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The 5 Best Foods For Braces

The 5 Best Foods For Braces

Making the choice to improve your smile with braces is exciting, but it also comes with quite a few changes! The face you see in the mirror will look a little different, and you may also find that your mouth feels unfamiliar at first, too. Since your teeth don’t touch the same way they did before, it can affect the way you chew and in the beginning, may even affect your speech temporarily. 

Don’t worry! As your treatment continues and your teeth begin shifting, your mouth will adapt to biting and chewing in a more natural way. You should be able to eat most foods within a month or so of getting your braces put on, but there are certain food restrictions that will continue throughout your orthodontic journey. 

While these restrictions are worth it once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile, we know they can be frustrating sometimes. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we’re all about making the treatment process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips to help you cope with the chewing challenges that can come with braces! We’ve also included a list of some of the best foods to eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Keep reading to learn more!

The 5 Best Foods For Braces

Be patient

However long you plan to be in braces, it’s an important investment in your oral health, your overall health, and a straighter smile. Whether you are in them for a few months or a few years, it might feel like forever, but braces really are a brief time commitment when you consider that the benefits last a lifetime! Patience is an important part of that process. If you can accept that you’ll have a few temporary limitations, it will make things much easier. In the meantime, you can help the treatment process go more smoothly by: 

slowing down! Try to avoid taking huge bites or scarfing down your dinners. No matter what you’re eating, take the time to cut your food into small pieces, and make sure you’re chewing it slowly and carefully.

sticking to softer foods. This is especially useful immediately after your braces are put on, and for a day or two after any adjustment appointments. There’s no need to limit yourself to boring soups and shakes, either! You can search “soft food recipes” online and get inventive in the kitchen. You can eventually add things like steak and burgers back to the menu, but take it easy for a few days to protect your mouth and braces. 

leaving nuts and seeds to wildlife for the time being. As healthy as these items can be, they’re a no-go when you’re wearing braces because they can get stuck in your brackets. The same holds true for popcorn, and sticky or crunchy foods, too. These can break the brackets or even pop one off. 

treating yourself! Frozen yogurt, popsicles, or ice cream can be a great way to get some relief if your mouth is aching from your braces being put on or adjusted. Just remember – all things in moderation (and brush your teeth as soon as you’re done.)

The first few weeks of braces tend to be the most difficult. As your gums and mouth toughen up, you’ll get used to chewing and eating a little differently. Oral health goes beyond that, though. It’s more important than ever to care for your teeth and gums when you’re in braces. Along with brushing and flossing, you should aim to eat a healthy diet that’s rich and varied. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite foods that are safe for braces and good for your teeth below!

Yogurt

Whether you like it plain, Greek, or topped with fruit and honey, yogurt is high in calcium and protein that helps strengthen your teeth. You’ll also get an extra boost of beneficial bacteria from the probiotics contained in yogurt, which can benefit your gums by crowding out the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Because it requires no chewing, yogurt can be a good choice if your teeth are sore, as long as you brush your teeth afterwards. Even plain yogurt has naturally-occurring sugar content.

Smoothies

Similar in texture to yogurt, the temperature and texture of a smoothie can help soothe oral discomfort by decreasing swelling and creating a numbing sensation in your gums and teeth. Serve one in a glass on its own or in a bowl with toppings for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies are also fun to make and easy to take with you on the go!

Fish

Even when cut into small pieces, beef, pork, and chicken can be difficult to eat if putting pressure on your teeth is causing pain. Fish is a fantastic alternative, since it’s naturally soft and flaky. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been linked with lower rates of gum disease because they naturally decrease inflammation. Fatty fish like salmon and Atlantic mackerel are also good sources of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium effectively. This is critical for oral health since calcium protects the teeth and gums from disease. 

Cooked fruits and veggies

Raw fruits and vegetables are best avoided with new braces, and you’ll need to be careful with them throughout treatment since they can be too hard on brackets and wires. Baking or boiling them will make them soft enough to eat, however. Most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, which helps protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infections. Aim to put a rainbow on your plate as often as possible to get the most out of your food for your whole body!

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent protein source, and are also rich in phosphorus. When combined with calcium and Vitamin D, phosphorus helps to build strong bones and teeth. Protein contributes to keeping your teeth healthy, and reducing decay. Eggs are extremely versatile, and can be eaten scrambled, boiled, or poached. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any time in between, too! No matter which way you cook them, they will generally be soft enough for even the sorest mouth.

The 5 Best Foods For Braces

Bee Cave Orthodontics is here to help you through the braces process

We know that braces can be tricky from time to time, particularly where food is involved. We hope this list will help you make good choices for your teeth and body! There’s no need to suffer in order to get straighter teeth, which is why Bee Cave Orthodontics is dedicated to providing you with comfortable treatment options and top-quality care. 

If you’re a current braces patient and have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan, we’re always here to help. If you’re considering braces treatment or any other orthodontic care in the Austin area, give us a call and we’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation for you!

Oral Health With Dr. Adriana and her patient

Nutrition And Oral Health

It’s no secret that eating a balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy. What we eat and drink can play a big role in how well our bodies function, but did you know that what you choose to consume can also affect your oral health? For better or worse, nutrition is linked to your smile! 

Here at Bee Cave Orthodontic, it’s our mission to create beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Austin and the surrounding communities. One way we do that is through orthodontics, but we’re also committed to helping you improve the overall health of your teeth and gums. A nutritious diet is a vital part of that process.

When you have a better understanding of how nutrition and oral health are linked, it’s easier to maintain a happy and healthy mouth! Let’s look a little more closely at how your diet can help protect your teeth — or negatively affect them. 

Nutrition is a building block for oral health

Nutrition actually affects our oral health before we’re ever even born. The nutrient expectant mothers consume, such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and protein, help the baby’s teeth begin to form. They also help the teeth to mineralize properly. This is a process that continues throughout our lives! Our teeth will develop and mineralize throughout our teen years, and our oral tissues never stop recycling, but it takes a variety of vitamins and minerals to accomplish all of this successfully.

Good nutrition is also one way to practice preventive oral care. Nutritional deficiencies can reduce your resistance to dental disease, and inhibit your body’s ability to fight off certain kinds of infection. While your diet can help prevent tooth decay and enamel erosion, the opposite holds true as well. Human mouths are hospitable to many different kinds of bacteria, but unfortunately, not all of them are helpful. There are plenty of harmful microorganisms just waiting to take advantage of any added sugar in your diet!

When you give this kind of bad bacteria an open invitation, it will begin processing ingested sugar, then producing acids that eat into the enamel of your teeth. This can increase your chances of developing cavities and gum disease, or lead to loose or even lost teeth. This is just one reason why we encourage our patients to avoid consuming too much added sugar.

Dr. Adriana with a patient and assistant

Oral Health and Nutrition + A Healthier Diet = A Healthier Mouth

There are many great options when it comes to choosing foods that will benefit for your teeth, and overall oral health. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruit are often excellent sources of healthy vitamins and minerals, and starch-rich staples like bread, rice, and potatoes can be good for you, too. 

It is important, however, to keep in mind that even naturally occurring sugar can cause dental issues when it is consumed in large enough quantities, especially when it’s not removed regularly through brushing and flossing. Remember: moderation is key when it comes to any kind of sugar, as is a regular dental hygiene routine!

Some other smart choices that can give you a stronger smile and improve your oral health include:

Milk and other dairy products

Cheese is a popular snack which is not only delicious, but also good for you! Dairy products, including milk and yogurt, are full of calcium that helps keep the bones and teeth healthy and strong.

Whole grain bread and pasta

Certain whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that give those bad bacteria we talked about less digestible food to grow on. They also contain a number of different nutrients that can help your whole mouth stay healthy.

Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish

While meat of any type is typically associated with protein, these items also contain phosphorus, which is a vital component when it comes to strengthening your teeth and protecting the tooth enamel.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Everybody knows that eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for your overall health! Leafy greens in particular can give your smile a boost since they contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium, all of which are instrumental in improving and maintaining oral health.

Water

Even though soda, juice, and sports drinks are popular, they’re not always the best choice when it comes to caring for our smiles. These beverages leave behind sugars that provide a veritable banquet for bad bacteria, resulting in acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Sodas and juices also contain phosphoric, citric, or malic acids that can make any existing enamel erosion worse.

When it comes to quenching your thirst and benefiting your body, you can’t beat a glass of plain old water! Water helps to wash away any leftover food and debris, and also dilutes the acids that are produced by harmful bacteria. Drinking more water can also help bring a dry mouth and bad breath under control, and goes a long way towards keeping your mouth clean and healthy, reducing the risk of cavities and even gum disease.

Dr. Adriana looking at a patient's teeth

Find your healthiest smile at Bee Cave Orthodontics

Knowing what you choose to eat and drink can have a big impact on your oral health, it’s even more important that you make smart choices as an orthodontic patient. By adopting a healthier diet and paying a little extra attention to your nutrition, you’ll give your smile an extra sparkle and help improve your total body health, too!

At Bee Cave Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide you with the treatment options and expert support you need to improve your oral health. If you’re in Austin or the surrounding area and want to learn more about how good nutrition can improve your oral health, our team is here to help! Give us a call today or click here to schedule an appointment with our office. We look forward to working with you towards a smile you’ll be proud to share with the world! If you are interested in following our day to day be sure to check out our FB page.

Dr. Da Silveira with Patient

The Top 5 Things Moms Need To Know About Orthodontics

As a mom, you’re probably in charge of quite a lot when it comes to keeping family life functioning smoothly. You may be the cook or chauffeur, the accountant, an event planner, even a nurse or teacher. But when it comes to your child’s smile, you can sit back, relax, and let an expert like Dr. Da Silveira take over. Even if you’re a pro at balancing work, school, and extracurriculars, a child’s oral health requires the kind of expertise and guidance that only an orthodontist can provide. That’s where Bee Cave Orthodontics can help!

Becoming an orthodontist takes several years of additional education and training after dental school. As a highly-trained specialist, Dr. Da Silveira is skilled in tooth movement, facial growth, and dental development, and has many years of experience creating healthier, straighter smiles for patients of all ages. Even if you aren’t an expert on orthodontics, Dr. Da Silveira is, and you can count on her to improve your child’s oral health while giving them a beautiful smile that lasts.

Orthodontic care is a big investment in your child’s oral health and smile, and we take the trust you’ve placed in us seriously. You should feel fully confident in the journey ahead, so let’s take a look at some of the important things you should know about the orthodontic process before your child begins treatment! Here are the top 5 things moms need to know about orthodontics.

(Do you have a child around 7 years of age? Click here to schedule a FREE orthodontic evaluation!)

Children should have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7

Even though orthodontics are often associated with braces and teens, patients of all ages can benefit from improved oral health. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first orthodontic exam by about the age of 7. This may seem strange since their mouths are still developing and they still have baby teeth, but as it turns out, that’s actually the point! Evaluations at this stage give us the chance to spot any potential problems early on, which can lessen or eliminate a negative impact on your child’s permanent teeth and bite.

Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we treat many younger patients, so we’ve seen the difference that preventive care can make. When we’re able to start treatment at the right time, it can have a big impact on a child’s oral health, both now and in the future. And although most children won’t require any active treatment at first, an early exam is still important since it lets us determine if orthodontic treatment will be necessary, and when it would be most advantageous to begin.

We care about more than straight smiles

Many people mistakenly believe that orthodontics focuses mainly on straightening smiles, and not much else. However, the reality is that we’re able to address crooked teeth and so much more!

Because straight teeth aren’t the only indicator of a healthy smile, orthodontists must learn how to diagnose, prevent, and correct malpositioned teeth and jaws. By examining a patient’s teeth, the movement and growth of their jaw, and the way the teeth are developing, an experienced orthodontist can catch any impacted, missing, or overcrowded teeth that may otherwise go unnoticed. This often means the issues are able to be corrected before they become bigger problems that require more serious or invasive treatment.

Choose an orthodontic office that works for you and your family

When you have a child undergoing any type of orthodontic treatment means you’ll both be spending quite a bit of time in the orthodontist’s office. Depending on the type of appliance and treatment, most patients will need to be seen once every 6-12 weeks or so. That’s why it’s essential to find an office that you and your child feel comfortable with!

Our Austin office is conveniently located and our expert team provides the highest-quality care in a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment. We use only the latest technology and most innovative treatments, so you can always be sure you’re receiving the most efficient treatment for the best results possible. We’ll greet you warmly at every appointment, and want to hear all about what you and your family have been up to in between visits. We always go the extra mile to make sure our patients achieve the Bee Happy Smile they want – and deserve!

top 5 things moms need to know about orthodontics

 

There are multiple treatment options available

Bee Cave Orthodontics takes pride in combining cutting-edge techniques and technology with customized treatment plans. This helps us achieve straighter, healthier smiles for all our patients! We offer the following treatments in our office.

Traditional metal braces
This is the most popular orthodontic treatment available, year after year. Metal braces are strong, effective, and affordable. Today’s designs are more comfortable than ever before, and can even be customized with colored bands. We also offer WildSmiles, specially designed brackets that come in a variety of fun shapes including stars, hearts, soccer balls, footballs, flowers and Super-Diamonds®.

Carriere® SLX™ Bracket System
This self-ligating system is designed with low pressure, low force, and low friction in mind. It provides maximum comfort in metal braces and also reduces treatment time by about four months on average while still producing incredible results.

Clear Braces
Clear braces work in the same way as traditional metal, but the brackets are made of a translucent material, usually ceramic, that blend in with the natural tooth color. Clear braces provide a more discreet alternative to traditional metal braces and are equally effective.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy
Our office is proud to be a certified provider of Invisalign clear aligners, which give you a clear, convenient, and comfortable option to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Instead of the brackets and wires that braces use, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and completely removable, giving patients extra freedom and flexibility. Once the teeth begin to shift, aligners will need to be changed out every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement. Aligners must be worn at least 20-22 hours every day throughout the course of treatment in order to work properly.

Treatment times will vary from patient to patient

There’s no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to how long a patient will be in braces or aligners, as every case is different, and each patient responds to treatment in their own way. The length of time that your child will require treatment will depend on their specific case, the severity of the problem, the health of their teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and how compliant they are. We can say, however, that on average, braces tend to be worn for about 12 to 24 months, while Invisalign treatment averages around 12 to 18 months.

Give your child a healthy smile with Bee Cave Orthodontics

We know that moms want nothing but the best for their children, including a healthy, beautiful smile that will last them a lifetime! If you have a child age 7 or above that is ready for their first orthodontic consultation, we’d love to meet you both and explain more about how orthodontics can benefit them. If you’re in Austin or the surrounding areas and would like more information on what we have to offer, get in touch today to schedule a FREE initial consultation.

Dr. Adriana with a young patient at Bee Cave Ortho

First Orthodontic Visit

When you make a big decision in your life, it can be really exciting, especially when it’s one you know will result in positive change. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we know that choosing to receive orthodontic care can be life-changing, but a little overwhelming, too. We want you to feel confident in our care from your first visit to your last! Your journey towards a straighter smile begins with an initial consultation in our Austin office, and it’s one of the most important appointments you’ll have with us. We put a lot of work into making it an exciting and rewarding experience, so keep reading below to learn more about what you can expect from this inaugural visit – and beyond!

Taking the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted

This first visit is our chance to wow you, but the warm greeting you’ll receive is our standard! After we’ve said hello and introduced you to a few members of our talented team, we’ll give you a quick tour of our before getting some information about your medical and dental history. We may then take photos and x-rays of your face and teeth, and in some cases, do a digital scan of your teeth. No more gooey impressions! A thorough oral examination by Dr. Da Silveira will follow. Along with the diagnostic records, this exam will help us  decide on the best course of action for your smile. It also allows us to begin tracking the progress of treatment.

The unknown can be scary, so throughout your visit, we’ll take the time to make sure you understand each step of the process. We never want you to feel rushed or like your questions aren’t being answered! After your exam, we’ll cover a variety of topics with you, including:

  • any oral issues present that orthodontics can address
  • if treatment is needed now, or if it would it be better to wait until later, after other factors such as tooth growth have occurred
  • what treatment options we have available to correct the problem
  • if any permanent teeth will need to be removed first
  • an estimated amount of time for how long we think treatment will take
  • how much you can expect to invest in treatment
  • what payment or financing options are available to you

Because we analyze your specific needs and create a customized treatment plan based on them, you can count on superior results!

Dr. Adriana consulting a young patient at Bee Cave Orthodontics

Investing in a healthier smile

Once you’ve decided on a customized treatment plan with Dr. Da Silveira, we’ll go over the estimated investment needed for your new and improved smile. Every patient has their own unique needs and responds to treatment in their own way, so treatment costs vary on a case-by-case basis. However, we’ll make sure you understand all the associated costs of treatment before we ever even begin working on your smile!

At Bee Cave Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing high-quality orthodontic care for patients of all ages, whatever your family’s budget may be, because we know that your smile is forever. That’s why we offer a variety of financing information and options, including payment plans.

Flex Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts (FSA or HSA)

These accounts are set up through your place of employment and allow you to set aside pre-taxed income to use for medical expenses. If you haven’t already started a FSA or HSA, this is the perfect time to do so! You never know when you’ll need the additional financial assistance, whether it’s for orthodontic treatment or some other medical cost. Having the funds readily available means one less thing for you to worry about.

Flexible payment options

If you need a little extra flexibility, we’re happy to talk to you about a monthly payment plan! These are usually interest-free and take your budget into account. Our office also accepts all major credit cards. If you are able to pay in full at the beginning of treatment, there are discounts available.

Insurance

We are a premier provider for many PPO insurance companies and some DMOs. This sets us apart from the offices who don’t accept orthodontic insurance, or those who are a limited participating provider, ensuring you receive exceptional service and care at the most affordable treatment fee possible! Some of the insurance providers we accept include:

  • Aetna
  • Ameritas
  • Assurant
  • Anthem
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • CapitalCare
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • GEHA
  • Guardian
  • Humana
  • MetLife
  • Principal
  • United Concordia
  • United Healthcare
  • All FSAs, and more!

As mentioned above, if full payment is made at the onset of treatment, we’ll offer a fee discount. If your insurance is going to cover part of your treatment, we’ll offer the discount on your portion of the fee they don’t cover. We can also help you determine the coverage you have available. Once you assign your insurance benefit to us, the balance will be arranged for you to pay. We’ll be happy to file your claim and handle any insurance questions from our office on your behalf to make things easier for you. We want you to be able to take full advantage of your benefits while you work towards a beautiful smile!

Bee Cave Orthodontics team photo

Let Bee Cave Orthodontics help you achieve your best smile ever

We love what we do here, and our patients are like family. We’ll always greet you with a smile, and we enjoy catching up with you and hearing all about what’s been going on in your life between appointments. The individualized care and cutting-edge treatments we provide mean we can give you the most efficient treatment and the best results, all in the shortest time possible!

At Bee Cave Orthodontics, we want to give you a smile that stands out from the crowd. After all, your smile is the first thing people notice about you, and the thing they’re most likely to remember, too! That makes orthodontic treatment one of the most important investments you can make for yourself or your family, which is why you should only trust it to an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Da Silveira. Our talented team can be trusted to deliver a beautiful, healthy smile you’ll want to share with everyone around you!

If you’re in Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Spicewood, Westlake or the surrounding areas, and want to learn more about how orthodontics could benefit you and your family, get in touch with us today! Our FREE consultation makes it easier than ever to take the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted (and deserve!)

Dr. Adriana da Silveira

Top Tips To Keep Your Smile In Shape in 2019

Even if you aren’t a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, there’s something about exciting about the beginning of a brand new year. Flipping over the first page of the calendar often inspires us to review and reset our habits, whether it’s losing weight and exercising more often, or paying more attention to your oral health, which is an important part of your overall health. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we want to help you keep your smile looking and feeling amazing this year! January may be flying by already, but you’ve still got plenty of time to embrace these simple tips that can have a big impact on your smile in 2019.

Taking it back to the basics

From the time we’re old enough to hold a toothbrush, we’re reminded over and over about how important it is to brush and floss regularly, even if we didn’t always listen. But a good dental hygiene routine really is the best – and easiest – thing you can do to keep your smile healthy and fully functioning. To remove bacterial plaque successfully, there are some basics you should be following, including:

  • brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste
  • brushing gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gumline, moving the toothbrush across all surfaces of the teeth to effectively remove bacteria and any trapped food particles
  • flossing at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day
  • replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if you’ve had a cold or any other illness
  • using antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes for an extra boost!

These are good habits for everyone to adopt, but they’re even more important when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you’re one of our braces patients, the areas between your brackets and gums and the spaces in between the wires and your teeth need to be carefully cleaned, but you probably know that can be a little tricky sometimes. If you haven’t already tried them, interdental brushes can make this a much simpler process since they fit easily into hard to reach spots, helping to remove any sticky plaque and food debris you might have missed. Oral irrigators like a Waterpik are another useful tool. These use a high-pressure, targeted stream of water to clean the teeth more efficiently.

Dr. Adriana and team member

If you’re in braces, you’ll be able to get the best results from your dental hygiene routine by:

  • using fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush
  • replacing your toothbrush as soon as it begins to show signs of wear
  • brushing around every part of your braces, and the surface of every tooth
  • flossing every night before you go to bed, taking advantage of tools like floss threaders and waterpiks if you’re having trouble getting into the tighter spaces

If you’re straightening your smile with a clear aligner system like Invisalign, be sure you’re removing your aligner every time you eat or drink anything other than water. You should also be gently cleaning your aligner regularly, as well as changing it out as directed by Dr. Da Silveira.

Let good food be your guide

With Christmas treats finally finished, and Valentine’s candy already lining the supermarket shelves, there’s no better time than now to remind yourself about the important role food plays in keeping your teeth healthy, including the items you should avoid if you’re in braces. That includes:

  • Chewy foods like fruit snacks and bagels
  • Crunchy foods such as chips, nuts, and hard candy
  • Sticky foods like caramels, gum, and certain types of candy

Although food restrictions can be frustrating, try to remember that they’re only temporary. All your hard work will pay off once we reveal your new smile! There’s are many foods you can still indulge in that are good for your mind, body, and mouth, as well.

For example, milk and other dairy products pack a calcium-filled punch that can help bones and teeth stay strong and healthy. Whole grain breads and pastas are full of complex carbohydrates that give bacteria less digestible food to grow on. Chicken, red meat, and fatty fish like salmon are loaded with phosphorus, an important mineral that helps strengthen and protect tooth enamel. And last but certainly not least, eating a rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for your body! A variety of these give you magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and magnesium, minerals that play a vital role in maintaining oral health.

If you really want to make your smile sparkle, consider cutting down on your consumption of sugar and soft drinks! Sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates feed the bacteria on your teeth, encouraging them to produce the acids that cause tooth decay. Soft drinks also contain sugar and acid that can wear away at the enamel on your teeth and cause unsightly decalcification if plaque is allowed to collect around the brackets if you wear braces.

Bee Cave Orthodontics team

On the go care

Although we recommend brushing and flossing after every meal, that can sometimes be difficult if you’re away from home. With today’s families busier than ever before, you can prepare to care for your teeth and gums on the go by stocking a small bag with toothpaste, an orthodontic toothbrush, and floss. If you’re a braces patient, add a bit of orthodontic wax to your kit, too. This will give you a quick fix in case you experience any minor emergencies!

BEE your best in 2019 with a Bee Cave smile

If you want to get your smile off to the very best start this year, follow the simple tips we’ve listed above. Our team is here to support you, answer any questions you have, or provide a little extra encouragement from time to time if you need it! We believe 2019 will be a year of healthy habits, lasting changes, and BEE HAPPY smiles in Austin this year, and we’re excited to share that vision with you!

Bee Cave Orthodontics office

Get The Most Out Of Your FSA

Christmas is coming, and most of us are busy making holiday plans, checking off items on our shopping list, and hopefully taking a little time to stop and smell the hot cocoa! But it’s also open enrollment, with many families investing in a new health insurance plan, adjusting their existing one, or planning out their flex spending accounts (FSA) for 2019. Each year around this time, we often have patients and parents ask us if treatment with Bee Cave Orthodontics is eligible for reimbursement through their FSA. Let’s take a look at what an FSA is, how to plan your contributions for the upcoming year, and what an FSA can be used for below!

What is a flexible spending account?

A Flexible Spending Account is as an employer-sponsored benefit that allows employees to pay for eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. If you have one, a predetermined amount of money is placed into your account to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs not covered by your health insurance.

An FSA can save you money by reducing income taxes. Contributions made to a Flexible Spending Account are deducted from your pay in regular increments before any federal, state, or Social Security taxes are calculated, and they are not reported to the IRS. This allows you to decrease your taxable income and increase your spendable income, something we can all use a little more of!

In order to make the full contribution available to spend at the beginning of the year, flexible spending accounts are generally pre-funded. This means that leaving a company mid-year could leave you on the hook to pay back any spent funds that have not been covered by paycheck deductions yet, but this varies from employer to employer.

FSAs operate on a “use it or lose it” principle, meaning any amount that has not been spent by the end of the year is lost. This differs from a health savings account (HSA) which can have money added it to it indefinitely. The rules for this are fairly flexible, though. For instance, some employers will allow employees to carry over a capped amount in unused funds, while others may offer a grace period of 1-2 months in the coming year. Whatever your employer’s rules, it’s important to try and calculate the right amount to set aside every year so that you don’t end up with any unused money come December.

Planning FSA contributions for the upcoming year

In 2019, employees will be able to contribute $2,700 to their flex spending accounts, a slight increase from the 2018 limit of $2,650. In choosing an FSA amount, you may find it helpful to refer to these two simple rules of thumb:

If your individual out-of-pocket medical bills usually amount to $225 per month or more —  or roughly $2,700 annually — contributing the maximum amount is a good choice.

If your medical expenses are generally low, it may be worth contributing only the total amount of approximate copays, as well as the expected dental and vision expenses for the next year.

While medical costs can be hard to predict, there are a few things you should take into consideration when planning contributions for the upcoming year. These include:

  • Primary care visits
  • Specialist office visits
  • Any planned surgeries
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical devices
  • Routine vision services
  • Glasses or contact lenses

Any planned dental or orthodontic care should also be considered, including cleanings, dentures, crowns, fillings, plus braces and clear aligner therapy.

Although many flexible spending accounts will provide a debit card to pay for expenses, you should always save your receipts in a safe place in case a charge is rejected and you need to prove that expense.

Dr. Adriana working with a patient

What expenses does an FSA cover?

Any expense that is considered to be a deductible medical expense by the IRS (and not reimbursed through insurance) can generally be reimbursed through a flexible spending account. Some examples of this include:

  • Medical, dental, surgical, chiropractic, psychiatric, and psychological visits
  • Contact lenses and eyeglasses
  • Qualified long-term care services and insurance premiums, associated nursing services, lab fees, and prescription medications
  • Non-elective cosmetic surgery
  • Eye surgery or Lasik
  • Co-payments on covered expenses
  • Deductibles
  • Orthodontic treatment, including braces and clear aligner therapy

FSA and orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment normally takes place over an extended period of time, so there are a few things to keep in mind regarding FSA benefits. Orthodontic care differs from other medical and dental procedures that require the actual service to be performed and paid for within the benefit period. While some patients will choose to pay for their orthodontic treatment in full, others may choose to make regular monthly payments. An FSA should allow reimbursement for prepaid orthodontic expenses up to the chosen amount as long as the payment was made during the benefit period.

Dr. Adriana with a patient

We’re here to help you plan the future of your smile!

Bee Cave Orthodontics is committed to providing the more rewarding orthodontic experience possible for patients of all ages in Austin and the surrounding communities. Our team is here to help you figure out the best way to achieve excellent oral health and an incredible smile, whether you use an FSA, dental insurance, or a payment plan to do so! For more information on our services and payment options, get in touch with us today by clicking here or calling our office at 512.596.5623.

Dr. Adriana with a patient

How to Survive Halloween with Braces

With Halloween right around the corner, you’re probably planning out your trick-or-treating route and finalizing costume plans. While this is an exciting time for most kids, it can be a source of anxiety for children in braces, and their parents, too! If you have a child undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may be feeling a little nervous about how to balance out the food restrictions that come with braces with all the sweet treats of the season. Although braces patients should avoid several types of candy to keep their appliance safe, that doesn’t mean they’ll be stuck on the sidelines watching other children dig into their Halloween haul!

Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we want our braces patients to be able to enjoy all the fun that Halloween has to offer without having to worry about broken brackets, bent wires, or scheduling an emergency appointment. October is also National Orthodontic Health Month, so it’s extra important to us that patients know what candy they can and can’t indulge in to keep braces safe and smiles healthy! That’s why we’ve prepared this simple Halloween Survival Guide for our braces patients. We’ve got the lowdown on which candy to keep, a couple of recipes for making your own ghoulish goodies, and we’ve also included some simple tips for keeping your child’s teeth clean over the next few weeks. Keep reading below for more!

Candy to keep away from kids in braces

From an orthodontic point of view, one of the scariest parts of Halloween is all the chewy candy people love to hand out! These can stick to the brackets, bands, and wires, and may even pull parts off. If your child’s teeth are tender from having their braces put on or after an adjustment, these types of treats may be painful to chew, leaving their mouth sore or aching. Chowing down on hard candies also puts a huge amount of pressure on braces, and can lead to broken brackets and bent wires. Remember that every bracket and band that has to be replaced or repaired sets the orthodontic process back a step, so avoid the following sweets to keep your child’s treatment plan progressing on schedule!

  • Caramel
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard candy
  • Taffy
  • Licorice
  • Nuts
  • Jelly beans
  • Candy corn
  • Popcorn and caramel corn
  • Chewy candy
  • Candy and caramel apples

We know that this list may seem long, but there’s still plenty of good stuff out there for your child to enjoy!

Candy that comes with our seal of approval

For braces patients, anything with soft chocolate is a good choice. Fortunately, this includes several classic candies, such as:

Any candy bars without caramel or nuts are generally okay, as well, but do keep in mind that biting into bigger candy bars can potentially damage the braces on your child’s front teeth. Breaking large candy bars into smaller pieces is better for braces and teeth both. It’s a good thing Halloween candy comes in tons of fun-sized and mini-sized bars!

Bee Cave Staff putting braces on a patient

Frightfully fun Halloween recipes

Whether you’re hosting a party, have an invitation to one, or just feel like getting creepy in the kitchen this Halloween, we’ve got twofantastic desserts that can be whipped up in no time. These sweet treats will please all the ghoulies and ghosties in your life, braces or not!

Pumpkin Cookie Pops

(Adapted from www.pumpkinnook.com)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

20 wooden sticks (tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar and orange zest. Add the pumpkin, egg yolk and vanilla, and blend.
  • Gradually add the flour and spices. Mix with your hands to create a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Divide dough into two portions. Roll out each piece to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into pumpkin shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Place on ungreased baking sheet and securely insert a wooden stick into the bottom half of each pumpkin cookie.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Decorate with your favorite frosting and Halloween decorations.

Peanut Butter Eyeballs

(Makes about 36 eyeballs)

Ingredients:

¼ c. butter, completely softened

2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 c. creamy peanut butter

1 ½ c. toasted rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

12 oz. white chocolate

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Food coloring (two colors)

Directions:

  • Combine the butter, powdered sugar, and peanut butter in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, this can be done by hand.)
  • Mix in the toasted rice cereal; Using your hands, form into ½ oz. balls (the size of a large marble) and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).
  • Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt, adding vegetable oil partway through. After all chocolate is melted, stir until smooth.
  • Dip the balls, one at a time, into the melted white chocolate mix using a fork to roll them around so they are entirely coated; remove them from the chocolate and set on a waxed paper lined sheet pan. Chill to set up (about 30 minutes).
  • Separate remaining white chocolate into two bowls and add 1-2 drops of food coloring to tint each bowl a different color.
  • Reheat chocolate if necessary, and using a small spoon, place a dollop of the colored chocolate on each eyeball to make an iris. Use a smaller drop of the contrasting color for the pupil.
  • Let the chocolate set; place balls in individual mini muffin papers and serve.

Remember basic braces care

In all the excitement surrounding Halloween, it can be easy to forget a brushing session or two. Flossing may fall by the wayside. However, you should actually take extra care with your child’s teeth during this time! Even treats that are braces-friendly contain an increased amount of sugar that can be harmful if it’s not removed from the teeth promptly.

Basic oral hygiene will help to prevent cavities as your kids make their way through their candy stash. That means brushing at least twice a day and flossing every night before bed. It’s also a good idea to pair a glass of water with your child’s treat time, as water will naturally help to wash sugary debris away. This keeps it from lingering on the teeth and building up around the braces.

Spread the wealth

If you have lots of leftover candy, donating it is a great option. Passing it along to others who may be missing out will give your child a sense of pride, and it can also help to take the sting out of not being able to indulge in some of their favorite Halloween treats. Plus it’s a really easy way to brighten someone’s day! Many charitable organizations accept donations of unopened candy, including:

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude sends care packages to U.S. troops that are stationed overseas and first responders still here at home. Their mission is to put smiles on soldiers’ faces, and they encourage families to include letters and pictures with their donation.

Soldiers’ Angels

Similar to Operation Gratitude but a bit smaller scale, Soldiers’ Angels do a “Treats for Troops” event annually. You can click here to find a donation drop-off point, or register to start a drive of your own!

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House is famous for providing a place for families to stay together when a child is seriously ill. Most locations will accept donations of unopened candy for their resident families after Halloween. You can find your local chapter here, and you may want to call ahead to find out the rules for dropping off candy before heading that way!

If you’d rather keep things closer to home, homeless shelters, food pantries, and nursing homes will often accept unopened candy donations, too. You can make this experience even more special by having your child include notes or drawings for the residents and guests.

Dr. Adriana working with a patient

BEE aware of your child’s braces this Halloween

As you can see, being in braces doesn’t have to take all the fun out of your child’s Halloween celebrations! But if you’re still unsure about how to help them navigate those endless bowls of candy, our Bee Cave Orthodontics team is always here to help. We’ll be happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you have about how to keep your child’s treatment on the right track. Whatever your family is up to this Halloween, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday, full of healthy smiles!

Dr. Adriana with a patient

How to Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports

Fall is a favorite season for many of us, and it’s not hard to see why. We finally get a break from some of this lingering summer heat, the trees are changing colors, PSL dominates the drink menu, and it’s the absolute best time of year to be a sports fan! All the major sports in America are in full swing, and whether you’re part of the action or cheering it on from the stands, it’s an exciting few months. If you’re a regular participant in one or more sports and have braces on the horizon, you may be worried that orthodontic treatment will keep you stuck on the sidelines. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we’ve found this is a common concern for the athletes we treat, but fortunately, it’s completely unfounded!

From Dwight Howard, Brett Favre, Venus Williams, and Cristiano Ronaldo, there are quite a few professional athletes who have shown that straightening your smile doesn’t have to mean giving up your game. When you have braces put on, you’ll still be able to participate in any athletics you normally would, but you will need to be careful to avoid damaging them, or injuring your teeth or mouth, particularly if you play contact sports. To learn how to successfully protect your braces – and smile! – while on the track, field, or court, keep reading below.

Sports-related injuries

It’s not uncommon for athletes to experience injuries to the mouth and jaw area. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most common areas for injury among those who play sports regularly, something you may have already experienced firsthand! It becomes extra important to protect your smile if you’re participating in physical activities while in braces. A fixed orthodontic appliance like braces increases the risk of oral injuries, especially those that come about from being hit by a ball or another player. While these injuries may not be life-threatening, they can be very painful, cause serious damage, and may be costly to fix. Some of the injuries we’ve seen in braces patients who play sports include:

  • lacerations to the cheeks, lips and tongue
  • chipped or broken teeth
  • dislocation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • root fractures

The brackets and wires that your braces are constructed of add another element to these types of injuries. It’s not unusual to see bent wires or broken brackets, and these can cut or otherwise injure the inside of your mouth during a collision. When it comes to avoiding injury and protecting your teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports, the absolute best option is a mouthguard. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we recommend our braces patients invest in an orthodontic model, but even a basic mouthguard will provide some level of protection.

Dr. Adriana talking with a patient about treatment

More about orthodontic mouthguards

Mouthguards are the #1 way to prevent damage to your braces and injury to your mouth or teeth. Easy to find, easier to use, and proven to be highly effective, mouthguards are an excellent option for all athletes, and are especially useful for high-contact sports like football or hockey. However, we recommend you wear one even if you only participate in light contact or low-impact sports, too. That’s because it only takes a small amount of pressure on your braces to irritate your mouth, or to cause small cuts and abrasions to your gums and the inside of your cheeks.

If you plan to continue playing sports throughout your orthodontic journey, an orthodontic mouthguard is a true investment in your overall oral health. Designed to be used with braces, these models are made from a high-grade silicone that will help cushion your lips from any blows, and also protect the brackets from any impact-related damage. They even stop your lips from getting caught in your braces (which is exactly as painful as it sounds!) Orthodontic mouthguards are generally a little bit larger than non-orthodontic models, in order to fit over the brackets, but the silicone makes them just as comfortable to wear.

There are some orthodontic mouthguards, including Shock Doctor and Tapout, that are designed to adjust to the movement of your teeth during treatment. These models will re-mold to your teeth multiple times as they begin to shift into their new positions, adjusting themselves based on your current bite. This is helpful for athletes undergoing orthodontic treatment as the mouthguard follows the curve of the treatment process. Most orthodontic mouthguards will come in affordable strapped or unstrapped styles, and can often be found in major sporting goods stores. However, Dr. Da Silveira is happy to recommend one for you based on your specific needs, and we can order one for you as well if you’d prefer going through our practice.

Dr. Adriana working with a patient

Keep your braces on the safe side with Bee Cave Orthodontics

If you’re one of our sports-playing braces patients, we encourage you to invest in an orthodontic mouthguard to keep your braces and mouth protected throughout the fall season – and the rest of the year, too! Not only will an orthodontic mouthguard shield your teeth as they move into their new permanent positions, it will also protect the orthodontic process itself. Although an orthodontic mouthguard is optimal, wearing any mouthguard is better than not wearing any mouthguard at all.

Whether you’re wearing a mouthguard or not, should you happen to receive an injury to your teeth or mouth, we suggest getting in touch with your general dentist’s office ASAP. He or she will be able to diagnose any tooth damage, including root or jaw bone fractures. Once you’ve been assessed by your dentist, get in touch with our office so Dr. Da Silveira can determine if any part of your braces needs to be replaced or repaired as well.

Getting braces doesn’t have to mean giving up on the sports you love! We’re committed to helping you continue to participate in any athletics you normally would as we work towards your BEE HAPPY smile. If you have any questions or concerns about navigating sports as a braces patient, our team is here to talk them through with you. Get in touch with us anytime you need further information or even just an extra little bit of encouragement!

Doctor talking with a patient

The 3 BEE’s Of Going Back To School With Braces

Here in Austin, the weather may feel like summer for another month or two, but the kids are heading back to school and before you know it, we’ll be Christmas shopping! We have a few more weeks before the official first day of fall, but before we drag our jackets from the back of the closet, this is the perfect time to discuss dental care during the school day with our patients who are in braces. This is an especially helpful overview for kids who are returning to school for the first time since beginning orthodontic treatment.

We’re sure you’ll be happy to know that wearing braces at school doesn’t have to be a hardship! Like any new adventure, it does come with its own set of learning curves, but with a little effort, patience, and care, it will quickly become just another part of your child’s daily routine. Bee Cave Orthodontics is excited about a new school year, and we want our patients to look forward to it, too. We’re here to help your student get back into the swing of things smoothly! Keep reading below to learn more about the 3 BEE’s of going back to school with braces.

BEE prepared

Every student in braces should have a basic care kit handy, especially those who haven’t been wearing them for very long. Keeping a few common items in their backpack or locker will ensure your child is prepared for any braces-related dilemma that might pop up at school. Your child may want to consider including the following: 

  • a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • fluoride toothpaste
  • dental floss
  • orthodontic wax
  • lip balm
  • an unsharpened pencil

These items have proven to be useful in a number of ways. Wires and brackets can sometimes cause mild irritation to the lips, gums, and cheeks. By placing a pea-sized amount of orthodontic wax over the area causing a problem, your child should find some immediate relief. For wires that are poking out and into the cheeks, the eraser end of a pencil can be used to nudge them back into place. Last but not least, lip balm is a must-have for lips that are dry and irritated due to braces-wearing.

Bee Cave staff talking about braces

Be careful

If you have a child in braces who is also a student-athlete, or one that regularly has gym or P.E. classes, an orthodontic mouthguard can be a sound investment in their overall oral health. Sports and other physical activity increase the risk of braces being damaged and the cheeks, gums, or mouth being injured. Because orthodontic mouthguards are designed specifically to be used with braces, they are one of the easiest ways to prevent any breakage or injury. These mouthguards, as well as non-orthodontic models, can generally be found at most major sporting goods stores. However, Dr. Da Silveira is happy to recommend one or order one for your child based on their specific needs.

Be smart

Whether your child is at home, at school, or somewhere in between, all the same rules apply when it comes to caring for their braces, including food restrictions. Although these can be one of the biggest challenges braces patients face, it’s important to void anything crunchy, sticky, or chewy in order to protect brackets and wires. This is easy enough to manage at home where you’re in control of the menu, but the school can make things a little more complicated, particularly if your child normally buys school lunches or uses a vending machine for snacks.

To keep treatment progressing as scheduled, check the school’s lunch menu ahead of time for braces-friendly options. Look for things like lean meat, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, mac and cheese, and cooked vegetables. If you find choices tend to be limited, packing a lunch can sometimes make things simpler for your student. Invest in a Thermos and pack pasta, soups, and other soft options, or cut sandwiches into smaller bites the night before to keep things gentle on braces and easy on your child’s mouth. Yogurt and applesauce can be soothing snacks, and will help keep your child feeling full and satisfied throughout the school day.

What your child chooses to drink at school can also affect their braces. Drinking water is an easy way to keep stray food particles from sticking to the teeth and braces. Have your child carry a full water bottle to school with them in the morning and drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep their teeth clean! Encourage them to stick to plain water instead of soda, fruit juices, or other sugary drinks, as these can stain the teeth and increase the risk for cavities. For the occasional treat, have your child use a straw to keep sugars as far away from their teeth as possible. 

Doctor talking with a patient

Send your child back to school with a BEE-autiful smile from Bee Cave Orthodontics

The idea of going back to school with braces on for the first time can feel a little intimidating. Even patients who have been in braces for a while can struggle with feeling slightly more stressed than usual about going back to school. These are perfectly normal reactions to the unknown, but the good news is, being prepared, safe, and smart with their braces will help make your child’s transition from summer to school much smoother! 

At Bee Cave Orthodontics, we love creating beautiful smiles for families in Austin and the surrounding communities. Dr. Da Silveira and the rest of our team are committed to providing top-quality orthodontic care to every patient we see, and we work hard to make your experience with us as rewarding and stress-free as possible. If you or your child have any questions or concerns about how to successfully navigate the new school year while undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, please get in touch with us. We’ll do everything we can to set your minds at ease and keep your student’s smile on the honor roll!

Dr. Adriana with a patient

Summer Survival Guide To Braces

In case the scorching sun and soaring temps hadn’t clued you in, summer is officially upon us here in Austin. Pool parties, backyard BBQ’s, live music, maybe a day trip or two – however you’re spending these long, hot days, we’re here to remind you of how important it is to keep your orthodontic treatment on track wherever you may be. Whether you’re kicking it by the pool or setting off an adventure with your family, you can keep your smile in great shape this summer with a little planning ahead. Bee Cave Orthodontics is here to help your treatment succeed, so we’ve put together this quick guide on how to survive summer with braces

Keep our details on speed dial

With no early mornings or homework to worry about, summer is the perfect time for traveling.  Whether it’s by car, boat, train, or plane, be sure you have all the Bee Cave Orthodontics info you need beforehand. You may not anticipate running into any orthodontic emergencies on vacation, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keeping our number on speed dial means that if anything does happen you need assistance with, we’ll be able to talk you through any immediate issues. We’ll also be able to tell you what steps you can take if you need to find some relief. Most of the time, it will be fine to wait until you are back home to follow up with us. However, if we feel as though any immediate treatment is indicated, we can direct you to an orthodontist near you.

If you hit a snag and need to call us, it’s a good idea to try and take a photo of the problem before you do. Use good light or the flash on your camera or phone to capture it clearly. By texting or emailing this photo to us before you get in touch, you can cut down on the time needed to assess the issue. We’ll be able to diagnose what’s going on much more quickly and accurately so you can get back to your summer fun as soon as possible.

DIY care for the road

Although orthodontic emergencies can and do happen (thankfully infrequently!), there are many common minor issues that can be treated easily with a little bit of know-how and a few things you probably have lying around the house. If you find yourself having a problem with any of the following while you’re out and about this summer, try these simple solutions for relief.

Irritated cheeks, lips, or gums

It’s common to experience some mild irritation in your mouth from time to time when you are wearing braces. The most common culprits tend to be is loose brackets or protruding wires, and can usually be taken care of with a small piece of orthodontic wax. To use this method, first be sure the bracket or wire is completely dry. Next, pinch a small piece of wax off, roll it into a ball, then flatten it completely. You can place this over any source of irritation to help relieve discomfort. 

Protruding wire

If a wire has come loose and is irritating your mouth, all you need is a pencil! Use the eraser end to nudge the wire back against the teeth gently until it flattens out.  If the wire is poking around the very back teeth, you can often use a pair of nail clippers to trim the wire back. For extra stability, a piece of orthodontic wax can be placed over the wire. 

Dr. Adriana talking with a patient

Loose bracket

If a brace comes off while you’re out of town, try not to worry too much. Loose brackets aren’t usually an emergency that requires immediate attention, though you should give our Austin office a call so we can set up an appointment to get your brace put back on. In the meantime, you can slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth, then use wax over the bracket to add some stability.  If it’s a brace on your back molar tooth, you can slide the brace off the wire and use a nail clipper to trim the wire next to the closest tooth. 

Travel kits are the way to go when you’re on the go

It’s always a good idea to keep a small bag of essentials with you wherever you go to easily maintain your regular oral hygiene routine. Close to home or halfway around the world, your smile will benefit from having a handful of braces basics on hand. Besides a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss, be sure to include a few other helpful items like:

  • Orthodontic wax
  • An over-the-counter pain reliever for any swelling or soreness related to your braces (though we recommend always checking with Dr. Da Silveira before taking any medication for orthodontic issues)
  • A couple of unsharpened pencils, so you’ll have the erasers nearby if you need them
  • Nail clippers

Keep this bag in your purse, backpack, or suitcase so it’s close by just in case! Being prepared for anything is one of the best things you can do while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Seek out braces-friendly summertime treats

Summer is full of opportunities to indulge in delicious snacks and sweets. Making smart choices even in the face of temptation will pay off when we’re able to unveil your beautiful brand new smile on time! Stick to the rules of eating with braces by avoiding anything crunchy, chewy, or sticky, and don’t forget to brush after every meal and snack! Although you may have to give goodies like popcorn and ribs a miss, you’ll still have plenty of classics to dig into, like coleslaw, potato salad, jello, grilled hot dogs, and ice cream! 

Don’t skip your oral hygiene routine this summer

When school is out, most schedules go out the window. Late nights and late mornings are no big deal when there aren’t any early alarms to set, but one thing you shouldn’t let fall by the wayside is your usual brushing and flossing routine. Brush your teeth after every meal and snack, and brush and floss thoroughly before bed. If you have an oral irrigator, use it at least a couple of times a day to get rid of pesky bacteria and food debris. We totally expect and even encourage slacking off during summer break, but for the sake of your smile, keep your oral hygiene routine on track.

Bee Cave staff with a patient

Keep smiling this summer with Bee Cave Orthodontics

Whatever you have planned for the rest of your summer, we hope it’s full of fun with your friends and family, making new memories, and lots of smiles! If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment over summer break, feel free to call us any time, or drop by our Austin office. Dr. Da Silveira and the whole Bee Cave team are dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and engaging you on your way to orthodontic success! We’re here to help you in any way we can. Enjoy your summer and we’ll see you soon!