Dental Tips Blog

Oct
17

Everything You Need to Know to Take Care of Your Braces

Posted in Braces

Fast and successful orthodontic treatment depends almost entirely on how well you take care of your orthodontic appliances. Here’s a brief summary of all you need to know about braces care.

Avoid Food That Damage Braces

If you break your wire on a caramel apple or hard taco, then that will only add more time to your treatment. Stay away from those hard, chewy, sticky foods!

Drink Water

As much as possible, stick to drinking plain water. Other drinks tend to contain sugars or acids that stick to parts of your teeth hidden behind brackets and wires. These substances start the decay process.

Brush Often

Food and plaque buildup happen much more quickly on teeth when there are braces involved. Brush in the morning, before bed, and between meals to make sure your braces stay clean.

Put Effort into Flossing

When you have braces, flossing can be a pain. But there will likely never again be a time when flossing matters so much! Invest in a water flosser to make the chore easier.

Use Fluoride

The risk of enamel erosion and decay is high when you wear braces. Getting plenty of fluoride can help your teeth stay strong and avoid developing white spots when the braces come off. Use fluoride toothpaste and rinses then ask your dentist about professional fluoride applications.

Stay Comfortable

Making your braces as comfortable as possible will help you stick with your treatment.

Helpful pain-relief methods include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Putting ice on sore teeth or jaw
  • Oral numbing gel
  • Braces wax

Take good care of your braces and they’ll take care of your smile! Check with your orthodontist for more professional tips.

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

Sep
13

Do You Need Oral Surgery Before Getting Braces?

Posted in Braces

For some people, getting traditional braces isn’t as simple as they’d like it to be. You too may be one of the unlucky few who needs oral surgery before straightening your teeth.

Why might surgery be necessary?

To Expose “Canine” Teeth

Your canines (eye teeth) are very important. They are cornerstones for shaping your smile and the alignment of your other teeth. If you have a canine or two that isn’t in proper position, then it may be impossible to place braces. Oral surgery exposes unerupted teeth that are still trapped under the gums so that the orthodontist can attach braces to them.

Remove Extra Teeth

Did you know that it’s possible to be born with a mouth that’s too small for your teeth? Or to have extra teeth you don’t need? If that’s the case for you, then you might need to have one set (usually premolars/bicuspids) extracted. Oral surgery can also help you get rid of stubborn baby teeth. Surgical tooth extractions helps free up more space in your mouth.

Prevent Complications During Treatment

Do you have disease-prone wisdom teeth or a severely fractured tooth? They may need to come out before you can get braces. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to treat such teeth after you have appliances put in place.

Oral surgery may be necessary to restore your mouth to health before embarking on orthodontic treatment.

Rejuvenate Bone or Gum Levels

Your orthodontist may refer you to an oral surgeon or gum specialist to shore up weak areas in your mouth before the rigors of wearing braces.

Ask you orthodontist for more tips on how you can prepare for a successful course of orthodontic treatment.

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

Sep
13

3 Low-Visibility Braces Options for Adults

Posted in Braces

Braces aren’t just for kids and teens! Sometimes, older results can also benefit from orthodontic treatment just as much as adolescents!

But as a mature and established member of society, you’re duly concerned about your image. So the idea of wearing traditional braces might worry you, just a bit.

The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from if you’re interested in virtually-invisible braces.

Ceramic Braces

No one says braces have to be silver! You can opt for traditional orthodontia in a neutral and low-visibility color scheme. The brackets can be made from ceramic and the wires are clear or tooth-colored so that they blend in, too. People will have to look very closely to see that you’re wearing braces.

Brush carefully to prevent ceramic braces from picking up stain.

Lingual Braces

In defiance of conventionality, some orthodontists place the braces on the inside of teeth instead of on the front. Choose lingual braces and your teeth will gradually straighten out as if by magic. It’s very difficult for someone to notice wires attached to the inside of your teeth!

Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment for a reason. It’s probably the most comfortable and least-visible braces option out there.

Invisalign is a series of clear trays that you switch out every time your teeth adjust to the current one. You remove your trays for meals and so eating is just as normal as ever. You can even pop them out quickly for photos so that you can grin with only your natural teeth showing.

Is one of these invisible braces options right for you? Find out by contacting an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Sep
10

What’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

The “best” time to get braces varies from person to person. Here are some factors that help determine when you or your kids are ready for orthodontic work.

The Best Time for Kids to Get Braces

An orthodontist (tooth-straightening specialist) can evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if and when treatment is needed. For most kids, the earlier they start braces the faster and more minimal orthodontic treatment will be. That’s because the bone in kids’ jaws is still growing and remodels itself quickly.

Some children’s smiles don’t need orthodontic intervention until they have reached their teens. Orthodontists and dentists advise parents to bring their children in for an evaluation by the age of 7 to ensure there is enough time to plan for early intervention.

The Best Time for Adults to Get Braces

Even if your teen years are well behind you, it still isn’t too late to get braces!

Adults of all ages can be candidates for orthodontic treatment. The braces process can take a little longer in adults who have more mature bone in their jaws than kids do. But even older adults can get straighter smiles with the help of braces.

The best time for adults to get braces is:

  • When they have well established dental hygiene habits
  • When the jawbone is healthy
  • Before getting a dental implant or partial denture
  • After active decay and gum disease have been treated

Your dentist and a local orthodontist will help you find out if your mouth is ready for braces by taking x-rays and conducting an exam. Call today to schedule a braces consultation for everyone in your family, no matter their age.

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

Aug
6

What Happens When You Don’t Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer

Posted in Braces

Can you get away with not wearing your retainer? What can you expect if you don’t?

Your Teeth Will Shift

Your teeth are always on the move. They respond to virtually any kind of pressure from things like nail biting, wisdom teeth forming, and even the way your tongue pushes against teeth when you swallow.

As you age, you’ll continue to experience changes in life that can alter tooth alignment. Gum disease and thinning bone in the jaw can also affect tooth positioning.

If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth will be inclined to drift into their previous positions all over again.

Your Oral Health Might Take a Turn for the Worse

You originally had your teeth straightened for a reason. Crooked teeth increase the risk of gum disease, cavities, and jaw pain… you did your mouth a huge favor by getting braces.

Not wearing your retainer and letting your teeth shift into unhealthy positions will open you up to more dental problems in the future.

You Could Need More Orthodontic Treatment

You spent a lot of time and money on your original orthodontic treatment. If your teeth drift out of line because you don’t maintain them with a retainer, then you’re just throwing all that expensive treatment away.

What’s more, you’ll have to pay all over again for a new round of treatment to bring your teeth back into healthy alignment.

If you’re lucky, your teeth might be okay even if it’s been weeks since you last wore your retainer. As long as your retainer still fits, your teeth should be fine.

Wear your retainer as your orthodontist recommends, get regular check-ups and your smile should stay problem-free for years!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Aug
4

Braces vs. Invisalign—Which Is Right for You?

Posted in Braces

Both traditional metal braces and the clear Invisalign system are great methods for straightening up crooked teeth. But how do you decide which is right for you?

Consider the following.

Case Complexity

The very first fact you need to establish is what your teeth actually need. Some cases are too complex for a clear tray to fix. For example, teeth that are still stuck in the gums usually need to be nudged into proper alignment by brackets and wires.

You don’t have to rule out Invisalign altogether if you have very crowded teeth. It’s actually ideal for making small and fast cosmetic alterations to your tooth alignment. But don’t be surprised if a dentist recommends regular braces if they can get more done in less time.

Convenience

Braces are convenient in that you don’t have to remember to put them in or take them out. On the other hand, Invisalign appointments are usually much shorter than regular braces visits. Plus, it’s easier and faster to brush and floss when you have Invisalign compared with braces.

Comfort

When it comes to comfort, Invisalign is the clear winner. There are no sharp metal wires and brackets to deal with. You’ll also enjoy your meals more with Invisalign. You simply take out the trays to eat. Braces require avoiding a lot of specific meals and snacks to avoid damaging the appliances.

Aesthetics

Last but not least, think about how important appearances are when it comes to your orthodontic treatment. Braces are a high-visibility treatment option whereas no one has to know you’re wearing Invisalign. Fortunately, tooth colored ceramic brackets are always an option!

Contact an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist in your area to learn more about both orthodontic options.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Jul
28

Should All Teens Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

It seems like most kids and teens are wearing braces, these days. But does this pattern mean that all kids should go through a braces phase at least once in their life?

Why Teens Get Braces 

There’s one simple reason that you see a lot of teens with braces: the jaw bone in young people is more flexible and dynamic than that in adults. It’s easy to guide teeth into proper alignment before the jaw bone matures and firms up around the tooth roots.

Kids should have their first orthodontic consultation by the age of 7. This is a good time to anticipate and avoid common tooth alignment issues. That’s why you might notice some young kids in braces; early treatment can prevent the need for complex procedures later in life.

It is possible to get braces in adulthood. But many adults are glad to have gotten their orthodontic treatment over with in their teen years, since braces can be challenging for adults with busy work lives and family responsibilities.

Not Everyone Needs Braces 

Not all kids have to go through the braces phase. Some people are fortunate enough to be born with naturally-straight smiles.

The orthodontist makes treatment recommendations based on each individual’s needs. He or she looks at a child’s mouth to evaluate growth rate, tooth spacing, and bite patterns and then advises the appropriate treatment if needed.

Braces aren’t a rite-of-passage. Whether or not your child needs orthodontic treatment depends on their unique smile needs. If they do need treatment, you can be sure that now while they’re young is the best time to get started.

Schedule an orthodontic consultation for your child today.

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

Jun
19

6 Tips for Adjusting to Life with Braces

Posted in Braces

Getting used to your new braces can take a little time. These six tips can make the adjustment a bit easier.

  1. Use Orthodontic Wax

Molding orthodontic wax around your brackets and wires might feel a little odd at first, but it’s worth the effort to protect your mouth.

  1. Stock Up on Topical Numbing and Soothing Medications

A little numbing gel like Orajel or other soothing medication will get you some relief when your braces do tend to rub at your cheeks.

  1. Invest in a Powered Toothbrush and Water Flosser

Keeping your teeth clean becomes especially important when you have braces. To make your oral hygiene routine as easy as possible (while doing a thorough job,) buy an electric toothbrush and water flosser. These tools make it easy to quickly clean around the fixed wires.

  1. Stay Away from Crunchy Foods

You may want to empty your pantry of hard and sticky foods before you even get braces put on. Prepare plenty of soft food items beforehand. These can include: eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, and soups.

  1. Use Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents decay. It will help you avoid needing any fillings during the months of your orthodontic treatment and can also prevent white spots after the braces come off.

  1. Sip Sweets with a Straw

If you’re going to have a sweet drink like soda or juice, it’s best to enjoy it with a straw. This reduces the contact your teeth have with harmful sugars and acids. Pick up a reusable steel or glass straw to take with you on-the-go.

Ask your orthodontist about more tips for an easy life with braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Jun
19

5 Tips to Make Your Transition to Braces an Easy One

Posted in Braces

Getting braces is a major life change. The following suggestions will help you make the transition into orthodontic treatment as easy as possible.

Come Prepared for Your Appointment

You’ll have your mouth open for what feels like a long time. Prepare in advance by layering on some moisturizing lip balm. This will keep your lips from drying out and cracking.

Bring along a small pad of sticky notes and a pen. If you’re not able to talk during the appointment but need to communicate something, you can quickly jot out a note for the assistant or dentist.

Take a Pain Reliever in Advance

Some patients report being more comfortable during orthodontic appointments when they take a small dose of over the counter pain reliever beforehand. But you’re more likely to feel the discomfort in the hours afterwards, so taking medication after your braces are put on will still be helpful.

Keep a Supply of Ice in Your Freezer

Ice can numb gums and teeth that are sore after getting braces. Try popsicles and frozen wet cloths.

Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Food

Your teeth might feel too sore at first after getting braces to handle much chewing. Have your kitchen ready by stocking it with prepared soups, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, smoothies, and mashed potatoes.

Invest in Powered Toothbrushes and Water Flossers

Cleaning your tooth around the brackets and wires can be a real challenge. Difficult as it may be, you can’t slack off on oral hygiene or you’ll risk the health of your teeth and gums. Electric toothbrushes and water flossers can make your brushing routine a breeze.

Ask your dentist or orthodontist for more tips on braces care.

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

Jun
18

Is Invisalign Really Any Better Than Regular Braces?

Posted in Braces

Getting Invisalign sounds like the popular, fast, glamorous, and grown-up way to get a straighter smile.

Is it really any better than traditional braces?

Braces and Invisalign – Similar Yet Different

Braces and Invisalign are essentially the same in how they work on teeth. They both put pressure on key points to bring your smile into uniform alignment. Most dentists and orthodontists consider both procedures to be effective orthodontic methods.

What makes Invisalign and braces different? They each have their strong points that you should evaluate when you contemplate getting orthodontics. Your decision will be based on a mix of both your preferences and needs.

When Braces Are the Better Choice

Braces have a more uniform effect on all the teeth in the mouth. They’re stronger than Invisalign and can correct extremely complex cases. In fact, braces can even pull teeth up or down as necessary to reach the correct height. Invisalign is a bit more limited in that area.

What Makes Invisalign Better?

Invisalign is the winner when it comes to comfort and convenience. While you’ll still have to wear the clear retainers almost 24/7 to get results, you can take them out for simple cleaning and easy mealtimes.

Invisalign is perfect for correcting cosmetic issues in your front teeth quickly and more subtly. It’s also a good solution for correcting teeth that after traditional orthodontic treatment.

It’s pretty clear that neither Invisalign or braces is always the better option. To find out which one is best in your case, however, you’ll need professional advice. Contact a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist in your area to get started.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

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