Dental Tips Blog

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

Jan
10

How Long Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?

Posted in Orthodontics

You feel you’ve suffered with braces long enough. Why test your patience even longer with a retainer?

Orthodontic retainers are crucial to maintaining a perfectly straight smile. Your teeth aren’t naturally inclined to stay in their new positions. Because bone is softer than tooth roots, the teeth will shift through it close to where they were before. The risk of relapse is especially high during the first month after your braces come off.

How much time does it take for your teeth to stabilize?

Well, that depends. Every case is different. Your teeth may take longer to settle firmly in place if your case was particularly complex. If you want a ballpark estimate, you need to check with your orthodontist.

Here are some general guidelines when it comes to orthodontic retainers:

  • Some people only need to wear them full-time for a week, others for a year
  • You may only need to wear the retainer at night
  • Your orthodontist may recommend wearing the retainer for as long as you had braces
  • Most people should wear the retainer for a full year after braces are removed
  • A lot of folks choose to wear their retainers for life, just to ensure a perfect smile forever.

Wearing braces took a lot of time, sacrifice, expense, and discomfort. The effort certainly paid off and you don’t want to go through that experience again! Keep the beautiful results you worked hard to achieve by using your retainer as often and as long as your orthodontist recommends.

Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your retainer? Find out more at your next orthodontic checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481

Jan
8

When to Schedule Your Child’s First Orthodontic Consultation

Posted in Orthodontics

If your kid is around 7 years of age, then now is a great time for his or her first orthodontic visit.

Why is orthodontic treatment so important?

A few things are essential for your child to have a healthy smile:

  • Cavity-free teeth
  • A beautiful grin to boost confidence
  • Fresh breath
  • Healthy gums
  • A balanced diet

All of these factors may be affected by having crooked teeth. Braces could be the key to your child having excellent dental health for life.

The Benefits of Starting Young

For one thing, it’s easiest to treat issues before they become real problems. An orthodontist can take a look at your child’s mouth and determine whether or not help will be needed, and if so, how much.

While kids are small, the bone in the mouth and jaw is still developing. A lot of orthodontic issues can be corrected easily by guiding bone growth in the right direction. The time to take advantage of this process is while kids are still young.

Why Age 7?

The age of 7 is a time when both boys and girls can expect to have a mix of adult and baby teeth in their mouth. A sever-year-old’s mouth provides a nice map for the orthodontist to base predictions of oncoming problems that can be avoided.

Schedule your son or daughter’s consultation with an orthodontist as soon as possible. The office will let you know what to expect at the first visit. Starting orthodontic treatment at a young age is an important way you can help your child avoid serious dental issues later on. Braces could be your kid’s key to a bright and healthy future!

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

Jan
5

Don’t Try This at Home! 4 Things Braces Can Fix

Posted in Orthodontics

It can be tempting to just wait it out and see if teeth straighten out on their own. But the following dental issues illustrate just how vital braces can be…

  1. Crowded Teeth

One of the most common reasons for getting braces is because teeth are overlapping each other. These are not apt to straighten out on their own, especially once you’ve reached adulthood. Overlapped teeth aren’t merely a cosmetic issue – they’re more likely to develop cavities or wear down prematurely unless they’re corrected.

  1. Gaps

Even if it’s one cute little gap between a couple of front teeth, braces are a straightforward fix. Conservative treatment with a clear aligner could elevate your smile from “cute” to “dazzling” and “professional.”

  1. Misaligned Bite

While teeth can occasionally settle into nicer alignment on their own (particularly as kids transition from baby to adult teeth), but a truly misaligned bite will not correct itself.

A series of braces and retainers is necessary to encourage the bone in your mouth to change shape. The results can prevent problems like tooth wear, broken fillings, and TMJ disorder.

  1. Gum Disease Complications

Gum health probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear the word “braces,” but interestingly enough, tooth alignment does affect your chances of developing periodontal disease.

Twisted and overlapping teeth collect plaque and tartar faster than teeth in proper alignment do. It’s harder to keep these areas clean. By straightening out your teeth, you lower your chances of getting an infection.

Find out more about how braces can make a difference in your oral health by contacting your dentist for an orthodontic evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Dec
18

Treat Jaw Pain with Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

How is that even possible? Especially when braces come with the reputation for being painful in themselves. Despite the apparent contradiction, orthodontic treatment could be your key to relief from TMJ pain.

What’s Causing Your TMJ Problem?

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a very complex structure. It’s a combination glide and hinge joint made up of muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and fluid. When something goes wrong, it can be very tricky to determine exactly what it is.

TMJ issues have been linked to things such as:

  • Arthritis
  • A tooth-grinding habit
  • Stress
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Misaligned teeth

That last factor is what we’re particularly interested in, right now.

How Tooth Alignment Affects Your Jaw

It’s quite possible that because your bite is off just a little bit, your jaw is being unevenly strained.

Teeth that stick out from the rest can get in the way of your mouth closing together evenly. Encouraging those teeth back into proper position will take a good deal of stress off your jaw.

Effective TMJ Treatment

Because of how tricky it is to diagnose TMJ problems, it’s also difficult to prescribe the one single type of treatment. When you consider the possible contributing factors, you might find that it could be a combination of things.

For example, it’s very common to combine orthodontic treatment with a special mouth guar  or massage therapy to bring teeth back in line and take some tension off your jaw.

Suffering from jaw pain? Even a little discomfort can have a big effect on your life.

Call your dentist to schedule a TMJ evaluation and find out whether orthodontic treatment could help you out.

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

Nov
25

Is Fast Ortho Safe?

Posted in Orthodontics

For busy adults in our busy society, finding the time to have braces can seem like an impossible dream. Fortunately, almost any dental practice that provides orthodontic care also has some options for accelerating treatment.

It’s worth questioning, however, just how safe the process is. Straightening teeth is serious business. If done incorrectly, teeth can be permanently damaged.

So why encourage speeding up what is already a very delicate process?

Why Provide Fast Braces Options

As mentioned earlier, most adults just don’t have the time to spend years in braces and visit the office for adjustments. But everyone deserves the health and cosmetic benefits that braces provide!

Fast ortho makes the technology available to a wider variety of candidates. It’s worth mentioning that fast ortho is offered to adults and teens whose teeth are already developed. Rushing orthodontic treatment for kids whose jaws are still growing is never a good idea.

How to Speed Up Ortho Treatment

One method for speeding up ortho is by placing braces or a retainer on only the front teeth. These are the teeth that show in a smile. Focusing on just these teeth gets you the cosmetic benefits without taking all the time to adjust the back teeth, as well.

There are other ways to make even full braces treatment moves along a little faster:

  • Surgery to improve spacing between teeth
  • Propel Alveocentesis to boost bone’s natural remodeling process
  • AcceleDent to speed up the movement of teeth in braces

The right technology and techniques when coupled with careful planning can make your ortho treatment fast and safe!

Contact your local dentist or orthodontist for more information on the orthodontic options available to you.

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

Aug
19

Do I Qualify for an Alternative to Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

Maybe your dentist has been after you about straightening your smile for years – but you’re just not thrilled about the idea of wearing metal brackets and wires for over a year. Fortunately, you have a few options to choose from. One of these options may be just right for your smile.

Go Subtle with Tooth-Colored Brackets

Are you mainly concerned about how braces look? Some adults and teens worry that braces will give them a childish appearance. You can still get all the benefits of the trusted traditional orthodontic treatment without being a “metal mouth.”

Braces can often be placed with tooth-colored brackets and “clear” wires. This color scheme will ensure that your braces are not the first thing folks notice about you!

Discreet and Comfortable Trays

Invisalign aligners are popular among teens and busy adults alike. Some of the benefits of using trays to straighten your teeth include:

  • Removable for meals and hygiene
  • Barely-there appearance
  • Fewer orthodontic appointments

Short-Term Ortho for Those in a Hurry

Some types of special aligners and braces work quickly by targeting only a few teeth. You could straighten out the visible portion of your smile in a matter of a few months. This isn’t the right solution if you have serious bite issues, but for a quick fix with less hassle, a special aligner or accelerated treatment could be your answer.

The important fact to keep in mind is that no two orthodontic cases are alike. What worked for your friend or neighbor or that guy you read about on Google isn’t necessarily right for you! Your dentist will help you to figure out your orthodontic needs and get you started with references and suggestions that are tailored to your situation.

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

Aug
1

How Can I Find A Good Orthodontist?

Posted in Orthodontics

Making the decision to have braces is a big step in your life!

Braces can make a huge difference in the health of your teeth and gums. They can improve the way you feel about your smile. Depending on the severity of your case, braces can even make it easier to talk and chew.

Who do you trust to get you the results you need? Choosing a board-certified orthodontist is an important matter.

Get Recommendations

Begin by talking with your general dentist about orthodontists available in your area. Your dentist will be familiar with local orthodontic offices and can give you the most detailed information you need. Your dentist will also help you out in understanding what your orthodontic needs could be.

Ask friends and family members for recommendations. People you trust who have had braces should be able to give you an honest opinion about the care they received.

Shop Around

Don’t limit yourself! It’s okay to have orthodontic evaluations in multiple offices. Getting a “second opinion” doesn’t hurt. Interview a few orthodontists to find the type of braces and a fit that works well for you.

Do online research, make phone calls, and visit the practices. Orthodontic treatment will require that you make many trips to one office during the process. You should enjoy whom you’re seeing!

Consider More Than Cost

Orthodontic treatment usually costs the same across the board. Your insurance may stipulate specific benefits. Cost tends to vary by region; depending upon need and demand, treatment will be more expensive in some locations than others.

Don’t let cost alone be your determining factor. The personality and policies of an office could be what make your decision for you. Financing plans are usually provided.

Get started today by contacting your dentist for recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…