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Tips for proper hygiene with braces

December 4th, 2017


There's no doubt about it hygiene is much more time consuming with braces. This can be very difficult at first, but it is essential to maintain a healthy smile while in orthodontic treatment. Failure to do so can lead to swollen and irritated gums, white spots, and even cavities. Included below are some tips to help maintain proper hygiene while in orthodontic treatment.


Brushing seems obvious, but it's all about the angle of the toothbrush and how often you do it.  It's easy to miss spots around your braces and even tempting to skip brushing, but  while in treatment patients should be brushing at least 3-4 times a day. It is best to try to brush after every meal, if not possible then rinsing with water can help to remove any excess food that may be trapped around the brackets. When brushing three main angles should be focused on: above the brackets, below the brackets, and underneath the wire. These three areas are where food loves to collect, if these areas go without being cleaned the food can turn into plaque which can then lead to white spots.



There's no doubt about it flossing can take more time with braces, but in today's society we have several items that make flossing easier and more time-efficient. If you need to use regular floss then floss threaders make a good option in helping to allow the patient to guide the floss underneath the wire more easily . Orthopick's (orthodontic flossers) are another easy way to floss with braces, with Orthopick's you can place the flosser underneath the wire at an angle and access the gum line easily. Another quick and efficient way to remove food around and in between the teeth is by using a Waterpik flosser, this can also help to improve oral hygiene.

Floss threaders are pictured below and are included in your "starter kit" that you receive when your braces are placed. 

Also included in your "starter kit" are Orthopick's (Orthodontic Flossers), these work great for flossing with braces too. 

A Waterpik can also be used too to help improve hygiene.

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, a daily rinse can be used. Listerine works great to help reduce bacteria and maintain healthy gums. Oral hygiene is crucial to having the smile of your dreams, if you follow these tips then you will be on the road to a healthy smile!

Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 24th, 2017

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Kelleher Orthodontics wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Midlothian, VA area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Dr. Kevin Kelleher!

No Wooden Teeth, Please! Why Oral Health is So Important

May 17th, 2017

Your teeth are precious. Once your permanent teeth come in, they need to last you a lifetime. Extensive tooth decay can lead to dental caries and the need for fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures.

While these fixes can go a long way toward maintaining your quality of life, they cannot compare to your natural teeth. Getting braces is no excuse to let up on your thorough oral health routine: You need to take good care of your teeth before, during, and after braces to benefit completely from the gains you get from newly straightened teeth.

Why You Should Maintain Good Oral Health for Life

Begin a complete oral health regimen as early as possible in life, and maintain this routine throughout your life. Keeping your (or your child’s baby) teeth clean establishes a routine. It preserves healthy baby teeth whose function is to save space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to come in. Care of your permanent teeth helps preserve the enamel and prevent decay.

Take Special Care with Braces

It is important to pay attention to oral health when you have braces. If you do not take special care of your teeth during the months or years that you have braces, you risk irreversible damage to your teeth. Care is more difficult with braces because food can easily get stuck. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing each day, Dr. Kevin Kelleher and our staff suggest avoiding sticky foods.

Braces-Friendly Recipe: Breakfast

May 10th, 2017

Kids can be picky eaters. How many times have you seen your child try to hide the peas under a mound of mashed potatoes?

At Kelleher Orthodontics, Dr. Kevin Kelleher and our team understand how hard it can be to get your child to eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. The task of providing fun, nutritious meals becomes even more challenging if he or she wears braces. It's an age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. These five braces-friendly recipes are not only nutritious, but they will have little Jimmy flashing his “tin grin” when he sits down at the kitchen table in the morning.

  1. Scrambled eggs are soft and easy to eat if you have braces. If you drown them in ketchup (which many kids love to do), eggs become even mushier. Minimal chewing is required, and that’s the key to a braces-friendly recipe.
  2. A healthy breakfast provides energy and jump-starts metabolism. A smoothie is not only a good source of fruit, but it’s also gentle on braces. More importantly, smoothies are fun to create. You can toss anything in the blender (bananas, mangoes, strawberries, spinach) and create a drink that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
  3. If you wear braces, eating crunchy cereals or granola for breakfast is out of the question: Bite down the wrong way and you might snap the wires or dislodge the brackets. However, you can get your grains and oats by substituting oatmeal for cereal. This mushy breakfast treat has a host of health benefits.
  4. Pancakes are not the healthiest breakfast choice. Still, this Sunday morning favorite is braces-friendly. The idea is to make it healthier by hiding blueberries in the pancake batter just like your child hides peas in the mashed potatoes.
  5. Toast with jam is ok, but skip slathering peanut butter on the bread. If you have braces, the general rule of thumb is to steer clear of foods that are hard or chewy. These types of foods can break wires. Of course, most kids will agree that toast isn’t the most exciting breakfast recipe. Make it a Pop-Tart instead!

For more braces-friendly recipes, please give us a call at our convenient Midlothian, VA office!