which can help your digestion)
- There is less likelihood of tooth decay caused by inadequate oral hygiene since teeth are easier to clean — so this helps to prevent gum disease.
You can see the benefits of getting braces, but why Damon Smile instead of traditional braces or clear aligners? Damon Smile offers patients a highly customizable and discreet way of straightening their teeth. And it's suitable for almost all patients, unlike clear aligners, which can be used only in certain situations.
Since Damon Smile isn’t removable, the braces work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to correct your smile and bite. That means faster results with less chance of relapse!
Damon Smile doesn’t use elastics like traditional brackets, which means you experience less bacterial buildup and faster, more comfortable movement of your teeth. Did we mention Damon Smile also comes in a clear version? Damon® Clear™ lets patients move teeth discreetly as well as effectively. There is also a nickel-free option for patients who are sensitive to nickel.
These are just some of the many benefits of braces with Damon Smile. The next time you visit our Washington DC office, ask Dr. Smith if you’re a good candidate for Damon Smile so you can experience the benefits yourself!
January 13th, 2021
Many people undergo orthodontic treatment during childhood, adolescence, and even into adulthood. Wearing orthodontic appliances like braces is sure to produce a beautiful smile. Though orthodontic treatments at Infinity Orthodontics are designed to accommodate your lifestyle, chances are you will need to make some dietary modifications to prevent damage to your braces and prolong orthodontic treatment.
The First Few Days with Braces
The first few days wearing braces may be the most restrictive. During this time, the adhesive is still curing, which means you will need to consume only soft foods. This probably will not be a problem, however, as your teeth may be tender or sensitive while adjusting to the appliances.
Orthodontic Dietary Restrictions
You can eat most foods normally the way you did without braces. However, some foods can damage orthodontic appliances or cause them to come loose. Examples of foods you will need to avoid include:
- Chewy foods like taffy, chewing gum, beef jerky, and bagels
- Hard foods like peanuts, ice chips, and hard candy
- Crunchy foods like chips, apples, and carrots
How to Continue to Eat the Foods You Love Most
Keep in mind that you may still be able to enjoy some of the foods you love by making certain modifications to the way you eat them. For example, steaming or roasting carrots makes them softer and easier to consume with braces. Similarly, you can remove corn from the cob, or cut up produce like apples and pears to avoid biting into them. Other tips include grinding nuts into your yogurt or dipping hard cookies into milk to soften them. If you must eat hard candies, simply suck on them instead of biting into them.
If you have any question whether a food is safe to eat during your treatment with Infinity Orthodontics, we encourage you to err on the side of caution. Of course, you can always contact our Washington DC office with any questions you have about your diet and the foods that should be avoided during treatment. By following our dietary instructions and protecting your orthodontic appliances from damage, you will be back to chewing gum in no time.
January 6th, 2021
The weather out there might be frightful for most of us, but not for you! You’ve been waiting all year for a fresh coat of powder and all the outdoor sporting activities winter brings. But before you grab those ski poles, strap into that snowboard, lace up those skates, or dust off that sled, be sure to remember one more essential piece of gear—your mouthguard!
Mouthguards aren’t just for contact sports. While all that lovely new snow looks like powder, it doesn’t feel like it when you land hard. If there’s a chance of a fall or an impact in any sport, there’s a chance you can suffer dental injuries.
Falls or collisions can result in chipped, broken, or dislodged teeth. Your mouthguard will help protect your smile from these accidents, and also works to protect you from biting your tongue and mouth in case of impact. It can even reduce the chance of jaw injuries.
Luckily, finding a mouthguard that works for you is even easier than finding the perfect board or the best wax for your skis. You have several options to choose from:
- Ready-made appliances. These are available in drugstores and sporting goods stores, but come in pre-formed sizes, so they might not provide the best fit.
- The “boil-and-bite” model. This mouthguard form is placed in hot water. You then bite down while it is pliable to shape it to your mouth and teeth.
- Custom mouthguards. These guards can be fabricated just for you. They are molded to fit your individual mouth and teeth, so provide a better fit and better protection. They are also usually more durable and more comfortable. If you wear braces, a custom mouthguard can be your best option for preventing an injury to your mouth and your braces. Talk to Dr. Smith if you are interested in a guard fitted specifically for you.
When you visit our Washington DC office, let’s discuss all the best ways to keep your teeth and mouth protected before you set out for winter sports. And then when you’re ready to go? Let it snow!
December 23rd, 2020
Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) refers to a diverse range of disorders that relate to muscular function in the jaw and face — the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). That could mean difficulty opening your mouth, pain in the jaw or face, or any sort of problem with the jaw joint.
TMD can be difficult to diagnose because of the varied causes. Whatever the case, an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Smith helps make treatment as successful as possible.
Most often, jaw problems will resolve themselves within several weeks or months. Surgeries like arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery should be a last resort. More conservative and reversible treatments should come first and are in fact the most critical step in the treatment of TMD.
Less invasive treatments like acupuncture and splints can be helpful, but that will depend on your particular case. It’s worth your while to speak with Dr. Smith at our Washington DC office to learn about solutions that could work for you.
A combination of treatments will most often produce the greatest relief for TMJ patients. It’s a good idea to avoid activities that overuse the jaws, such as chewing gum or clenching your jaws.
You can be proactive in finding relief for TMD by trying the following remedies at home:
- Eat soft food: When you eat soft and/or blended food, your jaw gets an opportunity to rest. Avoid chewy and crunchy food, and food that requires you to open your mouth wide, like apples or corn on the cob.
- Apply moist heat: A hot water bottle wrapped in a moist towel can help reduce symptoms.
- Apply ice: Applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel for no longer than 15 minutes may also reduce pain and promote healing.
- Do jaw exercises: A physical therapist can help identify the exercises that will work for you. Jaw exercises have been shown to be an effective treatment method that can be performed at home.
- Relaxation: Actively try to relax the muscles of the face and lips, and let your teeth come apart. Many find meditation, yoga, and slow, deep breathing to be helpful for reducing stress and tension.
- Avoid wide yawns: Keep your fist under your jaw when you feel a yawn coming on, to keep your jaw from opening too widely.