Dental Tips Blog

Feb
16

Should You Get a Filling Before or After Getting Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

Has it been years since you had a dental checkup? That first trip to the dental office can leave you with a to-do list of procedures. If you end up want both braces and needing a filling or two, which should come first?

It’s preferable (and usually more urgent) to treat decay before straightening teeth for a few reasons:

  • It’s easier to treat teeth without appliances in the way
  • Decay then won’t have the chance to spread to other teeth
  • Orthodontics can often be delayed, but treating tooth decay can’t

Braces are worn for around a year and a half. For some patients, even longer. There’s a good chance that you could develop a cavity or two during that time. 

What Then?

If necessary, most basic dental fillings can be done during orthodontic treatment. Although it’s not ideal, your orthodontist may be able to remove the wire and a bracket or two to let your dentist access teeth needing treatment.

Before Getting Braces

Get a complete professional tooth cleaning complete with x-rays and a gum exam. This will alert you to any underlying issues that could suddenly pop up while wearing braces. Ask your dentist about dental sealants, too. These can prevent cavities from forming on chewing surfaces.

While Wearing Braces

Your teeth will be more vulnerable to decay while in braces, since all of those extra surfaces can harbor bacteria. Reduce your risk of cavities by brushing several times a day. Use a flossing method that’s so easy for you that you’re willing to do it every day. Lastly, boost your fluoride use to strengthen all enamel surfaces.

To get an idea of your individual dental needs, schedule a checkup with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Feb
12

How Do You Fix an Overbite or Underbite?

Posted in Orthodontics

An overbite is when the top front teeth which normally overlap the lower ones do so to a deep degree. This can be so extensive that the lower teeth are barely visible in a full grin.

Underbite refers to when the opposite happens: the lower front teeth close over the upper ones.

Both of these conditions can fall under the category of a “bad bite.”

Underbites and overbites are common in children and some individuals hold onto this jaw alignment well into adulthood. While mild cases might not seem so bad, there are some inherent risks:

  • Greater likelihood of having crooked teeth
  • Uneven wear on teeth
  • Strain on the TMJ
  • Issues with keeping teeth and gums clean
  • Speech problems
  • Facial distortions
  • Low self-esteem

If you or your child is living with either an underbite or overbite, you probably want to find a reliable solution.

Whatever you do, NEVER attempt any at-home or DIY treatments you may hear about! DIY braces are a recipe for trouble – perhaps even danger. It’s always best to consult your dentist or an orthodontist for practical solutions.

Underbite

Young patients often benefit from a palatal expander which gradually encourages the upper teeth to match the alignment of the lower ones. Older patients are usually candidates for corrective surgery. “Facelift dentistry” is a cosmetic solution for a lot of adults with mild underbites.

Overbite

When correcting teeth in an overbite, braces are the preferable option for kids. Adults usually enjoy the results of using an invisible aligner.

To find out which orthodontic option is right for your family’s situation, start out by talking with your orthodontist.

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

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

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