Dental Tips Blog

Feb
3

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Posted in Braces

You might be wondering: what is the science behind a bunch of wires attached to teeth?

How Braces Work

The problem of crooked teeth runs deeper than what you see when you smile. Each crooked tooth has a long root attached to it that rests in bone tissue. You can’t fix a twisted tooth without addressing the root and how it attaches to the rest of your mouth.

Interestingly, tooth roots are stronger than bone. If you put enough pressure on a tooth, it can move through the bone.

Braces put just the right amount of tension on a tooth. The goal is to carefully move the root through the bone at a rate that the bone can heal behind the tooth as it passes. That’s why getting braces is often a lengthy and precise process.

Why Do Braces Hurt?

All that pressure on your teeth is quite intense. Your teeth are designed to move in response to the pressure, but it isn’t an everyday thing. An orthodontic adjustment may cause you some discomfort for a few days until your teeth adjust.

What About Aligners and Retainers?

There’s a wide variety of teeth-straightening methods including lingual bars to removable aligner trays such as the Invisalign system. Depending on the individual case, these methods may be used after treatment with or in place of traditional braces.

Whichever stage of orthodontic treatment you find yourself in, the idea is the same: increase or maintain pressure on the teeth to move or keep them in place.

All orthodontic methods depend on the same fundamental way that teeth move. Which technique is right for you depends on your unique needs. Visit a dentist or orthodontist in your area for a braces consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Jan
28

4 Ways Invisalign Is Better Than Regular Braces

Posted in Braces

You may have heard of Invisalign as a barely-there method for straightening teeth. But how does it really compare with classic metal brackets and wires? Here are the four main advantages that make Invisalign a superior choice.

Invisalign Looks Better

Invisalign’s biggest appeal is the fact that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing braces. This spares you a year or two of trying to hide your teeth whenever you smile or laugh. It’s also a great way to gradually improve your oral health without anyone even noticing that you’re having orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign Makes Home Care a Breeze

The Invisalign system is a series of clear plastic trays that you can easily remove for cleaning. You can wash the trays in under a minute and then brush and floss your teeth as usual. This saves a lot of time compared with flossing around wires!

Invisalign Lets You Eat Anything You Want

Because the trays are removable, you don’t have to avoid the same foods you would if you were wearing regular braces. Metal wires can be damaged by chewy, hard, or crunchy foods, but those things are all safe to eat when you can just pop out the orthodontic trays.

Invisalign Can Fix Small Problems Fast

Would you like to just straighten a few front teeth? If you get metal braces, you might have to wear them on all of your teeth. But if you qualify for short-term Invisalign, you’ll see results quicker since it focuses on the problem areas first.

The Invisalign method does have its perks, but it doesn’t work for everyone. To find out which orthodontic option is right for you, schedule a consultation with a local orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Jan
27

4 Ways to Straighten Your Teeth Without Braces

Posted in Braces

Ever wished you could have a nicer looking smile? Crooked teeth can be a source of anxiety and self-consciousness. But maybe to you, getting braces doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

You may qualify for a few different options over conventional orthodontics. Ask your local dentist about the following alternatives to a straighter looking smile:

Veneers

Veneers can completely mask deep stains, rough enamel, and chips in front teeth. A veneer can also change the shape and size of a tooth. Simply placing one porcelain veneer may be enough to close up a gap in front teeth or make one slightly twisted tooth look straight. Most people get them in sets of 4-8 at a time.

Dental Bonding

Are veneers too invasive or out of your budget? Dental bonding may be a good alternative. Reshaping crooked front teeth with a little composite resin material can achieve a similar result.

The best part about bonding is that it’ll get you the fastest results possible; they’re ideal for one or two problematic teeth instead of addressing several at once.

Gum Contouring

Some people with crooked-looking teeth may actually have their gums to blame. Uneven gum tissue can give the appearance of a tooth being crooked or too short. A minor reshaping procedure could reveal a more even smile in just one appointment.

Invisalign

If your teeth need some orthodontic help but you still don’t want braces, then Invisalign braces may be your best option. This system involves a series of removable clear plastic trays which gradually nudge your teeth into their proper alignment.

These solutions aren’t necessarily right for everyone. If your teeth need a lot of orthodontic help, then you may not be able to avoid getting braces. But if a few cosmetic changes are all you want, then your dentist can explain these options to you in full.

Contact your dentist to learn more.

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

Jan
8

6 Steps to Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Healthy While Wearing Braces

Posted in Braces

When you pay special attention to your oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, you’ll avoid major problems and keep your mouth comfortable.

Here are six steps to maintaining the healthiest smile possible while wearing braces.

  1. Use an Interdental Brush

An interdental brush is perfect for loosening bits of food that may be stuck around your wires or brackets. Once they’re wiggled free, rinse away leftover debris with water.

  1. Floss Daily

Flossing is critical to dental health in general, but even more so when braces are involved. Use a floss threader to pull a piece of floss behind the wire so that you can clean around each tooth, or purchase a specially designed orthodontic flosser.

  1. Invest in a Waterpik

A water flosser may be especially useful if flossing around braces is a challenge for you. The stream of water blasts away plaque from around wires, between teeth, and helps reduce the risk of gingivitis.

  1. Brush from Every Angle

Angle the brush bristles against your gums, from above the brackets, and from below the brackets. Don’t forget the tops of your molars! Take your time brushing and make sure you brush three or more times per day.

  1. Rinse with the Right Product

Teeth and gums sometimes need a little extra therapeutic help beyond brushing and flossing. Using mouthwash after brushing can deliver benefits such as fluoride or antimicrobial action to the gums and teeth around your brackets. Ask your dentist or orthodontist which kind is right for you.

  1. Keep Your Appointments

By seeing your dentist and orthodontist at recommended intervals, you’ll stay on top of your dental health. X-rays and exams will help you identify and treat any new problems before they get too serious.

Get more braces care tips from your local dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Jan
7

What to Do When Braces Seem to be Cutting Your Mouth

Posted in Braces

Dental wax is one of the most effective ways to prevent painful sores from your braces. If used often and applied generously, it’s extremely helpful.

But with time, your lips and cheeks will “toughen up” and get used to the braces.

In the meantime, you may feel that the wax isn’t helping very much. It keeps coming off and the sores just aren’t healing. What can you do if your appliances are still giving you a hard time?

Swish with Warm Salt Water

A warm and gentle saltwater rinse is good for cleansing areas that have been scratched or irritated by orthodontic wires.

Antiseptic Numbing Gel or Rinse

Canker-X or Rinconol PRN are a couple of products that can provide relief. They dull the discomfort and protect injured spots for several hours after application.

Lip Protector

As an alternative to wax, you could try a single-piece lip protector. These are thicker plastic guards that cover the wires and brackets all at once.

Medication

You may need to take a pain reliever if your braces are causing you a lot of pain, especially after an adjustment. Ice is another good natural way to numb up gums, tooth roots, and sore spots.

Moisturizing Balm or Ointment

Sometimes, braces may chafe at the outer corners of your mouth in addition to the insides of your cheeks. If you have sores on the outside, they may need some special care. Try not to let them dry out. Apply a moisturizing balm or, even better, an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Keep your lips moisturized, too.

Ask your dentist or orthodontist for more tips on getting relief during your treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Jan
6

How Long Does It Take for Braces to Work?

Posted in Braces

There’s no set timeframe in which braces are guaranteed to work. It’s different for everyone due to a variety of factors. Most of these issues you can’t control, but there are some that you can.

Tooth Alignment

The more misaligned your teeth are, the longer it will take to straighten them out. It is as simple as that!

Teeth Grinding Habits

If you grind your teeth, even unknowingly, then the pressure could contribute to the way your teeth are positioned, lengthening your duration of orthodontic treatment.

Age

It’s easier to move teeth through younger bone. Kids and teenagers may see faster results with their braces than an adult would. But adult braces are always an option.

Oral Hygiene

This is where you probably have the most control over how long you’re in braces. Poor oral hygiene can create problems in your teeth that only lengthen treatment time. Following directions to avoid certain foods will also help your braces stay in good shape and come off sooner.

Accelerating Treatments

Some adults can elect to have specialized treatments that only align the front teeth, making it appear that they move faster. This can cut down on treatment time, because back teeth aren’t involved in the treatment.

Type of Braces

Certain orthodontic systems – like clear aligners or traditional braces – work differently, impacting the overall length of treatment.

When you first get braces, you may notice changes as early as a few months into treatment. By talking with your dentist or orthodontist, you can get an idea of roughly how long your individual treatment will take to complete.

In the meantime, take good care of your braces and teeth for the fastest results!

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

Nov
27

Braces Causing You a Headache?

Posted in Braces

It’s common to suffer from some discomfort after getting your braces adjusted. If you’ve got a headache from your orthodontic appliances, then you’ll be glad to hear that it’s only temporary. Your jaw may complain a bit as it’s coaxed into a new position, but it does adjust, with time.

Keep in mind, any jaw or head pain you suffered from in the past due to a bad bite can be done away with, thanks to braces.

In the meantime, however, you’re in desperate need of relief! Here’s what you can do.

How to Alleviate Pain from an Orthodontic Adjustment

  • Use an over-the-counter painkiller approved by your doctor
  • Take a painkiller such as ibuprofen right before your adjustment appointment
  • Avoid chewing and stick to a soft foods diet for a couple days
  • Apply a topical oral anesthetic gel to sore gums
  • Wrap your head in a warm compress to relax the muscles and joints in your jaw

Time to Switch Braces?

Some patients who wear braces are convinced that switching tooth alignment methods or stopping treatment altogether is the only way to get relief.

The best course of action, though, is to just be patient. The discomfort means that your orthodontia is doing its job right now. If you’re able to hang in there, you’ll have the uncomfortable part over with very soon. Quitting now will likely predispose you to TMJ headaches down the road due to misaligned teeth. Switching to another method of braces may only prolong the time that you have to wear them.

Talk with your orthodontist or family dentist to find out what can be done to make your orthodontic treatment as pain-free as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41
st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Nov
26

5 Dental Health Benefits of Braces

Posted in Braces

You know that a straight smile looks great on everyone. But having straight teeth isn’t just about appearances.

Correcting crooked teeth with braces has several great benefits for your smile health. Check out a few of these to help you decide whether orthodontic treatment could make a positive impact on your life.

1. Fresher breath

Braces may not feel so comfy while you’re wearing them, but you’ll be glad when they come off, leaving you with evenly-spaced teeth that don’t trap smelly food and bacteria debris. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean so you’ll enjoy having fresh breath to go along with a beautiful smile.

2. Decreased risk of tooth decay

Overlapping teeth create the perfect hiding places for acid and cavity-causing bacteria. Put teeth back into even alignment, and they will be less susceptible to decay.

3. Healthy gums

Crooked teeth can stress the gum line and cause tissue recession. Straightening crooked teeth removes that pressure on the gums and reduces plaque buildup along the margins, which can cause gingivitis.

4. Less stain

Because straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, they’re not prone to accumulating stain the way crooked teeth are. Braces don’t just straighten teeth but they help them stay white, too.

5. Comfortable bite

Did you know that crooked teeth may be the cause of that constant jaw pain or headache?

TMJ pain is sometimes connected to having a bad bite. Braces can even out your occlusion and remove a painful imbalance.

Find out more about the benefits of braces and which orthodontic options are right for you by scheduling a consultation with your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

Nov
26

Why DIY Braces Are Dangerous

Posted in Braces

What’s the appeal of at-home or DIY braces?

For some people, it’s about saving money. For others, it just looks like a cool trick to try. Kids are especially vulnerable since they may get curious about the idea when they encounter it on their favorite vlog or social network.

Why not give the gap band trick a try? What could it hurt?

It could hurt your teeth themselves, for one thing.

Here’s why you should pass on DIY braces in favor of visiting an orthodontist in person.

You could kill your teeth.

Homemade bands and wires can damage tooth roots and gums. If not the teeth you want to straighten, other neighboring teeth can be permanently damaged.

You would have no idea what’s going on below the gums.

Do you know exactly how far and fast your teeth can safely move?

Orthodontics is a science of precision and requires dental x-rays to diagnose and plan treatment.

What’s more, you could have a serious condition causing teeth to go out of line. Without a professional exam, you may never know the actual cause.

You’d lack the expert advice and real-live support of dental professionals.

Even those send-away kits don’t quite fill the need. The only guaranteed safe way to realign your teeth is with the help of an experienced professional’s one-on-one supervision.

You can wind up spending more money on repairs than it costs to get regular braces.

Dental implant versus braces . . . bridge versus retainer . . . gum surgery versus orthodontic adjustment . . . you do the math and decide what your smile is worth.

So save your teeth and save your money. Talk with your dentist about safe and cost-effect braces options.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Nov
19

What Happens if You Don’t Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions

Posted in Braces

Would it really be the end of the world if you were a little lax on the oral hygiene?

Here’s what could happen if you didn’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions when you’re caring for your new braces.

White Spots

Tooth brushing takes a little work if you have brackets and wires to work around. But you have a good reason to brush thoroughly. Plaque left on teeth around braces can decalcify enamel. When the brackets come off, your teeth are left with bright white “scars” where plaque was always left behind.

Extra Orthodontic Visits

Wearing braces may mean several months of no tortilla chips, gummy worms, bagels, and other beloved foods. If you aren’t careful about what you eat, however, you’re likely to damage bands and wires. That means taking off more time from your daily schedule to get your braces fixed.

More Cavities

You may be tempted to slack off on brushing and flossing around annoying wires. But that only allows more time for cavity-causing bacteria and acids to damage teeth. If you don’t carefully brush and floss, you could end up needing a handful of fillings and crowns on your newly-straightened teeth once the braces come off.

Spend More Time in Braces Than Originally Planned.

Following your orthodontist’s directions isn’t about just keeping your teeth pretty. Taking good care of your teeth and braces will help the ortho to do its job. Problems that come up as a result of neglect could mean that you have to start your treatment all over.

Follow up with your orthodontist to make sure your current oral hygiene routine will help you get the most out of your braces.

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

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