Main Office
5753 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33710
Tel: 727-381-1062
Click here to e-mail us.

Northeast Office
7401 9th St. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Tel: (727) 526-7462

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Insurance Accepted

Orthodontic Smile Care

We want you to have a dazzling smile and a life shaping experience during your time in our practice. We also want your orthodontic treatment to finish on or ahead of schedule. We don't want your teeth to be permanently marked because your oral hygiene was inconsistent and plaque acids etched your tooth enamel. To insure a successful orthodontic experience, the Orthodontic Smile Care program at Amley & Amley Orthodontics consists of three parts: Ortho Hygiene Program, Foods to Avoid and Enjoy, and Ortho Hygiene Items & OrthoComfort Items.

Dental Cleaning Certificate
Print this out at home and bring it to your dental appointment.

Click here to open the Dental Cleaning Certificate in a new window.
(Or right-click the link to download it.)

Ortho Hygiene Program
Our office integrates a hygiene program into our practice that ensures excellence in oral care. It employs a standardized grading scale and feedback system for each of our patients so they can track their progress or lack of progress in maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout their time in orthodontic treatment.

Ortho essentials includes distribution, instruction, and appointment monitoring of the use of the Philips Sonicare Toothbrush, PlaqueHD toothpaste, Glide Floss and the Philips Sonicare Air Floss. Our hope is to see a renaissance in oral hygiene and a decrease in white spot decalcification. At the start of orthodontic treatment each patient receives program instructions, views a DVD, and is asked to purchase, at a convenience price, an electric toothbrush and air flosser. At each office visit, patients are asked to "score their smile" on a 1 to 5 basis, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor with a high probability of chalky white spots on teeth and swollen, bleeding gums. This standardized grading scale and feedback loop enables our team at each office visit to help our patients get their daily braces cleaning right.

By integrating digital photography of problems, we can help patients see why they were scored poorly and how to take corrective actions. With improved oral hygiene, our patients visit their family dentists with no decalcifications (white marks), minimal swollen gums, and no tooth decay. We request that those patients who chronically score 1 or 2 out of a 5 point system to see their dentist for more frequent cleaning appointments. Good oral hygiene is enabling our practice to spend less time in oral hygiene instruction and correction and more time advancing orthodontic treatment goals. Many patients are establishing oral health skills and habits that will last a lifetime.

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Can You Say "Demineralization"?
Check out these common dental terms and get the straight facts about oral health.

Cavities: Everybody hates cavities. They are holes in teeth caused by acid. Cavities may start on the surface of a tooth and spread to the softer inner layer. Help protect yourself from cavities by cutting back on sugar and sweets, or by eating sugar-free foods. And be sure to brush every day with fluoride toothpaste.
Demineralization: It's a big word, but it just means the loss of minerals from the tooth surface around your braces, also caused by acid. This loss will cause a chalky white spot on your tooth, and it can lead to a cavity. Beware of the Big D - and be sure to cut back on soda.
Gingivitis: This is when the tissues around the teeth become inflamed. It is the first sign of gum disease. You may have bleeding, sore gums, redness, or swelling. Don't ignore this one - it can get worse, and may lead to serious problems. Be sure to floss at least once a day.
Sensitivity: Ouch! You may feel pain when you have hot, cold or sweet drinks or food. It can also hurt when your teeth get bumped. Let us know if sensitive teeth are bothering you.
Plaque: This is a sticky layer of bacteria that keeps forming on tooth surfaces and can be hard to see. Plaque needs to be removed all the time - from above and below the gum line. Together, you and our orthodontic staff can show you ways to get rid of plaque! The key is regular brushing and flossing.
Tartar: (Not the stuff you spread on fried fish!) When plaque is not removed from the tooth surface, it can harden and become tartar or calculus. (And that's not mathematics.) Only your dentist or hygienist can get rid of it during regular cleanings during your orthodontics.
Stains: There are many kinds of stains found on teeth. Some are inside the tooth surface and others are on the tooth surface. Coffee, tea, red wine, mustard, and tobacco products are big stainers.
Bad breath: Bacteria on the tongue and between the teeth often cause this. It can also be caused by something in the stomach. (Hint: If people move away from you when you talk, you may have bad breath!)

Foods To Avoid And Enjoy
Eating proper foods, minimizing sugar intake, avoiding tobacco products, and getting enough sleep are essential during orthodontic treatment. Your Damon braces are a precision appliance that can effectively move your teeth if they remain undamaged. Eating hard, sticky, sweet candy and desserts can loosen bonded brackets, bend wires, cause serious delays in orthodontic treatment, and increase treatment costs. Sweets will promote "gunk" (bacterial plaque) formation on teeth leading to permanent white marks, tooth decay, and swollen gum tissues.

We recommend our patients avoid treats that play damaging tricks on Damon braces. So steer clear of hard-shelled peanut candies, gummy candies, licorice sticks, taffy, nut-filled candies, suckers, bubblegum, gum, jellybeans, caramels, caramel-filled candies, popcorn, peanuts, taco chips, hard candy, ice, and sugared soft drinks. Soft candies that require no chewing like melt-in-your-mouth nut-free chocolates, ice cream, soft candy bars, peanut butter cups, gelato, smoothies, or other soft desserts or treats are acceptable in moderation.

A picture and list of foods to avoid follows. We hope you will use these examples of "no-no" foods and treats to spot and avoid items that could seriously harm your Damon braces and teeth.

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Click Here For Damon Braces-Friendly Food & Ideas
Click Here For Our Soothing Recipes

We encourage patients to have some treats that are acceptable, rather than feel they are missing out. Parents might keep some 'legal' treats on hand to avoid the temptation to snack on junk food and other "no-no" items listed above. The American Association of Orthodontists offers braces-friendly recipes on its Web site, There you will find such recipes for main dishes, side dishes, and desserts. Why not try "Twisty" Soft Pretzels, Sensational Cinnamon Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Cake, Apple (not too) Crisp, or Fudgy Cocoa Bites? These desserts and many others are there to be printed out and whipped-up.

After any treat or dessert it is best to rinse well, and then use your toothbrush and waterpik to prevent plaque-caused permanent white marks and swollen gums around the margins of the braces. Finally, don't forget when you or your child's braces come off and your smile is free of any white mark blemishes that it was worth the effort to push away treats that play tricks on smiles and eat something really worthwhile.

Ortho Hygiene Items & Ortho Comfort Items
We recommend the following dental care products for ortho hygiene. Many of these items can be purchased at our office with significant savings over normal retail costs. During and after orthodontics, tooth whitening can be done. We have also listed some extremely effective whitening products sold only in dental offices and our office.
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Handling Orthodontic Emergencies
Some minor problems can occur during orthodontic treatment ranging from sore teeth and swollen gums to bent wires and broken brackets. You can avoid most of the problems associated with broken brackets and bent wires by following the above guidelines for proper eating.
We have listed some common problems and what you can do to avoid an extra trip to the office.
  • Poking Wire, Poking Post, or a Lip or Cheek Irritation:
    Dry the part of the brace that is poking or irritating and cover it with a flat, quarter size piece of silicone wax (in your braces bag) or purchase Mac's Ear Plug Wax at your drug store, tear off a piece of that wax and do the above. You can use wet cotton in place of the wax. Call the office and arrange for us to clip the wire or adjust the irritating brace part.
    *Sometimes a light memory shape wire will come out of the last brace and poke. The wire is very flexible. Use a tweezer and flashlight, to reinsert the wire back into the "small tube" where the wire was displaced.

  • Ulcers:
    If you are prone to ulcers, braces will bring them out. All ulcer care medicines are palliative since there is no effective cure. Excellent oral hygiene is essential. Zilactin and oral "bandage" types of products like "Soothe and Seal" cover the ulcer but do not heal it.

  • Sore Teeth:
    Take 1-2 Advil or Motrin before your visit and continue taking 1-2 of these medicines every 8 hours for a day. Tylenol and Aspirin are not as effective in reducing the discomfort of sore teeth. Teeth that are moving will also be sensitive to cold. Limit cold drinks and desserts until several days after an office visit. Go to our Soothing Recipes section for some ideas for softer meals or visit for Damon braces friendly recipes as well.

  • Herbst Appliance Irritations:
    The initial adjustment to a Herbst Appliance may take several weeks. Use Advil as noted above for sore teeth. Put moist cotton on the sides of the Herbst to pad where the cheeks may get irritated. Use wax also to cover dried parts of the Herbst. Be sure all food is cut or blended so it doesn't need to be chewed. Eventually you will adjust to the Herbst and can resume regular eating.

  • Swollen and or Bleeding Gums:
    This is the result of poor oral hygiene. Refer to our instructions on ortho hygiene and proper brushing and flossing. You may need to purchase the Oral B electric brush and a Waterpik if you haven't done that yet. Also the use of PerioMed is essential since this is a prescribed anti-microbial rinse our office can provide. Flossing and use of the Opal Pix is also essential to clean the gum areas. Gly Oxide used daily for no more than 5 days can also help reduce irritated, bleeding gums.

  • Loose Bracket:
    Call the office to arrange for an appointment to replace the loose bracket. Until that appointment, stop the use of your elastics. Cover the loose bracket with wax if it is irritating.

  • Loose Bonded Retainer:
    Call the office to arrange for an appointment to recement the retainer wire. Wear your clear retainer day and night until we can see you. The clear retainer will prevent the tooth from moving.

Other Dental Emergencies:
If some other type of dental emergency such as a laceration, jaw bone fracture, or a severely fractured tooth or tooth displaced from its normal position, then contact us, or your dentist, or a hospital emergency room as soon as possible. Let us, or a dentist, reposition displaced teeth. Displaced teeth often need to be stabilized by braces and wires or surgical arch bars. A root canal may also be needed soon after the trauma. When playing any contact sport or baseball or ice hockey, be sure you have been given a mouth guard by our office and then wear it during play.


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