Dental Tips Blog

May
20

Is It Possible to Be Too Old for Braces?

Posted in Braces

You’ve finally reached your goal of retirement, and are motivated to get that perfectly straight smile of your dreams. If straightening your teeth is your top priority, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s nearly impossible to be “too old” for orthodontic treatment.

Age – It’s Just a Number!

Straightening teeth can be done at virtually any age. Orthodontics is the practice of guiding teeth through bone into a better position. As pressure is applied to the teeth, they push against the bone which reforms around the tooth root to fill in the changing space.

This natural process happens at all ages of life.

Children often need orthodontic evaluations by about age 7. This allows the specialist to check for potential tooth alignment issues. Early treatment can mean less time in braces as a teen.

But adults of all ages want to get straighter teeth. Fortunately, there are many discreet and fast-acting methods available including invisible braces that use clear dental aligners and other systems that can achieve excellent results in six to twelve months.

Considerations Before Getting Braces

Your actual age isn’t a limiting factor as much as your oral health. If your mouth is already plagued with untreated cavities or gum disease, practicing good oral hygiene will be even harder with braces. If you have a stellar brushing and flossing habits now, then you may be a candidate.

What about dental work? Teeth with fillings and dental crowns can be moved, but the same can’t be said of fixed dental bridges and dental implants. Also, if you have a partial denture, you’d have to get it remade later on, since it won’t fit your teeth after treatment.

An orthodontist will discuss whether any medications or health conditions may affect the ability of your jaw bone to respond to braces.

Find out whether you qualify for treatment by contacting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

May
13

3 Teen-Friendly Orthodontics Options

Posted in Braces

Teens are the most likely orthodontic patients, since tooth alignment and jaw development are still evolving and hasn’t yet completely formed.

If you have a teen who has a misaligned smile, then you know how concerned they feel about their image. Most kids don’t care for the look and feel of braces. If your child dreads getting orthodontic treatment, then he or she may be a candidate for one of the following “no braces-look” options:

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces work similarly to traditional orthodontics, except that they go on the inside of the teeth instead of the outside. These braces take some getting used to and can be tricky to clean. But the main benefit is that they won’t be visible in your teen’s smile.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a famous metal-free braces option. It involves clear trays that gradually coax teeth into proper alignment. Your teen will have to be responsible enough to wear the trays as directed for the best results. Aligner trays are removable for meals, photos, easy cleaning, and oral hygiene.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are a good economical choice if your teenage son or daughter wants an option with low visibility. Ceramic brackets and tooth-colored wires can hide the fact that your teen is wearing braces.

Which Ortho Option Is Right for Your Teen?

Which kind of braces is right for your teenager depends on their maturity, confidence, and oral health needs. Invisible braces may not be sufficient to correct your child’s tooth alignment problems. Prepare your teen to accept whatever method is best for their case.

To find out what your family’s options are, schedule a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-969

Apr
22

Top Five Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

Posted in Braces

The better you take care of your braces, the less time you’ll have to wear them. That’s why you want to avoid foods that are likely to damage orthodontic appliances.

Here are five of the worst foods for braces:

  1. Tortilla Chips

Crunchy tacos and corn chips fall into this category, as well. Those crispy bits are like little daggers that wedge themselves between teeth and wires.

  1. Taffy & Gummy Candy

Any chewy or sticky candy is off-limits. Not only can they “pull off” brackets, but they can encourage tooth decay by sticking around a long time.

  1. Crunchy Grains

Cooked oatmeal is a great breakfast for anyone, braces or no. But watch out for crunchy dried sweets like cookies or granola, which are studded with firm grains.

  1. Popcorn

Shells, hulls, husks, whatever you want to call them, those annoying little pieces are a thousand times harder to deal with when you have braces.

  1. Pretzels & Nuts

These delightfully salty snacks have to be kept off the table if you want to keep your braces safely on your teeth.

Taking a look at the above list, it’s clear these are all foods that cause problems because of their texture. Hard foods can damage braces and chewy ones can get stuck in them.

But you’ll also notice that there are ways to enjoy your favorite foods without endangering your braces. A few substitutions and are all it takes. Choose soft tacos over hard ones. Have chocolate pudding instead of a chocolate bar. Cut up pizza and bagels into chewable pieces. French fries are still on the menu even when chips are out!

Get more tips on making the most of your braces by talking with your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

Mar
27

Gap Between Front Teeth – Why it Happens and How to Fix It

Posted in Braces

It’s cute in little kids, but it can be a problem for self-image if it sticks around into adulthood: that gapped-tooth smile.

The good news is that this condition isn’t harmful. It’s purely a cosmetic issue. If you’re happy with the way your smile is, then that’s great.

But if you want to make a transition to a more “grown-up” look, then keep reading.

Why Gaps Happen

In childhood, it’s very common – normal, in fact – for emerging adult teeth to come in at awkward angles. These usually even out from the pressure of other teeth coming in around them.

Once in a while, however, things don’t go as planned.

A few reasons include:

  • Missing teeth on either side
  • Teeth are undersized or the jaw is too large
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-thrusting while swallowing
  • Tissue connecting the lip to the gums comes down too low between teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tight muscles between the teeth

As you can see, some causes are purely developmental while some are a result of pressures in their environment.

How To Bridge The Gap

Your first step should be to visit your local dentist. He or she will help you figure out what may have caused (or be causing) your smile gap. If it’s something like gum disease, that will need urgent treatment.

Without treating the underlying cause of the gap, then treatment may not work.

A few solutions for correcting gaps include:

  • Braces
  • Invisible aligner trays
  • Veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bonding
  • Reshaping gum tissue and attachments
  • Implants or partial dentures to replace missing teeth
  • Trimming tight muscles around the teeth

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from if you want to enhance your smile. Contact your dentist to find out which one is right for you.

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

Jan
4

4 Braces Alternatives to Suit Your Busy Lifestyle

Posted in Braces

You’d love to have a straighter smile, of course. You know that there are many health benefits to getting braces. But you also know that you just don’t have the time to care for full set of wires and brackets. Besides that, you’re looking at an average of two years of treatment.

Happily, you’ve got some other potential options to consider.

  1. Retainers

If your teeth don’t have far to go, the simple and cost-effective alternative is to just wear a retainer. Retainers are typically meant to hold teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. But with orthodontist approval, you may be able to just use a retainer on its own.

  1. Clear Aligners

Invisalign is probably the most well-known brand of clear dental aligners. Aligner trays are custom-fitted to hug each tooth and encourage teeth into straighter alignment. These nearly invisible trays are removable, making for convenient cleaning and eating. Treatment can last as long as braces, but that depends on how complicated your case is.

  1. Six Month Smiles

This is a faster version of braces that focuses on correcting just the teeth that show when you smile. Wearing Six Month Smiles or other types of “Fast Braces” may get you results in as soon as four months, but it usually takes six to eight. This procedure uses “clear” materials for low visibility.

  1. Veneers

As long as your tooth alignment issues don’t pose any health risks, you may be able to take the fast cosmetic route. A couple of well placed veneers can provide a false front that makes your teeth look wider, smoother, whiter, and more even. A single veneer is an instant fix that takes only two visits to complete.

Talk with your dentist to find out which orthodontic method is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

Dec
19

4 Health Benefits of Getting Braces

Posted in Braces

You might hear friends complain about their crooked teeth. Perhaps you wish your own could be a little straighter. But did you know that you have other urgent reasons for seeing an orthodontist? Braces could do your oral health more good than you may realize.

  1. Enjoy Fresher Breath

Braces open up spaces between teeth which would otherwise trap a smelly combination of food and germs.

  1. Get Rid Of Chronic Headaches

You may not see your teeth as crooked, but even slight differences could put a strain on your jaw. This, in turn, could lead to TMJ complications and headaches.

  1. Increase The Mileage Of Your Teeth

Teeth tipped out of a alignment experience uneven pressure when you bite down. Years of an uneven bite can cause:

  • Teeth to tip farther out of line
  • Gums to recede
  • Premature enamel wear and sensitive spots
  • Increased risk of tooth fracture

Straighten your teeth and they’ll stay in great shape for years to come.

  1. Lower Your Risk For Oral Disease

It’s plain and simple logic: crooked teeth trap bacteria and debris while straight teeth don’t. Improving your tooth alignment with braces can open up tight spots where cavities and gum disease are prone to set in. Most people find that their brushing and flossing are much more effective after having orthodontic treatment.

In reality, braces are about far more than just getting a great-looking smile. Orthodontia could have a huge impact on the quality of your life because of its interconnected health benefits.

Talk with your dentist to find out whether you need braces and which method will help you reach your smile goals.

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

Dec
12

Are Braces Uncomfortable?

Posted in Braces

Granted, having metal wires on your teeth is not going to be a natural sensation, in the beginning. But it is something you can get used to.

Getting Braces – Does It Hurt?

The process of getting braces put on your teeth is not as bad as you might imagine. Your orthodontist applies a little conditioner to your freshly-polished enamel. This process helps the cement attach a little better. Then, the brackets are secured in place. Lastly, a wire is laced through the brackets and fastened with rubber bands.

You may feel a little discomfort in the early days of wearing braces. As that wire is first set, your teeth will resent the pressure. Just be patient as you adjust. Most patients get used to their orthodontics within a week of having them placed.

What To Do When Braces Hurt

If you seem to be experiencing more discomfort than you can tolerate, it’s usually recommended to take a painkiller; whatever you usually take for a headache is enough. Check with your doctor and orthodontist first for recommendations.

What about if the brackets are chafing your cheeks and lips? That’s a very common problem and happily, it’s easy to fix. Your orthodontist or local drugstore can supply you with some dental wax that can be molded to fit over any sharp metal pieces. It can take a bit of time before your mouth becomes accustomed to having a few rough areas of orthodontic appliances inside.

Sometimes your gums can get a little sore from gingivitis if you’re not brushing well enough. Just be patient and take care to floss!

Visit your orthodontist and local dentist regularly throughout treatment to keep your braces feeling as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279

Dec
5

What Makes Braces Stay on Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Once set in place, braces are more stable than you may think.

Braces: The Early Years

Only a couple decades ago braces were attached to teeth via metal bands wrapped around every tooth! How’s that for a comfortable bite? Later, advancing research yielded some new techniques for securing the brackets onto just the front of a tooth.

How do today’s orthodontists make braces stick to teeth?

Bonding The Brackets

First, the orthodontist will polish and dry your tooth to get a smooth surface. Next, the enamel is conditioned with a special gel to help it lock into the cement. Then, a bonding material is placed. Finally, the bracket goes onto the tooth. Its underside has a roughened surface which improves its grip in the cement.

After Bonding

Now that the brackets are in place, your orthodontist can position the arch wire. This strong metal wire is what guides your teeth into correct alignment. It stays snug against your teeth when tiny rubber bands lock it against the brackets.

You’re all set with new braces! Your orthodontist will periodically check your brackets and wires to make adjustments and ensure everything stays in place.

Keeping Braces In Place

It’s not easy to knock a bracket off your tooth. Still, you should aim to take special care of your braces. You’ll have to wear them even longer every time they get damaged!

Follow these tips to get the most of your treatment:

  • Brush and floss carefully to avoid decay
  • Wear a customized mouth guard if you play athletic sports
  • Avoid very chewy, stringy, gummy, or crunchy foods

Contact your local dentist for more information on everything braces!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Nov
30

When Should My Child Stop Using a Pacifier?

Posted in Braces

Are you wondering when your toddler needs to give up their pacifier? Preferably by age 2 and definitely before 4. Extended use of a pacifier can create long-term problems.

What kind of problems?

A higher, narrower palate, which is now being linked to issues with the airway like snoring and sleep apnea.

Misaligned teeth: Before age 2, the teeth should self-correct. After age 4, the permanent teeth underneath have already been influenced and your child is more likely to need orthodontics as a teenager. 

“How can we make the pacifier go bye-bye?” 

Cold turkey

Your kiddo lost his? Just don’t replace it – especially if he doesn’t seem to miss it that much. Sounds mean, but isn’t, if done with a dose of kindness. 

Trading

Some parents will bargain with their children or have the “Pacifier Fairy” visit to make a trade. One pacifier = one prize (often something cuddly like a blanket or stuffed animal that can still provide comfort to the child in a way that the pacifier once did).  

Praise

Tell your child how proud you are of him for each night that no pacifier is required for bedtime. 

Weening

Reduce the times that pacifier-use is allowed until it is only used at bedtime, then only on occasion to not at all. 

When should the dentist get involved? 

  • See a dentist when your child’s teeth start erupting or sooner, if there are issues that you are concerned about.
  • Get a full screening of your child’s mouth to make sure the teeth are developing properly as well as the palate, jaws, and airway space.
  • Hear ideas for how to best halt your child’s pacifier use.

Your dentist is your best resource for preparing your child for a lifetime of excellent oral health!

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

Nov
29

Three Uncommon Types of Braces You Might Not Know About

Posted in Braces

Besides “regular” braces and clear aligners like Invisalign, there are actually a lot more options out there. Not all of them are ideal for everyone, but it’s still important to know what choices are available when it comes to selecting the best braces for your teeth.

Here are three types of orthodontic options that you might not have ever heard about before:

Lingual Braces

If you took your braces and moved them to the back/inside of your teeth — the tongue side — you would have what we call “lingual” braces. These work just like conventional orthodontics, except they’re hidden from plain view. It’s about as invisible as you can get when it comes to hiding your orthodontic treatment from everyone around you. 

Fast or Accelerated Orthodontics

Wait…aren’t “fast” and “braces” not supposed to belong in the same sentence together? How can they be safe? It’s true…generally moving the teeth too quickly can be bad for your smile as a whole. The difference with “fast” braces such as Six Month Smiles is that they target the teeth that are visible when you smile: the front ones. As such, they don’t take as much time to improve how your smile looks. Most people see results in three to six months. 

Ceramic Braces

You’ve probably seen these before, but weren’t quite sure about what they were. Ceramic braces use a standard bracket and wire system, but the materials blend in with your teeth. Yes…the brackets are white, instead of silver.

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about your smile concerns to find out which type of braces is best for you. There are many other options besides the ones mentioned above!

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

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