Dental Tips Blog

Sep
11

What If I Have to Move During My Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Orthodontics

Military deployment, college, a new job—there are many things that can prevent you from completing your braces treatment in one place.

What should you do if you have to move before your braces come off?

Visit Your Current Orthodontist

See your present orthodontist at least one last time before your move. He or she should know about your plans for relocation so that they can put on the “finishing touches,” so to speak.

Your orthodontist will make sure you’re up-to-date with your treatment and collect x-rays, pictures, and treatment records that you can take to a new orthodontic office. Your current office may even help you out in your search for a new specialist and help out by transferring everything so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Talk about the finances with your current orthodontist. You may have worked out a payment plan or paid a down payment before you knew you were going to move. You likely qualify for at least some type of refund on any treatment that won’t be happening in that office.

Contact the AAO

Not able to visit your current orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontics has a website which is an excellent resource. You can search out a professional based on their education, experience, and area of practice.

Ask Your New Neighbors

If you don’t know what else to do after you move, ask the locals. A new coworker or neighbor can probably recommend a reliable local dentist or orthodontist.

Whatever your circumstances may be, make your oral health and orthodontic treatment a priority. Some careful planning and research will help you make a success of your braces no matter where you move to!

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

Sep
9

Pros and Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Posted in Orthodontics

The hard work is far from over once your braces come off.

You may need to wear an aligner for some time after orthodontic treatment to ensure that your teeth stay in their new position. Otherwise, your teeth are apt to drift back into their old locations.

A permanent retainer is one treatment option that can prevent your time in braces from going to waste.

Permanent retainers are thin metal wires that are attached to the back of upper and/or lower front teeth. They have both benefits and disadvantages you should know about before getting one.

Pros of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Permanent retainers have significantly more advantages than disadvantages. These include:

  • Not visible to others
  • No risk of forgetting to put them in each day
  • No risk of misplacing your losing or damaging your retainer
  • Can be worn short-term or permanently
  • Easy for a dentist to remove
  • Harmless to tooth enamel
  • Preserves the investment of time and money you put into your orthodontic care 

Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Since a permanent retainer is cemented to your teeth, there’s no way you as the patient can take it off. This is the main reason fixed or bonded retainers have some drawbacks.

You may have difficulty cleaning around the fixed wire. You’ll have to use a floss threader or water flosser to clean your teeth like you did with braces. Some people find that a permanent retainer makes their teeth hurt. Others suffer from heavy buildup of tartar around the wire.

The good news is that if a permanent retainer causes you trouble, your dentist can easily remove it. Ask your orthodontist which kind of retainer is best for your smile.

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

Jul
29

Can I Get Braces if I Already Have a Dental Implant?

Posted in Orthodontics

Getting braces later in life is perfectly safe and effective. Any existing dental work you may have, however, could limit your orthodontic treatment options.

You might wonder whether you can get braces if you already have a dental implant in place.

It is possible, but there are some limitations you need to be aware of.

Dental Implants Don’t Move

A dental implant acts like a tooth root in that it supports a crown and strengthens the jawbone. Unlike a natural tooth, however, implants are fused directly with the bone. This means that they can’t move through the bone tissue when under pressure. If you do get braces, your implant tooth won’t budge.

Your orthodontist may collaborate with your implant provider about using the implant as an anchor to help bring the rest of your teeth into proper alignment. But even this must be done with caution; excess pressure can potentially damage or dislodge a dental implant.

Braces Come Before the Implant

Ideally, you’d want to have orthodontic treatment completed before you get an implant. Your orthodontist will place your braces so that they save a space for your implant. This is one reason why getting an orthodontic evaluation and treatment early is better than waiting. So, if you have a teenager who may one day need a dental implant, make sure they’re caught up on orthodontic appointments.

Implants and Braces

For the most part, implants don’t have to stop you from getting braces. You might even qualify for problem-focused orthodontic treatment that doesn’t even involve your implant. No matter what though, braces can’t move dental implants.

Talk with an orthodontist near you to learn about your best options.

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

Jun
22

How to Know Whether or Not You Need Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Find out for yourself whether or not you need orthodontics by looking for the following signs in your smile:

Crowding

Crowding happens when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for all of your teeth, causing them to come in twisted and overlapped. Crowding is a problem because these teeth are hard to keep free of the plaque and tartar, which lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Overbite

In an overbite, the upper front teeth jet out past the bottom front ones. This makes those upper teeth vulnerable to injury. Any restorations in those areas are also prone to damage or wear.

Crossbite

When an upper tooth closes behind a lower tooth, that’s called a crossbite. It’s abnormal because the outer edge of any upper tooth is supposed to close over the front of any lower tooth. When it’s the other way around, teeth are susceptible to premature wear and gum recession.

Underbite

An underbite is when the upper front teeth specifically close down behind the lower front teeth. This leads to difficulties biting into food and can adversely affect appearance.

Open Bite

If the upper and lower teeth don’t fully close together when you bite down, then it’s considered to be an open bite. It can make it hard to chew food and can cause speech problems.

Here are some other signs you might need orthodontics:

  • The lower teeth contact the roof of your mouth
  • Any baby teeth fell out too early or too late in life
  • You’re constantly biting your cheek
  • Constantly breathe through your mouth
  • Suffering from chronic jaw pain.

Plan a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist to find out whether or not orthodontics are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

Apr
24

Do Braces Have Any Unwanted Side-Effects?

Posted in Orthodontics

Getting braces will give you a nicer smile, but are there any side-effects you should be wary of?

Unfortunately, there are a couple of negative risks you should be prepared to face.

Sore Teeth and Jaws

Braces put pressure on your teeth. This is a pressure controlled by a very experienced professional so there’s no need to worry, but it is an undeniably uncomfortable process.

Your tooth roots and the bone around your teeth may be especially sore after having your braces tightened. You may even feel some discomfort in your jaw.

Cuts on Your Cheeks and Lips

The brackets and wire ends can be painfully sharp. If you don’t do something to protect your mouth, these metal extensions can irritate the soft tissue inside your cheeks and lips.

How to Eliminate the Side-Effects of Braces

You may not be able to completely avoid the discomfort that comes with the orthodontic territory. Still, you don’t have to resign yourself to suffering.

Head off the side-effects before they strike by taking a small dose of over-the-counter pain reliever right before an orthodontic adjustment.

You can also put ice on sore gums to bring down swelling. Cushion sharp brackets and wires with orthodontic wax. An anesthetic gel can soothe any irritating sores you already have.

Braces Are Worth the Time!

Braces can be uncomfortable in the short term. But your orthodontist will help you find relief. Your treatment will end one day, and you’ll be glad you endured when you see the great results (not to mention the newfound self confidence.)

Talk with your dentist or orthodontist to learn more about minimizing the side-effects of braces.

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

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

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…