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

Dec
19

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

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

Sep
27

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.

Underbite/Overbite

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

Sep
22

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

Aug
3

Prepare for Your Child Getting Braces

Posted in Braces

You may feel overwhelmed as your child gets ready to start braces. But don’t worry – with these tips in mind, it’s easier than you think!

Your Child is an Active Participant

Kids are likely to cooperate with their orthodontic treatment when they realize that they can have a meaningful contribution. They’re proud to do something important!

When making decisions, try to include your child to the extent their maturity allows. At the very least, explain the treatment rationale in a way they’ll understand. This way, they won’t feel like they’re always a victim of circumstance.

Some aspects of orthodontic treatment allow room for personal expression. Let your child choose the colors of his or her bands and design the pattern on the retainer’s plate. A little creative freedom will help your child to find something enjoyable in wearing braces.

Stay Positive

While you may have some bad memories of orthodontic treatment you yourself have had, don’t let negative views discourage your child.

Avoid criticizing your son or daughter. They won’t do everything right and may need constant reminders, but make an effort to instill confidence in them rather than discouraging them about a lack of responsibility. Instead, offer to follow up behind them to clean areas they may have missed.

Show Your Support

Make your home a braces-friendly environment! Find a variety of cleaning devices that will make flossing easier on your child. Replace sticky crunchy snacks with healthier alternatives in your kitchen. Set up a rewards system that encourages your child to maintain a healthy smile.

The process may feel long, but the outcome will be worth it! For more tips on successfully getting your child through orthodontic treatment, see your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

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