Dental Tips Blog


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


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


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


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


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. 


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).  


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


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


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


4 Ways to Get a Straighter Smile

Posted in Braces

Would you like to straighten out your teeth? Even if you’re no longer a teenager, it’s not too late to make a big change. You’ve also got plenty of ways to reach your smile goals. Here are four options to talk about with your dentist.

  1. Classic Braces

They’re not just for kids! You can’t go wrong with traditional brackets and wires. You can even get them adapted for short-term use or designed with colors to blend in with your smile.

  1. Invisible Alignment Trays

Invisalign and ClearCorrect are two examples of removable clear trays that correct tooth alignment issues. You can take these trays out for meals and sports activities, but they should be worn for at least 20 hours a day to experience the benefit.

  1. Inman Aligners

Some dentists are certified to provide a rapid-action method for correcting minor positioning concerns in the alignment of front teeth. Inman aligners use specialized springs to put pressure on the front teeth. As long as your case isn’t too complicated, you could see a big difference in only three months.

  1. Dental Veneers

You can even “cheat” on straightening your smile – you might not have to move your teeth at all. Dental veneers are an instant way to make your teeth look uniformly aligned.  Some people even refer to them as “instant braces.” A veneer is usually made of porcelain and fits over the front of an upper front tooth where it can:

  • Close up gaps between your teeth
  • Improve the shape of a tooth
  • Make a twisted tooth look straight

To find the teeth-straightening method that’s best for you, consult with your dentist or local orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Columbine Creek Dentistry
4760 W Mineral Ave #60
Littleton, CO 80128
(720) 636-9010


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


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.


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


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

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