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Back To School With Braces

August 15th, 2023

Back to School activities are back in full swing! Our doctors and staff hope you’ve all had an awesome summer break, and wish you all a successful and fun new school year. SmilesForever Orthodontics wants to help our patients return to school prepared for school life with braces.

If you’ve started orthodontic treatment over the summer, your new braces and confident smile are going to be part of your school year success. We’re excited to help you achieve your forever smiles and want to ensure our patients are comfortable with new braces and appliances. 

Going back to school with braces can be a bit of an adjustment, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a smooth experience. Here are some tips Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht have put together to help you navigate school with braces:

  • Back to School with Braces Kit: Pack your very own "Back to School with Braces" kit - something as simple as a ziplock plastic bag including items such as: Orthodontic rubber bands, mini toothbrush and toothpaste, orthodontic wax, small mirror, floss, floss threaders, Platypus flossers, retainer case and tissues. This kit can easily be tucked into a locker, backpack, bookbag or purse and will help as a reminder of orthodontic care even when at school.
  • Practice Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing become even more important with braces. Clean your teeth and braces after meals to prevent food particles from getting stuck. While at school, also make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly each time after eating. 
  • Pack a Braces-Friendly Lunch: Opt for soft foods that won't damage your braces. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can potentially break your brackets or wires.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water throughout the day can help flush away food particles and keep your mouth clean.
  • Brace-Friendly Snacks: Pack braces-friendly snacks like yogurt, soft fruits, cheese, or pudding for quick bites during breaks.
  • Avoid Habits That Can Damage Braces: Be mindful of habits like chewing on pencils or biting your nails, as these can damage your braces.
  • Be Patient: If your braces are very recent, it might take a little time to adjust to speaking with braces. Practice speaking slowly and clearly, and you'll get the hang of it.
  • Participate in Activities: Don't let braces hold you back from participating in activities or sports you enjoy. If you’re involved in sports, just make sure to wear an orthodontic  mouthguard if needed. An orthodontic mouthguard will help to protect your braces and teeth from potential impact.
  • Stay Positive: Braces are a temporary part of your journey to a beautiful smile. Focus on the end result and take pride in your commitment to your oral health.
  • Educate Your Peers: If you're comfortable, take the opportunity to educate your classmates about braces. This can help reduce any teasing or misconceptions.
  • Regular Orthodontist Visits: Keep up with your scheduled orthodontist appointments for adjustments and check-ups.
  • Have Confidence: Braces are common, and many of your classmates and teachers might also have them or have had them in the past. Embrace your braces and don't be afraid to show off your smile.

Remember that going back to school with braces is a temporary phase, and the end result will be a beautiful, confident and healthy smile. If you ever experience any issues or concerns with your braces, don't hesitate to reach out to us at any of our four practice locations in Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., for guidance. We’re always happy to help our patients and look forward to seeing your smile at your next appointment!

Can I Go Swimming with Braces?

July 10th, 2023

Can I Swim with Braces?

Georgia is heating up this summer and many of our Gwinnett County, Hall County, and Walton County patients are wondering if they can swim while in orthodontic treatment. The great news is that swimming with braces is generally safe, allowing you to splash your way through the summer heat!

Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells, Dr. Svetlana Lekht and our SmilesForever team get lots of questions from our new patients about which sports are safe to play while in braces. One of the most common summer questions we get is, “Can I swim with braces?” Our answer? Yes, you sure can! Here are some things to remember to keep your teeth and your braces safe while swimming.

Is swimming with braces safe?

Swimming with braces is safe because the materials used to make braces will not rust in your mouth or in the pool. The chemicals used in pool water also will not effect your braces or cause damage to them.

Are my Invisalign® aligners safe to swim in?

You may be wondering about the impact of chlorine on your Invisalign® aligners. The good news is that chlorine typically found in pools will not harm your Invisalign® aligners. It’s generally safe to remove your aligners before swimming. However, if you swim for extended periods, our team at SmilesForever Orthodontics advises keeping your Invisalign® aligners while swimming.

Remember, Invisalign® aligners should be worn for about 22 hours a day to ensure optimal treatment progress. If you swim several hours a day or on multiple days a week, our doctors may recommend keeping your aligners in while swimming. This helps prevent any potential treatment delays that might occur if the aligners are out for longer than two hours.

What about playing water-sports with braces?

Even if you have braces, engaging in water-sports such as waterpolo or pool volleyball is typically allowable. Our SmilesForever doctors and team strongly recommend wearing a mouthguard during physical activities. Taking this precaution provides protection for your teeth and braces. It’s important to wear the correct protection while in orthodontic treatment, so be sure to check with our doctors on the appropriate orthodontic mouthguard and fit for your sports activities, including swimming and water-sports.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Braces During & After Swimming

Even though braces are durable, the following advice will help you keep your braces and aligners safe when swimming:

a. Mouthguard: When you swim or engage in water-sport activities, a mouthguard serves as a barrier of protection, protecting your braces and teeth from any potential impact or injury. Ask our doctors whether they recommend you wear a mouthguard based on your activity and time spent swimming. If a mouthguard is recommended for you, you’ll want to use one made especially for people with braces. Our team is happy to ensure a proper fit of your new mouthguard. 

b. After swimming, make it a practice to rinse your mouth with clean water to remove any chemicals or chlorine that might have remained behind. This little action might assist in keeping your braces clean and preventing any potential tooth discoloration or dental problems.

c. Brushing and flossing: After swimming, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly.

d. Clean your mouthguard and Invisalign® aligners after swimming, making sure to secure your mouthguard or replace your aligners. 

e. If you swim multiple days each week or several hours a day, you might want to avoid choosing clear or light colors for your braces as the chlorine may possibly discolor or fade them a bit.  

We understand that many of our patients are trying to stay cool this summer and swimming is a fun option to beat the heat. That’s why our SmilesForever doctors and team want to reassure you that braces won't slow you down a bit while enjoying pool time with friends and family. Your safety and comfort during treatment is our priority and we want to ensure your journey toward your forever smile is enjoyable!

You can feel comfortable knowing that your orthodontic and oral health are in good hands with our professional care and direction. We welcome you to call us at any of our four practice locations in Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., or request an appointment online.

Interested in starting toward your beautiful, confident smile? Request your complimentary initial consultation for comprehensive treatment by contacting us today -- our staff will be delighted to help you!

How Long Are Retainers Worn Once Braces Are Removed?

June 7th, 2023

Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

The duration of wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment can vary depending on several factors, including the specific treatment plan, the individual's orthodontic needs, and the recommendations of the orthodontist. However, typically, Dr. Brad Gilbert, Dr. Adam Wells and Dr. Svetlana Lekht advise wearing a retainer for an extended period after the active orthodontic treatment is complete.

How Often Are Retainers Worn?

Initially, after the braces or aligners are removed, a full-time retainer is often prescribed. This means wearing the retainer consistently, usually 12 to 24 hours a day, for a few months and may include alternating removable upper and lower retainers. This phase allows the teeth to stabilize in their new positions and ensures that they do not shift back to their original alignment.

After the initial full-time wear period, the orthodontist may recommend transitioning to part-time wear, usually during sleep. This phase can last for several more months or even years. It's crucial to follow the orthodontist's instructions regarding the frequency and duration of retainer use during this phase.

Eventually, many individuals are advised to continue wearing the retainer on a less frequent basis, such as a few nights a week, to maintain the results achieved through orthodontic treatment. Some individuals may need to wear retainers long-term, while others may gradually reduce their usage over time. The orthodontist will provide specific guidance based on individual circumstances.

It's important to note that every person's orthodontic treatment and retention needs are unique, so the duration of retainer wear can vary. It's vital to consult with your SmilesForever Orthodontics orthodontists to determine the appropriate duration and retainer regimen for your specific case.

Should Retainers Be Removed With Sports Activities? 

When involved in sports activities or swimming regularly, it’s advisable to speak with Drs. Gilbert, Wells and Lekht as they’ll give you specialized instructions. In some cases, they may suggest using a mouthguard for sports activities to provide protection and minimize the risk of dental injuries.

Types of Retainers & How To Choose

We offer several types of retainers at our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch and Loganville, GA., SmilesForever Orthodontics locations. You’ve worn your braces and appliances and want to make the best choice and we’re going to help! Toward the end of your treatment, our doctors will guide you in the best retainer options to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.

If you’re ending the final active treatment phase of braces and preparing for retainers — CONGRATULATIONS! You’re almost done with braces and closer to revealing your beautiful, confident forever smile! Remember to wear your retainers exactly as we’ve instructed and call us with any questions at any of our Gwinnett County, Hall County and Loganville County, GA locations. 

Choosing an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign® treatment

May 15th, 2023

Choosing an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign® treatment is important for several reasons:

  1. Expertise and Specialization: Orthodontists like our doctors, Brad Gilbert, Adam Wells and Svetlana Lekht, are dental specialists who have completed additional years of education and training after dental school to focus specifically on orthodontic treatment. They possess the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to diagnose and treat various orthodontic issues effectively. They are well-versed in the latest techniques and technologies used in orthodontics.
  2. Comprehensive Evaluation: Orthodontists conduct a thorough evaluation of your teeth, jaws, and overall oral health to assess your specific orthodontic needs. They consider various factors such as dental alignment, bite problems, facial aesthetics, and oral health to develop a personalized treatment plan.
  3. Customized Treatment: Orthodontists provide customized treatment plans based on your unique dental needs. They consider the complexity of your case, your treatment goals, and your preferences to determine whether braces or Invisalign® is the most suitable option for you. They can also address any underlying issues such as overcrowding, misalignment, or jaw discrepancies.
  4. Monitoring and Adjustments: Throughout the treatment process, orthodontists closely monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to ensure your teeth are moving correctly. They have the expertise to manage any challenges or complications that may arise during the treatment. Regular check-ups allow them to track your progress and make any required modifications to your treatment plan.
  5. Oral Health Considerations: Orthodontic treatment involves shifting your teeth, which can impact your oral health. Orthodontists are well-versed in managing oral hygiene challenges associated with braces or Invisalign. They can provide guidance on maintaining good oral hygiene and offer solutions to prevent issues like tooth decay or gum problems.
  6. Long-Term Results: Orthodontists aim for long-term results by ensuring that your teeth are properly aligned, your bite is corrected, and your jaw relationship is improved. They consider not only the cosmetic aspect of your smile but also the functionality and stability of your teeth and jaws. This comprehensive approach helps to achieve lasting results.

It's important to note that while general dentists may offer orthodontic treatments like braces or Invisalign®, an orthodontist's specialized training and expertise make them the most qualified professionals to provide orthodontic care. 

By seeking treatment from an orthodontist at SmilesForever Orthodontics, you can have confidence that you're receiving the highest standard of care and maximizing your chances of achieving a healthy, beautiful and confident smile.

Ready to schedule your free initial consultation at one of our Gwinnett County, Hall County or Walton County, GA locations? Give us a call at our Dacula, Duluth, Flowery Branch or Loganville office today! We’re excited to help answer your orthodontic concerns and help you get started toward achieving your new smile. You’re also welcome to contact us online here to request an appointment: SmilesForever Orthodontics Appointment Request

We look forward to meeting you soon!

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