Oral Health

Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

October 12th, 2012

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

Difficulties with Speech
Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

Bone Erosion
Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

Digestion
Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

How much do you know about your toothbrush?

September 28th, 2012

Taking care of your smile is nothing new! People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years. In fact, the first “toothbrush” was created around 3000BC! Ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles – similar to today’s toothbrushes – was invented in 1498 in China. Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog’s neck.

It wasn’t until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Here are some other interesting facts about your toothbrush (and toothpaste):
• Most people are said to use blue toothbrushes over any other color
• The first toothpaste was used in 500 BC in China and India
• On average, children smile about 400 times per day
• Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months
• The first known toothpaste was used in 1780, Crest was introduced in 1955 and Colgate in 1873

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

July 25th, 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.

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

July 10th, 2012




Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you'll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:
1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.
3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.
4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.
6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.
7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.
9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.
10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office - we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!


Making Your Life Better with Orthodontics

June 14th, 2012




The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, meaning straight teeth that work well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to eat, chew and speak. It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may well improve your self-esteem. As a part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, orthodontic treatment can help you retain your teeth—and your smile—for a lifetime.


Let your smile express yourself! Nothing can show the world how happy you are quite like a beautiful smile. In fact, it’s one of the first things others notice about you, too. With orthodontics, you can be proud to flash your smile, because you’ll know that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.


Make your mouth healthy! Straight teeth aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy as well. Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to clean, reducing the amount of plaque buildup and risk for gingivitis. The cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they’ll last!


Feel free to live your life! Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We can personalize your treatment to suit all of your needs!

June marks National Dairy Month!

June 5th, 2012

In honor of June Dairy Month, our team would like to thank all of our hard working families in the Dairy Industry.

In fact, dairy is important to your overall health! A 2008 study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Results of the study show that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth.

Questions about which foods you should steer clear of and which you should enjoy during orthodontic treatment? Give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Summer is Almost Here- Tips for a Bright, White Smile!

June 1st, 2012

Summer is only weeks away, which means a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories is just around the corner for most of our patients. Whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, hitting America’s open roads or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we want to hear all about it! Make sure to let us know what you’re up to as spring winds down and summer begins on our Facebook page!

Everyone wants a glowing and radiant white smile when the sun comes around and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over the summer! Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks or dark colored juices- Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile your working on! Another tip is to try and focus on brushing your teeth- everyone knows when busy schedules start picking up, getting a good brushing session in tends to take the backseat! A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to try and swirl your mouth with water after any meal you can’t fully brush your teeth after- your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

We also encourage you to post any photos from your adventures!

Wishing you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

May 21st, 2012

Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember and honor the men and women lost while serving for our country. Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer, and for many folks getting out of town for three days after being cooped up in the classroom or the office spells sweet, sweet relief.

What about you? What are you up to this Memorial Day weekend? Whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just hitting the great American open roads, we’d like to hear all about it!

Our entire team wishes you a happy, safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

“Am I Too Old for Braces?”

May 16th, 2012

Absolutely not! Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of adults getting braces has actually climbed 24 percent since 1996! More adults than ever are realizing that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids, and can help improve the aesthetics and health of a smile of any age! In a society where appearance matters and can help make the difference between getting a job or a promotion, adults are choosing wisely to invest in orthodontic treatment.

Some of the most common reasons our adult patients come to us considering orthodontic treatment include:
• Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, sometimes as a result of tooth decay or gum disease
• Pain or pressure from crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw
• A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

Most of all though, adult patients come to our office seeking a healthier mouth and a more confident smile! Orthodontic treatment at our office can be successful at any age, and adults especially can appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

As an adult patient, we recognize that you have different needs than our younger patients, and we will work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a consultation. We understand you have a busy schedule, and will work with you to find a time that is convenient for you. Please visit our website or give our office a call to schedule your appointment today!

"What Should I Expect During My Initial Consultation?"

May 8th, 2012

Great question! When you first come in for your initial consultation we will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health. This will better enable us to determine the best treatment method for you.

Your orthodontic evaluation will consist of an oral and facial examination to assess your oral health. We will have you take intraoral and facial photographs as well as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays to help determine the proper orthodontic treatment method. Then, an impression of your teeth and bite will be taken to construct a model of your mouth. (This will help us when examining your diagnostic records).

At your second appointment, we will discuss your options with you. Our team feels it’s important to take the time to carefully examine your diagnostic records after your consultation so that we can more thoroughly prepare for your treatment. This additional preparation will ensure that you receive the best orthodontic care possible. At this time, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have about your treatment.

If you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child, our staff asks that both you and your child attend the initial consultation. We feel it is important that both you and your child completely understand the doctor’s recommendations before we proceed with treatment.

Give us a call today and schedule a consultation! We look forward to hearing from you!

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month!

May 2nd, 2012

At Dr. Ronald Brown's office, we know image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having braces may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. Well, May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, and during this time, parents are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among teenagers.

One of the great ways to improve your confidence is to improve your smile. And that begins with a consultation at Dr. Ronald Brown's office.. After all, what better time to avoid having crooked teeth in your adulthood than coming in for a consultation with Dr. Ronald E. Brown?

We invite you to give us a call to schedule a consultation or ask us on Facebook!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 2nd, 2012

Visiting your dentist during your orthodontic treatment will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy while you have braces, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Your dentist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next adjustment appointment. Take care of your teeth!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, from Dr. Ronald Brown

February 10th, 2012

Each February for the past 62 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has sponsored National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and vigilance to remove food particles that accumulate on and between the teeth and in braces. New options for braces such as Invisalign Teen, which is removable, make it easier for kids to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment.

If the health of your teeth is ignored during treatment with braces, the results can be significantly compromised. Dr. Ronald Brown is available and happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during orthodontic treatment. Have you visited us lately? Give us a call and schedule an appointment!

Ask Dr. Brown: What's the deal with mouthwash?

February 3rd, 2012

While mouthwash is not an alternative to regular brushing and flossing, it can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, and all of them will help do different things for your smile. The most common types of mouthwashes are:

Fluoride – fluoride is the most used type of mouthwash available, and is used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Antiseptic – an antiseptic mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and germs in the mouth. Most commonly used before and after a dental surgery, antiseptic mouthwashes can also help to fight gum disease, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Antiseptic mouthwashes can affect your sense of taste and may stain the teeth, so it is recommended that you consult your dentist before using this type of mouthwash.
Combination – a combination mouthwash is designed to help prevent tooth decay, freshen the breath, and maintain the health of your smile.
Prescription – for patients with gum disease, or any signs of gum disease, you may need a prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouthwashes, like Peridex of PerioGard, are used to treat gingivitis, and other forms of decay.

There are also many different brands of mouthwash. Some common brands include:
• Scope
• Listerine
• Act
• Crest
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Orajel
• Targon (special mouthwash made for smokers)
• Rembrandt (whitening mouthwash)

If you are curious about which kind of mouthwash would work best for you, be sure to ask us at your next appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!

Dr. Ronald Brown & team

Orthodontic fun facts, from Dr. Brown

January 27th, 2012

Everyone loves fun facts. Fun, fun, fun! The American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, has come up with some fun facts about orthodontics that Dr. Ronald Brown 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.

The benfits of dairy, from Dr. Ronald Brown

January 20th, 2012

Dr. Ronald Brown wants to know: Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can actually lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Results of the study also showed that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease.

Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child's teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack all stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect them from acids that weaken them, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child's teeth.

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about which dairy foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy, please give us a call.

5 ways you can avoid plaque

November 7th, 2011

At Dr. Ronald Brown's office, we know nobody likes getting plaque on their teeth. Here are five other ways you can avoid that dreaded enemy of the teeth during orthodontic treatment, courtesy of WebMD.

Let’s start with brushing regularly. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste is vital to a healthy mouth. Make sure you softly brush all the surfaces of your teeth.

Next on the list is flossing daily: a simple daily flossing between teeth clears away plaque before it can cause damage and can also clean plaque at the gum line. Plaque is known to reach the spaces between teeth.

Also, evading a trip to the dentist is probably not a great idea. Let’s say you brush and floss daily. You’re still at risk for plaque. With time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Consider visiting your general dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist, and you have a lower chance of getting cavities or losing your teeth while wearing braces.

You’ll also want to stop avoiding those fruits and veggies. Believe it or not, there are foods out there that play a key role in keeping plaque off our teeth. They include apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables. You can still eat these types of fruits and veggies if you have braces, but be sure to cut them up into bite sized pieces to avoid breaking off brackets.

Finally, before you pick up that candy bar, remember to not give in to your sweet tooth. Consuming sugary drinks or eating candy or other junk food allows sugar to stick to our teeth. The bacteria, then, becomes plaque, which turns into acid and damages our teeth. Avoiding these five bad habits keeps your plaque in check and your mouth as healthy as can be during your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Brown. If you have any questions, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Cold season is here, from Dr. Brown

October 26th, 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. Ronald Brown and our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office 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 Dr. Brown's office, 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!

What's so bad about nail biting?

July 19th, 2011

We’ve all heard that biting your nails is an awful habit, but you many wonder- really- what’s so bad about it? Recently, our team at the offices of Dr. Ronald Brown found an interesting article that discusses how biting your nails affect your teeth and oral health.

Nail biting, also known as Onychophagia, is a common habit among various age groups, including primarily children, teens and young adults. Nail biting is generally triggered by stress and most often decreases with age. That being said, nail biting is unsanitary, unattractive, as well as unhealthy for your teeth!

Here’s why:

It’s unsanitary. Your nails are dirty, almost twice as dirty as your fingers! Hence, biting your nails is just asking for germs and bacteria.

No good things come to your teeth. Nail biting causes your teeth to constantly be chewing, which is not good for them. This excessive motion wears your teeth down faster than a non-nail biter’s and puts a large amount of stress on your front teeth- contributing to teeth misalignment.

Braces don’t love it either. Braces already put pressure on teeth, nail biting ads unnecessary pressure, further stressing your teeth and weakening their roots.

It can be costly. Nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over one lifetime, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Yikes!

What can you do about it?

Now that you know how harmful nail biting can be, it’s time to take action to break your nail biting habit. Try to be conscious of your fingernails and to keep them looking good- this will help you resist the temptation. Ask Dr. Brown or visit the article for tips on how to break a nail biting habit.

Good luck!

Your friends at Dr. Brown's offices

Have you been using your fluoride?

July 13th, 2011

There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at the offices of Ronald E. Brown. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment? Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay – can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.

Fluoride used in the dentist or orthodontists’ office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask Dr. Brown how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.

When choosing your own fluoride product, be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!

How to keep your breath fresh, from Dr. Brown

July 6th, 2011

Dr. Ronald Brown, your North Alabama orthodontist, recognizes that many of our patients are concerned about bad breath, or halitosis. While some cases of bad breath are persistent (chronic bad breath), generally bad breath is transient, and can be prevented.

We recently came across this helpful video about bad breath and thought it was worth sharing with our patients. The video explains what might cause bad breath and some ways that it can be avoided. In most instances, bad breath can be prevented by practicing common oral hygiene techniques that you have probably heard us emphasize during a visit to the offices of Dr. Robert Brown, such as brushing and flossing daily. We encourage you to watch this video for additional tips on how to keep bad breath at bay. Enjoy!

Smile! June is National Smile Month!

June 9th, 2011

According to the American Dental Association, a person's smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature, which is why it's important for our team and Dr. Brown to support National Smile Month this June.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

* Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Here's a helpful video showing you how to brush with your braces on.
* Floss every day to clean between your teeth.
* Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks during your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Ronald Brown.
* Visit your dentist regularly (usually every six months apart).

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call.

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month

May 20th, 2011

At the orthodontic office of Dr. Ronald Brown, we know image is everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having braces may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. Well, May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, and during this time, parents are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among teenagers.

One of the great ways to improve your confidence is to improve your smile. And that begins with a complimentary consultation. After all, what better time to avoid having crooked teeth in your adulthood than coming in for a consultation?

We proudly provide traditional braces and Invisalign Teen for today’s image-conscious teens, and invite you to give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation or ask us on Facebook!

Now that I have braces, what can I eat?

April 26th, 2011

You just got braces at any one of our four convenient offices, and we have informed you that over the next several months you will want to avoid eating anything sticky, hard, crunchy, or chewy. What does this leave for you to eat? Lettuce? Nothing?

Luckily, there was someone else wondering the same thing when she first got braces! Brenda Waterman, 13, decided she was going to find a way to have her cake and eat it too, so she created a variety of “braces-friendly” recipes that allow you to enjoy your favorite treats without interfering with your orthodontic care! Her cookbook, “The Braces Cookbook: Recipes you (and your Orthodontist) will Love,” gives patients a variety of delicious recipes, safe to eat with braces; plus additional tips and advice for packing lunches, what to eat at parties, and braces-friendly restaurant dishes! There’s even a section with tips for dealing with the soreness that can occur when your braces or appliance are adjusted. Enjoy the foods you love – even with braces!

Here is a delicious, sneak peek recipe from “The Braces Cookbook:”

Wonderful Waffles

Forget the recipe that came with your waffle iron – this recipe will redefine fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The secret to delicious waffles is letting the batter "sit" for five minutes before pouring into the waffle iron. Top cooked waffles with syrup, jam, fresh fruit or even whip cream. Makes about 5 servings!

Preheat your waffle iron according to the directions. You may want to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before heating.

• 3 cups flour
• 2 Tbl + 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 Tbl sugar
• 4 cups milk
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, whisk (or use electric mixer on low) together all ingredients. Let batter sit for about five minutes to activate the baking powder.

When waffle iron is ready, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto each of the four squares (experiment with your iron – you don't want the batter overflowing). Gently close the cover and set your timer as the manufacturer suggests. Do not lift the cover while they bake. When done, carefully lift one edge with a flat spatula and pull the waffle away from the iron. Keep waffles warm on a plate under a clean dishtowel while the others bake.

Enjoy!

-Your friendly orthodontic team serving Athens, Decatur and Madison, AL

Smile, and you might just live longer!

April 15th, 2011

Folks with big smiles may actually live longer than those who don’t, according to a March 2010 study at Michigan’s Wayne State University. Dr. Brown has known for quite some time that positive emotion has been linked to both physical and mental health, but researchers at the university did something quite interesting: they looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from big smile, no smile or partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact life longevity, including body mass index, career length and even college attendance.

The results? Researchers found that players who weren't smiling in the photos died at the average age of 72.9 years. Players with partial smiles lived to be 75. Those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old.

The take-away from the new study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! Have you been perfecting your smile by visiting us at the orthodontic practice of Dr. Ronald Brown? If not, give us a call!

With Braces, Watch What You Eat!

March 10th, 2011

While there are many foods you can eat while in braces, there are certain types that our team and Dr. Brown would like you to avoid during the course of your treatment. Some of these foods can bend the wires or even break the brackets on your braces. Avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables such as carrots and celery. You’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces. A few examples of foods to avoid include:

• Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
• Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
• Sticky foods: caramels, gum
• Hard foods: nuts, candy
• Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Additionally, chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces, which can cause delay in treatment.

If you have any questions on which foods you should be avoiding and why, we invite you to give us a call, or ask during your next visit. As always, if you believe you may have damaged your orthodontic appliances, please give our office a call immediately.

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