Dental Tips Blog

Jan
10

Is It Bad to Have Crooked Teeth?

Posted in Orthodontics

Let’s first establish what we mean by crooked teeth being “bad.”

If your teeth are less than perfect, that’s no reason to hide your smile and you should not be ashamed. In fact, lots of people are proud of their smile, feeling that a couple crooked teeth make it uniquely theirs.

But if your teeth are twisted out of alignment to a certain point, this could actually be bad for your dental health.

Here’s how:

You could experience more staining. Some foods are bound to cause teeth to discolor. If you’re fond of coffee, tea, red wine, or dark-colored fruit juice, then the pigments will hide in overlapping teeth where it’s even harder to keep clean.

Your risk for oral disease increases. Normal teeth are meant to shed debris naturally, given their shape and position. But twisted and overlapping teeth trap plaque bacteria, increasing your chances of developing cavities and gum disease.

Your bite could be uneven. Crooked teeth experience different wear and pressure than other teeth when you bite and chew. You could end up needing dental crowns to prevent fracture.

Your gums might be under stress. Teeth pushed out of alignment could be putting a lot of tension on the gums around them. If you notice some recession around a crooked tooth, this is likely a sign that it’s only be pushed further out of line. As gums recede, teeth lose vital support and protection.

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment? Find out whether braces could make a difference in your oral health. Contact your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Alora Dentistry
917 Trancas Street
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 226-5533

Dec
31

Do I Have to Get Teeth Pulled Before Getting Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

No one likes getting a tooth pulled, period. But there’s something that just feels even worse about losing a perfectly healthy tooth for the sake of orthodontic treatment.

If braces are in your future, you’ll be glad to know that tooth extraction is not an automatic part of treatment. Just because someone you know had a couple teeth removed for braces doesn’t meant that you’ll have to.

So why do some people need to have teeth pulled for orthodontic treatment?

Perhaps there is an extra tooth (yes, that happens) that will only get in the way of things.

More commonly, teeth have to be pulled because:

  • They are too close together and removing one or two will open space up to move teeth freely with braces
  • Front teeth are very protruded and a couple back teeth have to go to give them room to be pulled into place
  • It’s easier to remove teeth than it is to surgically alter a bone discrepancy, such as a jaw being too narrow for all the teeth to fit

Orthodontic treatment takes longer if teeth have to be removed first. Pulling teeth is not the cheating route. If the dentist or orthodontist recommends it, then they really believe it’s necessary.

To avoid having to get teeth pulled, it’s best to have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. That’s why this is the general recommendation for kids. It’s actually preferred to monitor tooth development and alignment from the time children are small and make corrections with expanders. Tooth extraction is typically a last resort.

Okay, that’s great, but you aren’t seven years old anymore. At this point, you can only find out whether or not you need teeth pulled by visiting an orthodontist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7117

Nov
8

Why Should My Child See an Orthodontist By Age 7?

Posted in Orthodontics

You’ve probably heard this more than once from your child’s dentist. Today’s kids are advised to be seen by an orthodontic specialist by that golden age of 7.

Why is this so important?

What Happens At Age 7

Granted, every child develops at a unique rate. No two kids will lose their teeth on exactly the same schedule. Still, most children have lost several baby teeth by the time they turn seven. It’s typical for kids to have a nice “mixed dentition” (a combination of both primary and permanent teeth) at this point.

When there is a mix of teeth of different ages, an orthodontist can get a really good idea of your child’s smile development. He or she may be able to determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary, if at all.

What if your child hasn’t lost any baby teeth by the time they turn 7?

Some kids are late-bloomers and you should have a dentist check your child’s teeth with x-rays to see where the adult teeth are at. But you may not have to worry about an orthodontic evaluation, just yet!

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Another benefit to visiting the orthodontist while your child is young is that you’ll have time on your side. If any treatment is recommended, starting it as soon as possible will limit the amount needed later when your child becomes a teen.

Early treatment may include special retainers and space maintainers or separators to encourage proper growth. This can prevent the adult teeth from crowding together too closely as they come in.

Talk with your child’s dentist for more information on scheduling an orthodontic assessment.

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

Oct
16

Why Does My Dentist Say I Need Braces When My Teeth Are Straight?

Posted in Orthodontics

Like many others blessed with wonderfully tidy rows of teeth, you’re probably quite content with your smile. Maybe even a little proud.

So what exactly is your dentist looking at when he says you need braces?

You don’t have to worry that your dentist is trying to push an unnecessary service on you. There is a very good reason for his or recommendation.

Your Teeth Are Straight – But Is Your Smile?

Your teeth might be in a nice orderly row, but it’s quite likely that as a whole they are crooked. This means that there is some irregularity in your jaw or palate that puts your bite off balance.

As a result, a portion of your teeth may not fit evenly with their opposing neighbors.

This might not seem like a big deal, but a bad bite can eventually result in:

  • TMJ strain
  • Headaches
  • Speech issues
  • Teeth being pushed farther out of alignment
  • Gum recession

Maybe getting a little orthodontic treatment now isn’t as bad as all the treatment you’d need to fix the problems listed above.

Braces Options For Adults

If you still don’t like the idea of getting braces because a metal mouth just won’t suit your look, that’s perfectly fine. Your dentist or orthodontist will probably have several other options for you to choose from that offer the same benefits with a far less visible appearance.

So it’s definitely worth it to look into how braces can change your smile for the better – even if you think you don’t need them! Visit your dentist for a more in-depth consultation.

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

Oct
16

Can My Child Get Invisalign?

Posted in Orthodontics

Invisalign is a great tool for adjusting teeth – it’s effective and so sleek that hardly anyone knows you’re wearing the tray. If your son or daughter needs orthodontic treatment, they’re probably concerned about how they’ll look.

Most kids don’t look forward to being a brace-face!

Happily, Invisalign has designed a specific line of trays that meet the unique needs of teenagers’ teeth in a few ways:

  • Indicator marks that show whether the trays are being worn as directed
  • Extra space to allow still-developing adult teeth to grow into
  • Extra trays in the package just in case some are lost

For your teen to qualify, there are two major considerations: complexity and compliance.

Complexity

Not all orthodontic cases can be corrected by Invisalign. That goes for kids and adults, alike. Things like major bite problems and unerupted teeth are hard to fix with the trays, alone. If your young child needs phase I (early) orthodontic treatment, their orthodontist will probably recommend devices that Invisalign cannot replace.

Compliance

The indicator colors on the trays will help you to confirm that your teen is using the Invisalign tray as directed (we’re talking some 20 hours every day). So it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. But if your son or daughter just won’t wear the tray then it just won’t work! It’s as simple as that. Braces, on the other hand, can’t be removed and then conveniently “forgotten” about.

It all comes down to your kid’s unique abilities and needs. Visit their orthodontist to find out which option is right for them.

Posted on behalf of:
Sweetpea Smiles
15850 Southwest Fwy #400
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 566-6100

Oct
8

How to Brush if You Have Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Getting braces means that you can expect some big changes down the road. Not only can you expect to get an improved smile, but you can expect your oral hygiene routine to become a little trickier.

Proper brushing can make or break your orthodontic treatment. If your teeth are kept clean and healthy, treatment will proceed as planned and your teeth will look great afterward.

But neglect the hygiene, and you could have a metal mouth for a lot longer than you wanted.

How can you make sure your teeth and braces stay clean with proper brushing?

Take A New Angle

The most important thing to remember with braces is that you have many different angles to work from. It’s not enough to just scrub across outer-facing surfaces. You’ll need to tip your brush bristles in a few directions:

  • Against the gum line
  • Down against the top of the brackets
  • Up toward the underside of the brackets

Save The Easiest For Last

Make it a habit to do the toughest or most time-consuming tasks first. Brushing around the brackets or flossing, for example, may be annoying chores. Get them out of the way and then take care of the easier stuff (like brushing the chewing surfaces of your teeth).

Automate Your Routine

An automatic helping hand could make a big difference in your brushing technique. Powered toothbrushes and water flossers are fantastic at blasting away the plaque you just don’t have time for.

Want a few more tips on keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape while wearing braces? Frequent dental visits throughout your treatment are a great way to get both professional cleanings and hygiene suggestions.

Posted on behalf of:
Gastonia Family Dentistry
2557 Pembroke Rd
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 854-8887

Aug
29

When Will My Braces Start to Make a Difference in My Smile?

Posted in Orthodontics

On average, most orthodontic treatment takes about two years to complete. But a lot of people see a difference in their tooth alignment after just a couple of months with braces.

But don’t get too excited just yet – that figure varies widely.

Why Teeth Move Differently

Factors such as age, medication, oral habits and complexity will affect how quickly your teeth move.

Teens often enjoy more rapid tooth movement because they have a higher metabolism and their bone is still developing and “soft.” If you are taking a medication for your bones, then that might slow down your treatment a bit.

Do you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth? You could be putting resistance on your teeth that opposes the force of your braces.

Some factors you have a little more control over.

Can You Shorten Treatment?

You can keep your treatment time to the estimated minimum by following your dentist’s or orthodontist’s instructions. This means maintaining proper hygiene, wearing appliances as directed, and avoiding things that can break bands, wires, or brackets.

When it comes to braces, stronger or faster is NOT better. Forcing your teeth to move faster than they want to go is a sure way to damage them. Your orthodontist will know exactly how much sure and steady pressure is needed to get results.

In the meantime, take photos of your smile every few weeks to compare your progress. It can be discouraging if you don’t have some way to track the progress you are making. If you notice the tiniest difference, that can motivate you to stick with treatment until the end!

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

Jul
17

What’s So “Bad” About a Bad Bite?

Posted in Orthodontics

If you like how even your smile looks in the mirror, then it’s hard to imagine why else you could need braces. But a bad bite is about more than just looks, alone.

What Is A Bad Bite?

When people think braces, they’re usually imagining a bunch of crooked and overlapping teeth. Occlusion is often overlooked because many don’t realize it can be a problem.

Occlusion is the way your teeth fit together in relation to one another when you bite down. So it isn’t necessarily about side-to-side tooth alignment. If you have a problem with your occlusion, it probably isn’t visible when you smile. When that’s the case, it’s also likely that you’ve never thought about getting it checked out by an orthodontist or your family dentist.

Problems Caused By Bad Bite

Still not convinced of the benefits of having straighter teeth? Poor occlusion can result in:

  • Headaches
  • TMJ pain
  • Uneven wear on teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Tooth fracture
  • Gum recession
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth alignment problems
  • Difficulty biting or chewing

When teeth don’t close together properly for any reason, they and the structures around them (such as the jaw) can suffer the consequences.

How To Treat A Bad Bite

You may not think that those headaches you’ve been getting every day could be connected to your teeth. The solution could be as simple as a dental crown. Crowns and other restorations can bring balance back to your smile. Other solutions include splints, enamel adjustment, and orthodontic treatment.

A bad bite isn’t always a major fix, but left untreated it can become a major problem.

Talk with your dentist to find out your options. If the need arises, he or she can refer you to a qualified provider in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
The Grove Family Dentistry
6200 Center St Suite I
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 350-8592

Jul
17

Will My Kid’s Teeth Straighten Out on Their Own?

Posted in Orthodontics

If you’re like most parents, you anxiously watch your child’s first adult teeth come in and wonder how you’ll pay for braces. Or you may just hope and pray that they straighten out on their own.

Normal Smile Development

It’s very common for teeth to come in crooked, at first. Around the ages of six or seven, most kids sport a messy mix of adult and baby teeth.

The roots on adult teeth are still maturing as they erupt. Limited space and the presence of baby teeth make it hard for adult ones to come in straight. Front teeth in particular, tend to come in at extreme angles.

But this isn’t usually a cause for concern. As the teeth erupt, the tongue and lips will help guide them into the right place.

When Is It Time To Straighten Teeth?

At some point, crooked or overlapping teeth stop being a normal part of smile development. When your son or daughter reaches about six years of age, their first permanent molars come in.

These molars tend to lock the situation in place. As your child grows, they’re not likely to gain more space between their rapidly-emerging adult teeth.

Orthodontists and dentists widely agree that your child should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. This is an ideal time for a dental expert to detect serious problems and possibly prevent them.

Remember, if you wait until your child is a lot older, it will only take even longer to correct their smiles. Time is money when it comes to braces! Talk with your dentist about an orthodontic assessment for your child.

Posted on behalf of:
Southern Charm Dental
7119 FM 1464 #312
Richmond, TX 77407
(832) 648-3685

Jul
12

Health Benefits of Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

When you think of braces, you might imagine getting your teeth beautifully aligned in a row.

But there’s far more to braces than just the cosmetic factor. Thanks to modern orthodontic therapies, kids and adults can experience the following health benefits:

  1. Fewer Cavities

When those teeth are squished up against one another for years, they more easily transfer cavity-causing bacteria and enamel-eating acids. Wearing braces opens up crowded and overlapping teeth. Straight and evenly spaced teeth are easy to keep clean with a toothbrush and floss.

  1. Reduced Gum Inflammation

While in orthodontic treatment, it may be difficult to fully manage gingivitis. But once the brackets are off, your gums will breathe a sigh of relief! It will be so much easier to keep your mouth clean and lower your chances of getting gum disease.

  1. Less Stress On Your Teeth

Whenever a tooth is out of alignment, it experiences uneven biting force. This results in harmful pressure on the bone, gum recession, and even increases your chances of getting a fracture.

Straighten your teeth and they will thank you for it!

  1. Relax TMJ Tension

Crooked teeth might affect the way you close your mouth. You’ll have to compensate for an uneven bite by stretching your jaw muscles and the inner joint structures.

  1. Get A Confidence Boost

What’s not to love about having a tidy and healthy smile you can be proud of? If for no other reason, everyone is happy about how braces gave them a beautiful smile.

Could braces make a big difference in your life? Not only would they give you a gorgeous smile, but orthodontic treatment could also improve your overall health. Contact your dentist to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Gastonia Family Dentistry
2557 Pembroke Rd
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 854-8887

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