Dental Tips Blog


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


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


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


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


Straight Teeth Are Naturally Cleaner Than Crooked Ones

Posted in Braces

Crooked teeth are not a sign of low intelligence…or poor hygiene…or unattractiveness.

Many people are perfectly content with their less-than-perfectly-aligned teeth, and that’s perfectly okay.

But what everyone needs to know is that crooked teeth can potentially pose a health risk to gums and the teeth, themselves. This comes down to the fact that crooked teeth can’t keep themselves clean the way straight teeth do.

How Teeth Clean Themselves

Your teeth don’t groom themselves like animals do. They don’t even have a self-cleaning mechanism. However, your tongue, cheeks, lips, and saliva do the job for them.

But it’s when teeth are all in proper alignment, that they shed food debris more easily in response to your mouth’s natural movements.

Overlapping teeth trap food, gaps pack it in, and twisted teeth may collect debris at the gum line where it can’t be washed away. So it’s true that straight teeth kept in alignment will be naturally “cleaner” than crooked ones.

Clean Teeth = Healthy Teeth

Cleanliness isn’t just a matter of looks. When teeth are clean, they are less prone to disease. Dental plaque is made up of sticky biofilm and waste products from food. When plaque levels build on teeth, they cause all sorts of trouble: like gingivitis and cavities.

Crooked teeth, then, are more at risk for such problems because they hold onto more of that harmful bacterial plaque.

If you have a few crooked teeth, you may want to ask your dentist about your options for straightening your teeth such as invisible braces or other orthodontic treatments. At the very least, you will need to learn new ways to keep them extra clean and free of unwanted disease.

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


How to Get Relief if Your Braces Are Irritating Your Cheeks

Posted in Braces

Braces can sometimes be uncomfortable. Loose wires or bulky metal brackets may irritate your mouth and leave you with small, ulcer-like sores. These tiny wounds may not be noticeable to many others, but they interfere with your everyday life, making simple things like talking and eating very uncomfortable.

You have the option of just enduring the irritation for a couple weeks. Eventually, the small ulcers will heal and your cheeks and lips will develop callouses as they “toughen up.”

But you don’t have to suffer needlessly. There are a few ways you can get relief from braces pain right away.

Swish with warm salt water.

This remedy is relied on to relieve types of dental discomfort. The salt helps bring down swelling and promotes healing.

Have a popsicle.

Chewing on ice isn’t great for teeth, but slowly sucking on something cool like ice cream or an ice pop is a good way to numb sore tissues in your mouth.

Use Orajel.

An over-the-counter oral numbing medication can get you relief right away. Dab a little of the paste on sore spots and feel the sting just melt away.

Avoid painful foods.

Mouth sores will heal faster and feel much better if you avoid sour things that irritate them. Stay away from foods like tomato sauce and citrus fruits.

Place a barrier.

You’ll get immediate relief if you can put something between your cheeks and the brackets. There are many products out there, which you just wrap over the brackets and/or wires including:

  • Dental wax and silicone
  • ComfortBrace strips
  • Lip protectors

Ask your dentist or orthodontist about more products and methods that can help you get relief from sharp orthodontic appliances.

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


6 Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Posted in Braces

So you’ve got new braces! You probably already know that there are some things to avoid while you’re on the road to having straighter, healthy teeth. Here’s a list of common foods to avoid that you may not have considered – as well as a few alternatives to try!

Hard Breads – Italian/French bread with their tough outer crusts can damage the wires and brackets of your braces. Even pizza crusts can be a culprit. Instead try: Pasta (ravioli, spaghetti, etc.) – it has the carbs you crave, but a softer texture that won’t harm your braces.

Uncooked Vegetables – You may enjoy chomping on a raw carrot with some ranch dip, but they can pop a wire or bracket off. Instead try: steamed vegetables, which are softer, still delicious, and healthy!

Hard Chocolate and Candies – That chunk of hard or sticky chocolate covered caramel may be a nightmare for your braces. Instead try: soft desserts, like pudding or ice cream.

Tough Meats – Like beef jerky or bacon. If you’re a carnivore, you probably love these, but your braces won’t feel the same way. Instead try: softer meats like tender chicken or meatloaf, pot roast, or eggs to get your protein fix.

Hard Taco Shells – That tough shell can shove into small areas you least expect. Watch out for tortilla chips, as well. Instead try: nacho-free taco salad.

Popcorn/Nuts – if you’ve got the munchies, popcorn or mixed nuts may be your go-to snack. But they can cause serious damage to both your braces and your gums if you bite down on them the wrong way. Instead try: soft crackers or cookies, or softer fruit like bananas, grapes, and applesauce.

Need more information about how to care for your braces and teeth? Consult with your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


How Braces Can Improve Your Kid’s Oral Health

Posted in Braces

Straight teeth don’t just make your child’s smile look nicer, but they are also important to having a healthy mouth.

Here are just a few ways braces can improve your child’s oral health.

Fresher Breath

Crooked teeth trap bacteria and leftover food resulting in some pretty smelly breath. When teeth are straightened out, they’re easier to keep clean and free from debris that causes malodor.

Reduced Risk of Tooth Decay

Cavity-causing germs are hard to remove from teeth that are tightly overlapping. Sandwiched between teeth, these decay-triggers start cavities that may grow unnoticed for months.

Healthier Gums

Braces open up healthy spaces between teeth. When there’s a normal alignment of the teeth, it’s easier for brushing and flossing to do their job of preventing gingivitis and gum disease.

Brighter Smile

Properly spaced out teeth are less prone to developing stain. Your child will thank you for braces years down the road when they have a sparkling white smile!

Comfortable Bite

Your child may still need braces even though it doesn’t look like there are any crooked teeth. If his or her bite is off, this can eventually cause chewing and speech issues and even TMJ pain. Sometimes, braces are necessary to correct jaw positioning for a functionally aligned bite.

Wearing braces can make oral hygiene difficult for kids in the meantime. But with patience and diligent care, orthodontic treatment will result in a healthier smile for your son or daughter.

Your child may not appreciate the need for wearing braces, at this time. But orthodontic treatment now while they’re young could be the best thing you do for their adult oral health.

Ask your child’s dentist about scheduling an orthodontic evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224


Is Cosmetic Ortho Right for Your Teen?

Posted in Braces

Your teenage son or daughter has been complaining about their teeth for a while now.

It’s a small gap or twisted tooth that doesn’t seem to be causing any trouble.

The family dentist says it’s nothing to worry about as long as your teen keeps all their teeth clean and healthy.

But your son or daughter just wants an even smile they can show off with confidence.

Are they ready for a course of cosmetic orthodontic treatment?

See an Orthodontist

The first step is to see a specialist who knows everything about tooth alignment.

You want to make sure that your teen’s cosmetic issue isn’t connected to something larger. What may look like a little gap could actually be an anatomical problem with bite alignment. A couple overlapping teeth may even signify that wisdom teeth are coming in.

At the consultation, you’ll find out your teen’s best options for correcting tooth positioning.

Is Your Teen Physically and Mentally Ready?

When it comes to cosmetic orthodontia, the most popular route is a removable aligner or tray. These are commonly called invisible braces because the aligners are clear and barely noticeable.  Removable aligners require a little more self-discipline than traditional braces.

Your teen must be prepared for the responsibility of wearing the aligner as directed. Failure to comply can negate any progress made.

Another thing you have to consider is physical development.

Most kids’ jaws don’t stop forming until they’ve reached age 16, 18, or even older. Your dentist and orthodontist will help you determine an age-appropriate method for straightening teeth in a still-maturing jaw.

Weigh Your Options

In the end, a cosmetic issue may be resolved with something as simple as dental bonding. You just won’t know the right solution until you’ve discussed them all with your dentist or orthodontist. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


3 Simple Floss Alternatives

Posted in Braces

Is flossing more a form of torture than just a daily chore?

Some people genuinely have a hard time flossing.

Flossing challenges typically include:

  • Having fingers too large to fit in your mouth
  • Limited jaw opening
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Limited hand dexterity
  • Very crooked and tightly overlapping teeth
  • Braces or other fixed appliances

If you can relate to any of those, then you may need an alternative to the traditional method of flossing with a piece of waxed tape floss.

Try a Water Flosser

A powered flosser shoots a strong flow of water in a steady stream. You can angle it in any direction, keeping your hand outside your mouth the entire time. The water blasts away plaque and debris from tight and hard-to-reach places.

Water flossers are especially handy for braces since the water stream can rinse away bacteria from all sides of the brackets.

Use a Handled Flosser

There are some devices that look a little bit like a toothbrush handle, but instead of bristles there is a U-shaped prong that suspends a small length of floss. You can hold the handle like you would a toothbrush and reach the floss head to those back teeth your fingers can’t get to.

Long-handled flossers are good for those who can’t open wide enough to fit their fingers into their mouths.

Interdental Brush

When all else fails, an interdental brush is a great way to reach those spots between teeth. An interdental or proxy brush has a narrow tip covered in bristles that you can slide between teeth from the outside.

To make sure you choose a flossing alternative that’s right for you, call your dentist to book an exam.

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

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