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Posts for: March, 2019

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
March 20, 2019
Category: Oral Health
BeatDentalPlaqueWhileWearingBraceswithTheseToolsandTips

Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.

But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.

The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.

Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.

There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.

Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.

It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.

If you would like more information on best hygiene practices while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”


By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Invisalign Adult Clear BracesWhen you already feel self-conscious about your smile, the last thing you may want to do is draw more attention to your teeth by wearing metal braces. Invisalign, offered by your dentist, Dr. Brad Beasley of Beasley Family & Implant Dentistry in Athens, AL, and serving Huntsville, AL, offers a much more discreet straightening option.

How Invisalign Works

Traditional braces use metal wires and brackets to improve the alignment of your teeth. Although metal and ceramic braces are effective, they're not the most attractive straightening option.

Invisalign offers a more subtle way to straighten crooked teeth and correct bite problems. The system uses a series of clear, removable aligner trays custom-made to fit your teeth. Trays exert constant pressure on your teeth, gently improving their alignment.

Benefits of Invisalign treatment

Invisalign offers several important benefits, including:

  • Improved Self-Esteem: Your teeth play an important role in your self-esteem. When they're crooked or protrude too much, you may feel ill at ease in social situations. Straightening your teeth offers an excellent way to boost your self-esteem. In an Invisalign/Harris Poll survey, 92 percent of adults who straightened their teeth reported that straight teeth were an important factor in confidence.
  • Almost No Change to Your Appearance: Invisalign's transparent aligner trays are designed to make your orthodontic treatment practically unnoticeable.
  • No Food Limitations: Traditional brace wearers must avoid hard or sticky foods that can break brace wires or become stuck in them. You won't face any limitations when you choose Invisalign. Before you eat, you'll remove your aligners, then rinse them and put them back in your mouth after you finish eating.
  • Convenience: Your aligners can be removed occasionally if you play sports or are attending a special event. The aligners are designed to be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day.
  • Shorter Treatment Time for Adults: Many adults only need to wear Invisalign aligners for about one year.
  • Easy Oral Hygiene Routine: Brushing and flossing around brace wires can add significant time to your oral hygiene routine if you wear metal and ceramic braces. No changes are needed with Invisalign, as you'll remove the trays before you brush and floss.

Are you ready to improve your smile with Invisalign? Call your dentist, Dr. Brad Beasley of Beasley Family & Implant Dentistry in Athens, AL, and serving Huntsville, AL, at (888) 860-5114 to schedule an appointment.


By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
March 10, 2019
Category: Oral Health
HealthySmilesforAlfonsoRibeiroandFamily

If there's anything that makes Alfonso Ribeiro happier than his long-running gig as host of America's Funniest Home Videos, it's the time he gets to spend with his family: his wife Angela, their two young sons, and Alfonso's teenaged daughter. As the proud dad told Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "The best part of being a father is the smiles and the warmth you get from your children."

Because Alfonso and Angela want to make sure those little smiles stay healthy, they are careful to keep on top of their kids' oral health at home—and with regular checkups at the dental office. If you, too, want to help your children get on the road to good oral health, here are five tips:

  • Start off Right—Even before teeth emerge, gently wipe baby's gums with a clean, moist washcloth. When the first teeth appear, brush them with a tiny dab of fluoride on a soft-bristled toothbrush. Schedule an age-one dental visit for a complete evaluation, and to help your child get accustomed to the dental office.
  • Teach Them Well—When they're first learning how to take care of their teeth, most kids need a lot of help. Be patient as you demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss…over and over again. When they're ready, let them try it themselves—but keep an eye on their progress, and offer help when it's needed.
  • Watch What They Eat & Drink—Consuming foods high in sugar or starch may give kids momentary satisfaction…but these substances also feed the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The same goes for sodas, juices and acidic drinks—the major sources of sugar in many children's diets. If you allow sugary snacks, limit them to around mealtimes—that gives the mouth a chance to recover its natural balance.
  • Keep Up the Good Work—That means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, every single day. If motivation is an issue, encourage your kids by letting them pick out a special brush, toothpaste or floss. You can also give stickers, or use a chart to show progress and provide a reward after a certain period of time. And don't forget to give them a good example to follow!
  • Get Regular Dental Checkups—This applies to both kids and adults, but it's especially important during the years when they are rapidly growing! Timely treatment with sealants, topical fluoride applications or fillings can often help keep a small problem from turning into a major headache.

Bringing your kids to the dental office early—and regularly—is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of good checkups…even if they're a little nervous at first. Speaking of his youngest child, Alfonso Ribeiro said "I think the first time he was really frightened, but then the dentist made him feel better—and so since then, going back, it's actually a nice experience." Our goal is to provide this experience for every patient.

If you have questions about your child's dental hygiene routine, call the office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”