Category: Braces

How important is wearing rubber bands with braces?

Smiling girl wearing rubber bands with braces

If you just started your journey to a beautiful new smile and your orthodontist tells you that rubber bands will be a part of your treatment plan, you may have some questions!

Why are rubber bands used? How do they work? What happens if you don’t wear them? Here’s everything you need to know about braces rubber bands:

What are rubber bands?

Rubber bands are one of the most common types of orthodontic appliances used with braces.

They are tiny elastics that hook around a braces hook located on a top bracket of your braces as well as a bottom bracket.

These appliances are used during braces treatment (and sometimes Invisalign® treatment) to apply pressure to the top and bottom jaw bones, which helps guide them into proper alignment. Rubber bands are used to correct all types of misalignments, including overbites, underbites, midlines, crossbites and open bites.

Interarch rubber bands Vs. Colored elastics for braces

Interarch rubber bands are different from colored elastics for braces. These different braces’ elastics types serve different functions, and have different elasticity/resistance. 

The interarch rubber bands are the ones that help align the jaw bones by applying pressure to the top and bottom teeth. (These are the ones you’re reading about in this guide!)

The colored elastics for braces are the tiny elastics that wrap around each bracket to hold the archwire to the bracket. This prevents the archwire from slipping out of place and essentially “tightens” your braces. At each check-in appointment, we’ll replace these rubber bands with new ones to maintain the pressure applied to your teeth.

Both types of rubber bands are designed to apply pressure to your smile, but interarch bands align your jaws, while colored elastics align your teeth. Together, they help us create your perfect smile! 

How important are rubber bands?

If rubber bands are included in your treatment plan, they’re integral to your transformation. It’s essential that you wear your rubber bands as frequently as prescribed. Aligning your jaw bones is a critical part of straightening your smile, treating any present orthodontic problems, and ultimately, achieving the results you came to us for!

In the event that you don’t wear your rubber bands as instructed, this can significantly delay your treatment progress and therefore push back your treatment end date. If you want to see your new smile as quickly as possible, it’s important that you wear your rubber bands and follow your personalized treatment plan to a tee. 

Braces rubber bands: how long do I wear them?

In most cases, patients are prescribed to wear rubber bands 24/7 for anywhere from one month to eight months, or more. You could also be instructed to wear rubber bands part-time, half of the day. It all depends on your personalized treatment plan. 

What is the proper braces elastics position for me?

When your orthodontist hands you your first bag of elastics, we’ll explain how to position your rubber bands, where to place them, how to attach them, and how long to wear them. Our goal is to answer all of your questions so you don’t have any lingering questions when you leave our office.

Your braces’ elastic positions will be determined based on your orthodontic condition, but here’s an example of how they’ll work: 

Rubber band positions for underbite

If you have an underbite where your lower jaw extends further out than your upper jaw, your rubber bands are aimed to guide your lower jaw backward and your upper jaw forward into alignment. In this case, your rubber bands will be attached to a braces hook toward the back of your upper teeth, and one on the canines of your lower teeth.

This position would effectively guide your lower jaw backward.

Rubber band positions for overbite

If you have an overbite where your upper jaw extends further over your lower jaw, your elastics aim to shift the upper jaw backward and the lower jaw forward to align your smile. 

In this case, your rubber bands will attach to a braces hook on the bottom teeth, toward the back of your mouth, and a hook on the top teeth, toward your top canines. The rubber band tension will start to pull the upper jaw backward and the lower jaw forward, effectively treating an overbite. 

Still have questions about rubber bands with braces?

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we’ll explain everything you need to know! After Dr. King or Dr. Welch examines your condition, takes diagnostic photos and x-rays and discusses your smile goals with you, we’ll discuss your personalized treatment plan in full detail.

Educating our patients is extremely important to us! We want you to be informed throughout your entire treatment process, because that’s how the greatest results are created.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Jupiter, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam today.

Can an HSA lower the cost of braces?

Father and daughter learning about HSAs for orthodontics

Spoiler alert: Yes it can! Using your HSA to pay for orthodontic treatment is not only possible, but it can also lower your costs and give you greater value for your money.

Here’s everything you need to know about HSAs for orthodontics – so you can make the best decision for your smile (and your wallet).

What is HSA or FSA?

HSA stands for Health Savings Account, which is a type of savings account that allows you to set money aside (pre-taxed) to be used for qualifying medical expenses. This money can then be withdrawn tax-free and dedicated toward healthcare deductibles, copays or out-of-pocket costs.

The portion of your orthodontics cost that isn’t covered by your insurance company may be covered by your HSA account. HSA funds are tax-deductible, tax-deferred and tax-free!

Since HSA money goes into your account untaxed and comes out of it untaxed, this allows you to get even greater value from your HSA funds than you would from your typical checking or savings account.

An FSA, which stands for Flexible Spending Account, is essentially a less-flexible version of an HSA. For example, FSA funds may not be able to roll over to the next year if benefits aren’t used by the end of the year. FSAs are also owned by your employer, whereas HSAs are personal savings accounts. 

Can you use HSA for braces?

You sure can! In fact, any orthodontic treatment deemed necessary after your free initial orthodontic exam can be considered a qualified medical expense for your HSA. 

Orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign® clear aligners is not just for cosmetic benefits. While orthodontic treatment can and will improve your appearance and confidence drastically, it can also improve your quality of life and a number of major functions related to your teeth and jaw bones. 

For example, orthodontic treatment can help widen the jaw bones and free blockages from the airways to improve breathing and sleeping quality. Some cases of sleep apnea can be treated with orthodontics alone. For many people, orthodontic treatment is medically necessary to improve their quality of life and can therefore be covered by HSAs.

Do HSA funds roll over to the next year?

Yes, unlike FSA accounts, all money in an HSA account rolls over to the next year. If you have a healthcare FSA from your employer that does roll over, you’ll only be able to carry over about $570 from your 2022 contributions to 2023.

If you have an FSA, it’s a good idea to use those funds before the year ends in order to receive the maximum benefit! We encourage you to request your complimentary exam with us to get the treatment process started and make the most out of your 2022 FSA!

How do you use an HSA for orthodontics?

The steps you’ll need to take to apply your HSA funds to your orthodontics costs will depend on your specific provider. However, there are a few common ways to access or redeem your savings.

  1. Use your HSA debit card or benefits card. When you open your HSA, you typically receive a debit card attached to your account to access your funds. You can use this benefits card like you would a traditional debit card, but only for healthcare expenses. If you use the HSA debit card method, you can simply swipe your card to use your HSA for orthodontics.
  2. Write a check from your HSA. Nowadays, checks are not as common as debit cards for HSAs, but if you prefer to use a check to access your funds, you will receive a checkbook linked to your account. You can then write a check the same way you would a traditional check to cover medical expenses.
  3. Complete an online payment to your orthodontist. Online payments have proven to be one of the easiest routes for using HSA funds. With many HSAs, you can send money directly to your orthodontist, like you would with a traditional bank account. HSAs can be linked similarly to bank accounts.
  4. Get reimbursed. If you don’t have enough money accrued in your HSA, you can pay your treatment costs out-of-pocket, then file for a reimbursement from your HSA months or years down the road. 

With orthodontic HSA fund applications, you have options! In most cases, it’s up to you to decide how you want to apply your HSA funds in a way that’s most convenient for you. 

We’re here to help!

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we’re here to help in any way we can. We’re happy to discuss how you can apply your HSA to your orthodontics cost. 

On your first visit to our orthodontist office in Jupiter, we’ll help you configure your costs and develop an affordable payment plan to cover your out-of-pocket expenses with your HSA. 

We’re proud to offer a variety of payment options, including 0% interest in-house financing, to make your braces costs or Invisalign costs affordable for you! 

Everyone deserves a confident smile – without breaking the bank. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Ready to start your journey? Request your complimentary exam today to get started!

Top 3 Vitamin Supplements for Healthy Teeth with Braces

adult with Invisalign learns which vitamins she can take with braces

Taking daily vitamins and mineral supplements is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, strengthen your immune system and shine bright from the inside out! 

You can take certain vitamins to grow your hair, help clear your skin complexion, and improve your brain function, so are there vitamins that can help support your teeth throughout orthodontic treatment too?

Yes there are! If you’re interested in discovering which vitamins you can take with braces, this one’s for you.

The Role of Vitamins in the Body

Taking vitamins has a range of benefits, from improved eyesight and greater heart health, to reduced stress and anxiety, brighter skin complexion and stronger teeth!

Our bodies are filled with natural vitamins that facilitate proper function and growth of our cells – and our cells are responsible for everything that goes on in the body. In fact, our bodies are just a big, beautiful clump of cells.  Vitamins are a one-stop solution for living a healthier and happier life.

Certain vitamins hold unique benefits. For example, Vitamins C, D and E are three of the best vitamins to support healthy skin cell function. To strengthen your teeth and gums, you can focus on adding more calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium to your diet or through supplements.

Vitamins and Orthodontic Treatment

So how does this all apply to you during your treatment with braces or Invisalign®

Vitamins that support your teeth, gums and jaw bones can promote healthy tooth movement, speed up the orthodontic process, and help you reveal a bright smile when your orthodontic treatment is complete!

Top 3 Vitamins to Support You Through Orthodontic Treatment

1. Calcium

Calcium is a no-brainer when it comes to your smile. Calcium is a powerhouse for bones and teeth. It strengthens enamel, the outer protective layer of the teeth that has the key responsibility of preventing cavities, discoloration and erosion. 

It’s recommended that young adults intake about 1,300 mg of calcium daily. This will help support your teeth and provide them with the strength they need to move quickly and healthily for the best treatment results.

Adding calcium to your diet:

You can find loads of calcium in milk, cheese, yogurt and leafy vegetables (like spinach, kale and collard greens). Try adding an extra slice of cheese to your lunch, or grabbing a milk on the go. You can also choose a calcium vitamin or supplement to get your daily dose!

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a key mineral essential for the proper development of the jaw bones and gums – two very important parts of your smile. Magnesium (along with other minerals) comprises the structure of the teeth and helps maintain bone density.

In order to move your teeth to a beautiful new formation through orthodontic treatment, we need strong teeth and jaw bones that can react appropriately to your braces’ guidance.

Magnesium also works hand-in-hand with calcium, helping the body absorb calcium. Double win! 

Adding magnesium to your diet:

You can find magnesium in beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, wheat and fruits like avocados, bananas, kiwis, raspberries and cantaloupes. Try a fresh fruit salad for your next snack! Of course, you can also supplement with a magnesium daily vitamin.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D does wonders for our bodies! Like magnesium, it helps us absorb calcium and plays a key role in bone and tooth remineralization. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain healthy gums and keep bacteria at bay. 

Studies published by the National Library of Medicine have shown that “supplementing with vitamin D was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of dental caries (cavities) compared with no supplement”. This is more than enough reason to add more vitamin D to your day!

Adding vitamin D to your diet:

The average person should intake about 600 IU of vitamin D daily. This can be achieved through lifestyle changes, dietary changes and supplementing with a daily vitamin. 

Although it isn’t difficult to get vitamin D in Florida year-round, it’s important that you make time to get anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes of natural sunlight a day with your arms and face exposed to the sun. 

Add vitamin D-rich foods, like eggs, butter, yogurt, cheese and fish to your grocery list. And of course, you can add a daily vitamin or chew to your diet!

Can I take gummy vitamins with braces?

Gummy vitamins are more desirable for children than traditional, solid vitamins of course (yay sugar!) But is taking gummy vitamins a good idea? Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Gummy vitamins hold fewer minerals and vitamins than traditional, solid vitamins.
  2. Flavored gummies can make a considerable dent in your recommended daily sugar intake of fewer than 25 grams. Some gummies have upwards of 8 grams of sugar in them!
  3. Some gummy vitamins also have harmful additives, like Red #40 and Yellow #6 in them. These chemicals are known to cause hyperactivity in children, difficulty focusing, and may even increase the risk of certain cancers. 
  4. Gummy vitamins can become lodged within your braces, due to their stickiness. Eating them could potentially loosen a bracket or wire and require an emergency orthodontist appointment.

We think it’s best to avoid gummy vitamins during orthodontic treatment and opt for solid traditional vitamins!

Still have questions about vitamins and orthodontics?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through orthodontic treatment and ensure that you achieve beautiful, lifelong results. If you’re looking for advice – or just want to chat about your child’s treatment – we’re here for you.

Still considering orthodontic treatment? We’re proud to offer a variety of desirable treatment options for all ages! Choose from InBrace® truly invisible braces, traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, advanced self-ligating braces and Invisalign® clear aligners

Dr. King, Dr. Welch and our team will help you make the best choice for your smile on your first visit

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary orthodontic exam with our experienced orthodontists in Jupiter, Florida today! 

We’ll help you smile with confidence. 

How to Deal with Bullying & Braces: 5 Tips

teen with braces learns about bullying with braces

Braces are becoming more popular over recent years with an estimated four million people wearing braces at any given time!

With new technological advancements that make braces more customizable and less noticeable than ever before (like lingual braces and self-ligating braces), braces don’t hold the stigma they once did. However, children in school can be critical of peers who have unique qualities – and that can unfortunately include a unique smile. 

The facts about braces and bullying

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, 66% of adolescents were teased about their physical characteristics; malocclusions (dental misalignments) were found to have a significant correlation to bullying.

Another study revealed that of the children who were bullied for their teeth, 78% reported that they were no longer being bullied once they began orthodontic treatment!

While this is a hopeful statistic, we would like to see that 100% of children are not bullied for their teeth, their braces, or any reason whatsoever.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so we’re kicking it off early by spreading awareness! Parents, here are 5 tips to handle childhood bullying.

Tips to handle bullying with your child

Tip #1: Listen to your child.

First things first, hear your child out. Bullying is a serious matter, and it’s important that your child knows he or she has your support through it all. Children shouldn’t have to feel alone as they navigate challenging situations in life!

Listen to your child’s concerns and know when to raise the issue to school administration if necessary. 

Tip #2. Model self-love and self-acceptance.

Modeling self-love and confidence for your child goes a long way. Parents’ habits dictate their children’s habits. If you look in the mirror, smile and call yourself beautiful, your child is likely to do the same!

Lead by example and show your child that they have plenty of qualities to love. Self-love is the best defense against bullying. 

Compliment your child’s positive attributes and emphasize the ones that lie below the surface. Qualities like kindness, intelligence and kindness should be celebrated above physical appearance.

Tip #3: Show your child that their favorite celebrities had braces too!

Braces are a normal part of growing up and many of our favorite celebrities and influencers had braces too. It may help to show your child pictures of popular stars in orthodontic treatment. 

Emma Watson, Gabrielle Union, Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Kendall Jenner, Venus and Serena Williams, Niall Horan, Emma Stone, Beyonce and Dwight Howard all went through orthodontic treatment to experience a confident, movie-star smile!

Tip #4: Remind them that wearing braces is something to be proud of.

Your child can be proud of the self-discipline and patience it takes to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile! This is something to be proud of, not made fun of.

In a few months’ time, your child will get to reveal an incredible smile that improves their health and boosts their self-esteem. Let them know that anything they do to improve their life is something to celebrate.

Tip #5: Consider alternate treatment methods if your child is particularly apprehensive.

We understand that braces aren’t for everyone, especially children and teens exploring their own unique styles in life! Braces aren’t your only option. At Jupiter Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer Invisalign® clear aligners as an alternative to braces.

A lot of our teen patients choose clear aligners as their preferred treatment method, and we’re more than happy to accommodate. Both types of treatment are just as effective as traditional braces, and they tend to be more convenient for teens’ lifestyles. It’s all up to your preferences!

Dr. King and Dr. Welch have the experience you need to undergo a successful treatment with your preferred treatment option.

Still have questions about orthodontic treatment?

We want your child to undergo a successful, life-changing transformation – and we’re here to help you support your child along the way. If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at our Jupiter office.

We’re happy to discuss any of our treatments and technologies with you. We support the families in our community!

If you haven’t started treatment yet and you’re ready to get started, request a complimentary consultation with us today.

Back to School with Braces in 2022! Top 5 Tips

teens after their back to school orthodontic exam

*School bells ring in the distance* It’s that time again! School is back in session and if you’re starting off the school year with a fresh metal grill, you may have mixed feelings. It’s only natural.

Your experience doesn’t have to be awkward. Braces treatment is a lot less challenging than you may think. 

Your friends here at Jupiter Orthodontics have the pro tips you need to go back to school with confidence. (We have a feeling this is going to be your best school year yet.)

1. Be selfie-ready at all times with a braces care kit.

Don’t let your breakfast linger into lunch with you! Carrying a braces care kit is ideal for keeping your smile clean and avoiding the embarrassing realization that you had a piece of lettuce in your teeth the whole time. 

Consider any of these items for your handy kit:

  • Mini toothbrush
  • Mini toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Interproximal brush
  • Pocket mirror
  • Orthodontic wax

You don’t have to carry too many items or spend more than $5! As long as you have a travel-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste, you’re good to go. Keeping your teeth clean will help you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

After breakfast, lunch and snacks, bring your braces care kit to the bathroom for a quick cleanse. Clean teeth = great breath + exceptional treatment results.

2. Keep it cool with a refillable water bottle.

Bring your coolest water bottle to school and refill it a few times each day. You’ll see the benefits pretty quickly! Water plays an important role in your orthodontic treatment journey, from your dental health to your mental health.

Plus, drinking more water means more bathroom breaks – and more bathroom breaks means more chances to use your braces care kit.

3. Don’t take risks with your precious smile!

Life is all about taking risks – safe risks, that is. Ask that girl or guy out. Learn how to play the drums. Try out for the main role in the next play! Why not? Live a little!

However, one risk you don’t want to take this school year (or ever) is stepping onto the field or court without your mouthguard. Leaving your teeth exposed to a ball spiraling toward your face or another player’s elbow is a dangerous, painful, and expensive risk.

According to studies published by the American Dental Association, “individuals who do not use mouthguards have more than twice the increased risk of orofacial injury.” Wearing a mouthguard reduces the chances of dentofacial injuries in collision sports by 27.6%!

Your mouthguard protects you from a potential braces emergency, or worse – a cut lip or a missing tooth. If you don’t have a mouthguard yet, please let our team know at your next appointment and we can help you choose the best one. 

4. Pack some braces-friendly snacks – just in case.

Who doesn’t appreciate back-up snacks? Whether you prefer eating school lunches or packing lunches from home, it’s a good idea to keep some braces-friendly snacks in your locker.

During the first week with braces, your teeth and gums may be a bit sore, and you may feel discouraged from eating some of your usual foods. (Don’t worry, this is temporary!) While your mouth is still adjusting to braces treatment, you may want to pack some soft snacks, like:

  • Pasta salad
  • Oatmeal
  • Apple sauce
  • Yogurt
  • Soft chocolate
  • Chicken soup

After the first week or so with braces, you may be able to reintroduce the full braces-approved menu. Try any of these snacks:

  • String cheese
  • Muffins
  • Shredded chicken
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Fruit salad
  • Grilled cheese

With braces-friendly snacks by your side, you won’t have to face lunch on your own or feel that your options are limited. (And you won’t be hangry by the end of the day.)

5. Smile as much as possible!

Take every chance to smile with friends – and in the mirror! Watch your smile transform over the months and start tapping into the confidence you’re gaining.

We provide different types of braces so you can choose the one that makes you feel the most confident. Choose from traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual (behind-the-teeth) braces and advanced self-ligating braces. (We’re also expert Invisalign® providers.) 

Remember, all of your hard work will pay off soon. Enjoy this school year – and prepare for a life-changing smile! 

Need more back-to-school tips?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’ll give you all of the tips and advice you need for a comfortable transition back to school – with braces, but without the awkwardness. 

Has your child received his or her first orthodontic exam yet? We are a leading orthodontist in Jupiter, FL, and we offer free first visits. Your first visit includes a one-on-one consultation with Dr. King or Dr. Welch and a thorough orthodontic exam with x-rays and photos!

Request your complimentary back-to-school orthodontic exam today. 

What happens during phase 1 orthodontic treatment?

girl in phase 1 orthodontic treatment smiles at friend in the park

If you’re a parent, you may have heard of phase 1 orthodontic treatment for children. Orthodontic treatment, braces, and Invisalign® have become household words in the past decade.

After all, an estimated 50 to 70% of children in the United States wear braces before adulthood.

For parents who haven’t heard of phase 1 orthodontics yet, you’re in the right place! We’re here to give you the skinny on early orthodontic treatment and phase 1 braces.

What is phase 1 orthodontic treatment?

Phase 1 orthodontics, or one phase orthodontics, is a treatment approach that enables our experienced orthodontists, Dr. King and Dr. Welch, to treat our youngest patients in one complete phase of treatment.

In the 1980s, two-phase orthodontics was a popular treatment method. This approach splits orthodontic treatment into two phases, one phase aimed to prepare the mouth for braces or Invisalign treatment, and the other phase aimed to straighten the smile.

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we warn parents against two-phase orthodontic treatment, as some orthodontists recommend this method in order to generate more profit. Our orthodontists only treat patients in two phases when it is absolutely necessary and in the best interest of the patient.

Due to our orthodontists’ expertise, level of skill, and the advanced orthodontic technologies we use, we can treat most patients in one phase with comprehensive treatment. As long as we are able to create the same quality of results that would be made through two phases of treatment, our orthodontists will recommend one phase treatment.

What does phase 1 orthodontic treatment mean for you? Less expense, fewer appointments, and high quality results.

The Phase 1 Braces Process

Phase 1 orthodontics begins with a complimentary consultation at our Jupiter office! We encourage you to fill out your patient forms online to make your first visit as efficient as possible.

When you visit us for your consultation, you and your child will meet your Jupiter orthodontist (Dr. King or Dr. Welch) who will perform a comprehensive orthodontic exam at no charge!

Plus, if your child doesn’t require orthodontic treatment on their first visit, Dr. King will monitor them every six months at no charge with no deposit necessary.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Once we have all of the information we need about your child’s teeth, bite alignment, and growth/development progress, your orthodontist will create a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include an orthodontic appliance to maximize the efficiency of treatment, followed by a full treatment of braces (depending on the patient’s specific case).

Our orthodontists are known for an advanced treatment method called the King Method. The King Method is a comprehensive orthodontic approach that fuses various techniques and appliances into one unique method. With this approach, we create superior results in a shorter amount of time.

Your child’s treatment plan will focus on establishing a strong foundation for a beautiful set of permanent teeth to emerge!

Visit us for regular check-ups!

Once we begin treatment, you and your child will be advised to visit us for regular check-ups every 8 to 10 weeks or so. Some cases require less frequent visits! Your orthodontist will determine the frequency of visits after their orthodontic exam.

During these visits, your orthodontist will assess your child’s progress to determine whether any changes need to be made to their treatment plan.

The next step is a beautiful, healthy new smile that will last your child a lifetime with proper care! We’ll guide you through every step of the treatment process – from your first visit to your last.

Please know that there is no pressure from our office to begin a child’s treatment. We always have our patients’ best interest in mind when determining if treatment should begin!

Reach out to us with any questions or request your complimentary consultation today!

Does a missing tooth disqualify me from braces?

girls with braces with missing teeth

Spoiler Alert: No, you can still get braces with a missing tooth! There aren’t many factors that can disqualify you from orthodontic treatment with our experienced orthodontists.

Braces may be recommended for a patient with missing teeth for any number of reasons. At your complimentary consultation, Dr. King or Dr. Welch will perform a full exam of your smile to help you determine the best treatment route moving forward.

We’re proud to use the King Method, a unique orthodontic approach that fuses a combination of orthodontic techniques into one comprehensive method. If you have missing teeth and need orthodontics, our orthodontists have the experience necessary to help you achieve your goals.

In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about getting braces with missing teeth

What causes missing teeth?

The most common causes of missing teeth include:

  • Traumatic injury
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Oral cancer
  • Congenital condition (condition present at birth)

The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million U.S. Americans are missing at least one tooth! 

Why would I need braces with missing teeth?

If you have missing teeth, you may or may not need orthodontic treatment. It all depends on the positions of your teeth and the alignment of your jaw bones. 

In many cases with missing teeth, the surrounding teeth will start to drift to fill the spaces. As teeth drift, this can create new orthodontic problems, including crowding and malocclusions (bite misalignment). Missing teeth can actually create orthodontic problems at any stage of life. 

Orthodontic problems can affect your quality of life, including your confidence and self-esteem, chewing and bite functionality.

Braces with Missing Teeth

Braces may be used while teeth are missing! In some cases, the patient may require a space maintainer to preserve the space created by a missing tooth or teeth. Space maintainers prevent teeth from drifting over and creating a more severe misalignment.

If the missing tooth needs to be replaced, we can use a space maintainer to hold space for the restoration as well. If your case requires a space maintainer, your orthodontist will explain the process to you! 

Braces can then be placed on teeth to close any gaps, hold certain gaps open or create more space in the mouth. 

Can I get braces with missing molars?

Yes, in many cases, patients can still get braces with missing molars. Depending on your specific case, we may recommend Invisalign® clear aligners or braces, along with an appliance. Either way, we will guide you toward a solution that helps you love your smile. 

Request your complimentary exam today!

The best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for orthodontic treatment is by visiting us for your complimentary consultation. One of our experienced orthodontists will perform a full examination of your smile and present your treatment options to help you make the best decision for your smile. 

It takes $0 to find out if you’re a good candidate for orthodontics! You deserve to live your most confident life. Request a complimentary exam with us in Jupiter, FL.

Hey Braces and Invisalign Wearers! Are You Using Mouthwash Daily?

adults wearing braces and invisalign smile after using mouthwash

Whether you have braces or Invisalign®, it’s essential that you’re using mouthwash daily!

Did you know that when you brush your teeth, you only reach 25% of your mouth (Listerine®)? Reaching all of the spaces on your teeth, between your teeth and around your brackets and wires is key to maintaining a healthy smile and experiencing the best results from your treatment.

That’s where mouthwash comes into play! Gargling with mouthwash daily is a simple commitment with major health benefits. Mouthwash helps you eliminate plaque and bacteria, prevent gum disease and cavities, and freshen breath.

Let’s dive into the importance of mouthwash and which mouthwash is best for braces and Invisalign.

Can you use mouthwash with braces and Invisalign?

Yes you can and should! Mouthwash will not damage your braces. Your braces are made of high-quality, high-grade stainless steel materials or ceramic materials that won’t rust or corrode.

With Invisalign, you simply remove your clear aligners to brush, floss and gargle with mouthwash. You don’t have to worry about ingredients harming your clear aligners, because they won’t be in your mouth when you rinse!

The Importance of Using Mouthwash Daily with Braces or Invisalign

When you’re wearing braces, you have plenty of spaces for food particles to wedge themselves, debris to get stuck, and bacteria to grow. Using mouthwash daily helps to remove any particles left behind after brushing and flossing, and kills bacteria growing in hard-to-reach spaces.

Especially with innovative INBRACE® braces located behind the teeth, cleansing all surfaces of your teeth is crucial to maintaining strong teeth and healthy gums.

Mouthwash is just as important with Invisalign, even though your aligners are removable. Your toothbrush and floss can’t reach every space in your mouth, so a liquid antibacterial rinse is the perfect supplement to your routine.

Cleanse your smile and leave your breath smelling fresh morning and night with mouthwash!

What is the best mouthwash for braces and Invisalign?

It’s best to use an antibacterial, alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash to clean your mouth, without disrupting your oral microbiome (the natural balance of chemicals in your mouth).

Though alcohol is used in a number of popular mouth rinses, it can actually do more harm than good. Have you experienced that near unbearable burning sensation when gargling mouthwash? That’s the alcohol!

Alcohol is extremely drying/dehydrating and rather harsh on the skin and gums. It’s infamous for disrupting the microbiome, throwing your natural pH out of whack, and worsening common oral conditions, like gingivitis.

  • It’s best to avoid alcohol mouthwash.

Fluoride, on the other hand, is beneficial for your teeth and gum health. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent cavities and reverse early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) by strengthening the protective tooth enamel. When you strengthen the enamel, you give your teeth the best chance at protecting themselves against harmful bacteria and plaque.

  • Fluoride is essential for strengthening your teeth.

So now we know to avoid alcohol and look for fluoride and antibacterial properties. Let’s explore a few of the best mouthwashes for braces and Invisalign:

  1. Ortho Defense Anticavity Fluoride Rinse
    First up is Colgate Ortho Defense Anticavity Fluoride Rinse. This mouthwash is specially formulated for people undergoing orthodontic treatment, and it checks our criteria boxes: alcohol-free and includes fluoride. Ortho Defense mouthwash is approved by the American Dental Association, helps to remove white spots from the teeth, and strengthens enamel to help prevent cavities. It’s easily one of the best braces mouthwashes available!
  2. ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash
    ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash is another highly-effective mouthwash for patients with braces. It includes 0.05% sodium fluoride, which is the max amount of fluoride available in mouthwash form. This braces mouthwash option is alcohol-free, approved by the ADA, and uses fluoride. ACT Anticavity wash supports the teeth in re-mineralizing the softer spots on the teeth that are more susceptible to damage.
  3. Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash, Multi-Protection
    Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash Alcohol Free Multi-Protection also checks all of our criteria boxes. This specialized mouthwash helps to prevent cavities, kills bad breath germs, strengthens the enamel, includes fluoride and is alcohol-free. With a multi-protection formula that kills 99.9% of germs, this mouthwash leaves you with stronger teeth and fresh breath.

Do you need special mouthwash with braces and Invisalign?

You don’t need a special mouthwash with braces or Invisalign, but it doesn’t hurt to choose mouthwash that was specially formulated for ortho treatment smiles.

While wearing braces, it’s best to avoid mouthwashes that have whitening agents in them. Whitening your teeth with braces on can leave discolored spots on your teeth when your braces are removed. Wait until your treatment is over to whiten your teeth without any brackets or wires in the way.

With Invisalign, you can use mouthwash with whitening properties, as long as it has fluoride, is alcohol-free and is antibacterial!

Still have questions about mouthwash with braces or Invisalign?

If you have questions about mouthwash with braces or Invisalign, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you choose the best mouthwash for your circumstances.

Ready to begin your journey toward your most confident smile? Get started by requesting your free exam with Dr. King or Dr. Welch, top orthodontists in Jupiter.