Dental Tips Blog

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

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

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