Why Busy Moms and Dads Love Full-Service Family Dentistry

family dentistImagine a pulling into a dentist office parking lot and your children are all smiles with excitement. They’ve been waiting for weeks and are thrilled their appointment day is finally here.

Think that’s impossible? Think again.

Shawn Cruz, a satisfied patient at our office, recently had that experience with his two children. Cruz shares:

I’ve never enjoyed dental experiences like I do at Simply Beautiful Smiles and so much more important my children both love the dentist—like pure joy and hoorays when we pull up. If that alone doesn’t tell you how awesome this place is I don’t know what will!

With a wide array of dental services all in one location, more families are making the choice to use a full-service family dentist, like Simply Beautiful Smiles. Full-service dentistry brings all necessary procedures and services to one location under the care of highly-qualified dentists and specialists.

Consider the following benefits of a full-service family dentist and decide if one might be right for your family.

One Location for Services

One of the biggest benefits of a full-service dentist is convenience. The ability to bring every member of your family, from youngest to oldest, to one location for dental care just makes sense.

  • Schedule a routine cleaning for your eight-year-old while your teenager has a check-up for their braces;
  • Come for an appointment for your aging parent while you receive a quick whitening treatment or,
  • Schedule a wisdom teeth removal consult after routine dental X-rays.

Instead of appointments spread over multiple days and locations, a full-service family dentist streamlines your schedule freeing up several days a year—while also eliminating unnecessary school absences for your children.

Consistency in Care

Another benefit families receive when choosing a full-service family dentist is consistency in care.

From young patients seeing a dentist for the first time to adults struggling with snoring or sleep apnea,  patients stay with the same dentist from birth through adulthood. This long-term relationship between patient and dentist lays the foundation for excellent dental care as it fosters communication between patient, dentist, orthodontist, and specialists.

Real Relationships

The consistency in care leads to another high-valued benefit for families—real relationships with health care providers. In a day when the average face time with a doctor is eight minutes, families are searching for caregivers who know their names, their medical history, and their concerns. A full-service family dentist is the answer.

Dentists in these types of practices take seriously the full range of needs for their patients and invest extra time to provide the highest level of dental care. This patient-first vision provides families with security and confidence in their healthcare providers—who may also become their friends.

Less Paperwork

A lesser benefit than those above (but equally important to busy moms and dads), is less paperwork. It’s much easier to fill out personal and insurance forms one time and have them be securely shared across one office.  It saves time and cuts down on mistakes.

For families with multiple children and adults, less paperwork is a welcome change from the normal less-than-full-service office.

Families are embracing full-service family dentists for their convenience and for the long-term relationships they foster between patient and dentist. Parents like Shawn Cruz are happy they made the switch and are pretty convinced your children will be too—joyfully skipping right through the dentist office doors.

Simply Beautiful Smiles is a 16-location dental practice located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The entire team looks forward to welcoming you to our practice and serving the dental needs of you and your family for years to come.

Learn more about our full-service practice by requesting an appointment today.

How to Help Your Kids Be Less Afraid of a New Dentist

Some kids go through their lives in search of the next great adventure. Some kids prefer consistency and familiar surroundings. Eventually the unfamiliar becomes familiar, and all is well. Your child may have been a bit apprehensive,  maybe even fearful, when they were first getting to know their dentist, but soon the pair became better acquainted, and all was well.Kid Happy at the Dentist

Then life happens, and the once familiar routine becomes unfamiliar all over again. Maybe your dentist retires, or your family relocates to a new town. Some kids are excited to go to new places and meet new people, but if your child is hesitant, you may find yourself back to square one, helping your child establish a relationship of familiarity and trust with their dentist.

Helping Your Child Make the Transition to a New Dental Office

Some children have a little more trouble adjusting to change than others. But with a bit of planning and preparation, your kid may be less afraid of a new dentist. You may want to try some of the following suggestions:

  • Schedule an Appointment in Person – Rather than simply scheduling your appointment over the phone; it may be helpful to include your child in the process. If you call your dentist’s office before stopping by, you can explain your situation and concerns for your child. This gives your dental office a heads up, and they can work with you to help your child feel welcome.
  • Involve Your Child in Selecting the Date and Time – Give your child input, even if it’s just selecting between dates or the time of their appointment. Having their preferences heard could help your child feel a bit more in control of the entire process. When you both return on the scheduled date, the office will feel a bit more familiar to your child.
  • Have a Celebratory Countdown – Let your child help you mark the date and time on a calendar or chart. Cross the days off as they pass, while speaking positively about the upcoming meeting with their future dentist. It may help if your child gets the impression that the upcoming dentist visit is a happy occasion, an event to look forward to.

Be Aware of Accidentally Interjecting Your Own Concerns

Kids are smart and quite observant. If you are apprehensive about how your child will react to visiting a new dentist, you may accidentally trigger anxiety that would not have occurred on its own. If you remain positive and view the upcoming event as an opportunity to meet someone new, your child may respond in the same manner.

The entire experience may be much smoother than you anticipate. Surprisingly, most kids actually don’t mind visiting their dentist. A questionnaire designed to assess children’s attitudes towards their dentists found that in the 9-12 year age group, 64 percent of the children surveyed like going to the dentist, only 11 percent didn’t care for the experience, with 12 percent initially afraid. The remainder were simply indifferent. The odds are pretty much stacked in your favor. To increase your odds of a smooth transition, you may want to try some of the following:

  • Leave other children home if possible so you can focus on one child at a time
  • Make a fun game out of counting how many times the dentist says “teeth,” or any other amusing distraction
  • Take your child with you for your appointment. Make it fun and use positive body language
  • Let your child bring a toy or favorite plush animal to show their new dentist friend
  • Plan a reward or activity for after your visit as something else to look forward to
  • Don’t associate the word dentist with the word hurt

Knowing What to Expect Builds Trust

When you and your child are discussing their upcoming dentist visit, you may be able to alleviate some of their apprehension by letting them know what to expect. Your youngster may be relieved to know that their first visit to meet their new friend is simply a chance to get to know each other. Dentists like to look at teeth and count them. Dentists like to show off their awesome tools and sometimes can even show their new young friends how the tools work or what they sound like.

Your Dentist Can Help Ease the Transition

Children can be quite sensitive to new sights and sounds. The children who have positive dental experiences early in their lives are less likely to develop a fear of dentists as they get older. If you are concerned about introducing an unfamiliar dentist to your child, let your dentist’s office know. They may have suggestions of their own that will help your kid feel less afraid about meeting their new dentist for the first time.

To alleviate children’s dental fears and apprehensions, it’s important to take the time to create a good rapport in a safe, non-threatening atmosphere. For pediatric and family dentistry in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, contact Simply Beautiful Smiles. We can help your child, and your entire family, make a smooth transition by providing high-quality, trusted family dental care. Schedule your appointment today!

How to Choose the Right Dentist for your Family

Finding a new family dentist that you feel comfortable with can be a real challenge.  Maybe you recently moved or your previous dentist retired.  Whatever the reason for starting your search, here are some tips that will help you find exactly the right dentist for everyone in your family.Choose a Family Dentist

Look for shorter wait times

Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in a crowded waiting room for long periods of time.  This is even worse when you have a family to take care of and have children that you have to entertain while you wait.  Longer wait times also can keep you from making future appointments because you don’t want to deal with the hassle.  This can mean that your family’s oral health suffers.  So be sure to ask what the typical wait times are. Our Patient Promise guarantees you’ll be seen within 5 minutes.

Look for multiple services

The last thing you want is to have to go to one place for a cleaning, another place for dental surgeries, and yet another place for orthodontic services. When an office offers multiple services, it is like having the convenience of one-stop shopping for all of your family’s dental needs. Never again will you have to worry about filling out endless amounts of paperwork at many different offices.  You can visit one office where the staff is familiar with every aspect of your family’s dental needs and has access to their entire medical history.  This not only makes your life easier, it also helps make sure that their care if the best it can be since each doctor is familiar with their entire history.

Find a dentist that sees everyone

No one wants to deal with the hassle of visiting one office for small children, another for older children, and yet another for the adults! Instead, look for a family dentist that sees patients of all ages.  A family dentist offers the ease of being able to schedule everyone’s appointment at the same time, so you only have to make one trip.  Taking everyone to the same dentist also means that they will be aware of any family history and your preferences.

Ask what insurance plans they accept

You certainly want to make sure that you see a dentist that accepts your family’s insurance. Before even scheduling an appointment, specify what type of insurance you have. It may be a good idea to call the insurance company as well in order to see if they fully cover the services, or if you will be responsible for partial payment. Although there are many insurance policies available, some of the most popular dental plans are Delta Dental Insurance, MetLife Dental Insurance, and Aetna Dental Insurance. Also, ask about payment options. Do they offer a payment plan if needed? Are credit card payments accepted?

Make Sure Your Family Feels Comfortable

It is important to make sure your family feels comfortable with the dentist that you ultimately choose. If you have small children, make sure the office is kid-friendly. You also need to make sure you can easily interact with the staff so you can effectively communicate your needs and concerns. Ask yourself if the dentist you are choosing can provide what you need and if you are satisfied with the care your family will receive.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a time to bring your family in to meet with the staff and dentist before making a decision.

By carefully considering all of these tips, you can ensure that you are choosing the dentist that will take the best care of your family. For more information, contact us today. Or, Request an Appointment with our convenient online form!

6 Dental Habits for Your Best Smile Yet

Happy young young showing off a beautiful smile that is evidence of her excellent dental habitsWho doesn’t love a million-watt smile with beautiful pearly-white teeth? You probably already know that taking care of your teeth is an important part of staying healthy, but here’s an important reminder: sub-par dental habits can lead to pain and negative drawbacks that last a lifetime!

Brushing your teeth is a given. But that’s not where oral hygiene ends. In fact, it’s just where it begins.

Here are six dental habits you can start right now. These simple additions to your routine will keep your entire mouth healthy and your teeth looking as good as you feel.

Simple Dental Habits for a Winning Smile

1) Brush Your Teeth (the Right Way)

Yes, we all know that brushing is essential, but that doesn’t mean you’re following the best practices of dental care. Keeping your mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue as healthy as possible requires an established routine. Brush twice daily, after waking up and before going to bed. Additionally, our dentists recommend brushing after every meal. The more often you brush, the less likely you’ll have to worry about food particles and bacteria making a home between your teeth.

Most importantly, don’t stop at your teeth! Brushing your tongue and gums is necessary to get rid of those pesky bacteria that can lead to cavities and gingivitis. Replace your toothbrush at least every 12 weeks, if not more often.

2) Use Dentist-Recommended Toothpaste

In addition to brushing well, you should also make sure that you use the right toothpaste. It’s tempting to go for whitening toothpaste, but it’s more important to select an option that includes fluoride.

The best toothpaste for your teeth depends on your preferences and oral health. When in doubt, talk to your SBS dentist for a recommendation. Sometimes, the flashiest options with tons of advertising power aren’t necessarily the best choice.

3) Start Flossing

Nobody particularly enjoys flossing, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the process. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth!

We don’t expect you to start flossing after every meal, but we do recommend it. Start by flossing every other day and then work yourself toward the ultimate daily goal. The more you floss, the less discomfort you will feel. The process removes bits of food and bacteria and also stimulates your gums in a way that brushing simply cannot.

4) Hydrate

Sugary drinks are bad for your teeth. Yes, that can of Coke tastes great, but your teeth will suffer the consequences. That being said, avoiding sugar is not the only reason you should drink more water.

In addition to saving your mouth from rotting sugary substances, water can also wash out any little pieces of food that are hiding in your mouth. Additionally, fluoride-treated tap water is one more way to fight tooth decay.

5) Eat Healthy Foods

As is the case with drinks, sugary and acidic foods can be killers for your oral health. If you do have to satisfy a craving, consider doing so shortly before brushing your teeth to minimize residue.

Our advice? Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. These stimulate your saliva, adding fresh minerals to the surface of your teeth and gums in order to strengthen the surface and avoid decay. The right food and drinks can make all the difference when it comes to your oral health.

6) Schedule Regular Checkups with SBS Dentists

Last, but certainly not least, you cannot know how healthy your teeth actually are unless you get them checked on a regular basis. Visit your Simply Beautiful Smiles dentist every six months for routine cleanings and care.

We can also answer all of your questions about the best oral habits for a healthy mouth. From the right toothbrush to good flossing techniques, our friendly dentists will help you optimize your daily habits for maximum success.

The Symptoms of TMJ and How to Eliminate Pain

Your jaw joints – the temporomandibular joints – work together when you chew, speak, and swallow. This complex system is built on a series of tiny hinges in front of your ears, but when they’re out of alignment, they can become a major pain. Jaw pain and facial pain are common symptoms of dentist helps patient understand the symptoms of tmjTMJ – or temporomandibular joint disorder. Your joint disorder can be mild or life-altering, depending on its severity.


What Causes TMJ?

Most people don’t contemplate the function their jaw joints, but they rely on balance. Each of your joints has a cushioning disk and system of muscles and ligaments that allow your lower jaw to move freely. When these joints are correctly aligned, your teeth come together in their correct position, and the muscles can relax. When your alignment is imprecise, the results can be quite painful. TMJ is believed to have several possible causes. Some of those causes include:


  • Injury to the jaw
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Clenching the jaw (stress)
  • A misaligned bite
  • Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis


Common Symptoms of TMJ

The symptoms of TMJ will vary from person to person. You may only experience one or two symptoms, or you could have them all. The pain can be mild or severe or fluctuate from day to day. You, or your dentist, may suspect TMJ if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:


  • Popping or clicking of the jaw joint
  • Muscle spasms in your jaw
  • Jaw or facial pain that can radiate to your neck
  • Shoulder pain
  • Limited motion or joint locking
  • A change in the position of your jaw
  • Recurring headaches or migraines
  • Frequent sinus or ear infections
  • Tooth sensitivity (without dental problems)
  • Vertigo or dizziness


Diagnosing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

You can have TMJ even if your teeth are straight. Even if your bite is fine, it can shift out of alignment as you get older. As part of your dental exam, your muscles will be checked for tenderness and your joints for clicking or popping. If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, it is essential to communicate this information to your dentist. In some cases, your dentist could want a full face x-ray, MRI, or computed tomography (CT) to confirm suspicions or rule out other potential causes for your discomfort, such as cavities or sinus issues.


Standard TMJ Treatment Options

After an evaluation, your dentist will know best how to treat your disorder. There are several treatment options available. Some of the possible courses of treatment include:


  • Wearing a Splint or Mouthguard: TMJ treatment splints are similar to the clear aligners worn to straighten teeth. They take the pressure off your joints so that the muscles can relax and heal. If Your dentist determines that you should wear a mouthguard at night, your mouthguard will prevent the clenching or grinding that could be causing your symptoms.


  • Correcting Your Bite: If your joint disorder is caused by a misaligned bite, you may benefit from braces. Even if your teeth are straight, repositioning your bite may alleviate the disorder and spare you a lot of discomfort.


  • Trigger Point Injections: Your dentist will inject an anesthetic into tender areas to relieve pain, allowing you to stretch and exercise your jaw muscles. Once you can begin working the muscles, you may be given a series of jaw exercises to help strengthen the joint, minimizing your pain.


Self-Help Remedies

For mild TMJ symptoms, or when symptoms flare, there are several behavioral and lifestyle changes that may help limit or eliminate your TMJ symptoms. Some of the practices you may want to adopt include:

  • Using over-the-counter pain medications to reduce inflammation and discomfort
  • Using hot or cold compresses to reduce pain
  • Eating soft foods
  • Chewing food evenly using both sides of your mouth
  • Relaxing your jaw and face by keeping your teeth apart with your lips together
  • Refraining from opening your mouth too wide
  • Avoiding gum
  • Cutting foods that require biting (like apples)


Even if your TMJ is not causing a significant amount of discomfort, you should inform your dentist of any problems. Untreated TMJ can cause arthritis, excessive wear on your teeth or even cause your teeth to crack. If the condition results in a locked jaw, surgery will be necessary to repair any damage. Early detection and treatment can reduce your risk of complications.

For the region’s leading dental providers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, contact Simply Beautiful Smiles. We offer state-of-the-art technology as well as high-quality, trusted family dental care.

Crossing the Bridge: A Guide to Dental Bridgework

Are you missing one or more teeth? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an estimated 35 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Luckily, dental bridgework is an accessible solution.A dentist works on installing dental bridgework for his patient

Dental bridgework is a common solution to the problem of missing teeth. A dental bridge can help improve your appearance and help maintain your oral health. If you’re thinking of getting dental bridgework, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental bridges.


What is Dental Bridgework?

Missing teeth don’t just affect your appearance; they can also change your speech. Additionally, your existing teeth will become crooked as they shift to fill the open space.

Dental bridgework fills the gap before your teeth have a chance to. A dental bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth, made of porcelain, gold, or other metal alloys. They are usually held in place by attachment to your existing teeth.

There are several types of dental bridges. These include:

  • Fixed bridges: Also called traditional bridges, these are the most common type of bridges. Fixed bridges are attached to healthy teeth, which are covered by dental crowns.
  • Cantilever bridges: This type of bridge is attached to a healthy tooth on just one side.
  • Resin-bonded bridges: Also called Maryland bridges, this type of bridge is attached directly to healthy teeth instead of crowns.


Am I a Candidate for Bridgework?

If you’re thinking about a dental bridge, the first step is to talk to your dentist. Your dentist will consider your overall oral health. According to the American Dental Association, the success of a bridge depends on a healthy foundation. For a bridge to be properly supported, you must have existing teeth with strong roots. Some patients will need root canal procedures before having bridgework put in place.


How Much Will Bridgework Cost?

The cost of bridgework varies according to the number of teeth you’re missing and the type of bridge your dentist recommends. In general, bridges may cost between $700 and $1,500 per tooth. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans will pay some portion of the cost. If you’re concerned about pricing, it’s best to contact your dental insurance company to find out what percentage they will cover.


Are Bridges Permanent?

Bridges do not last forever, but they can last between five and fifteen years. Caring for your bridge will help extend its lifetime. Proper care includes avoiding foods that are very hard or overly sticky, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and visiting your dentist for check-ups as often as recommended.


What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

Getting a dental bridge is normally a two-appointment procedure. During your first appointment, your dentist will prepare the teeth that will support your bridge. Your dentist will also create an impression of your mouth. It will take approximately two weeks to make your custom bridgework. In the meantime, you may receive a temporary bridge.

At your second appointment, your dentist will attach your new bridge. Your temporary bridge will be removed, and your permanent bridge will be cemented in place. As with custom clothing, proper fit is key to the success of your dental bridge. Your dentist will adjust the new bridge to make sure it fits correctly. If you notice any issues or discomfort, contact your dentist right away. If you have any questions about your bridge, be sure to ask your dentist, either during an appointment or by contacting the office.


Simply Beautiful Smiles has 17 convenient locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you have questions about dental bridges, or if you’re ready to make an appointment, contact us today. Our caring staff is ready to help you take the first step to a simply beautiful smile.

Five Foods That Will Deliver A Healthy Smile

happy young man with a bag of food for a healthy smileIf you’re obsessed with attaining and maintaining a gorgeous, healthy smile, you’re not alone! At Simply Beautiful Smiles we know a thing or two about beautiful smiles; it’s what we do! Beyond providing excellent care through our amazing network of dentists, we also provide information on dental hygiene and general care to our clients. Because there’s more to a healthy smile than regular cleanings and flossing, we’ve created this list of the top five foods for a healthy smile. So, treat your teeth to foods that taste great while helping your teeth stay strong, sparkling, and cavity-free.



You’ve heard it a thousand times before. You need to drink more water.

Well, this is just another gentle reminder that water is not only good for your energy levels, skin, digestion, and mood, it’s also great for your oral health. Water, especially fluorinated water, makes teeth resistant to acids which cause cavities.

With nearly 75% of the U.S. population having access to water with fluoride, a simple glass of water from the tap is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your oral health.

Looking for a simple mouthwash? Use warm tap water and throw in a teaspoon of salt. Gargling salt water is just as effective as a store-bought mouthwash and is beneficial in many ways:

  • Soothes mouth sores and bleeding gums
  • Heals a sore throat
  • Loosens and removes food
  • Freshens breath



Nuts are a great snack choice for optimum oral health. They are packed with minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which teeth need to repair enamel after exposure to acids from sugary foods and carbohydrates. In addition, nuts stimulate saliva production which reduces the risk of tooth decay. Watch out for sugar-coated or heavily salted nuts which can cancel out these natural benefits.

Incorporating nuts into everyday meals is a simple yet strategic way to enjoy this vitamin-rich power food.


Sugarless Gum

Next time you’re waiting in the grocery check-out line, grab a pack of sugarless chewing gum.

In addition to nuts, sugarless gum stimulates saliva production washing away acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. This saliva also coats your teeth with calcium, further strengthening tooth enamel.

Don’t believe chewing gum is good for your mouth? The American Dental Association (ADA) awards its seal of acceptance to companies who demonstrate scientific evidence showing the safety and efficacy of their product. The only chewing gums to date receiving the seal are sugarless gums.


Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

According to a study done by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) in 2013, consuming dairy products may help protect against cavities.

AGD spokesperson Seung-Hee Rhee, DDS, says, “It looks like dairy does the mouth good. Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.”

If you have kids at home, limiting sodas and sugary drinks can be a challenge. However, if they aren’t fans of white milk, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry still recommends a tall glass of chocolate milk as a tasty alternative to sugary snacks.


Raw Vegetables

Any vegetable that has a crunch is more than likely a power-packed superfood for your teeth.

Snacking on carrots, celery, and apples stimulates your gums and helps maintain healthy teeth. Essential for Vitamin A production, raw vegetables contain high levels of beta-carotene which prevent dry mouth and promote healing.

To make raw veggies a bit more palatable, try pairing them with hummus, guacamole, or your favorite salad dressing.

Give your teeth a break from the sugary treats! Not only will your smile thank you, but you’ll feel better and enjoy the many benefits of choosing healthy foods and snacks.

A lifestyle rich in smart food choices is only part of a comprehensive dental care plan. Regularly scheduled cleanings and records are also essential for oral health giving you a beautiful smile that will last for years and years. Ready to start your journey toward perfect pearly whites? Schedule an appointment with Simply Beautiful Smiles today!

Best Practices for Caring for Orthodontic Appliances

woman caring for orthodontic appliancesIf you’re receiving care from an orthodontist, you’re probably using an orthodontic appliance. These pieces of rubber, wire, and metal will get you on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile, but you’ll have to put in a little effort to ensure you get the results you want. Whether your new gear is a retainer, mouth guard, palatal expander, or braces, caring for orthodontic appliances is a necessity.


Caring for Removable Orthodontic Appliances

Retainers and mouth guards are the most common removable orthodontic appliances, and they require the same general care. Below are a few hints for taking care of removable appliances.

Remove Before Eating and Brushing

One crucial aspect of care is to remove your appliance before eating and brushing.

Eating causes build-up and can even cause damage. For example, the delicate wire of retainers cannot withstand heavy crunching or chewing. Additionally, eating with removable appliances in place can trap food beneath or behind them. This can cause tooth decay and also complicate or prolong orthodontic treatment.

Brushing your teeth with removable appliances in place increases the likelihood that your teeth and gums will not be adequately cleaned. You will need to remove your orthodontic appliance to reach every area of your mouth and prevent decay from getting a foothold.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliances

Removable appliances should be cleaned daily to remove bacteria, food, and debris that can lead to bad tastes and odors or contribute to tooth decay. To clean a removable appliance, rinse it thoroughly with warm water whenever you take it out of your mouth. Do not use hot water, and never immerse any orthodontic appliance in boiling water in an attempt to sterilize it. This will lead to warping and break your appliance.

In addition, be sure to brush your removable appliance at least once per day. You can use toothpaste if you wish, but avoid abrasive compounds to prevent scratching soft components. Rinse the appliance after brushing, and keep it stored in a clean, dry location away from moisture. Do not store a removable appliance in a sealed plastic bag, as bacteria will quickly multiply in the damp environment.

Once per week, you will need to provide your removable appliance with a thorough cleaning. Soak the appliance in a solution of warm water and baking soda for two hours. You can also use denture cleaning tablets! Do not use bleach or alcohol; these chemicals could damage the appliance.


Caring for Fixed Orthodontic Appliances

Fixed orthodontic appliances include braces and palatal expanders. Caring for orthodontic appliances that cannot be removed is slightly different, but no less important. These appliances can be damaged if neglected or abused, making proper care a critical part of your orthodontic treatment.

Avoid Hard & Sticky Foods

Fixed orthodontic appliances are vulnerable to damage from certain foods. The best course of action is to avoid certain culprits. Crunchy foods such as chips, nuts, hard candies, and ice can destroy fixed appliances. Additionally, sticky foods such as gum and cheese can make cleaning difficult and can even cause breakage.

Clean Fixed Appliances Often

Another problem associated with neglected fixed appliances is tooth decay. Brush your teeth and orthodontic appliances after meals or at least twice per day. Be sure to brush in and around appliances, and use a soft toothbrush to avoid damaging delicate components.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t brush, swish around warm water to rinse your teeth and appliances, or use a non-alcoholic mouthwash.

In addition to brushing, be sure to floss! If you find that ordinary dental floss snags on your orthodontic appliance, use specialized floss designed for use with braces or other orthodontic obstructions.


Caring for Headgear

Headgear belongs in a class of its own when it comes to maintenance. Most headgear doesn’t require regular cleaning, but wiping down the wire and neck strap can help the appliance maintain its durability. Do not immerse your headgear in any cleaning substances, as these can cause damage.


If you have questions about the care and maintenance of any orthodontic appliances, be sure to contact your orthodontist! If you’re looking for a new orthodontist or dentist, Simply Beautiful Smiles is here to help! Our team is ready and able to help you with all of your orthodontic needs.

Helpful Ways to Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Are you wondering whether your child should start going to the dentist regularly? You’re not alone! Many parents worry about when to plan that first dental visit, but the answer is far Your child's first dental visitmore simple than you’d expect. Dentists recommend scheduling an appointment within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth and no later than a year after. If your child is older than this, don’t worry. It’s never too late to make your child’s first dental appointment.

That being said, planning your child’s first dental appointment can be stressful. Your child will have fears and feelings of nervousness, so putting them at ease should be a top priority. Before your child’s first dental appointment, consider taking the following proactive measures to prepare your child for the experience.

Remember: when you create healthy habits early on, you’re paving the road for your child to practice healthy dental habits for the rest of their life!


Schedule an Office Tour

Choose a top-rated dental office that you trust. Simply Beautiful Smiles works with 17 private offices, giving you access to a network of top-notch dentists. All our offices employ highly experienced staff members that are upbeat, caring, and compassionate. Whether you’re still deciding on an office, or have already picked one out, ask to schedule a tour before making your appointment. Bring your child along so they can experience the office and exam room firsthand. They’ll also have a chance to meet the staff as well as the dentist. This strategy will help develop your child’s expectations of what a trip to the dentist’s entails.


Dental-Themed Books & TV Shows

You know all those shows your child loves watching? Their favorite characters probably have a book or episode dedicated to visiting the dentist. If your child sees their favorite characters completing a trip to the dentist, they’re more likely to get excited about their first visit. We live in a world where media is always readily available, making it easy to expose your child to dental-related storylines that highlight the importance of a oral health as well as the fact that a trip to the dentist is never as terrifying as you might think. Here are a few books and shows that may help settle your child’s nerves:


  • The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
  • Dora the Explorer: Show Me Your Smile by Christine Ricci
  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain


  • Peppa Pig – “Peppa’s Pearly Whites”
  • Arthur – “Arthur’s Tooth”
  • Bubble Guppies – “A Tooth on the Looth”


Keep a Positive Attitude

Children mimic adult behaviors. They’re very sensitive and perceptive to the attitudes and energies of those around them. If you are nervous for your child, chances are they’ll be nervous too. Maintain a positive and relaxed exterior, no matter how anxious you may on the inside. Rather than using big words like ‘x-rays’ or ‘machines,’ focus on the positive aspects of the process. Use words like ‘strong,’ ‘healthy teeth,’ ‘fun chair,’ etc. If you are happy and confident, chances are, your child will be too.


Bring Along Comfort Items

Arrive early to avoid rushing around and compounding your stress. If your child has a favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal, bring it along. We all benefit from a familiar source of comfort, and this could make all the difference in the world.


Plan for a Simple Reward

Toddlers and kids love the simple life. Whether it’s ice cream, a new coloring book, or a trip to the playground. Before your child’s first dental visit, promise to reward a well-behaved, successful visit. They’re more likely to remain calm and focused if there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel.” It will also create a great mental distraction to make it through the visit if they’re having a difficult time.


Reinforcing Dental Hygiene with Simply Beautiful Smiles

Those adorable baby smiles don’t last forever! Your toddler’s new pearly whites deserve the best quality treatment, and Simply Beautiful Smiles is here to help you schedule your appointment. Remember to reinforce the importance of visiting the dentist and paint each visit as an adventure. Your child will be more relaxed with your guidance and support. With the right preparedness, your child’s first trip to the dentist can be a pleasant one.

5 Easy Ways to Treat and Prevent Sensitive Teeth

If you felt a tinge of pain in your mouth the last time you enjoyed a hot or cold beverage, youtreating sensitive teeth probably have sensitive teeth. This sensitivity occurs when there is a breakdown in your tooth enamel that exposes your tooth’s dentin. Caused by the build-up of plaque or poor dental hygiene habits, sensitive teeth can be a painful nuisance but are easily treated. Read on, to learn everything you need to know about preventing and treating sensitive teeth.


1. Switch to a Soft Brush

Yes, sensitive teeth are often the result of an irregular brushing routine, but tooth sensitivity can also be caused by over-brushing. You may be surprised to learn that your sensitive teeth could be the result of brushing too harshly. One of the reasons many dentists recommend a soft bristle brush is that both medium and hard bristles can scrape away the enamel on your teeth over time. Switch to a soft brush and brush gently (and consistently!) to help your enamel recover.


2. Cut Back on Acidic Foods and Beverages

If your diet has a high acidic content, you could be wreaking havoc on your mouth with every sip or bite. While there are obvious culprits to avoid such as soft drinks, there are also a few surprising foods you may want to limit. For instance, fruits (especially citrus) contain low pH levels, indicating high levels of acidity. The best way to ensure highly acidic foods do not damage your teeth is to brush immediately after consumption.


3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

The idea of chewing something while your teeth are feeling sensitive might seem a bit counterproductive, but the truth is that your saliva will help you in this situation. Chew on a piece of sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production throughout your mouth. Saliva can help cleanse your teeth of irritants, and even harden your tooth enamel! Just be sure that the gum is completely sugar-free, or you might be doing more harm than good.


4. Avoid Over-the-Counter Whitening Solutions

Everyone likes the idea of a perfect smile, but if you regularly use over-the-counter whitening products, your sensitivity is very likely linked. The chemicals used in whitening products might be affecting the nerves in your mouth, causing the sensitive feeling. If you’re after that perfect smile, consider consulting your dentist for professional options that will whiten your teeth with little to no sensitivity.


5. Consult Your Dentist About Special Care Products

There are lots of over-the-counter options available if you’re in search of relief. However, finding the right product may require the expertise of your dentist. Ask your dentist to recommend rinses, mouthwashes, or toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste for sensitivity usually contains potassium nitrate which can help calm the nerves in your mouth, while mouthwash designed for sensitivity is usually alcohol-free and contains fluoride.

Your teeth may also be sensitive if you grind them while you sleep. Though you have no control over this function while sleeping, your dentist should be able to supply you with a mouthguard to provide nighttime protection.


Sensitive teeth can ruin an otherwise wonderful beverage or meal. They can make you irritable and leave you in constant pain, even preventing you from falling asleep at night. If you are experiencing pain while eating or drinking, contact your dentist and take a closer look at your daily oral care routine. Simple changes can do wonders when treating sensitive teeth. Here’s the recap: Switch to a soft bristle brush and brush gently. Avoid foods high in acidic content and ask your dentist about the benefits of toothpaste with potassium nitrate. Do you have questions? Reach out to your local dentist or schedule an appointment with Simply Beautiful Smiles today!

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