Dental Tips Blog

Dec
30

Does it Hurt to Wear Braces?

Posted in Braces

It’s one of the first questions that pops into your head when you’re told you need orthodontic treatment: will getting braces hurt?

Braces can be uncomfortable early on. After all, they usually consist of bonded wires that nudge your teeth 24/7. But managing braces pain is surprisingly easy.

Discomfort After Braces Are Put On

Your tooth roots and gums will likely be sore on the day you get your braces put on. The wires will be pulled snugly to start the process of moving your teeth. It can take a few days for your mouth to get used to that kind of pressure.

In the meantime, you can minimize the discomfort in the following ways:

  • Eat soft foods for a day or two after each braces adjustment
  • Take a painkiller your doctor approves
  • Rub ice over your aching tooth roots and gums

Pain from Braces Wires

Braces can also cause an unpleasant sensation when the ends of the wires poke into your lips, cheeks, or gums. Ask your orthodontist if they can possibly be clipped shorter or doubled over into a place where they won’t bother you.

For wires that can’t be fixed, you can try padding them with orthodontic wax. Apply a topical numbing jelly to sore spots in your mouth. Swishing with a little warm salt water can also cleanse and soothe small injuries from orthodontic wires.

For the most part, braces don’t hurt. They will apply a constant yet gentle pressure on your teeth until they end up in the right position. This process can be one that you’ll adjust to quickly with the help of your orthodontist.

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

Dec
28

6 Signs You Need Braces

Posted in Braces

Has anyone ever told you that you might need braces? Here are six signs that you could potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment.

  1. You Have Crooked Teeth

Twisted teeth are the most obvious sign that you need to consider getting braces. Different methods of orthodontic treatment can fix anything from a single crooked tooth to a whole row of misaligned teeth.

  1. Your Teeth Are Tightly Stuck Together

Very tight teeth are hard to keep clean, so they collect stain, food, and tartar faster than other teeth. Braces can open up healthy and comfortable spaces between your teeth.

  1. You Grind Your Teeth

Braces aren’t the cure for everyone who grinds their teeth, but they can help if uneven tooth alignment is the cause behind your grinding habit. You may be clenching and grinding them without realizing it if they don’t line up properly.

  1. You Have a Tooth Tipped Over

Are you missing a tooth? The tooth behind the empty space may have tipped over to fill in the gap. This tipped-over tooth is now prone to gum disease and decay. Straightening it out with braces will put in a safer position.

  1. You Have Gum Recession

Could receding gums mean that you need braces? It could if your gums are receding because of uneven pressure on particular teeth. Teeth that are tipped out of alignment can put a strain on the gum tissue and trigger gum loss.

  1. You Have Chronic Jaw Pain

TMJ pain may indicate jaw imbalance. Adjusting the height or position of certain teeth with braces can bring your jaw into balance and relieve TMJ pain.

Learn whether braces are right for you by scheduling an orthodontic consultation today.

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

Dec
24

Why Wear a Retainer? Three Main Reasons to Consider

Posted in Braces

Dental retainers serve a number of purposes. Depending on your unique oral health needs, there’s a good chance that you may need to wear a retainer at some point in your life.

Here are the three main uses of retainers in dentistry.

  1. To Straighten Teeth

A retainer can be worn alone to correct small problems with tooth alignment. Invisalign, for example, is a popular teeth-straightening retainer system. Retainers are often necessary after treatment with regular braces to ensure that teeth don’t revert to their old positions.

  1. To Prevent Bad Habits

Some children develop the habit of poking their tongue out of their mouths when they speak. This can lead to speech problems and even put unnatural pressure on the front teeth and cause them to splay outwards.

Special retainers can be designed to prevent the tongue from thrusting towards the front of the mouth. Kids may need to wear a retainer like this to break habits that are harmful to tooth alignment or their speech. Correcting these problems early in life can actually prevent the need for braces later on down the road.

  1. To Correct Jaw Problems

Not all bite alignment issues manifest as crooked teeth. Poor jaw alignment can lead to teeth grinding. If your entire jaw doesn’t line up correctly, you may suffer from TMJ pain and tooth enamel damage.

If you suffer from jaw pain, you may qualify for a special kind of mouthpiece called a splint that prevents your teeth from closing down together while you sleep. This protects your tooth enamel and minimizes some of the strain on your jaw joint.

Is a dental retainer right for you? Find out by visiting your local dentist for an oral health checkup.

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

Dec
24

Why Do I Have So Many Gaps Between My Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Having multiple spaces between your teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile. Why do you have so many gaps? There are a few possible reasons.

Missing Teeth

If you were born with one or two congenitally-missing permanent teeth, this can lead to increased spacing between the rest of them. The same is true of losing teeth to trauma or disease. Over time, the remaining teeth will shift their positions, opening up more spaces across your smile.

Naturally Small Teeth

Genetics and certain health conditions can result in teeth that are proportionately too small for the mouth. They may be evenly spaced and healthy, but such teeth can have large gaps of empty space between one another.

Enamel Erosion or Decay

Your teeth may appear to have widening gaps between them because they’re being actively worn away. Rough tooth brushing, excessive acid exposure, and cavities can all cause enamel to erode.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the bone and gum tissue around tooth roots. As teeth lose support, they drift out of alignment and the gums shrink away. This can make them start to look flared-out and widely spaced.

How to Fix Gaps Between Your Teeth

Get started by scheduling a checkup with your local dentist. This will determine whether the gaps in your smile are caused by disease. Once your mouth is free of infection, your dentist will recommend cosmetic treatments to decrease the spacing between your teeth.

Treatment may include:

  • Physically closing the distance between teeth with braces
  • Hiding gaps with dental veneers or dental bonding
  • Enlarging teeth by capping them with dental crowns
  • Gum grafting to restore lost tissue

Contact your dentist today to schedule consultation.

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

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

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