Our Blog

Tips for Using Invisalign®

November 6th, 2019

More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”

While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Drs. Suzan Ekim, and Heather Horton, and add the following advice to your daily routine.

Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at Ekim Orthodontics knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.

Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.

Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.

You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call at our convenient Prior Lake, and Burnsville office to schedule an appointment!

National Orthodontic Health Month at Ekim Orthodontics

October 31st, 2019

Did you know October is National Orthodontic Month? We love any opportunity to educate our patients a little more on the ins and outs of what we do! In short, orthodontics is a specialty discipline of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of the teeth and jaws to improve a person’s smile and oral health. The reason for this is because crooked teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean and are at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Dr. Ekim has made it her mission to ensure that never happens, and it all started years ago.

She completed her orthodontic residency at our very own The University of Minnesota and continued on as full-time Faculty for the following nearly 10 years. Dr. Ekim shares what made her decide to pursue a career in orthodontics: "At a young age, I was interested in being an orthodontist as I noticed the scientific and artistic pieces to the profession. I feel very fortunate to be working every day in a field where I can help people, make a difference, show excellence in skills, and work amongst such talented team members. I am honored to see my patients enjoy their results and their smiles."

With hundreds of smiling patients, she is certainly fulfilling her mission! Considering orthodontic treatment? Then something to know about orthodontics is that it’s a gradual change to your facial appearance and dental function. A proper diagnosis of the problems to solve, along with a discussion of the goals that are attainable, are important as part of the planning process.  At Ekim Orthodontics, we have a history of excellent planning and execution of that plan for over 12 years. Whether it's braces, Invisalign, or retainers, Dr. Ekim and her team understand the importance of diagnosis and listening to their patients.

We hope to see you in our office soon!

A Fun Halloween with Braces

October 30th, 2019

Having teeth encased in braces can be discouraging during Halloween. If you or your child has braces, there are certain candies to avoid this holiday season—and in general—while you have braces. Candy can be tempting, especially for children.

But don’t worry; other sweet treat options can readily take their place. Take a look at the American Association of Orthodontists’ tips on how to keep your braces safe.

Treats to avoid because they can cause damage to your braces include:

  • Hard candies
  • Chewy candies
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Licorice
  • Jelly beans
  • Taffy
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn

These goodies should be avoided because they have the potential to bend or break your braces. Broken brackets and loose wires can waste time and money.

Switch out hard, chewy, and sticky candies for these options in the mean time:

  • Soft chocolate
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Gelatin treats
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies
  • Root beer floats
  • Apple cider

Encouraging your child to stay with alternative, braces-friendly treats may prevent her from trying to eat candies that could break or damage braces. Halloween can still be fun, especially if your youngster (or you) don’t have to visit our Prior Lake, and Burnsville office get braces fixed.

Make sure to remind your child to avoid harmful candies, and encourage him to exchange treats with friends to make it more fun. Only passing out candies that children can eat safely, such as soft chocolates, can make them feel included.

Drs. Suzan Ekim, and Heather Horton and our team hope you enjoy your Halloween season, regardless of whether you are wearing braces.

Play Sports? Use Mouthguards.

October 16th, 2019

Drs. Suzan Ekim, and Heather Horton and our team recommend always wearing a protective mouthguard to participate in most physical sports. We especially encourage this if you have braces that can potentially cut your mouth or cause damage to your teeth. You have various choices to consider when you’re looking for a protective mouthguard.

One option is a full facial guard, which is often used for contact sports, such as football or hockey. This type offers full protection of the face from external impact. You should also consider an additional mouthguard to protect yourself from cuts inside your mouth, and avoid possible damage to your braces.

Boil-and-bites are another version of mouthguard that can be used for more physical sports. This type is used just the way its name implies: You warm the mouthguard in water to soften the material, then bite down gently once it’s at the correct temperature to form it into the shape of your mouth. These are fine to use temporarily, but they don’t always provide the best protection if they don’t fit properly.

Another option is to have Drs. Suzan Ekim, and Heather Horton make a custom mouthguard for you. The mouthguard will be designed with built-in layers to protect both your teeth and braces when it’s worn. Having Drs. Suzan Ekim, and Heather Horton create a custom-fitted mouthguard will ensure optimal protection and a comfortable fit whenever you participate in physical activities.

Protecting your teeth and braces is essential when you compete in sports. Accidents happen, and having a preventive mouthguard can potentially save you from oral pain and damaged braces. Our Prior Lake, and Burnsville office is happy to assist you in creating a custom-made mouthguard for any sports activities you want to pursue.

If you’ve experienced a mouth injury that has caused damage to your braces, please contact us immediately so we can fix the problem right away. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to your oral health!