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Posts for: September, 2018

By Hoffmaster Dental
September 20, 2018
Category: Oral Health
OralHygieneisntEasywithBraces-butitsStillDoable

If you’re about to undergo orthodontic treatment, you’re going to face a challenge keeping your teeth and gums clean wearing braces. That in turn could increase your chances for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, which could diminish your future dental health and disrupt your current orthodontic treatment.

The main hygiene tasks of brushing and flossing are more difficult with braces because of the fixed hardware on the teeth. Your toothbrush or floss can’t always easily maneuver around the wires and brackets, increasing the chances you’ll miss some areas. These neglected areas can then accumulate dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that’s most responsible for disease.

But although difficult, effective oral hygiene isn’t impossible.  First and foremost, you’ll need to take more time to be thorough with brushing and flossing than you might normally without braces.

Second, there are some specialized hygiene tools to make the job easier. Instead of a regular toothbrush try an interproximal brush. This special brush has a long and thin bristled head (resembling a pipe cleaner) that can maneuver in and around orthodontic hardware much easier than a regular brush.

For flossing, use a floss threader, a device through which you thread floss on one end and then pass the other sharper end between your teeth. Once through, you release the floss from it and floss as usual, repeating the process with the threader for each tooth. Another option is an oral irrigator, a device that emits a pressurized spray of water between teeth to loosen plaque and flush it away. Many orthodontic patients have found this latter option to be quite effective.

Finally, continue seeing your regular dentist for regular appointments in addition to your orthodontist. Besides cleaning those hard to reach areas, your dentist can also provide other preventive measures like topical fluoride for strengthening enamel and prescription mouth rinses that inhibit bacterial growth. You should also see your dentist immediately if you notice signs of disease like spots on the teeth or swollen or bleeding gums.

Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces is a top priority. Doing so will help ensure your new smile after braces is both an attractive and healthy one.

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


Cosmetic and Contouring SmileSay goodbye to little chips, cracks and discolorations in your smile.

When people think about cosmetic dentistry they often think about dental veneers, implants, and even crowns, but did you know that there are fast, easy, and inexpensive options that can help fix more minor dental flaws in just a single dental visit? If you didn’t know about this, it’s time you did. Our York, PA, dentist Dr. Robert Hoffmaster is here to tell you how dental bonding and cosmetic contouring could enhance your smile.

While dental bonding and cosmetic contouring may not be a cosmetic dental treatment with which you are familiar, it could just end up being the fast, easy and inexpensive option you’ve been looking for. Cosmetic contouring is where our York, PA, general dentist shaves off small amounts of enamel to help reshape and alter the size or appearance of a tooth. Since very little enamel is removed it is completely painless and non-invasive and can be great for buffing away pits, chips, worn edges, and other minor issues.

Dental bonding is another non-invasive cosmetic technique that is often combined with cosmetic contouring to improve the look of a tooth. Bonding uses a tooth-colored resin that is applied and shaped over small imperfections in a tooth to hide them and to enhance the size, shape, or color of a tooth. Bonding is a great way to hide small chips and cracks, discolorations, pits and grooves, and even small gaps between teeth. Teeth that might look smaller than the rest may also be able to be shaped by bonding so your smile looks more symmetrical.

People love cosmetic contouring and bonding because it’s fast and painless, plus it can usually be performed in just one visit.

Do you want to know more about these simple cosmetic treatments? Ready to find out how we can improve your smile? If so, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with the experts at Hoffmaster Dental in York, PA.


By Hoffmaster Dental
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: retainer  
ABondedRetainerMightWorkforYouafterOrthodonticTreatment

If you want to keep that new smile after orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear a retainer for awhile. Teeth have a tendency to “rebound” to their old positions and a retainer prevents that from happening.

Most people are familiar with the standard removable retainer. But there’s another option: a bonded retainer. While performing the same function as a removable one, the bonded retainer differs in one important aspect—it’s fixed in place and can’t be removed except by a dentist. It’s especially useful for certain bite repairs like the closure of the gap between the front teeth.

If you’re thinking this retainer sounds a lot like the braces just removed, it’s not. The main part of a bonded retainer is a thin metal wire that we bond with a dental composite material across the back of the affected teeth. While you can definitely feel it with your tongue it can’t be seen by others, which is an advantage over many removable retainers.

The fixed nature of bonded retainers also creates a couple of advantages, especially for younger patients. There’s no compliance issue as with removable retainers—the patient doesn’t have the option of taking it out. That also means it can’t be lost, a frequent and costly occurrence with the removable variety.

But a bonded retainer does have some drawbacks. For one, the wire and composite material make it more difficult to floss. There’s also a possibility of breakage from high biting forces, which if that should occur must be immediately repaired to avoid the teeth rebounding. But while removable retainers have their downsides, it’s much easier with them to keep the teeth clean of plaque—you simply take the appliance out to brush and floss.

With your dentist’s help you can weigh the pros and cons of both types of retainers and decide which is best for you or your child. Whichever one you choose, wearing a retainer will help protect that hard-earned smile for years to come.

If you would like more information on protecting your bite after orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?