Dental Tips Blog

Sep
29

Will Crooked Teeth Straighten Out on Their Own?

Posted in Braces

The short answer is no, but of course there’s always more to it!

Teeth naturally move forward in the mouth. Whether they’re crowded because of a lack of space or because of wisdom teeth budging in, there is nowhere else for them to go. Teeth don’t move backwards.

Kids And Crooked Teeth

Some crowding is normal in little kids’ mouths. It’s typical for teeth to get all jumbled, sometimes doubling up like “shark teeth” when there’s a mix of adult and baby teeth. In this situation, you might expect the tooth alignment to calm down as your child gets older.

Even still, it’s important to monitor tooth development for any signs that there’s something worse going on. Most dentists recommend that children see an orthodontist by age 7. A specialist can look at your child’s mouth to assess their tooth alignment.

If treatment is indicated, early intervention can limit the amount of time your child would have to spend in braces.

What If You’re An Adult?

The good news is that if your teeth and jaws are done growing, your teeth like to stay where they are (as long as you don’t have extra open spaces, such as those caused by an extraction.) But if a certain habit or anatomical feature is putting constant pressure on your teeth, then the situation will likely only get worse with time.

In either case, the teeth won’t correct themselves. Even in adults, crooked teeth can lead to problems like:

  • Premature wear
  • Gum recession
  • TMJ strain
  • Headaches
  • Increased risk of decay and gum disease

It’s always worth it to get a little help in straightening out your smile! There several effective options for straightening adult teeth ranging from traditional wire braces to clear dental aligners. Talk with your dentist to find out which orthodontic options are right for you.

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

Sep
27

You May Need Braces if You Notice This in Your Smile

Posted in Braces

Who cares if your smile is a little less than perfect, right?

But braces aren’t just about having an aesthetically-pleasing grin. Orthodontic treatment can remedy some serious dental malfunctions and even prevent potential oral health problems.

Consider some annoying smile quirks that you may actually have tooth alignment to thank for.

Gum Recession

A tooth tipped out of line puts stress on the ligaments that hold your gums in place. Under pressure, those ligaments start to break down and your gums slip down the tooth, exposing the sensitive root.

Yes, braces can contribute to some minor gum recession, but not treating crooked teeth could cause a far bigger problem.

Difficulty Biting Into Foods

Upper and lower front teeth are meant to close together in a special way that helps you chomp into pizza, sandwiches, and the like. If you have to cut those foods up first to enjoy them, then you need braces to close up your bite and expand your culinary horizons.

Food Getting Trapped Between Teeth

Doughy breads, chicken, broccoli – you name it. If you’re sick of it sticking around long after mealtime, then it could be time to give your teeth some more breathing room.

Worn or Chipped Enamel

Misaligned teeth tend to have more accidents. When they close together unevenly, it causes premature wear and tear.

Underbite/Overbite

Are you shy about a comical-looking overbite or underbite? The shape of your mouth may be genetic, but you don’t have to accept this design if you’re not happy with it. Ortho treatment can correct even an undesirable facial profile.

So if you’re wondering whether braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Sep
22

How Long does it Take to Get Used to Braces?

Posted in Braces

One of the first questions almost everyone asks before getting orthodontic treatment is this: when will I get used to my braces?

Fortunately, the answer is: sooner than you think!

Getting the Braces Put On

Bonding the brackets and placing the wires doesn’t hurt at all. The process of getting braces is more long than it is uncomfortable.

The First Few Hours

One thing you’ll notice right away is that your braces will trigger a lot of drooling. This may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. You mouth needs to get used to the presence of a weird new object and reacts as if you have food in your mouth. Thus, all the extra saliva.

The First Few Days

Your braces will likely feel tight from the moment the wires are snugged into place. You’ll probably find the tension annoying, at first. Stay busy in your normal routine to keep your mind (and tongue) off your braces.

Over-the-counter pain meds, ice water, and a soft foods diet will help you get through the discomfort of the early days.

It also helps to sleep on your back so your sore teeth don’t get pressed against your cheeks and lips.

The First Weeks of Having Braces

You should be well-adjusted to your braces by the time the first week is up. From then on out, it all gets easier. Subsequent adjustment appointments will cause some more tightness, but you’ll recover faster than you did the first time.

Remember that if your braces are making you slightly uncomfortable, it means they’re moving your teeth!

Ask your dentist or orthodontist for more detailed instructions on how to stay comfortable during your orthodontic treatment.

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

Aug
30

Can I Still Get Braces If I Have a Missing Tooth?

Posted in Braces

Yes, and not only is it just possible, but right now might be the best time for you to get braces.

How so? 

Teeth On The Move

Your teeth don’t like to stay put for too long. If a tooth goes missing, it’s neighbor tends to move forward in an attempt to fill the space.

The same is true if there’s an empty space right above or below a tooth.

Interesting though this process is, it creates a slew of problems for your mouth. When teeth are tipped out of line or crowded, they become prime candidates for gum disease and tooth decay.

Braces can get your teeth straightened out so that you can more easily keep them clean and healthy.

Filling In The Gap

Now that your teeth are all in tidy order once again, how will you replace the missing tooth or teeth?

Most folks’ options for replacing missing teeth fall into three basic categories:

Whichever solution you pick, your teeth have to be straightened first for it to work. In fact, it would be pointless to try wearing braces while you have any of those tooth replacements in your mouth.

Never Too Late For Braces!

Given all the good that comes of straightening out tooth alignment, it’s clear that anyone stands to benefit from braces. No matter your age, if you want to properly fill in a gap in your smile, orthodontic treatment can help.

Talk with your dentist about your smile goals. He or she will explain exactly what steps are necessary to get you there and whether braces can play a role.

Posted on behalf of:
Pacific Sky Dental
6433 Mission St
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 353-3130

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

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