Dental Tips Blog

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

May
1

How One Crooked Tooth Can Affect Your Smile

Posted in Orthodontics

Some people are proud of how a little quirk in their smile makes them unique. It’s true that a gap-toothed grin or a pair of “buck teeth” can be pretty cute, especially in kids.

Maybe you don’t care too much about a small flaw in your smile, either way. You should know, however, that even a seemingly insignificant irregularity can cause some trouble down the road.  Braces can help you avoid these issues.

Bad Bite Blues

One or more crooked teeth can make it hard for you to bite into your favorite sandwich. You might constantly get food stuck between overlapping teeth. If your tooth is severely misaligned, then that can even affect the way you speak.

It’s even possible for crooked teeth to throw your bite off so badly that your jaw starts to suffer.

How’s the Flossing?

When teeth are in normal alignment, they do a good job at keeping themselves clean. The natural arrangement of teeth in your jaw enable your lips and tongue to help remove a lot of debris. You just help this process along with flossing and brushing.

Put one or more of those teeth out of alignment, and part of it will miss out on the self-cleaning benefits. You probably have a hard time flossing and/or brushing around that tooth, don’t you?

Difficulty cleaning a crooked tooth leads to another problem.

Cavity Concerns

Because overlapping teeth are hard to clean, they’re prone to developing cavities. The problems don’t end there because the gums around crooked teeth are also more likely to get infected.

Contact your dentist to find out whether you should correct your tooth alignment with orthodontia.

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

Apr
17

What Is “Teeth Alignment?”

Posted in Orthodontics

‘Tooth alignment’ generally refers to the way your teeth fit together in your smile. Dental offices that make adjustments in the position of teeth may offer “teeth alignment” services.

“Ortho” means straight and “-dont” refers to teeth. So “orthodontic” means straightening teeth, or bringing them back into healthy alignment. This is usually done with the help of braces.

You’ve probably realized by now that not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. Why might you end up needing braces?

Why Correct Tooth Alignment

Crooked teeth don’t just look a little funny. They can affect your overall oral health, as well.

Teeth that are positioned differently from the rest will trap bacteria and bad-smelling germs. The biofilm around crooked teeth can easily get inflamed. Your tooth itself might be more likely to develop a cavity.

Getting “teeth alignment” or orthodontic treatment will not only make your smile look better, it can also help you avoid some dental treatment later on.

Bringing Your Teeth Back into Position

When a few teeth are tipped or twisted out of alignment, this can throw off your entire bite. That’s why dentists who specialize in straightening teeth recommend treatment as soon as possible.

These specialists are called “orthodontists.” An orthodontist can give you several options for straightening your teeth. Some of these methods are better for kids, some are ideal for adults, some are cosmetic in nature, and some treatments can correct major problems.

Treatment options include:

  • Classic braces
  • Invisalign
  • Clear braces
  • Aligners
  • Accelerated ortho

To find out what kind of treatment you need to correct your smile, contact your local dentist or orthodontist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Spanaway Family Dentistry
20709 Mountain Hwy E #101
Spanaway, WA 98387
(253) 948-0880

Jan
30

Early Signs Your Child Needs Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Braces are a significant investment. Usually, the sooner you catch problems and begin treatment, the faster treatment will be. You can expect that the longer your kid is in braces, the more expensive it will be.

When is it time to begin treatment?

Not every kid starts the orthodontic process at the same time. If you notice any of these signs, however, it would be a good idea to consult a specialist as soon as possible.

  1. Your child started losing their baby teeth unusually early or late.
  2. Your child has some difficulty with chewing or using the front teeth to bite with.
  3. You notice some top and bottom teeth don’t completely close together when your child bites.
  4. Your kid’s jaw shifts position or makes noises when they open and close.
  5. Your child’s mouth seems too small in proportion with the size of the teeth coming in.
  6. Your child has had an oral habit such as thumb-sucking for years.

A lot of orthodontic problems are genetic. If you had tooth alignment issues, it will be easier to recognize them in your child, as well.

When Should Your Child See the Orthodontist?

Every case is different. Some children need braces during their teenage years. Others start treatment before they even turn ten. Still other kids are lucky enough to never need braces.

Orthodontists and pediatric dentists generally recommend that you bring your kids in for their first orthodontic evaluation by the time they are seven. This is a good point at which an expert can best predict what your child’s needs are.

To find out whether your child is ready for this visit, consult your local dentist.

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

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