Dental Tips Blog

Apr
9

Why Are My Teeth Suddenly Getting Crooked?

Posted in Orthodontics

Crooked teeth don’t just look bad – they pose a major risk to your oral health and can even be a sign that something has already happened.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Teeth tend to shift easily during childhood. At this time, the jawbone is still rapidly developing. A tooth can move when it’s pressed on by actions such as thumb sucking.

Crooked teeth can also be genetic. If a child’s parent needed braces, chances are good the child will eventually need dental braces as well. It’s also possible that inheriting one parent’s small jaw and the other parent’s larger teeth can lead to tooth alignment issues.

But what if your teeth were fine throughout childhood? What does it mean if they’re just now getting crooked?

Unfortunately, that’s probably a sign of trouble.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If you have wisdom teeth coming in below the gum line, they can push on the teeth in front of them. This causes crowding, especially among the front teeth.

Still have your wisdom teeth or aren’t sure if you do?

See a dentist to get some x-rays to find out.

Missing Teeth

Your teeth keep moving forward. When there’s a gap in the alignment, the teeth behind the space tend to shift and tip over to fill it in. That’s one of the reasons why dentists recommend replacing missing teeth as soon as possible.

Gum Disease

Gum disease attacks the ligaments and bone that hold teeth in place. It can cause teeth to loosen. As they do, they may shift and splay out of alignment.

See your dentist for a checkup and to find out what could be causing your teeth to move out of their natural alignment.

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

Feb
17

4 Health Benefits of Straight Teeth

Posted in Orthodontics

A well-aligned smile certainly looks nice. But there are other important benefits to orthodontic treatment.

  1. Fresh Breath

Bad breath is most often caused by food debris and bacteria. Germs and food can get stuck between twisted or overlapping teeth and stay there for days. If you don’t clean your teeth thoroughly, that buildup will cause your breath to stink. Straighten out your teeth, however, and you’ll have fresher healthier breath. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
8

How Long Do You Have to Wear an Orthodontic Retainer?

Posted in Orthodontics

After braces, most patients are instructed to wear a retainer. This helps keep teeth in the desired position while the bone heals up around tooth roots and prevents them from shifting back.

The purpose of a retainer is to help you keep the progress you’ve made by wearing braces. If you don’t keep your teeth in place, then all that time and hard work will go to waste as teeth relapse into their previous positions.

How Long to Wear Your Retainer

But how long do you have to wear your retainer? That mainly depends on how long your orthodontist recommends.

It also depends on what kind of orthodontic treatment you had and how long it lasted. Some complicated or accelerated cases may be especially prone to regressing and require a retainer for a long time afterward.

On average, retainers should be worn all day for a year after treatment. If your teeth are staying securely in place, then your orthodontist may let you wear your retainer at night, only.

The kind of retainer you have may also affect how long you wear it. Fixed retainers, for example can stay in place for several years.

Get the Most Out of Your Retainer

Taking good care of your retainer and wearing it as directed will help your teeth stay healthy and straight.

Clean your retainer daily and floss carefully if it’s a fixed one. Fixed retainers in particular need special attention at dental checkups to make sure the teeth it’s attached to don’t have any cavities or disease.

A retainer is your ticket to getting the most out of your costly orthodontic treatment, so wear it well!

Ask your orthodontist about other retainer options if your current one bothers you.

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

Nov
19

Oral Surgery to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment – is it Right for You?

Posted in Orthodontics

If the prospect of spending years in braces doesn’t sound good to you, then you may be a candidate for accelerated orthodontics.

What Is Accelerated Ortho?

Accelerated or “fast” braces are aesthetic in nature. Rather than addressing the alignment of all of your teeth, your braces are used for cosmetic purposes to align the teeth at the front of your mouth (the ones people see when you’re talking or smiling.)

Because fewer teeth are being aligned, the process takes far less time than traditional braces. In most cases, fast or accelerated orthodontic treatments only take 3-6 months to complete. For this reason, some accelerated ortho procedures are called Six Month Braces.

Benefits of Accelerated Ortho

Clearly, the main benefit is spending less time in braces.

Other related benefits include:

  • You can have accelerated ortho to complement other types of treatment
  • You’ll see results sooner
  • Reduced chance of getting white spots on your teeth when the braces come off
  • A more conservative process
  • Get back to eating your favorite foods faster (the ones that are bad for braces!)

With all of these benefits, why doesn’t everyone have accelerated ortho?

Not everyone can have this procedure to speed up their treatment, however. Very complex tooth misalignment should be addressed using more traditional orthodontic treatment.

If it turns out that you don’t qualify for accelerated orthodontics, don’t worry. You can still keep your treatment time to a minimum by maintaining good home care, properly caring for your wires and elastics, and avoiding foods that could damage your braces.

Find out whether accelerated ortho is right for you by asking your orthodontist or dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

May
6

Why Straightening Your Teeth Is Good for Your Oral Health

Posted in Orthodontics

Has your dentist been hinting that you or your child should get braces?

It’s not a dentist thing! Providers don’t recommend braces because they are obsessive about perfect teeth. There is some solid logic behind that suggestion.

Braces Free Up Space

Straightening teeth can reduce the risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay. That’s because crowded teeth trap dental plaque that contains harmful bacteria. Open up those overlapping teeth and you’ll have an easier time flossing and brushing. Food debris will also be less likely to get stuck in certain areas.

Braces Can Get You a More Even Bite

Crooked teeth can cause your jaw to bite down sooner on one side than the other. This, in turn, leads to problems like:

  • TMJ pain
  • Premature enamel wear
  • Gum recession

Orthodontic treatment is especially effective in growing kids. Catching tooth alignment issues early on will help them avoid serious bite problems down the road.

You’ll Experience a Confidence Boost

What’s not to love about a straight, white smile? It truly is the essence of the American ideal for health and beauty. Straightening your teeth will help you keep your mouth healthier, breath fresher, and smile brighter.

Once the braces come off, you’ll find a hundred more reasons to smile!

Alternatives to Braces

Speaking of braces, you might not be thrilled to consider the prospect of wearing a mouthful of metal.

How do you get maximum orthodontic benefit with minimum metal-mouth?

You’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of orthodontic options available to adults. Talk with your dentist or a local orthodontist to find out which methods are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-711

Mar
31

4 Best Orthodontic Options for Adults

Posted in Orthodontics

When it comes to braces, adults typically want the option that will fit in with their busy schedules. Convenience. Comfort. Low-visibility. Something that’s easy to wear and won’t draw too much unwanted attention.

Here are four popular braces options that work great for adults everywhere.

  1. Alignment Trays

Such systems use clear trays to gradually correct tooth position. Invisalign invisible braces is one such popular brand. The trays are removable so that you can take them out at mealtime.

  1. Veneers

Why get braces at all, if you don’t have to? Dental veneers can cover up minor irregularities, gaps, and overlapping with porcelain shells that even everything out.

  1. Clear Braces

All the work minus the look. Clear braces use tooth-colored brackets as opposed to metal ones to get you great results. They aren’t invisible, but neither will they be the first thing people notice about you. Some kinds are actually regular braces placed on the inside of the teeth so you don’t see them at all.

  1. Traditional Braces

If looks and timing aren’t your most pressing concerns, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going back to basics. Classic braces are popular because they work – for both teens and adults.

There’s no shame if others see you opting for traditional orthodontic methods. It just goes to show how much you value your smile and want to stay young at heart!

Before deciding on a treatment, ask your orthodontist:

  • How can I maintain the results of this treatment?
  • How does this treatment work with my insurance?
  • What changes will I need to make to my oral hygiene routine?

Get started by contacting your dentist for treatment recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Mar
27

Swallowing Braces – Could It Happen to You?

Posted in Orthodontics

A 30-year-old Australian woman wore braces to correct her smile. The braces were removed. Ten years later, she visited a hospital with severe abdominal pain and doctors extracted a 7-centimeter piece of orthodontic wire in her small intestine.

She doesn’t remember how it ended up there.

Doctors are still unsure of how orthodontic wire – especially of that length – could wind up being ingested. One theory is that a piece of wire is lost in the mouth of a sedated patient.

What does this mean for braces-wearers today?

Most orthodontic patients never have to be sedated, so this is little to no risk to the average person.

Loose bands could get lost in your mouth, however. But you’re not likely to swallow many, if any at all. If you did accidentally ingest a band, it wouldn’t do any serious damage.

The possibility of swallowing a dangerous piece of orthodontic wire is ridiculously small. A bizarre story like that of the Australian woman shouldn’t stop you from wearing braces any more than it should stop you from using screws or nails on home projects (those are commonly swallowed on accident).

An entire bracket can come loose off a tooth. If that happens, you would probably notice. Even if you were to swallow it, there’s no need to panic. It would probably pass through your system with no issue, but you may still want to see a doctor for an x-ray.

Parts of braces tend to come loose when they are not properly maintained. Wearing a mouthguard during sports and staying away from crunchy sticky foods will help keep your orthodontia in-tact.

Talk with your local dentist or orthodontist if you have any other concerns about braces.

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

Feb
16

Should You Get a Filling Before or After Getting Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

Has it been years since you had a dental checkup? That first trip to the dental office can leave you with a to-do list of procedures. If you end up want both braces and needing a filling or two, which should come first?

It’s preferable (and usually more urgent) to treat decay before straightening teeth for a few reasons:

  • It’s easier to treat teeth without appliances in the way
  • Decay then won’t have the chance to spread to other teeth
  • Orthodontics can often be delayed, but treating tooth decay can’t

Braces are worn for around a year and a half. For some patients, even longer. There’s a good chance that you could develop a cavity or two during that time. 

What Then?

If necessary, most basic dental fillings can be done during orthodontic treatment. Although it’s not ideal, your orthodontist may be able to remove the wire and a bracket or two to let your dentist access teeth needing treatment.

Before Getting Braces

Get a complete professional tooth cleaning complete with x-rays and a gum exam. This will alert you to any underlying issues that could suddenly pop up while wearing braces. Ask your dentist about dental sealants, too. These can prevent cavities from forming on chewing surfaces.

While Wearing Braces

Your teeth will be more vulnerable to decay while in braces, since all of those extra surfaces can harbor bacteria. Reduce your risk of cavities by brushing several times a day. Use a flossing method that’s so easy for you that you’re willing to do it every day. Lastly, boost your fluoride use to strengthen all enamel surfaces.

To get an idea of your individual dental needs, schedule a checkup with your local dentist.

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

Feb
12

How Do You Fix an Overbite or Underbite?

Posted in Orthodontics

An overbite is when the top front teeth which normally overlap the lower ones do so to a deep degree. This can be so extensive that the lower teeth are barely visible in a full grin.

Underbite refers to when the opposite happens: the lower front teeth close over the upper ones.

Both of these conditions can fall under the category of a “bad bite.”

Underbites and overbites are common in children and some individuals hold onto this jaw alignment well into adulthood. While mild cases might not seem so bad, there are some inherent risks:

  • Greater likelihood of having crooked teeth
  • Uneven wear on teeth
  • Strain on the TMJ
  • Issues with keeping teeth and gums clean
  • Speech problems
  • Facial distortions
  • Low self-esteem

If you or your child is living with either an underbite or overbite, you probably want to find a reliable solution.

Whatever you do, NEVER attempt any at-home or DIY treatments you may hear about! DIY braces are a recipe for trouble – perhaps even danger. It’s always best to consult your dentist or an orthodontist for practical solutions.

Underbite

Young patients often benefit from a palatal expander which gradually encourages the upper teeth to match the alignment of the lower ones. Older patients are usually candidates for corrective surgery. “Facelift dentistry” is a cosmetic solution for a lot of adults with mild underbites.

Overbite

When correcting teeth in an overbite, braces are the preferable option for kids. Adults usually enjoy the results of using an invisible aligner.

To find out which orthodontic option is right for your family’s situation, start out by talking with your orthodontist.

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

Jan
29

Braces for Kids Are a Waste of Money . . . Aren’t They?

Posted in Orthodontics

Why is the orthodontist suddenly recommending braces for your eight-year-old? No, it’s not a joke. Some orthodontists offer an early stage of orthodontic therapy called Phase I treatment that can actually have tremendous benefits for your child’s future adult smile.

First of all, take a look at the benefits of braces for anyone:

  • Beautiful teeth
  • A comfortable, functional bite
  • Stain- and disease-resistant teeth

These results are usually achieved by starting treatment when a child is in their early teens. But in some cases where the teeth already look straight a specialist can discern jaw discrepancies. An uneven jaw can lead to an uneven bite, uneven wear on the teeth, gum recession, headaches, TMJ issues, and on the list goes. If not addressed, that jaw growth may eventually require surgery.

If there is some way to head off these problems at the time the risk is perceived, then yes, your child is likely a candidate for Phase I orthodontic treatment. That would be unquestionably followed by Phase II in braces.

What About the Time Involved?

It may seem like your child is in braces longer, but two phase orthodontic treatment actually reduce the length and invasiveness of the treatment if you put braces off altogether.

The other factor to consider is how compliant your child would be. If your son or daughter has to spend their childhood avoiding the joys of bubble gum and candy apples, they may not be so cooperative about wearing braces later on.

Keep in mind that other orthodontists may have different opinions. Since most initial evaluations are free, take advantage of several to get different opinions. Talk with your general dentist to get more information. If early ortho treatment for your child really is necessary, then rest assured, it will be worth the cost!

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

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