Dental Tips Blog

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
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

Nov
27

Can My Kid Have Invisalign?

Posted in Braces

What’s not to love about getting straight teeth without all that metal in your mouth? You might notice that your son or daughter’s teeth are coming in a bit crooked. And now you wonder whether Invisalign is the answer.

What Your Child’s Teeth Really Need

Most kids need an orthodontic assessment by the age of 7 or 8. If treatment is needed at this age, it focuses on correcting issues in the bone, rather than teeth. It’s not until much later that full braces are considered.

Invisalign will only work once all of the adult teeth have come into place. So if your little one still has some baby teeth to lose, then they aren’t ready for Invisalign just yet!

The Responsibility of Invisalign

Invisalign trays only work when they are worn as directed. We’re talking some 23 hours out of each day. The aligners should only be removed when your child is eating or cleaning their teeth.

Some kids aren’t yet ready for this responsibility. The trays can easily be misplaced or forgotten. If your child can’t wear the trays almost constantly, then the treatment won’t be effective.

Invisalign can cost just about the same as regular braces. So you risk wasting a considerable expense if your child isn’t mature enough to use the trays properly.

Get a Professional Opinion

Start with a trip to your local dentist. He or she will help you get an idea of where your child is at in tooth development and give you recommendations for orthodontists or Invisalign dentists in your area.

Who knows? Invisalign could be just the thing! A professional evaluation will get you more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Ashley Dinh, DDS, PC
107 E Holly Ave #5
Sterling, VA 20164
(703) 430-6655

Nov
24

When is the Best Time to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

From age 7 to 70, all kinds of people have benefited from orthodontic treatment.

Are braces right for you? If you’re interested in straightening either your teeth or your child’s, then it’s important to consider the timing.

The Best Age for Kids to Get Braces

Kids should have their bite and tooth alignment evaluated by around the age of 7. At this point, an orthodontist can get an idea of whether there is enough space in the mouth for all the adult teeth as they come in.

If the orthodontist decides intervention is necessary, then the first stage of treatment will begin. This Phase I treatment should make braces much more effective.

The sooner you get your kids in for an evaluation, the easier it will be to correct problems.

When Other Treatment is Needed

As an adult, you may be interested in having braces placed on your own teeth. Straightening your teeth could be an important part of your own smile makeover. You’ll need to work with your dentist in prioritizing treatment.

Say, for example, that you have a fractured tooth in need of a crown. The crown should be placed first. A crowned tooth can be moved with braces.

Interested in an implant? That can only be placed after braces create a tidy space for it because an implant fuses to bone and cannot be moved with braces.

Begin with a Professional Orthodontic Evaluation

Did you know that most initial orthodontic consultations are free?

It doesn’t hurt to get two or more different opinions as far as which treatment is right and when to start it. Ask your general dentist about the orthodontic options available in your area.

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

Sep
20

Won’t My Kid’s Teeth Straighten Out By Themselves?

Posted in Braces

Like a lot of parents, you may worry that orthodontic treatment is:

  • “Unnatural”
  • Damaging to bone and tooth roots
  • Expensive

Whatever the reason, many folks are turned away from the idea of braces. They pin their hopes on the imagined chance that their children’s teeth will gradually and naturally straight out.

Is there any basis for this reasoning?

Normal Tooth Spacing is Age-Dependent

As the adult take over the places baby teeth once rested in, things get a little messy!

Permanent teeth grow in as the jaw expands. Some adult teeth come in before the baby teeth are out of the way. All of this change leads to some overlapping and big gaps.

For instance, the bottom front teeth often erupt towards the tongue. This can be a little alarming, but these teeth actually should straighten out on their own.

If most teeth can naturally even out, at what point are braces necessary?

Early Ortho Evaluations Save Smiles!

It’s a good idea for kids to visit an orthodontist by around the age of 7. This is a great time for the dentist to see how tooth development is progressing and anticipate how severe problems can be. At this point, a crooked bite is likely due to problems that just cannot correct themselves. Early treatment will focus on making sure that there is enough space in the mouth for all the adult teeth.

By getting orthodontic treatment as soon as possible, your child can avoid having more complicated treatment down the road. A healthy adult smile begins by correcting problems now!

Talk with your dentist for more information on why and when braces might be necessary for your child.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Sep
15

Which Come First – Braces or Restorations?

Posted in Braces

You’ve been thinking about getting braces for a while. But now your dentist is recommending that you have a few fillings or even a crown. Which procedure should come first?

Prioritizing Risks and Treatment

Surprisingly, braces are very important to your dental health! Crooked teeth tend to trap disease-causing bacteria and they’re harder to clean than straight ones. By evening out your smile with braces, you lower your risk for problems like cavities and gum disease.

However, it can be difficult to place fillings on teeth with wires in the way! If you have tooth decay, it cannot be neglected. It won’t do you much good to straighten teeth as they continue to decay.

Are Fillings and Crowns Affected by Braces?

Your teeth can still safely have orthodontic treatment even when they have fillings or crowns. Braces are attached onto the visible portion of the teeth and encourage the entire tooth to move through the bone.

A filled or crowned tooth is still a complete tooth, root and all. Dental implants, however, are a different story.

Braces Make Space for Implants

A dental implant is a special metal screw that heals and fuses into the surrounding bone. This cannot be moved with braces! It’s best to improve the spacing of your teeth with braces and later on, fill in the gap with a dental implant if that is your preference.

In short, braces are most effective when damage is repaired before beginning orthodontic treatment. After your teeth are gently nudged back into proper position, you can start making plans for filling in empty spaces, if needed.

Talk with your local dentist for more information on how to begin your own smile makeover!

Posted on behalf of:
Dona Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

Aug
9

What If I Have to Move During My Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Braces

You gave yourself the gift of a better smile by signing up for orthodontic treatment. When you began your treatment, you knew it was going to take some time. You prepared for that time commitment, but then life happened!

Most people don’t enjoy moving, but the need to change locations can come up quickly. What do you do if this happens in the middle of your treatment?

Switching treatment providers can be a little tricky, but don’t worry! It’s not impossible. You can successfully continue your orthodontic treatment with a little careful planning.

Do Your Research

First of all, look into which orthodontic treatment providers are available in the area you plan to move to. Ask your current orthodontist if he or she can make any recommendations. Do an online search. Make some phone calls. As you search, make sure to ask whether the office accepts transfer patients.

Gather Important Records

To successfully transfer offices, you’ll need copies of your initial records and treatment chart. Your next care provider can’t necessarily guess how to continue your treatment without documentation of what’s already been done.

There is a transfer form available from the American Association of Orthodontists that can assist in accurately conveying your records. If this form isn’t available at your current office, then try to collect your own list of records by asking your orthodontist about the following:

  • Current treatment plan
  • Present treatment stage
  • Recommendations for continued treatment
  • Size and type of wires presently in your mouth
  • Bracket slot size
  • Bracket type and prescription
  • Bonding agent or cement currently used

As soon as you have plans to relocate, talk with your dentist and orthodontist. With a little advance planning, you can make your treatment transition a smooth one!

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Jun
26

Are Braces Bad For My Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Thinking about getting braces for the first time?

You might even be wondering whether or not braces are worth the time and effort. Some people believe that braces will do more harm than good. Before you dive into orthodontic treatment, consider some information about braces.

How Braces Affect Enamel

Some people are worried about getting “white spots” on their teeth from braces.

What causes these?

The brackets and bands of braces don’t cause the white spots. But they can host harmful acidic plaque, which causes enamel demineralization. This demineralization makes tooth enamel look lighter.

The best way to avoid these white spots of demineralization is to work hard at keeping your teeth extra clean while wearing braces. Avoid sweet and acidic foods that contribute to demineralization, like soda.

Braces and Tooth Roots

Braces guide teeth into proper position by putting pressure on them. Because teeth are stronger than the surrounding bone, this pressure encourages the bone to reform around the tooth roots.

If teeth are moved with too much force too quickly, the tooth roots can suffer damage. But an experienced orthodontic provider will know just what your teeth need to be safely adjusted!

What You Can Do

Straightening your teeth doesn’t just improve their appearance. By getting your teeth in proper alignment, braces can help your teeth to stay cleaner and healthier and make your bite more comfortable. Braces are definitely worth it!

Excellent oral hygiene is a must if you want your teeth to be sparkling when the braces come off! Cooperate with your dentist’s directions to make your time in braces as short as possible.

Find out more today by scheduling an orthodontic consultation at your nearest dental office.

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

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