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

Dec
5

What Makes Braces Stay on Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Once set in place, braces are more stable than you may think.

Braces: The Early Years

Only a couple decades ago braces were attached to teeth via metal bands wrapped around every tooth! How’s that for a comfortable bite? Later, advancing research yielded some new techniques for securing the brackets onto just the front of a tooth.

How do today’s orthodontists make braces stick to teeth?

Bonding The Brackets

First, the orthodontist will polish and dry your tooth to get a smooth surface. Next, the enamel is conditioned with a special gel to help it lock into the cement. Then, a bonding material is placed. Finally, the bracket goes onto the tooth. Its underside has a roughened surface which improves its grip in the cement.

After Bonding

Now that the brackets are in place, your orthodontist can position the arch wire. This strong metal wire is what guides your teeth into correct alignment. It stays snug against your teeth when tiny rubber bands lock it against the brackets.

You’re all set with new braces! Your orthodontist will periodically check your brackets and wires to make adjustments and ensure everything stays in place.

Keeping Braces In Place

It’s not easy to knock a bracket off your tooth. Still, you should aim to take special care of your braces. You’ll have to wear them even longer every time they get damaged!

Follow these tips to get the most of your treatment:

  • Brush and floss carefully to avoid decay
  • Wear a customized mouth guard if you play athletic sports
  • Avoid very chewy, stringy, gummy, or crunchy foods

Contact your local dentist for more information on everything braces!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

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

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

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

Jun
28

Are Braces a Smart Financial Decision?

Posted in Braces

Everyone wonders at some point whether orthodontic treatment is worth all that time and expense.

For the most part, dental insurance helps out a lot when it comes to orthodontic care, especially for kids. But if you or your child needs treatment that isn’t covered entirely (or at all) by insurance, you’re understandably hesitant about following through.

Why Get Braces?

Orthodontic treatment doesn’t just make teeth look nice. Straight teeth are aesthetically-pleasing but they are also critical to your oral health. This is because crooked teeth will trap more bacteria and are at risk for things like cavities and gum disease.

Straightening teeth now could save your family on thousands that might later be spent on root canals, extractions, crowns, and so forth.

How To Afford Braces

Here at the start of a new year when most insurance plans reset, is a good time to evaluate your situation. If you find that your current benefits aren’t meeting your family’s orthodontic needs, talk with your employer about selecting a new plan. You may even already have benefits you weren’t aware of. Analyze your insurance plan closely before you rule out orthodontic treatment.

Your local dental office or orthodontist most likely has some very flexible payment plans that they can offer you. You’d be surprised at how some careful planning goes a long way in making braces affordable. Get started by having an orthodontic consultation. Most of the time, these initial visits are free and will let you know how much treatment could cost.

In the end, getting braces could be the best decision you ever make. Talk with your dentist to find out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Jun
20

5 Problems Caused By Crooked Teeth

Posted in Braces

A few crooked teeth may seem harmless. They might even lend something cute and unique to your overall appearance. But in reality, they can pack a lot of trouble when it comes to your oral health.

Here are five common situations that can develop as a result of poor tooth alignment:

  1. Stain

While staining is usually harmless and impossible to avoid completely, you could reduce it by straightening your teeth. Overlapping and twisted teeth will pack stain in those hard-to-reach places.

  1. Gum Inflammation

Your gums are quick to react to the presence of bacteria and other irritants stuck between crowded teeth. If your brushing and flossing aren’t sufficient to clean the gum tissue around crooked teeth, you run a serious risk of developing gum disease.

  1. TMJ Disorder

Tooth alignment doesn’t always directly affect your jaw. But it’s worth noting that crooked teeth could cause one side of your mouth to bite sooner than the other. This uneven movement would definitely strain the joint in your jaw. Braces could help to ease tension in your TMJ, if you already suffer some discomfort.

  1. Cavities

Overlapping teeth are prone to collecting cavity-causing germs. Cavities are very contagious. The close proximity between crowded teeth means that they have more surface area for transferring harmful bacteria.

  1. Tooth and Restoration Fractures

When your teeth are in healthy alignment, they experience an even bite force. Put them out of line and they are likely to fracture under pressure. Crooked teeth may also put costly fillings and crowns in danger.

Talk with your dentist about an orthodontic evaluation to find out how treatment with braces can help you avoid such problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Town Center Dental
1110 State Route 55, Suite 107
Lagrangeville, NY 12540
(845) 486-4572

Jun
4

Can I Get Braces at My Regular Dentist’s Office?

Posted in Braces

These days, it’s becoming more common for people to get orthodontic treatment right in their own general dental office.

Your own dentist may even offer some procedures involving braces or aligners.

It sounds worth a try, but you’re still a little worried – is it a good idea?

Dentists And Orthodontists – The Difference

All orthodontists are dentists who have taken an additional two to three years of education to study the art of moving teeth. They get special training in providing orthodontic care to patients of all backgrounds. Most professional orthodontists are members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

An orthodontist has learned all your regular dentist has in terms of tooth anatomy and health. But he or she has chosen to spend more time in focusing on straightening teeth and correcting bad bites.

What does this mean for your regular dentist?

General Dentists Placing Braces

A lot of general dentists are getting extra training in specific types of treatment, so that they can offer more procedures to their patients. It’s a win-win situation because you get the convenience and the dentist can keep your business in their practice.

Yes, general dentists can offer braces. It simply depends on the dentist’s experience level. There are dentists who want nothing to do with braces and refer out all patients who need that kind of treatment. Then there are those who are up to the challenge! It’s all a matter of personal preference.

You should also know there’s no guarantee that ortho treatment will be cheaper in your regular dental office.

If you want to find out more about the orthodontic treatment your dentist offers, ask him or her about their experience with placing braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Chester Road Family Dental
11701 Chester Rd.
Chester, VA 23831
804-748-5105

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….