Dental Tips Blog

Aug
2

Teeth Bleaching with Braces – Is it Possible?

Posted in Braces

Imagine putting a fresh coat of paint on your living room wall without first removing the pictures you’ve hung there…That’s what it can be like to whiten with braces!

Brackets cover up portions of the enamel and prevent them from lightening. When the braces come off, those covered spots can show up as dark ones. These areas can be spot-treated with bleach later, but you might still end up with uneven results.

The Painful Downside of Teeth Whitening with Braces

All teeth bleaching chemicals carry the risk of irritating gums and sensitive teeth. Your teeth tend to be more sensitive than usual when you wear braces. Whitening during orthodontic treatment may only add to possible discomfort.

For example, plaque buildup around braces can trigger gingivitis. Braces may occasionally cause a little gum recession, exposing sensitive tooth roots. A bleaching chemical may sting those tender areas.

Should You Whiten with Braces?

Bleaching your teeth while wearing braces is possible, especially if your dentist makes you a custom tray. But it’s not guaranteed to get you the results you want.

The surest way to a whiter smile is to maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Plaque and food stain is the main cause of discoloration, so daily brushing and flossing will help. A whitening toothpaste also works well since it buffs away surface stains. Bleach after the braces come off to save money and get even results.

Consult a dental professional before you attempt to whiten your teeth. This way, you can make sure you bleach safely and effectively. If you don’t want to wait for the ortho to come off, ask your dentist or orthodontist for smile-brightening suggestions.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Aug
1

What Is the Best Age to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

Getting braces is an investment of your personal time. You want to make sure that you or your child has them put on at just the right moment, for the most efficient process possible. Here are a few factors that will help you determine the best time to invest in orthodontic therapy:

Fast Results in Youth

Kids and teens have young, developing, healthy bone that heals quickly. This allows teeth to move rapidly into new positions. Adult’s usually are not as responsive.

Responsibility

Some orthodontic treatments depend a lot on home care and following instructions. If your child isn’t old enough to wear a retainer or alignment tray as directed, then he or she may need to try another method or wait a few years.

Get an Early Consultation

When it comes to kids, the sooner they have an orthodontic consultation, the better. An orthodontist can take a look at current tooth alignment and anticipate future problems. Experts agree that age 7 is the ideal time to determine what a child’s bite alignment needs are.

If braces are necessary, then putting them on at around ages 10-14 is ideal. In some rare cases, kids need an earlier phase of appliances to make treatment in the teen years a bit easier.

Age Isn’t Everything!

When it comes to getting braces, one thing is certain: it’s almost never too late! You can still straighten your teeth even if you’ve never had a chance before now. And clear aligners like Invisalign make having braces less noticeable. Though your teeth may not move as fast as those of a younger person, braces for adults can still get you the beautiful results you want.

Talk with a dentist or orthodontist near you to find out how braces can improve you and your family’s smiles.

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

Jul
15

Will Braces Change the Shape of Your Face?

Posted in Braces

One common belief is that braces may negatively change the shape of your face.

Is there any truth to that idea?

How Braces Improve Facial Structure

Getting braces isn’t the same as facial surgery.

Some people find that something they don’t like about their face is linked to the shape of their smile. Braces can correct some facial profiles by:

  • Bringing in an under-jetting jaw to elongate the face
  • Relax an upper lip and fill in sunken cheeks caused by an overbite
  • Helping lips close smoothly over front teeth

Keep in mind that these changes are only noticeable in cases of extremely crooked teeth.

What About Unwanted Changes?

People have complained about a changed face in the past due to having bicuspid teeth removed.

You’ll be happy to hear that this is not a common aspect of getting braces. Teeth only need to be pulled if the jaw is literally too small to comfortably contain all teeth that come in.

Ultimately, if there are any changes to your face after braces, they are likely to be subtle improvements. A very gentle rebalancing, if you will, that naturally follows when teeth are tucked into healthy alignment.

So why bother straightening teeth, at all?

Straight teeth are about far more than cosmetics. Crooked teeth can lead to other oral health issues including:

  • Increased risk for decay
  • Increased likelihood of gum disease
  • TMJ stress
  • Gum recession

Many people opt for orthodontic treatment if it means a healthier smile.

If you aren’t sure whether orthodontic treatment is right for you, consult a couple orthodontists in your area to get different opinions. Initial consultations are usually complimentary. Ask your local dentist for recommendations.

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

Jul
12

Straighten Your Smile Without Braces – How?

Posted in Braces

Almost everyone would like a straighter smile. But very few adults look forward to getting braces put on.

By way of a disclaimer and warning, you won’t find any DIY orthodontic techniques here. Those are dangerous and we encourage our patients to stay far away from such ideas!

Here you’ll find a few options for tidying up your smile in a completely metal-free manner.

Dental Bonding

Your solution could be as simple as patching up a tooth with a little tooth-colored filling material.

Dental bonding can be used to straighten teeth in an optical illusion kind of way. If you only need to close up a little gap, then a dab of bonding material could give you a brand-new look in a matter of minutes.

Veneers

Dental veneers take the dental bonding idea a step further.

Veneers are very thin layers of porcelain placed over teeth, usually replacing a thin uniform layer of enamel on the front of a tooth.

A veneer can be made thicker on one side than the other to give a twisted tooth the appearance of being straight.

Invisalign

The best way to tackle tooth alignment issues sans metal is to go with a clear aligner. A graduated tray system like Invisalign allows you to gradually nudge a few teeth into a more aesthetically-pleasing alignment.

Invisalign is great because it’s discreet, but it’s also removable. You can take out the trays for meals and any time you don’t want to chance them showing up in your smile during a photo.

Ready to try out braces-free tooth alignment?

Ask your dentist for a professional opinion to find out whether a braces-alternative will get you the smile of your dreams.

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

May
20

Is It Possible to Be Too Old for Braces?

Posted in Braces

You’ve finally reached your goal of retirement, and are motivated to get that perfectly straight smile of your dreams. If straightening your teeth is your top priority, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s nearly impossible to be “too old” for orthodontic treatment.

Age – It’s Just a Number!

Straightening teeth can be done at virtually any age. Orthodontics is the practice of guiding teeth through bone into a better position. As pressure is applied to the teeth, they push against the bone which reforms around the tooth root to fill in the changing space.

This natural process happens at all ages of life.

Children often need orthodontic evaluations by about age 7. This allows the specialist to check for potential tooth alignment issues. Early treatment can mean less time in braces as a teen.

But adults of all ages want to get straighter teeth. Fortunately, there are many discreet and fast-acting methods available including invisible braces that use clear dental aligners and other systems that can achieve excellent results in six to twelve months.

Considerations Before Getting Braces

Your actual age isn’t a limiting factor as much as your oral health. If your mouth is already plagued with untreated cavities or gum disease, practicing good oral hygiene will be even harder with braces. If you have a stellar brushing and flossing habits now, then you may be a candidate.

What about dental work? Teeth with fillings and dental crowns can be moved, but the same can’t be said of fixed dental bridges and dental implants. Also, if you have a partial denture, you’d have to get it remade later on, since it won’t fit your teeth after treatment.

An orthodontist will discuss whether any medications or health conditions may affect the ability of your jaw bone to respond to braces.

Find out whether you qualify for treatment by contacting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

May
13

3 Teen-Friendly Orthodontics Options

Posted in Braces

Teens are the most likely orthodontic patients, since tooth alignment and jaw development are still evolving and hasn’t yet completely formed.

If you have a teen who has a misaligned smile, then you know how concerned they feel about their image. Most kids don’t care for the look and feel of braces. If your child dreads getting orthodontic treatment, then he or she may be a candidate for one of the following “no braces-look” options:

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces work similarly to traditional orthodontics, except that they go on the inside of the teeth instead of the outside. These braces take some getting used to and can be tricky to clean. But the main benefit is that they won’t be visible in your teen’s smile.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a famous metal-free braces option. It involves clear trays that gradually coax teeth into proper alignment. Your teen will have to be responsible enough to wear the trays as directed for the best results. Aligner trays are removable for meals, photos, easy cleaning, and oral hygiene.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are a good economical choice if your teenage son or daughter wants an option with low visibility. Ceramic brackets and tooth-colored wires can hide the fact that your teen is wearing braces.

Which Ortho Option Is Right for Your Teen?

Which kind of braces is right for your teenager depends on their maturity, confidence, and oral health needs. Invisible braces may not be sufficient to correct your child’s tooth alignment problems. Prepare your teen to accept whatever method is best for their case.

To find out what your family’s options are, schedule a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-969

Apr
22

Top Five Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

Posted in Braces

The better you take care of your braces, the less time you’ll have to wear them. That’s why you want to avoid foods that are likely to damage orthodontic appliances.

Here are five of the worst foods for braces:

  1. Tortilla Chips

Crunchy tacos and corn chips fall into this category, as well. Those crispy bits are like little daggers that wedge themselves between teeth and wires.

  1. Taffy & Gummy Candy

Any chewy or sticky candy is off-limits. Not only can they “pull off” brackets, but they can encourage tooth decay by sticking around a long time.

  1. Crunchy Grains

Cooked oatmeal is a great breakfast for anyone, braces or no. But watch out for crunchy dried sweets like cookies or granola, which are studded with firm grains.

  1. Popcorn

Shells, hulls, husks, whatever you want to call them, those annoying little pieces are a thousand times harder to deal with when you have braces.

  1. Pretzels & Nuts

These delightfully salty snacks have to be kept off the table if you want to keep your braces safely on your teeth.

Taking a look at the above list, it’s clear these are all foods that cause problems because of their texture. Hard foods can damage braces and chewy ones can get stuck in them.

But you’ll also notice that there are ways to enjoy your favorite foods without endangering your braces. A few substitutions and are all it takes. Choose soft tacos over hard ones. Have chocolate pudding instead of a chocolate bar. Cut up pizza and bagels into chewable pieces. French fries are still on the menu even when chips are out!

Get more tips on making the most of your braces by talking with your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

Mar
27

Gap Between Front Teeth – Why it Happens and How to Fix It

Posted in Braces

It’s cute in little kids, but it can be a problem for self-image if it sticks around into adulthood: that gapped-tooth smile.

The good news is that this condition isn’t harmful. It’s purely a cosmetic issue. If you’re happy with the way your smile is, then that’s great.

But if you want to make a transition to a more “grown-up” look, then keep reading.

Why Gaps Happen

In childhood, it’s very common – normal, in fact – for emerging adult teeth to come in at awkward angles. These usually even out from the pressure of other teeth coming in around them.

Once in a while, however, things don’t go as planned.

A few reasons include:

  • Missing teeth on either side
  • Teeth are undersized or the jaw is too large
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-thrusting while swallowing
  • Tissue connecting the lip to the gums comes down too low between teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tight muscles between the teeth

As you can see, some causes are purely developmental while some are a result of pressures in their environment.

How To Bridge The Gap

Your first step should be to visit your local dentist. He or she will help you figure out what may have caused (or be causing) your smile gap. If it’s something like gum disease, that will need urgent treatment.

Without treating the underlying cause of the gap, then treatment may not work.

A few solutions for correcting gaps include:

  • Braces
  • Invisible aligner trays
  • Veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bonding
  • Reshaping gum tissue and attachments
  • Implants or partial dentures to replace missing teeth
  • Trimming tight muscles around the teeth

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from if you want to enhance your smile. Contact your dentist to find out which one is right for you.

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

Jan
4

4 Braces Alternatives to Suit Your Busy Lifestyle

Posted in Braces

You’d love to have a straighter smile, of course. You know that there are many health benefits to getting braces. But you also know that you just don’t have the time to care for full set of wires and brackets. Besides that, you’re looking at an average of two years of treatment.

Happily, you’ve got some other potential options to consider.

  1. Retainers

If your teeth don’t have far to go, the simple and cost-effective alternative is to just wear a retainer. Retainers are typically meant to hold teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. But with orthodontist approval, you may be able to just use a retainer on its own.

  1. Clear Aligners

Invisalign is probably the most well-known brand of clear dental aligners. Aligner trays are custom-fitted to hug each tooth and encourage teeth into straighter alignment. These nearly invisible trays are removable, making for convenient cleaning and eating. Treatment can last as long as braces, but that depends on how complicated your case is.

  1. Six Month Smiles

This is a faster version of braces that focuses on correcting just the teeth that show when you smile. Wearing Six Month Smiles or other types of “Fast Braces” may get you results in as soon as four months, but it usually takes six to eight. This procedure uses “clear” materials for low visibility.

  1. Veneers

As long as your tooth alignment issues don’t pose any health risks, you may be able to take the fast cosmetic route. A couple of well placed veneers can provide a false front that makes your teeth look wider, smoother, whiter, and more even. A single veneer is an instant fix that takes only two visits to complete.

Talk with your dentist to find out which orthodontic method is right for you.

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

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

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