Avoid Stained Teeth from Braces

One of the hazards they forget to warn you about is that you can sometimes get stained teeth from braces. Although this is a fairly common issue, it doesn’t receive much air time. If you notice staining on your braces, there are steps you can take to correct or lessen the problem.

Why Do I Have Stained Teeth from Braces?

When you have brackets and wires on your teeth, brushing is naturally more difficult. As a result, you may experience plaque buildup. This is a substance that sticks to your teeth as a result of eating or drinking. Since you can’t avoid eating or drinking, you need a little extra diligence to combat the plaque.

If left untended, plaque will harden, turning into tartar. Tartar often has a brown or yellow coloration and can cause demineralization. If left untreated, demineralization can affect the enamel on teeth and cause cavities. Sugary food accelerates the process, which is why oral hygiene is so important while wearing braces.

Preventing Stains While Wearing Braces

Aside from brushing and flossing, which we will discuss shortly, there are a few things you can do to prevent or limit staining while wearing braces.

Rinsing with plain water regularly throughout the day, but especially after eating or drinking is the first line of defense. Whether you have a soda, coffee, or other beverage, swishing a little plain water will help flush remaining sugars and loose food particles. This is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. It is merely a step that will help.

When you had your braces put on, you should have received a list of foods to avoid or limit. While many of the items on the list are there to avoid damaging your braces, some are there because they stick to braces and teeth and may cause problems. Among the things to avoid are sticky, sugary, starchy, and chewy foods. You should also avoid hard candy, fruits, and veggies.

Brush up on Your Oral Hygiene

Stained Teeth From Braces

Don’t neglect your regular dental checkups. Your dentist and their staff know how to clean around your appliances. It is important, especially with braces, to maintain optimum oral hygiene. With that said, another reminder about your daily oral hygiene is coming up.

Proper Brushing

While wearing braces, you should try to brush after every meal. We know that isn’t always possible. If you are unable to brush, you should get into the habit of rinsing with plain water. This will remove loose food particles and provide some assistance until you can brush properly.

Use a soft-bristle brush and a non-whitening toothpaste with your braces. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle from your gumline. Using back and forth strokes, brush the areas above, below, and over your brackets and wires. Use small circular motions over each bracket to remove stubborn food particles. Be sure to rinse and spit out the toothpaste.

Interdental/Interproximal Brushes

These tiny brushes are invaluable while wearing braces. They are tiny enough to fit under your wires and allow you to clean well along the edges of your brackets.

Interdental brushes are not a substitute for flossing.

Flossing for the Win

Flossing with braces can be tricky at first. Once you learn the technique, you’ll be able to breeze through regular flossing easily. You should floss at least once daily. Using a floss threader will help guide the floss around your wires so that you can reach the gum line around each tooth.

 

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Flossing removes more plaque buildup than just brushing. It is an important part of your oral care routine that should not be neglected.

The Hazards of Whitening Toothpastes

We briefly mentioned that you should not use whitening toothpaste while wearing braces. The reason is that it will whiten your teeth. Unfortunately, the whitening agents won’t reach the area where your brackets are affixed. When you have your braces removed, you will likely have small squares of discolored teeth.

To avoid that, simply switch to an ADA-approved, fluoride toothpaste without whitening agents during your treatment.

When the Braces Come Off

When your braces are removed, you will likely get a little shock at the appearance of your teeth. They will be straight and you’ll have a beautiful smile, but you may see some discoloration from the braces.

If you have been doing your part with proper brushing and flossing and keeping your regular dental checkup schedule, you may not have much staining. Because there are so many little nooks and crannies with braces, missing a spot or two is quite normal.

You can use teeth whitening methods to remove the staining and return your smile to pristine whiteness.

Teeth Whitening After Braces

Teeth whitening can be accomplished in several ways once your braces are removed. There are inexpensive, in-home methods such as strips and trays. You can opt for a dentist-supplied in-home tray kit, which is a bit stronger than the over-the-counter versions. Although a bit more costly, an in-office procedure is the quickest way to brighten your smile.

If you are interested in tooth whitening procedures, discuss them with your dentist or orthodontist. They may have recommendations that will help.

Skip Stained Teeth from Braces with Invisalign

If all of this just sounds like too much hassle, even to get a perfect smile, there is an alternative. Braces treatment with Invisalign clear aligners. No brackets. No wires. No dietary restrictions. No need to learn new brushing and flossing techniques.

Invisalign is a system of clear tray aligners that work to straighten your smile using gentle pressure to move teeth into alignment. Patients wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours each day. The trays are removable for oral hygiene, drinking, and eating. While oral hygiene is still a prime component of Invisalign treatment, it is much easier than with traditional braces.

Because there are no wires and brackets, Invisalign is a more comfortable treatment method. The trays are nearly invisible, so patients can continue their normal busy routine and most people won’t even realize they have braces!

Ready to Get Your Smile Looking Pristine?

Pitner Orthodontics is a Diamond+ Invisalign provider. That means they are in the top one percent of all providers! Dr. Leslie Pitner and her team are ready to help you discover your perfect smile. Simply begin with a Virtual Consultation or make an appointment at one of their three convenient locations. Your initial consultation is complimentary too. That is a $249 savings!

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Invisalign in Newberry SC

If you need Invisalign in Newberry SC, look no further than Pitner Orthodontics. With two locations in Columbia and the third office in Chapin, Pitner offers Invisalign, affordability, and convenience. Let us show you why it is worth the drive!

Pitner Orthodontics — Invisalign in Newberry SC

Whether you live in Newberry and commute to Columbia for work, you will appreciate the Downtown Office. The only one of its kind, the Downtown office is dedicated to adults only. In fact, you likely drive right past our Chapin office frequently, too.

In the past, many patients were told that Invisalign was not right for them. Whether you have ever been given that sad news or not, we have great news for you now!

 

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Align Technology has been working continously to expand the efficacy of this unique, almost invisible tray alignment system. As a result of their innovative design improvements, Invisalign is able to handle almost all orthodontic problems from minor to complex.

Whether you are in for a first-time visit or to ask us for a second opinion, Pitner Orthodontics is ready to help.

South Carolina’s #1 Invisalign Provider

Dr. Leslie Pitner and Pitner Orthodontics have earned their reputation as South Carolina’s #1 Invisalign provider. Align Technology, the creators of Invisalign, use an 8-tier rating system for providers. Pitner holds a Diamond+ rating, which is in the top 1 percent of all providers.

Dr. Pitner makes it easy to get an evaluation to see if Invisalign treatment is right for you by offering a free initial consultation. This Smile Analysis includes digital x-rays and a complete examination. At a value of $249, this is only the beginning of your savings at Pitner Orthodontics.

How Invisalign Works

Beginning the Invisalign process is fairly easy. First, we make a 3D model of your teeth. The model allows Dr. Pitner to create a custom treatment plan for each patient. After your exam, we create a series of almost invisible alignment trays for you.

The trays are worn for 20 to 22 hours every day. Depending on your treatment schedule, you will switch to a new set of trays every week or two. The trays work by putting pressure against your teeth to shift them into the correct positions. As you switch through the tray sets, your teeth will gradually become straighter until they reach proper alignment.

Because Invisalign trays are removable there are no problems with oral hygiene or dietary restrictions. Patients remove the trays to eat, drink, and perform oral hygiene.

Three Locations Near Newberry

We have three locations near Newberry. The nearest office is our Chapin location on Old Bush River Rd. Our other locations are both in Columbia, one on Westcott Rd and the Downtown office on Main St. Whether you want Invisalign for yourself or are making an appointment for a child or teen, Pitner can help.

Making your first appointment is as easy as clicking on the “Book Your Free Consult” button, filling in some information, and submitting the form.

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How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush? The answer to this debate usually depends on who you talk to. The normal assumption is that you should be replacing your toothbrush at least every three months. Toothbrush manufacturers might say every 30 days. But what is the real deal? Is there a “right” answer to this question?

What Toothbrush Manufacturers Say

Most manufacturers recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. While many people may think this is merely to sell more toothbrushes, it is actually based on a variety of good reasons. While exploring this question, we discovered the following reasons for this recommendation:

  • Bristles become frayed and worn
  • Prevents bacteria from developing
  • Brushing is less effective
  • New brushes remove more plaque

Manufacturers of electric toothbrushes offer subscription services through distributors. This service sends members a new electric toothbrush head automatically. By using a service, there is no problem trying to remember how long you’ve been using your brush. You simply change to the new head when it arrives in the mail.

Some toothbrush manufacturers have employed “reminder bristles” in their designs. These special bristles are brightly colored when you buy your new toothbrush. As you use the brush, the color fades. Once the color is gone or significantly faded, it is time to change your brush.

What the American Dental Association Says

Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have guidelines for toothbrushes. The general recommendation is to replace your brush every three to four months. While that is almost the same as the manufacturer’s recommendation, there are additional reasons recommended by both organizations.

 

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In addition to regularly changing your toothbrush, you should also replace it under these conditions:

  • When anyone in your household has been sick, especially bacterial infections such as strep throat
  • For children who sometimes chew on or mash the heads of their toothbrushes
  • If anyone else uses your toothbrush
  • If you drop it on the floor or any other surface

The general rule should be — When in doubt, change it out.

General Care of Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush can be a collector of all things icky. By developing a few simple habits, you can prevent many issues that can result in bacteria growth.

Don’t share toothbrushes. Even if rinsed well, brushes can have germs.

Rinse your brush thoroughly after use. Make sure you rinse all toothpaste residue from between bristles.

Store your toothbrush upright to air dry. Don’t allow toothbrushes to rest against one another.

Don’t use any of these to “deep clean” your toothbrush — Dishwasher, microwave, ultraviolet devices, disinfecting solutions, or mouthwash. These may damage your brush resulting in less effective brushing.

Avoid covering toothbrushes. If you use a travel container, your toothbrush should be allowed to dry before packing. If you must pack it damp, remove it and rinse it upon arrival at your destination.

Whether you have Invisalign, traditional braces, or no braces, maintaining a clean and healthy smile is important. Part of ensuring that is taking care of your toothbrush and switching it out regularly.

So… How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

At Pitner Orthodontics, we recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months. We would also stress that replacing it after an illness is important to remove the risk of re-infecting yourself. Whether you use a manual toothbrush, an electric, or a battery-powered brush, changing it more often is the best practice.

For information, updates, and news, check out our orthodontic blog, Instagram, and Facebook.

Best Braces near Elgin

When you find out that you or your child needs braces, you begin a search for the best orthodontist. When it comes to your smile, you want the best braces near Elgin. Whether you are thinking about Invisalign or traditional braces, Pitner Orthodontics can help.

Pitner Orthodontics Has the Best Braces near Elgin

Pitner Orthodontics is confident that they can offer you the best braces near Elgin. They offer a complimentary first examination. Valued at $249, this is a comprehensive examination including digital X-rays and complete smile analysis. Treatment options will be discussed following this initial examination.

Dr. Leslie Pitner is South Carolina’s #1 Invisalign orthodontist. She maintains the belief that changing your smile can truly change a person’s life. She is a dedicated professional not only in fixing smiles but in helping people to attain true happiness in life. While she does treat families, Dr. Pitner is a premier orthodontist catering to adults. She even wrote the book, “Improve Your Smile, Transform Your Life: A Guide to Orthodontics for Adults.”

 

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If you’re still not convinced, there is more. Pitner Orthodontics is a Diamond+ Invisalign provider. This puts them in the top one percent of all Invisalign providers.

Options for Orthodontic Treatment

In the world of orthodontics, there are several available options to straighten your smile. The first, and probably most well-known, are traditional metal braces. But that is not the only option anymore.

Invisalign: This almost invisible tray alignment system has gained popularity as a treatment for adults. In recent years, Align Technology has added both Invisalign Teen and Invisalign First to its lineup. Invisalign treatment is effective for almost all malocclusions, from minor to complex. Patients prefer it because it is very discreet. The tray aligners are removable, which makes both eating and oral hygiene easier.

Clear Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces function exactly like traditional metal braces. Rather than stainless steel, the brackets are ceramic and clear. They blend with natural tooth coloration, making them less visible than traditional metal braces. For patients who wish to make a colorful statement, there is an option to use colored elastics on the brackets to hold the archwires in place.

Lingual Braces: Lingual means toward the tongue. Lingual braces use traditional brackets and wires, but they are mounted on the back of teeth. For adults, this is an option that allows the straightening of their smile with no visible outward appearance. Because the process is more difficult than traditional braces, lingual braces are slightly higher in cost, but comparable to the cost of Invisalign.

As you can see, there are options for braces. Whether you are seeking treatment for a child, teen, or adult, Pitner Orthodontics can help. If you’re ready to begin, the process starts with a complimentary consultation.

Contact Pitner Today for Your Braces

Pitner Orthodontics has three convenient offices. For those with a busy schedule who want in-and-out convenience without being in a noisy waiting room, the downtown, adults-only office is a perfect solution.

To set up your complimentary consultation, click on any of the “Request Appointment” buttons on our website. Fill in the information and submit the form. Yes, it really is that easy.

But if you would rather call, please use one of the numbers below for the office nearest your location:

Columbia Office: (803) 859-4442
Chapin Office: (803) 859-4377
Downtown — Orthodontics for Adults: (803) 859-4346

The staff at Pitner Orthodontics is looking forward to meeting you!

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Braces Near Elgin SC

If you are looking for braces near Elgin, SC, look no further than Pitner Orthodontics. As a full-service orthodontist, Dr. Leslie Pitner has three locations in the Columbia, SC region. Pitner Orthodontics uses the latest Invisalign technology, maintains a Diamond+ Invisalign Provider rating, and offers affordable pricing. There are several types of braces to choose from.

Exploring the Options for Braces

In years past, getting braces meant wearing metal brackets and wires for what seemed like decades. Now there are many options for braces. Traditional metal braces are still available, but Invisalign and clear ceramic braces offer variety.

Traditional braces have evolved slightly over the years. The brackets are affixed to your teeth, and then the archwire is stretched between the brackets. The wires apply the pressure necessary to shift your teeth into new positions to straighten your smile. Small elastic bands hold the archwires in place. Although very effective, traditional braces are losing the popularity contest lately.

Clear braces, or ceramic braces, function the same as traditional braces. Ceramic brackets are affixed to your teeth, with archwires to do the heavy shifting. The difference is that the clear brackets are less noticeable. When used with white archwires, they blend very well within your mouth. Ceramic braces are popular with adults who can’t get or don’t want Invisalign. Clear braces are also a hot commodity on the teen scene. The addition of multi-colored elastic bands can make a statement, show school spirit, or make your smile colorful.

Lingual braces use brackets and wires, but they are installed on the backs of your teeth. This hides your braces, so very few people will ever notice you have them.

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are the most popular type of corrective appliances. Patients wear the almost invisible alignment trays for 20 to 22 hours per day. Most people you meet won’t even realize you are wearing braces. When you eat and drink, you remove the tray aligners. After brushing and flossing, simply clean and reinsert the trays. Unlike traditional braces, there are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign.

Pitner Orthodontics for Braces Near Elgin SC

As you can see, there are choices when it comes to wearing braces. When you receive your free initial consultation (a $249 value), you will have a chance to ask questions and get more information on each type of braces. Dr. Pitner will discuss which treatment system will be the most effective for you.

With three office locations, Pitner Orthodontics is convenient. The downtown office is for adults only. If you are hesitant to seek orthodontic care because children and teens make you nervous, we have you covered.

Treatment duration will vary depending on your alignment corrections. Each patient receives a custom treatment plan unique to them. For that reason, it is difficult for us to assess the cost and duration of your treatment before your consultation. With a free consultation, you have nothing to lose.

We Are Ready When You Are

When you are ready to schedule your consultation, click on the handy widget on our website and fill out the information. You may also contact any of our offices directly to schedule.

Pitner Orthodontics: Columbia Office
5953 Wescott Rd.
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: (803) 408-7372

Chapin Office
814 Old Bush River Rd.
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone: (803) 345-6767

Pitner Downtown: Orthodontics for Adults
1201 Main St., Suite 900
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 667-3909

Visit our blog to learn more about orthodontic treatment.

You can also find us on social media on Facebook and Instagram.

Orthodontist Elgin SC

Finding an orthodontist in Elgin SC can be challenging with so many claiming to be the best. Pitner Orthodontics lets their reputation speak for them. As a Diamond+ Invisalign provider, Pitner is an expert in treating adults and teens. With three locations (one dedicated to adults-only service), we are close to you.

Finding an Orthodontist in Elgin SC

If you need braces, there is no better time to contact Pitner Orthodontics to set up your first appointment. The process begins with requesting your free virtual consultation — click the handy link on this page. Once that is complete, we will set you up with a free in-office Smile Assessment for a complete examination, x-rays, and digital images of your teeth.

After your Smile Assessment, Dr. Leslie Pitner will discuss your orthodontic options with you. Whether you are an adult needing a slight alignment correction or you have children needing braces, Pitner can meet your needs. As a family practice, we serve patients as young as 7 for early intervention and monitoring. Our Adults-only office caters to busy adults.

Pitner Orthodontics — Making Smiles Better

Pitner Orthodontics offers free Smile Assessments for children beginning at age 7. No referral is necessary. Our early intervention program monitors younger children to ensure that their growth is progressing normally. Although your child may never need braces, our monitoring program can catch potential programs early. This makes alignment problems easier to correct.

For teens, Pitner Orthodontics offers traditional braces and Invisalign Teen. Many teens are self-conscious and don’t want traditional braces or clear ceramic braces. Fortunately, you can opt for Invisalign Teen. Invisalign is a series of clear alignment trays that gradually realign your teeth. The trays are nearly invisible, require fewer trips to the orthodontist, and are a great boost to a teen’s self-esteem.

For adults and teens, Pitner also offers lingual braces. Although similar to traditional braces, lingual braces are mounted on the backs of teeth, making them less visible. Dr. Pitner may recommend traditional braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign depending on your needs. Taking advantage of the free smile assessment (valued at $249) will give you a jump start on determining your orthodontic needs.

As a family orthodontist, Dr. Pitner also recognizes that adults have busy schedules. She operates an adults-only office, conveniently located downtown and catering to busy professionals. If you want a perfect smile but have a busy schedule, Dr. Pitner can work with you.

Make Your Appointment Today

Our three office locations:

Our Columbia office:
5953 Wescott Rd.
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: (803) 408-7372

Downtown Office:
Pitner Orthodontics: Orthodontics for Adults
1201 Main St. Suite 900
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 667-3909

Our Chapin Office:
814 Old Bush River Rd.
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone: (803) 345-6767

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Check out our blog for posts about different types of treatments offered at Pitner Orthodontics.