Dental Tips Blog

Aug
7

Are Your Braces Causing White Spots On Your Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Most orthodontic patients are concerned about getting white spots on their teeth. These lesions look like ghostly shadows of your braces after you get them removed.

White spots are very common and hard to avoid entirely. But on the plus side, you do have a lot of control over how badly you are affected.

These white patches are shallow areas of demineralized tooth enamel. The enamel dissolves, turns chalky white, and becomes prone to developing a cavity.

What dissolves enamel?

Acids produced by bacteria are primarily to blame. The demineralization process happens when four elements are in place:

  1. A tooth surface
  2. Acid-producing bacteria
  3. Carbohydrates for the bacteria to eat
  4. Time for the bacteria to multiply and do their dirty work

Actually, this process affects all teeth in all people – not just those with braces. 

So what part do braces play in all of this?

It’s simply the fact that brackets provide a little extra protection for those acidic germs hiding out in your plaque. Your tongue and lips do a great job at keeping your teeth clean. A toothbrush and floss take care of the rest.

But throw in some metal and ortho cement, and getting your teeth perfectly clean becomes a more tedious process.

It’s easy to miss spots above and around brackets when you brush. You know what a strain it can be to floss around braces, too! If you miss the same area often enough, the plaque will accumulate and wear away the enamel in that spot. When the braces come off – voila – a white spot.

To minimize or avoid white spots altogether, keep your toothbrushing game strong. It also helps to visit your dentist throughout your treatment for frequent professional cleanings.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Aug
3

Prepare for Your Child Getting Braces

Posted in Braces

You may feel overwhelmed as your child gets ready to start braces. But don’t worry – with these tips in mind, it’s easier than you think!

Your Child is an Active Participant

Kids are likely to cooperate with their orthodontic treatment when they realize that they can have a meaningful contribution. They’re proud to do something important!

When making decisions, try to include your child to the extent their maturity allows. At the very least, explain the treatment rationale in a way they’ll understand. This way, they won’t feel like they’re always a victim of circumstance.

Some aspects of orthodontic treatment allow room for personal expression. Let your child choose the colors of his or her bands and design the pattern on the retainer’s plate. A little creative freedom will help your child to find something enjoyable in wearing braces.

Stay Positive

While you may have some bad memories of orthodontic treatment you yourself have had, don’t let negative views discourage your child.

Avoid criticizing your son or daughter. They won’t do everything right and may need constant reminders, but make an effort to instill confidence in them rather than discouraging them about a lack of responsibility. Instead, offer to follow up behind them to clean areas they may have missed.

Show Your Support

Make your home a braces-friendly environment! Find a variety of cleaning devices that will make flossing easier on your child. Replace sticky crunchy snacks with healthier alternatives in your kitchen. Set up a rewards system that encourages your child to maintain a healthy smile.

The process may feel long, but the outcome will be worth it! For more tips on successfully getting your child through orthodontic treatment, see your local dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

Jul
31

Is It True That Braces Damage Your Teeth?

Posted in Braces

There is a lot of misinformation regarding orthodontic treatment. It’s news you hear from your next-door neighbor and stuff you read online.

If your dentist told you that you need braces, you might not be sure who to believe.

These facts may help you make a decision:

How Braces Affect Enamel

It’s a myth that the brackets cause your teeth to lose enamel. Rather, the cement is carefully popped off with special tools. Any remaining residue is gently buffed away with a low-power handpiece.

“White spots” only show up when plaque is left around the braces for a long time. You can avoid this simply by brushing well.

Do Braces Cause Gum Recession?

Sometimes, gums do recede near brackets, but this is also limited if your brackets are kept clean. Plaque-infested braces will irritate the gums.

What About Shortened Tooth Roots?

Shortened tooth roots do happen. However, this problem is not as severe as it sounds. Teeth can generally afford to lose a tiny bit of root structure at the tip and still work just fine. You’d never feel it!

Braces take advantage of a very natural process to move teeth. Your orthodontist will encourage tooth movement at a safe rate and regularly check your teeth on x-rays for signs of root resorption. If there’s anything suspicious, you’ll get a break from treatment.

In summary, there are no unpredictable risks of orthodontic treatment. Everything can be carefully monitored and managed, and you play a big role personally in preventing problems. The benefits of braces far outweigh the minor downsides.

To get a more complete picture of orthodontic treatment, schedule a visit with your local dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Jul
25

Is It Okay to Get Braces Again?

Posted in Braces

Perhaps you spent years of living with a fixed orthodontic appliance. It felt so great to finally be done!

But in spite of all that time, the passing of a few years has found your smile looking a little crooked, to your great disappointment.

Is it safe for you to correct this mess by getting braces for the second time?

Why Your Teeth Shifted Out Of Alignment

The main reason why people’s teeth drift out of that tidy realignment is because they didn’t wear their retainer as directed.

Retainers are usually worn for life after completing treatment. That’s the only sure way to prevent a relapse in your tooth alignment. Some people feel that a year is long enough to be wearing their retainer. But in truth, your teeth are never going to give up their efforts to be back in their old positions!

Getting Braces Twice

As long as your teeth, gums, and jaw bone are all healthy, there’s almost no limit to how often you can straighten your teeth. It’s important to be reasonable, however. Cases vary from person to person. Talk with your dentist or orthodontist about whether now is a good time to realign your teeth.

Secondary Braces Options

If you’ve already had braces when you were a teen or (younger!) young adult, then you may have few more unique options available to you now.

Among these are a variety of conservative retainers and aligners that focus on moving only a few problem teeth. So you may not need to get full braces again. Ask your dentist whether something like Invisalign is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Rock Point Family Dentistry
115 S Lakeline Blvd #200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 829-3898

Jun
28

Are Braces a Smart Financial Decision?

Posted in Braces

Everyone wonders at some point whether orthodontic treatment is worth all that time and expense.

For the most part, dental insurance helps out a lot when it comes to orthodontic care, especially for kids. But if you or your child needs treatment that isn’t covered entirely (or at all) by insurance, you’re understandably hesitant about following through.

Why Get Braces?

Orthodontic treatment doesn’t just make teeth look nice. Straight teeth are aesthetically-pleasing but they are also critical to your oral health. This is because crooked teeth will trap more bacteria and are at risk for things like cavities and gum disease.

Straightening teeth now could save your family on thousands that might later be spent on root canals, extractions, crowns, and so forth.

How To Afford Braces

Here at the start of a new year when most insurance plans reset, is a good time to evaluate your situation. If you find that your current benefits aren’t meeting your family’s orthodontic needs, talk with your employer about selecting a new plan. You may even already have benefits you weren’t aware of. Analyze your insurance plan closely before you rule out orthodontic treatment.

Your local dental office or orthodontist most likely has some very flexible payment plans that they can offer you. You’d be surprised at how some careful planning goes a long way in making braces affordable. Get started by having an orthodontic consultation. Most of the time, these initial visits are free and will let you know how much treatment could cost.

In the end, getting braces could be the best decision you ever make. Talk with your dentist to find out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Jun
20

5 Problems Caused By Crooked Teeth

Posted in Braces

A few crooked teeth may seem harmless. They might even lend something cute and unique to your overall appearance. But in reality, they can pack a lot of trouble when it comes to your oral health.

Here are five common situations that can develop as a result of poor tooth alignment:

  1. Stain

While staining is usually harmless and impossible to avoid completely, you could reduce it by straightening your teeth. Overlapping and twisted teeth will pack stain in those hard-to-reach places.

  1. Gum Inflammation

Your gums are quick to react to the presence of bacteria and other irritants stuck between crowded teeth. If your brushing and flossing aren’t sufficient to clean the gum tissue around crooked teeth, you run a serious risk of developing gum disease.

  1. TMJ Disorder

Tooth alignment doesn’t always directly affect your jaw. But it’s worth noting that crooked teeth could cause one side of your mouth to bite sooner than the other. This uneven movement would definitely strain the joint in your jaw. Braces could help to ease tension in your TMJ, if you already suffer some discomfort.

  1. Cavities

Overlapping teeth are prone to collecting cavity-causing germs. Cavities are very contagious. The close proximity between crowded teeth means that they have more surface area for transferring harmful bacteria.

  1. Tooth and Restoration Fractures

When your teeth are in healthy alignment, they experience an even bite force. Put them out of line and they are likely to fracture under pressure. Crooked teeth may also put costly fillings and crowns in danger.

Talk with your dentist about an orthodontic evaluation to find out how treatment with braces can help you avoid such problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Town Center Dental
1110 State Route 55, Suite 107
Lagrangeville, NY 12540
(845) 486-4572

Jun
9

What to Do When Braces Hurt Your Teeth

Posted in Braces

You try to tell yourself again and again that braces are worth the wait and worth the trouble.

Even still, the discomfort braces can cause could be enough to give you second thoughts.

Why Do Braces Hurt?

There are a few ways that orthodontia taxes your mouth:

  • Loose wires poking your gums
  • Brackets chafing against your cheeks
  • Aching teeth and gums after getting braces adjusted

The good news is that it’s only a matter of a few days for your mouth to adjust to the tension after getting an adjustment.

But it’s an entirely different nightmare if soft tissues in your mouth are suffering because of coming in contact with the irritating metal. There’s nothing that annoys you the way this does!

How To Cope

Avoid foods that you have to chew really well for the first few days after an adjustment. Your jaw and teeth don’t need any more tension put on them. Ice cream, soft fruit, mashed veggies, and macaroni and cheese are perfect for times like this.

If your doctor okays it, take some ibuprofen or another painkiller to take the edge off your discomfort.

Ice packs are another great way to numb up sore gums and bone. Try applying a cold compress to the side of your face for about 5-10 minutes at a time. There are even some “freezable” dental products you can use to relieve your gums.

Pack some ortho wax around bothersome metal piece to cushion the soft tissues.

If your mouth sores are really bad, swish with warm salt water to keep them clean and bring down inflammation. Next, coat them in a a topical oral painkiller.

Need more ideas to get relief? Talk with your dentist or orthodontist for tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

Jun
5

Get a Straighter Smile in 6 Months or Less

Posted in Braces

Does the idea of getting your dream smile within six months sound too good to be true?

In many cases, it’s actually a very realistic goal.

Think of where you see yourself six months from now. Maybe you’ll be interviewing for that job you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you’ll be planning your wedding.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a beautiful smile by that time?

Accelerated Orthodontic Treatment

Some dentists can offer their patients an abbreviated orthodontic session. This means wearing braces for an average of just six or even four months instead of a year or more.

These “fast braces” concentrate on only problem areas that show when you smile. This way, you’re not spending time in braces waiting for all your back teeth to come into alignment, as well.

Ask your dentist about a low-visibility and fast-working orthodontic procedure such as Six Month Smiles®.

Straighten Teeth With Cosmetic Dentistry

To get results that virtually come overnight, you could go the route that makes your teeth look like they’ve been straightened.

Cosmetic treatments help by covering up gaps and giving all the teeth in your smile a more uniform appearance. Within just a couple weeks, you could have a completely new look without having put the time into braces.

Procedures that can change a tooth’s appearance include:

  • Veneers
  • Bonding
  • Crowns

Keep in mind that if your case is serious enough, there could be no way around a year or two in regular braces. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out how long it’ll take to get the results you want to see in your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd. #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7177

Jun
4

Can I Get Braces at My Regular Dentist’s Office?

Posted in Braces

These days, it’s becoming more common for people to get orthodontic treatment right in their own general dental office.

Your own dentist may even offer some procedures involving braces or aligners.

It sounds worth a try, but you’re still a little worried – is it a good idea?

Dentists And Orthodontists – The Difference

All orthodontists are dentists who have taken an additional two to three years of education to study the art of moving teeth. They get special training in providing orthodontic care to patients of all backgrounds. Most professional orthodontists are members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

An orthodontist has learned all your regular dentist has in terms of tooth anatomy and health. But he or she has chosen to spend more time in focusing on straightening teeth and correcting bad bites.

What does this mean for your regular dentist?

General Dentists Placing Braces

A lot of general dentists are getting extra training in specific types of treatment, so that they can offer more procedures to their patients. It’s a win-win situation because you get the convenience and the dentist can keep your business in their practice.

Yes, general dentists can offer braces. It simply depends on the dentist’s experience level. There are dentists who want nothing to do with braces and refer out all patients who need that kind of treatment. Then there are those who are up to the challenge! It’s all a matter of personal preference.

You should also know there’s no guarantee that ortho treatment will be cheaper in your regular dental office.

If you want to find out more about the orthodontic treatment your dentist offers, ask him or her about their experience with placing braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Chester Road Family Dental
11701 Chester Rd.
Chester, VA 23831
804-748-5105

May
25

How Much Do Invisible Braces Cost?

Posted in Braces

For decades, metal brackets and wires have been the most common and reliable method for straightening teeth.

Invisible Braces Options

First of all, what exactly are “invisible” braces?

As dentistry and orthodontics progress, there are more options out there for you to choose from. These include tooth-colored braces and clear aligner trays. The most popular aligner system is Invisalign.

How do these invisible braces compare with regular braces?

Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are clear trays that are custom-fitted to your teeth. Before getting your first tray, your dentist will take some records of your teeth and send these to an Invisalign lab which designs the trays.

You’ll notice that the tray is very snug because it’s designed to put slight pressure on the teeth you want to move. Over time, your bite will adjust to the fit of the tray and it’ll be time to get a new one.

Because of the special materials and diagnostics used in Invisalign, it tends to be a bit pricier than regular braces. You’ll probably find that the cost is worth the extra free time and comfort that Invisalign gives you.

Ceramic Braces

If your smile needs more help than what an aligner tray can provide, then clear braces are your next best option. These can cost a bit more than classic metal braces. This option is less visible because the brackets and wires are tooth colored with clear bands.

How much you’ll pay for invisible braces largely depends on the area you live in.  If you want to seek treatment that’s cheaper than what’s available locally, research orthodontia costs in other towns. Get started by contacting your dentist for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

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