Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

August 20th, 2012


Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces.
On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can't always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It's important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

Orthodontic Emergency? We can help!

June 22nd, 2012


True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment with our office.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you get in to see us…

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:

Poking Wire: Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose Wire: Using a tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance: If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit: Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, headgear becomes more comfortable the more it’s worn, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness: When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, from Hilliard Orthodontics

February 2nd, 2012

With February being National Children's Dental Health Month, our team at Hilliard Orthodontics thought we'd share a few good oral hygiene tips with our patients, courtesy of the American Dental Association, or ADA.

• Teeth brushing techniques: It takes only two minutes to properly brush, using short, gentle strokes and devoting extra attention to the gumline, areas around fillings and hard-to-reach areas such as the back teeth.

• Flossing: hold the floss snugly between thumbs and index finger and place between each of the teeth, making sure to go beneath the gumline and curving the floss around the base of each tooth.
• Snack wisely: choose healthy snacks such as vegetables, fruits and cheese and avoid sticky, chewy candies that can stick to the teeth. If you eat these snacks, make sure to brush after doing so.
• Carbonated or sugary drinks: these beverages create acids that can damage the teeth when mixed with saliva, so they should be avoided altogether. When drinking one of these beverages, avoid sipping on it throughout the day. Rather, have a drink and then brush your teeth.

• Regular dental visits: You should visit us regularly (approximately every six months).

National Children's Dental Health Month, now in its 62nd year, aims to increase awareness about the importance of kids' oral health. If you have any questions about keeping your mouth healthy, or about your treatment with Hilliard Orthodontics, please feel free to give us a call!

Ask Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich: "I just got braces. Now what?"

November 16th, 2011


We love when patients ask us that question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before before orthodontic treatment began.

Braces are known to trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or remove plaque, which is why Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich recommend that you brush and floss after every meal. We also encourage you use a proxabrush to help with the smaller areas where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. We encourage the use of fluoride rinse as well; ask us for a recommendation!

When your braces are initially placed, your teeth are likely to be very sensitive. You may experience discomfort for up to 3 or 5 days, which is why we encourage you to eat soft foods during that time. Remember, the less pressure you put on your teeth, the less discomfort you will have.

You may also be thinking, “Okay, so what can I eat?” We would encourage you to avoid eating sticky, hard, crunchy or chewy snacks that can stick to your teeth.

Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich and team will tell you it’s crucial to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our Lakeland orthodontic office immediately to schedule an appointment for repair.

Lastly, in addition to visiting Hilliard Orthodontics during your orthodontic treatment for adjustments, you should visit your dentist for professional check-ups and teeth cleaning appointments about every six months, or as recommended by your dentist.

What are your November plans?

November 10th, 2011


Believe it or not, we’re almost in full holiday mode! But before you go celebrating, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our team at Hilliard Orthodontics want to know: What are your plans for November? Do you have plans for Thanksgiving? Are you planning a winter vacation? If so, we’d love to hear all about it!

You may share your stories with us below, or by posting on our Facebook page!

–The team at Hilliard Orthodontics

Cold season is here, from Keith Hilliard, DMD Orthodontic Specialist

October 17th, 2011


Cold and flu season is here - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our Lakeland offices at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. For the protection of other patients and our staff at Keith Hilliard, DMD Orthodontic Specialist, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Stay Healthy!

Welcome to the team, Chelsea!

June 23rd, 2011


We welcomed Chelsea, a new clinical assistant to our office. Chelsea is engaged to be married this fall, and is a graduate of Traviss Tech. Chelsea is great with patients, has a beautiful smile and has already been a mentor to one of our patients who spent "career day" in our office! Chelsea is also a very hard worker, very quick learner and great communicator with patients and parents alike. We're really glad she's joined the Hilliard orthodontic team!!

What do you love about the holidays?

December 20th, 2010

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as the team at the office of Dr. Keith Hilliard DMD reflects on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2010? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets!

--Dr. Hilliard and team

Share your Fourth of July plans with our staff!

June 30th, 2010

This Sunday, Dr. Keith Hilliard and our entire team will celebrate America's 234th birthday. For most people, Independence Day is a time to celebrate, as well as commemorate, the anniversary of the signing of America's Declaration of Independence. It's also a time for most Americans to pay homage to all our soldiers - past and present - who lost their lives in battle - and those soldiers who continue to place themselves in danger every day so that Americans everywhere may celebrate our freedom.

Today, we thought we'd ask: what are your Fourth of July weekend plans? Are you heading to a barbecue? Hitting the great American open road with family?

We invite you to post your responses on our Facebook page! Please feel free to post photos as well!

Whatever you end up doing over Independence Day weekend, our entire staff hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend!

Share your summer adventures and experiences with us!

June 16th, 2010


It's almost summer (officially)! At Hilliard Orthodontics, we know that calls for a season full of adventures, vacations and great memories. Whether you're headed to a barbecue, an exotic destination, a camping trip in the Everglades, or just having fun around Lakeland, Dr. Keith Hilliard and team want to hear about it! Share your plans and experiences on our Facebook page all summer long!

Happy travels!

Drs. Hilliard and Dietrich want to know: what's on your summer reading list?

June 9th, 2010

With summer only weeks away, some of us at Hilliard Orthodontics have been thinking increasingly about the importance of reading. Sure it’s easier to go play ball or kick back and watch television, but reading during the summer is a vital step in being prepared for classes in the fall and maintaining your skill level.

Out of ideas for great summer reads? Ask us for suggestions, and Dr. Hilliard & staff at Hilliard Orthodontics would be happy to provide a few titles. You may also ask a local librarian for some ideas or check out these summer reading lists that we came across.

Enjoy the rest of the week and happy reading!

Fun fact Friday with Hilliard Orthodontics!

May 22nd, 2010


At Hilliard Orthodontics, we know people love fun facts - LOVE THEM. The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, has come up with some fun facts about orthodontics that Dr. Keith Hilliard and our team at Hilliard Orthodontics thought you might enjoy.

• There are nearly 4 million people in orthodontic treatment throughout the United States. Three out of four are younger than 18.

• The first mechanical treatment for correcting irregular teeth was suggested by Gaius Plinius Secundus (A.D 23-79).The American Association of Orthodontists is comprised of more than 12,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad.

• The time required to complete orthodontic treatment ranges from 12 to 36 months depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

• Of the 160,000 dentists in the United States and Canada, 8,000 are practicing orthodontists.

• The cement that attaches the braces to the teeth is now made with a special fluoride-releasing substance.

• Wires activated by body heat used in today's braces originally were developed by NASA for use in the space program.

• In addition to alleviating or preventing physical health problems, orthodontics can boost self-esteem as treatment aligns teeth, jaws and lips.

• Famous orthodontic patients include: Dr. Joyce Brothers, Hale Irwin, Cher, Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Daisy Fuentes and Brandi.

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