Dental Tips Blog

Dec
12

Are Braces Uncomfortable?

Posted in Braces

Granted, having metal wires on your teeth is not going to be a natural sensation, in the beginning. But it is something you can get used to.

Getting Braces – Does It Hurt?

The process of getting braces put on your teeth is not as bad as you might imagine. Your orthodontist applies a little conditioner to your freshly-polished enamel. This process helps the cement attach a little better. Then, the brackets are secured in place. Lastly, a wire is laced through the brackets and fastened with rubber bands.

You may feel a little discomfort in the early days of wearing braces. As that wire is first set, your teeth will resent the pressure. Just be patient as you adjust. Most patients get used to their orthodontics within a week of having them placed.

What To Do When Braces Hurt

If you seem to be experiencing more discomfort than you can tolerate, it’s usually recommended to take a painkiller; whatever you usually take for a headache is enough. Check with your doctor and orthodontist first for recommendations.

What about if the brackets are chafing your cheeks and lips? That’s a very common problem and happily, it’s easy to fix. Your orthodontist or local drugstore can supply you with some dental wax that can be molded to fit over any sharp metal pieces. It can take a bit of time before your mouth becomes accustomed to having a few rough areas of orthodontic appliances inside.

Sometimes your gums can get a little sore from gingivitis if you’re not brushing well enough. Just be patient and take care to floss!

Visit your orthodontist and local dentist regularly throughout treatment to keep your braces feeling as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279

Nov
30

When Should My Child Stop Using a Pacifier?

Posted in Braces

Are you wondering when your toddler needs to give up their pacifier? Preferably by age 2 and definitely before 4. Extended use of a pacifier can create long-term problems.

What kind of problems?

A higher, narrower palate, which is now being linked to issues with the airway like snoring and sleep apnea.

Misaligned teeth: Before age 2, the teeth should self-correct. After age 4, the permanent teeth underneath have already been influenced and your child is more likely to need orthodontics as a teenager. 

“How can we make the pacifier go bye-bye?” 

Cold turkey

Your kiddo lost his? Just don’t replace it – especially if he doesn’t seem to miss it that much. Sounds mean, but isn’t, if done with a dose of kindness. 

Trading

Some parents will bargain with their children or have the “Pacifier Fairy” visit to make a trade. One pacifier = one prize (often something cuddly like a blanket or stuffed animal that can still provide comfort to the child in a way that the pacifier once did).  

Praise

Tell your child how proud you are of him for each night that no pacifier is required for bedtime. 

Weening

Reduce the times that pacifier-use is allowed until it is only used at bedtime, then only on occasion to not at all. 

When should the dentist get involved? 

  • See a dentist when your child’s teeth start erupting or sooner, if there are issues that you are concerned about.
  • Get a full screening of your child’s mouth to make sure the teeth are developing properly as well as the palate, jaws, and airway space.
  • Hear ideas for how to best halt your child’s pacifier use.

Your dentist is your best resource for preparing your child for a lifetime of excellent oral health!

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

Aug
7

Are Your Braces Causing White Spots On Your Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Most orthodontic patients are concerned about getting white spots on their teeth. These lesions look like ghostly shadows of your braces after you get them removed.

White spots are very common and hard to avoid entirely. But on the plus side, you do have a lot of control over how badly you are affected.

These white patches are shallow areas of demineralized tooth enamel. The enamel dissolves, turns chalky white, and becomes prone to developing a cavity.

What dissolves enamel?

Acids produced by bacteria are primarily to blame. The demineralization process happens when four elements are in place:

  1. A tooth surface
  2. Acid-producing bacteria
  3. Carbohydrates for the bacteria to eat
  4. Time for the bacteria to multiply and do their dirty work

Actually, this process affects all teeth in all people – not just those with braces. 

So what part do braces play in all of this?

It’s simply the fact that brackets provide a little extra protection for those acidic germs hiding out in your plaque. Your tongue and lips do a great job at keeping your teeth clean. A toothbrush and floss take care of the rest.

But throw in some metal and ortho cement, and getting your teeth perfectly clean becomes a more tedious process.

It’s easy to miss spots above and around brackets when you brush. You know what a strain it can be to floss around braces, too! If you miss the same area often enough, the plaque will accumulate and wear away the enamel in that spot. When the braces come off – voila – a white spot.

To minimize or avoid white spots altogether, keep your toothbrushing game strong. It also helps to visit your dentist throughout your treatment for frequent professional cleanings.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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

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
7

At What Age Should My Kid Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

In actuality, there’s no set age for kids to start orthodontic treatment.

However, most orthodontists would agree that kids should have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. What makes this age so important?

Phase I and II Treatment

Treatment for straightening teeth is usually broken up into two parts for kids: Phase I and Phase II. In Phase I, the orthodontist will provide treatment geared towards creating space in the mouth for adult teeth.

At around 6-8 years of age, kids can expect to have a fun mix of adult and baby teeth in their mouth. It’s a good time to take a routine x-ray to make sure all the adult teeth are present and developing properly. It’s also a good time for the orthodontist to gauge what sort of help is necessary to correct any developing problems.

Spacers are often recommended during Phase I therapy. This will help prepare the mouth for Phase II.

Phase II concentrates on coaching the teeth themselves into proper alignment with braces. Don’t worry – just because your little one has a mixed bunch of teeth right now doesn’t mean they need braces right away!

Prepare Now!

Whether your child will need braces or not, they’re going to benefit the most from a diligent oral hygiene routine. Get them brushing and flossing on their own as soon as you can and help them make this a daily habit.

If your child needs braces later on, he or she will be ready to make treatment a success! Talk with your child’s dentist for more information on when to have an orthodontic evaluation.

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

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
23

What Do Braces Actually Do?

Posted in Braces

Getting a basic understanding of how teeth move can help you feel a bit better about what’s going on in your mouth!

How to Move Teeth

Interestingly, moving whole teeth through the bone is not as gruesome a process as it may sound. Your body has a natural response to pressure on teeth, and braces take advantage of this process. The ligament around a tooth root signals the surrounding bone to start a break-down process when force is applied. When the pressure is released, the bone begins a rebuilding process.

With gentle pressure over time, braces actually help reshape the bone around your teeth as they slide into place.

The Components of Braces

Brackets – Cemented onto the teeth and made of metal or ceramic. They act as secure anchoring points for moving teeth with an arch wire.

Arch Wires – The long wire that runs through the brackets, following the arch of your teeth. This is what works the magic of coaxing your teeth back in line.

O-Rings – Rubber bands that wrap around the bracket, securing the arch wire in place. They are changed at most visits, allowing the freedom to choose colors of your own liking.

Other components such as elastics, springs, headgear, retainers, and spacers may be part of your treatment to make it quick and effective.

Braces for Every Situation

No two cases are the same! Braces can be placed for different reasons such as:

  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Correcting spacing issues
  • Creating space for an implant

There is a technique and tool for every type of tooth movement. An orthodontist can tell you the best and fastest way to straighten your smile. Schedule a consultation to get started!

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

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